Published at 11:38 on 18 February 2015
That basically describes US housing policy in a nutshell.
What prompted me to write this was receiving a letter from Freddie Mac (a government-sponsored enterprise) last month. They’re buying my mortgage so that US Bank (the original lender) can be freed up to make more home loans to other people. That’s in addition to the subsidy from the government I get by paying my interest on that loan with pre-tax dollars.
Both forms of government intervention in my favor came about simply because I decided to purchase a home. I didn’t have to spend years on a waiting list or enter a lottery to receive the largesse. It just flowed to me. Such it has long been for homeowners.
Meanwhile, the working poor (who cannot afford home ownership) do have to enter lotteries (where like all lotteries, the odds of “winning” are slim) and sit on waiting lists, often for years, to become eligible for Section 8 vouchers or public housing apartments. And rents, unlike mortgage interest, receive no income tax deductions. Again, such it has long been.
Why is the government giving subsidies to upper middle class software engineers to purchase homes in upscale suburbs while mostly ignoring those who truly need help with their housing situations? Because we’re a class society, that’s why. The higher you are on the class hierarchy, the more your life matters.
Keep that in mind some affluent right-winger (no doubt a recipient of the same sort of largesse I am receiving) starts getting all sanctimonious about the baleful effects of the “culture of dependency” on the less-well-off.
For more of the ugly details, go here.