California Sen. Kamala Harris, a big-government Democrat, wants to subsidize the rent of Americans who live in apartments, condos or townhouses they cannot afford.
“Nationally, over 21M Americans spend more than 30% of their paychecks on rent. That’s absurd,” she tweeted Friday. “I introduced the #RentReliefAct to help ease the burden. This equals more money in people’s pockets at the end of the year.”
Set to be officially unveiled Tuesday, the so-called Rent Relief Act would provide renters who earn less than $100,000 a year and spend at least 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities with a taxpayer-funded tax credit. Keep in mind utilities might conceivably include bills for luxuries like television, Internet and phone service.
Nationally, over 21M Americans spend more than 30% of their paychecks on rent. That’s absurd.
I introduced the #RentReliefAct to help ease the burden. This equals more money in people’s pockets at the end of the year.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 21, 2018
A couple problems immediately stick out like a sore thumb. The most liberal cities tend to host the highest rents. Why? According to Huntington Beach assemblyman Travis Allen, it’s because liberal cities invariably feature “a tangled web of environmental and land-use policies that make it nearly impossible for developers to bring affordable housing to the marketplace.”
“Imagine government regulations making it so expensive to build cars that automobile manufacturers could only earn a profit by selling luxury vehicles. That will give you an idea of what progressive politicians have done to housing development in California,” he wrote last year in the San Francisco Chronicle.
His thesis was that leftist politicians like Harris, California’s former attorney general, created the rent problem via their left-wing policies. And now these same politicians want to use their left-wing policies again to try and fix it. See a problem with that? Many on Twitter certainly did:
In many cities, it is the government’s fault that rents are high. You want a government solution to a government problem. This will lead to new problems and of course, you will suggest more government solutions. We have way too much government as it is.
— Jon Petersen (@jonpete69) July 21, 2018
Really? In what states? Those run by #Democrats? “Rent control” distorts markets, making rent higher. https://t.co/QfzJGOBAeP
— BattleSwarm (@BattleSwarmBlog) July 21, 2018
will your relief focus on relaxing state/city zoning regulations that strangle housing supply?
& on rent control laws that result in deterioration of existing stock & prevent construction of apartments?
— mark propp (@damosuzuki1) July 21, 2018
Rent control gimmicks and zoning restrictions the left generally implements cause most of the problem. Also, it’s really stupid to apply a national policy when the problem is in pockets generally run by Democrats. See: The Bay Area, NYC, etc… https://t.co/e01o4K33aQ
— Vegetable Tycoon (@ARaised_Eyebrow) July 21, 2018
Lynn Fisher, a housing policy expert with the American Enterprise Institute, agrees.
“We would be asking the whole United States to subsidize the bad behavior of some locales that are artificially pushing up rents by not allowing more building to happen,” Fisher noted to Reason magazine.
Second, it’s a verifiable fact that anything the government tries to subsidize inevitably rises in price, sometimes exponentially. Just look at what happened to healthcare premiums after the passage of the so-called Affordable Care Act in 2010: They skyrocketed to unprecedented highs.
The same would likely occur in this scenario. It’s not hard to imagine landlords purposefully raising their rent so that they too may benefit from Harris’ subsidy:
This means landlords raise rents and renters pay more knowing they get a tax credit=tax payers subsidizing higher rents- bad economics
— Smaulgld (@Smaulgld) July 21, 2018
Ummm…have you seen what government subsidies have done to the cost of education? How about easing the regulatory burdens on developers, and consider the effects from housing well over 2 million undocumented immigrants. smh
— ScottAllanCole (@scottallancole) July 21, 2018
Unintended consequences of creating artificial factors in a market economy will get you every time, eventually. The things Government pays for/subsidizes (with our tax money) have skyrocketed. pic.twitter.com/1B3fQfz1RQ
— HippieDaddy (@hippie_daddy) July 21, 2018
And then there’re the two most important point of all, which are that it’s on individual people to choose living arrangements that fit their budgets, and it’s completely normal to pay 25 to 30 percent, if not higher, on rent:
That is NORMAL ask any financial advisor, 25-30% of your income goes to rent or mortgage etc.. stop trying to tell people that by voting for you, you will be financially supported, not all people want to be looked at like victims, #walkaway #votedemout2018
— Jenn A-T (@javiking) July 21, 2018
They need to move or make better financial decisions.
— 0RANGE VISOR OF DOOM (@BL0CKCHANE) July 22, 2018
As usual, it all boils down to individual choices and personal responsibility, two things leftists like Harris hate so much they’d prefer they be removed out of the equation altogether.
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