Yesterday, Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who is running for Missouri’s open Senate seat, unveiled his jobs plan at an event with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Blunt spends a lot of time in the document fearmongering about the deficit, saying “we must put a stop to this reckless and embarrassing culture of running up the bill and passing it along to our children and grandchildren.” He even advocates rescinding the stimulus money that has yet to be spent, which amounts be a tax increase on the middle class. But Blunt’s concern about spending evaporates when it comes to having the federal government subsidize the real estate industry, as he calls for permanently extending the home buyers tax credit:
Recently it was announced that new home purchases had fallen off more than 30%. Clearly people respond to tax incentives and the recently-expired home owners’ tax credit is no exception. Encouraging people who can afford it to purchase homes helps employ homebuilders, real estate workers, bank employees, and keeps liquidity in the market.
As The Wonk Room explained, the home buyer’s tax credit was enacted as part of the stimulus and then extended a couple of times, and by all accounts it was a complete and total boondoggle, costing taxpayers billions to subsidize activity that was going to happen anyway. Even the credit’s staunchest supporters have said that its “sunsetting is an incentive to drive people to the marketplace” and poo-pooed the notion of extending it forever, which clearly turns it into a permanent subsidy to the real estate industry. But since Blunt has received far more money from the finance/insurance/real estate sector than any other in his career, maybe that’s precisely the point, no matter what it costs.