Taxes taxes and more taxes

From the Daily Record:

Property taxes in N.J. rise 2.4 percent despite state-imposed cap

New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes continued to rise in 2011, although at a slower rate than in previous years, according to figures released by the state Department of Community Affairs.

The average annual property tax bill was up $183 from 2010 to 2011, to $7,759. That’s an increase of 2.4 percent, slightly more than half the 4.1 percent increase seen between 2009 and 2010.

In Monmouth County, the average property tax bill rose $248, to $8,040. That’s a 3.2 percent increase. Ocean County property owners saw their taxes jump an average of $618, to $5,434. That’s an increase of nearly 13 percent.

Statewide, Paterson saw the highest property tax increase, at 17.3 percent to $8,829, for municipalities with more than 250 residents. Corbin City, in Atlantic County, had biggest drop, at 20.6 percent. The town has about 500 residents, and homeowners paid an average of $3,328 in property taxes.

Over the years the state has attempted to mitigate some of the rise in property taxes by distributing rebates to property owners. Rebate checks, previously mailed in October, averaged about $1,000 during Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s administration.

From the Courier Post:

Hey guv, it’s still property taxes

Gov. Chris Christie may not be the kind of leader who drifts whichever way the wind blows and changes his position based on polls.

But, if polls weren’t important to some degree as a barometer of voters’ opinions, then politicians wouldn’t rely so heavily upon them come campaign season.

An interesting new poll from Monmouth University/New Jersey Press Media finds that when it comes to lowering property taxes or lowering income taxes in the Garden State, a vast majority — 69 percent — think lowering property taxes should be the priority. Just 19 percent of poll respondents said reducing the state income tax should be the priority. Another 10 percent of those polled said both should be the priority.

As Christie turns the corner on the halfway point of his first term and prepares for a potential re-election bid in 2013, or a bid to some national office later, it’s understandable why he wants to lower state income taxes by 10 percent. New Jerseyans are overburdened by taxes and, for the governor, one of the least complicated taxes to lower is the income tax because it is directly controlled by the state.

The 2 percent cap on local government spending increases and property tax levy increases year-to-year was a great achievement. But, it has not lowered anyone’s property taxes. The cap has only slowed the pace of the tax increases.

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118 Responses to Taxes taxes and more taxes

  1. yo says:

    Good morning Joiisseeey!!!

    Prior Actual
    Composite Index – W/W Change -2.9 % 7.5 %
    Purchase Index – W/W Change -1.7 % 0.1 %
    Refinance Index – W/W Change -3.6 % 9.4 %

    Mortgage applications for home purchases are on the rise, but just barely at least for the February 3 week. The purchase index is up 0.1 percent in the week with the 4-week average up a more substantial 0.7 percent. The results are a modestly positive indication for underlying home sales. The refinance index is showing more life, up 9.4 percent in the week with the 4-week average up 5.7 percent. Low mortgage rates are boosting demand for both purchases and refinancing with the 30-year fixed rate for conforming loans ($417,500 or less) down 4 basis points to 4.05 percent

  2. Mikeinwaiting says:

    The Jobs Report: A Deeper Look Shows Persistent Problems
    “While the news was good, we still have to look at the report in the context of a sluggish economy. And beyond a glance at the headlines, the job market is a long way from healthy.

    We still have 5.6 million fewer jobs than we did four years ago. And while the jobless rate fell to 8.3%, the labor force participation rate fell too. Labor force participation is 63.7%, the lowest rate since 1983. That means that as of last month, 1.2 million people are no longer considered ‘unemployed’, they just left the system and are no longer counted. So basically, the labor force shrank and with it the unemployment rate.

    There are still 12.8 million people without a job. And of those, 5.5 million have been out of work for over six months and their prospects didn’t improve.
    That the unemployment is moving in the right direction is great. But with the possibility that the way toward a lower jobless rate is through fewer workers and people dropping out the labor force, that good news takes on a different tone.”

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/349181-the-jobs-report-a-deeper-look-shows-persistent-problems

  3. reinvestor101 says:

    >>>NJGator says:
    February 8, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Rick Santorum people, Really?<<<

    Look lady, unlike you and your fresh faced hubby, some of us aren't stinking liberals and we don't like liberals in any stripe—and that includes Romney. Our top priority is defeating that damn socialist in the White House and getting rid of this damn health care that's been jammed down our throats. I don't want no stinking healthcare. We need Rick Santorum or Gingrich. I'll take either one of them. I HATE Paul–the man sounds like some damn liberal peacenik

  4. Mikeinwaiting says:

    All is well with the recovery unless you consider the numbers in my prior post.

  5. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Saw this headline , I think it says it all.
    “U.S. stock futures edge up on Greek hopes.” LOL

  6. yo says:

    JJ,

    Can you explain the wide gap between coupon of 3.125% and yield of 0,121%.Thanks in advance

    BANK OF AMERICA CORP BAC.HGP 3.125% Jun 2012 Aaa/AA+/AAA 101.105 99.104 101.059 -0.002 0.121

  7. Proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free HEHEHE says:

    Why would you ask JJ for investment advice? He’s the same guy who invested in Jets season tickets.

    “With a record of 359 wins, 421 losses and eight ties, the New York Jets are a historical example in frustration and mediocrity”

  8. Proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free HEHEHE says:

    It’s Here — Or Maybe Not
    In “Grumpy Old Permabear,” I noted that “a growing number of commentators are suggesting that the worst is behind us,” and included (among others) a link to a post by Calculated Risk, “The Housing Bottom is Here.” While I certainly can’t say for sure that Bill McBride is wrong (FWIW, I am a big fan of CR and have been a regular visitor since its earliest days), I did point out that “genuine bottoms have, historically at least, gone unrecognized until well after their arrival.”

