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November 11, 2010

Comments

mikey

Does anyone buy a house based upon the mortgage deduction? If you are isn't that a clue that you are biting off more than you can chew?

Captain Hate

This is Bammy's chance to show if he learned anything from the elections (don't laugh too hard at that please). This will probably end up reminding people of when Clenis promised to support the findings of his bi-partisan group on social security reform where he typically pussed out and left Breaux hanging.

narciso

I can't Captn, I'm a little under the weather,
the gas tax is a nonstarter, I'd like to see what nondefense cuts are under consideration

Danube of Thought

Every time I've bought a house I have calculated in advance the after-tax cost of servicing the mortgage--it's essential in placing a limit on what you can afford.

And that calculation is implicitly factored into the price in every purchase and sale.

PD

If the Commission's report is causing you stress, look at some meat

Danube of Thought

A nice thought experiment is to assume you are writing the very first tax code, with no concerns about preserving or canceling anything already built in.

I kind of think I would allow no deductions or credits of any kind. Each and every one of them (that I can think of) is an attempt by the government to reward through the tax system some sort of behavior that it favors. And the decisions are unavoidably political, meaning they are generally arrived at through corrupt bargaining.

Old Lurker

It opens the sales counter for textbook "Rent Seeking" DoT. Do that for say 100 years and you end with with a tax code of a gazillion pages.

Old Lurker

Some of the smartest and hardest working people I know are tax accountants and tax lawyers. I often wonder how productive they might have been had they devoted their talents to something else.

Clarice

Obviously removing deductions--say for mortgages--will have to be phased in and one of the proposals--that it apply to second homes and homes over $500k is more palatable as a starter.

Danube of Thought

Unexpected:

SEOUL - President Barack Obama failed to reach agreement on two international deals to help spur the U.S. economy, unexpected setbacks on an Asia trip that was supposed to emphasize his stature abroad and change the subject from last week’s electoral drubbing.
sbw

Dot, I'm with you... but the process of getting the government out of unsocial engineering ought to take place over a reasonable amount of time. Call it 10% a year across the board ... mortgage deductions, charitable deductions, deductions for children, corn and sugar subsidies, etc.

And, at the same time, to reduce the cost of social services, after the unemployment insurance part that you paid for, any extra welfare payments have to be earned by working for the city, state, or feds. Imagine how clean our country would be.

Dave (in MA)

A two-pronged attack on middle class Americans. The left won't be happy until everyone is in dense government-subsidized tract housing, commuting in government choo-choos to and from their public-sector jobs.

Captain Hate

I'm with sbw; you can't just wean people immediately from something they entered into in good faith (I'm thinking mainly of the mortgage deduction). Phasing it out in 10 years would be relatively painless (not that some won't whine about how unfaaaaaaaaair it is).

Clarice

DoT, once again you've taken the words out of my mouth.

Al those czars and lap dog groomers in the WH an from something so simple as preventing the FLOTUS' humiliation at the mosque to POTUS' flop at the G20, no one is around to do the job.

Who needs a CiC with executive skills and an attention span over 5 mintures?

RichatUF

What deals did Obama fail to deliver?

~FR

The crypto-socialists are going to try to tax energy in any way they can... It's part of their playbook.

PD

an Asia trip that was supposed to emphasize his stature abroad

Good to know we have a president who cares about the good of his country and that everything isn't just about him.

Neo
Sarah Palin is concerned that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may cause inflation to shoot up and stay there. But could the greatest potential culprit of wealth-destroying, Germany-1930s-type hyper-inflation be, not the central bank, but Palin and the Tea Party?
AGW must be dead .. now that the culprit of all culprits is now the “Tea Party”

Apparently, hyperinflation begins the moment the government declares that there isn't anymore of "other people's money" gives up on raising taxes anymore.

Danube of Thought

I agree, sbw. It will have to be done gradually, but I think it's worth doing.

Archaeologists a thousand years from now, when they unearth our tax code, are going to wonder WTF were these people thinking.

Jenny K

"Does anyone buy a house based upon the mortgage deduction?"

