Examining the home price boom and its effect on owners, lenders, regulators, realtors and the economy as a whole.
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Posted By: Ben Jones @ 1:01 am
Proposal: If minimum wage is to keep humans in America from living below “poverty” at $9/hr, why don’t we have a little worldwide compassion and institute a minimum wage enforced on all wages/workers producing imported goods? This could be something like $2/hr. Subject to those international workers paying a 10% tax (via the IRS) to support the regulation that would be required to enforce the wage law on the companies importing those goods. There’s a little something for everyone to love in this proposal…
Dataset: Real hourly minimum wages
Time 2008 2009 2010 2011
Australia 12.5393 11.8661 13.9025 15.7482
Belgium 12.4004 12.1828 11.4416 11.9158
Canada 8.2067 8.1371 9.3361 9.7573
Czech Republic 2.9604 2.645 2.6054 2.7218
Estonia 2.525 2.4007 2.2242 2.2247
France 13.0623 12.6279 11.9584 12.5452
Greece 6.145 6.1006 5.6522 5.791
Hungary 2.6246 2.2274 2.1243 2.2433
Ireland 12.2674 12.2023 11.745 12.0306
Israel 6.7833 5.9916 6.1402 6.399
Japan 6.4881 7.438 8.0999 9.1585
Korea 3.768 3.3571 3.6981 3.9014
Luxembourg 14.3732 14.2362 13.491 14.2142
Mexico 0.6462 0.5303 0.571 0.5837
Netherlands 11.8679 11.5128 11.0076 11.3772
New Zealand 9.011 8.2405 9.5166 10.2212
Poland 2.984 2.5174 2.6202 2.6922
Portugal 3.7355 3.78 3.7527 3.881
Slovak Republic 2.3227 2.4741 2.4332 2.5341
Slovenia 5.024 4.9114 5.5197 5.9677
Spain 5.2885 5.2392 4.9806 5.1333
Turkey 3.3935 2.9209 3.0429 2.8105
United Kingdom 11.2451 9.6828 9.4122 9.5673
United States 6.4395 7.1908 7.4772 7.25
data extracted on 17 Feb 2013 14:28 UTC (GMT) from OECD.Stat
In US dollars; hence why the UK rate dropped from over $11 to $9.5 from 2008 to 2011.
What happened to supply and demand?
Realistically, if it had anything to do w/compassion, wouldn’t it be tied to that country’s cost of living instead of a nominal figure arbitrarily increased as a release of political pressure?
snowgirl, politicians benefit greatly when the serfs are satiated just enough.
Raising the minimum wage is a very effective way to secure their position as serfs…as well as your own if you’re an elitist.
+ >1 MacBeth
My point exactly.
… institute a minimum wage enforced on all wages/workers producing imported goods?”
Which would make a job associated with what you term “imported goods” more valuable than other types of jobs.
A schmuck currently making ten cents an hour would jump over to the job making two dollars an hour and this would create some mighty big distortions in employment. The ten cent jobs would lack workers while the two dollar jobs would be flooded with workers - in fact they may even end up paying employers to hire them.
And then there is the enforcement aspect to consider.
A schmuck currently making ten cents an hour would jump over to the job making two dollars an hour and this would create some mighty big distortions in employment.
This is the case regardless. State mandated wages is no different than price controls on goods. There is a market for labor and by pricing the low end higher than dictated by the market, it distorts the rest of the market.
All this will result in is higher inflation as the python of labor absorbs the rat of higher wages, moving from the low end to the high end. Or do libtards honestly think that skilled workers earning $12-15/hr won’t push for higher wages when the unskilled donkeys are earning $9? And when inflation works it way in, the minimum wage will have done nothing to improve the purchasing power of the lower class….
There isn’t going to be inflation without another credit bubble. State mandated wage increases will simply cause a downward spiral in employment and consumption. That’s the python.
There is a credit bubble, if you haven’t noticed… if you can fog a mirror, you can get a car loan or a credit card. If you can fog a mirror and have 3% down, you can get a FHA mortgage.
Friends own a house they couldn’t sell in Va They rented it at a loss and moved and bought a condo in their new town. That was a year ago. Now they are talking about getting a house, but keeping the condo and the other house as rentals until “the market improves.” Income doesn’t support all this debt and neither has been at their new job more than about a year.
How can this even be talked about still? If a bank doesn’t turn them down for a new loan on their third house, then I’ll know we are right back where we started!
The gov is doing all that it can to encourage credit expansion and credit is still contracting. I don’t pretend there is no credit activity, only that we are in contraction.
Without the magical inclusion of record government spending in GDP, the media would be screaming bloody hell about the contraction.
Someone here a few days ago pointed out the obvious, that somehow everyone here missed for a long time:
People are continuing or rejoining the game because they see it as the ONLY possible way to generate wealth for themselves.
Incomes continue to drop all across the land…and costs/taxes continue to increase. That said, the inexplicable behavior you describe (while ill-advised, of course) is understandable.
Drastic times/drastic measures.
Incomes continue to drop all across the land…and costs/taxes continue to increase.
That little sentence right there tells you everything you need to know about the long-term direction of RE prices.
Equilibrium will eventually prevail. But it might be a very long wait.
So we should raise the minimum wage, eh? So people can earn money working, instead of as small-time wannabe speculators.
Without increases in minimum wage, Hyper Inflation will never arrive.
Here is the real deal
To retain decent employees we pay $2 to $3 per hour more than they can get from some other employer. We also provide them with drinks, snacks and when they work evenings or weekend’s lunches and dinners are also provided. There is a nice kitchen and break room, nice lightning and many stereo systems to listen to music while running production. On top of this we give them a very flexible schedule to deal with their baby mama or baby daddy type of child issues. The facility and its bathrooms are always clean and we encourage them to take courses at college all paid for by us. They never take a course. Majority of our employees in the manufacturing side are white males with high school education between 21 to 40 years old. The best workers tend to be women over 40 as they don’t have boyfriend or child issues and seem to be more motivated.
Our workers have to shop at the same grocery stores, gas stations, retail stores, utility companies, medical and dental clinics like everyone else. How can they take care of all their needs and then show up for work every day if they are not paid enough? It is important to understand that the cost of living in America is high and companies should recognize that they have a social responsibility to their workers and the community.
We also are not a just in time company. Just in time does not work well for us as customer expect products right away? So we inventory for at least 6 to 8 months supply and prepackage them as standard shipment palletized and shrink wrapped. Various types of orders are optimized and when a customer orders out of our normal patterns we punish the customer by raising their prices. Most of the time the customers fall right back in line and take one of the standard orders. Getting paid in 30 days is also all non sense. We provide liberal payments terms and usually get paid within 90 to 120 days. We have never done a credit check on any of our customers as I am sure quite a few must have bad credit however I can count on my fingers the number of times some has not paid us in the last 29 years.
Another thing we don’t micro manage. We hire the right individual then let them take their time to learn after that we get out of their way and let them do their job. Result very little turnover.
So you see it all begins with decent employees, being treated nicely with respect and they can make some owner RICH and LAZY.
Btw Capitalism is not Democracy. imho
Now on the customer’s side we treat them like friends first and then business associates. We share hbb links, have back and forth discussions, regional meetings, national conventions, silly conversations, free product, make dumb bets. Listen to them when they need to vent about their customers, make ourselves available Mon thru Sunday 8am to 8 pm.
Result happy LOYAL customers.
Your acts match my own philosophy about running a business:
Employees are no.1
Customers are no 2
Shareholders no. 3
I don’t know if you own this company, but I think you understand running a business to be successful at this. Kudos to you.
I may be odd…..But i wouldn’t care about the money if i could walk to work or drive 5-10 minutes and you had a free parking space for me.
I really hate commuting, unless its for a fantastic reason. And then i would do everything i can to move closer.
I have a friend who owns a small business (grosses about $1m per year). He is clueless when it comes to managing his employees, and they hate him. He is a hot head, and has emotional blowups which are completely unprofessional. He was telling me how hard a time he was having finding good employees. He wants to have the “best” in town. I told him there were two things he was missing. First and foremost, he has to pay the best, or close to it. Second, he has to provide a positive work environment. He will do neither, which is why he will never be the best in town.
“I have a friend who owns a small business…”
I spent years working with flaky unprofessional bosses and their desperate employees. Best thing I ever did was return to college and earn my Civil Engineering degree, but I still couldn’t afford to live in California.
We also are not a just in time company. Just in time does not work well for us as customer expect products right away? So we inventory for at least 6 to 8 months supply and prepackage them as standard shipment palletized and shrink wrapped.”
low tech like duck calls. Would never work in high tech as your product goes obsolete very fast.
Great posts, SUGuy. We need more people who understand business as well as you do. Congrats on running/working for what sounds like an awesome company.
Ditto, SU. I’ve saved your post to file as reference and reminder. Your style of doing business is in short supply in this centralized, computerized, one-size-fits-all environment. I’m betting that if your firm ever hits crisis, your employees will flock to your aid.
The whole point of the post is that if it’s good for the goose, it should be good for the gander. I’m not convinced it’s good for either, but I see no reason to enforce it domestically if we aren’t enforcing it internationally. That would seem just like shooting ourselves in the foot.
Compassion is never a concept that a control freak is familiar with.
As for min wages being raised and causing inflation, how does this explain the double digit rise in prices during this last recession with 10%+ unemployment?
Rhetorical question. There is no link. Inflation is just as artificial as oil prices.
Stop being sheep.
“…why don’t we have a little worldwide compassion and institute a minimum wage enforced on all wages/workers producing imported goods?”
In that case, how could America outsource its production to countries that pay slave labor wages?
And that comment hits at one of the reasons why I believe the Card/Krueger fast food study is irrelevant: You can’t outsource your burger flipping activity.
You can’t outsource your burger flipping activity.
Yep. You gotta bring in illegal aliens instead, as we have seen.
I suppose an influx of illegal aliens to take off-the-books work at below the minimum wage would provide economic stimulus, especially if they were able to fund lots of consumption spending out of their tax-free income streams.
Perhaps my skepticism about the stimulus advantages of a minimum wage increase are overblown?
an influx of illegal aliens to take off-the-books work at below the minimum wage would provide economic stimulus, especially if they were able to fund lots of consumption spending out of their tax-free income streams.
Wage deflation isn’t very stimulative, especially if the cheaper workers send a chunk of their wages back home.
“Wage deflation isn’t very stimulative, especially if the cheaper workers send a chunk of their wages back home.”
I suspect you are missing something very important here, which is that these off-the-book workers’ wages, and their remittances, don’t show up in the official statistics. Hence the official version of the average U.S. wage is guaranteed to go up, just like housing prices always do, when subject to lower truncation at the $9/hour floor.
Hence the official version of the average U.S. wage is guaranteed to go up
It’s still deflationary, truncate all you want in the official version.
Ahh thrower, maybe now you are starting to get to some of the root of this international minimum wage… How *COULD* we outsource if the wages needed to be more inline with domestic wages??? The costs of transportation would no longer be overcome by the savings in labor… No more exploiting foreign slave labor.. sounding better and better…
I think you hit on a major point, which is that with an international labor market, a unilateral increase in the domestic minimum wage may only serve to force employment away from legitimate U.S. jobs on which taxes are paid, unless other countries whose work forces comprise part of the international labor pool agree to increase their minimum wages as well.
And regardless, I don’t see how this type of policy measure can fail to push more work towards the informal sector which is not subject to the minimum wage law or taxes, for that matter.
From denvergasprices DOT com, average reported prices:
1 Week Ago 3.282
1 Month Ago 2.766
1 Week Ago 3.550
1 Month Ago 3.257
25% increase in one month. Add that to the payroll tax holiday expiration. And then tell us about the alleged recovery. Because a 70 percent consumer economy doesn’t need consumers.
RI, CT and NY fuel is up 25% in the last month.
It’s the FR doing their best to “stabilize the economy”.
Lucky Ducky can’t afford the commute.
Higher taxes and bigger government will fix it.
Having Lucky Ducky tax money funneled to Brazil’s offshore oil industry via George Soros and Barack Obama also will fix it.
Lots of U.S. jobs offshored in that redirection of wealth effort, too.
You know nothing about the oil industry.
If you say so.
We cant borrow our way to prosperity.
trickly down and overspending failed.
Let ‘em eat $900 cake!
Relax. Gasoline has been trading in this range for the last two years. This is not a breakout. The range is about what it was in 2008 before things started to come unglued. If you are looking for some indication that the grand magic act is closing, it would have to be something else.
You are correct. It’s not a breakout.
Nonetheless, lots of Lucky Duckies now will have to cough up another $30-$40/month for gasoline. That’s lotsa WalMart bucks out the window and more people not paying their heating bills.