    On the flipside, long, secular downturns — like those that invariably follow bursting bubbles — are littered with endless claims of a recovery being at hand. As it happens, Weakonomics has compiled an extensive collection of such pronouncements about the current bear market, stretching back almost six years, in “The Megalist of Calling the Housing Bottom.” Here are some examples:

    1/31/2012 Homeownership rates fall to 66% as downturn nears a bottom – USA Today
    1/10/2012 Has The Housing Market Hit Its Bottom? – Forbes
    12/8/2011 Is the Housing Bottom Finally in Sight? – Kiplinger (my favorite!)
    9/27/2011 This Has To Be The Housing Bottom – Seeking Alpha
    6/21/2011 The Housing Bottom Is Here: Economist Russell Price Explains – Daily Finance

    2/8/2007 Housing still on down slope Economists say no recovery until midyear; prices face record fall – Market Watch
    12/21/2006 Housing ‘close to bottom,’ realtor-group economist says – Market Watch
    12/5/2006 Home builders see bottom of housing slump – CNN Money
    11/15/2006 Housing slide may deepen; New forecast sees bottom in 2008 – Boston Globe
    10/6/2006 Greenspan Says `Worst’ May Be Past in U.S. Housing – Bloomberg

    http://www.financialarmageddon.com/2012/02/its-here-or-maybe-not.html

  9. JJ says:

    Ask price is above par. Coupon is 3.125% and yield would be 3.125% if bond sold at par, 100. Since bond is for sale above par 101.059 and it matures in june 2012 at that yield is actually near zero.

    yo says:
    February 8, 2012 at 7:40 am
    JJ,

    Can you explain the wide gap between coupon of 3.125% and yield of 0,121%.Thanks in advance

    BANK OF AMERICA CORP BAC.HGP 3.125% Jun 2012 Aaa/AA+/AAA 101.105 99.104 101.059 -0.002 0.121

  10. yo says:

    JJ,
    I see. Remaining yield is for the remaining 4 months life of the bond and the selling price killed another point on the yield.Thanks bro

  11. JJ says:

    Row One Visitors Side Field Level Seats like I have are a super investment. It does not matter how Jets do. I am on visitors side. So when Pats, Cowboys, Packers, Giants, Chargers, 49ers etc. play the big money games people pay a huge premium to sit in first row. Plus Row one Seats you get VIPs a lot as some seats are sponsor seats or NFL seats. Adam Sandler, Whoppi Goldberg, Keven James, Ice-T, Ray Romano all have sat by me. One game last year the coache’s wife of opposing team was sitting next to me. Seats are regularly on TV. It is nice to know when the celebs get home they have something to brag about as they got to see me in person.

    Seats like Real Estate are all Location Location Location. Giants offered me seats in Mezz A and a LL EZ Corner around row 30. I turned them down. They are commodity seats. Even when Giants are doing good just too much inventory. Pretty much row one sideline between the goal lines is where you want to sit. Now Giants eventually offered me row one but only in a choice of three singles at three different corners of field. If I was a big Giant fan I would have snatched it. But did not want to deal with a single seat as a PSL. Plus on visitors side I am selling to visitors as well as jet fans. Hence by buying on visitors side I hedged my bets. Jets also offered me row one Jets side but turned it down. If Jets stink who am I selling too. But if Jets stink the visiting team will sell pay the bucks.

    Sitting in first row is a treat. There is an old joke, What do you call someone with Row Two seats? Loser. Players sit in row one sideline or 40 yard line Mezz level.

    I have taken huge Giant fans to Jets games. But you know what I am hooked up with Jets. I can take you on Field, get you in Clubs, get you on big screen and 90% chance you will be on TV. You are part of the game. It is a whole different experience. My Giant fan friends got take it or leave it row 22 UD. They took it. When I come rollin into to the stadium in my monster SUV or BMW it is like move the cones a da man is comming!

    Proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free HEHEHE says:
    February 8, 2012 at 7:52 am
    Why would you ask JJ for investment advice? He’s the same guy who invested in Jets season tickets.

    “With a record of 359 wins, 421 losses and eight ties, the New York Jets are a historical example in frustration and mediocrity”

  12. yo says:

    Even though the economy is showing signs of strengthening and inflation appears in check, Republicans Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, who also are running for president, have said they wouldn’t keep Bernanke, 58, when his second four-year term as Fed chairman expires on Jan. 31, 2014. Gingrich said in September that Bernanke was “the most inflationary, dangerous and power-centered chairman” in the central bank’s history.

    “The criticism about the Fed being inflationary is not fact-based,” said Mark Gertler, an economics professor at New York University who has co-written research with Bernanke. “In terms of an inflation record, the facts are the Fed has been as close to impeccable as you can possibly get.”

    During Bernanke’s tenure, the U.S. consumer price index has risen an average of 2.4 percent, lower than the 3.1 percent average for Alan Greenspan and 6.3 percent for Paul Volcker. Greenspan was chairman from 1987 to 2006; Volcker was Fed chief from 1979 to 1987.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-08/bernanke-led-economy-proving-critics-clueless-about-federal-reserve-policy.html

  13. Proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free HEHEHE says:

    Yo JJ,

    Maybe you can get some TARP money for your Jets seats. Just send this quote to Geithner and I am sure he’ll cut you a check:

    “With a record of 359 wins, 421 losses and eight ties, the New York Jets are a historical example in frustration and mediocrity”

    It’s kind of surprising, you usually seem to do your homework, I guess you must have bought Tub-o-saurus Rex’s sales pitch. Never trust a foot-fetishist. Live and learn.

  14. Brian says:

    Huh, Obama left this part out…the program suddenly seems much less attractive:

    In Obama’s Refinancing Plan, Homeowners to Pay a Premium

    “The insurance allows homebuyers to borrow at lower interest rates, but the FHA tacks a 1.15% charge on top of the interest rate of most new mortgages it guarantees for the life of the loan. While the administration has yet to decide how to structure surcharges in its refi program, such fees would reduce savings for borrowers and make the program less attractive to some.”

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/2012/02/07/obamas-refinancing-plan-means-fee-for-homeowners/

    Oh well, I guess I’ll probably just continue to prepay, fix up my house, and wait for the market to clear.

  15. gary says:

    Fabius,

    It came down to the last play of the game in heart-stopping fashion. Previous to that, we had a Manning lead drive with 3 minutes on the clock in a sequel to “the” greatest superbowl game. I know SI has it’s take on the top 10, but how can we not put this game in the top 10, just for the drama alone? Just asking. :)

  16. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Sure if you leave out consumables, energy, and the unreported growth in money supply there is no inflation. While leaving out those who dropped out of the workforce improved the unemployment numbers. The idiots in this country will truly believe anything.

    50.5 Really Santorum or Gingrich, we have always thought you were batsh!t crazy this just confirms it.

  17. 3B says:

    It’s half-time in America folks.

  18. yo says:

    Hotel staff in NYC
    get big pay raise, panic buttons
    NYT: Housekeepers to get $59,823 a year

    I need to get a job in the city

  19. 3B says:

    Scott two ply 36 pack at Costco 20 bucks, great savings.

