GOOD

No One Likes the Homebuyer Tax Credit

It's tax policy time! The Homebuyer Tax Credit (official site here here) gives $8,000 of taxpayers' money to people buying new homes. It was about...


It's tax policy time! The Homebuyer Tax Credit (official site here here) gives $8,000 of taxpayers' money to people buying new homes. It was about to expire, but Congress just signed off on an extension through April. Everyone seems to think this was a big mistake.Ezra Klein (speaking in the third person) says it's pointless because most people who are buying homes aren't moved to do it by a paltry $8,000:Like a lot of renters, Klein took a look at the housing market this year and decided it was a good time to move from renting to owning. A few weeks ago, he closed on a new home. As a reward, taxpayers are going to give him $8,000. That's good for Klein, but the tax credit had nothing to do with his decision to purchase a new house. Taxpayers just wasted $8,000 trying to convince Klein to do something he was going to do anyway.The Washington Post's business columnist Steven Pearlstein says it won't help anyone who actually needs it:This $10 billion boondoggle is nothing more than a giveaway to the real estate industrial complex and people who could afford to buy a new home anyway. ... This is one of those strategies that are as nonsensical in theory as they are in practice: trying to put a floor under declining home prices by making houses more affordable. To the degree that it works, the benefits will inevitably wind up in hands of the sellers -- but not the buyers -- and not before the agents, appraisers, lenders, brokers and insurers have taken their cut.And the Harvard economist Ed Glaeser follows up with the kicker:
But the real problem with the credit is that it continues the long-standing federal push toward far-flung McMansions and away from dense, apartment living. ... This pro-suburb, pro-big home policy push helps keep America's households consuming plenty of energy, both inside the home and in the car. On average, as density doubles, household gasoline consumption falls by about 110 gallons per year. When a household moves from living 2 miles away from a city center to 10 miles away, gasoline consumption increases by more than 100 gallons annually. Smart environmentalism should push against tax policies that encourage more suburban sprawl.
I'm convinced. Is there anyone out there defending the decision to extend the tax credit at all? If not, how did this get passed? Was it just building industry lobbying or total desperation about the economy in Congress or what?
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via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

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Pixabay

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Coconut bowls


Cocostation

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Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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