Another great column from George Will today, on the House's "vote against rashness." With a conservative's sense of history, he traces some of the policy choices that brought us to today's crisis:
Suppose that in 1979 the government had not engineered the first bailout of Chrysler (it, Ford and GM are about to get $25 billion in subsidized loans). Might there have been a more sober approach to risk throughout corporate America?
Suppose there had never been implicit government backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Better yet, suppose those two had never existed -- there was homeownership before them, just not at a level that the government thought proper. Absent Fannie and Freddie -- absent government manipulation of the housing market -- would there have developed the excessive diversion of capital into the housing stock?
But really, if you haven't been reading George Will this year--on the problems with both Obama and McCain, on the automobile bailout, on local government fiscal crises--go here. And to read what he says about his new book, go here (pdf)