Bradley Inman is flat out wrong in his Aug. 17, 2004, editorial about the “American Dream” and government policy. Where do I start?
First, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are private corporations. Fannie Mae was created in 1937, not the 1960s, and while part of FDR’s New Deal, didn’t become profitable until the post-WWII creation of VA. Freddie Mac was signed into law in 1970 by a Republican president, Richard Nixon. They are shareholder-owned, private corporations and Fortune 500 companies to boot. Had the government run those organizations, we’d see the same failure as the war on poverty and welfare. The fact is that they are successful because they operate outside of government and for a profit.
Second, the “mortgage interest deduction as government handout” theory is akin to saying that government subsidizes churches, temples and charities by allowing contributors to deduct those contributions. When the government stops taxing every penny we make, save, earn, inherit, and spend–liberals like Inman call it a subsidy. Get real.
Thirdly, Mr. Inman should take a trip to Eastern Europe and talk to those who suffered under the opposite of a free market–communism. The government owns everything; the people own nothing. I have toured Poland, the Czech Republic, Slavica, and Cuba. There is now an “American Dream” of home ownership in the former, but not in the later.
Finally, home ownership is uniquely an American ideal that is catching on in places like Eastern Europe, Afghanistan and hopefully Iraq. I strongly disagree with Inman that the founding fathers would have been surprised by 66 percent home ownership. They cared so much about protecting private property that they put it in the Bill of Rights. We should celebrate and continue to promote home ownership – why bash the president for cheering on our industry?
W. Greg Rothman
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