Stimulus Package

Stimulus Package

This Realtor needs a bailout. I’d prefer to earn my money the only way I know how, by helping you buy and sell Lake Geneva real estate, but it seems more en vogue these days to abandon personal responsibility and just ask someone else to bail you out.

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The headlines this week are dominated by talk of the $500 Billion dollar stimulus package. Another bailout. Because the first one worked so well. California’s best, Fancy Nancy, said she wants to have the bill on Obama’s desk on the first day of his presidency. Yuck. It all goes back to the government taxing you (and me), then giving our money back to us (and to people who didn’t pay taxes in the first place) in goverment packaged programs, loans, and entitlements. It’s simple to understand, really. The government believes they can spend our money better than we can. According to recent election results, the American people agree. Want a fix to this problem that doesn’t involve a bailout and the strapping of mine and future generations with untold amounts of debt? Want to send the DOW skyrocketing? Want to get corporations, yes, those big bad nasty corporations that in one way or another, most of us work for, to post a profit and hire again?

Mr. Obama, take the stage. The Tribune will be more than happy to tell us that you left your workout at 10:38 a.m., stopped at a Gas City for some tic tacs at 10:41 a.m., and took that president elect stage at 10:57 a.m. Sharp. Do it in the morning to allow the markets time to soar. Clear your throat, and with a glint in your eye, and a flag lapel on your chest, announce that effective the first day of your presidency, capital gains tax rates are being reduced to 10%, from 15%. Make a funny haha joke about how stupid it would be to raise them. Next, cut corporate income tax rates. Remember, corporations don’t pay taxes, we pay taxes. Then, officially lay to rest your Carteresque plan to impose a windfall tax rates on oil companies. We prefer $1.69 gas, so do what you can to keep it there.

Do these three things, and the stock market will react like never before. Real estate markets will recover more quickly. Our future will depend more on conservative fiscal policy and less on socialist bailout programs. $500 billion bailout? No thanks. Just cut capital gains and corporate tax rates, and that’ll do the job just fine.

The National Association of Realtors, of which I am a begrudging member, has their own stimulus plan on the table. It involves a handful of items,

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but the primary items are to make the $7500 first time homebuyer credit and actual credit, instead of the loan that it is now, and to buy down interest rates on homeloans. I sort of like the idea of the rate buy down to 4.5% as they suggest, but I don’t think it’s realistic. If the government buys down the rate for home buyers, the estimated cost is around $100 billion per year, but if they extend that buy down to existing loans (which would happen), the cost would be in the trillions. With a T. The other funny note on the proposal is that it would ban banks from engaging in real estate sales. This is a big issue with the NAR, and they’re so adamant on it that they threw this in to their stimulus package. National banks can’t even run a bank, and we’re worried that they’re going to start selling real estate? Do you drop off the offer in the drive up window? Will we get a sucker at the closing table?

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