Ethics and the Bank Bailout

Ethics and the Bank Bailout

President Barack Obama said Thursday he wants to tax banks to recoup the public bailout of foundering firms at the height of the financial crisis. “We want our money back,” he said.

Is it moral to tax banks to repay the public funds given them?

Is this a hard question?

If you run a restaurant, a filling station; if you sell insurance, automobiles, real estate; if you own a garage, a body shop or rent movies; will the government come and give you money to save your business in this time of troubles?

If you make particularly stupid and greedy decisions that result in your firm’s danger of failure, should this increase the probability of government help?

There is a Bible verse that may have relevance here. Psalm 37:21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

Well, the righteous have giveth and some may consider it just for the banks to pay back what they have received.

James Pethokoukis writing in reuters believes that the tax may very well pass.

Is that just? I hope it passes. A little justice may go a long way.

James Pilant

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