Bubble or not?

From the Washington Post:

Why homes are hitting bubble-era prices without bubble-era headaches

Home values in a few states have surpassed the price peaks reached during the housing boom, but that doesn’t mean a return to the days of frothy pricing.

In March, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming and the District of Columbia exceeded their old highs, the mortgage firm CoreLogic reported Tuesday based on its own price index. Still, there’s no reason to fear a price bubble in those markets, said Mark Fleming, the group’s chief economist.

Home values in those states are reacting to improved economies in their respective regions, Fleming said. For instance, prices are doing well in Texas, Colorado and the Dakotas because significant growth in the energy business is attracting an influx of new residents to those states, just as a reliable supply of work continues to draw people to the D.C. area. There’s nothing to worry about when home prices rise in line with economic fundamentals, Fleming said.

Increased demand for homes leads to price growth, especially when the supply is tight. “You only need a little positive price appreciation and strong demographics going in your favor in those areas to surpass the prior peak,” Fleming said. “None of those were bubble markets.”

“In places that remain way down from their peak, there are still quite a few borrowers that are upside down,” meaning they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, said Sam Khater, CoreLogic’s chief deputy economist. “Those markets still suffer from distress despite the price gains.”

Many of those states experienced extraordinary double-digit price increases during the past two years only because investors stepped in, bought distressed properties at huge discounts and helped put a bottom under the market. But now that home prices and mortgage rates are climbing, the investors are retreating and the price gains are moderating.

CoreLogic estimates that prices will rise 6.7 percent percent in the coming year.

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

117 Responses to Bubble or not?

  1. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    bubble. the same one. and first.

  2. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    The only improving economy I know about in Washington DC is on K Street.

    Home values in those states are reacting to improved economies in their respective regions, Fleming said.

  3. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    The only improving economy I know about in Washington DC is on K Street.

    Home values in those states are reacting to improved economies in their respective regions, Fleming said.

  4. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    LOL. You can now get a master’s degree in cronyism and corruption:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/lobbying-101-k-street-goes-back-to-school-106447.html

  5. grim says:

    Second verse, same as the first.

  6. anon (the good one) says:

    no,taxes don’t go to the poor. they go here:

    “US Navy Orders 10 Virginia-class Submarines at a Record Cost of $17.6 Billion

    Including boats already under construction, between now and 2023 the USN will introduce 17 new nuclear attack submarines to the fleet. Depending on construction decisions in Russia and China, this will very nearly equal the production of the rest of the world combined. The existence of a proven design, an experienced workforce, and an industry capable of high-quality submarine construction puts the U.S. ahead of nearly every competitor. This contract suggests that, defense austerity notwithstanding, the U.S. continues to see the submarine force as playing a central role in the projection of U.S. power and the defense of U.S. interests over the next several decades.”

  7. anon (the good one) says:

    @BenedictEvans: The Beats deal is a tech Rorschach Blot: no-one can see what it is so everyone projects their own view of Apple onto it.

  8. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    [6] anon,

    The middle class also sucks at the government teat. Jobs for shipyardworkers, engineers and sailors is the reason for all new attack boats. Of course, with this form of welfare, we get a nuclear sub capable of leveling a country.

  9. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    [7] anon

    That’s actually witty. Be sure to compliment the actual author for me.

  10. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [6] The subs will be put to good use in the coming years. Tankers carrying oil that has NOT been purchased with US dollars will be sunk.

  11. jj says:

    NJ, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island have quite a few underwater condos from the Spring 2004 to Spring 2008 period. Unlike houses these ones are also not paying maint and many have HELOCS on top of a primary caused three sets of folks attempting foreclosure. Even if the market recovers they dug a trench so deep they cant get out.

    Coops very easy to cancel stock certificate for back maint to foreclosure process.

    Condos in Brooklyn and Manhattan are back or near peak prices to they are cool.

  12. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    Irrelevant NJ-related Quote of the Day.

    I came across this from an unlikely source and as it had to do with New Jerseyans, I thought I’d share it. It has to do with free speech, political correctness, hate speech, etc.

    “A few years ago, I asked law students at Seton Hall University if there should be restrictions to the First Amendment. Many were eager to ban “hate speech.”