Why not? Tax benefits are part of the overall analysis of affordability. Future buyers will take the lack of deduction into account when determining offer prices for those same homes. Buyers will want to pay less since the implicit costs of the home are going up (i.e. no mortgage deduction). So if for every $100k in principal, there is approximately $100k in interest over the life of the loan (30yrs @ 5%). The present value of the tax savings (25% marginal rate) is approximately $12.5k. So for every $100k in current home value (hit by deduction limits) would result in a $12.5k reduction in the value of the home.

The loss of tax savings will be a cost just as insurance and property taxes are.

With that said, I can live with the deduction elimination only applying to 2nd homes and over $500k mortgage (I have no 2nd home, but I do have over $500k mortgage). This is as long as other proposals come to fruition: the government worker pay freezes, move to defined contribution (401k like) plans for govt workers and 10% cut in govt workforce.

narciso

How hard does one have to crack one's skull, for that statement to make sense, from the previous LUN

Clarice

Rich, politico has the story on the G20 flop.

Captain Hate

Great comments on your link, narc; anybody reading Levin's "Liberty and Tyranny" can't in good faith call him anti-intellectual. It is scrupulously researched and cites all sources of conclusions.

Rick Ballard

Rich,

Here's the Politico piece. It appears that Merkel and Jintao are alternating in playing 'Guess which finger I'm holding up?' with the Leader of the Whole Entire World.

Thingumbob

What universe are we in when the same Congress and President that approved a still ongoing multi trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street criminals now turns around and tries to sell us this boatload of tripe?

narciso

Well I was referring to the comment on Henry Luce's erstwhile creation, which has become for all intents and purposes, PM Magazine

Clarice

From a broadcasting publication:
The co-chairs of the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform have recommended zeroing out funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as one way to help save $200 billion. -snip- According to a draft of the proposals, released Wednesday, that cutting the $500 million worth of funding for NPR and PBS stations is just one of many "painful" cuts that could help achieve that savings.

narciso

OT, it turns out, it wasn't just dumb luck that nabbed the FSB ring, in the LUN

matt

I would be happy to start with cuts at the Pentagon, frankly. Cut the personnel by 50%, and begin cutting back on some of the idiocy that major programs have become.

Costs are out of control for a number of reasons, and they can't seem to build ships that last nor deliver an Air Force, that if called upon to face a credible threat, wouldn't flame out in 60 days.

An army rumbling around in MRAPs in Afghanistan may be situationally necessary for short periods, but in reality we are not addressing the root causes and each of those vehicles will be worth exactly zero in any other conflict we get into in the forseeable future.

Rumsfeld was hated by the bureaucracy, but he had some good ideas on reining in costs.

matt

there's a lot more to this story than we are hearing, narciso. Thanks for the info.

Captain Hate

Well I was referring to the comment on Henry Luce's erstwhile creation, which has become for all intents and purposes, PM Magazine

I knew that; when I clicked on that link I just glanced at it briefly and quickly closed the tab. Do they ever post anything of substance on their blog?

MarkO

When I read about the elimination of the home deduction I immediately heard Johnny Mac in my ear, "You cannot be serious."

And, so likely they are not. I would not think that serious people would propose some changes made 60 years from now as a means of immediately reducing debt. But, giving something to a commission is nothing if not a fine means of unaccountable delay.

WTF is a registered mark of the Word Tax Forum. Unauthorized use is unauthorized.

Captain Hate

Laura Ingraham is just blasting Janet's fave, Big Head Jim Webb, for being such a poosy in trying to back away from his voting for Bammycare. Either own your vote or go back to writing books for NAMBLA's enjoyment.

Danube of Thought

Unfortunately, some Dems are waking up:

WASHINGTON -- In a fresh sign of turmoil among defeated Democrats, a growing number of the rank and file say they won't support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a politically symbolic roll call when the new Congress meets in January. "The reality is that she is politically toxic," said Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley, one of several Democrats who are trying to pressure Pelosi to step aside as her party's leader in the wake of historic election losses to Republicans last week.
Danube of Thought

they can't seem to build ships that last

The carriers last fifty years.

