Many borrowers locked out of lower rate mortgages

From the LA Times:

Two-thirds of Americans with mortgages pay 5% interest or higher

US. interest rates are at rock-bottom levels, but that’s not helping most Americans with mortgages. And those high-cost loans remain a big drag on the economy, experts say.

Roughly 69% of American homeowners with mortgages at the end of the second quarter had rates of 5% or higher and about 33% of them had rates above 6%, according to detailed mortgage data provided to The Times by Santa Ana research firm CoreLogic.

Meanwhile, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been below 4% every week but one this year, and the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, popular among buyers looking to refinance, has been below 3% since the last week in May, according to Freddie Mac.

Several factors may be keeping homeowners from securing lower mortgage rates, economists said, including battered credit, insufficient income, stricter lending standards and the costs of refinancing.

But a major aftershock from the housing crisis itself also remains a big stumbling block: the significant chunk of homeowners who are underwater and unable to get new loans.

For underwater borrowers — those who owe more than their homes would bring if sold — the CoreLogic data showed that 84% had loans with interest rates above 5%. Half of underwater borrowers had interest rates above 6% at the end of the second quarter.

Economists and policymakers see a big opportunity, arguing that getting borrowers into lower-cost loans would be an effective way of stimulating the economy — freeing up some income for those who are probably struggling the most to pay their mortgages. Refinancing could also help underwater borrowers by allowing them to plow more cash back into their homes and reduce principal.

To that end, the Federal Reserve last week unveiled big new steps to further push down mortgage interest rates and spur the housing market.

The vast majority of borrowers with negative equity, about 84.9%, continued to pay their mortgages in the second quarter, CoreLogic reported last week.

Nevertheless, underwater loans remain an obstinate barrier to economic growth because people who remain stuck in their homes are often unable to pursue new jobs and other opportunities elsewhere. These borrowers are also higher risks for foreclosure.

Helping spur mass refinancing with new government policies would not only help underwater households but also get the economy moving again, economists say.

“It has very strong macroeconomic effects,” said Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and professor at Columbia University. “The irony is the people who need the help the most have not been helped — the people who are underwater.”

Changes this year to the Home Affordable Refinance Program for underwater borrowers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans have led to a 95% increase in participation in the program through the first half of the year.

Stiglitz is supporting legislation by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) that would expand refinancing to borrowers who have privately owned mortgages.

Other Senate bills also aimed at expanding refinancing opportunities and reducing costs are being sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).

This entry was posted in Economics, Housing Recovery, Mortgages, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

191 Responses to Many borrowers locked out of lower rate mortgages

  1. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    RE/MAX home sales end August on high note

    Home sales in August increased 8.5% from one year ago and slightly higher than July, according to an estimate from real estate franchisor RE/MAX.

    The report could signal continued improvement in existing home sales data from the National Association of Realtors scheduled for release Wednesday.

    Home sales increased from one year ago for the 14th straight month in August, RE/MAX said.

    The median sales price was $168,685, roughly flat from July but up 6.3% from last year on tighter inventory.

    The amount of homes available for sale was 29.7% below levels last year and represented a 4.9 months supply. A six-month supply historically marks a balanced market for sellers and buyers.

    “Nearly every month in 2012 experienced increased sales and prices over 2011, showing that we’ve definitely passed the bottom and we’re looking forward to 2013 being an even better year,” said RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly.

    Of the 53 metro areas covered by the firm, 44 had an increase in sales from last year. And 29 have double-digit increases.

    Activity increased 35.6% in Trenton, N.J. and more than 28% in Chicago, two of the largest gains in the country.

  2. grim says:

    From the Consumerist:

    Electrolux Introduces $100K Kitchen Range Because Some People Have Enough Money To Actually Burn

    The next time you feel like burning some money, you could just grab a wad of cash and light it on fire. Or you could get super fancy about it and fork over $100,000 for a new deluxe kitchen range from Electrolux. Yep, a stovetop and oven for more money than some of the priciest luxury vehicles out there. Hey, we’ve all got hobbies.

    The Grand Cuisine range isn’t mean for just anyone, notes Bloomberg News, to which we say, “Uh, duh.” It’s for the richest of the rich foodies, the people who have an eye for professional catering level equipment. There’s a $5.3 billion market out there for just such people.

    “This brings a halo effect from a brand standpoint to Electrolux,” said the company’s CEO. “We’re talking very high net worth people with two or three homes. It’s clearly intended to build and reinforce the brand.”

    The company thinks it can sell the range — equipped with such things as USB ports and vacuum packers — to potentially 50,000 homes a year, in a bid to compete with LG and Samsung.

  3. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Protect your mortgage-interest deduction

    The housing market isn’t often a talking point for the presidential candidates as they focus on broader economic themes and job creation.

    But there has been some discussion of the future of the mortgage-interest deduction.

    Fear not, if you’re someone who benefits from the deduction: Politically, it remains nearly impossible to get rid of the perk.

    “Now is not a great time to do something like this,” said Roberton Williams, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, made up of experts in tax, budget and social policy. “Many homeowners rely on the cost of the deduction,” he said, “and if you undo that, there are enough people who are close enough to not being able to cover their mortgages that they’d be in trouble.”

    Plus, powerful groups including the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders lobby heavily on behalf of the deduction. On its website, NAR calls the deduction “a remarkably effective tool that facilitates homeownership.”

    So why does removal of the deduction even come up?

    “Part of it is the fact that Romney has proposed half a tax plan. His tax plan says here is what we’re going to do with tax rates — we’re going to cut them a lot,” Williams said. “If you’re doing the boogeyman stuff, he’s coming after your mortgage-interest deduction. It’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t go after those because he needs so much revenue to make up for the tax rate.”

    As you might suspect, Democrats are fine with having you think that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would cut the mortgage interest deduction, Williams added.

    That’s even though the Republicans inserted language in their platform about the deduction, saying they would preserve the mortgage-interest break in the event that Congress fails to accomplish wider tax reform.

  4. grim says:

    From the Christian Science Monitor:

    Housing prices: Agents make houses sell for a lot less. On purpose.

    One of the more curious new trends in real estate is called “reverse house staging.” Instead of bringing in a professional to make a home look better, some real estate agents make it look worse. They fake water damage, put faux-finish “cracks” on the walls, tear up the lawn, and remove furniture.

    Their objective? To convince the lending bank to agree to sell the home at a loss. Then broker and buyer resell the home at a much higher price.

    “We call them ‘flops,’ because they’re the opposite of flips,” says Tim Coyle, senior director of financial services for LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a risk-information service based in Irvine, Calif. “They’ll sell the house to a straw buyer, generally a friend or connection of the real estate agent who will buy the house for, say, $150,000. But they will already have a borrower set up who has agreed to buy the house for $300,000.”

    This is illegal, of course. It’s also one of the new pitfalls in a housing market colored by fraud. Officially, mortgage fraud is down from the heyday of the housing boom. But it may just be that the statistics are not keeping up with the new schemes. Home buyers, lenders, and borrowers have to adjust to the new threats.

    “The game has changed, and we’re seeing things that people have never done before,” says Mr. Coyle.

  5. Confused in NJ says:

    Raining here!

  6. grim says:

    Didn’t get a chance to hop up on the roof and clean the gutters yesterday, darn.

  7. 1993 House Buyer says:

    #6. Ha, did that Sunday! Dallas Fed President Fisher, on CNBC, now…before you blame the Fed, blame Congress for dual mandate and current action/inaction….

  8. grim says:

    I don’t understand why do many blogs are knocking Electrolux.

    A nice La Cornue range and hood is likely to set you back upwards of $50,000, some combinations going significantly higher. These kinds of things exist for those willing to pay, it’s nothing new.

  9. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Haha. The greatest melt up in history…
    “The amount of homes available for sale was 29.7% below levels last year and represented a 4.9 months supply. A six-month supply historically marks a balanced market for sellers and buyers.”

  10. Mike says:

    Good morning New Jersey

  11. Juice Box says:

    CHI – He is no Reagan. If he wants to denigrate the Welfare Queens like Reagan did he should not lump in 1/2 the population. Romney can’t stop tripping over his tounge, I might as well stay home this year.

  12. Essex says:

    Cue military action in 3…2….1

  13. yo says:

    You can not degrade half of the population not wanting their vote and expect the other half to be loyal voting for you.Last time I checked people making over $200G are only 10% of the population ,this are the ones that will benefit on lower tax rates,and that is still a toss up.If the O man kept pressing on this,no debates needed.Its over.

  14. yo says:

    In New Jersey, where about 60,000 foreclosures started since January 2008 still await resolution, borrowers in the foreclosure process haven’t made a payment for an average of 934 days, according to Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS) New York, at 953 days, and Florida, at 938 days, are the only states with longer time frames. The U.S. average is 742 days.