    “No value comes out of hate speech,” said a future lawyer. “We need to regulate flag burning … and blasphemy,” said another. One student wanted to ban political speech by corporations, and another was comfortable imprisoning people who make hunting videos.

    Only when I pulled out a copy of the Bill of Rights and slowly wrote in their “exceptions” did one student finally say, “We went too far!”

  13. Fast Eddie says:

    I went to two open houses yesterday. We basically celebrated Mom’s Day on Saturday night and bought Mom her grill yesterday, so the open houses were part of the journey. Besides, the weather was beautiful and I wanted to take a ride.

    Both houses were in Oakland. This is nice town but I really wish it was a tad closer for work /school commuting. The first house was a colonial type thing; a little more customized in design than a standard colonial. The realtor representing was a family member and very nice, very friendly. We were there at least 30 minutes and no one else showed up. I don’t know if the reason was Mother’s Day or not.

    Without going into 100 details, I must say that this house had a lot more positives than negatives and honestly, if it was closer, my spouse may have given a green light to look into this one and possibly place an offer. The neighborhood had no direct outlet or pass-through so it was void of traffic. The properties were nice and open and generally a really nice neighborhood. The bedrooms were roomy, finally! The downside? It is septic and the yard was mostly on the side rather than the back. All in all, this house had a warm feel and the price tag was in the mid 500s which is where the price should be. The so-called haughty towns are about to experience this drop in the coming months. The 629K to 659K range is going to be replaced by 559K to 599K.

    The 2nd house was in the same neighborhood and this one was a bi-level, for sale by owner. The owner was a really nice guy and a pleasure to talk to. His house was a mish-mosh. It was organized but needed work. The yard was a nice size but again, very chochkee inside. His asking price was 529K and I have a feeling this one could be had with a “4” handle easily. He was very easy and apologetic. He said that he was offered 700K for the house 6 years ago and his wife wasn’t ready to move. That gives you an idea of how many f.ucked bagholders are chained to the house.

    Add up the transactions in the “need to be” towns from 2004 through 2007 and that’ll give you an idea of how much volume is ready to burst.

  14. Bystander says:

    Eddie,

    Nothing to do with Mothers Day. Spring is DOA because no young families can afford 500k starter homes that need 50k worth of work. The bubble mentality is back but this year, no one is buying it. The media has soured on housing again. The next few months will offer 20% off lowballs in good towns. Patience..reality then desperation by late summer. Lots of people want out before winter.

  15. Fast Eddie says:

    Bystander,

    I keep reading how 43% of all transactions in the last year have been all cash deals which obviously means investors were scooping up stuff to flip or rent. I think the dead cat bounce is coming to end. The bottom line is any of us with some common sense realizes that there never was a recovery in housing, jobs or the economy. Zero interest rates, fake stimulus and money printing kept the body on life support but the inevitable is… well… inevitable.

  16. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    To the query of the title question, “Bubble or Not?”, I’ll answer a question with a question:

    If 2006 prices comprised a bubble how is it that the same prices revisited now, often with double the tax burden, do not?

  17. Anon E. Moose says:

    ONJExP [17];

    If 2006 prices comprised a bubble how is it that the same prices revisited now, often with double the tax burden, do not?

    Inflation, government statistics to the contrary notwithstanding. If you beleive the “core” inflation number, then you don’t eat, or use fuel to drive or heat your house, among other things. But I digress…

    I can’t have been along in saying that the crash did half the work, and inflation would do the rest.

  18. jj says:

    Why do people think cash deals are only investors. A high percentage of vacation homes and trade down homes are cash. Also as prices fall and mortgages harder to get more cash deals.

    When Capes are 600K you have to put down 20% or $120K. When capes are 200K and you have 120K. much cheaper to borrown 80K from Mom pay cash and then do a fee free Heloc after closing and pay back Mom. Buyer might give 5K off cash and save 5K on closing.

  19. Grim says:

    Based on the CPI, home prices would need to be 17% higher than in 2006 to be equivalent.

  20. Grim says:

    That would put current NJ home prices around 30% below peak from a real perspective.

