Author Archives

  • Deficit Commission Presents Final Report: Impact on Housing

    The president’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has issued a final draft – entitled The Moment of Truth –  of its tax, spending and entitlement policy proposals with the aim of reducing the federal government’s long-term structural budget deficit. The final report incorporates elements from the commission’s initial co-chairs’ proposal and the subsequently issued Domenici-Rivlin plan. The commission… Read More ›

  • Federal Reserve Reports Economy Continues to (Slowly) Improve

    The Federal Reserve’s December Beige Book, which surveys national economic conditions, reports that for the October to mid-November period economic activity continued to grow, albeit at a slow pace.  The report indicates that manufacturing activity increased, with strong growth for auto and metal fabrication. Professional and non-financial services also continued to show steady growth. With respect to housing, the December Beige Book noted that housing markets continue… Read More ›

  • Comparing Deficit Proposals: Impact on Housing

    In the last two weeks, we have seen two comprehensive proposals to address the federal government’s long-term budget deficit. We previously discussed in detail the co-chairs’ draft proposal from the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. This week, a separate group, the Debt Reduction Task Force, which is a project of the Bipartisan Policy Center, presented another proposal… Read More ›

  • MBA Reports Small Declines in Mortgage Delinquencies

    The Mortgage Bankers Association today released National Delinquency Survey statistics for the third quarter of 2010.  The delinquency rate – loans that are not in foreclosure with at least one payment late – fell from a seasonally-adjusted rate of 9.85% in the second quarter of 2010 to 9.13% in the third quarter. The 9.13% rate represents a decrease of 51… Read More ›

  • The Deficit Commission Co-Chairs’ Proposal: Impact on Housing

    The co-chairs of the president’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform have published a discussion draft of budget proposals aimed at reducing the federal budget deficit. The Commission’s ideas deserve to be taken seriously for highlighting and considering the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges, even if some of the proposed policy changes are ill-suited to short-term macroeconomic goals or long-term policy commitments. Among the… Read More ›

  • Deficit Commission Co-Chairs’ Proposal Part 1: The Zero Plan

    (This post is part of a series of entries examining the Deficit Commission Co-Chairs’ Proposal.  For the summary post in the series, please start here.) The Zero Plan Under the co-chairs’ so-called Zero Plan, all tax expenditures would be eliminated, including the mortgage interest deduction (MID), the real estate tax deduction for homes, the capital gain exclusion for principal residences, the… Read More ›

  • Deficit Commission Co-Chairs’ Proposal Part 2: Other Plans

    (This post is part of a series of entries examining the Deficit Commission Co-Chairs’ Proposal.  For the summary post in the series, please start here.) Wyden-Gregg Style Plan A second proposal from the co-chairs’ discussion draft is called the Wyden-Gregg style reform, so named because it borrows concepts from a tax reform proposal that has been championed by Senators Wyden and Gregg.  … Read More ›

  • Deficit Commission Co-Chairs’ Proposal Part 3: Rates and Total Tax Paid

    (This post is part of a series of entries examining the Deficit Commission Co-Chairs’ Proposal.  For the first post in the series, please start here.) In previous posts, I identified the marginal tax rates that are being proposed as part of the tax reform proposals in the deficit commission’s discussion draft. I called the set of rates in the draft… Read More ›

  • A Promise on 2010 AMT Relief

    In a letter to the IRS, Congressional leaders of the tax writing committees pledged to “patch” the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for tax year 2010.  Why the promise? Because time is running out for the IRS and the Department of the Treasury to print the official tax forms for 2010, which are distributed and filed in 2011.  A similar issue exists with the tax withholding… Read More ›

  • Bank Survey Reports Expectations of Tightened Lending Through 2012

    The Federal Reserve’s October 2010 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices reports continued tight lending conditions by banks to businesses and households. The survey is based on responses from 57 domestic banks and 22 U.S. branches of foreign banks. Despite reporting that some large banks have eased lending terms over the past three months, a special question… Read More ›