The Corner

Re: House Republicans’ Housing Plan

My criticism yesterday (here and here) of federal subsidies for home buyers — and Republican support for the same — is echoed in passing this morning in the BreakingViews.com section of the New York Times (“A Housing Rebound,” p. B2; I’d link to it, but alas, I can’t find it online). Good for them.

No, Iain, I am no student of Britain’s experience regarding the tax credit for mortgages. I can tell you, however, that every time the tax credit for mortgages is put into question here in the United States — even in passing — all hell breaks lose. Hence, while I’d like to believe that eliminating subsidies for home buyers is politically doable, pace Great Britain, I am not so sure.

I do not think a Swiss-cheese tax code that rigs the market to send investment dollars here rather than there thousands of times over is a tax code worth defending. If Americans for Tax Reform believes otherwise — and I don’t know that they do — then it amounts to a conservative embrace of state-directed social and economic engineering.      

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