  21. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [18] So the 2006 prices would have been good if we could have just raised food prices quickly high enough to justify them? I believe oil was already expensive enough, hitting nearly $150/barrel in 2007, right? Stagnant wages + Rising Taxes = Appropriately High housing prices this time around I guess? I guess this time it’s different.

  22. Libturd in the City says:

    Where’s that chart?

  23. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [20] grim – And the property tax increases since 2006 show up where in your calculation? I just don’t get how $1,000 per month doesn’t count.

    Based on the CPI, home prices would need to be 17% higher than in 2006 to be equivalent.

  24. Fast Eddie says:

    Based on the CPI, home prices would need to be 17% higher than in 2006 to be equivalent.

    Based on the CPI, what are salaries now compared to 10 years ago?

  25. Fast Eddie says:

    NJ ExPat,

    Shhh!!! We don’t talk about property taxes and stagnant wages! They only count when supporting an argument.

  26. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [25] gary – income and property taxes are “ignoratio elenchi”. Homes are purchased based on PI now, no more PITI, and there are no more income/debt ratios. You simply pay the price, it doesn’t matter if the money doesn’t exist anywhere on your asset list, you just roll it all into the closing.

  27. Fast Eddie says:

    NJ Expat,

    You simply pay the price…

    And man, are they ever! :) lol!

    But yes, “ignoratio elenchi” is text book for the house cheerleaders. Denial is a stronger force than a wall of water.

  28. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [27] And why not? It’s not like anyone beyond the baby boomer generation intends on really owning any real estate, they just want to occupy some place that has stainless steel or black kitchen appliances. They’ve been conditioned to just make the payments and ignore the term. Pretty soon we’ll need 50 and 80 year mortgages.

  29. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    [27] expat

    I had a convo over the weekend with my mother and the topic of rhetorical fallacies came up. I posited my thesis that what passes for learned argument today is simply stringing together informal fallacies and passing them off as argument. Everyone does this, even the most erudite and accomplished.

    I also posited my theory that logicians and rhetoricians have to have the highest divorce rates of any occupation or academic classification.

  30. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    More Irrelevant Posts About New Jersey:

    Here’s some good New Jersey news for once (unless you’re anon or some other left wing hater).

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/boy-scouts-rescue-ann-curry-after-tv-journalist-is-hurt-on-hiking-trail-211601184.html

  31. jj says:

    I almost feel bad I dont have to pay property tax on my house listening to you folks. Only the little people pay property tax.

  32. grim says:

    NJ Average Property Taxes

    2006 – $6,446
    2013 – $7,998

  33. Michael says:

    Go long baby…this ride is just getting started!

    Wells Capital Management’s Jim Paulsen believes the market has corrected many of its imbalances in recent weeks, from the current rotation out of momentum names to “excess sentiment” in more defensive names. That’s setting up the market for another bull run, despite five years of record highs and valuations since the 2008 financial crisis, he said in an interview with CNBC.

  34. Fast Eddie says:

    Nom [30],

    How dare a conservative group take advantage of woman’s right to choose! It’s yet another obvious, blatant example of the war on women. :o

  35. Michael says:

    33- I know it’s going to be choppy, just felt like throwing some feel good opinions.

  36. anon (the good one) says:

    @ThierryHenry: Hi this is Thierry Henry. This is my only official Twitter account. Everything posted on here will be my views. Welcome.

  37. Juice Box says:

    re: 33 – The current bubble needs to be bigger than the last to really be considered a bubble. Market Cap to GDP now looks like two standard deviations above its mean. The last stock market bubble dot.com 1.0 ran about six quarters. Not sure if this one will go as long or not. My personal prediction is correction dead ahead.

  38. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    [34] eddie

    Astonishingly, there will be some lefty haters who will post something like that and mean it.

  39. Libturd in the City says:

    I liked the red bulls a lot more before I knew Anon was following them.

  40. Libturd in the City says:

    It’s just a guess, but I think when Yellen makes the first symbolic 1/8th of a point move up in the lending rate, the market is going to go crazy up as it will be translated as an all-clear signal. How long the market runs after that is anybodies guess.

  41. Samivel says:

    Still searching amidst the wasteland.
    Society has cleaved. Young folk can’t find anything remotely decent to get
    A family started. My wife loses it. I can’t take the emotional roller coaster,
    the recriminations, after each dump we visit priced at a dream.

