The closing deadline for the first-time homebuyer tax credit approaches at the end of this month. The deadline to enter into a sales contract passed months ago, and pending, existing and new home sales volumes plummeted in the wake of the program’s expiration. In the absence of additional economic stimulus, it now seems as if little is left to drive the fragile housing recovery forward. If you even still choose to call it recovery, of course. And that’s the point: We’ve entered a phase where the world is only as you choose to see it — either bolstered by massive government programs working to put the economy on stable footing again, or merely hobbling along as the same government programs create a mirage of short-lived gains before crashing back to reality. TO READ THE FULL STORY, SUBSCRIBE NOW.