Housing picture grows dimmer

Housing picture grows dimmer

June 3rd, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

The continuing fall of the housing market should serve as a lesson to the federal government not to pursue further efforts to prop up different sectors of our economy, but rather to rely on the free market.

Through early 2010, the federal government unwisely offered tax credits of up to $8,000 to many home buyers. The theory was that the credits would shore up the housing market.

Of course, when you offer "free money," there are takers. So a relative handful of Americans took advantage of the tax credit at the expense of the rest of us, who had to pay for the credits with our tax dollars.

But it didn't work. This past April, contracts to buy previously occupied homes fell sharply - far below what the National Association of Realtors considers "healthy."

That followed earlier negative housing figures.

That's no surprise. History shows that government bureaucrats cannot create economic growth by intervening in the market and picking winners and losers.

That duty should be left to the everyday economic choices of the American people.