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I haven't posted yet on Bush's mortgage rate freeze plan because it seemed at first glance like a pretty good idea that was, if anything, too generous to people in need. That, though, didn't sound right at all, so I figured I must be misunderstanding. And, indeed, it turns out that Bush has devised a bailout that doesn't help low-income people.

That's more typically Bushian and absurd. Bailouts are always a tricky thing, because you don't necessarily want to insulate people from the consequences of bad decision-making. On the other hand, when there's objective hardship and the ability to help out, it can make a lot of sense to step in. Excluding the worst-off people stands the moral logic of the enterprise on its head.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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