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The bailout doesn't smell right to the people of Manassas Park, where the foreclosure signs are as common as azaleas. They know all about bad debt here. This is a terrain of oversize dreams, misjudgment, financial calamity -- and empty houses. "Foreclosure. Foreclosure. Foreclosure," said Ed Merkle, 58, as he pointed to the "for sale" signs lining his street.
But Merkle, a defense contractor, said he has lived within his means in an era of easy credit. He didn't take on a huge loan even when his bank encouraged him to dream bigger.
"I've been financially responsible with my own money. Why should I now be responsible for the fact that you were not?" he said.
This may be a Main Street bailout backlash in the making. The details of the financial crisis are still hard for most people to follow -- what with talk of exotic "derivatives" known as "credit-default swaps" and so on -- but the central fact of the matter hasn't been lost on anyone in this Northern Virginia community: The taxpayers are on the hook for the bad judgment of others.
And they say they don't like it. They didn't break it, but now they've bought it. Political leaders and financial titans say the bailout is necessary to save the economy, but on the ground, in such places as Manassas Park, people think that the bailout will reward the wrong people. There's a sense that too many folks bought houses they couldn't really afford, banks urged them on, common sense went on vacation, and now the grown-ups have to clean up the mess.
"If I spent more money than I have, I don't deserve to have somebody bail me out," said John Owens, 45, a developer who lives on Eagle Court, where three houses have gone through foreclosure.
The anti-bailout sentiment appears to cut across class lines. You hear it from one end of Manassas Drive, the main drag through town, to the other -- from the small, Cape Cod-style homes built with G.I. Bill money after World War II to the muscle-bound houses newly risen along the golf course.
"I'm worried that the taxpayers are going to wind up paying for all this," said Arlena Elbaraka, 38, who lives in the manicured neighborhood of Blooms Crossing.
"Who ends up losing from all this? Us, right?" asked Rogelio Benitez, 36, a home-improvement contractor who lives with his wife and six kids in a working-class neighborhood on the western edge of town.
Originally posted by nyk537
You know what's really funny to me about things like this?
All of a sudden you have all these people questioning why they should be responsible for those who mismanage their money, or don't work hard enough to keep their homes, and yet these same people are all for Obama and his plans for redistribution of wealth.
It's the same thing! Higher taxes to support "free" health care, more welfare programs, etc, etc.
People aren't connecting the dots here I don’t think. I don't want to turn this into a political discussion here because that isn't the intent of the OP, I just thought I'd point that out.