No matter how much Walmart officials pander to liberals and their institutions, or how much they implement alternative energy gimmicks, or how much they earn fawning media attention for “corporate responsibility” and “sustainability” gestures, a giant segment of the political Left will still resent the retail giant.
Homeownership as a moral right has been the great unspoken reason for the nation's financial collapse of the past year and a half. And unfortunately Congress and successive administrations appear all too willing to recreate the very conditions that led to the disaster. President Obama today signed a $24 billion economic stimulus bill one of whose main features is an extension and expansion of a "temporary" first-time homebuyer tax credit worth up to $8,000 per household. The House and Senate each passed the measure earlier this week by the respective margins of 403-12 and 98-0. In so doing, lawmakers laid the groundwork for even more inefficiency and corruption.
Despite its brief existence, the federal government's $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers already has proven to be a costly boondoggle. And in what appears to be an act of unintended comedy, Congress is primed to extend and expand this "temporary" program beyond its November 30 deadline. On Thursday, October 22, J. Russell George, inspector general for the Internal Revenue Service, testified before a House Ways and Means subcommittee that the tax credit has been rife with inefficiency and fraud. Among those scamming the program, he believes, are more than 50 IRS employees. This interim report, George emphasized, if anything, understates the problem.