Here is a WaPo “fact checker” piece on whether Romney, when he ran Bain, was a key player in having the firm receive a “bailout”.

The WaPo article misses the point (which is closely related to my previous post on incentives): If Bain received a bailout and bailouts are “bad”, then it is the people that provided the bailout (namely, government officials) that should be in the hot seat, not Romney or Bain.

If the government is handout out cash, then I’m going to line up to take it. That doesn’t mean that I’m a hypocrite for being against the government handing out cash. It just means that I’m responding to incentives that I might wish did not exist. Nothing hypocritical about this. It’s the people handing out the cash that you should be mad at.

Other good examples of this that many “everyday” people are part of: homeowner tax incentives (do you take them or pass them by) and voluntarily paying state sales taxes on purchases made out of state (this is big in NY, for example). If, for example, you’ve purchased $1000 from Amazon (and probably not paid NYS sales tax) and you live in NY, then you ought to be voluntarily paying NYS about $100 when you file your state taxes. You don’t? Then you essentially received a “bailout” from NYS.

See Michael Brannigan.

-JD Cross