  20. yo says:

    Pain,
    Isn’t it the inflation in this country is based on PCE (Personal Consumption and Expenditure) which include food and energy? I believe that is what Bernk said on one of his Q&A

  21. gary says:

    yo [18],

    I feel like such a sucker.

  22. xolepa says:

    JJ, from yesterday: We all know you are a closet HS VolleyBall fan.

    Well, at least that is done. Daughter is finished with it at hs level and will now play for a baby IVY in the fall.

    I appreciate your search skills, though.

  23. gary says:

    30 year realtor,

    Where are you? Give us some prognosis on the market!

  24. 3B says:

    There is no such thing as baby Ivy, or almost Ivy or just like an Ivy. There is Ivy League and that is it.

  25. reinvestor101 says:

    >>>50.5 Really Santorum or Gingrich, we have always thought you were batsh!t crazy this just confirms it.<<<

    Both Santorum and Gingrich are what this damn country needs. I don't give a shlt which one is president or vice-president. We need them both to counter the stinking liberal element that's run amok in this damn country. With them in charge, a damn missile would be already up Tehran's, Moscow's an Beijing's collective asses for the damn stunts they're trying to pull. All Obama want to do is talk and place sanctions. He's a damn pantywaist. The real men are always on the right.

  26. 3B says:

    #23 gary: Agreed.

  27. Juice says:

    China is going to buy a nice WTO permanent “most favored nation status” for a mere 100 billion euros. Might as well close down every steel mill in the North America and Europe now.

  28. xolepa says:

    (24)
    Fine. That means her two older brothers are the real thing. You can form your own opinion: http://www.ehow.com/info_7921017_baby-ivy-league-colleges.html.

  29. Juice says:

    re #25 – Yes I know satire and all but please do us a favor, join the Army of One already if you are itching for a fight. There are plenty jobs at checkpoints for rock ribbed Americans like you.

    The most dangerous job on Earth

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPCHYGs9-mA

  30. Juice says:

    Baby Ivy? Isn’t that Beyonce and J-Z’s kid?

  31. reinvestor101 says:

    >>Scott two ply 36 pack at Costco 20 bucks, great savings.<<

    Bullspit. You don't give a tinkers damn how cheap Costco is carrying them, YOU WILL NEVER BUY THEM because your cheapass uses corncobs cause they're "free".

    Look, we're in polite damn company and we really don't want to delve into topics revolving around your damn veggie fetish. This started off merely to save damn money but quickly devolved into scandalous "activity".

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

  32. chicagofinance says:

    Plus SF20-CIN16 Superbowl sucked…the only thing interesting was a late TD by Montana and the Ickey Shuffle…..pure shite otherwise….

    gary says:
    February 8, 2012 at 8:46 am
    Fabius,

    It came down to the last play of the game in heart-stopping fashion. Previous to that, we had a Manning lead drive with 3 minutes on the clock in a sequel to “the” greatest superbowl game. I know SI has it’s take on the top 10, but how can we not put this game in the top 10, just for the drama alone? Just asking. :)

  33. 3B says:

    #31 I use it, I love it. I bought 2 twenty packs.

  34. gary says:

    ChiFi [33],

    Yup, I saw it yesterday. That poor guy. It was not an easy catch; Welker had to twist around and try to snag it high off of his back shoulder. Brady should’ve manned up and took some of the heat on that one. I always admired Welker and when I saw the Butterfinger thing yesterday, I sort of cringed. I laughed a little, but I feel for the guy. Nonetheless, the Jints are champions, the Pats are not! :)

  35. 30 year realtor says:

    Gary, thanks for asking. I was more optimistic in the Fall about the market than I am currently. That said I am going under contract to buy a vacant lot in Paramus to build a 3800 square foot house for resale. If where you sit is where you stand, I am more of an optimist than I realize.

    The Paramus thing is just too sweet to pass up! There is a demand for what I am building and I can sell it for the right price. The market on a whole appears to be waiting for the foreclosure tsunami to hit and seems like it is on hold for the moment.

    There are a zillion wanna be investors trying to become landlords and house flippers. The recovery in real estate will not come in price increases, it will be an increase in transactions.

  36. reinvestor101 says:

    Hell, this reminds me of what’s happening in the nation’s airports. Sometimes all this damn groping and feeling doesn’t work out too damn well. Needless to say, I don’t want this kind of damn “duty”:

    Man arrested after ejaciulating during TSA pat-down

    November 21, 2010 by Dead Serious News · Leave a Comment

    TSA agent gropes man

    A 47 year old gay man was arrested at San Francisco International Airport after ejacilating while being patted down by a male TSA agent. Percy Cummings, an interior designer from San Francisco, is being held without bail after the alleged incident, charged with sixually assaulting a Federal agent.

    According to Cummings’ partner, Sergio Armani, Cummings has “multiple piercings on his manhood” which were detected during a full body scan. As a result, Cummings was pulled aside for a pat-down. Armani stated that the unidentified TSA agent spent “an inordinate amount of time groping” Cummings, who had apparently become sixually aroused. Cummings, who has a history of sixual dysfunction, ejacilated while the TSA agent’s hand was feeling the piercings. The TSA agent, according to several witnesses, promptly called for back up. Cummings was thrown to the ground and handcuffed.

    A TSA spokesperson declined to comment on this specific case, but said that anyone ejacilating during a pat-down would be subject to arrest.

    http://www.deadseriousnews.com/?p=573

    >>>Juice says:
    February 8, 2012 at 9:20 am

    re #25 – Yes I know satire and all but please do us a favor, join the Army of One already if you are itching for a fight. There are plenty jobs at checkpoints for rock ribbed Americans like you.

    The most dangerous job on Earth

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPCHYGs9-mA<<&lt;

  37. 3B says:

    #36 Thanks.We are actually out looking. If we see something that makes sense and they hit our bid than we will be buying.

  38. gary says:

    30 year,

    Thank you!! You’ve been a great barometer for us!

  39. NJGator says:

    30 Year (36) – What do you think Montclair will have to sell these lots for in order for a builder to be able to make any money. Maybe they’ll give the lots away for free or pay someone to build on them.

    Despite the shouts and protests of angry residents, the Montclair Township Council Tuesday voted to sell municipally owned land on Wildwood Avenue, dedicating part of it for affordable housing.

    Residents who live on Wildwood Avenue, who oppose development at the municipally owned property in their neighborhood, walk out of the Montclair Township Council chambers Tuesday moments after the governing voted to sell the land.

