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When the federal government bails them out during a recession, it spares them this unpleasant obligation. It invites them to keep spending more than they can really afford.
Of course, the use of deficit spending as a cure for recession has the same effect at the federal level—reinforcing our leaders' habit of loading debt onto future generations.
As a way of expanding the economy, it's a proven failure. But as a way of expanding government, it's definitely a keeper.
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