That the rise started in JANUARY is interesting. Too early for increases due to offline refineries. Too early for summer driving season. Europe is in recession. China and India are slowing.
What’s interesting about it?
It has been proven time and time again that the specu-traders drive prices these days, not supply and demand.
This is also the same with every single industry on the planet.
Got it. There’s nothing Obama can or should do about it, so shut up.
Besides, all oil companies are evil.
All better now?
Mac, can you talk to banana and your other neo-cons.
glad you get it!
I was thinking the same thing. It’s cyclical and the rise starts every February as we move toward the travel months.
” It’s cyclical and the rise starts every February as we move toward the travel months.”
True, but not this fast. And oil prices have been a flatline for a year, except for a minor dip and correction last summer.
Well, guess not everybody is as rich and blessed as you.
The only “grand magic act” is the failed magic trick of the alleged recovery.
Welcome to the recoveryless recovery.
The future belongs to Lucky Ducky.
A house is never an ‘investment’. A house is a depreciating asset…… always.
For some it’s a gamble. Never gamble with borrowed money.
That’s the best kind to gamble with. Especially if you can borrow at 1% from the Fed.
The only time it is good sense to gamble with borrowed money is if you don’t have to pay it back when you lose.
Two stories on Sen. Menendez:
He will use the John Corzine defense.
Corrine used the “Wizard of Oz” defense.
How is that applicable with vague allegations by an a anonymous person?
Politico - Bloomberg takes gun fight to Chicago:
“A Chicagoland special House election to replace disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has suddenly become Ground Zero of the national gun control debate, courtesy of anti-gun crusader Mike Bloomberg.
The billionaire New York City mayor’s super PAC is poised to dump at least $2 million into the race, sources told POLITICO — a staggering sum for a single House race that’s meant to thwart a National Rifle Association-aligned Democrat who was cruising along as the frontrunner until a barrage of Bloomberg-financed attack ads hit the airwaves.
The massive independent expenditure by Independence USA PAC dwarfs what any of the 17 Democratic candidates have raised themselves. It’s a none-too-subtle statement of Bloomberg’s intention to take on the NRA after the Newtown, Conn. school shooting — though it’s debatable how much of a test case it is since the NRA is staying out of the race.
The bulk of Bloomberg’s cash has financed an air war against Debbie Halvorson, a former one-term congresswoman and longtime ex-state legislator with an “A” rating from the NRA. The lone white candidate in the Democratic field, she’s hoping that her base of suburban and rural voters in the southern outskirts of the district — who by and large favor gun rights — will be enough to give her the small plurality it will take to win.
The Democratic primary is on Feb. 26. The general election is all but irrelevant given the district’s heavy Democratic makeup.
House plan to close traditional pension to new workers carries costs, study concludes
by John Kennedy | February 15th, 2013
The Florida Retirement System, used by more than 600,000 state workers, teachers, police officers and firefighters, would change dramatically under a state House proposal to close the plan’s traditional pension to new employees, according to a state study released Friday night.
The analysis by Milliman, a Virginia-based actuarial firm, concluded that the move would likely increase the plan’s cost for employees. These workers began contributing 3 percent of their pay to take part in the plan for the first time, beginning in 2011.
Unions oppose ending the defined benefit option for new employees.
They say the move would undermine a strong pension plan and that it is driven by politics — with the Republican-controlled Legislature intent on weakening union strength in Florida.
“This is more about ideology than money,” said Rich Templin, spokesman for the AFL-CIO.
The Florida Retirement System has 623,011 currently employed members, including teachers, state workers, and many local government employees, police officers and firefighters.
Within the system, workers currently can choose between the traditional pension or, for the past decade, an optional 401(k)-like plan. The pension remains the favorite, though, with more than 500,00 employees enrolled, compared with only about 100,000 in the inverstment plan.
The pension fund has another 334,682 retirees enrolled who already collect benefits.
Closing the plan to new employees will rob the traditional pension fund of its stream of new dollars, Milliman concluded. It will also create a system where only older workers looking forward to gaining larger pensions, remain in the fund.
http://www.postonpolitics.com/2013/02/house-plan-to-close-traditional-pension-to-new-workers-carries-costs-study-concludes/ - 63k -
Have the public union workers pay 100% of their pension plan cost.
Now let them make the choice.
3% of their salary with a ratio of 2:1 (workers to retirees) comes nowhere even close to covering the cost of the pension plan.
What they really are saying is “keep the taxpayer gravy train going even if it means bankruptcy or insane tax increases”
“Closing the plan to new employees will rob the traditional pension fund of its stream of new dollars”
That did not work out well for Bernie Madoff.
Translation: Let’s screw even more people over with 401(k)s. Or, in less savory terms, BOHICA.
You see things backward. The taxpayer will finally get unscrewed. Public employee pensions are too generous (people retiring at 50, 55, and even 60 years of age) and unsustainable.
Translation: Let’s screw even more people over with 401(k)s.
I much prefer having my own assets in an individual 401k, as opposed to a future promise of income from an entity that may very well not be able to provide it.
+1, AZ Slim
More money for Wall Street, less money and less stability for Joe Sixpack. The hits just keep on coming.
Good ol’ Florida, the inbred state.
Only one place I hate more: CA.
“Good ol’ Florida, the inbred state.”
There you go again.
Interesting. I didn’t know Cubans, Canadians, Germans and Jews are “inbreds”.
Learn something new every day.
I’d suggest that you and AndyDJ shack up together since you share similar ideas of what “those” people are all about…
…but then again, Andy would likely toss you to the curb.
I was in FL in Nov. From St. Aug to Miami.
The intelligence level of the common man is lower than even Texas.
CA feels like another country sometimes.
In der Tat. Überlegen fühlen hat seine Vorteile, nicht wahr?
“The intelligence level of the common man is lower than even Texas.”
What, did you do a one month government funded study?
Here are some common people from…..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFeAFDh6dzk - 210k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnc4WvuVs9o - 237k -
This is the first time I noticed when the dude in the Yankee hat is asked who he is going to vote for, he says Obama. Later in the video the same dude is asked why he can`t get a job and he says because of his criminal background.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFeAFDh6dzk - 210k
Inbred? Have you been to a small town in the upper mid-west? Maybe a dozen different last names? At least real Floridians are Anglo-Saxon-Celtic; you know, normal Americans.
What Happens To A Financial System When Its Two Biggest Pillars Collapse?
TMO | 2-16-2013 | Graham Summers
Those EU leaders who have yet to be implicated in scandals are not faring much better than their more corrupt counterparts. In France, socialist Prime Minister Francois Hollande, has proven yet again that socialism doesn’t work by chasing after the wealthy and trying to grow France’s public sector… when the public sector already accounts for 56% of French employment.
France was already suffering from a lack of competitiveness. Now that wealthy businesspeople are fleeing the country (meaning investment will dry up), the economy has begun to positively implode.
“The biggest problem at the moment in the euro zone is no longer Greece, Spain or Italy, instead it is France, because it has not undertaken anything in order to truly re-establish its competitiveness, and is even heading in the opposite direction,” Feld said on Wednesday.
“France needs labour market reforms, it is the country among euro zone countries that works the least each year, so how do you expect any results from that? Things won’t work unless more efforts are made.”
Auto sales for 2012 fell 13% from those of 2011. Sales of existing homes outside of Paris fell 20% year over year for the third quarter of 2012. New home sales fell 25%. Even the high-end real estate markets are collapsing with sales for apartments in Paris that cost over €2 million collapsing an incredible 42% in 2012.
Since the EU Crisis began in 2008, France and Germany have been the two key countries backstopping the implosion. The fact that France is now facing an economic implosion does not bode well for the future of the Euro or the EU.
Even the high-end real estate markets are collapsing
The next leg down began in earnest across the northeast.
If the governments initiated these tax structures in unison, there’d be nowhere to run. Considering the collusion of the central banks, I wonder if anyone has considered that w/in 10 years, we could see a similar collusion among government leadership, especially as we see the system really start to crumble.
“If the governments initiated these tax structures in unison, there’d be no place to run.”
If enough governments initiated these tax structures in unision then there would emerge a great incentive for some governments to break ranks and offer a place for the guys with money to run to.
When guys with money run to a place they tend to spend some of their money.
Funny how that is: People with money spend some of it. And if you are running a country (or a state) that needs money then you will do things to attract money to your country (or to your state).
Texas is currently doing this to California.
What is interesting is the consequences of the flow of the money.
The expenses of where the money flows from (such as California) does not diminish at the same rate that the flow of money within the state diminishes. And the expenses of the state to which the money flows to (such as Texas) does not increase at the same rate as the rate of the influx of new money - at least not right away.
So Texas prospers because of the expenses continually lag behind the flow of new money from California, and California suffers because the money that used to flow here now flows in Texas.
And while the money leaves California the expenses in California are still here. So to raise money to meet these expenses taxes must be raised. But raising taxes adds furthur incentives for people in California with money to pack up everything and move to Texas.
What should be included in this also is the notion that as California continues to rot, it’s value relative to other states and to the country at large diminishes.
As a state, if your costs exceed productive capacity, so does your influence.
If there’s one thing wrong with our Electoral College system, it is that. It does not take into account that welfare states can wield influence they have not earned.
Meanwhile, Texas continues to attract businesses and states like North Daokta continue to slash income tax rates. (BTW, Nebraska now is considering eliminating the state income tax).
Texas will soon run out of incentive money to attract new corporations unless the cut school funding again.
Little known fact: Texas’ deficit was/is equal to CA’s. They just hide it better.
But that doesn’t mean a day reckoning isn’t coming.
“And while the money leaves California the expenses in California are still here. So to raise money to meet these expenses taxes must be raised. But raising taxes adds furthur incentives for people in California with money to pack up everything and move to Texas.”
This is what is sometimes referred to as a death spiral.
If a company saves money moving to Texas soon they will figure out they can save even more moving to China.
“Texas is currently doing this to California.”
Not all companies will go to texas. Software companies are the easiest to relocate in terms of moving capital assets. However, silicon valley will still be silicon valley. All the pros that have roots in california will not uproot their family and move to Texas for the same salary. For most engineering professionals (think aerospace, high tech manufacturing, software) the salary has to be increased dramatically to entice them to move.
Yup that’s the historical response among independent sovereign powers but if believe the world is increasingly answering to a smaller and smaller group of elite than perhaps at some point those elite find a way to leave no stone left unturned.
If the governments initiated these tax structures in unison, there’d be nowhere to run.
Let me translate.
We have totally destroyed our economy (city/state/country) with insane progressive/liberal laws and ever increasing taxes.
People are leaving and taking their money with them.
If only ALL these other (cities/states/countries) would screw up their own economies as bad as ours with insane progressive/liberal laws and regulations….
We would not be as bad off. Still bad but not as bad.
The logic of the liberal left.
They use the same logic when talking about gasoline taxes…. In Europe…. Like we’re supposed think gee Europeans pay too much in gas taxes how do we get in on the action?
Is there a good way for Americans to invest in Parisian residential RE?
And how long from now until the price rot spreads to other financial capitals like NYC, London and Toronto?
I can’t wait!
Is It Fair For People On Food Stamps To Buy Prime Rib While Working Families Barely Survive?
TEC | 02/16/2013 | Michael Snyder
Should we all quit working and jump on board the Obama gravy train?
Of course I am being facetious, but when you are barely surviving does there come a point when it just becomes easier to give up and totally rely on the government? Today, the federal government runs nearly 80 different means-tested welfare programs, and many state and local governments have their own welfare programs on top of that. If you become an expert on those programs and you learn how to game the system, can you live more comfortably than someone that lives honestly and works as hard as they can and yet still makes less than 10 dollars an hour?
Now, right from the outset of this article, let me make it abundantly clear that I do not believe that most people are abusing the system. As I have written about over and over, the number of Americans living in poverty is rapidly increasing because there are not enough jobs. There are not enough jobs because we are shipping millions of them out of the country to the other side of the globe, and we are also losing millions of jobs to technology.
There have always been those that need our help, and because of the foolish decisions that we have made as a nation, the ranks of the poor will continue to expand. But it is also true that there are some people out there that are very brazenly abusing the system. For example, is it really fair for people on food stamps to buy prime rib and lobster while many working families barely survive? People like that are taking advantage of their fellow Americans, and they are making it harder for the people that really need the help to be able to get it.
Unfortunately, we are rapidly becoming an “entitlement society”. Close to half the country lives in a home that receives some sort of monetary benefits from the federal government each month at this point.