  15. yo says:

    Moose will be boiling mad with that #15 post

  16. Painhrtz - I am a meat popsicle says:

    yo as stupid as romney’s remarks are for a politician to say, they are sadly true. Every one was waiting for the moment when Mitt turned into George. Well there you have it.

  17. Marty says:

    “Many borrowers locked out of lower rate mortgages” let me think about this…..ah tough shit!? I’d like a full head of hair and a xp 90 body but somethings just dont go your way. Sorry but in life there are winners and losers

  18. JJ's B.S says:

    New Jersey Housing Suffers as Defaults Exceed Nevada: Mortgages
    By John Gittelsohn and Prashant Gopal – Sep 18, 2012 12:00 AM ET

    Wendell and Margret Brady haven’t paid their mortgage in more than three years, withholding the money amid a foreclosure dispute on the couple’s 11-bedroom house in Morristown, New Jersey.

    The Victorian home, built in 1887 and owned by the retired couple for 38 years, is part of the growing backlog of properties facing repossession in the state, which now has the second-highest serious delinquency rate in the U.S. While shrinking nationwide, the pipeline of distressed real estate, or shadow inventory, is also growing in New York, Connecticut, Maine and Pennsylvania because of state laws that slow the foreclosure process. The Bradys heard nothing from their lender from May 2011, until a letter arrived in the mail last week.

    Love that NJ article. Couple “owned home for 38 years and are losing it to a bank foreclosure. No body has every lost a home they owned to foreclosure they owned. Obviously they borrowed more than home was worth and owner, the bank wants it or the loan paid off. Article should read owner of house gets it back after deadbeat couple evicted.

  19. yo says:

    jj
    How is the New Year pool party? I have seen many hot jewish momma.

  20. Brian says:

    True. I guess I’m glad I have a full head of hair. I’d rather have that than a lower interest rate. I really would feel like a loser if I were bald.

    18.Marty says:
    September 18, 2012 at 8:29 am
    “Many borrowers locked out of lower rate mortgages” let me think about this…..ah tough shit!? I’d like a full head of hair and a xp 90 body but somethings just dont go your way. Sorry but in life there are winners and losers

  21. yo says:

    Pain
    You can not throw 50% of the voting population under the bus and expect to win an election

  22. Painhrtz - I am a meat popsicle says:

    yo the truth hurts all Romney did with those remarks is improve the voter turnout for Democrats who are disaffected with chairman O. Team Red morons will dutifully go marching to the polls to get rid of the chosen one because they feel it is their patriotic duty. so as Romney said it comes down to him making the case to that 10% who are undecided. In the end they are either insulted by his remarks or agree with them. i agree with them but would rather be dead than vote for Romney. He is just another version of Bush/Obama. More spending but the right kind not the wrong kind. And around and around we go

  23. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    What drivel. So we’re to believe what’s holding back the economy is not the mire of indebtedness itself, but the system’s inability to get everyone into better terms on their depreciating assets? Can anyone point to a previous global balance sheet recession that we merely refinanced our way out of? Cheap and easy credit can’t be *both* the problem and the cure.

    US. interest rates are at rock-bottom levels, but that’s not helping most Americans with mortgages. And those high-cost loans remain a big drag on the economy, experts say.

  24. Chuchundra says:

    More than one fifth non income tax payers are retirees on Social Security, a group that supports Romney pretty heavily. In a sane world, calling a big chunk of your base “moochers” would lead to some very bad consequences, but that’s not the world we live in, sadly.

  25. Ragnar says:

    Children don’t pay income tax, and they’re definitely not voting for Romney.
    This is typical Romney. He takes an idea that has some merit, botches it, then “explains” it to please more people. Which is why Republicans have long called him a flip flopper.

    How can one really get enthusiastic about a guy willing to market Joseph Smith to French people for a couple years? Clearly he’s willing to tell people fairy tales. (To be fair – I’m willing to tag all religions as fairy tales, so I’m an equal-opportunity feelings-offender).

  26. 3B Buying says:

    Jeez!! Who would have thought that 5% mtgs would be a barrier to economic activity.

  27. Ernest Money says:

    The election ended yesterday. Time for the Israel-Iran war.

  28. Ernest Money says:

    Kinder, gentler machine gun hand.

  29. Brian says:

    My wife’s parents were paying double digit interest rates at one time. I think that was in the late 70’s or early 80’s. 5% seems pale in comparison no?

    I’m not sure it’s really a “barrier”, but it might be another form of stimulus. The use of the word “barrier” in the article is a bit strong.

    27.3B Buying says:
    September 18, 2012 at 9:15 am
    Jeez!! Who would have thought that 5% mtgs would be a barrier to economic activity.

  30. Ernest Money says:

    Interest rate policy = pushing on a string

  31. JJ's B.S says:

    I want to be Jewish. Guy had a huge heated pool, the weather was sunny, lots of drinks. Had it fully catered. Even had pro BBQ guys grilling and as not to offend non tribesmen had tons of ribs and hot dogs on grill too, plenty of salads and pastas for ladies watching their weight as apparently bikinis must be worn on all current wives in order to prevent them from being second wives.

    Even had a monster den next to pool with a movie theater sized screen with Jets game on and a movie theater popcorn machine going with a kegonator. God really did bless the Jews.

    Average looking men, have amazing looking wives and tons of cash. I don’t know why any ugly or average looking guy would want to be a non jew. Cant wait till next years news years pool party.

    yo says:
    September 18, 2012 at 8:46 am

    jj
    How is the New Year pool party? I have seen many hot jewish momma.

  32. 3B Buying says:

    #30 Brian: Possible. But I don’t buy it. So we get the 5% crowd into a 3%mtg, and then they can stimulate the economy more. Then we should get the 3/3.50 crowd into a 1% mtg, and they can stimulate more. Maybe we should just drop everyones rate to 0%!!

  33. JJ's B.S says:

    Running the numbers for my investment property I put a bid in on, mortgage costs are almost irrelevant.
    I have homeowners insurance, flood insurance, Property Taxes, Closing costs, furniture costs, repairs etc. I would rather have reasonable insurance and property taxes. The mortgage you can always pre-pay or one day it is done. Insurance is not tax deducatable and Prop tax is an AMT issue. The mortgage is not that big a deal.

    3B Buying says:
    September 18, 2012 at 9:26 am

    #30 Brian: Possible. But I don’t buy it. So we get the 5% crowd into a 3%mtg, and then they can stimulate the economy more. Then we should get the 3/3.50 crowd into a 1% mtg, and they can stimulate more. Maybe we should just drop everyones rate to 0%!!

  34. Brian says:

    Should have pulled the trigger and bought Nom’s ladder. $50 for a 24′ is a steal. Even if it was the aluminum one. Could have used that to clean em. I had to buy a new one after they put the dormer on. Need the 24′ ladder just to get to the gutter on the dormer. Scary being up that high.

    6.grim says:
    September 18, 2012 at 7:02 am
    Didn’t get a chance to hop up on the roof and clean the gutters yesterday, darn.

  35. yo says:

    You can agree with what he said,but this is basically what he said;
    He marked Soldiers depending this country,injured veterans,government workers,retirees,unemployed as leeches.All dependent to government.NICE!!

  36. Brian says:

    I believe it might have worked, but it is too little too late now. Should have done this years ago.

    34.3B Buying says:
    September 18, 2012 at 9:26 am
    #30 Brian: Possible. But I don’t buy it. So we get the 5% crowd into a 3%mtg, and then they can stimulate the economy more. Then we should get the 3/3.50 crowd into a 1% mtg, and they can stimulate more. Maybe we should just drop everyones rate to 0%!!

  37. 3B Buying says:

    #35 JJ: I have been saying that all along. It is the property taxes that are the killer. Also the low rates make it extremely difficult to truly value a property. And of course when rates finally do go up (whenever that might be), we will either have a booming economy, or stagflation.

  38. Anon E. Moose says:

    Yo [16];

    Saw your chest-thumping about the Mother Jones ‘scoop’ yesterday. Curious, do you take your marching orders per os, or per rectum?

    “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

  39. Anon E. Moose says:

    Marty [18];

    That’s the old way of thinking. I suffer from it myself. These days everyone gets a pony, you have Uncle Obama to thank.

  40. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [36] Your price was $100.

    Should have pulled the trigger and bought Nom’s ladder. $50 for a 24′ is a steal.

  41. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [42] Never mind. Misread it.

  42. Jason says:

    Yo (14),

    If O wasn’t president these past 4 years, Mitt’s statement would have done damage. However, O has a record he can’t run from. These high gas prices are taking a severe toll on the middle class. Government has grown larger, which the middle-class has to pay for. The housing market is by and large scraping along the bottom. We keeping borrowing money we don’t have. The national debt is at record levels, with no sign of slowing. Food stamp use is at record levels and unemployment is not improving.

