If the government uses taxpayer money to stave off the collapse of private financial institutions, it makes each and every taxpayer a shareholder in those corporations. Might we not become more permissive toward business leaders who maximize profits if we know they will not be able to reimburse the national treasury otherwise? Are we not actually buying into a form of the failed system? Those institutions will have us by the 700 billion, not the other way around.
Forgive me if someone else has already covered this notion and done it better. I would not be at all surprised. But in case it hadn't been said, I wanted to get it out there.
As for the permissive attitude, I imagine most people don't realize that they really own a piece of all this. Even the anti-tax crowd talks about "your money" and "government money" like separate things. Power players in the private sector treat their own funds like a sacred well that the muddy feet of the public government must never pollute. It all seems very grand and distant from the average citizen, even when one is wading through the labyrinthine paperwork of April to figure out how much coin of the realm the machine demands for fuel this year.