The Corner

Re: House Republicans’ Housing Plan

Instead of that plan, David, how about this — an end to federal subsidies for home ownership. Market actors have overinvested in housing. The macroeconomy will not recover until that money is transferred out of housing and into other, more productive economic sectors. Plans to retard that necessary shift in investment will slow economic recovery and produce a less efficient economy as a consequence.

I know that there is plenty of political capital to be gained by providing handouts to middle-class homeowners and little political capital in removing the same. But a political party that ostensibly stands for free markets and limited government should not be in the business of underwriting or subsidizing private investments in anything unless we can find some plausible market failure in need of correction (and perhaps not even then).

Hence, the necessary question: Is there any market failure that would result in sub-optimal investment in private housing? Not that I am aware of.     

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