Can you keep count of all the various mortgage-relief programs that the government has started? Have any of them really worked? Will the federal cavalry ever arrive to win the day?

Let’s put it this way: Even Gen. George Armstrong Custer had a better record of attacking problems than the government.

Here’s one reason: The banks largely don’t want the programs to work. Look how they’ve rigged and manipulated the process. Look how they’ve consistently outwitted the government, which, on its best day, resembles F Troop.

Not to bash banks too much. They simply don’t want to take the write-downs. They’re in business to make money, not to act as the altruistic arm of some government agency. Then again, one also gets the impression they’d settle for yet another government bailout, if one was offered. Otherwise, they’re going to keep mucking things up in their favor.

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Which leads to the question: How sane is the government if it keeps coming back with these seemingly doomed mortgage-relief programs? Not that we shouldn’t try to help people in trouble. But aren’t there other ideas out there?

File under: Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

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