Todd Zywicki gets it right when it comes to home mortgage and credit card debt:
Instead of a new consumer financial products safety commission, Washington should revise the disclosures it mandates for mortgages, its tax and other incentives that encourage overinvestment in housing, and the incentives for homeowners to walk away from their homes. Our current problems are caused by misaligned incentives and the rational response of consumers and lenders to those incentives. It’s not a crisis of consumer protection. A new agency premised on the erroneous belief what consumers need is to be protected from themselves is likely to do more harm than good.
It’s way past time that Americans recognize that repaying borrowed money is a profound obligation and a fundamental basis on which the western world rests.
Home ownership can be a wonderful thing. But if would-be buyers’ finances are not in order, they would be well-advised to continue to rent until they are. As we’ve seen, this is also in the country’s best interests as well.
Denying high-risk borrowers credit is not repressive, it is an acknowledgement of reality, one that should be made more often. Home ownership and credit card accounts are not human rights, they are luxuries earned by good professional and financial behavior.