    Brian Synnott, who lives on Wildwood Avenue, disparaged the plan to create two units of affordable housing on municipal land. ‘It’s a pig … There is not enough lipstick in Revlon for this pig,’ he told the Montclair Township Council.

    In a tense meeting, where 3rd Ward Councilman Nick Lewis at one point threatened to have yelling audience members removed, in a 5-2 vote the council authorized the sale of the 2.2-acre site. The resolution mandates that two of the four lots in question be designated for affordable housing, with one for low-income family and the other for a moderate-income family.

    http://www.northjersey.com/topstories/montclair/138910554_Montclair_Council_approves_sale_of_controversial_Wildwood_Avenue_site.html

  40. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Chi,

    You mean you didn’t like seeing Tim Krumrie’s leg flopping around?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNzWp_qQGo8

  41. Mikeinwaiting says:

    37 Leave the guys junk alone if you do not want anything to happen, then they arrest him! This is going to be one fun law suit.

  42. reinvestor101 says:

    >>>#31 I use it, I love it. I bought 2 twenty packs<<<

    You love it??? WTF??? This is an admission that he bought 20 packs of damn corn cobs, loves them and used them. This rivals the damn scandals that engulfed the catholic church priesthood. Sick. Very sick.

  43. JJ says:

    I do my home work. Only regret is I did not buy more. At a $130 face per ticket and several games sold at $490 a ticket it is a great deal. PSLs are like timeshares. 99% are bad deals. You need to do real homework to buy something that is normally a bad deal and make money. Already workin on Jets for 2014 SB tickets.

    Proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free HEHEHE says:
    February 8, 2012 at 8:41 am
    Yo JJ,

    Maybe you can get some TARP money for your Jets seats. Just send this quote to Geithner and I am sure he’ll cut you a check:

    “With a record of 359 wins, 421 losses and eight ties, the New York Jets are a historical example in frustration and mediocrity”

    It’s kind of surprising, you usually seem to do your homework, I guess you must have bought Tub-o-saurus Rex’s sales pitch. Never trust a foot-fetishist. Live and learn.

  44. 3B says:

    #39 gary: Agreed. Especially for activity in Bergen Co.

  45. 3B says:

    #43 No Scott two ply 20 packs in Costco. You should know corn cobs are free!!!

  46. 30 year realtor says:

    Gator, lots are typically worth about 30% of the projected value of the home to be built in quality suburban locations. The low income units will have little impact on the overall value of the market rate lots.

  47. Jill says:

    3B #34: Better look for a house with a basement if you’re a TP hoarder. (Takes one to know one.) I use the trunk of the car for storage to avoid questions about “How much TP do we need?” Those who don’t understand “But it’s on sale and it’s not like we won’t use it!” will never understand.

  48. Juice says:

    We now we have Larry the Fink telling us to go long 100% in equities with super low NYSE volume eh?

    Chips off….

  49. 3B says:

    #48 Jill: And paper towel too.On another note looking in the LibertyAve area of Hillsdale too.

  50. Juice says:

    re: # 44 – “Jets for 2014 SB tickets”

    Similar to what my Eagle fan friends have been saying to me this week. I always wonder what kind of stuff they smoke when they go home for the evening.

    It really wasn’t too far-fetched was it? That the Jets and Eagles could have faced off in Indy? If 2014 it ends up being Jets vs Eagles here in NJ for the Superbowl I am leaving town for a week to go out west skiing or something there is bound to be a few murders….imagine the two teams with the worst fans meeting in the middle of NJ for a Superbowl we are going to need rubber hoses and active denial weapon systems.

  51. JJ says:

    I did not say Jets would be in 2014 SB. I highly highly doubt it. Host team a very small % of fans get SB tickets. I am trying to get that. Dont care who is in 2014 sb as long as I am thre.

  52. JJ says:

    Fink is 100% correct. The retail investor will cause a melt up soon as they all come racing in to cause a new short term top then a correction. The retail investor should get in now before the lemmings do in a few weeks and get out at the next top. They won’t listen to fink and all rush in at once and get burnt.

    Juice says:
    February 8, 2012 at 10:26 am
    We now we have Larry the Fink telling us to go long 100% in equities with super low NYSE volume eh?

  53. Juice says:

    JJ – “very small % of fans get SB tickets” Lottery was for teams playing. The other teams owners get them and give them to their redheaded step child to scalp so they can earn a living. Stubhub alone had over 2k tickets at auction right next to the stadium in Indy along with loads of other ticket brokers who had setup offices. There were also plenty of Pats and Giants fans hawking tickets as well in Indy. I doubt getting a ticket will be all that hard unless you are looking for 1st row section 100 seats or freebies in a box seat.

  54. JJ says:

    I am looking for one year ahead of time cutting early deal for any nose bleed seat, or night before or morning of game grabbing a cheap ticket. Beauty is with a train to stadium and stubhub/ticketexchange and smartphones I can even go bymyself on a single ticket. Just want to see game. I am sure I will know someone there to tailgate with. Either way I will be there. Bad weather rain or snowstorm day of game for someone willing to go on a single prices will plummet.

    Juice says:
    February 8, 2012 at 10:47 am
    JJ – “very small % of fans get SB tickets” Lottery was for teams playing. The other teams owners get them and give them to their redheaded step child to scalp so they can earn a living. Stubhub alone had over 2k tickets at auction right next to the stadium in Indy along with loads of other ticket brokers who had setup offices. There were also plenty of Pats and Giants fans hawking tickets as well in Indy. I doubt getting a ticket will be all that hard unless you are looking for 1st row section 100 seats or freebies in a box seat.

  55. Juice says:

    JJ buddy of mine from Chicago who showed up last minute on Sunday bought a legit ticket at 3PM for $1200. Nose bleed face value before taxes is $800. Not a bad vig for a last minute ticket.

  56. NJGator says:

    30 Year (47) – They are looking for a single builder to buy the 4 lots and build 2 of the 4 – 50% – SFHs as affordable. The lots have been assessed at about $300k. A 2,000SF home in the area will command about $550k in this market. The 2 affordable units can sell for no more than $105,000 – $219,000. I just don’t understand how anyone can make money off of this. Obviously Montclair will have to sell these properties at a loss. But how low do they have to sell in order for the project to make economic sense to the investor?

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/138545724_Already_1st_Ward_s__most_diverse_street__.html

  57. Jill says:

    3B #51: Yes, but we use less paper towels than TP. Even with a cat that pukes regularly.

    Liberty Ave. area is nice too, lots of charming older houses and some =drool= Craftsman bungalows.

