One of the great gems of wisdom from the 12-step world is that sometimes people have to hit bottom to start getting better.
Mitt Romney voiced the capitalist version of this rule other day in a GOP debate:
"One is, don't try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom. Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up. Let it turn around and come back up. The Obama Administration has slow-walked the foreclosure processes that have long existed, and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang."
Needless to say, these very wise remarks have become a Democratic attack ad. This was inevitable. Whether it’s buying houses you can afford or getting fancy educations you can’t afford, the Obama administration doesn’t want you to hit bottom. Hitting bottom, recognizing failure, and starting again—that is so retro, and government is here to cushion you from the outcomes of your bad choices.
So I’d like to quote the Wall Street Journal in praising Romney for saying this:
A friend of ours quipped recently that Mitt Romney could do his Presidential candidacy a lot of good if he took even a single position that is unpopular in the polls. Well, we can report that he has done that on housing policy, that he's being pummeled for it, and that it may be his finest campaign hour. It also contrasts favorably with the latest temporary, ad hoc and futile housing effort from President Obama.
Campaigning last week in Nevada, the epicenter of the housing bust, Mr. Romney was asked by the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board what he would do about housing and foreclosures.
As noted, Romney gave the right answer.
I would submit that it is their attitudes towards responsibility, more than tax policy, or cutting spending, or what you think about Dodd-Frank, that define the difference between the two political strains in the country today. I can't help feeling that, even as the president goes gray, he heads an administration built on the notion of eternal youth, an administration that regards it as a “right” that “children” in their mid-twenties get to remain on their parents’ health insurance policies.
George McGovern said: Come home, America
The message for today: Grow up, America