Jim Ryan

All Obama has to do is step through the door opened for him. Use the report to slash spending. Stab Nancy and Harry in the back by stepping to the right and working with GOP deficit hawks and tax cutters. Do a few dozen "mea-culpa, but mend it don't end it" speeches about ObamaCare, enough to fool the muddle into accepting that it "just needs some work." Give what Doris Kearns Goodwin will call in her boring interviews 15 years from now "Obama's famous 'I get it speech.'" Maybe a If he does all that, he'll head off any "moderate Dem" primary challenger (why vote for Bayh when it looks like Obama's doing okay now), grab enough of the muddle (who don't want one party to control the White House as well as the Congress, anyway), and win reelection. Why would they vote for Haley Barbour when "Well, it looks like Obama has gotten his act together now"?

I don't think he'll do it. He doesn't have the guts or the brains.

Jim Ryan

I meant to type "Maybe a Sistah Soljah" moment where he gives his far left wing a tongue lashing.

Guy's not a leftist. He's Zero.

rse

The post about AGW being history fails to appreciate that higher ed in this country is now committed to making sustainability the primary goal of academic learning.

Literally.

LUN is the excellent "The Sustainability Inquisition" from yesterday.

NK

Rick B-- You are the best big guy. Yes ze Jeahmanns, the Koreans and the ChiComs are showing fearless leader a particular finger. Isn't it time ALL OF US here in the blessed USA do the same?

Jim Ryan-- I completely agree; the Commission was shockingly productive (I don't agree with their details of course, but coming from Washinton Pols --2/3rds Dems no less-- the report is realistic), and they gave Barry O a perfect opportunity to change course and triangulate like crazy against the Left-wing Dems in Congress. He won't of course, because-- He's an 'EFFIN ALINSKY MUPPET!

Spiny Norman
Their proposed simplification of the tax code would repeal or modify a number of popular tax breaks — including the deductibility of mortgage interest payments — so that income tax rates could be reduced across the board. Under one option, individual income tax rates would decline to as low as 8 percent for the lowest income bracket (it is now 10 percent) and to 23 percent for the highest bracket...

As to the home mortgage deduction, when interest rates are low (as now) and tax rates are low (as proposed), the deduction is not worth much (particularly for folks not high up on the income scale), so phasing it out over a few years is not too ghastly."

Why is it that whenever "tax reform" is bandied about, and "eliminating deductions" the first thing they think to do is screw the middle class, while leaving hefty tax-shelter deductions alone? Killing my mortgage interest deduction while only lowering my tax rate a couple of points would, in fact, increase my tax bill substantially. Besides, does anyone here believe they won't raise income tax rates again the first chance they get? Meanwhile, the mortgage interest deduction will be gone forever.

They pulled this crap in 1986. Why Reagan went along with them, I'll never know. No one at the time believed for a moment that the Democrats would agree to any sort of domestic spending cuts to go along with the tax increases...

Danube of Thought

My greatest concern is that he'll do just what JimR describes. But I think he's far too much an iron-brained ideologue to do any such thing. By all accounts he has never listened to anyone in his life.

angellight

For Veterans' Day: When the people of the U.S. become more civil, compassionate and loving towards one another (no Rush Limbaughs, Becks, etc.), they will not elect leaders who so hastily takes the country to war without trying to work problems out through diplomacy and negotations first...

Alert: Give tax breaks to the rich, which will cost Americans trillions of dollars, and then cut Social Security and Medicare to pay for it! We cannot keep taxing the people to death, while the wealthy and big business do not pay their fair share due to tax cuts, tax breaks, tax shelters, etc. Until we Replace Greed, with the principals of sharing and cooperation, we will be unable to solve our problems. Greed and tax cuts for the rich is not the answer -- it is the problem! They want us to Sacrifice, but how come the Rich don't have to sacrifice too?

Wake-up Call: The soon to be Speaker, John Boehener, is the man who recently campaigned for an Ohio Congressional Candidate who dresses up as a Nazi on the weekends! You know the Nazi uniform that stands for separatism, white power, kill off all Jews! This is who the U.S. Speaker of the House Palls around with -- God Help This Country!