    Voters will decide if they want to continue down this path or change direction

  43. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Up until a few years ago I played in an old man’s baseball league (Age 45+, 48+ to pitch). I got to practice first one day and noticed 3 or 4 baseballs wedged into the top of the (20 ft?) chain link backstop. I Wondered why no kid had climbed up and recovered that booty. Anyway, I put my cleats on, still no teammates had shown up, so I figured I’d have a go at retrieving them as I figured my cleats would be ideal for hooking my toes into the chain link for the climb up. I got about 75% up and then thought it was not such a good idea. It was a much bigger pain in the ass to get down safely than it was to get up.

    Need the 24′ ladder just to get to the gutter on the dormer. Scary being up that high.

  44. yo says:

    Moose,did you not take yours po?

  45. Anon E. Moose says:

    Pain [23];

    i agree with them but would rather be dead than vote for Romney.

    If you agree with them, then how can you square voting for Obama, or sitting home while the public employee unions and ACORN-in-exile drives homeless people from district to district — promising them free cigarettes to vote for Obama — or forges enough absentee ballots to put their man over the top? Defeating the left at the ballot box requires overcoming the margin of fraud.

  46. Painhrtz - I am a meat popsicle says:

    Moose who said I was voting for Obama. i have not voted for a democrat since Clinton in 92 and i chalk that up to I was going on 20 and naive. It is either libertarian or constitution party for president for me. though I have Johnson with a slight edge over Goode. Doesn’t matter in this state as my vote is effectively killed by the guilt ridden suburban democrats and the leaches infesting the urban areas. It is glorious to not live in a swing state and have to chose the lessor of two evils.

    I must admit though I am voting for Kyrillos not that I think he is going to be good, but anyone is better than that crook Menedez. In a way that makes me feel dirty.

  47. grim says:

    Not for lack of ladders, I just don’t have a 24 footer.

  48. JJ's B.S says:

    You guys do know they sell a long pole with a hook and little bag on end to clean out gutters?

  49. brian says:

    hell they sell a robot for gutter cleaning if you want to get fancy.

    http://store.irobot.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13081876

    Sadly, I cannot afford one until the bank lowers my mortgage interest rate. It is really holding me back.

  50. Jill says:

    OK, all you R.E. gurus….friend is underwater on house by about $100K. Credit score in the high 600s. Income is around $100K. Wants to refi balance ~$400K to get payment down . Any recommendations on who might refi this or what he should do to get started trying to reduce the mortgage payment down to the $3K range including taxes?

  51. Essex says:

    33. We do OK sometimes. The ladies seem to like us.

  52. Richard says:

    Shortage? Does anyone believe him? I’m thinking there is going to be a flood of listings early next year as no one has dared to sell the last few years.

    Higher-income markets, such as New Jersey’s Morris and Bergen counties, will probably avoid the worst pain because there’s a shortage of homes and when distressed properties are listed, “the housing market will swallow them whole,” according to Jeffrey G. Otteau, president of Otteau Valuation Group Inc., in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

  53. JJ's B.S says:

    If they don’t want to short sale or go BK why dont people just put down 100 to 180K at closing refinance to a superlow rate. Paying down the loan and getting a lower rate is a win win!!!! Also getting payment down involves greiving RE taxes and getting cheaper home owners insurance. Only 1/3 of mortgage is the mortgage. I have seen lots of people with small mortgages living in homes with 16k re taxes and 3k homeowners insurance complain about mtg payment. When really the mortgage payment is not the issue. I helped my wife friends grieve her taxes and get a better home insurance rate saving her $300 a month on her underwater house which she plans to use to pay an extra $300 principal each month which in turn will lower her loan each month and she only needs RE to rise a bit in next two years and then she can refinance. Either that or walk away, but she is only 50K underwater so not worth it.

    Unless they can get a principal
    Jill says:
    September 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

    OK, all you R.E. gurus….friend is underwater on house by about $100K. Credit score in the high 600s. Income is around $100K. Wants to refi balance ~$400K to get payment down . Any recommendations on who might refi this or what he should do to get started trying to reduce the mortgage payment down to the $3K range including taxes?

  54. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [14] yo,

    Why not, it works for Obama. Trick is, as you note, don’t denigrate a large swath. Instead, denigrate a minority of voters that aren’t likely to vote for you anyway.

    Romney didn’t denigrate people that he was in danger of losing. But I agree that it isn’t smart to push off so large a population.

    Obama wins, welfare state accelerates, and pretty soon we are all on the dole. Any one percenters that don’t have their second passports are screwed.

  55. freedy says:

    The study predicts the obesity rate in New Jersey could reach 48.6 percent by 2030. According to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2011, 23.7 percent of adults in the state were obese, researchers said.

    Besides having to have larger MRI devices , homes will have to have larger rooms for
    the obese

  56. grim says:

    Shortage? Does anyone believe him? I’m thinking there is going to be a flood of listings early next year as no one has dared to sell the last few years.

    From Inman:

    Shrinking inventory bolstering many housing markets

    The number of homes for sale nationwide fell 18.68 percent from a year ago in August, to 1.84 million, Realtor.com reported today, continuing a trend that’s manifested itself every month so far this year.

  57. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [55] JJ – I knew a guy who used to sell used cars in Chicago to mostly minorities with poor credit. He said all they wanted to know was “What’s the payment?” They didn’t care what the interest rate was, what the pre-payment penalties were, what the length of the loan was, just “What’s the payment?” That was 20 years ago. After a while the only thing they know how to do with money is make payments. I know people at my job who don’t put dime one in their 401K because they “can’t afford it.” and we have a 7% salary match that they also never see dime one of.

    If they don’t want to short sale or go BK why dont people just put down 100 to 180K at closing refinance to a superlow rate. Paying down the loan and getting a lower rate is a win win!!!!

  58. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    More on second passports:

    I’ve noticed that a lot of countries have tightened their borders to the wealthy in the past year. There’s a few possible reasons, some of which are nonsensical but one makes perfect sense.

    First, it may be a demand equation. These countries are beseiged by wealthy seeking second passports from Europe, China, and the US (it isn’t just us). As with anything else, when demand is high, so is price in the form of higher barriers. Makes sense but if people are willing to pay, why not let them in?

    Second, certain countries may not want to seek an influx of wealthy because of internal politics. In democracies, they run the risk of a political backlash for holding the door open to the wealthy, creating a “lexus lane” for them at immigration. Again, possible but hardly sensible.

    Third, and I think this is most likely. Fear of pissing off the neighbors. Look at the flap btwn France and England when Cameron offered to “roll out the red carpet” to wealthy french. If France can flex muscle to keep UK from taking its wealthy, why wouldn’t it? Now, what country does have the muscle to flex in order to keep other countries from poaching its wealthy? Can you not think of one? Perhaps a country with lots of bilateral tax and trade treaties and a large economy?

    Thus, I think that the US has been flexing its muscle to keep other countries from “rolling out the red carpet” to our wealthy.

  59. grim says:

    From the Washington Post:

    What is keeping home sellers on the sidelines

    Home prices are rising, but inventory remains at historic lows, frustrating would-be buyers who want to take advantage of low mortgage rates.

    Wondering what is keeping sellers stubbornly on the sidelines? There are several reasons. Negative equity is a big one. Many people bought at the peak of the market. Until prices rebound, they can’t afford to move.

    Economic uncertainty is another huge factor. With sequestration hanging over everyone’s head, no one wants to make huge purchases.

    “Other people might say to themselves, ‘Well, right now, with the limited inventory, there’s not very much for us to pick from, and so that’s why we’re not going to put our house on the market because we don’t want to have nowhere to go,’” said Peter Chinloy, a professor in the department of finance and real estate at American University’s Kogod School of Business.

    This mind-set just seems to feed off itself. You won’t sell your house so I won’t sell my house, and as a result, nobody is selling his house.

  60. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    And I would say the majority of employees at our company earning under $125K only put 7% in their 401K to get the match and no more. I was hired as an employee after several years of consulting in September 2011. Even with only 4 months left in the year, I made sure my $22K went in and I had the $22K for the next year in by March.

  61. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [62] Make that 2010, not 2011.

  62. yo says:

    I would check HARP. Bringing a $400K loan that is underwater by $100K will be above water in 5 years with a 15 year mortgage at 3% rate with $600 more a month.If current rate is at 5% at 30 years.

    If refi the $400k at 4% at 30 years ,payments will be $1910 a month but it will take 12 years to 2024 to bring the balance to $300K.Bankrate.com HARP3 if passed will qualify non GSE’s to refi.No appraisal,No closing cost.I did mine,they even paid for notary.No ok I went to their bank branch to get it notarized for free.

