With a mind-set reminiscent of the Bush administration’s recent bailout of mortgage lenders, the Senate last week approved the Foreclosure Prevention Act, a bill that provides billions of dollars in tax breaks to big businesses like Ford and General Motors but takes only modest steps in addressing the plight of homeowners.
The New York Times:
The Senate proclaimed a fierce bipartisan resolve two weeks ago to help American homeowners in danger of foreclosure. But while a bill that senators approved last week would take modest steps toward that goal, it would also provide billions of dollars in tax breaks—for automakers, airlines, alternative energy producers and other struggling industries, as well as home builders.
The tax provisions of the Foreclosure Prevention Act, which consumer groups and labor leaders say amount to government handouts to big business, show how the credit crisis, while rattling the housing and financial markets, has created beneficiaries in the power corridors of Washington.
“The Senate legislation gave corporations and Wall Street billions in tax breaks,” Terence M. O’Sullivan, the president of the Laborers International Union of North America, said at a news conference on Tuesday to denounce the bill.
“Tax breaks for corporate home builders won’t help stabilize the housing market, won’t create jobs and won’t prevent a single foreclosure,” he continued. “If anything, this multibillion-dollar windfall will make things worse.”
The Senate’s glaringly inadequate bill is likely to be redrawn by House critics, who claim it favors businesses and home builders over homeowners.