In particular, the food stamp program has experienced explosive growth in recent years. Since Obama has been president, the number of Americans on food stamps has grown by more than 49 percent, and more than 11,000 people a day have enrolled in the food stamp program since Obama entered the White House.
Will we all eventually be on food stamps?
Actually, the truth is that there are millions upon millions of hard working American families that are desperately trying to make it on their own and that don’t want to become financial dependents of the federal government. Unfortunately, it can be a little disheartening when you are barely making it from month to month and yet you see others using government benefit cards to buy luxury items.
The other day my wife came across a discussion on Facebook that really caught her attention. I thought that I would share with you all the post that got that discussion going. As far as I can determine, this woman shared what she believed she actually saw at her local grocery store, but I have no way of determining if this story is true or not. But I have seen quite a few similar stories of food stamp abuse in the past. Either way, I think the following story will be good to help spark a conversation about whether our current system is broken or not. All of the names have been removed so as to protect the identity of the woman that originally posted this on Facebook…
Okay…so, I’m going to go on a rant for a minute…just to get it off my chest…
**** & I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things because we were getting low…sooo, we pick up our 40% off chicken and buy one get two free items and proceed to checkout.
There is a woman ahead of us with a child about 4 years old. The woman, I couldn’t help but notice….had beautiful fingernails, clearly professionally done…and I also noticed her brand new IPHONE…which she was talking on, and I think that is rude while you are being checked out. Her little girl was commenting on the TWO live lobsters in a bag on the checkout, asked if it was going to hurt when they get cooked, her mom brushed her off…at that time I took a look at what else she had on the counter…A HUGE roast, sirloin tips, shrimp, beef ribs and pork ribs…only the prime cuts… I thought to myself….mmmmmm someone is having a yummy dinner and must have a great job as I could not afford these things (not that I’d get my nails done anyway)….
So…the cashier gives her a total and what does she pull out of her wallet but a BENEFIT card!!!!!!! I had all I could do to contain myself…
In response to her story, dozens of people posted comments. Quite a few people said that they had seen similar things where they lived.
And the truth is that food stamps are accepted just about wherever you look these days. Just check out this shocking article: “Obama’s food-stamp nation: ‘We accept EBT’ signs are everywhere”.
When Obama entered office in January 2009 there were 31,939,110 Americans receiving food stamps. As of November 2012—the most recent data available—there were 47,692,896 Americans enrolled, an increase of 49.3 percent.
The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven’t proved they are eligible to receive them.
So what is the solution to all of this?
Well, what we really need are a lot more jobs, but in the State of the Union address last night Obama simply rehashed a lot of the same tired proposals that he and our former presidents have been promoting for years.
If we continue to do the same things that we have been doing, we are going to continue to get the same results.
There is a reason why the percentage of the civilian labor force in the United States that is employed has been steadily declining every single year since 2006. We keep pursuing foolish policies, and those policies are steadily destroying our economy.
For example, Barack Obama says that we need even more “free trade agreements” and that we need to integrate our economy into the emerging one world economic system even more deeply.
But as I have shown in article after article, the “free trade” agenda of the global elite has resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of U.S. businesses and millions of good paying U.S. jobs.
And of course Obama once promised that he would never “rest” until he had fixed our employment problems, but that hasn’t exactly been the truth either. The following is from a recent article by Dan Gainor…
Back in 2009, the president promised never to “rest” until the job situation was fixed. Nearly four years later, he’s done a lot of resting.
According to The Weekly Standard, Pres. Obama has had 83 vacation days overall and Factcheck.org says he took 26 of those in 2009. That means the president has taken at least 57 vacation days since his vow not to “rest.”
But what will happen someday when the safety net breaks and all of those welfare programs start getting cut back dramatically?
What kind of riots will we see in major U.S. cities when the international community insists that the U.S. implement its own version of “austerity” in response to a massive debt crisis?
Will we eventually end up just like Greece and Spain or even worse?
“Will we eventually end up just like Greece and Spain or even worse?
Yes. It’s already baked into the $900 cake privleged progressives and neocons eat.
None of this will get fixed until everything comes crashing down.
The next radicals are going to make one rough, unforgiving, anti-progressive, anti-neocon generation. That, too, is baked in that $900 cake.
Too bad I likely won’t be around to see it (starting about the year 2035, with an increasingly punitive, soul-crushing society eventually leading to the nationwide revolt). I’d enjoy it immensely.
I’d especially enjoy seeing the landscape-changing tort reform that will be enacted.
“Will we eventually end up just like Greece and Spain or even worse?”
I dunno, all I know is I’m having a ball watching the Repub party as it currently exists crumble to kingdom come. Lol, they’ve made Boobio the “spokespanic”. Heckuva job, Boobie!
“I dunno, all I know is I’m having a ball watching the Repub party as it currently exists crumble to kingdom come.”
Yes, thank God we have these brilliant people from the Dems leading us. Now what were you saying about HARP 5?
I like the lists this guy puts together, but usually it’s stuff like this. A jumble of things put together that ends with him running down the hall pulling out his hair. A good example of the Professional Threat Inflation Complex.
There is a woman ahead of us with a child about 4 years old. The woman, I couldn’t help but notice….had beautiful fingernails, clearly professionally done…and I also noticed her brand new IPHONE…which she was talking on, and I think that is rude while you are being checked out. Her little girl was commenting on the TWO live lobsters in a bag on the checkout, asked if it was going to hurt when they get cooked, her mom brushed her off…at that time I took a look at what else she had on the counter…A HUGE roast, sirloin tips, shrimp, beef ribs and pork ribs…only the prime cuts… I thought to myself…
The anecdote feeds the meme.
The meme has legs.
The meme runs.
The meme trips and falls flat on its face.
Must have been “a few years ago…”, because unless she had twelve kids, the cost of two live lobsters and a prime rib roast exceeds the monthly EBC benefit anymore.
Hasn’t anyone here ever been a supermarket cashier or at least know one personally?
My first p/t job while going to HS/college was a supermarket cashier in a crappy neighborhood in NYC in 1970; I saw this quite often. I guess nothing’s new.
I was a clerk in a supermarket in the 1960s. This was after 1964, in the suburbs of Pittsburgh yet I never saw any food stamps at all.
Come to think of it we didn’t sell any lobster either.
“the cost of two live lobsters and a prime rib roast exceeds the monthly EBC benefit anymore.”
I dunno anything about that, ahansen, but I would wager that the monthly EBC benefit doesn’t come close to covering the cost of Michelle’s $900 cake.
I didn’t know that Lady Michelle also is a Princess. I mean, who knew?
BTW, that aside, go get yourself a book called “The Nine Nations of the United States”. Circa 1980-ish. I think you’d find it fascinating.
I remember in SC people would go in and buy a candy bar with $1 food stamp get back 75 cents in change walk out the store then come back in and buy a beer….
The theory was once you walked out of the store and came back in you were another customer with cash to spend.
Get a grip, Mac. The guy’s the President of the United States, he and his wife are millionaires, and they get to go out to a nice dinner every now and then. What’s it to you what they spend on their Valentines Day gift to each other?
Dinner was a 20 course tasting menu with wine pairings. $225/person plus another $75-200 for the wine pairings. Expensive, but not outrageous considering the restaurant and the fact that dinner for two at the WH probably approaches the same amount when one takes into consideration the salaries, bennies, pensions for chef, purchasing, vetting, service personnel etc.
Assuming mid-range $120 for wine pairings, dinner comes to $345/person. Hate to tell you this, but that’s pretty standard for a Michelin-rated restaurant anywhere on the planet; $1000/person (not including wines) isn’t all that unusual. Add 20% tip, 10% DC dining tax, and dinner for two comes to about $910.
What did you get YOUR wife for Valentine’s Day? A new box of ammo?
PS. Read Nine Nations about 30 years ago when it came out. Astute and prescient work.
The Nine Nations of North America by Joel Garreau. Here’s the link to the wiki page:
http://en dot wikipedia dot org/wiki/The_Nine_Nations_of_North_America
Forget about the meme. THe facts are the facts. ~ 50 Million on food stamps. Cut the program off. End it complete. The people will find work or generous concerned people like goon squad and ahansen and others will make up the difference with charitable contributions. Heck you might even get “I should pay more taxes” Obama and Buffett to contribute.
What a joy it must be to live free of guilt and values.
You must be deliriously happy. I envy you.
What a joy it must be to live free of guilt and values.
The government will take care of it.
I don’t have to do anything.
Except vote for the guy who will give away the most free cheese.
Doing God’s work.
The typical limousine liberal.
I don’t have to give any of my talent, time or treasure.
Yeah - you won’t get it.
You 2 nutjob loons… go get a room.
This idea comes up every so often. When organizations like the Salvation Army are asked about the generally say that there already doing all that they can and would not be able to take care of the needs that would exist if food stamps were eliminated.
“Professional Threat Inflation Complex”
Love it. Saw you post it last week.
Professional Threat Industrial Complex?
Professional Logical Fallacy Industrial Complex?
If you can buy lobster with Food Stamps, and still make it through the month, it probably means you have substantial unreported income. So it’s more complicated than “welfare is better than working”.
Eventually, we will have to acknowledge deflation and a lower standard of “poverty”.
Here’s an example:
‘We need to do more to help American families cope with this looming retirement crisis,” Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, said at a hearing late last month. “Hardworking Americans deserve to be able to rest, take a vacation and spend more time with their grandkids when they get older.’
Then they follow it with the tear jerking:
‘James G. Marzano, 60, was on his way to a comfortable retirement when he lost his job at a telecommunications firm in 2002. “People talk about a lost decade; that’s what I’ve been through,” he said.’
‘Marzano, a Tampa resident who is married to a retail worker and has a son who is a high school senior, spent most of the past decade in and out of contract jobs and other posts that paid far less than he was used to. He was forced to dip into his 401(k) account to make ends meet, and even now that he has found a good job, he says, his savings is maybe 60 percent of what it was 10 years ago.’
“If everything had stayed status quo from 2002 until 2012, I might be doing what I wanted to do today,” he said. “But, as it stands, I am nowhere near ready to retire.”
OK, here’s how I see it. This situation has been coming at us for decades. It’s no ‘crisis’, but how the system is set up.
If you read the story, all this “wealth” magically disappeared a few years ago. Hey WP, that wasn’t wealth, it was the housing bubble. Sure, millions were counting on the house for retirement. Who pushed that idea, huh?
Back to the PTIC, when some politician starts talking about a “crisis”, hold on to your wallet.
If ifs and buts were fruits and nuts, we’d all be doing what we wanted today.
60 yo and he didn’t learn the lessons of the last 35 years?
You can’t fix that kind of stupid.
Odd you should say that.
“If everything had stayed status quo from 2002 until 2012…”
Sure and if the buggy whip business would not have dipped, my grandfather would have been rich. When has any economy not changed in a decade or so?
In the photo he looks to be 20 - 25 lbs overweight. That must help with his health care cost. (I don’t intend to be mean. But so many people simply take no responsibility for their health or finances or whatever then share their sob story.)
Live in boyfriend can provide extra money. Or not.
“Live in boyfriend can provide extra money”
Here, let me fix that for you:
Live in boyfriend can provide BABY that can provide extra money. Boyfriend then can leave.
“Live in boyfriend can provide BABY that can provide extra money. Boyfriend then can leave.”
+1 LOL! You must be from California.
When I heard about the nails I wondered if she was a ho (street class or escort version). Or maybe she fences stolen property, or her husband is the local drug dealer. The % of the population w/undeclared income is probably quite sizable. They could easily collect food stamps while enjoying a nice cushion of discretionary income.
snowgirl ya know that’s racist asking a minority about their nails, extensions, and how they can afford that I phone……when applying for benefits.
ahhh the joys of political correctness.
Or more likely, this hypothetical “she” does nails out of her house to supplement that extravagant $130/month she gets for food. And maybe her husband is a disabled vet. Or maybe this meme is just mean-spirited race/class-baiting to keep the conversation off the real issues?
If painted fingernails are a sign of prostitution, that doesn’t speak well for New Jersey.
why cant you just accept the fact many many minorities really do steal benefits, and no one will even ask basic common sense questions, for fear of being called a racist.
“snowgirl ya know that’s racist asking a minority about their nails….ahhh the joys of political correctness.”
Her race was not revealed. Until the writer mentioned pork ribs (bah dump ba!) Is that better?
Where I live it’s the white people who steal benefits and the “minorities” who hold the professional-caliber positions. Why can’t you just accept the fact that arseholes come in all colors?
mean-spirited race/class-baiting to keep the conversation off the real issues?
Exactly. Has anyone explained how they could afford such a meal on food stamps?
That’s because it’s made up.
“Eventually, we will have to acknowledge deflation and a lower standard of “poverty”.