    Jill says:
    September 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

    OK, all you R.E. gurus….friend is underwater on house by about $100K. Credit score in the high 600s. Income is around $100K. Wants to refi balance ~$400K to get payment down . Any recommendations on who might refi this or what he should do to get started trying to reduce the mortgage payment down to the $3K range including taxes?

  63. Fast Eddie says:

    yo [22],

    You can not throw 50% of the voting population under the bus and expect to win an election.

    Seems to work for Oblama, especially when you have the media at your back.

  64. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [56];

    Any one percenters that don’t have their second passports are screwed.

    The 53-99%-ers who can’t get second passports are >really< screwed.

  65. yo says:

    Nom,
    But that is not what it sounds like.He denigrate the soldier that defended this country,the injured veteran receiving ss,the thousands of government workers,teachers,nurse,police,retired,unemployed that are all relying on government.You can say that is not what he meant but that is sure what it sounds like.ALL GOVERNMENT DEPENDENT

  66. Fast Eddie says:

    If O wasn’t president these past 4 years, Mitt’s statement would have done damage. However, O has a record he can’t run from. These high gas prices are taking a severe toll on the middle class. Government has grown larger, which the middle-class has to pay for. The housing market is by and large scraping along the bottom. We keeping borrowing money we don’t have. The national debt is at record levels, with no sign of slowing. Food stamp use is at record levels and unemployment is not improving.

    The Tat and Muffin Top crowd, which is the majority of Amerika, is so distracted, they haven’t a clue. All they know is to pull level, get Big Mac. Oblama can change his name to Adolph Sandusky and still get elected.

  67. 3B Buying says:

    #62 Orig: So the 7% they put in, plus the 7% match is 14% a year. In the scheme of things and considering that Americans are generally such poor savers, that is not that bad. I know some who do not even put enough in to get the match.

  68. Captain Sunshine says:

    Vote for Obama and vote youself a raise! Yay!

  69. Millard says:

    “Government has grown larger, which the middle-class has to pay for.”

    even i know that this talking point is false.

  70. yo says:

    Government has grown larger because of the Great Recession and lost of revenue.Ok GWB doubled the deficit during high revenues due to tax cuts and the war.He is an exception.

  71. Painhrtz - I am a meat popsicle says:

    the thousands of government workers, teachers, nurse, police

    yo, you really don’t know your audience on this blog do you?

  72. yo says:

    Just calling it the way I see it

  73. yo says:

    This is what he said;

    “There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney tells the gathering. “All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.”

    “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

  74. Millard says:

    yo…i believe he means that much like me, no one on hears gives a rat’s ass about those people you mentioned so you are not helping your argument. i’m running for office, for pete’s sake!

  75. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [22] yo

    Very true. And I also posit, you cannot throw the folks who pay nearly 70% of income taxes under the bus and hope to grow tax revenues.

    I am still trying to figure out how to play the Obama reelection. I think we see a correction in shiny, which presents a buying opportunity, and tax selling at year end, which also presents a buying opportunity. After that, the allocation is going to be into assets that will do well when the dollar dives again after the bloom wears off. For equities, I continue to buy moated businesses and those that will do well in the new austerity environment (may have missed the boat on auto parts though).

  76. JJ's B.S says:

    The 401k amazes me. I also like in 2009 when stocks were historically supercheap and many firms suspended their 401k match some folks did not put in as no match. WTF, with no match you should put more in not less in.

    Still amazes me as many years ago I did a few 401K reviews the amount of people who dont put in even in places like Chase which did a 100% match for first 5%. How someone could not put in 5% even if had to do it on credit cards in beyond me. For most of 90s stocks returned 20% a year and firm did 100% match. These folks dont get it.

    I also am always amazed at couples who buy homes for the tax write off. Yet dont do 401ks, 529s, Flex Spending, Transist Check etc.

  77. Anon E. Moose says:

    Yo [67];

    You sound like a local freeholder: When its time to cut the budget, its always the fireman and policement on the chopping block — never his brother-in-law with the cushy no-bid contract to plow the municipal building parking lots at overtime rates on non-business snow days.

    Similarly, you want to lump soldiers in with the “47%”. If you honestly think anyone hearing about the “47%” thinks soldeiers, you’re nuts. But really, you’re just dishonest. Military makes up less than 1% of the population — adding reservists brings it up to just about 1%. What about the other 46%?

    And, most of those military are paying taxes (hazard pay excepted) on their income, like the 53%.

    Even Chuchundra’s mention of pensioners living on SS income at 20%, that leaves over 1/4 of the population reliably on the public dole. In a country where only about half the eligible population reliably votes.

    The point is not the number, or who’s in or out on the margins. Its that we face the precipice of the tipping point where those who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for their living.

    This is not new rhetoric from Romney. He flatly told a hostile questioner on the campaign trail: If you want more free handouts from the government, then vote for the other guy.

    But we’ve come to a place in this country where the successful are reviled, and telling able-bodied people to get off their a$$ and work for a living is reactionary.

  78. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [67] yo,

    You are buying into the spin. Should he have discussed the net nonpayers and the moochers (two distinct groups) in the same paragraph? Obviously not. But even Gale, no conservative he, agreed that Romney spoke the truth.

    I also admit that it is game over. I am going to hunker down and do what I have to do to protect what little wealth I have and provide for my kids’ futures. I’m going to pay as little tax as I can get away with. I’m going to re-tool my practice so I can make money off the takers as they will continue to outnumber the makers, and try to position myself for the coming euro-style economy, complete with euro-style regulation and tax structures. It’s coming because it has to come; there is no avoiding it. It may not be Clot’s oblivion, but it is coming and if you have targetable wealth, then you will be a target.

  79. yo says:

    80 moose, how many injured veterans are in ssi, ss,medicare?

  80. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [80] moose

    “But we’ve come to a place in this country where the successful are reviled, and telling able-bodied people to get off their a$$ and work for a living is reactionary.”

    That is the new reality. Embrace it, learn to live with it, and position yourself and your wealth accordingly. Remember, Communism lasted for decades before it was thoroughly repudiated.

  81. yo says:

    Nom,your a lawyer. You know the answer to that

  82. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I just saw a SmartCar advertisement that was a direct response to the big reason people won’t buy SmartCars. The ad was about safety and showed a Suburban on top of a smartcar frame, suggesting that the car won’t collapse when it gets broadsided by a Suburbus that ran the light because soccermom was on the phone.

    Still, I can see it bouncing down the street like a ball and I know enough about physics to see that the energy transfer equation is still against you.

  83. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [84] yo

    Answer to what exactly?

  84. 1993 House Buyer says:

    #81…I have to agree it is a real possibility/probability. How do we determine what will be “targetable” and how we protect the little I have, although it did take me 35 years to get it….

  85. Millard says:

    “But we’ve come to a place in this country where the successful are reviled, and telling able-bodied people to get off their a$$ and work for a living is reactionary.”

    exactly! everybody is sitting on their ass…because i made a fortune sending their jobs over to china…er, i mean getting tough with china!

  86. JJ's B.S says:

    The Subaru and the Smart Car will be both bouncing off the GMC Denaili XL bumper anyhow.

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    September 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I just saw a SmartCar advertisement that was a direct response to the big reason people won’t buy SmartCars. The ad was about safety and showed a Suburban on top of a smartcar frame, suggesting that the car won’t collapse when it gets broadsided by a Suburbus that ran the light because soccermom was on the phone.

    Still, I can see it bouncing down the street like a ball and I know enough about physics to see that the energy transfer equation is still against you.

  87. chicagofinance says:

    When Dream Schools Become a Nightmare

    Many parents will go to great lengths to send to their children to their dream schools, but it’s not always the best financial decision.
    Aug. 20, 2012
    Lynn O’Shaughnessy
    http://wealthmanagement.com/college-planning/when-dream-schools-become-nightmare

  88. yo says:

    Jj,i know someone tht withrew 401k when market was going down. Took penalty and ppaid tax at a higher rate. Now he has no equity on his house ,no 401k. Hey,he njoyed the 401k while it lasted

  89. yo says:

    Nom,the spin

  90. chicagofinance says:

    It should be a priority of everyone in NJ to get Menendez out of office. I lived in Hudson County for 13 years. Here are some of the adjectives I would use to describe him:
    Cammarano x 10
    self-dealing
    triple-dipper
    influence peddler
    nepotistic
    sticky fingered
    criminal associator
    invites conflicts of interest
    Painhrtz – I am a meat popsicle says:
    September 18, 2012 at 10:44 am
    I must admit though I am voting for Kyrillos not that I think he is going to be good, but anyone is better than that crook Menedez. In a way that makes me feel dirty.

