This is a great article from the Douglas County Sentinel.
Senator Johnny Isakson addressed the West Georgia Board of Realtors yesterday and had this to say about the tax credit extension:
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson Wednesday urged Georgians to take advantage of the $8,000 first-time home buyers tax credit before the April 30 deadline.
"There will not be another extension of the homebuyers credit," Isakson told a noon meeting of the West Georgia Board of Realtors (WGBR).
"Now is the time, the iron is hot and you've heard it from the horse's mouth," he quipped.
Isakson said home owners moving up to a higher price home can get a $6,500 tax credit.
Both these credits end in April and closing on the home must be by June 30, he added.
Isakson, who worked as a Realtor for 33 years, drew a round of heavy applause from the crowd when he said, "The best way to bring back a better economy is to bring back the housing market."
He called the current housing crisis "the most difficult I've seen."
The senator praised Ed Carlton, who is retiring at the WGBR executive director, as "one of the foremost leaders in real estate." He said Carlton helped start 90-95 percent financing to assist people in buying homes, offering "good loans to good people."
Isakson said he feels the banking system has taken undue criticism for the current problems. He said the problem came from Wall Street bankers who granted too many sub-prime loans.
"Down payment assistance was a good thing that got out of hand," he said. "We have to raise the scale of accountability. We have to make sure the investment banking industry has transparency."
After commenting on the housing situation, Isakson turned his attention to the recently passed healthcare legislation. He said it was passed after the second longest debate ever held in the senate and only the second time in history that legislation was voted on Christmas Eve, the last time being in 1895.
He called the healthcare legislation a "very dangerous" trend since it puts control with the federal government rather than private industry.
"We have problems but we shouldn't destroy the system we have," he said.
He said the current healthcare system covers about 86 percent of Americans and we need to "find a creative way to cover the 14 percent not insured."
Isakson said real estate agents are independent contractors, thus it is illegal for their companies to provide insurance or any collective benefits for them. He said when they try to buy individual policies, they face a cost of from $14,000 to $18,000 per year, which is unaffordable. He said all small businesses face such a problem. He called on the elimination of bans for insurance companies crossing state lines to compete.
Isakson said about one-third of the uninsured are people who are eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or children's programs, but they're not enrolled. He called for a system where people eligible for these benefits to be automatically enrolled.
He said he believes the healthcare legislation will be ruled unconstitutional by the courts because of the exception given to the state of Nebraska on Medicaid costs.
(Home buyers urged to use tax credit before it expires by Winston Jones/Douglas County Sentine)l
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