Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Critics question homebuyer tax credit

Push for extension stimulates debate

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The first-time homebuyer tax credit is "an extremely ineffective stimulus," which, like the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), "mainly rewards the very people who got us into this mess. It's a futile attempt to blow just a little bit more air into the real-estate bubble."Those views -- put forward Tuesday in an opinion piece by MarketWatch's Washington bureau chief, Rex Nutting -- may reflect growing public sentiment against additional taxpayer-funded measures to stimulate the economy."The bubble pattern has to stop somewhere," said one typical reader comment on Nutting's commentary piece. "It was a nice ride. We have to give the economy a chance to heal and stand on its own. D.C. needs to get out of private sector."Nutting called real estate "the most coddled industry in America," and knocked the tax credit as "a windfall" for "the legion of middlemen" including real estate agents, bankers and titl...