  91. Anon E. Moose says:

    Yo [82];

    Keep cherry-picking. You’re down to 45.9%

  92. JJ's B.S says:

    That I don’t understand, never take money exempt from BK to pay off a debt.
    Bright side is person that sold house to him is happy, bank is happy and us taxpayers are happy twice. Once when he paid taxes on 401k and a second time when he did not go broke and stick his debt with Fannie.

    God Bless him,

    yo says:
    September 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Jj,i know someone tht withrew 401k when market was going down. Took penalty and ppaid tax at a higher rate. Now he has no equity on his house ,no 401k. Hey,he njoyed the 401k while it lasted

  93. JJ's B.S says:

    http://www.mta.info/mta/investor/pdf/2012/debt_outstanding.pdf

    This is main reason subway and tolls go up. MTA borrows like crazy instead of paying employees less, giving less benefits or keeping better track of projects that are way over budget.

  94. cobbler says:

    nom [83]
    Actually, under the Communism the moochers had been quickly sent to the gulags. Its failure was the one of the system, not of the workers.

  95. cobbler says:

    nom [81]
    As for the euro-styled tax system, you’ll be surprised that e.g. in Denmark the progressiveness of the tax code is much less than in the U.S. – though the taxes are higher for everyone.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Denmark

  96. Millard says:

    the funny thing about that “47% that don’t pay taxes” is that my party (well, not really my party, they hate me and are just stuck with me now) has worked for years and years to lower the taxes for these people and ourselves. that is basically our party ideology – they think paying no taxes IS the end game. shit, i don’t pay taxes, but now I have them angry at that 47% for paying no taxes WHILE i am promising to lower taxes more for me and my buddies. gee willickers, this politics stuff is funny.

  97. JJ's B.S says:

    So I telecommuted yesterday for first time ever. Sure I did it in emergencies before but this was first time just did it to see what fuss is about.
    First, I got a little more work done. Honestly harder to goof off when wife and kids are there. Hey, cant help you I am blogging.

    However, what a lazy day, sleep in late, pajamas to noon, two hour lunch and knock off for day around three’ish and off to starbucks. Judging from response time to emails and calls when I let folks telecommute I assume the same.

    It is expensive to get too and from work. Have to get up early, get home late, get dressed pay for lunch and breakfast, be chained to desk. No pool breaks midday. I say unless someone is doing a ton of work from home. I cant see accruing bonus money on telecommuting days. Heck getting a full days pay for that was a joke. I say in end telecommuting is great. I will do it again. But it is too good a deal, personally I think you are off the promotion track or big bonus track if you do it more than ten days a year. But it is such a easy thing to get sucked into. I doubt I will do it again this year.

  98. Essex says:

    100. Two words. Regional Sales. Decent gig for the office averse.

  99. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [80] Moose – I like this. Well done:

    The point is not the number, or who’s in or out on the margins. Its that we face the precipice of the tipping point where those who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for their living.

  100. JJ's B.S says:

    I say 90% of people pay no taxes. I only have one exemption myself at work in my paycheck. Witholding max taxes. Yesterday I mailed my estimated tax payment. $15,000 check in the mail. Most folks dont even do that at tax time.

    Millard says:
    September 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    the funny thing about that “47% that don’t pay taxes” is that my party (well, not really my party, they hate me and are just stuck with me now) has worked for years and years to lower the taxes for these people and ourselves. that is basically our party ideology – they think paying no taxes IS the end game. shit, i don’t pay taxes, but now I have them angry at that 47% for paying no taxes WHILE i am promising to lower taxes more for me and my buddies. gee willickers, this politics stuff is funny.

  101. Essex says:

    Telecomuting saves folks from the banal fatique of office life. Once you taste freedom you will never want to squat in a cube/office again.

  102. Essex says:

    99. You are a good man Mitt. Truth to power baby. Truth to power!

  103. Anon E. Moose says:

    Scarecrow [99];

    Run away, straw man. A stiff wind and/or lightning strike might do you in.

  104. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [104] Telecommuting – I did it for 18 months, wouldn’t do it again. I never put in so many 60 hour weeks or missed so many lunches. If you have the kind of job where your work is never done, you’re always stopping to do 10 minutes of work that ends up taking two hours, even on weekends. What was worse was I worked with a team of 5 people who all worked just as hard and everything was communicated by email mostly. Literally 200 emails a day that you had to read. Take a two week vacation and you have 2000 emails waiting for you. Seemed like a dream job at the beginning. Good salary, Good bennies, 4 weeks vacation, get taken on cruises starting your second year, still wasn’t worth it. The one good thing is it made returning to an office very enjoyable. It also makes leaving the office enjoyable, knowing I’m not going to do any more work that day.

  105. Brian says:

    Finally just read what Romney said verbatim. Didn’t really find it offensive at all. The spin regarding his comments is amazing though.

    He basically said people who recieve government payments and or don’t pay taxes aren’t going to vote for him no matter what he does. Especially when he talks about lowering taxes. He wants to focus his efforts on the swing voters like the 5 to 10 percent of people who are independents or are politically in the center.

    What’s the big Fking deal. It’s true.

  106. Millard says:

    106 – get a clue. wait a minute – don’t get a clue. i need you just the way you are!

    “While conservative activists are circling their wagons around Mitt Romney and encouraging to stand by his claim that the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes are essentially mooching off the government, prominent policy voices on the right are dismayed by his comments — both because they’re inaccurate, and because they cut against fundamental conservative causes.

    Many conservatives support programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit — which contributes to the phenomenon Romney derided — because it advances the goal of replacing welfare programs with work incentive programs. Anti-tax activists separately note that Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan have worked to grow the ranks of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes.

    “Since when has it been the job of Republicans and conservatives to make sure everyone has IRS obligations?” wrote Jim Antle at the Daily Caller. He accused Romney of “[i]gnoring the rising payroll tax burden of the last few decades while dismissing many of those who have borne it as deadbeats.”

    “Conservatives have even less reason for worrying about people who don’t pay federal income taxes,” wrote Ponnuru. “A major reason that the number of those people has grown is that a Republican-controlled Congress created, and the Bush administration expanded, a tax credit for parents.”

  107. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [108] Brian – I watched all the videos (there’s about 5 of them on Mother Jones) and I walked away impressed that he’s not an empty suit. He didn’t even seem robot-like talking inside baseball with his supporters. There’s a poll on http://finance.yahoo.com front page that asks ,
    “Do Governor Romney’s remarks at a recent fundraiser regarding 47% of Americans being dependent on government make you more or less likely to support his candidacy?”

    I clicked “More Likely” and that was the top choice with 48%:

    More Likely – 48%
    Less Likely – 28%
    No Impact – 24%

    Finally just read what Romney said verbatim. Didn’t really find it offensive at all. The spin regarding his comments is amazing though.

  108. Brian says:

    I don’t get how the 47% don’t pay taxes comment should offend anyone. That’s the wrong feeling. Really it’s an amazing statistic and the feeling Americans should have when they hear it is shame. The idea that so many people don’t pay taxes, and a similar amount actually accept government assistance as their primary income is frightening.

    Americans should be ashamed of those statistics, not offended when they hear them.

  109. cobbler says:

    X-Pat [110]
    Polls on Yahoo Finance for some reason always have respondents much more skewed towards hard-core R than the random group (bomb Iran, fire Bernanke, let the US default, etc.). Yahoo has the data on the age/zip code distribution of the members, I wonder if they are ever trying to overlay it on the poll resonse sets for different Yahoo sites.

  110. JJ's B.S says:

    Somehow working off my dining room table on a school holiday on a DR/BCP laptop running on wifi with the damm RSA/VPM security stuff slowing it down with three kids at home made me dream of being back in my corner office. Could not enjoy the wall st journal in peace or get my favorite egg sandwich. Plus no netflix time to catch up on shows on the train. Heck tonight on way home grabbing a big tall boy, late edition of post, nice pretzle and maybe watch some eposodies of Breaking Bad I missed.

    Essex says:
    September 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Telecomuting saves folks from the banal fatique of office life. Once you taste freedom you will never want to squat in a cube/office again.

  111. Essex says:

    111. The ironic piece is that huge corporations don’t pay taxes either. So essentially all of the poor suckers in the middle which would be say anyone from $50k-500k is getting screwed big time. Put the AMT in there and you have a real nice f*cking.

  112. Essex says:

    That’s the ‘offensive’ part if you ask me. We all know that if you run a hedge fund you are paying 15% of a massive number and maybe you are donating from real big bucks so you are in essence helping put people to work in two places. What I’d want is a flat tax that would build the coffers and spare no one.

