Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Breaking NEWS: Cash for Shacks

Following the enormous success of the "Cash for Clunkers" program, the government has decided to expand rebates into other beaten down markets to stimulate economic activity.

Now before the house, HR 4100, or "Money for Shacks", would offer a rebate of between 8000 and 10000 for any consumer who upgrades their old polluting home to a newer more efficient home. In order to qualify the old home must be at least 25 years old and have a total energy efficiency rating of less then 2. Each homes actual energy efficiency rating (EER) will determine the total rebate available. The EER takes into account the energy efficiency as well as the geographical location of the home. Residents of areas with more extreme temperature's will get higher rebates while residents in more moderate climates will receive less.

The energy efficiency rating, or EER, is calculated by taking the total number of rooms, dividing by the number of windows and then adding the number of appliances. If more then 50% of the appliances run on electricity, this number can be doubled. Take that value subtract out the lattitude where the home exists. Voila. Once this calculation is done and the EER number is determined, go to the government's website, www.hud.gov/moneyforshacks/eer to dtermine how much a home may be worth under the program.

Additional qualifications for the homeowner include,
-homeowner must have at least 1% equity in the home
-homeonwer must have lived in home for at least 1 month.
-homeowner must destroy old home withing 30 days of receiving rebate. Possible methods of destruction include fire, destruction by bulldozer, meteor strike or raging kegger.
-new home must have an EER value at least 20% higher then the home it is replacing.
-new home must be built on existing home's land.
-rebate is not considered taxable income by the IRS.
-Moving fees are not deductible.
-All new homes must be constructed using a minimum 90% unionized labor, to be verified at the time of occupancy inspection.

The president estimates that this move will save the country somewhere between 1 and 1.2 trillion dollars in energy costs over the next 5 years while destroying 500,000 "shacks".

"Paying people to get out of their old homes and into new, better homes is at the core of what we as American's believe in", stated President Obama.

When asked about whether he would be setting an example by offering up the White House to the program (whose EER number is measely 0.8) the president would not comment. Only saying that "while this program is good for normal citizens, different rules must be used when it comes to politicians. you know..for safety and stuff"

Tom Snyder, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity, says that while he "applauds the goal of reducing energy consumption, destroying existing homes only to be replaced with newer homes is is a poor use of resources".

But we all know he's just pissed he didn't come up with the idea (and get the funding).

Thusfar the only group voicing significant opposition to the governments new found generosity is the taxpayer. But as noted by House Speaker Pelosi, "someone's gotta pay for this". Looks like the taxpayer shouldn't expect change anytime soon.

The program is intended to run until it exhausts it's 4.5 billion dollar fund, or housing prices reach their 2006 levels. Whichever comes first.

Other areas that Congresss is considering for rebates include digital music players and fast food. Although significant resistance is expected from advocates of Obamacare for any funding of Fast Food rebates.

And in other news, it looks like Timothy Geithner is having trouble selling his home even after raising the price.

poor guy, if he can't get a bailout, what hope do the rest of us have?

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