Senate Republican Housing Tax Credit Plan Is Terrible Tax Policy

March 25, 2008

Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, a former real estate agent, has come forth in support of yet another tax handout for housing. The bill is co-sponsored by many other Republicans in the Senate, including Senators Gregg, Craig, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. This time they want to give a $15,000 per year tax credit spread out over three years to anyone who purchases a new home, a foreclosed home, or a home that is pending foreclosing.

These same Republicans who claim to want to rein in government spending as part of being “fiscally conservative” are themselves proposing a massive new hidden spending program, though they disguise it as a tax credit.

If there is anything the tax code needs, it is fewer handouts for the housing industry, not more. Members of Congress need to start listening to the consensus of economists on both the left and right who believe that housing receives too many favors in the tax code. And they need to stop listening to the paid lobbyists of the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders.

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