  113. cobbler says:

    Brian [111]
    At least a third of these 47% were planning to vote for Romney and never thought of themselves as moochers – retirees, disabled vets, blue-collar and service workers from the rural areas (you will be surprised, but there are many counties with people working like dogs and average earnings less than 35K – so if you’ve got kids, you actually get paid EITC), and so on. He gratuitously offended them.

  114. Jill says:

    JJ #100: I find working at home is a good “sometime” food, as Cookie Monster would say. I get a lot more done because I don’t get interrupted by chatty people, and because I can take a 20-minute catnap after lunch. Usually I log in at the time I would usually leave the house and work until I would usually get home…so the company gets an additional 2 hours out of me. Everyone wins.

  115. Jill says:

    One more thing: Pandora Radio going through an iPad plugged into a Bose Wave makes for damn fine listening all day long while working at home.

  116. Anon E. Moose says:

    Sx [114];

    Corporations shouldn’t pay taxes. They are legal fictions to encourage private risk-taking and private investment. Any money they make is taxed when they pay it out as salaries, dividends, etc. Saying “tax corporations’ also fails to account for the proliferation of pass-though tax entities in recent decades: S-corps, LLCs.

    Also corporations can’t vote – remember no taxation without representation? But who cares about all that freedom and self-determination gobeldy gook, right? Give us good ol’ fashioned fascism! Bread & Circuses! Make the trains run on time!

  117. Millard says:

    116 you stop that cobbler! i can’t have these people informed of what the facts actually are!

  118. Anon E. Moose says:

    SX [115];

    What I’d want is a flat tax that would build the coffers and spare no one.

    That must make you feel VERY unwelcome at Daily Kos.

  119. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [116] cobbler – I notice that the word “moochers” is prominently woven into most articles on Romney’s video but it is not a word from the video or a word that’s been often used in recent news. Isn’t it odd that it appears in the majority of the news stories? I wonder which Obama administration reelection staff member chose this word out of their handy spin thesaurus.

    At least a third of these 47% were planning to vote for Romney and never thought of themselves as moochers

  120. chicagofinance says:

    yeah….I said the same thing last night……it may be perceived as off-color, but it is the unvarnished truth……..where is the equivalent level of outrage about the open-mic Medvedev comment?

    Brian says:
    September 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm
    Finally just read what Romney said verbatim. Didn’t really find it offensive at all. The spin regarding his comments is amazing though.

    He basically said people who recieve government payments and or don’t pay taxes aren’t going to vote for him no matter what he does. Especially when he talks about lowering taxes. He wants to focus his efforts on the swing voters like the 5 to 10 percent of people who are independents or are politically in the center.

    What’s the big Fking deal. It’s true.

  121. chicagofinance says:

    I am going to repost my thing from last night….

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    September 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm
    [116] cobbler – I notice that the word “moochers” is prominently woven into most articles on Romney’s video but it is not a word from the video or a word that’s been often used in recent news. Isn’t it odd that it appears in the majority of the news stories? I wonder which Obama administration reelection staff member chose this word out of their handy spin thesaurus.

    At least a third of these 47% were planning to vote for Romney and never thought of themselves as moochers

  122. Anon E. Moose says:

    NJExPat [122];

    I take the left’s use of the word — if only negatively — as evidence that Randianism has achieved some measure of success by shifting the window of acceptable public opinion. Next up — government “looters”.

  123. Dmitri Medvedev says:

    I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

  124. Libtard in the City says:

    “Also corporations can’t vote”

    But they sure can LOBBY!

    You all can bitch and moan about taxes, social programs, abortion and guns. But what is destroying our country and keeping politicians from representing the people and their best interests are the lobbyists. All of the repeated partisan arguments I see here and everywhere else, ad-nauseum, are the distraction. But the sheep are too stupid to see this. Actually the sheep are so damn stupid, that many have chosen to name their offspring Phoebe and Chandler.

    I rest my case.

  125. Happy Renter says:

    The extent to which the media has been shilling for Obama since the conventions is astounding.

    True, my vantage point on political news doesn’t get far beyond the “top headlines” landing page on Google News, because I’m sick of reading about politics. But the spin and bias are so transparent it is shocking.

    On the other hand, I guess I shouldn’t be shocked at anything these days.

    QE-to-infinity and Beyond!

  126. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [127] Lobbyists – Speaking of telecommuting, I like Jim Rogers’ idea to make all of Congress telecommute from their own districts. It would destroy the Washington DC critical mass of lobbyists as well as force elected officials to do their jobs with their constituents breathing down their neck.

  127. 30 year realtor says:

    Moose #119 – Did you forget? Corporations are people!

  128. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [92] yo,

    Yeah, you’re right. You would buy into the spin.

    When you’re ready to take, let me know. I’m retooling for bankruptcy, consumer law, disability, etc. Gonna help everyone get on the dole and walk away from their obligations.

    If you can’t beat em, join em.

  129. JJ's B.S says:

    That is really win win, but quick question after your boss is done with the “20 minute” nap does he leave right away or do you have to fix him a snack.

    I always used to find it a little weird mixing work with home. Back in college senior year my boss (she was like 24) in my job on the 4-8pm shift talked me into meeting here younger sister, who I started dating as she was hot. Anyhow next thing I know since I drove kinda close to their house coming from college to work I would end up dropping in for a “20 minute” nap with younger sister. Next thing I know I am driving older sister to work every day. So then I am with my boss, her sister in the apt, kinda weird. Then younger sister gets a waitress job out west for summer and I still drove older sister to work most days and she used to pay me in sandwiches as she said apparantly since she was dating someone seriously, she was my boss and I was dating her sister she could not pay me in bjs. This was my first experience in telecommuting. One day it almost ruined my day as I had a 20 minute nap at three pm I worked till 11:30pm which ment I drove boss home which resulted in another 20 minute nap and then by the time I met my friends for drinks at 1am I realized I mixed too much work with pleasure so I decided to play wingman as I felt spent and ended up I had to perform a third time that night. Too much work almost ruined my pleasure. And having my boss around outside work was not fun. I hope you handle the 20 minute naps better than I was able too.

    Jill says:
    September 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    JJ #100: I find working at home is a good “sometime” food, as Cookie Monster would say. I get a lot more done because I don’t get interrupted by chatty people, and because I can take a 20-minute catnap after lunch. Usually I log in at the time I would usually leave the house and work until I would usually get home…so the company gets an additional 2 hours out of me. Everyone wins.

  130. Millard says:

    Corporations are people, my friend!!!

  131. Jill says:

    #122: The word “moochers” specifically may not have been used, but the notion of “makers and takers” has been part and parcel of GOP spin for the last six months. It’s very useful to the GOP, it not only paints seniors on Social Security as “takers” (i.e. no different from lazy shiftless you-know-whos) but it also paints people who work for other people as also being no different from LSYKWs. It’s all dog-whistling.

  132. chicagofinance says:

    I do not think I was right, but this was my visceral immediate reaction….

    chicagofinance says:
    September 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm
    Are you stupid? I would argue that this was an intentional plant allowed by the Romney campaign….it lays out everything right out of Romney’s mouth, but he doesn’t actually have to say it to Obama. It is the same as the Clinton/Michelle speeches in support of the Obamunist. I think it is shrewd. There is nothing controversial or off-color here. He is saying things that are completely rational and true…….he gets to denigrate Obama without being accused on denigrating Obama.

  133. chicagofinance says:

    The amount of social programming of the masses was so evident at the conference I attended last week it was not so much shocking as deflating. To see people so hardened in their views that they are emboldened to say idiotic things in Q&A sessions in front of a massive audience……probably the worst was Bob Doll of BlackRock discussing current equity strategies….to ostensibly financial professionals, and so crusty old clown impolitely says…”did you go to Harvard cause I can’t understand you?”

    Libtard in the City says:
    September 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm
    “Also corporations can’t vote”
    But they sure can LOBBY!
    You all can bitch and moan about taxes, social programs, abortion and guns. But what is destroying our country and keeping politicians from representing the people and their best interests are the lobbyists. All of the repeated partisan arguments I see here and everywhere else, ad-nauseum, are the distraction. But the sheep are too stupid to see this. Actually the sheep are so damn stupid, that many have chosen to name their offspring Phoebe and Chandler.
    I rest my case.

  134. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [134] Jill – So you agree the moocher card was played by the administration, right? Someone introduced the term to this story…widely.

  135. 1993 House Buyer says:

    Moochers..I wouldn’t worry, most moochers don’t think they are moochers but certainly do not like other moochers….just like how 90% of drivers consider themselves above average drivers!