  42. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [30];

    I must have missed that part in that story where the good and obedient apparatchik of NBC news declined to be helped by this detachment of the bigoted paramilitary organization known as the Boy Scouts.

  43. Anon E. Moose says:

    Michael [33];

    Cash is trash! I’ve got equities, I’ve got a small, highly localized investment in real property. Don’t fight the tide.

  44. Fast Eddie says:

    Nom [38],

    I bet it’s already out there somewhere.

  45. Fast Eddie says:

    Samivel [41],

    It’s astonishing, isn’t it? Every law of economics has been breached and not a shred of logic applies. I wish I had a smidge of advice to offer but I’m afraid there isn’t any. Hang in there.

  46. Street Justice says:

    I hear ya. We moved to NW NJ and I’m just dealing with the long commute. Don’t let it stop you from having a family though. I’m glad I didn’t. Best of luck to you and your wife.

    Samivel says:
    May 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm
    Still searching amidst the wasteland.
    Society has cleaved. Young folk can’t find anything remotely decent to get
    A family started. My wife loses it. I can’t take the emotional roller coaster,
    the recriminations, after each dump we visit priced at a dream.

  47. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [32] Ha-ha grim, that’s a funny one, “average” NJ property taxes. It’s specious to bundle in Newark, Irvington, Paterson, and South Jersey property taxes to make a case for how affordable train towns in Bergen County are. How about the average property taxes in 2006 and 2013 for just houses you looked at for purchase? The house you bought has gone up 44% in property taxes and you’re a smart shopper. My best friend bought an $850K house at the top with $8K taxes in your MSA. After bottoming at $650K, it’s now worth about $770K with $16K taxes, that’s what we call a 100% increase. The 24% average jump in NJ taxes is ignoratio elenchi.

    NJ Average Property Taxes

    2006 – $6,446
    2013 – $7,998

  48. Libturd in the City says:

    I don’t know if taxes went up that much in the time span. During the onset of the 2000’s until about 2007, it seemed taxes in train towns were going up about 6% or more per year. Then the financial crisis put a damper on the increases until about last year, when it all started going to hell again and all of those unnecessary positions that were cut during the ‘great recession’ were rehired. At least that’s how it worked in Montklair.

  49. Libturd in the City says:

    Back of the envelope, I would guess taxes in train towns went up about 30% over that time span.

  50. Libturd in the City says:

    The total Ridgewood residential property taxes increase from 2006 to 2014 is 32%.

    Not a bad guess if I say so myself.

  51. jj says:

    Inflation adjusted we averaged around 2.5% in that period. 32% is 8 years so that is 4% a year.

    So inflation adjusted taxes are growing 1.5% a year

    50.Libturd in the City says:
    May 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm
    The total Ridgewood residential property taxes increase from 2006 to 2014 is 32%.

    Not a bad guess if I say so myself.

  52. Fast Eddie says:

    I’m still waiting for someone to tell me how much salaries increased over the last decade.

  53. Juice Box says:

    I am glad my house is up on a hill.

    10 ft of sea level rise is now almost maybe a bit closer even potentially inevitable.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/13/science/earth/collapse-of-parts-of-west-antarctica-ice-sheet-has-begun-scientists-say.html?_r=0

  54. jcer says:

    Inflation?!! 2007-2011 by all rights and means should have been a deflationary period. Extend the trend line back to 1999 and tell me where prices and taxes should be as that was the last time things seemed normal(using historical inflation rates). The financial chicanery of the last 15 years has been truly astounding and we are living a nightmare now as a result…stagnant wages, inflation, etc.

  55. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [48] Lib – quite right, it varies from town to town. One sister and BIL relocated back to NNJ at the wrong time. They put $600K down on a $1.6 million house. Their equity was completely erased, but is now about 40 % back. Meanwhile my sister, who may rival JJ in her tax grieving abilities (I’m sure we’ll hear not though), was able to get her taxes lowered every single year since 2007, usually about $1K per year lower. The bad news is that her taxes started off at $24,659 and are now down to $18,534. So if you look at just this one property it is a much better buy for $1.6 million than it was in 2005, right? Much lower property taxes and at today’s interest rates? If you could buy it from my sister at Zillow’s Zestimate of $1.24 million it would be an absolute steal I guess? An interesting coda to the story of this house is that my sister and her husband have a $1 million dollar *adjustable* mortgage with a very low index to Treasuries that has worked out better than you would have thought.

