Who's Not to Blame for the Housing Bubble?
Finding someone to blame! It's as American as the dream of owning your own home. The New York Times is on a feverish hunt for housing-bubble villains, and it's prepared to mortgage its credibility.
There are so many gaudily fraudulent characters in the story of this country's mania for buying and selling homes — like Sam Leccima, the former Flip This House star who allegedly slapped "Sold" signs on unsold houses and didn't even have a real-estate license. A&E yanked his shows from the channel's lineup after charges that his house-flipping efforts were a hoax.
Instead, the Times is going after bigger names with flimsy arguments. Bill Clinton, who was so desperate to win reelection that he came up with a crazy tax exemption for profits on the sale of one's residence that singlehandedly inflated the housing bubble, except it didn't, the Times revealed on Friday.
Wait, no — it was George W. Bush, whose wicked, wicked "drive for home ownership" singlehandedly inflated the housing bubble, except it didn't, the Times revealed today.
In this exciting series called "The Reckoning," we will surely find out tomorrow that it's all Barack Obama's fault, except it's not.
Who will the Times blame but not blame tomorrow? Once it runs out of politicians, we suggest the newspaper of record move on to the world of television.
Surely the greedy sons of bitches who greenlighted Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Sell This House and the scheming opportunists who grabbed free advertising for their housing investments deserve every bit as much excoriation as some boring wonk who proposed an obscure tax-law change. The home-makeover bubble is a telegenic scandal just begging for Congressional hearings.