February 21, 2009 4:47PM

Those Federal Strings that Come with Bail‐​Out Cash

Companies tend to like getting bailed out.  Heck, I wouldn't mind a personal bail-out.  I mean, that nice Nigerian fellow promised me a share of the unclaimed bank account from his country's late dictator.  It isn't my fault the deal didn't work out!

Government cash has led naturally to restrictions on employee compensation.  It has also encouraged people to turn to politicians to get loans from banks.  There was the notorious case in Chicago (full, it seems, of notorious cases!) where workers demanded that Bank of America bail out their failing firm because it canceled the line of credit to the firm.  After all, BoA had received federal money.  That meant it was supposed to willy-nilly give cash away, irrespective of the prospect of being repaid.  Illinois politicians piled on and naturally the bank caved.

Now people are calling their congressmen when they get rejected for a loan at banks that collected government checks.  Reports McClatchy Newspapers:

Rep. Mel Watt is used to dealing with constituents who need help with government agencies.

But once Congress passed a $700 billion bailout of the banking system, some people started turning to the Charlotte Democrat for help with the private sector. They've asked him to assist their appeals of rejected loan applications from banks that collected federal bailout money.

It's an unusual type of request for Watt, who views the pleas as a sign of the times. An increasingly unsettled American public is looking for help with their own economic hardship but also asking for accountability because banks and other big businesses are getting bailed out by the government.

On the one hand, this is outrageous.  On the other hand, if the taxpayers have to support the banks, why shouldn't the banks support the taxpayers?  The logic is obvious even if the consequences are potentially catastrophic.

It won't be easy to roll back the federal government's leap into socialism American-style.  But if we don't halt the federal subsidy express, there might not be much real "free enterprise" left in America when we finish.