There’s a whole lot worth chewing over in the big NYT article on the Bush administration and the financial crisis but this bit reflects some much broader problems than trouble with the president:
The housing market was a bright spot: ever-rising home values kept the economy humming, as owners drew down on their equity to buy consumer goods and pack their children off to college.
The thing of it is that in a rational housing policy universe, or a rather media conversation about housing, “ever-rising home values” would be a bad thing. Homes are things people need to live in. Making homes expensive doesn’t make people richer, it makes it harder for people to afford to house themselves. What a country needs is decent quality, reasonably convenient housing to be affordable — not for rising home prices to act as a substitute for rising incomes.