  58. 3B says:

    #59 And I can walk to the train.

  59. Wendy says:

    Wow. Banks paying delinquent borrowers real money – $20K to $30K – PLUS forgiving deficiency, to get short sales moving:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-07/banks-paying-homeowners-a-bonus-to-avoid-foreclosures-mortgages.html

  60. xolepa says:

    (58)
    In Somerset and to a lesser extent, in Hunterdon County, the prime low/moderate income properties were accounted for by friends and family of the political class before they went on formal sale. Example,: if you had a son/daughter right out of college, bingo, they qualify. Mom and Dad just cosign for the loan. Live cheap for thirty years as taxes are also lower. So this begs the question: How will that town determine the eventual buyers, or is it a setup for someone inside?

  61. 3B says:

    Blog in decline?

  62. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    just have to keep paying the man 3b and meat may have finally been picked up by the Feds : )

  63. Mike says:

    63 Everybody is out home shopping

  64. Anon E. Moose says:

    Wendy [61];

    That’s for deadbeats only, usually the ones who haven’t made a payment in years. People who pay their bills need not apply.

  65. chicagofinance says:

    Welker is the the new age Chrebet….althougha better player, because Chrebet really struggled to be an every down player except at his very peak. The Jets are screwed right now b/c the Pats have Gronk, AH and Welker and the Jets have no safeties or linebackers that can fall into coverage.

    gary says:
    February 8, 2012 at 9:33 am
    ChiFi [33], Yup, I saw it yesterday. That poor guy. It was not an easy catch; Welker had to twist around and try to snag it high off of his back shoulder. Brady should’ve manned up and took some of the heat on that one. I always admired Welker and when I saw the Butterfinger thing yesterday, I sort of cringed. I laughed a little, but I feel for the guy. Nonetheless, the Jints are champions, the Pats are not! :)

  66. HE (7)-

    I think it’s safe to say that the Jets are the LA Clippers of football.

  67. Brian (14)-

    Seems like 1.15% is a small premium to pay in order to refi negative equity into a potentially toxic, unsecured loan.

    “The insurance allows homebuyers to borrow at lower interest rates, but the FHA tacks a 1.15% charge on top of the interest rate of most new mortgages it guarantees for the life of the loan. While the administration has yet to decide how to structure surcharges in its refi program, such fees would reduce savings for borrowers and make the program less attractive to some.”

  68. The Original NJ Expat says:

    Juice [52] – It really wasn’t too far-fetched was it? That the Jets and Eagles could have faced off in Indy? If 2014 it ends up being Jets vs Eagles here in NJ for the Superbowl I am leaving town for a week to go out west skiing or something there is bound to be a few murders….imagine the two teams with the worst fans meeting in the middle of NJ for a Superbowl we are going to need rubber hoses and active denial weapon systems.

    probably a whole slew of Secaucus bed and breakfasts would spring up.

  69. The Original NJ Expat says:

    JJ [54] Fink is 100% correct. The retail investor will cause a melt up soon as they all come racing in to cause a new short term top then a correction. The retail investor should get in now before the lemmings do in a few weeks and get out at the next top. They won’t listen to fink and all rush in at once and get burnt.

    I agree. As soon as I saw the scare articles/propaganda on Money Market rule changes I put $40K of my 401K “buy the dips” cash into the market, hoping to front run the lemmings. I wouldn’t be surprised if the smart money isn’t selling into the Facebook ipo rally, which I may do as well.

  70. Brian says:

    It doesn’t make sense if your goal is to lower your interest rate by 1%.

    71.There Went Meat says:
    February 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm
    Brian (14)-

    Seems like 1.15% is a small premium to pay in order to refi negative equity into a potentially toxic, unsecured loan.

    “The insurance allows homebuyers to borrow at lower interest rates, but the FHA tacks a 1.15% charge on top of the interest rate of most new mortgages it guarantees for the life of the loan. While the administration has yet to decide how to structure surcharges in its refi program, such fees would reduce savings for borrowers and make the program less attractive to some.”

  71. HEHEHE says:

    “The Jets are screwed right now b/c the Pats have Gronk, AH and Welker and the Jets have no safeties or linebackers that can fall into coverage.”

    But the Jets have a loudmouthed tubby foot-fetishist for a head coach who tells them how great they are; you saying that isn’t enough?

  72. All Hype says:

    But the Jets have a loudmouthed tubby foot-fetishist for a head coach who tells them how great they are; you saying that isn’t enough?

    They also have JJ as a fan, a real fan. Real fans get season tickets….

  73. Jill says:

    3b #60:

    Diva! ;-)

  74. 3B says:

    #77 Jill: Part of my charm!!

  75. Brian (74)-

    It does, however, make sense if you’re trying to finish the job of turning FHA into the biggest toxic financial garbage can in human history.

  76. JJ says:

    re 74 and people like me will buy that stuff. toxic mortgages that pay an above market rate back-stop by Uncle Sam. GMAC, BAC, AIG, C bonds all over again.

    Also I do believe it you never go to games in person, buy no NFL gear you ain’t a real fan. Heck the Giants fans at work did not even have Jersey or cap to wear while watching game. I like the Yankees but have not been to game in years and watch 1- 2 games a year on TV, that does not make me a FANATIC> hence Fan.

    All Hype says:
    February 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm
    But the Jets have a loudmouthed tubby foot-fetishist for a head coach who tells them how great they are; you saying that isn’t enough?

    They also have JJ as a fan, a real fan. Real fans get season tickets….

  77. Brian says:

    What does big O care? The voters will probably throw him out in November anyway.

    They stand to make a handsome profit on my loan. I’ll diligently pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan.

    79.There Went Meat says:
    February 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm
    Brian (74)-

    It does, however, make sense if you’re trying to finish the job of turning FHA into the biggest toxic financial garbage can in human history.

  78. Anon E. Moose says:

    Brian [74];

    It doesn’t make sense if your goal is to lower your interest rate by 1%.

    It does if the 1.15% can get rolled into the refi principal. If someone is carrying $400k (on a house worth $250k) at 6%, P+I is $2400; if they refi into ~$405k FHA insured at 4%, their P+I payment comes down to $1950. Harry and Hilda Howmuchamonth can now go out an lease a new Government Motors car.

    The real question is whether 1.15% is an adequate premium to insure that risk. Of course it isn’t, but it doesn’t matter because people who actually pay taxes, the largely overlapping set with the non-deadbeats who actually pay their bills, will get stuck with the check (as usual).

