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Bovard: Bush to End Scarcity

August 22, 2004
James Bovard has written a biting editorial in this week's Barron's Online Nothing Down: The Bush administration's wrecking-ball benevolence ($ - paid site). Bovard critiques Bush's plan to make federally subsidized home loans available to people who do not have the money to make the down payment on a home. The article features a number of astonishing quotes indicating a total unfamiliarity on the part of the Bush administration with the economic concept of cost.

Bovard writes, "Bush is determined to end the bias against people who want to buy a home but don't have any money." Indeed, it is the cost of anything that limits anyone of us from purchasing it. What next - abolishing prices altogether? The total abolition of scarcity cannot be far behind.Some additional quotes:

  • A White House Fact Sheet issued June 17, 2002, declared that Bush's agenda "will help tear down the barriers to homeownership that stand in the way of our nation's African-American, Hispanic and other minority families. ... The single biggest barrier to homeownership is accumulating funds for a down payment."
  • Federal Housing Commissioner John Weicher said in January 2004 that "the White House doesn't think those who can afford the monthly payment but have been unable to save for a down payment should be deprived from owning a home," National Mortgage News reported.
  • While zero-downpayment mortgages have long been considered profoundly unsafe (especially for borrowers with dubious credit history), Weicher confidently asserted: "We do not anticipate any costs to taxpayers."

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