  56. pikavippi says:

    F9nGNk0yegbe pikavippi KaaX5c

  57. Bystander says:

    -I’ve been conditioned to believe that 500k starter home with 10k taxes is cheap
    -I’ve been conditioned to believe that 3.40/gallon in NJ is cheap since it is 4.10 in CT.
    -I’ve been told to pay my ever increasing health premiums bc that is just way it is.
    -I’ve been conditioned to believe a gallon of milk at the store is reasonable at $6 and a salad at a restaurant is worth $16.
    -A 12 oz. beer at a bar is ok at $7
    -I was told that cutting staff, no raises for years and reducing contractor rates are ok bc the job market stinks and you are lucky to have one.

  58. Fast Eddie says:

    Bystander [57],

    It’s conditioning. One weakling perpetuates the ruse by succumbing to the brainwashing tactics and the broken cycle continues.

  59. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Here’s your NJ Tax Calculator. It’s a nice chart from 2006 so you can see town by town what property taxes were the last time we had these prices and how much more you have to pay this time around:

    http://www.bluejersey.com/showDiary.do;jsessionid=83CFB1CACB3A438AE0A473DE53A1F079?diaryId=3298

  60. jj says:

    I already like you sister, a cheap millionaire who grieves her own taxes!!!

    However, her tax grieving ability does not come close to me. This year I retroactively won 2012/2013, 2013/2014 and going forward won 2015/2016. Which results in a
    -$4,000 tax bill this year. Meaning I have taxable income as my tax refund from prior years are greater than I am paying this year.

    That is just a freeky one time sandy thing but still nice to get paid rather than pay out.
    1k a year is really good, prior to sandy I was getting it down only a few hundred each year but after you win a few times in a row it adds up quick.

    55.The Original NJ ExPat says:
    May 12, 2014 at 1:49 pm
    [48] Lib – quite right, it varies from town to town. One sister and BIL relocated back to NNJ at the wrong time. They put $600K down on a $1.6 million house. Their equity was completely erased, but is now about 40 % back. Meanwhile my sister, who may rival JJ in her tax grieving abilities (I’m sure we’ll hear not though), was able to get her taxes lowered every single year since 2007, usually about $1K per year lower. The bad news is that her taxes started off at $24,659 and are now down to $18,534. So if you look at just this one property it is a much better buy for $1.6 million than it was in 2005, right? Much lower property taxes and at today’s interest rates? If you could buy it from my sister at Zillow’s Zestimate of $1.24 million it would be an absolute steal I guess? An interesting coda to the story of this house is that my sister and her husband have a $1 million dollar *adjustable* mortgage with a very low index to Treasuries that has worked out better than you would have thought.

  61. Statler Waldorf says:

    People betting on sea level remaining constant haven’t taken Geology 101.

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

  62. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Ruh-roh!

    http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/news/2014/p042814a.pdf

    Approximately $700 million or 85 percent of the anticipated shortfall in Fiscal Year 2014 
    revenues is attributable the Gross Income Tax.  New Jersey’s highly progressive income tax is 
    notoriously volatile due to its extreme reliance on a relative handful of taxpayers.  In recent years for example, just 400 taxpayers have accounted for almost 10 percent ofNew Jersey’s
    Gross Income Tax,the top one percent ofstate income taxpayers accounted for almost 40
    percent, and the top 10 percent of all income taxpayers accounted for approximately 70 
    percent of total income tax revenues. 
    The extent of the Gross Income Tax shortfall is also large relative to projections made by the 
    Office of Legislative Services in early April. The OLS estimate for the Gross Income Tax for Fiscal 
    Year 2014 was just $87 million less than the amount projected in the Governor’s Budget 
    Message. 
     The difficulty in projecting final payment income tax revenue is not confined to New 
    Jersey.  For example, Connecticut today announced that shortfalls in income tax revenues will 
    necessitate cuts in that state’s spending. Connecticut’s state analysts estimate that income tax 
    revenues will be $330 million below their projections.   