  79. Brian says:

    BTW, I guess that makes me toxic financial garbage. Eh, I’ve been called worse.

  80. JJ says:

    Hey Chifi Banco Popular and Bank of America are two of 2012 biggest gainers!!! Don’t hate the playa hate the game.

    Buying Banco Popular in December is the Ugly Early Strategy. Not pretty but it works.

  81. JJ says:

    You improved your income statement but hurt your balance sheet. Bottom line is you now owe 405k instead of 400K

    Anon E. Moose says:
    February 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm
    Brian [74];

    It doesn’t make sense if your goal is to lower your interest rate by 1%.

    It does if the 1.15% can get rolled into the refi principal. If someone is carrying $400k (on a house worth $250k) at 6%, P+I is $2400; if they refi into ~$405k FHA insured at 4%, their P+I payment comes down to $1950. Harry and Hilda Howmuchamonth can now go out an lease a new Government Motors car.

    The real question is whether 1.15% is an adequate premium to insure that risk. Of course it isn’t, but it doesn’t matter because people who actually pay taxes, the largely overlapping set with the non-deadbeats who actually pay their bills, will get stuck with the check (as usual).

  82. nwnj says:

    JJ should be angry with Giants fans. Looks like Jets PSLs are selling for $.40 on the dollar AT MOST.

  83. JJ says:

    Feb 6 (Reuters) – Money managers and hedge funds have discovered a newfound love for junk.

    Legg Mason, First Eagle and Armored Wolf are among institutional investors launching new high-yield “junk” bond funds this month, taking advantage of the surge in investor appetite for risk-taking and yield.

    Gonna get ugly. Bond Funds and ETFs in Junk will see a run for the doors one day and unlike holding physical bonds the mark to marking will kill you. Funds will have to liqidate into a buyers mkt to satisfy redemptions. New people to junk who are retail cant handle price swings.

  84. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [85];

    Harry & Hilda Howmuchamonth don’t care about their balance sheet. They were going to borrow against the house in perpetuitity anyway, then spend their waning years complaining about us lazy young whipper-snappers who are funding their SS and medicare payments.

  85. JJ says:

    Giant PSLs in the Club sections and Coaches Club go below face. Jets PSLs in Mezz A, Mezzb, LLEZ, LL Corners and Coaches Club going under par.

    I tracked PSL resales on a historical basis. Seems low rows on lower level sideline non-prem seats in any PSL sale long term performs the best. My seats are trading at triple face. Meanwhile in my same section high row middle of aisle seats could be had for 40 cents on a dollar. Jets and Giants priced in section 142 for example row one on aisle 30 yard line at same price as last row 10 yard line. Of course in secondary the prices will vary widely

    nwnj says:
    February 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm
    JJ should be angry with Giants fans. Looks like Jets PSLs are selling for $.40 on the dollar AT MOST.

  86. freedy says:

    when does the refi go into effect? or have they not done it yet

  87. Brian says:

    Just To be clear, We’re talking about me And I’d be using the extra money to prepay my mortgage debt Or to accelerate my savings

    Anon E. Moose says:
    February 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm
    JJ [85];

    Harry & Hilda Howmuchamonth don’t care about their balance sheet. They were going to borrow against the house in perpetuitity anyway, then spend their waning years complaining about us lazy young whipper-snappers who are funding their SS and medicare payments.

  88. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ
    REVIEW & OUTLOOK
    FEBRUARY 9, 2012

    ObamaCare’s Great Awakening

    HHS tells religious believers to go to hell. The public notices..

    The political furor over President Obama’s birth-control mandate continues to grow, even among those for whom contraception poses no moral qualms, and one needn’t be a theologian to understand why. The country is being exposed to the raw political control that is the core of the Obama health-care plan, and Americans are seeing clearly for the first time how this will violate pluralism and liberty.

    ***

    In late January the Health and Human Services Department required almost all insurance plans to cover contraceptive and sterilization methods, including the morning-after pill. The decision came after passionate lobbying by religious groups and liberals from the likes of Planned Parenthood, amid government promises of compromise.

    In the end, Planned Parenthood won. HHS chose to draw the rule’s conscience exceptions for “religious employers” so narrowly that they will not be extended to religious charities, universities, schools, hospitals, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other institutions that oppose contraception as a matter of religious belief.

    The Affordable Care Act itself is ambiguous about what counts as a religious organization that deserves conscience protection. Like so much else in the rushed bill, this was left to administrative discretion. What the law does cement is the principle that the government will decide for everyone what “health care” must mean. The entire thrust of ObamaCare is to standardize benefits and how they must be paid for and provided, regardless of individual choices or ethical convictions.

    To take a small example: The HHS rule prohibits out-of-pocket costs for birth control, simply because Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s regulators believe no woman should have to pay anything for it. To take a larger example: The Obama Administration’s legal defense of the mandate to buy insurance or else pay a penalty is that the mere fact of being alive gives the government the right to regulate all Americans at every point in their lives.

    Practicing this kind of compulsion is routine and noncontroversial within Ms. Sebelius’s ministry. That may explain why her staff didn’t notice that the birth-control rule abridges the First Amendment’s protections for religious freedom. Then again, maybe HHS thought the public had become inured to such edicts, which have arrived every few weeks since the Affordable Care Act passed.

    Bad call. The decision has roused the Catholic bishops from their health-care naivete, but they’ve been joined by people of all faiths and even no faith, as it becomes clear that their own deepest moral beliefs may be thrown over eventually. Contraception is the single most prescribed medicine for women between 18 and 44 years old, and nine of 10 insurers and employers already cover it. Yet HHS still decided to rub it in the face of religious hospitals.

    Mr. Obama’s allies among Catholic liberals are also professing shock—even the Catholic Health Association’s Sister Carol Keehan, who lobbied for ObamaCare, and Notre Dame’s Father John Jenkins, who invited Mr. Obama to speak on campus in 2009. But if they now claim they were taken for a ride by the secular left, the truth is that they wanted to be deceived in the name of their grander goal of government-enforced equity. The Catholic left was one of ObamaCare’s great enablers.

    Speaking of scales from the eyes, we’re eager to hear from former Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak, who for a brief moment led a faction of pro-life Democrats against ObamaCare in 2010. They surrendered when Mr. Obama gave them the fig leaf of an executive order that will supposedly prevent federal funds from subsidizing abortions. Mr. Stupak is now a lobbyist at the D.C. law firm Venable LLP.

