Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Please Sir, May I Have Some More??

Much like Oliver Twist with outstretched hands holding his bowl, if there is gruel to be ladled out, there seems there are those asking for more. Give the mouse a cookie and he will ask for milk.

Clearly, in this extreme (although not unprecidented) moment in our economic history policy makers will be listening to dozens if not hundreds of requests for financial gruel. For some, the risks may be worth the reward, for others, they should be shown the door.

One such lobbying effort is coming from the Homebuilders Association. These shameless characters (lobbyists are not paid to have shame) are suggesting that in a market with an oversupply of unsold housing inventory, they should be building *more*, not less. They are asking that the U.S. taxpayer subsidize the building of unneeding housing stock in order to order to what? People who cannot save enough to put a downpayment on a house need a $22,000 tax credit to do so? For those cannot afford the monthly payments, let the taxpayer subsidize interest rates for comforming mortgages lowering rates from 6% to 3%.

Sounds like a perfect hangover rememdy recommended to me once by a Russian alcoholic, drink more and more vodka. Any legislator who lets these lobbyists even buy them a lunch should be flogged.

John Barnyak