Author Archives

  • 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 ›

  • Households Continue Balance Sheet Repair

    The Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit from the New York Fed provides additional evidence that households continue to pay down debts as a consequence of the Great Recession.  We have previously reported Fed data showing declines in outstanding mortgage debt. We have also made the argument that the personal savings rate will remain elevated as long as households… Read More ›

  • The Return of Quantitative Easing

    The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee has announced a resumption of quantitative easing, a monetary policy designed to keep interest rates low to stimulate a more robust economic recovery. As justification for the policy, the Fed summarized the current sluggish economic recovery as follows: Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September confirms that the pace of recovery… Read More ›

  • Fed’s Beige Book Continues to Report Slow Economic Growth

    The Federal Reserve’s October Beige Book, which surveys national economic conditions, reports that for the September to early October period economic activity continued to grow, albeit at a slow pace.  The report is similiar in tone to the September release. The report provides additional support for the expectation that the Federal Reserve will undertake a second round of government bond purchases, so-called Quantitative… Read More ›

  • Characteristics of New and First-Time Home Buyers

    NAHB economist Heather Taylor has published a new Special Study on the characteristics of new and first-time home buyers. Using 2009 Census data  from the American Housing Survey, Taylor finds that 41% of home buyers between 2007 and 2009 were first-time buyers (totalling 8.4 million households).  This share was up from 35% from the 2005 to 2007 period, in part due… Read More ›