    This is also a teaching moment for Mitt Romney, who has joined the calls to defend “the right to worship in the way of our own choice,” as he put it in a Colorado speech on Monday. “This is a violation of conscience. We must have a President who is willing to protect America’s first right, our right to worship God,” he added.

    This is fine as far as it goes, but as usual the GOP front-runner is missing the larger policy and moral issue. The HHS diktat isn’t something unique to President Obama. It is the political essence of government-run medicine. When politics determines who can or should receive what benefits, and who pays what for it, government will use its force to dictate the outcomes that it wants—either for reasons of cost, or to promote its values, which in this case means that “women’s health” trumps religious conscience.

    If Mr. Romney can’t make the obvious connection between this infringement of American values and all the other infringements that are inherent in government health care, then he needs better political advisers.

    ***

    The White House is now trying to cauterize the political damage and saying it is open to some “compromise” on its own contraception decision. But the rule is already final. HHS tried to sell it as a compromise when it was announced, and in any case HHS would revive this coercion whenever it is politically convenient some time in Mr. Obama’s second term. Religious liberty won’t be protected from the entitlement state until ObamaCare is repealed.

  89. brian (83)-

    The biggest component of refinancing underwater housing is that the refi process cleans up what is probably very dubious title (and, natch, ownership of the note) in a lot of these situations. For some piece of crap paper that has been sliced, diced and extruded a few times through MERS, a refi takes a potentially very sketchy future possibility of having to attempt a foreclosure off the table for the lender that holds it.

    Good for banksters, not so much for the rest of us.

  90. Juice Box says:

    Grim Unmod 93 plz.

  91. Jill says:

    #92 chifi: Who cares what the bishops think? Most Catholics practice BC as it is. Why should national policy be run by any church? Of course if we had single payer, the Santorites would complain that they are paying for other people’s BC. They won’t be happy until women are prosecuted for having periods. After all, if up to 50% of fertilized eggs never implant, then women must be murderers 50% of the time, right?

  92. Jill says:

    Besides, wasn’t it Nixon’s Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz who said “You no play-a da game, you no make-a da rules”?

  93. yo says:

    The plan was to force the banks to take a haircut on the under water mortgage before refinancing to FHA.

  94. HEHEHE says:

    Those Catholics will be popping those morning after pills like tic-tacs.

  95. yo says:

    Despite the beating that home prices have taken over the last five years, Americans are still optimistic about their own housing situation, a new poll shows.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/americans-still-sold-on-homeownership-2012-02-08?dist=afterbell

  96. Confused in NJ says:

    Last year, a federal program paid out $1.6 billion to cover free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts. The program, overseen by the FCC and intended to help low-income Americans, is popular for obvious reasons, with participation rising steeply since 2008, when the government paid $772 million for phones and monthly bills. But observers complain that the program suffers from poor oversight, in which phones go to people who don’t qualify, and hundreds of thousands of those who do qualify have more than one phone.

  97. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (JJ Bungee Stock Edition):
    Diamond Foods Shares Plunge as Firm Puts CEO, CFO on Leave Amid Accounting
    Issues

  98. Juice says:

    re # 95 – Jill Jill Jill – “National Policy on birth control” should be Norplant if you are on any kind of Gov assistance because you cannot even take care of yourself never mind another life but that is too damm wacist so just make everyone else pay for the pills they forget to take right?

    The good Catholics practice the approved method by the way. We mark the calendar and don’t do it on the few days you can actually get pregnant.

  99. Shore Guy says:

    I heard today that the number of snow flakes in an average NJ snow storm is about equal to the number of federal programs attempted or planned to save imprudent home buyers from the results of their misguided purchases.

  100. Shore Guy says:

    Juice has got rhythm.

  101. Shore Guy says:

    It’s good to make the laws (to apply to other people):

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57372310/lawmakers-properties-can-benefit-from-earmarks/

    (Washington Post) This story is the latest installment in the Washington Post’s series “Capitol Assets,” based on an examination of the finances of all 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 members of the U.S. Senate. This story was written by David S. Fallis, Scott Higham and Kimberly Kindy.

    A U.S. senator from Alabama directed more than $100 million in federal earmarks to renovate downtown Tuscaloosa near his own commercial office building. A congressman from Georgia secured $6.3 million in taxpayer funds to replenish the beach about 900 feet from his island vacation cottage. A representative from Michigan earmarked $486,000 to add a bike lane to a bridge within walking distance of her home.

    Thirty-three members of Congress have steered more than $300 million in earmarks and other spending provisions to dozens of public projects that are next to or within about two miles of the lawmakers’ own property, according to a Washington Post investigation.

    Under the ethics rules Congress has written for itself, this is both legal and undisclosed.
    snip

  102. 3b says:

    #99 Of course the declinee affects everyone elses house price, but not theirs. And anyhow Americans are very well informed in general, and savvy; just saying.

  103. 3b says:

    #105 SHore You sound surprised!!

  104. yo (97)-

    I bet every bank in the US would jump to give an average 20K principal reduction on any mortgage where their ownership of the note is dubious/forged/questionable/non-existent…in return for establishing iron-clad title and note ownership.

  105. juice (102)-

    I can’t figure out why we stopped practicing eugenics. Can’t we all agree there are people who are just too stupid to allow them to reproduce?

  106. I can’t help but chuckle whenever I meet anyone named Eugene.

  107. Still wonder how you do a principal reduction on any securitized loan. If the investors run to court screaming breach of contract, how do they not prevail?

    Then again, we have a judiciary that now rules according to “fairness”, “feelings” and “the greater good”, so maybe this thing will get traction.

  108. Juice Box says:

    Meat – “Gov Assistance” includes you and yours, and you business even if you grow corn no exclusions.

  109. NJGator says:

    PALO ALTO, Calif. — Imagine looking for a house in San Francisco or one of the nicer parts of Silicon Valley, which are already among the most expensive parts of the country. Now imagine having to bid against a legion of newly minted Facebook millionaires.
    Related

    For Newcomers in Silicon Valley, the Dream of Entrepreneurship Still Lives (January 25, 2012)
    Times Topic: Silicon Valley

    Connect With Us on Twitter
    Follow @NYTNational for breaking news and headlines.
    Twitter List: Reporters and Editors
    “I’m kind of worried — a thousand millionaires are going to be buying houses!” Connie Cao said as she and her family toured a home in a good school district here.

    Her husband, Jared Oberhaus, was more optimistic. “Maybe sellers are sitting on their houses now, waiting for Facebook, and they’ll all come on the market at the same time,” he said.

