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The HSH Blog

Mortgage & Housing Market News from HSH.com
October 7th, 2008

What Does Tuna Fish, The IRS, and Wind Power Have in Common?



They’re all included in the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). These decorations have been tastefully hidden and largely unmentioned in the taxpayer-supported “Christmas tree bill” that passed last Friday.

Given Congress’ already low approval rating, we can only assume that disdain will grow when taxpayers learn more about the full extent of the bill. Leaving taxpayers to foot a bill that corrects our financial mess is one thing; yet greasing its way by stringing along tax breaks for such unrelated items as Puerto Rican rum producers and auto-race tracks is inexcusable. Unfortunately, this process of hanging decorations on a proposed bill is commonplace.

According to an article by Declan McCullagh of Cnet.com, the bill included millions in tax breaks and credits for childrens’ wooden arrows, race tracks, rum producers, corporations operating in American Samoa (StarKist has a large tuna-canning operation there), renewable energy bonds, one-year extension of wind and refined coal tax credits, and renewable federal laws that allow the IRS to conduct undercover sting operations of individuals and businesses.

But wait, there’s more. Continue reading McCullagh’s peice for a section he titles “The bailout: Details, controversies, and loopholes.” This information is important when it involves every household in America potentially owing the government $17,064 — or more.

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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