So it’s more complicated than “welfare is better than working”.
Correct. It’s more like “welfare + cheating is better than just working”. And it’s been established that it would cost more to catch the cheats than the money that would be saved. But facts are not relevant to ideologues.
Thats why my plan is to force them into attending English and Math classes 25 hrs a week, to get any benefits….it would put a serious damper on outside activities, plus they would have to do something for the money.
The problem with that is that many SNAP recipients do have Lucky Ducky jobs. If you force them (and there are millions of them) to attend your precious classes then they will have to quit their lucky ducky jobs and will need even more welfare $$$.
Also keep in mind that in flyover most SNAP recipients don’t speak Ebonics. They tend to be poor white trash.
They speak Tea-bonics?
People using SNAP can buy whatever they want that is on the approved list. Meat is one of those things.
What they can’t do is change the budget they are given, so if they run out before the end of the month, too bad for them.
And a family of 5 gets $400+ dollars a month. You can’t buy a lot of prime rib with that.
I know more than a few families who rely on SNAP. Lots of peanut butter and bologna on their dinner tables. Steaks and lobster … not so much.
Why should anyone on food stamps be allowed to buy ANY prime rib????
Why do Exxon, GE, AIG…., get handouts?
go after the real cheaters!
not the single moms.
Excellent, bananas. I approve. You are, once again, arguing in favor of strict regulations on the businesses that sell to customers that use food stamps. This will cost the stores that act as a distribution chain for the government benefit quite a bit of money to implement, but no matter. The job creators are making record profits, so they should be glad to contribute some of that profit to implementing the restrictions on the use of SNAP benefits.
Oh, and we will be hiring a bunch of government employees to write the new regulations. I’m sure it will end up being a bit more complicated than “no prime rib and no lobster.” I’m sure you’ll be delighted to know you are paying for their salaries.
Please do your part by contacting your Congress critters and telling them that if they decline to pass the law that authorizes the new regulations, that you will raise enough money to be able to guarantee their next opponent wins their seat, no matter how much money the grocery stores or the food producers/manufacturers give them for voting against it. Get cracking. You are going to have to raise millions upon millions of bucks.
Polly did you read one of the comments that any fish or meat over a preset limit say $5 a pound wont be paid for by FS?
So would that violate any laws would the ACLU beatch about it? I think all the Americans Not on FS would agree with this minor restriction.
Maybe couple that with adding $50 month for fresh fruits and veggies in a use it or lose it each month scenario.
It isn’t interesting when you say it, dj. We all know you are the strongest advocate for huge government on the board - by a very large margin.
It is interesting when bananas decides to come out for big government.
And you don’t really think that the only rule bananas would want would be to restrict meat to less than $5 a pound. Do you? What about candy? Soda? Chips? Bread that costs more than $x a loaf? Do you base the restriction on the regular price or the sale price? On the price before coupons or the price after any coupons? The variations are endless.
“So would that violate any laws would the ACLU beatch about it? I think all the Americans Not on FS would agree with this minor restriction.”
I think even people ON food stamps would agree. They’re all trying to make that allowance last. Except for this mythical ethnic chick with blue fingernails and her limitless SNAP card.
“Maybe couple that with adding $50 month for fresh fruits and veggies in a use it or lose it each month scenario.”
From a national health standpoint, probably not a bad idea.
I’m surprised at you polly its not that big a deal…change the barcode 1 number then its eligible for FS and its under that $5 lb. limit…and place a sign over the meat its on sale and eligible
Easy to do maybe 5-10 minutes to reprogram the bar code scanner to register the new price and hand write a new sign….just 1 of a hundred items on sale that week…
You really have no idea how the food industry works, do you? It is a huge business. Just change a code on the packaging? Really? Just reprogram the computer? Times hundreds or thousands of retailers? Times how many producers? Times how many businesses that make the packaging? And what about sales and coupons? Why $5 a pound? What if the healthier meat is more expensive?
This would cost the various layers of the food industry millions upon millions of dollars. And require quite a cadre of government employees to implement.
Why $5 lb…my local store had hamburger for $4.19 and steaks at $4.99 last week that’s why…
Whats it to change a few items that are FRESH meat and fish from the deli? geez polly just make sure people on FS cant buy expensive meats and fish. Some people just have to be told strongly this is not for you.
Of course today i bought almost 20lbs of hamburger at $2.59 lb for the freezer
PS they wont release any information on what Food stamp and EBT card users spend their money on.
PPS then there wont be anyone buying lobster with FS and ending this scenario once and for all….that must be worth something.
Where do you get the money to buy this?
“Why $5 lb…my local store had hamburger for $4.19 and steaks at $4.99 last week that’s why…”
Thank you. It helps when you illustrate why your ideas are so stupid clearly and with your “reasoning” (such as it is) behind you.
Comment by Avocado
Why do Exxon, GE, AIG…., get handouts?
go after the real cheaters! not the single moms.
Whatever Exxon, GE, AIG get in “handout” pales compare to what they pay in taxes, excise, payroll, property, what the shareholders pay on dividends, etc…Complaining about that is like complaining the “rich” get tax breaks. Yes you have to pay taxes to get tax breaks.
By “single” moms you must mean unwed moms.
Whatever Exxon, GE, AIG get in “handout” pales compare to what they pay in taxes
You mean like the zero income tax bill that GE pays, in spite of making billions in profit every year?
Taxes are for the little people.
“And a family of 5 gets $400+ dollars a month.”
We’re a family of four that regularly spend $1200/month. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, chicken and turkey, but no red meat. Honey, not sugar. Real maple syrup. Costco almond butter, Futters hazelnut spread, etc., no processed junk.
Globe and Mail - Vancouver housing have-nots struggle with sticker shock:
“If doctors and lawyers can’t afford the high price of Vancouver real estate, what does that say about the social landscape? It used to be that the professional class was the first to own homes as soon as they landed their career jobs. When it comes to the dwindling middle class, it isn’t east versus west anymore, or white collar versus blue collar. Simply put, the great divide is home ownership, and because it’s largely a question of circumstance, it’s ticking people off. You could inherit money, or borrow money from your parents or grandparents, which is now the way for young first-time buyers in Vancouver. Or, if you are lucky enough to land a high-paying job, you could scrape together a down payment for your first purchase, although that could take years, especially if you have kids along the way.”
What are the….
THE GEORGIA GUIDESTONES?
Ask Alex Jones, he’ll tell you.
I only know Ben Jones I don`t know Alex Jones.
‘I only know Ben Jones I don`t know Alex Jones.’
That reminds me of when I first went off to college outside of my smallish home town college. (To major in real estate, BIG mistake). I had previously met this guy who owned a restaurant with the last name of Patel. Then at the new school, this student in one class also had the last name Patel. When I found out, I asked him, “hey are you related to” etc. He politely said it was a common last name. But I was insistent; “are you sure? I mean, what are the odds that you might be related?” Later on I found out how common that surname is. Now when someone says “do you know so-and-so Jones?” I point out that there are a lot of us and we’re not all related.
There is a very succesful well known man with the same last name as me. We are not related.
There is a very large privately-held corporation with the same last name as me.
Unfortunately, I believe the relation is far too distant to be valuable.
“What are the….
THE GEORGIA GUIDESTONES?”
I already had DA.
1. MAINTAIN HUMANITY UNDER 500,000,000 IN PERPETUAL BALANCE WITH NATURE
2. GUIDE REPRODUCTION WISELY - IMPROVING FITNESS AND DIVERSITY
3. UNITE HUMANITY WITH A LIVING NEW LANGUAGE
4. RULE PASSION - FAITH - TRADITION - AND ALL THINGS WITH TEMPERED REASON
5. PROTECT PEOPLE AND NATIONS WITH FAIR LAWS AND JUST COURTS
6. LET ALL NATIONS RULE INTERNALLY RESOLVING EXTERNAL DISPUTES IN A WORLD COURT
7. AVOID PETTY LAWS AND USELESS OFFICIALS
8. BALANCE PERSONAL RIGHTS WITH SOCIAL DUTIES
9. PRIZE TRUTH - BEAUTY - LOVE- SEEKING HARMONY WITH THE INFINITE
10. BE NOT A CANCER ON THE EARTH - LEAVE ROOM FOR NATURE - LEAVE ROOM FOR NATURE
By scoffing at global warming?
Cantankerous, I know you belittle gold, and don’t even seem to consider it as insurance, which is how I consider gold. Price near $1600 per ounce, and I am emotionally wanting to buy, but the first week of each month is my gold buying time. I figure summers usually are when gold price falls. If the repeat occurs this year, we may see gold at $1400 or so for several weeks. Instead of five one quarter oz American Eagles, I will buy six per month if gold hovers around $1400 spot.
“…don’t even seem to consider it as insurance…”
I never said that. In contradiction to your statement, insurance is one of the few reasons I can think of to own gold.
But I believe there are far cheaper forms of insurance now that ‘everyone’ (including my 12-year-old son) thinks of gold as the insurance of choice against financial Armageddon.
It’s kind of like the story of my friend and colleague, a professional scientist, who bought an investment condo to get his wife, a school teacher, off his back, because she was sure that now is the time to buy condos.
When people with no expertise whatever, like my 12-year-old son or my friend’s school teacher wife, are convinced in the wisdom of investing in particular asset classes, it’s time to sell.
That said, your “dollar cost averaging” approach to gradually accumulate gold seems reasonable, provided it doesn’t eventually revert to price levels of a decade ago.
Where I believe many amateur speculators are highly confused at the moment is in their steadfast conviction that central bank money printing activities will somehow spin out of control, driving the gold price skyward.
My reading of the MSM tea leaves is quite different than this. For one thing, it appears to me that rather than taking actions to keep the lid on gold prices, central banks generally are engaged in an effort to artificially support its price. If you understand this, then you realize that going long into gold is a bet that central bank price supports will either continue indefinitely, or else that the price will stay high due to fundamental demand once central bank price supports are withdrawn — quite a different picture than the standard inflation panic-based paradigm of typical gold investors.
I present the evidence:
Central Bank Gold Demand Hits 48-Year-High In 2012: World Gold Council
BY Moran Zhang | February 14 2013 8:31 AM
Central banks last year added the most gold to reserves in almost a half century and will likely remain an important force in the gold market in 2013, the World Gold Council said Thursday.
“We think this trend is going to continue,” Marcus Grubb, managing director for investment at the World Gold Council, said by phone from London. “Although you are seeing some improving sentiment around equity markets and some rotation back to risky assets on the hope of better growth this year, especially in the U.S., central banks are still buying gold because they are concerned about quantitative easing and low interest rate policies, which are what are fueling the economic growth.”
Central banks boosted purchases by 29 percent to 145 metric tons in the fourth quarter of 2012, an eighth successive quarter of net buying, the London-based industry group said. In the full year, central bank bought 534.6 tons of the precious metal – the most since 1964.
Net purchases by central banks accounted for 12 percent of overall demand in 2012, compared with a 10 percent share in 2011. That’s also higher than the average of a four percent share over the past five years.
Last year, central bank net purchases surpassed certain investment categories of demand. For 2012, total demand for ETFs was 279 tons, while central bank demand was 535 tons.
“Central banks are now buying more gold than ETF investors, which is a very startling result,” Grubb said. “Even though demand for bars and coins was down last year, the bar and coin market worldwide was still 1,259 tons, so central banks would have to really go for it to equal bar and coin demand.”
It’s also good to bear in mind that Ben Bernanke’s mortal fear is deflation, not inflation. Propping up the gold price to offset perceptions that deflation is taking hold would be a natural course of action for the Fed to take after a collapse of fundamental-based demand.
The wild card is what will happen to gold and other asset prices once measures to artificially prop them up are eventually withdrawn. Of course, another possibility is that asset prices will remain artificially propped up for the long run, until we are all dead.
Yeah I agree. I have one advantage of being born in the 50s. Vivid memories of the gold bubble burst in 1980 and that of silver. The jury is out on whether we will not come out of this loose money cycle. I am a student of market cycles, hence my bias toward stock mutual funds. My colleague laughs at my dollar cost averaging habit. To him I asked how come he did not go long on the market March of 2009. Crickets. I say the same for my AAZAX -Arizona Municipal Bond fund. All cyclic. Been. Using monthly into that fund for more than eleven years. That means 132 buys T various share prices and Arizona tax free income all along the way. Interest rates rising? Bring it on! My NAV is pretty tight and my income reinvested.
BiLA — thanks for the stimulating discussion, and I hope you continue to stay liquid and diversified. For the record I really see nothing wrong with including gold as part of a diversified portfolio, and would do so myself if I had more free after-tax cash flow after paying for children, gasoline, food, etc. Given my own situation, I can’t see reducing tax-deferred savings in order to free up heavily taxed income to buy gold.
