Over the past weekend, I was watching a report concerning the Bernard Madoff scandal. The report focused on how Madoff defrauded investors and robbed a great majority of them of their life savings through a Ponzi scheme. Overall the reporting was informative, probing and unequivocal. The interviews were top notch and very good. What struck me most about the interviews, however, was when a question was asked. The question was "Should government bail out the victims of Bernard Madoff?" A majority of the victims, including former Colorado Congressman, Tom Tancredo, responded that it should. All were in agreement. I came to a different point of view, however.
Many years ago, I was a victim of a con-man. He took me for a great deal of money and he played on, which was, at the time, my vulnerability. I trusted him. I put my faith in him. I believed in him. I got taken advantage of. The point is no one forced me to trust him. I made the choice to trust him. I made the decision. It is the same for those who chose to trust Madoff and his "company." No one put a gun to their heads and forced them to invest their money with him. They freely chose to do it. They chose to invest out of their own free will. While it pains me that all of Madoff's victims were hurt by his con, they chose to put their faith in him.
As for the government assisting the victims by giving them a taxpayer bailout for the crime that Bernard Madoff himself committed, that is just wrong. Madoff, should be giving the victims restitution and not government. Government should not take the bread away from the taxpayers to assist a scoundrel. He should pay for his crimes. This habit of turning to government to make victims become whole again financially does not work. It is the perpetrator that has to do that. This is what is meant by personal responsibilty and what it means by owing up to your sins and crimes.