Dems have to Stop making Deals with the devil, those who cloak themselves as Christians, yet act otherwise...., Christ said many shall Invoke my name, but I know them not!

matt

DoT;

The Reagan just came after its first combat deployment and the readiness reports were deadly. It is a first deployment, but apparently it was one of the worst in memory.

RichatUF

Jim-

Doubtful he'll get a primary challenge and it looks as if the administration is backing off any talk of a deal regarding the expiring tax cuts. He can say it is a teachable moment: tax cuts are "failed policies of the past", rasing taxes brought about the bountiful Clinton era economy, and higher taxes will bring in more revenue.

Let them all expire and see what happens.

Thanks for the link Rick. He's still on that gibberish about "doubling US exports" and going on about German and Chinese trade surpluses (and devaluing the dollar doesn't seem like the best idea to tackle the issue). Not surprised about the free trade agreement with South Korea. That'll be a dead letter until the end of his administration

Jim Ryan

Barry's Marxism is all about Barry. Barry does what he thinks will make him famous and powerful. Marxism was a means to that end, not a true ideology. He is not Cloward-Pivenist. It remains to be seen whether he has the mental agility to switch horses after 20 years on what is now an old nag. He has a choice of going down in flames or being what Doris will someday call a decent two-termer. I just don't think he is smart enough. To make that change would require someone with Bill's mental agility. Bill is Barry with 30 extra IQ points, a lot less heartless cruelty and a lot more sexual sleaze.

Jim Ryan

I can see angellight is as stupid as Eric Cantor about war re-enactors.

War re-enactors are geeks, not Nazis, you dopes.

Dave (in MA)

angellight, that was an excellent parody, Bravo!

NK

JimR--

I agree on the conclusion-- Barry won't switch, he's certainly not Big Bill Clinton. They are both Narcissists, but as you point out, Clinton has far higher IQ, BUT Barry O IS a LEFT-WING IDEOLOGUE, Bubba was a politician first, most and last. Barry will go down in political flames because he is a hard left ideologue; he believes the historical dialectic will make him the dictator by consent -- like the ChiComs.

jag

Imagine the economic impact of a policy that said public sector salaries and benefits would be reduced one percent a year UNTIL private sector pay and employment recovered.

Not only would this policy (finally) align the interests of public sector employees with taxpayers and private sector employees but it would also create a "natural" test of the theory that public sector employees are "underpaid". By simultaneously monitoring the voluntary movement of public workers BACK TO the private sector (by field and pay grade) a realistic determination of relative pay could be very accurately discovered both generally and with respect to specific occupation.

No one could say that an annual 1% pay reduction is burdensome to public employees given the damage private sector workers have sustained recently. Isn't it also possible that business and investment attitudes towards future growth prospects would turn positively, relatively quickly, given this new alignment and promise of fiscal sobriety?

It could be that the economy would get back on track with little actual public sector pay decreases with sufficiently robust gains in "animal spirits". A small change, yes. But one that actually provides leadership towards a healthy outcome for every employee, public and private sector.

Win, win? No?

daddy

OT,

A MayBee sighting: ">http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/11/transportation-secretary-ray-lahood.html"> 6th comment down.

RichatUF

Jim-

I don't think that Obama has Dick Morris hiding out in the White House residence and the problems the Obama Administration faces aren't school uniforms and V-chips.

Jim Ryan

You could be right, NK and DoT. I just think he's about as much of a Marxist as Alice Cooper was a devil worshipper.

Jim Ryan

Rich, yeah, but muddle forgive and forget.

 centralcal

It is crap like this that just makes me fume:

Former first lady Nancy Reagan announced plans Thursday to invite the leading Republican contenders to the first debate of the presidential primary season, to be held at her late husband’s presidential library and co-hosted by POLITICO and NBC News.

The debate, sponsored by the Reagan Presidential Foundation, will be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif., during the spring of 2011. NBC News will serve as the television partner for the debate while POLITICO is the online content partner.

These so called MFM "debates" are nothing more than a tool to manipulate and frame our candidates. Why can't folks wake up to this nonsens?