You’re welcome Cantankerous. I likewise enjoy your posts.
Have to admit that the paycheck for this week’s pay period will be “iffy.” My tax advantage ended. My agent is giving me a new contract to sign and I should see it Monday morning. Occasionally he would through a few bucks at me to encourage me to stay. Not sure if it’s going to happen this time. My rent’s gone up 12%. My insurance has gone up. And taxes going up. So what I have left to buy gold is just enough for two more $2,000 batches. After that it’s my other investments.
You libtard leftist progressives won’t take our guns without a fight, first in the State and Federal legislatures and the courts, and if that fails, in the streets.
You think you know what the 2nd Amendment is for? You think you can dictate our means to protect life and liberty from criminals and tyrants? You’ve got a war coming, and you’re not prepared. You’ve let others defend the ramparts in your place, let others sacrifice in your stead. You’ve written off firearms and the 2nd Amendment as the last bastion of “Tea-billies” and back-country, uneducated hicks. And for that, you will pay a dear price.
This country was founded in the violence of armed revolution and the blood of patriots… and that idea still lives. In point of fact it gets stronger every time you try and tighten the noose of tyranny around our necks.
Sandy hook dad you`ll have to take my guns from my cold dead hands
Henson Ong at Gun Violence Prevention Public Hearing - Hartford, CT
Gilberton Borough Council adopts 2nd Amendment Preservation
The left is going to learn what ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ means the hard way…
Here’s what the gun-grabbers in our legislature are up to:
“Colorado Democratic lawmakers have proposed bills that limit ammunition magazines to 15 rounds; repeal a law allowing people with concealed-carry permits to have firearms on college or university campuses; require background checks for all gun transactions; and impose a fee on gun purchases to cover the state’s costs for background checks.”
Thank you to all the coastal elitist f*cks who moved here from NY and CA and are trying to expand the nanny-state policies of the Peoples’ Republic of Boulder to oppress the rest of us.
I agree that my current home state is a political sewer but I’m having a hard time believing equity locusts’ are the main source of Colorado’s problems.
I don’t know if it’s “equity locusts”, but the people who have moved here over the last couple of decades have definitely added a lot of blue to CO. Once you get more than a few miles from the interstates most of the rest of CO isn’t that different from Wyoming, so most of the change is due to the growth of the Front Range. I think most of that growth has come from other states.
Yeah! They already went after my pseudoephed! !
Over 65 million guns have been purchased in America since Obamarx was elected in 2008. The genie is out of the bottle. We patriots will not be disarmed.
We will not settle for less firepower than the State, for that would undermine the 2A and make it futile to defend against tyranny.
Yesterday I posted how impressed I was at the CCW class in Phoenix. Eleven out of twenty three students were women, four of them appeared to be in their twenties. Women generally prefer security to freedom. Well a as the gun instructor said, guns are the equalizer. Pro RKBA types should work this issue and take advantage of women’s inclination for security to draw them to become uncompromising 2A proponents.
I think you guys are reading too much into this high capacity magazine ban and the billions of rounds of hollow points purchased by DHS and the Black Hawk helicopters training in U.S. cities.
Nothing to see here folks.
Now back to your regularly scheduled episode of “Ow! My Balls”
Like I said, they won’t take our guns, even our “scary looking” guns. It is too late. Dozens of millions of people will not turn in any guns that are not registered.
We are not “reading too much” into this. Check the senate agenda for late February. Feinstein is going to push for gun grabbing legislation in the U.S. Senate. The article I posted predicts it will die in the Senate.
When I get my CCW I will buy more guns at my dealer for my collection. They will not be registered with BATF. Loading up on more ammo too.
I think Hazard’s post was TIC.
Also, there are times to shout from the rooftops and times not to imo. No sense in signing up for the early stages of ‘whack-a-mole’.
Yeah I caught the sarcasm later. As for “whack-a-mole” there should be a constant reminder that the 2A is the fourth check on the government as the forefathers intended. The ragtag militias were the ones who defeated the big government opposition. To sweep this under the rug and stay quiet would not be taken as a ploy to make people forget their role as the final guarantor of our individual liberty.
It will change, Bill. And for the better. And not for another 20-30 years. How bad the melee becomes will depend on how bad things get in the meantime.
Note that even on HBB, you are starting to see people from different ideological views/bents beginning to agree that things are getting out of hand.
People are mad at 2A rights being attacked, they are mad about military harrassment on their privately-owned land, they are mad about drones being used to assassinate individuals. They are mad about government forcing them to buy things they do not want. They are mad about immigration. They are mad about government-backed housing scams. (Recall that government = housing).
All have in common an inapproporiate use or extension of force by government.
Hopefully, there will be no violence when the ideological correction comes in 20-30 years.
The military swears to uphold The Constitution, not the government. The latter two are not one and the same as is being proven repeatedly today.
Your progressive/neocon government doesn’t particularly like the Constitution.
Let’s hope the military takes its pledge to uphold the Constitution seriously. Upon the day you find it does not, it is time to leave.
Faux news neocon lady newscaster tsk-tsked L.A. demonstrators protesting the heavy-handed tactics used in the hunt and death of Christopher Dornan. Lady at L.A. fitness yesterday morning was gung ho LE but gasped when I told her about the innocent Torrance women who were wounded critically by the LAPD. when you show the cops don’t care about protecting innocents the neocons quiet down. When you show the dumbocraps that the cops are not obligated legally to protect citizens, they laugh. At least they know it is an argument in favor of 2A. My saying is the GP need to be armed with at least the same firepower of LE. maybe more power.
Note that even on HBB, you are starting to see people from different ideological views/bents beginning to agree that things are getting out of hand
We have almost nothing in common with the Southern, Christian, the Earth is only 6,000 years old, we have to destroy the world to save Israel crowd.
And we have as little in common with the New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC coastal elitist, libtard bedwetters that run this country’s media.
The reaction from the mostly liberal posters here to any protest about the erosion of the 2nd Amendment and destruction of the Constitution is quite sickening.
The R-aligned may flail and wail about unions and obamaphones and other distractions, but we’re on board with complete and total opposition to the gun-grabber, nanny-state, disarmament of the USA citizenry that is now proceeding along the same path that led to a million Turkish minorities killed, 6 million European Jews killed, 20 million Russians killed.
Dianne Feinstein can go f*ck herself. So can Michael Bloomberg.
We read and post here for the discussion.
But we read HERE for real resources and information:
From my point of view, I too have nothing in common with southern people who are coddling Israel and would blow up the whole world to save a tiny nation for their flying spaghetti monster ideology. I have nothing in common with those “law and order types” who look the other way when LAPD shoots and injures two innocent little hispanic women, mistaking them for a 270 lb black ex-cop. I have nothing in common with those who prefer to give up a little freedom for more nanny state.
Yep, they’re goin’ take away our guns.
Any day now. Any day now. Yep, any day now. Just you wait and see.
Any. Day. Now.
Registration. Confiscation. Extermination.
The same formula for every tyrant in history.
What registration? You can buy guns over the counter, no questions asked, at just about any gun show.
As long as you do not buy from a firearms dealer there is no registration. I buy from firearms dealers that are credible. CCW Is no biggie for me. I have TSA Pre check, plus a clearance for work, and both require investigation and reinvestigation.
No drug problems, no lockups in funny farms, no felonies, no domestic violence, did not renounce my U.S. citizenship. My only strike against me is that I would repeat what the founding fathers encouraged future Americans to do, and that is fight against tyranny, when we all had enough of big government. If civil disobedience won’t cut it, we will use Castle Doctrine against any thug, whether a privat thug or government thug, who threatens our lives or thse of our family. But again, this is what the founders wanted us to do.
We stood by and let them do that to our pseudoephed, all talk!
And blowhards are going to be mightily surprised when they pull one of those guns on a federal officer….
Or when blowhards call in to report government planes flying over their privately owned land…
False equivalency, but don’t let that trouble you. I wasn’t idiot enough to threaten to shoot them down if they tried it again, and I had the balls not to hide behind my anonymously on a blog when I confronted them.
Suggest you chest-beaters consider the implications before you start threatening agents of the federal government with gun violence. They tend to take that sort of thing seriously, and it generally doesn’t work out all that well for the antagonist.
They tend to take that sort of thing seriously
So seriously, in fact, that they had to burn Chris Dorner alive.
Remember Ruby Ridge?
“…they had to burn Chris Dorner alive.”
For the record, that was the LAPD, not the feds, right?
LAPD. But they had 20 years to learn from Waco. They learn very slow.
For the record, FBI, CIA, NSA, ATF, Fish and Game, and who-know-what-other-three-letter-federal-agencies were all involved in the manhunt and incineration of Christopher Dornan.
Like I said, it generally doesn’t work out all that well for the antagonist. You might want to calm your rhetoric a bit….
I think tactically, what they did was flawless. You have a highly trained, motivated opponent who is trying to kill as many of your men as possible. You set up a siege, someone accidentally exposes himself, and another family loses a father or mother. So you want to end it fast. The only way to get the opponent out of the house or dead quickly is to burn it down. It’s really quite simple.
However, I did empathize with Dorner. His manifesto was fascinating. I read all of it. Well written. He sounded like a forum poster. Except instead of being a nerd, he was a combat-trained former military guy in a massively powerful body. He seemed like a mission-oriented guy. But, a little like a martinent too. One thing that came up in interviews with associates was that he was stubborn, very stubborn.
Something broke in his brain. Losing the clearance, losing his reputation was doubtless devastating for someone like him. But you pick up and move on once you lose. Make the best of your life. He stewed in it. Plus he admitted he was severely depressed since the firing and hoped that researchers could examine his brain if possible.
His killing of the girl and her fiance was unforgivable. His manifesto was his suicide note. I felt certain, Charlie Sheen notwithstanding, that seppuku was the foregone conclusion. He knew he was broken. He did brutal, unforgivable things, but even in the midst of his passion and madness, moments from death, he could show some compassion to a man and his dog, whom he carjacked.
It was just a sh-tty situation all around. It ended the only way it could.
Masked intruders raid Greek gold mining company
BY COSTAS KANTOURIS
SKOURIES, Greece (AP) - About 40 masked attackers raided the facilities of a prospective gold mine in northern Greece overnight Sunday, setting machinery and offices alight, authorities said.
There has long been opposition to the prospect of a gold mine and processing plant being built at Skouries in the Halkidiki peninsula, with some residents objecting to what they say will be the destruction of the environment and of pristine forest in the area, leading to the loss of tourism and other local activities such as farming, the rearing of livestock and fishing.
The mining company, Hellas Gold, is 95 percent owned by Canadian mining company Eldorado Gold Inc. The Greek government has been eager for the foreign investment as it struggles through a deep financial crisis. But the dispute has led to frequent protests in the area, with tear gas and firebombs used and residents trading accusations with the company about heavy-handed reactions and the use of violence.
Democrats have already floated the idea of nationalizing 401ks and all private retirement funds in America.
It will eventually be the only way to keep the American government solvent while still maintaining the massive entitlement bribes to the democrat core voters and illegal voters.
At least for a little while. This money will also be burned through pretty quickly. But it will help win an election cycle or two.
And it will be only fair.
You didn’t earn, sacrifice and save that.
Argentina Stiffs Pensioners
The-American-Interest - 02/15/2013 - Walter Russell
In November Mr Bossio responded that the agency had used the “majority” of its funds to provide pensions to people who lacked them altogether, and that it could not afford to help the neediest Argentines if it paid all retroactive claims. [...]
[Kirchner] has since turned ANSES into something of a public slush fund. In the past four years the treasury has sold the agency over $10 billion of bonds at paltry interest rates. The president has used the proceeds to fund popular projects, such as low-income housing, infrastructure and transfers to poor families with children.
“Democrats have already floated the idea of nationalizing 401ks and all private retirement funds in America.”
Another typically dumb idea floated by Dumbocrats…
Well, somebody has to pay for the insane benefits and pensions of the public unions of Philadelphia. The democrats in power (for the last 60 years) are not going to touch them.
Lord help you if you own property or a business in Philly. You have a bulls eye on your back.
A Shaken Tax Landscape
Philadelphia Inquirer | 02/05/2013 | Troy Graham and Dylan Purcell
The politicians and analysts have been talking for more than a year about the potential winners and losers from Mayor Nutter’s property tax reform, and now the lines have been drawn.
The results of a citywide reassessment key to Nutter’s Actual Value Initiative (AVI) were released Friday, and the data confirm some long-held expectations - wealthier, fast-changing neighborhoods are facing stiff increases, and many large commercial properties will see big drops in their bills.
