The savings and loan scandal that occurred after Congress rushed through legislation in the early 1980s to provide regulatory relief to the beleaguered thrift industry is history. But it's worth noting that the Congressional Budget Office's latest estimate of the net tab for the cleanup now winding down comes to some $150 billion.
By comparison, the government spent $17 billion last year for family support, $10 billion for farm price supports, and $7 billion for child nutrition. The S&L debacle lives on today mainly as a component of the national debt. Its epitaph might well read: "Legislate in haste, pay the tax man in leisure."