Guest Editorial :
Congress is planning to make your home unsalable

By Craig Cantoni | March 17, 2010

craig cantoniIn the midst of the raging healthcare debate over who owns your body and can decide what repairs it receives, the media and the public have overlooked the fact that the U.S. House of Representatives has already ruled in H.R. 2454 that the state owns your house and can decide what repairs it receives. Your name might be on the title, the mortgage, the homeowners policy, and the property tax bill, but if H.R. 2454 becomes the law of the land, the federal government will become a dictatorial homeowners association (HOA) with the power to make your house unsalable unless you comply with its diktats.

H.R. 2454 is the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. Its sponsor is Henry Waxman (D-CA), who believes in statism, central planning, one-party control and the subjugation of the individual to the collective.

The Act is 1,428 pages long. I strongly encourage you to read every page. By doing so, you’ll not only understand how nations destroy themselves from within, but you’ll also understand how politicians like Waxman, and the people who elect them, are turning the U.S. economy into an economy of high-paid consultants, lawyers, lobbyists, and apparatchiks. At the same time, these great intellects bemoan that high-paying jobs for working stiffs are evaporating. Connecting dots is not their forte.
The Act can be found at:
Warning: You’re going to find a lot of gobbledygook that will ensure thousands of young Americans who might have pursued careers in science or engineering will instead pursue careers as gobbledygook interpreters – as lawyers, consultants, and bureaucrats.

It’s impossible to read 1,428 pages of such tripe, still be sane afterwards and know for sure what the Act says. However, the following is what I think it says about your house.

It says the federal government, in conjunction with state and local governments, will set environmental standards and building codes for residential homes. Then, any major renovation or planned sale of a house will trigger a report to the authorities on whether it meets the standards. Such information will be maintained in a national database and reflected in real estate records, including titles and property tax records.

In other words, if your house doesn’t meet the standards, this will become public information available to prospective buyers, who would have to be stupid to buy a substandard house and risk the possibility the government will someday force them to bring it up to standard. The Act’s language doesn’t preclude that possibility.

Of course, the expense of such renovations will be borne by you, unless you’re in a favored socioeconomic or racial group, in which case the expense will be borne by others. For example, if you live in a mobile home manufactured prior to 1976, and if your household income is less than twice the poverty rate, you can get a rebate of up to $7,500 on the purchase of a new manufactured home that meets the standards. And if your race is “diverse,” owners of multifamily housing properties with more than 50 units will be required to make room for you in order to meet the environmental standards. Maybe some races produce less CO2 than other races.

Although the Act’s language doesn’t say it as explicitly as I’m going to say it, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be pressured under the Act to give favorable terms to mortgages for Green homes. Also, to be eligible for free stuff under the Act, contractors will have to pay prevailing wages – sharing the loot with union friends of the Democrat Party.

The good news is your home will still be your castle. The bad news is if it doesn’t have thermal windows, reflective roof, insulation, and the proper heating and air-conditioning systems, you’ll be living in it until you die, unless you can afford to bring it up to the standards and sell it.

What actually made me insane was the section in the Act on trees. Yes, the federal government wants to set national standards on trees in your yard.

The Act will establish a program to “use the best available science to create tree siting guidelines which dictate [well, at least they admit it] where the optimum tree species are best planted in locations that achieve maximum reductions in consumer energy demand while causing the least disruption to public infrastructure, considering overhead and underground facilities.” It goes on to specify free trees will be available under the program.
It also specifies that loot will be given to power companies to be shared with nonprofit tree-planting organizations.

The most insane aspect of the Act is that it is not needed – not its 1,428 words, not its legions of lawyers, not its brigades of bureaucrats, and not its tremendous shift of productive resources to unproductive make-work. If the consensus in the United States is that global warming is man-caused and can be stopped – as wrongheaded as that is – it is not necessary for the government to micromanage your life to the extent it tells you what trees to plant in your yard. Instead, the government would only have to raise energy prices through a tax on carbon, and the market and individual choices would sort out the rest.
But what do I know?