Some hikes are jaw-dropping. Three condominiums in Rittenhouse Square, each valued at $71,000 last year, were assessed at more than $4 million - a change that could add more than $50,000 to each of their tax bills.
Neighborhoods such as Queen Village, Bella Vista, Fairmount, and University City face the worst of it. All are likely to see tax bills on the median home go up by more than $1,000.
It amounts to a massive redistribution of the city’s property tax burden, and the stakes for both homeowners and politicians could be enormous. Scrutiny of the data will be intense.
Councilman Mark Squilla, whose First District in South Philadelphia is facing the biggest tax increases, received a briefing on AVI’s impact on his area last week.
“It was,” he said, “horrible.”
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who like Squilla is serving his first term, also has a district in South Philadelphia, Southwest Center City, and Southwest Philadelphia, all facing some “glaring increases.”
He would like to blunt those blows. “Contrary to popular belief, these aren’t rich constituents,” he said.
“Some hikes are jaw-dropping. Three condominiums in Rittenhouse Square, each valued at $71,000 last year, were assessed at more than $4 million”
Does anyone on this blog believe this crazy story?
The reason the mortgage interest deduction doesn’t cost much is that it mainly benefits the super-rich with $1 million in mortgage debt, where deductible interest swamps out the standard deduction.
I repeat my frequently asked question: Why should taxpayers in flyover country be forced to subsidize luxury home purchases by millionaires who can afford to live on the coasts?
POPULAR WRITE-OFF COSTS FEDS LESS THAN BELIEVED
By U-T San Diego
12:01 a.m. Feb. 17, 2013
Updated 6:46 p.m. Feb. 15, 2013
In the contentious debate over whether to reduce or eliminate the home-mortgage interest tax deduction — or leave it alone — one fact has been virtually unchallenged: The popular write-off used by millions of American owners costs the government massive amounts of revenue, somewhere in the range of $100 billion a year.
This adds to the federal deficit and debt, and has ranked the deduction high on the hit list of most tax reformers’ agendas, including the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles deficit commission’s plan. President Barack Obama himself called for limiting it throughout his first term in office, and ran on a platform to pare down its costs in his re-election campaign. The compromise congressional tax package that ended the “fiscal cliff” crisis Jan. 2 also contained a limitation on the mortgage write-off, targeted at high-income taxpayers.
But hold on. How much does allowing owners to deduct the interest they pay on their home loans really cost the government? Congress’ technical experts on the subject have come up with new estimates that should figure into congressional deliberations expected this year on overhauling the federal tax code. Their findings: The mortgage write-off costs tens of billions of dollars less than the government previously believed.
One day after the Internal Revenue Service released its latest instructions for homeowners on claiming the mortgage-interest write-off for the upcoming tax season, the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation published revised estimates indicating that because of changes in the economy and tax legislation, the cost of the deduction for fiscal 2013 will be $69.7 billion.
That’s a dramatic reduction from the committee’s own earlier numbers. In a projection released in January 2010, it said the cost of the mortgage write-off in fiscal 2013 would hit an all-time high of $134.7 billion. Under the revised estimates, costs will slowly rise into the $70 billion-plus range over the coming several years and will only exceed $80 billion in fiscal 2017, when they hit $83.4 billion.
Sure, these are all eye-glazing, monstrous numbers. And there’s no question that mortgage write-offs can be criticized for being skewed toward wealthier owners, especially in higher-cost markets on the West and East coasts. But the fact remains: There’s less fiscal meat here than previously advertised. The write-off is still a large and vulnerable target, but it’s not as costly as widely portrayed.
If someone’s income is over a million dollars even if all capital gains then they are already paying more in taxes than most people earn. So the millionaire is getting a break from the already too high taxes he pays. Liberals seem to get upset that tax breaks go to those that actually pay taxes - typically lots of them. That said I don’t like MID or other social engineering tax schemes. The fairest tax is everyone paying the same rate. 10% is good. If it’s enough for god then uncle Sam should be able to get by on it.
“So the millionaire is getting a break from the already too high taxes he pays. Liberals seem…”
I’m not a liberal and I call BS on your argument to explain why millionaire home owners in DC are owed a subsidy from flyover country.
Why should taxpayers in flyover country be forced to subsidize luxury home purchases by millionaires
Wow. You really don’t understand Flyover, do you? You should read “Born Fighting”.
I will do so, just as soon as you read Thomas Sowell’s The Housing Boom and Bust, to educate yourself on the role of CRA in setting the table for the housing bubble.
Unlike some who seem to have just discovered him, I have been reading Sowell since I was a pup, his was a column regularly carried by our local newspaper.
I rarely agree with him. Take away the novelty of a black guy saying what he says,and it’s just old Archie Bunkerisms. Very much including his attempt to blame the RE bubble on the CRAs- a right wing obsession that has been disproved too many times to count.
Thomas Sowell on the Housing Boom and Bust
“I rarely agree with him.”
Who could’ve guessed?
Did you watch the video link conveniently provided above?
Interviewer: “Who’s most to blame for the RE bubble: Greenspan, Bush, or Barney Frank?”
Sowell: “Oh, Barney Frank, easily.”
I rest my case. On lulz.
Vat Is Das? Minimum Wage, Unemployment and Investor-Driven Housing Recovery
Confounded Interest | 02/17/2013 | Anthony B. Sanders
I am almost afraid to ask students (or my in-laws) what they think of President Obama’s State of the Union plea for raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00. I will ask my students this week, but not my in-laws (I already know their answer – YES!). The Wall Street Journal has an excellent article on the minimum wage and its impact on employment. While raising the minimum wage sounds “fair,” it is really grossly unfair.
University of California at Irvine economist David Neumark has looked at more than 100 major academic studies on the minimum wage, and he says the White House claim of de minimis job losses “grossly misstates the weight of the evidence.” About 85% of the studies “find a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers.”
So, raising the minimum wage could actually INCREASE unemployment or decrease partial employment. Even Mort Zuckerman admits that we already have an employment nightmare on our hands (which I call the unemployment serpent).
Which brings me to the housing recovery. True, an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 is likely to impact the housing market. But the employment depression that we have in the US already clearly has an impact on the recovery.
According to John Walsh, the President of DataQuick, “A lot of today’s housing demand is fueled not by spectacular job growth and soaring consumer confidence, but by super-low mortgage rates and unusually high levels of investor and cash purchases. Take away any one of those elements and it will matter.“
Doggedly high unemployment, BAD economic policies and investor/all-cash purchases are not motivating a traditional household housing recovery. This is an INVESTOR recovery. From Dr Housing Bubble, you can see the high percentage of all-cash purchases in Phoenix and Orlando.
As investors scramble to purchase distressed properties, they compete with FHA borrowers. And tie up distressed properties for 3-4 years.
“New York-based JPMorgan, whose private bank oversees $877 billion, started pooling investments from its clients in mid-2012 into a partnership to purchase distressed properties, betting that prices will rise over the next several years and provide investors with income from renters along the way, said Lyon. The firm uses a third-party manager to find homes, buy and manage them, he said, declining to name the firm.
The goal is to sell the houses within three to four years in one of three ways: through an initial public offering of a real estate investment trust, a sale to an existing REIT or to an institutional buyer such as a pension fund, Lyon, who’s based in San Francisco, said. Clients will receive a share of any price appreciation depending on the size of their investment.”
Alas, this is the aftermath of a classic credit bubble that Austrian economists warn about. According to von Mises, “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of the voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.”
‘University of California at Irvine economist David Neumark has looked at more than 100 major academic studies on the minimum wage, and he says the White House claim of de minimis job losses “grossly misstates the weight of the evidence.” About 85% of the studies “find a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers.”’
I wonder whether and how such studies take into consideration substitution away from above-board low-skilled U.S. labor into low-skilled overseas labor or into low-skilled illegal immigrant U.S. labor which is not subject to the minimum wage?
Of course, I suppose none of this matters if the White House chief economist’s research suggests otherwise.
File this under holy sh*t:
“An avalanche “in-bounds” was reported Saturday just before 3 p.m., in West Montezuma Bowl. That is on the back side of Arapahoe Basin.
The slide happened in terrain that’s in-bounds, but closed to the public.
An A-Basin ski patroller was leading a group of 14 people in that area when they got caught in the slide.”
They briefly opened the terrain adjacent to the slide path around noon yesterday but had it roped off again before we could ski it. Check out all the turns in the pics skirting the edge of the slide.
We saw the reports on that last night at dinner.
Glad you stayed safe, goon. You mentioned planning to ski there this weekend, right?
“Boomerang Foreclosures” Are Back As Bernanke’s Second Housing Bubble Begins To Pop
Don’t worry - even bigger and bigger government and more and more government programs and more and more debt will save us and begin a new era of prosperity…
What is, is that as always happens when central planning is involved, when one tries to stop a leak here, two new leaks appear elsewhere. Because while the Homeowners Bill of Rights managed to grind foreclosure activity to a halt in California, what is happening elsewhere is the dreaded Boomerang Foreclosure phenomenon, or, said simply, redefaults.
In other words, those homeowners who tried to take advantage of the most recent housing bubble mania created over the past year by the unholy trinity of the Fed (open-ended liquidity, REO-to-Rent programs, and $40 billion in monthly purchases of MBS), foreign buyers (who launder illicit money courtesy of the NAR’s anti-money laundering exemption and park it in ultra luxury US real estate, usually sight-unseen) and of course, the banks, who with the aid of the robosigning fiasco and the Homeowner Bill of Rights, have over the past year subsidized the housing market by keeping non-cash flow generating mortgages on their books in exchange for a wholesale subsidizied rise in housing prices, ran out of cash before they could flip the “hot potato” that is the house they just bought, to a greater fool, and since they had no actual cash to pay the mortgage with, and with no fear of retribution, handed it right back to the bank.
In other words, ignore the sad and very much artificial reality of California where the real estate market is no longer indicative of what happens in a free market, and instead keep a close eye on those states where all artificial attempts to crush foreclosure starts and completions have been used up, and where reality is about to come back with a bang.
Because for all the propaganda, and all the artificial attempts to juice the market, the sad reality is that the US consumer has less and less disposable cash flow, and when one adds such $1 trillion + debt items as student debt (now greater than all credit card debt combined), has a soaring debt load to add.
The only question is how long until the funding to prop up this latest artificial housing market subsidy runs out, and banks realize that the time to dump all those millions of underwater homes on their books into the market is now.
“The only question is how long until the funding to prop up this latest artificial housing market subsidy runs out,…”
Playing my favored roll as the Devil’s advocate, why wouldn’t they just put in place another subsidy at the point when the latest one expires, just as they have done all along so far?
What is to stop hair-of-the-dog stimulus programs to grow like trees to the sky?
There ya go, PW. Vindication for you, and for others of us as well. Awesome. Won’t be long now..
“In other words, those homeowners who tried to take advantage of the most recent housing bubble mania created over the past year by the unholy trinity of the Fed (open-ended liquidity, REO-to-Rent programs, and $40 billion in monthly purchases of MBS), foreign buyers (who launder illicit money courtesy of the NAR’s anti-money laundering exemption and park it in ultra luxury US real estate, usually sight-unseen) and of course, the banks, who with the aid of the robosigning fiasco and the Homeowner Bill of Rights, have over the past year subsidized the housing market by keeping non-cash flow generating mortgages on their books in exchange for a wholesale subsidizied rise in housing prices, ran out of cash before they could flip the “hot potato” that is the house they just bought, to a greater fool, and since they had no actual cash to pay the mortgage with, and with no fear of retribution, handed it right back to the bank.”
That reminded me of….
And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W’s where they put you if you may not be moral
enough to join the army after committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of meannasty ugly looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Fatherstabbers. Father
rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And they was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guyssitting on the bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean’n’ ugly ‘n’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat downnext to me and said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay $50 and pick up the garbage.” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid?” And I said, “Littering.” And they all moved away from me on the bench there, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I said, “And creating a nuisance.” And they all came back, shook my hand,
and we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, motherstabbing, father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talkingabout on the bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of things, until the Sargeant came over, had some paper in his hand, held it
up and said.
“Kids,this-piece-of-paper’s-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-know-details-of-the-crime-time-of-the-crime-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say-pertaining-to-and-about-the-crime-I-want-to-know-arresting-officer’s-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say”, and talked for
forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there, and I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony, and wrote it down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on the other side, in parentheses, capital letters,
quotated, read the following words:
(”KID, HAVE YOU REHABILITATED YOURSELF?”)
I went over to the sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sittin here on the Group Wbench ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.” He looked at me and said, “Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send your fingerprints off to Washington.”
