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Bloomberg View: The Candidates' Curious Silence on Housing

On a critical economic issue, Obama and Romney do voters a disservice
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign fundraiser at the Oregon Convention Center
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign fundraiser at the Oregon Convention CenterPhotograph by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

For an economy that’s growing at an anemic rate of 1.5 percent, you’d think there would be more discussion of the U.S. housing market on the campaign trail. The sector has powered past recoveries and is responsible for as much as one-fifth of gross domestic product.

Yet President Barack Obama has made little more than a passing reference to housing in his campaign, calling it a drag on the economy and recommending an expanded mortgage-refinancing program. Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney has said the government should avoid intervening and allow the housing market to “run its course,” wherever that may lead.