Bailout is ugly, but necessary

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We’ve never been fans of big government. Generally, smaller government is better government.

Normally, letting capitalism regulate itself is the way to go, so long as the regulators keep the playing field fair.

Unfortunately, our financial markets were allowed to run amok with too little oversight for too long. Lenders and borrowers alike got greedy. Times were good and credit flowed like water.

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As a few banks began to realize they were overextended, a small snowball formed. Now, months later, the snowball has grown with each passing day.

All the while, more and more banks started running scared. Subsequently several banks have failed or been forced to sell out. Few, if any, depositors have lost money, only stock market investors.

And those investors probably should lose money. They invested in bad companies and capitalism has a way of shaking loose bad apples.

But it’s not just investors at risk; it’s millions of retirees whose nest eggs are now dented and cracked due to no fault of their own.

It’s millions of would-be car buyers and home buyers who will struggle to get a loan now.

Fear has taken over and will continue to grip the economy until something stabilizes it.

Congress was poised to step in Monday, but the House voted down a bill aimed at stabilizing the shaky markets.

The bailout plan stinks. Every plan considered is awful, but necessary.

Given the severity of the problems, the bill is the best option to fix the wrongs that stand to tear down, not only the bad and the ugly, but also the good and the innocent in our economy.

Congress needs to act, quickly.