Ilhan Omar Backs Radical Plan To Freeze Rent

Via The Washington Examiner:

On Thursday, the New York Post reported on the Hamptons’s most-expensive rental ever after a textile tycoon ponied up $2 million to rent a sprawling 11-bedroom mansion to hide out in through Labor Day. Yet, supposed champion of the working class Rep. Ilhan Omar apparently thinks the CEO and his family should get to quarantine in luxury for free. 

The Minnesota congresswoman and self-avowed “democratic socialist” has put forward a radical proposal intended to address the economic fallout from the coronavirus: cancel rents. Yes, seriously. Just cancel them! What could go wrong?

Suffice it to say, this is an awful idea. While Omar has a point that we need to do something to help homeowners and renters who have lost their incomes or are struggling to pay their rent due to the coronavirus, canceling all rents would have massive negative economic ripple effects, bail out hundreds of millions who don’t need it, and hurt landlords, many of whom are average folks or senior citizens, not members of the ever-reviled 1%. 

First, a very basic rule of economics is that everyone’s expenditure is another’s income. By eliminating rent payments, assuming the federal government has the authority to do so, which is by no means a safe assumption, Congress would also be eliminating massive income streams for many people. This would, in turn, reduce their spending and only worsen the ongoing economic downturn.