Arlo Guthrie - Alice’s Restaurant Lyrics - Lyrics Time
http://www.lyricstime.com/arlo-guthrie-alice-s-restaurant-lyrics.html - 60k -
Yeah the real answer is Ohbewanna saying not paying your mortgage and living there rent free is wrong….yeah sure a president with morals..
And staring today we will seriously evict those with the longest nonpayment record and work backwards. There will be no money paid to move since you should have saved up tens of thousands in the past 5+ years.
We will not seek any money damages only possession its goes a lot faster in court…..those who steal the appliances or damage the building will be prosecuted.
Ohbewanna to the rescue!
Sometimes we talk about the psychological want / need to buy but are there different types?
The need for physical territory?
A woman’s nesting instinct?
A sense of permanence?
A sense of control?
Delusional belief that debt-funded home ownership somehow provides all of the above better than renting does.
The only big difference I can see are massive and ever-expanding U.S. federal government subsidies to reward ownership over rentership.
All of the above are quite revolting.
But if paying $1.00 of interest to a bank to get a $0.30 tax deduction makes you feel better about it, then it’s all good. LOOSERS!
Serious long-term gardening.
Are you ready for the sequester to kick in?
What, if anything, are your survival strategies in case it happens?
February 17th, 2013
11:27 AM ET 3 hours ago
GOP senator: Sequester is going to happen
CNN’s Ashley Killough
(CNN) - Republican Sen. John Barrasso said Sunday the country should be prepared for the sequester and its massive spending cuts to kick in next month, despite Democrats’ proposal last week to avert it.
“Let me be very clear - and I’d say this to the president as I say it to you - these spending cuts are going to go through on March 1,” the senator from Wyoming said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The across-the-board cuts aimed to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next decade were supposed to be triggered at the beginning of the year. In the scaled-back fiscal cliff bill, however, Congress managed to postpone the cuts by two months.
With less than two weeks to go, lawmakers face another countdown before the largely dreaded cuts are scheduled to begin. Senate Democrats on Thursday proposed a $110 billion measure to once again delay the cuts.
Democrats want to replace the budget cuts, which Pentagon officials say will have drastic effects on the military, with a combination of increased tax revenue from millionaires through the closing of loopholes, ending agriculture subsidies, and reducing defense spending after the war in Afghanistan ends.
But Barrasso, along with other Republicans in the Senate, was not so pleased with the proposal, especially the provision dealing with tax revenue.
“Taxes are off the table,” he told CNN’s chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. “The American people need to know tax cuts are off the table and the Republican Party is not in any way going to trade spending cuts for a tax increase.”
The senator said there are “much better ways to do these budget cuts,” though he did not mention specific proposals.
Who needs silly food inspections, anyway?
America’s Debt Challenge
Federal worker furloughs could start in April
By Jennifer Liberto
@CNNMoney February 17, 2013: 5:33 PM ET
Food inspectors at USDA will be among those who will likely face furloughs in April.
Federal workers could start facing furloughs as early as April, according to federal agencies trying to prepare for the worst.
Unless Congress steps in, some $85 billion in massive spending reductions will hit the federal government, doling out furloughs to much of the nation’s 2.1 million federal workforce, experts say.
The cuts coming as a part of the “sequester” will end up carving some 9% from non-defense programs and 13% from defense programs. They’re part of a larger effort to trim $1.2 trillion from federal deficits over 10 years.
Daniel Werfel, a controller for the Office of Management and Budget, told a Senate panel Thursday that furloughs won’t happen until after agencies negotiate with unions, and that’s not expected to be finished until after March 1.
After union bargaining, the agencies still need to give employees their official 30 days notice of impending furloughs, realistically pushing most furloughs off until April. However, some non-union employees could face furloughs in March.
Unions usually have the final say on how the furloughs will be implemented, said Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). She said they get to bargain with federal agencies on issues such as how the furloughed days will be spread out.
The unions will also work with agencies to ensure that things such as performance reviews don’t reflect work left incomplete due to furloughs.
“We believe that one furlough day is one too many for employees,” said Kelley, whose group is among those pushing Congress to come up with an alternative to federal budget cuts.
Neither NTEU nor National Federation of Federal Employees have been approached to officially begin the bargaining process over furloughs, both confirmed.
Stop pestering the Galt Gulch koolaid drinkers about nonsense like the FDA.
Everyone knows that foodstamps and obamaphones are 50% of GDP or something like that, whatever Drudge linked to or some sh*t.
Given the activist Fed’s ongoing assumed role in propping up asset prices, is it safe to assume fears of another stock market crash are wildly overblown?
Perhaps if investors thought of a future crash as a great chance to buy the dip, they would feel less fearful?
February 17, 2013
With Stock Prices Soaring, Investors Fear Another Crash
By BRETT ARENDS
Dow 14000? Again?
Like Lucy with her football, forever enticing Charlie Brown to one more kick, Wall Street is waving at Main Street yet again and shouting, “Have a little faith—try me one more time.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average this month briefly crossed 14000, for the first time since the boom of 2007.
For the broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, the recent surge is even more historic. The S&P, which touched an ominous intraday low of 666 during the crash six years ago, has surpassed 1500. The first time it broke that barrier was April 2000—the peak of the dot-com era bubble.
Since then, the market has collapsed twice and recovered twice. Each time, the S&P 500 has made it just over the 1500 line before plummeting. Will this time be any better?
There are many on Wall Street who will tell you that yes, the third time’s the charm. The economy is recovering, they say. Unemployment is falling, albeit slowly. Inflation is tame. Corporate America—which is what you buy when you buy stocks—has never been in better shape. Companies are loaded with cash and their earnings are strong.
And stock prices at current levels look remarkably cheap on the most common metrics, they add. For example, the S&P 500 trades at just 13 times forecast per-share earnings for the next 12 months, which is slightly below historical averages.
If that doesn’t convince you, they will add that stocks look especially cheap when compared with the alternatives. The interest rates on bonds are at historic lows. Ten-year Treasury bonds yield less than 2%, which is less than inflation. Cash pays a little over nothing at all.
Main Street is warming to the idea. The Investment Company Institute, which represents the mutual-fund industry, reports that in the past few weeks the ordinary investor has started to return to the stock market. Mutual funds that invest in U.S. stocks are reporting net inflows, after years in which investors cashed out.
But whether Main Street is buying Wall Street’s arguments is another matter. It is more likely that the average investor just can’t resist the sight of a rising market, any more than Charlie Brown could resist the sight of Lucy holding a football.
ICI data show that in recent years Main Street investors have only jumped back into the market after a big run-up in prices—such as in the spring of 2009 or early 2011.
Over the longer term, numerous studies have found that Mom and Pop tend to have the market-timing skills that would have made the late P.T. Barnum jump for joy—buying after the market is up and selling again after it has fallen. Investors sold heavily during the crash of 2008-09. They were selling all last year.
There are plenty of reasons to view this market with caution—yet again.
Posted: 9:28 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013
Renters, be aware: Foreclosure maneuver affects you
By Kimberly Miller
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Cunning South Florida real estate investors are buying titles to homes on the cheap through community association foreclosures then renting them out until the bank catches up.
It’s the latest tactic aimed at capitalizing on South Florida’s quagmire of vacant and foreclosed homes.
And since banks — the primary lien holder on the homes — sometimes take years to foreclose, the strategy could offer the investor a hefty return. Homeowner association foreclosures are usually based on unpaid dues, with judgments far less than what is owed on the mortgage. A savvy investor can pick up a home for a few thousand dollars from an association foreclosure auction and make that money back in several months’ worth of rent.
But while the method pays starving homeowners associations their back dues and puts money in the investor’s pocket, unwitting tenants may get a surprise when a lender comes calling to repossess the home.
That’s what Daniel Torres said happened to his elderly parents after renting a home in the Covered Bridge community west of Lake Worth.
It was bought for $10,800 in April by a West Palm Beach-based firm after the community association foreclosed on it for unpaid dues. The unit in the quiet neighborhood was not yet in bank foreclosure, although the previous owner had died two years earlier and the last mortgage payment was made in October 2010, according to court records.
The Torreses moved into the home in August. Chase filed foreclosure papers in November against the heirs to the previous owner’s estate. A property management company was soon knocking on the Torres’ door saying they needed to leave because the house was in foreclosure and the locks were being changed.
“It scared me,” said Tony Torres, 75. “I love it here. It’s peaceful, and there are a lot of nice people.”
Dennis Sickle, principal of the home’s title owner, Milan Investments Inc., said the company does not tell tenants the property was purchased subject to a bank mortgage because they are shielded from a bank eviction by the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009. The act says the bank must honor the terms of a lease unless the property is sold to someone who will occupy it as a primary residence. In that case, they must be given a 90-day notice to leave.
There is no legal obligation to explain the situation to a tenant, said Fort Lauderdale-based attorney Donna DiMaggio Berger, who specializes in community association law and is executive director of the Community Advocacy Network.
“That being said, it is prudent for the landlord to make that disclosure and prudent for a tenant to ask if any such situation exists prior to signing the lease,” she said.
In the past year, South Florida has witnessed myriad approaches from would-be real estate wheeler-dealers to cash in on the foreclosure morass.
“We’ve seen some very creative ways for people to make money in this downturn,” said Jack McCabe, chief executive of McCabe Research & Consulting in Deerfield Beach. “Some ways have been illegal, some have been shady, and some have operated in a gray area, but they’ve all been creative.”
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/rentersbe-awareforeclosuremaneuveraffects-you/nWRPJ/ - 100k -
“Some ways have been illegal, some have been shady, and some have operated in a gray area, but they’ve all been creative.”
Sounds like capitalism at work.
So I guess it`s Hillary.
Sen. Paul: Voters want to round up immigrants
6 hours ago
WASHINGTON — A Republican senator says he sees some in his party favoring a 2016 presidential candidate with an immigration policy that would “round people up … and send them back to Mexico.”
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Sunday said he would be a presidential candidate if he thought he could win. The tea party favorite says he sees an opening for a “libertarian Republican narrative” to help the GOP win on the West Coast and New England.
Paul says people want a party that’s “less aggressive on foreign policy” and drug laws. Paul says he sees voters wanting, quote, “somebody who wants to round people up, put in camps and send them back to Mexico.”
A Paul spokeswoman, Moira Bagley, didn’t offer further explanation.
Paul spoke on “Fox News Sunday.”
Need the full context of the quote there.
Forget about the “camps”.
Ship them back to Mexico yes.
And repeal birthright citizenship.
And chain migration laws.
Rand Paul is a bit too corporate for our liking, but should he start to gain momentum in 2016, expect the “La Raza” trash to trot out quotes like this to smear and derail him in their (bipartisan-supported) effort to turn the USA into a third-world sh*thole.
to trot out quotes like this to smear and derail him
Yep, a quote like that will do it.
‘a quote like that will do it.’
‘Retraction of the year:
Date: 02/17/2013 01:44 PM
BULLETIN KILL. Do NOT use BC-US–Paul-Immigration. A kill is mandatory.
STORY REMOVED: BC-US–Paul-Immigration
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Associated Press has withdrawn its story about Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., saying he sees some in the (sic) his party favoring a 2016 presidential candidate with an immigration policy that would “round up people … and send them back to Mexico.” That quote was in the transcript of “Fox News Sunday” that was distributed after Paul’s interview on the show. A subsequent Associated Press review of an audio recording of the show determined that the transcript had dropped the word “don’t” from that quote, and Paul actually said, “They don’t want somebody who wants to round people up, put them in camps and send them back to Mexico.”
BTW, Rand Paul has thrown his lot in with the neocons and I’m agin him. But what the AP did wasn’t right.
Wow, great retraction.
Sounds like a mega-screw-up by Fox, though, not AP, who just reported it. And then caught their own/Fox’s mistake and reported that, too:
“That quote was in the transcript of “Fox News Sunday” that was distributed after Paul’s interview on the show. A subsequent Associated Press review of an audio recording of the show determined that the transcript had dropped the word “don’t”
‘who just reported it’
Yeah, “reporting” is just picking up transcripts off the internet and reposting them. No actual phone calls or verification. I did an interview with the AP once. It was hours long before it was all done.
No actual phone calls or verification.
They may have thought that Fox was capable of providing an accurate transcript of their own show.
It was such a surprising statement, that you would think they would check it out first, though.
The sale of Girl Scout cookies is a beloved annual event, but what happens to the unsold treats after the sales are over?
Many of them are destroyed.
The Girl Scouts should do what the NFL does with the Super Bowl “loser” shirts and hats.
