Its funny how a lease or buy question led to this discussion.
Everyone is blaming either the government or finance companies for this crisis. while each might have contributed how about personal responsibility? At the end of the day, the buyer signs the final papers. If one is too stupid to understand what they are getting into who's fault is that? These people didn't have to take on loans or mortgages they couldn't afford. For that reason the truth is government regulation is there to protect us from ourselves. How silly is that? We need to take more responsibility for our actions and not blame others. Just because a lender offered a confusing loan product that the borrower had trouble understanding and failed to take the time to fully comprehend doesn't mean the borrower is without fault. Maybe the borrower isnt educated enough to know what to look for. Who's fault is that? While that part is unclear, it is clear that we (tax payers) are paying the price of other people's ignorance.
At one time in my life I experienced hardship and had to utilize credit to survive. Because of high utilization my interest rates went up and credit lines went down. It became difficult. I didn't blame anyone nor did I attempt to discharge my debt. I changed my life style, rebuilt my business and paid my debt. It wasn't easy but I took responsibility for my actions.
I run a business and it is important for me to project an image of success. If I'm asking a client to invest significant assets with me and I show up to a meeting in a hyundia, it doesn't make the right impression. As shallow and materialistic as it may sound, it happens to be true. The car I drive shouldn't have anything to do with my abilities as a professional but a a first impression is important. I lease a new BMW every 3 years. The tax deduction, business benefit and personal enjoyment I get from driving a new car is worth it to me.
To anyone who wants to criticize me, go ahead, it wont affect my life or decision process.