Subsidies

They'll Do Anything to Goose Housing Prices, Even Hand Out Tax Credits to 1,300 Prison Inmates

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It's amazing how you can freshen up the place with a little cash

From the Associated Press:

Nearly 1,300 prison inmates wrongly received more than $9 million in tax credits for homebuyers despite being locked up when they claimed they bought a home, a government investigator reported Wednesday.

The investigator said 241 of the inmates were serving life sentences.

In all, more than 14,100 taxpayers wrongly received at least $26.7 million in tax credits that were meant to boost the nation's slumping housing markets, said the report by J. Russell George, the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration.

The AP then asserts that the report "blemishes an otherwise popular tax break that was sweetened once by President Barack Obama's economic recovery package and again when Congress extended it into the spring. The National Association of Realtors says the tax credit has generated 1 million new home sales that wouldn't have happened otherwise." Well OK then!

Best paragraph is the last:

Investigators also found 87 IRS employees who may have improperly claimed the credit, though the review was ongoing.

Reason on housing prices here.

NEXT: "My soul ... is terrifying"

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  1. U.S. New Home Sales Drop 33% in May, to Record Low

    “That new home sales would decline in May following the expiration of the home buyers credit is not at all surprising,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist for Miller Tabak, in a research note. “However, we would be lying if we said the size of the drop was not shocking.”

    Pump harder! We’ve got to keep that balloon inflated!

  2. Threadjack:

    Despite Roars of Protest, Lion Burgers Stay on Menu

    Maybe African lions won’t be endangered much longer (assuming they show up on more menus).

    1. You really thing African farmers can be induced to… wait for it… hoe the lion?

      1. I would have gone with grow the lion, but, not bad, Warren.

        1. And of course, they will need a male lion to “sow the lion”(ess).

  3. Caption contest:
    An all new episode of Sell the Cell coming up next on HGTV

    1. More of a Trading Space vibe where gay designers help prisoners redecorate each others bunks.

      1. You should see what those interior designers can do for the communal showers…

        1. This Old Prison

          “You see, these are the original adze marks on the these exposed beams. This gives a cell some real early American charm.”

      2. I thought that schtick was done when Martha Stewart was in the slammer.

  4. LOL, you have to admit that is pretty funny dude.

    Lou
    http://www.internet-anonymity.at.tc

    1. Jeez Lou, I really expect more from you bro.

  5. The National Association of Realtors says Some lying sacks of crap claim the tax credit has generated 1 million new home sales that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

    I confidently predict that the total new home sales for the period beginning when the tax credit went into effect and ending six months after it expired will be no greater than the period preceding the tax credit.

    1. Just like cars sales & cash for clunkers

  6. In all, more than 14,100 taxpayers wrongly received at least $26.7 million in tax credits that were meant to boost the nation’s slumping housing markets

    How dare people try to get their money back from the thieves that stole it! Next thing you know people will start reporting muggings and burglaries! Madness!

    1. To be fair, I’m pretty sure their motivations were “hey, free money!”, not, “I’m getting my money back!”. And I’m pretty sure you’ll find some of those recipients didn’t pay much in taxes anyway.

      1. In my head I know you’re right, but my heart sings “No. No. No.” on time with its own fever’d thumpings.

    2. I’m waiting for the cries that evil mortgage brokers took advantage of these poor people.

    3. Fuck anyone who wants some of my money to buy a house in an artificially distorted market. Also, fuck you, but that’s just on principle.

      1. I see your heart says “Yes. Yes. Yes.”

        1. “Maybe, maybe, maybe. Duck duck goose.” What the fuck am I babbling about? I have no idea.

          1. Oodles, doodles, ticks and lick-locks;
            I’m as sly as the hen and cautious as the fox.

      2. Hey, many of those prisoners were probably there unjustly due to the inhumane drug war. What have you got against them?

    4. (I, of course, oppose involuntary wealth-transfer of any kind.)

    5. The National Association of Realtors says the tax credit has generated 1 million new home sales a shitload of Real Estate Commissions that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

      Fixed

  7. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/201…..home_sales

    “WASHINGTON ? Sales of new homes collapsed in May, sinking 33 percent to the lowest level on record as potential buyers stopped shopping for homes once they could no longer receive government tax credits.”

    Yeah that tax credit worked out real well. I notice none of the usual trolls are on here to defend this.

  8. I could have posted this under a few threads today, but… the best college class I ever took was called “A History of Organized Crime in America.” The best lesson I learned from the class was this iron law: Where there is money, there is crime.

    Amazing how many people are so naive they don’t believe that.

  9. The National Association of Realtors says the tax credit has generated 1 million new home sales that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

    Explain to me, please, how those (hat tip to R C) lying sacks of shit at the Board of Realtors have emerged completely unscathed from the housing shemozzle.

    Those bastards have no more credibility than Moody’s. They should be taunted and abused mercilessly any time they show their faces.

    1. Those bastards are one of the prime movers behind the real estate bubble. Time was that being a real estate agent was something housewives did in their spare time. Only a few people who sold high end homes made much money. But, thanks to the real estate bubble, it became one hell of a lucrative profession. Then and the fucking state and locals who get transfer taxes and finance fees as a percentage of the sale, made off big on the bubble.

  10. Who wants to wager that the home sales chart over the last year will perfectly resemble new car purchases over the last year when you tack on the tax credits?

    I thought that chart showing the rise and dip due to Cash 4 Clunkers was about as clear an argument you could possibly make as to why it was a gigantic waste of money.

    I can’t see any reason why the homebuyer tax credit would be any different.

    Except of course for the large scale fraud exhibited by lenders, the IRS, mortgage companies, etc.

    $9 million in tax credits to FARKING INMATES?

    We are in the very best of hands.

    1. I will take that bet. That is exactly what will happen. They were just robbing future sales to prop up today’s sales.

      1. If they were a company, it would be called “pipeline stuffing”, and would (according to most progressives) merit investigation by the SEC.

        BTW, companies that engaged in this behavior almost always saw a huge crash in their stock value. Because you can’t cheat the market over the long term.

  11. Just because every other government intervention into the economy ends in a steaming pile of failure and corruption, doesn’t mean the next one won’t work.

    1. steaming pile of failure and corruption

      If you mean “shit”, say “shit”, don’t try to be nice.

  12. That goddamn motherfucking First Time Homebuyer Credit. It combines some of my least favorite tax code features. Let’s see, it’s a refundable credit, designed to reward a particular life choice, that has AGI phase outs. Awesome, IRS.

    1. The Sad Ballad of the Taxman’s Mistress

  13. That photo is AWESOME!

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