The government should not cut a $297,000 check for every U.S. citizen.
And it should not pay off everyone's mortgages.
Those thoughts have been popularized through a widely circulated e-mail, and by an angry homeowner on YouTube and CNN who demanded help with his mortgage - even though he hasn't had trouble paying bills. He wants a piece of the $7 trillion in bailouts.
Periodic, massive bailouts go back to the Great Depression, when the government stepped in to rescue Home Owner's Loan Corp. So there is a basis for the demand. Not too long ago eligible Americans received $600 checks each from a stimulus package. If $600 can provide the economy a needed boost, how much more would $297,000?
People would be able to pay off their mortgages, solving the housing crisis, as the e-mail suggests.
Why should the people who made the mistakes - executives blinded by greed or just plain incompetence and homeowners who bought houses they couldn't afford - get the most attention when most of us are worried about our financial futures?
Those are good questions. It's also OK to want someone to be held accountable for getting us into this mess.
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