With everyone giving their opinion on this mess, I thought it would only be appropriate for me to chime in as well.
First, a little disclaimer: I do not know all of the facts of this mess.
Now, on to the fun part (for me)...
The government bail out plan in my opinion is wrong and should not be approved. I hope it gets stalled and dies out. I am sick of the fear tactics used to convince taxpayers that this needs to be done. If it took more than 10 years for us to get into this mess, why does the solution have to be found within 5 days? Why such a rush to fix this thing? It is too complex for a couple weeks of brainstorming to fix. We need a more slow, deliberate, and well thought out plan (more thought out that the current plan is). University professors and economic experts should have some say in the plan. WE SHOULD NOT RUSH INTO A FIX!
Second, I do not like having to pay for others peoples screw ups. The people who are squirming the most, are people who have a serious chunk of money in the financial markets. That would include 401k's, IRA's, Mutual Funds, Stocks, Bonds, etc. Most Americans these days have some kind of retirement fund and/or other money market funds. If the current "crisis" continues, these people stand to loose a significant chunk of their funds. So the common line I hear is, "I don't like that I, as a tax payer, have to bail out wall street, but I guess a couple of grand in extra taxes is better than losing $250,000 in retirement money..."
I do not like that people feel as if they are "held hostage" in this mess. They are forced to choose between losing a little money or a lot of money. What a load of c**p that has been dumped on these people. (I keep referring to "these" or "those" people not including myself in this group because I don't have any money in the money market. I pulled it all out several months ago before the huge wall street crash, and I stand to lose nothing if this mess continues). But I have a news flash for the "average American taxpayer with money market funds", YOU CHOOSE TO PUT YOUR MONEY INTO A FUND WITH RISKS!! It is a gamble you took, well thought out or not, and you must live with the consequences of those risks. The average person could not foresee this (otherwise they would not have invested the money), but ignorance is not excuse in my opinion.
I say let the wave ride out. Let the "bad things" happen. Let the bubble continue to deflate. Too many people got rich in this big mess, and most of their money is in the money market. Let the market decline and stall, and all those people lose. Of course there may be some "innocent people" who lose as well, but that was part the risk they took by putting money in the money markets.
The system will repair itself in time. Let it ride out and fix itself - no government meddling can help, it can only hurt everyone equally. But I don't want equality, I want the wealthy to pay, not everyone equally.