Two To The Hat

The Tax Policy center bashes the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit:

Take a commission-starved real estate agent, add a buyer looking for a deal, and throw in a huge cash payment from the government. Is it any surprise that 10 percent of those claiming the credit either bungled the transaction or were engaged in a flat-out scam. Add to all of this the estimate by Ted Gayer at Brookings that more than 85 percent of the projected 2 million people expected to claim the credit would have bought a house anyway.

Like the late, unlamented cash for clunkers program, the homebuyer subsidy is very likely doing little more than further running up the national debt to accelerate some home purchases. Congress is now debating whether to either continue the credit into next year or even expand it to include all home purchases. This program, as they used to say up in the North End of Boston, needs to take two in the hat.

Bruce Bartlett sighs:

 [If] it comes up for renewal, I bet every Republican in Congress will vote for it because it's a "tax cut."