No, Mr. President, it isn't for every American.
President Bush is pushing the bank bailout bill this morning. He said "Every member of Congress and every American should keep in mind that a vote for this bill is a vote to prevent economic damage to you and your community."
That isn't exactly true. If you bought a house in the last few years ignoring all the talk about a real estate bubble and now want to sell, this bailout's for you. If you got an adjustable rate mortgage when rates where at a historic low, this bailout's for you. If you underwrote or sold mortgages to people who shouldn't legitimately have gotten a mortgage, this bailout's for you. If you are a politician who wants to take credit for "doing something," especially if you stood in the way of preventing this nonsense back when we tried to fix it, this bailout's for you.
This bailout isn't for the rest of us, Mr. President. If it were, you guys would just do away with the mark-to-market rules and let us get on with our business. A crisis of confidence in a free economy has a great way of working itself out. Kind of like how a big sale at the mall clears the shelves.
No, Mr. President. The vote, the stability, and the bailout aren't for the rest of us. We just get to pay for them.