There’s always something to howl about

More thrilling real estate math from the National Association of Realtors: How much did first-time home-buyers benefit from their $8,000 tax-funded subsidy? Can you count to negative $15,000?

You read that right. On average, recipients of the $8,000 federal housing subsidy lost $15,000 on the homes they purchased using the subsidy as their incentive.


The government’s recent $8,000 cash incentive for first-time home buyers has proved even more costly for recipients than for taxpayers, according to data released Monday. Typical buyers have lost twice as much to price declines as they received from the program.

The median home value fell to about $170,000 in March from $185,000 a year earlier, according to That means a buyer who closed on a house just before the tax-credit program expired in April 2010 collected $8,000 but has since lost $15,000 in value. Those who bought earlier in the program have done worse; the median price is down $20,000 from March 2009.

This was all completely foreseeable, of course. The only person, seemingly, who cannot grasp simple economics is Barrack Obama, temporarily president of the United States. But don’t get the idea that Obama is done wrecking the housing market just yet. Even now, his minions are pushing for still more sub-prime mortgages to economically-unqualified home-buyers.

As the great Tom Waits said, “I don’t have a drinking problem — except when I can’t get a drink.” America doesn’t have a housing problem. The problem is that, despite the state’s (mis)education monopoly, there are still too many people who can suss out a hustle, if you give them enough time.

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