By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Amid several news reports that the first-time home buyer tax credit will almost certainly be extended, I’ve seen more than a few blogs and online comments arguing against it. Some of them say the government can’t afford it, and lament the fact that we’re borrowing from our children and grandchildren to pay for this. Others maintain that the tax credit artificially stimulates demand, and the market will resume its slump whenever it does expire. Still others claim that it hasn’t really motivated enough buyers who would not have otherwise purchased a home to justify the program.
I may disagree with some of these arguments, but I’m glad people are making them. It’s essential that we have a healthy debate on this important subject rather than move forward with our eyes closed and our mouths shut.
However, there is one argument that I take issue with: The tax credit and the “Cash for Clunkers” program are essentially the same thing. I’ve read this line of reasoning in a few places, and in each instance, it seems to confuse rather than clarify. It seems to me that the two initiatives are very different in a few significant ways: Continue reading »