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The president-elect’s “stimulus package” looks like a long list of special interest gifts rather than a huge blast of cash at the key sector: housing.

Don’t blow the dough on a laundry list. Resurrect the housing market.

Fund 4%, 40 year mortgages for people making less than $100k.

Buy up foreclosed properties and turn them into quasi-public housing via transfer to not-for-profits like Habitat for Humanity that qualify tenants/owners on the basis of long experience with the working poor.

Aggressively purchase at fair market value property deemed crucial to species protection to both conserve the property and release the value of it into productive enterprise while honoring the 5th Amendment.

The opportunities to make the stimulus work and serve other crucial goals are many, but the Christmas list in the New York Times is discouraging.

UPDATE: Can we believe Lawrence Summers?:

“While this may be Christmastime, it doesn’t mean there’s going to be a large number of unrelated ornaments under the Christmas tree,” Summers said. “There’s a commitment by all of us to discipline and to doing the right things in terms of accountability.”

Count me with the skeptics. If the stimulus is going to be focused and thus effective, some special interests will have to be very, very angry at the end of the day. I’m afraid the president-elect cannot stomach that sort of PATCO-like anger.


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