Rick Ballard

Jim R,

It's a matter of depth - he's a Marxianist with a superficial understanding of the full intellectual gamut stretching from Marx all the way to Engels. I believe that you're correct regarding his essence - it's contained within the image on the mirror. His nose holding (rather than breathtaking) pig ignorance coupled with an inability to pivot other than to his left leaves him turning in circles.

I still say that he will claim victory in defeat and quit.

rse

Has anyone else looked at the huge level of skepticism toward climate change and revulsion towards the IPCC from a November 2010 Scientific American survey of all places?

Dam may well be bursting just as we make it the centerpiece of both K-12 and higher ed.

LUN is the Cato story.

NK

Rick B.

I agree with your analysis, up to him quitting. Barry O is convinced that the dialetic of history will deliver him to victory in 2012 -- The youth vote! the Latino Vote! the Progressive Vote! blah blah blah. He'll be shocked by the reality of it all and go down in flames a la Carter.

Jim Ryan

That is stunning, rse.

Captain Hate

Christ said many shall Invoke my name, but I know them not

Fuck off angelight CH 3:16

MayBee

Jane told me I have to come back before she leaves on her cruise.
I do what Jane tells me.

boris

Doesn't everybody?

Thomas Collins

MayBee is back. Hooray! See LUN for a welcoming back tune for MayBee.

Rick Ballard

NK,

He's a hot house flower, coddled and cozened to a forced early bloom and losing pedals with every passing minute. I'm finally noticing the change in appearance that Clarice has remarked upon in the past. He's coming unwrapped.

Jane

Imagine the economic impact of a policy that said public sector salaries and benefits would be reduced one percent a year UNTIL private sector pay and employment recovered.

Not enough. All the federal workers making $150k a year are off work today for a holiday while all the private sector workers doing equivalent jobs are hard at work today making $60k.

I say cut all public worker salaries in half and continue to cut every year until they are the same. And stop all government pensions. And make them all pay for their healthcare. And cut 50% of all public sector workers.

Just for a start.

Captain Hate

Oh yes Rick; he's in mid-meltdown. This trip was nothing but a way to get him in front of people that aren't completely aware of what a joke he is; although they're not nearly as gullible as he'd like to think.

NK

Rick B-- very true. You know what else, deep down he and Michelle dislike America and Americans now more than ever before. When he finishes his burnout in 11/12, he'll let loose and curse us a racist war mongers blah blah blah. It will be a sight to behold.

Porchlight

Hi MayBee! We missed you.

Extraneus

Hi MayBee!!!

NK

CH-- good point about the trip. BHO is now learning that ze Jeahmans, ChiComs and Koreans know he's a Muppet, and are calling him out on it. He won't change of course, but his frustration and anger will grow just like any spoiled petulant brat when they stop getting their way.

glasater

NK--

I'm betting with Rick B that we see the meltdown sooner.

NK

GL-- you may be right. I just think his outsized self-love will keep him going until 11/12 smacks him in the face. He is also a coward of course, so maybe he bails before then. We'll see.

Sarah Eustis

"Billionaire Launches Campaign to Slash Social Security"

https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=88267944fa&view=att&th=12c3bd2e026a1d6e&attid=0.1&disp=inline&zw


glasater

Welcome home Maybee!!!

JOM has a much nicer crew than Althouse:)

MayBee

So....did anybody ask Obama about his 1992/1993 trip to Bali while he was in Indonesia? I bet not.

glasater

The reason I say the meltdown could come much sooner NK is that unemployment is destined to not improve all that much in the coming year no matter how much POTUS touts any small growth in private sector jobs.
If the price of oil goes up to one hundred dollars a barrel--which is a prediction via QE2--I'm thinking unemployment could go much higher and spur inflation sooner than the bright guys predict.

BHO

I'm gonna miss Nancy.

Thomas Collins

I suspect that there have been many meltdowns that have been kept under wraps.

Danube of Thought

Reaga has indeed had problems since commissioning (she's homeported right Herr), but they are correctable and the ship will be around long after we're gone. And the other ten are doing just fine.

I believe Bath, Pascagoula and Newport News are awfully fine shipbuilders.

RichatUF

glasater-

He'll have the evil Reps in Congress to blame.

Jim-

Rich, yeah, but muddle forgive and forget.