  136. cobbler says:

    expat [129]
    I read a couple of days ago that change of the House schedule from 5 days a week in session and 1 week a month at the home district, to every week (but only 3 days) in session and hgoing home for every long weekend – which resulted in much less interaction between the members, except for the official functions – was a major factor in polarization of the Congress and eventually its inability to achieve anything bipartisan except for the post offices’ renaming.
    As for the lobbyists, in case the things are changed as Jim Rogers proposes, they will have to spend more of their clients money on travel, I guess. Not much of other change. Historically, the reason people gathered together to make decisions was to listen to each other and come to some compromise about the common good, I guess the voters in a highly polarized district can push for yet more destructive decisions than the lobbyists…

  137. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [134] Jill – So the GOP wants to exclude the senior vote…why, again?

    It’s very useful to the GOP, it not only paints seniors on Social Security as “takers” (i.e. no different from lazy shiftless you-know-whos)

  138. Millard says:

    138 – that is exactly right! that is the beauty of this. when i start talking about the moochers all the white trash get angry at the blacks, by golly…and then they spend their welfare checks on pabst blue ribbon. bwahahaha!

  139. Libtard in the City says:

    The masses are @sses. This is how we can put a tax cheat in charge of the treasury and no one even blinks an eye. We can’t. Survivor is on the tube.

  140. Painhrtz - I am a meat popsicle says:

    So Nom slicked back hair bad jewelry and commercials for you in southern PA. Please provide you tube links when the commercials go live. to tell you the truth if I was an attorney I would probably go the same route. Instead I am trying to find a way for the government to hand me those lofty Obama care contracts.

    your right if you can’t beat em, may as well earn a well healed living on the profundity of your ideas and ability to sell them to tarded government officials.

  141. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    139 cobbler – Uhhh…Having all the “marks” in one building versus spread out to 435 congressional Districts would require at least a several hundred fold increase in lobbying budget. I would also like to see a few retired citizens with time to kill outnumbering and sitting right behind every representative as they vote from their own district. I would go a step further and allow only public meetings with lobbyists.

    As for the lobbyists, in case the things are changed as Jim Rogers proposes, they will have to spend more of their clients money on travel, I guess. Not much of other change.

  142. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Nom – Will you model your new office after the “Better Call Saul” law offices in Breaking Bad?

  143. Ann says:

    61 The move-up buyer is gone. Housing never recovers in our lifetimes.

  144. chicagofinance says:

    So one of my high school friends has this interpretation…..it’s like some mangled game of telephone….”So while one’s saying only 53% of us deserve to live,”

  145. Anon E. Moose says:

    Scarecrow [141];

    So much straw, man. My friend in the farmland country had told me the drought this year caused a hay shortage. Who knew?

  146. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [87] 1993,

    There isn’t enough accumulated wealth to satisfy the debt. So all wealth will be targeted at some point.

    Things in the middle of the road get run over. So in order to avoid getting screwed, you have to be rich or poor. It isn’t easy to become rich. So the goal should be to look poor.

    this is accomplished through effective estate planning. this presents a much smaller target for taxation, and permits you to shelter assets for future generations.

    One thing that I am going to do is to lower my exposure to higher tax rates in the future. and rest assured, they will be higher. That’s because Obama’s efforts to soak the rich will fail. such efforts always do. this means that the resulting revenue gap will be made up through other means.

    Anyone care to speculate on what those other means will be?

  147. 1993 House Buyer says:

    #149, I’d be interested in furthering this discussion. While I understand the estate planning aspect, i’d like to be able to use the money I saved over the last 35 years, because like many of you dopes, I brown bagged it, held my cars for 15 years, bought a small house and paid it off and saved the max in 401k, etc and never missed a paycheck

  148. Painhrtz - I am a meat popsicle says:

    raises hand sheepishly?

    I know professor nom, they will perform back door taxation by penetrating the middle class deep and hard in their back pockets leaving them broken, ashamed, and awash in Santorum.

  149. JJ's B.S says:

    most people are moochers. school lunch programs, food stamps, blah blah blah

    I met the arch bishop of brooklyn at an event back in the 1990s back at some charities 100 anniversary dinner. Someone asked him what is the difference between the poor of one hundred years ago and today in your parish in Brooklyn. He answered, in 1893 the Italian immigrants came to church with holes in their shoes to put money in the poor box and in 1993 the the folks come to church in new hundred dollar sneakers looking for a handout.

  150. joyce says:

    Nom,
    The plans to “soak” the rich are designed to fail. Who do you think puts the “loopholes” and/or special exemptions into the code? (the hired lobbyists)

    You must see past the rhetoric. Eliminate the income tax, and reduce the Fed gov by 80%… let’s the individual states be as blue or as red as they please.

  151. Painhrtz - I am a meat popsicle says:

    and joyce for the win : )

  152. Lucifer says:

    Moochers

  153. yo says:

    Who pays no federal income tax?

    INCOME GROUP # WHO OWE NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX % of TOTAL
    Under $50K 71.1 million 93.4%
    $50K-$100K 3.6 million 4.7%
    $100K-$500K 415,000 0.6%
    $500K-$1 million 14,000 0.02%
    Over $1 million 4,000 0.005%
    Total 76.1 million*

  154. Essex says:

    154. I do like that. Things could get very interesting. States would compete to attract like-minded people based on their statutes. The State’s statutes. Not the peoples’.

  155. yo says:

    Who pays no federal income tax?

    INCOME GROUP # WHO OWE NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX % of TOTAL
    Under $50K 71.1 million 93.4%
    $50K-$100K 3.6 million 4.7%
    $100K-$500K 415,000 0.6%
    $500K-$1 million 14,000 0.02%
    Over $1 million 4,000 0.005%
    Total 76.1 million*

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/18/pf/taxes/romney-income-tax/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

  156. Essex says:

    Get ready: Under $50K 71.1 million 93.4%
    $50K-$100K 3.6 million 4.7%

  157. yo says:

    Is he going to lose their votes?

    Eight of the 10 states with the highest percentage of filers who didn’t pay federal income taxes are red states that voted for John McCain in 2008: Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Idaho. Only New Mexico and Florida voted for Obama. Conversely, of the 10 states with the lowest percentage of filers who didn’t pay federal income taxes, seven voted for Obama. Only Alaska, Wyoming and North Dakota voted for McCain.

  158. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [146] Ding! Ding! Ding! Ann is our winner. Thanks for playing our game.

    The move-up market will still exist, but to a much smaller degree. The largest generation (boomers) will largely downsize from where they are now and the youngest adults, for many reasons, will not even step up to the first rung on the ladder. My theory is that the bookend to the sub-prime crisis will be the prime crisis. Well-heeled boomers WITH equity trampling each other to get to the exits first. The DePlume family will be very happy with themselves if I am right.

    61 The move-up buyer is gone. Housing never recovers in our lifetimes.

  159. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [149] Nom – agreed. Without changes to the law, starting in 2013 the $5 million dollar exclusion drops to $1 million. There will be accidents in the wee hours of January 1st 2013 that will decimate the wealth of families. Correct me if I’m wrong Nom, but a lot of people in their senior years and in poor health with sizable IRAs and 401Ks would do much better to distribute all of it, pay the tax, and put it in trust. Well they won’t do better, their family will.

    Things in the middle of the road get run over. So in order to avoid getting screwed, you have to be rich or poor. It isn’t easy to become rich. So the goal should be to look poor.

    this is accomplished through effective estate planning. this presents a much smaller target for taxation, and permits you to shelter assets for future generations.

  160. Lucifer says:

    Moochers, underwater homeowners, Rich, Poor, middle class 1%er, 99%er, politicians….you’re all welcome in my home.

  161. schabadoo says:

    Finally just read what Romney said verbatim. Didn’t really find it offensive at all. The spin regarding his comments is amazing though.

    He basically said people who recieve government payments and or don’t pay taxes aren’t going to vote for him no matter what he does.

    But that’s completely wrong. Isn’t his base the elderly and the South?

    Funny part is, they’ll probably vote for him anyway.

  162. Brian says:

    No, Romney’s Campaign Is Not Doomed
    By Margaret Carlson – Sep 18, 2012
    The remarkable revelations from Mitt Romney’s strategists about his flailing campaign should give his supporters hope: After all, if the Romney campaign has been this wrong about everything else, then it is almost certainly wrong about the Romney campaign.

    Rats don’t usually leave a sinking ship until Leonardo DiCaprio has gone under and the Titanic has started to submerge. James Baker didn’t really disappear from the doomed 1992 George H.W. Bush campaign until late October. Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace didn’t spill their guts about how messed up John McCain’s campaign was until it was all over but the voting.

    So why are Romney’s advisers, consultants and hangers-on spilling the beans to Politico so soon? There are several lifetimes to go until November. There will be three debates, which Romney aced during the primaries. He has more money than President Barack Obama. There is a world of looming catastrophes, some nuclear. There is an economy that won’t budge and a president whose favorability ratings, unconventionally high compared with his other numbers, can only go down.