    It will be some time before the first Facebook shares are sold to the public, and even longer before Facebook’s employees are able to turn their paper wealth into cash and officially take their places as the newest members of the 1 percent. But the mere anticipation of the event may pour a little kerosene onto what is already a fairly hot local real estate market.

    When Ken DeLeon, a Silicon Valley real estate agent, recently sold an 8,000-square-foot house to a Facebook employee, he said, the movers showed up at the client’s old 1,000-square-foot home and asked, “Did you win the lottery?”

    Silicon Valley has been good to Mr. DeLeon, a former lawyer, who said he sold $275 million worth of homes last year, and who is finishing up a memoir about overcoming illness, injury and loss that he calls “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Sexy People?”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/09/us/california-housing-market-braces-for-facebook-millionaires.html?_r=1&hp

  110. chicagofinance says:

    Jill:
    WSJ
    OPINION
    FEBRUARY 9, 2012
    The Real Trouble With the Birth-Control Mandate

    Critics are missing the main point. There are good reasons that your car-insurance company doesn’t add $100 to your premium and then cover oil changes.

    By JOHN H. COCHRANE

    When the administration affirmed last month that church-affiliated employers must buy health insurance that covers birth control, the outcry was instant. Critics complained that certain institutions should be exempt as a matter of religious freedom. Although the ruling was meant to be final, presidential advisers said this week that the administration might look for a compromise.

    Critics are missing the larger point. Why should the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decree that any of us must pay for “insurance” that covers contraceptives?

    I put “insurance” in quotes for a reason. Insurance is supposed to mean a contract, by which a company pays for large, unanticipated expenses in return for a premium: expenses like your house burning down, your car getting stolen or a big medical bill.

    Insurance is a bad idea for small, regular and predictable expenses. There are good reasons that your car insurance company doesn’t add $100 per year to your premium and then cover oil changes, and that your health insurance doesn’t charge $50 more per year and cover toothpaste. You’d have to fill out mountains of paperwork, the oil-change and toothpaste markets would become much less competitive, and you’d end up spending more.

    How did we get to this point? It all leads back to the elephant in the room: the tax deductibility of employer-provided group insurance.

    If your employer pays you $100 less in salary and buys $100 of group insurance for you, you don’t pay taxes on that amount. Hence, the more insurance costs and covers, the less in taxes you seem to pay. (Even that savings is an illusion: The government still needs money and raises overall tax rates to make up the difference.)

    To add insult to injury, this tax deduction does not apply to portable, guaranteed-renewable individual insurance. You don’t get the tax break if your employer gives you the $100 and you buy a policy—a policy that will stay with you if you get sick, leave employment or get divorced. The pre-existing conditions crisis is largely a creature of tax law. You don’t lose your car insurance when you change jobs.

    Why did HHS add this birth-control insurance mandate—along with “well-woman visits, breast-feeding support and domestic-violence screening,” and “all without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible”—to its implementation of a provision of the new health-care reform law? “Because it promotes maternal and child health by allowing women to space their pregnancies,” says the HHS advisory panel. Because these “historic new guidelines” will make sure “women have access to a full range of recommended preventive services,” says the original HHS announcement. To “increase access to important preventive services,” echoes White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

    Notice the doublespeak confusion of “access” and “cost.” I have “access” to toothpaste because I have two bucks in my pocket and a competitive supplier. Anyone who can afford a cell phone can afford pills or condoms.

    Poor women who can’t afford birth control are a red herring in this debate. HHS isn’t limiting this mandate to the poor anyway. We all have to pay. The very poor typically don’t have employer-provided health insurance in the first place. “Allowing women to space their pregnancies”? Was there some sort of federal ban on birth control before this?

    It’s not about “access” and it’s not about “insurance.” It’s because Americans, when paying even modest co-payments, choose to spend their money on other things. They prefer a new iPod to a “wellness visit” to the doctor. As the HHS unwittingly admits: “Often because of cost, Americans used preventive services at about half the recommended rate.”

    Remember, we’re supposed to be worrying about skyrocketing health-care expenses. Doubling the number of wellness visits and free pills sounds great, but who’s going to pay for it? There is a liberal dream that by mandating coverage the government can make something free.

    Sorry. Every increase in coverage means an increase in premiums. If your employer is paying for your health insurance, he could be paying you more in salary instead. Or, he could be lowering prices and selling his product to you and all consumers more cheaply. Someone is paying. Not even HHS tries to claim that these “recommended preventive services” will lower overall costs.

    Here’s a good mandate: Let’s mandate that every time a government official says that the government is going to “help” some category of voter, he or she has to say who they are going to hurt in the same sentence. Because it has to be someone.

    But what about the fact, you may ask, that unwanted children are a burden on society as well as to their mothers? Perhaps there is a social interest in subsidizing birth control? Perhaps there is—but if so, this is an awful way to do it.

    Related Video
    Editorial board member Joe Rago on how HHS’s contraception rules reflect the inherent problems with ObamaCare and government-mandated health care.
    .
    .The minute pills are “free,” under insurance, the incentive for drug companies to come up with cheaper versions vanishes. So does their incentive to develop safer, more convenient, male-centered or nonprescription birth control. And by making pills free but not condoms, the government may inadvertently be contributing to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases.

    The taxes and spending we argue about are the tip of the iceberg. Salting mandated health insurance with birth control is exactly the same as a tax—on employers, on Catholics, on gay men and women, on couples trying to have children and on the elderly—to subsidize one form of birth control.

    If the government wants to subsidize birth control, OK, pass an explicit tax, and sensibly subsidize all birth control. And face the voters on it. The tax rate and spending debates that occupy the media are a small part of the effective taxes and spending that the government achieves by these regulatory mandates.

    There is also the issue of religious freedom. Our nation is divided on social issues. The natural compromise is simple: Birth control, abortion and other contentious practices are permitted. But those who object don’t have to pay for them. The federal takeover of medicine prevents us from reaching these natural compromises and needlessly divides our society.

    The critics fell for a trap. By focusing on an exemption for church-related institutions, critics effectively admit that it is right for the rest of us to be subjected to this sort of mandate. They accept the horribly misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and they resign themselves to chipping away at its edges. No, we should throw it out, and fix the terrible distortions in the health-insurance and health-care markets.

    Sure, churches should be exempt. We should all be exempt.

    Mr. Cochrane is a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute

  111. chicagofinance says:

    un mod

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