Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Homebuyer tax credit nearing renewal

Stupid stuff like this is why, after a decade of voting straight Democratic in state and federal elections, I decided to stay home yesterday and let the winds of change blow. I'm disgusted with both political parties.


  1. I'm with you. I voted, but only on the bond issue. I wouldn't call it "winds of change," though. It's just "more of the same." Both major parties are completely corrupt, utterly irresponsible, and addicted to deficit spending and special interest bribes.

  2. I know that the libertarian wing dislikes the use of taxes as a policy tool, but this is the our economy functions. And unless you're glued to Fox News all day long, you should know that the first-time homebuyer credit and cash for clunkers program are widely popular with the constituents of the 85 plus senators that vote for the extension of these programs. Of course politics as usual also play a role in any legislation (that's why they call it "politics as usual"). The inclusion of the move-up buyer provision was put in to get the Republicans to quit stalling on the extension of unemployment benefits (a necessity for them to influence legislation and not just because they don't want the unemployed to receive additional benefits).

    You can't allow yourself to become disenfranchised because you don't like the way government works. All you can do is exercise your infinitesimal singular vote to the person who best represents your interests (be they self-serving or for the greater good).

  3. I guess I look at this a little bit differently. Politicians are for the most part going to try and do whatever satisfies the constituents. While you can argue that the program makes no sense, it is popular with lots of people so it gets voted for.

    To an extent this is an outgrowth of the instant gratification culture that really started to develop during the Reagan administration. People liked getting the tax cuts, and they didn't care that large deficits were the direct result of it all.

    The housing bubble too is also a symptom of the instant gratification culture. Lots of people saw it as a sort of get rich quick scheme - people were flipping things right and left. You could easily argue that they contributed absolutely nothing to society and in turn reaped huge rewards.

    The defenders of the program insist that this is good stimulus, of course, and to out of work people who used to work in mortgages or building homes, I suppose it might even look pretty good. Those folks aren't looking at the broader picture, and I would guess that most of them didn't see much of a problem with what happened regarding the bubble.

    This situation isn't going to change until there are electoral consequences to running huge deficits. I don't think we are quite at this point yet - people are still looking for the short cut to easy street.

    Some say that younger people are more alarmed by the deficits, and may start to turn the tide against them. On the one hand that may be true, but my impression is that young people were raised in the swamp of instant gratification, and until I start to see signs that people take a greater interest in working hard instead of hardly working I don't think there will be much real change.

  4. James, remove yourself from the game. Don't buy into the American Dream nonsense. Don't own poperty and give into the government. Live by your own defintion of the American Dream--financial freedom to do what you want when you want. Being a slave to a government-backed mortgage is not a good time. Paying property taxes to pay for services you barely use is dysfunctional. Ask most homeowners how many times they have been to Europe. Friday nights eating Delgiorno pizza is not living my friend.

  5. I agree with "JackRussell's" general points.

    Regarding our instant-gratification society, I think the founders were correct that democracy isn't everything it's cracked up to be. I think we should go back to when Senators were appointed by state legislatures to shield them from the fickle will of the pitchforkers. (That process was corrupt. But, policy-making as pandering is just as corrupt.).

    Regarding two parties being not much different. I believe it's just a reality that politicians are pandering to the majority. I think those who insist it's a sign of corruption are just angry that their views aren't shared by a majority. I sometimes wish our system accommodated a plurality of parties just because I believe the result would be the same. It would prove that the majority are moderate and perhaps shut down the polarizing extremes.

    Regarding stimulus, I don't believe stimulus spending is negative. It's just an attempt to delay the pain because, presumably (if you believe things will get better) it can be absorbed more easily later. It's what each individual does when they're laid off and the choice is starving or living on credit cards until they (hopefully) find another source of income.

  6. James,

    Both political parties are the same crap. They are the same people with slightly differing views but essentially both are told what do to from their masters above...or whoever has their purse strings.

    The system in this country is a joke. We make fun of outwardly corrupt governments but we're no better. We just do it silently and with a cotton swab instead.

  7. The constituents are not the citizens - they are the lobbies with deep pockets and vested interests. This is a government of the lobby, by the lobby, for the lobby. Our "representative" professional politicians, many with 30+ years of "service" (and no real work experience) do not legislate - they rather work the phones raising funds for re-election - by allowing votes to be purchased.

    Answer - we need to clean house and establish TERM LMITS - the that the vile term "professional politician" becomes a thing of the past.

  8. nonpartison, you have a good point about the influence of corporations (a legal, yet fictional "person") who can lobby politicians with vastly more money than 99% of the voting population.

    But, corporations can't vote. It still comes down to an apathetic (or content, depending on how you look at it) citizenry. Corporations and lobbies don't force them to do anything.

    Regarding term limits: Much of the power in government is held by staffers. Elected officials come and go. It's the staffers who know who to broker deals with, who to schmooze, who's moving up to a more influential position.

    Regarding what the problem could be, look at the number of congressional representatives (as a proportion to the voting population) going back to the founding. The number was regularly increased to match the increased population of the country. It was eventually frozen. Our representation has been significantly diluted. A Congress with 5000 members might not be workable. But, that simply points to how Congress has obtained greater power with less representation. There's no good way to fix that without creating regional governments.


  9. Amen! Democrat turned annoyed!

  10. This pisses me off too. Even i am never interested in casting my vote, as there is no option left. Both parties are alike and no one is worth to vote.

  11. I wanna know who is lobbying for the jesus morality issues though. Im sick of politicians making laws about what I can or cant do in my house behind closed doors....or what others can do with their lives (gay marriage, abortion, buying beer on sunday or whatever it is)

    All the while they make these laws, they sleep with hookers, snort cocaine, and try to have gay sex in the mens bathroom at the airport.

    Fiscally they all parties are pretty much identical, morally one is more hypocritical, holier than thou, and against all freedoms.

    I always vote for freedom, no matter what the fiscal results are.

  12. "Politicians are for the most part going to try and do whatever satisfies the constituents."

    In this case, it's about satisfying NAR.

  13. "Ask most homeowners how many times they have been to Europe."

    34 times & counting. God I love being a homeowner!

  14. Anonymous said...

    "Ask most homeowners how many times they have been to Europe."

    34 times & counting. God I love being a homeowner!

    November 05, 2009 3:01 PM

    Watching Rick Steves doesn't count.

  15. "Ask most homeowners how many times they have been to Europe."

    And work travel doesn't count either.

  16. Anonymous said...
    "Ask most homeowners how many times they have been to Europe."

    Europe doesn't count. Go to Asia. That's where the people are.

    Anonymous said...
    "And work travel doesn't count either."

    Why doesn't work travel count?