It’s too depressing to link readers to Bloomberg’s calculation that the TARP money, pledged, guaranteed and already passed out, is sufficient to pay off 90% of all outstanding mortgages in the United States or $1,500 or so to every single man, woman and child in the world. Now the latter idea might actually improve our standing in world opinion for at least a week, but I’ll leave that to those who care.
What I will link you to is this common sense observation from Clusterstock: the $15,000 tax credit for home buyers, a bit of largess that will itself cost us billions, will be absolutely useless in advancing home sales. Why? because houses are all overpriced much more than $15,000. I’ve read several stories in the main stream media about happy would-be homeowners saying that, “by golly, with an extra $15 grand, I’m gonna go find myself wonna dem houses I been hearing ’bout” but aside from wondering where the media finds these people, I’m not impressed. If you want a $15,000 cushion to protect yourself from a further decline of prices, demand it! In this market, if you can’t squeeze a piddly sum like that from a seller, you’re not qualified to own a bicycle, let alone a house.
Of course, if people could accomplish this for themselves, what good would the government be? Precisely.