Thursday, December 8, 2011

Senators propose easier visas for foreign home buyers

I am a strong supporter of immigration. There's no way America would have grown from a sparsely-populated wilderness to the world's sole superpower without it. However, this seems to me like yet another lame attempt by politicians to re-inflate the housing bubble they loved so much:
Two senators, Charles Schumer, a Democrat, and Mike Lee, a Republican, recently introduced legislation to fast-track visas for foreigners spending $500,000 on residential property. Their Visit USA Act would allow purchasers and their families to live in America for as long as they owned their houses, though not to work there or receive any federal benefits.

The senators envisage wealthy jet-setters and well-heeled retirees boosting America’s weak housing market. As buyers would have to live in their new homes for at least 180 days a year, they would also (very handily) be liable to pay American tax on any foreign earnings.

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