A while back, I went shopping for a mortgage. When I saw the obscene amount of money the bank was willing to lend me, I nearly fell over. Thanks, but no thanks, I said. There was no way that I was willing to assume that much debt. But plenty of others were. Plenty of other people took out mortgages they couldn't afford, from banks that shouldn't have lent to them, sparking what is now being spun as the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. And now, the federal government wants to reward them for their irresponsibility, with my tax dollars. The Bush Administration is preparing a plan for the federal government to buy up bad mortgages and other debt, at a multibillion-dollar cost to taxpayers. This is more than the unjust reward of the irresponsible at the expense of the responsible. It's more than the foolish encouragement of future irresponsibility. It is outright mockery of the people who practice the virtuous financial behavior that fosters personal and national well-being.