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I Want My Money Back

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It’s hard not to laugh when viewing the results of the federal first-time home-buyer tax credit. The credit, worth up to $8,000 for the purchase of a home, has only been available since April of last year. Yet news of the latest taxpayer-funded mortgage scam has traveled fast. The Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, J. Russell George, recently told Congress that at least 19,000 filers hadn’t purchased a home when they claimed the credit. For another 74,000 filers, claiming a total of $500 million in credits, evidence suggests that they weren’t first-time buyers.

Among those claiming bogus credits, at least some of them were definitely first-timers. The credit has already been claimed by 500 people under the age of 18, including a four-year-old. This pre-K housing whiz likely bought because mom and dad make too much to qualify for the full credit, which starts to phase out at $150,000 of income for couples, $75,000 for singles.

The credit’s cost is running at about $1 billion a month and $15 billion for the year.

More than two years into the housing bust, trillions of dollars in taxpayer losses or guarantees via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and amid an ongoing plague of redefaults in federal programs to prevent foreclosures, politicians are still trying to manipulate housing prices. And leave it to Congress to design a program that even a four-year-old can scam.

Brought to you by the scoundrels invading every other area of your life. The fraud funds should come from their pockets. Just another simple mistake made by government, right?

Update #1: More on the corporate state. This is what President Obama meant when he said politicians wouldn’t mettle. And I have a gold watch to sell you.

Update #2: Senator Dodd repeals the law of unintended consequences.

Update #3: Amdist all this, the Senate Judiciary committee managed to squeeze in some time to grill NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell about the link between multiple head injuries and later life health outcomes for NFL players. So nice of them to care.

Update #4: Stimulus job numbers exaggerated. Dog bites man, again.

What a lousy bunch of grandstanding, greedy, economic ignoramuses. And that is the nicest thing I can say about Congress. All this was from just 5 minutes of reading the news today. When will people say, enough already?

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