A Looney Housing Rescue Bill
If I've read the articles right, the $29 billion housing rescue deal agreed to by the leaders of the Senate is a waste of taxpayer dollars.
It looks like the Senate has decided the way to attack the housing problem is to reward some reliable campaign contributors--i.e. homebuilders. How else to explain that the bulk of the legislative package goes toward a new tax break for home builders. It allows homebuilders to claim current losses against taxes paid in prior (and more profitable) years. In essnce, they're getting a hefty tax rebate.
Worse yet, the Senate dropped the one proposal that could have made a difference: Allowing bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of residential mortgages in personal bankrupty.Bankruptcy is a well-established safety net. It has many experienced judges and trustees. The move would go a logn way toward solving the housing foreclosure crisis. But the financial services industry opposed it--and the Senate listened. Question is, how does the financial services industry manage to wield political power after all the damage they've done to the economy and households?