Shock: Realtors Asking for More Handouts from Government

November 14, 2008

The National Association of Realtors, our favorite lobby here at the Tax Foundation, is pressuring its members to urge Congress to steal on its behalf more from taxpayers. Here's the organization's four-point plan:

NAR has urged Congress to include the following provisions in any future legislation:

  • Make the $7500 tax credit available to all purchasers and eliminate the repayment requirement. The credit’s limited availability and required repayment terms have severely limited the credit’s appeal to potential homebuyers. As a result, the credit has not been widely used or proven effective at stimulating sales.
  • Make the 2008 FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits permanent. New rules for 2009 would significantly reduce the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limit from their 2008 levels. Now is not the time to limit the availability of affordable mortgages.
  • Get the Emergency Treasury bank relief program back on track by targeting more funds to mortgage relief efforts and increasing efforts to mitigate foreclosures. Don't just give the banks unrestricted cash. Make the program work to improve mortgage and housing markets as it was originally intended.
  • Permanently bar banks and banking conglomerates from engaging in real estate brokerage and management. The banks have proven they have enough to do to simply properly manage their current lines of business. Do we really want them to manage on the home buying process? Imagine what could have been the situation now if they already had the added ability to engage in real estate sales.

Of course, back when the first time homebuyer credit was put into place, the Realtors said it would be a boom to the market. Of course, they've been wrong (as has been typical of the organization for about the past five years on just about everything), and now they want more, promising that only this will now save the housing market.

Congress should tell the NAR and its lobbyists to just go home (if they still have one).

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