Continued Eviction Moratoriums Hurt the Poor, and They’re Also Illegal


Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman hit the nail on the head with, “There’s nothing that does so much harm as good intentions.” Exhibit A is yet another eviction moratorium extension by Joe Biden’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If you’ve lost count of the number of extensions from different government agencies, you’re not alone. If you’re a landlord looking for any rent money in order to pay your mortgage, property tax, and utilities, Joe Biden and the Democrats have basically decreed it’s T.S. (tough situation) for you.

There are so many things wrong with allowing people to live rent-free in perpetuity. Government eviction moratoriums are misguided, immoral, and worse—illegal and unconstitutional. Let’s look at these one at a time.

First, while the Supreme Court did not hand down a definitive ruling on the constitutionality of eviction moratoriums, they appeared poised to do so. Justice Kavanaugh noted the moratorium was due to expire in a matter of weeks anyway. Thus, he did not join four other justices who sought to rule against the CDC’s illegal order on the merits. But what Kavanaugh did write was key: “In my view, clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31.” But Congress did not act. Joe Biden’s CDC just went ahead and extended the free housing yet again. Will it ever end?

A reading of the 5th amendment to the U.S. Constitution all but states that government cannot take away landlord pay and property. “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” In addition, Article I section 10 reads, “No state shall pass a Law impairing the obligation of contracts.” Rental agreements are contracts. Landlords promise housing. Tenants promise to pay. The contract is voluntary, and the amounts and terms are agreed to mutually at the start.

So many landlords across the country haven’t received a dime, some for over a year. Even government programs to compensate them have been riddled with paperwork complexity and regulations, and all for a mere pittance of assistance. Government red tape.

Second, these policies are misguided. Indeed, in a pandemic, temporary measures (i.e., a few months) to keep people in their homes had broad bipartisan support. No one favors throwing people into the streets. But when government picks winners and losers, nasty unintended consequences happen. By favoring tenants over landlords for so long, far fewer housing units will be offered up for rent in the medium and long term. What current owner would want to go through this again? Many will sell. And prospective investors? They’ll choose not to risk their money in rental units when there’s no guarantee of payment. There are other, safer, and more certain places to get a better return on money.

So, who gets hurt? Middle and upper-income people? No. They can afford to buy. It’s poor and working-class folks. Without an adequate supply of decent rental units, that population will be left essentially homeless. And government overreach from misguided Democrat moratoriums will be to blame for the next housing crisis.

Lastly, eviction moratoriums are immoral. A plethora of recent government programs have actually encouraged sloth, nonwork, and ignoring bills. And before you ask, “well what are tenants to do?” it is worth asking, “what are landlords to do?” They’ve drawn down or depleted their savings. They’ve asked friends and relatives for help. Charities, churches, and non-profits can help tenants, but few dole out funds for landlords. A wave of bankruptcies awaits.

The pandemic as it related to the economy was in 2020. Not now.

Three rounds of stimulus payments sent $3,200 per person to all but the wealthiest. There are over 9 million job openings. Wages are up. It’s past time to pay rent and for government to get out of the way.

Jeff Szymanski works in political communications for AMAC. He previously taught high school economics for 15 years.

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Mario Capparuccini
5 months ago

In ancient Rome, the emperor provided bread and circuses to win over the mob. The Democrats use government does to win elections, except when they steal them.

5 months ago

Just another LAW the Dems are breaking. Slime!

Anthony Barrett
5 months ago

I can only think of the time I shared an apartment with two other people when I was 21 yrs old to pay the rent in the 80’s and all of us busting our butts to pay it on time. Back then we had pride plain and simple.

5 months ago

So true. I did the same. When there was a job available thank God I was able to work and take
care of myself. Nothing has changed much….people still need to work.

Joe M
5 months ago

The best thing to do is get rid of democrats for good !!
Vote them out and keep them out !!!!

Larry W
5 months ago

Best way to institute communism. Give free stuff. Free rent , free money, free college, free food, free health care etc. and the only thing you give in return is your FREEDOM

Philip Hammersley
5 months ago

How about the DIMMs open all the businesses up and drop the extravagant unemployment benefits? Then people could WORK (a novel idea for DIMMs) and pay their rent like the rest of us.
What are the landlords supposed to pay THEIR bills with?
Maybe Bezos, Gats , and Soros could start giving THEIR money to the renters, huh?

5 months ago

No one has asked me for work !!!! They don’t want to work !!!! There are plenty of ways to earn an honest living out there. You have to be willing to work ! I pay for tree killing. There are too many people who are too good to do that !!!! Maybe we should share some of our non-workers with other countries. Just a thought ! Oh and those who want to represent our country to go to the Olympics and then degrade our country when they win — Let’s leave them there and let them find a country more to their liking.

Patricia Hyden
5 months ago

When we practice to deceive. Etc.My computer does not work well to rate

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