    Romney’s campaign called Obama’s several-point bounce after the convention a “sugar high.” That bounce has now faded. This campaign is far from over.

    The recriminations are coming ahead of schedule partly because of Romney’s screechy putdown last week of Obama over Libya before the Republican presidential nominee knew what he was talking about; a bungled convention; and a sense that Mr. Fix-It can’t put meat on the bones of his plan to fix the economy. Outside consultants have been bellyaching for weeks about Romney’s campaign.

    Already Suspect

    Now the complaints are coming from the inside, mostly at the expense of the campaign’s chief strategist, ad maker and speechwriter, Stuart Stevens. Remember that “Sesame Street” song about how one of these things is not like the others? That thing is Stevens.

    The campaign bus is rolling back and forth over Stevens, who was already suspect because he is a social liberal and self- styled intellectual who has written several highly regarded “travel memoirs” to boot. He appeals to that tiny corner of Romney that wishes he were more whimsical. It’s the same corner that inspired Romney to turn over part of his primetime moment at the convention to an actor babbling to an empty chair.

    According to Politico, Stevens threw out a serviceable acceptance speech a week before the convention. He then threw out the speech he ordered as a replacement (save for that one memorable detail about Romney’s father leaving his mother a rose at their bedside table every day), and he and the candidate started writing together. They produced a speech that neglected national security, the obligatory salute to the troops, and left little time for rehearsal.

    If you can’t see the tire tracks on Stevens, look at the organization chart. Ed Gillespie, a Republican consultant and a former party chairman, is now increasing his commitment to the campaign. Will he marginalize Stevens and his partners? Who’s the boss?

    Again, this could all be premature: This is September, a new beginning for schoolchildren and presidential candidates alike. There’s time for a new pencil box, fresh composition tablets, and a few more twirls of the Etch-a-Sketch buttons to try and move the candidate to the center. Every campaign owns such a toy, though most are sly enough to use it without admitting they are doing so.

    Besides, we live in the United States of Amnesia, where no one (except maybe the press) remembers Romney’s mistakes if they happened more than a month ago. Who can forget when he criticized the U.K., our closest ally, for not being as good at running the Olympics as he was (turned out it was)? Or his $10,000 bet with Texas Governor Rick Perry over his health-care plan? Or his comment that “corporations are people, my friend”? Or his failure to release years of tax returns? Soon everyone may even forget the video in which he says of the poor, “My job is not to worry about those people.”

    Forgetting Everything

    During the Republican primaries, the press pretended there was an actual contest for the nomination even though the other candidates were a bunch of ninnies who didn’t stand a chance against Romney. Now the press is saying the race is over because of a few polls in a few swing states that show Romney behind, which will surely be overtaken soon enough by a few other polls showing the opposite. Or the press will come up with another way to keep the seesaw narrative going until November.

    Winning campaigns, to paraphrase Tolstoy, are all alike; every losing campaign finds its own way to fall apart. What’s different about Romney’s (so far, at least) unsuccessful campaign is that it is acting the part of the loser so early.

    (Margaret Carlson is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

    Read more opinion online from Bloomberg View. Subscribe to receive a daily e-mail highlighting new View columns, editorials and op-ed articles.

    To contact the writer of this article: Margaret Carlson at mcarlson3@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editor responsible for this article: Michael Newman at mnewman43@bloomberg.net

  163. Brian says:

    Today, Mitt Romney Lost the Election
    By Josh Barro – Sep 17, 2012
    You can mark my prediction now: A secret recording from a closed-door Mitt Romney fundraiser, released today by David Corn at Mother Jones, has killed Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

    On the tape, Romney explains that his electoral strategy involves writing off nearly half the country as unmoveable Obama voters. As Romney explains, 47 percent of Americans “believe that they are victims.” He laments: “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

    So what’s the upshot? “My job is not to worry about those people,” he says. He also notes, describing President Obama’s base, “These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax.”

    This is an utter disaster for Romney.

    Romney already has trouble relating to the public and convincing people he cares about them. Now, he’s been caught on video saying that nearly half the country consists of hopeless losers.

    Romney has been vigorously denying President Obama’s claims that his tax plan would raise taxes on the middle class. Now, he’s been caught on video suggesting that low- and middle-income Americans are undertaxed.

    (That one is especially problematic given the speculation about what’s on Mitt’s unreleased pre-2010 tax returns.)

    Corn tells us there are more embarrassing moments on segments of the video he hasn’t released yet. Romney jokes that he’d be more likely to win the election if he were Hispanic. He makes some awkward comments about whether he was born with a “silver spoon” in his mouth.

    But those are survivable. The really disastrous thing is the clip about “victims,” and the combination of contempt and pity that Romney shows for anyone who isn’t going to vote for him.

    Romney is the most opaque presidential nominee since Nixon, and people have been reduced to guessing what his true feelings are. This video provides an answer: He feels that you’re a loser. It’s not an answer that wins elections.

    (Josh Barro is lead writer for the Ticker. E-mail him and follow him on Twitter.)

  164. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [154,158] Joyce and Essex,

    The idea of empowering the states and curtailing the fed has two powerful enemies: the feds and the states.

    Yes, if the states were dominant, competition would destroy the blue states. Liberals are aware of this; CBPP argues for federal laws to prevent states from competing through tax breaks.

    But this would be only temporary. For it to truly work, states need control over their borders.

  165. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [154] Joyce,

    Google “deadweight loss” for the reason that hypertaxing the wealthy will fail.

    France will be a good example. Let’s see how the 75% top rate fares when it comes to revenue production. It’s the inverse of the Laffer Curve.

  166. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [97] cobbler,

    Wow.

    So you are of the opinion that communism is a viable system? And you endorse the level of control needed to keep it functional?

  167. joyce says:

    Nom,
    Good job ignoring what I said.

  168. joyce says:

    I understand your theory on why it would fail if “hypertaxing” anything were actually put into place, but that’s never what they’ve tried to do.
    I do not want anyone or anything hypertaxed… how many people paid the effective tax rates of 77% and 94% (highest marginal tax rates way back when)?

  169. yo says:

    Giving the States more say and cutting the Federal government,Yeah,that is working well in the euro zone.

  170. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [174] Joyce,

    No one paid it. The goal was to limit compensation. But comparing the IRC of 1954 to the IRC of 1986 is comparing apples and oranges. The wealthy had other avenues then that don’t exist now.

    Understand one thing. Progressive tax rates are intended to redistribute wealth. See Peter Diamond’s writings. When Obama was asked if he would agree to lower rates if it increased revenue, he said no. He said it wasn’t fair.

  171. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [175] yo,

    Surely, you understand the differences btwn the US and EU?

  172. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [175] yo,

    The EU countries wouldn’t be in this mess if the profligate couldn’t drag down the industrious

    Hmmmmm, that gives me an idea.

  173. yo says:

    only difference is they are called countries.We call them states.Eliminating the Fed between what is the difference?

  174. joyce says:

    That’s my point. And the next several changes to the tax code that will get your knickers in a twist will leave ways to get around it. That’s the way it’s always been. See history.

    And don’t respond to yo. He is deranged.

    176.Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    September 18, 2012 at 9:56 pm
    [174] Joyce,

    No one paid it. The goal was to limit compensation. But comparing the IRC of 1954 to the IRC of 1986 is comparing apples and oranges. The wealthy had other avenues then that don’t exist now.

    Understand one thing. Progressive tax rates are intended to redistribute wealth. See Peter Diamond’s writings. When Obama was asked if he would agree to lower rates if it increased revenue, he said no. He said it wasn’t fair.

  175. Fabius maimus says:

    #135 Chi

    That is a slight walk back, still qualifies as your third dumbest post of the year.
    This was a monumental F***UP from Mitt.

    The first rule of politics, is” don’t tell them what you think tell them the message!”. And you need to have several versions of the message depending on the audience.

  176. Fabius maimus says:

    No-one posted this?

    Standard & Poor’s changes N.J. financial outlook to ‘negative’
    http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/09/standard_poors_downgrades_outl.html

  177. Fabius maimus says:

    For the Libertarians. While I see the logic, I have to ask the question “Why do you have to push everything down to state level?”
    NJ with its 512 School districts, police and fire departments, is a great example of the problem. If you devolve government to the lowest level, you get to a top level of waste that you need to take the federal approach and merge back to allow it to function efficiently.

    http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2012/09/gov_christie_at_bergen_town_hall_dont_want_to_share_services_well_cut_state_aid.html

  178. cobbler says:

    nom [172]
    I never suggested that Communism is a viable system. I said that it was putting everybody to work, if necessary via the forced labor, so there were no moochers – but this didn’t make the system better or more productive.

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