Rather than begin by bailing out irresponsible corporations and individuals, the federal government should begin by protecting the investments of the millions of Americans who have behaved responsibly. Why not devote half a trillion dollars to insure the savings, insurance, and investments of those of us who did not participate in the frenzy of irresponsible borrowing, or those companies who did not lend irresponsibly? Once those who have behaved responsibly are protected, only then should the government turn towards bailing out those who, by acting so irresponsibly, have gotten the country into this mess in the first place?
I'm not an economist or a legislator, so I'm not certain how a principle like this might be put into place. But perhaps one place to start would be to protect individual worth up to a certain dollar amount per person, protecting those with the least rather than, as this bailout promises to do, those with the most?