True to a point, but grinding unemployment and higher prices have a way of concentrating the mind. I'm doubtful the muddle will embrace their inner Patrick Henry the way Jane has, but they'll move slowly away from the Obama emiseration program.


maryrose

Obama's hair is grey now and he is like a deer in the headlights. His foreign policy is awful and once again he has Hillary playing clean-up in Israel. The Iranians are laughing at his outstretched hand and Russian journalists who tell the truth are getting beat up. Other than that this has been the best two years Evah according to Pelosi.

Danube of Thought

*Reagan*

Pretty sure O was sucking fine weed and doing pharmaceutical blow while in Bali.

MarkO

From the highly educated, sophisticated and, seemingly, rusticated MO:


We’re very proud, you know? When me and the president get a little tired because our work gets hard —

Could have been Karl Malone.

NK

GL--

Those are fair points, especially gas prices. What INFURIATES me about QE2 is the fact it is a giant tax increase on working Americans. debasing the dollar by 10-20% will increase world oil/gas pump prices 15-30 % voila $100-110/barrel, $3.00+/gallon at the pump; that steals purchasing power away from Americans. that's terrible for the economy, and will make Americans very angry. Barry's approval will go below 40%. Barry will be stunned; maybe he melts down. We'll see.

Danube of Thought

"We cannot keep taxing the people to death, while the wealthy and big business do not pay their fair share due to tax cuts, tax breaks, tax shelters, etc. "

This Anglelight person keeps posting this same uninformed rant around the web. You can tell her that the top 1% of earners pay 38% of the tax, the top 5% pay 59%, the top 10% pay 70%, and the bottom 47% pay nothing at all, but then she'll post the same screed a day later. Nobody home, I fear.

MarkO

" pharmaceutical blow." You and Dennis.

Frau Schiessgewehr

NK- in Jeahmannee, that is now called the Stinky Finger.

NK

Danka for ze Jeahmann lesson Frau S.

daddy

More OT,

Local Talk boys discussing the testimony of Ted Danson about shutting down Chukchi Drilling. Their guests, who know the players, say that the interesting thing about the testifying, was that all the folks testifying in favor of allowing drilling were regular folks---people from the State not affiliated with Big Oil or big Advocacy groups, wheres the folks on the other side with Danson, were primarily massive Advocacy groups from out of State, possessing huge budgets and having out of state hired guns to do their Enviro-pleading.

Not unexpected, but just thought that I would mention it.

MO

Me and Barack, we went to Ivy League school's.

Captain Hate

Could have been Karl Malone

Karl was honestly cut and ripped; I'll always appreciate him for opening up that little sneak Zeke Thomas. Plus when he was hoisting iron during the offseason in the broiling Looziana sun one of his buds said "Aren't you worried you're doing too much"; to which he replied "I'm afraid I'm not doing enough".

Some hilarious stuff by the AoS commentors: Today is the 6th anniversary of Arafat joining Mo the perv in Hell due to AIDS. Bottoms up.

Mega McCans on with Megyn Kelly giving a good visual contrast between RINOs and kickass wimmens.

Frau Schiessgewehr

Whee,Maybee! I've been tired just racing around the innertubes tracking you. We worry, you know.

Old Lurker

MayBee!

daddy

Yay, Yay, Yay!!!

MayBee!

Frau Schiessgewehr

NK - "Schtinky" Finger

hit and run

Who had 11/11 as the date for MayBee's reappearance in the JOM pool?

Not me.

I was guessing she'd show up on her birthday.

peter

Will the meltdown resemble this? LUN

DebinNC

You've been greatly missed, MayBee.

My memory's fuzzy, but was it last year's G20 meeting when some of the major players were meeting without Obama until he tracked them down and banged on the door demanding to be let in the room?

centralcal

Hey, MayBee.

never say never, donchaknow. ;;wink;;

Frau Schiessgewehr

OT - new education report has achievement by black children much lower than expected. What does AG Holder have to contribute to that discussion? No mention about parents but interesting thoughts about throwing more money at such problems.
Sorry about the NYT LUN...

Pagar

Wow, I go take a nap and Maybee shows up!
What a great day.

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