In Houston Texas Mayor Bill White backs off proposal for ‘credit enhancement’ with tax dollars

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Houston] Mayor Bill White yanked a controversial plan Tuesday that called for the city to use taxpayer funds to pay off some personal debts for first-time homebuyers, following a flood of outrage and criticism from across the city and beyond.

“I don’t think we ought to be in the business of paying off someone’s debt so they can buy a house,” White conceded during an impassioned City Council meeting. “Paying off people’s credit cards is ridiculous.”

Many council members expressed “embarrassment” over the idea, which received national media attention after the Chronicle wrote about it in Tuesday’s editions. The story appeared to strike a nerve among taxpayers already angry over the recession, the housing meltdown, and federal bailouts of banks and automobile companies.

“Everybody’s outraged about this,” said Councilman Ron Greene, adding that a constituent e-mailed him a copy of a bill and asked him to pay it. “This was not well reasoned.”

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPolitics in GeneralCity Government

3 Comments
Posted February 25, 2009 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. In Texas wrote:

I think more and more people are going to realize that sooner or later their taxes will be raised to pay off (credit cards, student loans, mortgages, ...) for those people that made bad choices.  Those of us that live within our means, buy houses that we can afford, drive older paid off cars, are going to be penalized by having our taxes raised.  Those that were irresponsible, bought things they could not afford, took low interest housing loans with balloon payments in later year, will be rewarded.

I’m not sure if our new President will be re-elected in 4 years or not.  The Congress and the President are like kids in a candy store, no project or pork barrel spending is too much.  I doubt that even the Chinese have enough dollars to keep buying our T-bills, and that means rapid inflation as the government prints trillions of dollars to pay for everything.  I’m old enough to remember Jimmy Carter, and it seems like we will have stagflation again.

February 25, 8:21 am | [comment link]
2. magnolia wrote:

i too am in texas and bill white has been a great mayor, this is his first real mistake. i also don’t think that the republican propaganda machine can be trusted to make any statements about taxes and who it will benefit; look what they have done for the last eight years. they have finessed the art of subterfuge and character assasination all to the benefit of their rich constituents. instead of tax and spend gov, we had the no tax and still spend gov;i ask you which is worse??
i am willing to give this pres a chance, even though i don’t agree with him on everything.

February 25, 1:27 pm | [comment link]
3. Harvey wrote:

Shades of FDR.  He started on a big spending program in the 1930’s and the only thing that really helped bail him out was WWII.  God forbid that our present day politicians might lead us into WWIII: or has it already started in the Middle East?

February 25, 2:38 pm | [comment link]
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