Don’t Fret: Somewhere In This World The Eagles Are Super Bowl Champions
As the Philadelphia Eagles and the rest of the NFL prepare for the 2009 football season, owners, including Jeff Lurie, promise fans better seasons, and some, a possible Super Bowl Championship.
This may be a story that you have heard, or not, but one worth telling again. Somewhere in this world, children are wearing Eagles Super Bowl Champions shirts, as are those of the Buffalo Bills or Minnesota Vikings.
Shown above, are children in a foreign country wearing New England Patriot Super Bowl Champions shirts, which is not unusual considering the Patriots’ history. What is unusual, is noting their 2007 “perfect” 19-0 season, which never happened.
According to a story in the New York Times these “loser” shirts are sent to countries such as Niger, Uganda, and Sierra Leone. “By order of the National Football League, those items are never to appear on television or eBay. They are never even to be seen on American soil,” said the Feb. 4, 2007 article in the New York Times.
Young fans might think that Super Bowl Champions shirts and hats are made within minutes, or seconds, after a team wins the ultimate championship.
Nope. Super Bowl Champion shirts and hats were made for Pittsburgh and Arizona well before the game was finished, and probably well before the game was played.
Don’t go searching for Detroit Lion championship gear, but somewhere Eagles, Seattle, Chicago, Arizona and of course, Minnesota and Buffalo championship gear exists.
“Where these items go, the people don’t have electricity or running water,” said Jeff Fields, a corporate relations officer World Vision. “They wouldn’t know who won the Super Bowl. They wouldn’t even know about football.”
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/232806-dont-fret-somewhere-in-this-world-the-eagles-are-super-bowl-champions - 59k -
Kinda like houses at the end of a bubble. Don’t want to give them away or people will start to question the price when they’re ready to buy.
Many folks thought Tim Geithner was too friendly with the too-big-to-fail Wall Street megabanks. I’m wondering how a former too-big-to-fail executive’s level of coziness will compare to Geithner’s?
Too big to fail a Senate confirmation hearing
Commentary: Jack Lew magically made questions disappear
February 15, 2013 | Al Lewis
Jack Lew, President Obama’s nominee to lead the U.S. Treasury Department, testifies before a Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing.
DENVER (MarketWatch) — Let’s get a top executive from one of those too-big-to-fail banks and make him Treasury Secretary.
This seems to be about the best idea anybody in Washington has at the moment.
On Wednesday, Citigroup’s former chief operating officer Jacob Lew participated in a mostly cordial question-and-answer session with members of the Senate Finance Committee. Senators spent more time gushing about what a fine public servant he’s been than grilling him for the taxpayer bailout of Citigroup and the nearly $1 million bonus he received for his work there in 2008, the year that the bank nosedived. Read “Treasury pick Lew gets easy ride in hearing.”
Senators appear likely to confirm Lew as Treasury Secretary, possibly unaware of how ridiculous this looks outside the Beltway.
It’s like tapping a top executive from BP to run the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s like finding someone who hasn’t paid all his taxes and then making him the nation’s top tax enforcer — oh, wait, we did that last time around when Timothy Geithner was up for Treasury Secretary.
Lew sat before the committee for about three hours like an adult incarnation of Harry Potter: Rounded glasses, neatly parted hair, and the magic touch of a wizard. Brainier and more eloquent than his supposed inquisitors, Lew seemed to make serious questions disappear as quickly as they were raised.
Try not to catch yourself a falling knife.
Feb. 15, 2013, 10:41 a.m. EST
Gold slices through multiple swing points on dive
By L.A. Little
In the equity markets the grind continues, and it is monotonous enough to make one forget that markets can and do go down occasionally, too.
At this point, almost all ABCD up projections have been met on the indexes and the sectors. The biggest event this week is the Nasdaq Composite attempting to take out the highs from last September. If it succeeds in doing so, that will be yet another feather in the cap for this market, and the great escape higher that defines the beginning of the year.
At this juncture, you do have to start selectively taking some profits or tighten up your stops because either a nice spill is brewing or another gallop higher is yet to come. You want to protect against the former and continue to capture the latter if at all possible.
Away from equities, though, we continue to see weakness. In my last article I noted the bearish setup on the bonds. Well, it is evident in the commodity markets as well, with grains breaking lower and now precious metals. The same setup I outlined in bonds last week now applies to gold, as it broke the swing-point low Thursday on the daily and weekly charts, and if that holds today, it is another case of multiple swing points broken on multiple time frames which carries with it a high probability for a fast move in the direction of the break.
Busted my Toilet tank today trying to replace the lever. First time I’ve ever done that .
Went to “Habitat for humanity” and bought a toilet for 35 bucks took the tank off and donated the bowl back to the store. No big box store will sell a tank they want you to buy the whole toilet.
Buying a tank is fraught with difficulties because the mounting holes are all on a slightly different pitch.
the habitat place was handy because they had all this vintage 80’s stuff in case you are too cheap like me to buy a new low flow toilet that probably won’t fit anyway.
I saw roofing tiles in there too.
Once your house is older its really hard to find replacment parts at big box they just want you to buy new and the new stuff is worse because its all made in China now.
“Busted my Toilet tank today trying to replace the lever.”
A little too tight on that bulkhead fitting?
Asia Times Online - Iraq back at the brink:
“The US wars that extended from 1990 to 2011 included a devastating blockade and ended with a brutal invasion. These wars were as unscrupulous as they were violent. Aside from their overwhelming human toll, they were placed within a horrid political strategy aimed at exploiting the country’s existing sectarian and other fault lines, therefore triggering civil wars and sectarian hatred from which Iraq is unlikely to cover for many years.
For the Americans, it was a mere strategy aimed at lessening the pressure placed on its and other ally soldiers as they faced stiff resistance the moment they stepped foot in Iraq. For the Iraqis, however, it was a petrifying nightmare that can neither be expressed by words or numbers.
But numbers are of course barely lacking. According to UN estimates cited by the BBC, between May and June 2006 “an average of more than 100 civilians per day [were] killed in violence in Iraq.” The UN reserved estimates also placed the death toll of civilians during 2006 at 34,000. That was the year that the US strategy of divide and conquer proved most successful.
Over the years, most people outside Iraq - as in other conflicts where protracted violence yields regular death counts - simply became desensitized to the death toll. It is as if the more people die, the less worthy their lives become.
The fact remains that the US and Britain had jointly destroyed modern Iraq and no amount of remorse or apology - not that any was offered to begin with - will alter this fact. Iraq’s former colonial masters and its new ones lacked any legal or moral ground for invading the sanctions-devastated country. They also lacked any sense of mercy as they destroyed a generation and set the stage for a future conflict that promises to be as bloody as the past.”
Then defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz, the cabal of imbedded neo-cons in the civilian DoD and the State department and the AIPAC were desperate to use post 9/11 WMD as an opportunity to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime and build airbases to dampen Iran’s ambitions. I don’t think they cared about the likely terrible human casualties or the cost over-runs either; just do it!
“We don’t do body counts”
General Tommy Franks
Iraq Body Count
Documented civilian deaths from violence
111,152 – 121,465
Further analysis of the WikiLeaks’ Iraq War Logs
may add 12,000 civilian deaths.
And not one of these monsters has even been indicted, let alone imprisoned.
The Unsinkable Edward DeMarco
in News > Residential Mortgage
by Phil Hall on Sunday 17 February 2013
BLOG VIEW: There is an old joke that claims the only indestructible forces that will be able to survive a nuclear war are Styrofoam, cockroaches and Cher. I might add a fourth potential survivor to that list: Edward DeMarco, who was named to the interim post of acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in August 2009 and has been running the agency ever since.
Back in December, the Obama administration’s spinmeisters planted a story in the Wall Street Journal stating that it would replace DeMarco during the early part of this year. Two months have passed since that news item appeared in print, and DeMarco is still at the FHFA, with nary a peep from the Oval Office about potential replacements. But that’s not the first time that the White House has tossed about dubious promises about replacing DeMarco - and despite the planted story insisting that he is being moved to the exit ramp, DeMarco perseveres in his job.
Why hasn’t the administration replaced DeMarco? For starters, it would obviously need to replace him with an FHFA chief that supports Obama’s housing finance reform strategy. There’s just one itty-bitty problem: After more than four years in power, the president has never offered anything that even vaguely resembles a housing finance reform strategy. (In fairness, neither has the GOP leadership on Capitol Hill - if the dueling political parties share anything, it is an acute sense of irresponsibility.)
Of course, the idea of presenting a candidate that will appeal to all sides of the political environment is challenging. The Democratic leadership in Congress would love to have an FHFA leader who will give the green light for principal reduction on loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Republicans would clearly not buy into that game plan, nor would they want a regulator who could be considered as an Obama administration puppet - indeed, some of Richard Cordray’s credibility problems as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been pegged to his frequent presence at the White House.
Also, there is the problem of getting somebody that actually wants to run the FHFA. That aforementioned story in the Wall Street Journal dropped such names as Susan Wachter, a professor of real estate finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and Michael Stegman, a housing finance advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury, as possible FHFA directors. While both individuals command a great deal of respect, it seems unlikely that either would be willing to leave their high-profile positions and torture themselves with such a Sisyphean task.
However, we need to stop and ask: Why would Obama want to replace DeMarco? After all, the president has been able to stick the blame for the pokey housing market recovery on the FHFA leader rather than assume responsibility for the ongoing problems. Besides, Obama could have easily made a recess appointment to fill the FHFA top spot at the same time that Cordray received his recess appointment to run the CFPB. (Yes, it would have been unconstitutional, but we’ll save that thought for another day.)
Also, DeMarco has yet to offer any hint that he’s tired of the job. He’s had ample opportunity to walk away from the FHFA - or run away screaming, depending at how you look at his duties. Nonetheless, he’s still plugging away at his work with no public complaints.
Is there any chance Congressional Republicans would support a bill that just directly handed $100,000 to every “responsible” American household, rather than tying the aid to having an underwater mortgage?
Mortgage bill promoted by Obama faces uphill climb; GOP favors reduced federal role in market
ANDREW MIGA Associated Press
7:12 a.m. EST, February 17, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided Congress isn’t likely to jump at President Barack Obama’s challenge for quick passage of a mortgage refinancing bill that supporters say could help millions of homeowners save big each year and boost the economy.
Obama praised the legislation in his State of the Union speech last week, saying the proposal would help more homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac take advantage of low interest rates and refinance their loans.
Even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, Obama said, too many families that have never missed a payment and want to refinance are being turned down.
“That’s holding our entire economy back, and we need to fix it,” the president said. “Right now, there’s a bill in this Congress that would give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s rates. Democrats and Republicans have supported it before.”
The economy’s slow recovery from the recession gives the idea urgency, Obama said. “Send me that bill,” he told members of Congress listening to his speech in the House chamber.
The proposal is part of a push by Democrats and the White House to help homeowners take advantage of low interest rates as a way to help the housing market recover and to give the economy a shot in the arm.
While the bill could gain traction in the Democratic-controlled Senate, it faces a rough road in the GOP-run House, where many Republicans favor scaling back the government’s role in the housing market as a way of aiding the economy. Similar versions of the measure died in the House and Senate’s lame duck sessions last year.
“At the moment, it’s an uphill battle,” said Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., who plans to file the House version of the bill.
Welch said he will reach out to Republicans this year in hopes of building more support, but the bill’s association with the government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federal housing agencies partly blamed for the collapse of the housing market, hurts its support base among GOP lawmakers.
“The American taxpayers have already sunk $190 billion dollars into the operations of Fannie and Freddie,” said Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, a member of the House Financial Services Committee. “It’s time that we wind their operations down instead of using them as a piggy bank for failed programs that further delay the housing recovery. ”
In the Senate, Democrats Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Barbara Boxer of California have legislation to aid borrowers who are current on their loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but who are not able to refinance because their home values have declined too much.
Nearly 12 million homeowners have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans and stand to benefit refinancing, the two senators said. Many can’t refinance at a lower rate because of red tape and high fees. The red tape has reduced competition among banks, so borrowers pay higher interest rates than they would if they were able to shop around more, according to the senators.
The bill also would reduce up-front fees that borrowers pay on refinances and eliminate appraisal costs for all borrowers. The measure seeks to expand the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Refinancing Program, which saves an average homeowner about $2,500 per year, they said.
“Homeowners will have more money in their pockets, Fannie and Freddie will see fewer foreclosures, and the housing market and economy will continue building momentum,” Boxer said.
MarketWatch Week Ahead: Sequester Looms
Next week brings reports on housing and consumer prices, but the spotlight may be dominated by the approaching March 1 spending cuts known as the sequester. Polya Lesova reports on Markets Hub. Photo: AP.
2/15/2013 10:56:36 AM2:36
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