The hylothesis that I would urge my conservative audience to consider is that considerable benefit and value to the society of the USA would be generated through taxpayer supported programs and appropriated funds that target responsible home ownership by low income families, irrespective of the ethnicity or minority status of these citizens.

The social benefits of home ownership are fairly well documented. Frequently cited examples include the development of a stable family environment, lower crime and delinquincy rates, improved overall living standards, better neighborhoods and more stability in the value of residential housing stock.  

If such benefits are indeed fairly traceable to successful home ownership, it seems that the policy question is not whether home ownership should be encouraged among these groups but rather what is the best mechanism for achieving it.

I believe that direct taxpayer support of such a program is not inimical to the conservative agenda, but rather closely follows a conservative canon by directing a well defined portion of federal tax dollars to support hard working families of limited means in their effort to build private wealth and secure a stable future.

We need look no further back in time than the 2008-2009 timeframe to appreciate the disasastrous consequences of ill considered federal intervention in the private economy of the United States.  The narrative on the ensuing housing collapse and financial meltdown has placed the blame for the crisis on many factors, but in my personal view, none were as far reaching or as damaging as the housing, tax and bank regulatory policies of the U. S. government.  I believe these policies highlight the dark side of Hamiltonian Federalism and the dangers of over reach and manipulation of the private sector by a centralized federal power in the name of fair and affordable housing.

By redirecting investments into the housing sector, forcing banks to make mortgage loans that were otherwise considered too risky to make, adopting tax policies that encouraged borrowing against the equity in a home, encouraging relaxed underwriting standards for housing and several other questionable actions, the federal government played a central role in creating a very extensive and damaging financial crisis.

With obvious benefit of hindsight, it seems very clear that the far more conservative and responsible path would have been to require the legislative branch to enact tax policies specifically designed to provide limited and appropriate subsidies for down payment assistance or other aid to facilitate home ownership of working citizens of limited financial means. Such would have directed valuable support where needed without endangering the entire financial system of the country. 

Such tax policies are entirely consistent with a fiscally and socially responsible philosophy and should be an integral part of the conservative viewpoint.

 

 

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