Only historians will be able to tell if the proposed $700 billion government bailout touted by those in Washington, D.C., averted a financial meltdown or contributed to something much worse. Whatever the outcome, the “Paulson Plan” represents more than another costly federal intrusion into our free-market economy; it’s a startling incursion of financial socialism onto American shores.

Our great country was founded on the principles of individual risk and reward. If you want something, then you invest the time, money, and effort to earn it. Period. That’s how it’s done. That’s what makes us great.

But today, many of our nation’s leaders want the federal government to buy hundreds of billions of dollars worth of private debt. No longer will Wall Street’s financial losses be the responsibility of those who took the risks and reveled in the rewards. Soon they’ll become the property of those who reside on Main Street.

Nationalizing the financial sector’s debts isn’t merely un-American though; it’s plain backwards. In the free-market system, the private sector makes financial decisions and investments based on a scale of risk and reward. Eliminating those risk/reward boundaries, as the federal government’s bailout program proposes to do, encourages businesses to make unsound investments, knowing that if they’re deemed “too big to fail,” the American taxpayer will be there to bail them out. That’s not how this country became great, nor is it a formula for remaining so.

– James Quintero