HIGHTOWER: Welfare Housing For Rich
Enough is enough!We've just got to stop doling out so much welfare, like giving people all these federal housing subsidies. I mean, let 'em pay their own way like you and I do, without Uncle Sugar's help, right?Back off there, Budget Whacker! You're getting dangerously close to me when you talk like that.You see, the biggest housing subsidy by far is not for poor people . . . but the $51 billion tax subsidy that we homeowners get on our mortgages each year. All of the interest that I pay on my home loan is deductible from my taxes -- a very nice break, I don't mind saying.But the break I get on my little home is nothing compared to the subsidy enjoyed by, say, Donald Trump on his family mansion -- plus his condo in the city, his place in the country, his mountain chateau in Aspen, his townhouse in Miami and his vacation compound in Southern California. That's right! No matter how many homes they have, the Donnie Trumps of the world have all of their many mortgages subsidized by Tommie and Tammie Taxpayer.What a deal. The more homes you have and the more expensive your homes are . . . the more subsidy you get! Is this a great country or what?Let's look at some numbers. Most Americans make under $30,000 a year. Less than three percent of these folks get any mortgage subsidy at all, and those who do average $486. But if you're one of the handful of Americans making more than $200,000 a year, you almost certainly have at least one subsidized home, and your average take from the taxpayer is $8,500.Here's my cut-the-welfare proposal: Until everyone in our country has one decent home, we shouldn't subsidize anyone's second homes. And the money we save should be used to finance construction of affordable housing for the millions of working Americans now priced-out of the housing market.