Published by Breitbart News | September 4, 2023
Democratic presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said this weekend that the government should assist first-time home buyers by offering them discounted 3 percent mortgages, financed by selling tax-free U.S. Treasury bonds.
Kennedy described his policy during the Breitbart News Labor Day Special on SiriusXM Patriot 125 with host Joel B. Pollak. The policy is one of several economic policies Kennedy is highlighting as part of a Labor Day push.
“I’m gonna give everybody a ‘rich uncle’ — it’s gonna be Uncle Sam,” he said. “I’m going to have Uncle Sam cosign those mortgages. This new class of mortgages is going to be for single-home buyers in those communities who are going to live and work there.”
The proposal is similar to one floated by the late conservative Harvard economist Martin Feldstein, who wrote in June 2008 that the U.S. could avoid turning the subprime mortgage crisis into a full-blown financial crisis by using the government to offer partial financing to homeowners whose mortgages were more expensive than the value of their homes. The suggestion was not taken up; three months later, Lehman Brothers failed and the market crashed.
Critics of Kennedy’s plan suggest that it will increase government indebtedness, contrary to his promise that the program will not increase the federal budget deficit, and that it will cause more homeowners to become dependent on the government. But Kennedy points out that large private investment funds are currently buying up single-family homes as investment properties, using all-cash offers to crowd out American households who must borrow money from banks to afford housing — if, that is, they can afford to purchase homes at all.
Kennedy described the decline of home ownership among young Americans as a problem not just for the economy, but also for American democracy, which has historically relied on a large and growing middle class for stability.