  63. Libturd in the City says:

    We should buy some of the land around that glacier in Canada and melt it to sell the water. Heck, people spend $2 for water with dye and a vitamin dissolved in it. We could sell water that’s so pure that it dates back to before man found fire.

  64. Ragnar says:

    Back from driving the BMW i8 through Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Malibu canyon highways. Pretty fun. The i3 though is a pretty practical e-car that just went on sale, as long as your commute is less than 75 miles per day. After tax credits the cost should be well under $40k, and the cabin is spacious on par with a 5 series. Zero to sixty in 7 seconds, faster than the BMW 325 of the 80s and 90s. But it’s pretty ugly. Any of you fuel efficiency guys interested in it?

  65. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [61] JJ – You might be the best tax griever, but I am the most efficient. In Boston they have (or had) a nasty and profitable policy of just assessing you at purchase price and right fast before you learn anything about taxes or how much you should be paying. When we bought our place in 2002 our taxes jumped to the highest rung of the ladder for our 50 unit condo association that was converted in 1978. I did some research and saw that taxes were all over the place. If you bought in 1980 you probably had the lowest taxes, if you bought today you had the highest (they’ve since fixed this). Anyway I just called up the assessor’s office and talked to this nice lady on the phone about our new baby and how poor we were and that we certainly didn’t have the nicest unit, not the biggest, pointed out several identical floor plans that were taxed much lower. She said something like, “How about if I change this to that, and this to that and then your taxes will come out to this, how does that sound?” I told her that was great and thanked her. She instantly changed my assessed value from $260K down to $152K with just a single phone call! Whatever she changed back in 2002 it stuck. I’ve been the lowest assessed since then and my taxes keep going down on their own, they’re now down to $1675 after the increased resident tax exemption. Considering the sum total of my effort was a single phone call in 12 years ago, I think I get the most efficient tax griever crown. I’m afraid to call back ever again and have someone else who isn’t so nice take a closer look at our tax records.

  66. grim says:

    65 – Jealous that you got to drive the i8 through Malibu.

    $40k? Too rich for me, only reason for driving the EV is that the lease was cheap when you factor everything in (thanks for doing all the legwork Stu).

    At $40k, I’ll just go back to driving another Subaru.

  67. grim says:

    In recent years for example, just 400 taxpayers have accounted for almost 10 percent of New Jersey’s Gross Income Tax,the top one percent ofstate income taxpayers accounted for almost 40 percent, and the top 10 percent of all income taxpayers accounted for approximately 70 percent of total income tax revenues.

    They clearly aren’t paying enough taxes.

  68. Street Justice says:

    Steve Sweeney ‏@NJSenatePres 1m
    My bill creating “College Affordability Study Commission” clears Senate. Time to address this problem. Students are crushed by college debt.

  69. grim says:

    NJ is going to solve America’s college debt problem?

    Why is this NJ’s responsibility? Our tax dollars are paying for this?

    Why exactly do we need a commission to study this, we know exactly what the problem is.

  70. Libturd in the City says:

    And I’m still waiting for mine. :P

    The Civic keeps on rolling so no big dealiyo.

  71. grim says:

    Live at home while going to your nearest state school, problem solved.

  72. Street Justice says:

    Kind of ridiculous that they would be busy passing laws spending money on “studies”. Especially for something we already know the reason for the problem, and in light of the fact there’s a $800m budget shortfall.

    I thought they were supposed to be cutting spending?

  73. grim says:

    Make it mandatory that every liberal arts student have a minor in a trade.

    You want to study art history? Fine, but you’ll minor in welding and pipefitting.

    Can’t find a job doing whatever the hell an art history graduate does, fine, head over to the shale fields and get to work. If it helps heal your psyche, you can pretend that the experience will help you write the next great American novel.

    Problem solved.

    I can do this all day folks.

  74. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [70];

    Well, Princeton did just unload Krugman onto CUNY, so that’s a start, I guess. :-D

  75. Bystander says:

    Grim,

    Why not just stop govt. backing of BAs altogether? Let the colleges find out how much of their own money is worth risking vs. their grads career salary/repayment abilities.

  76. Juice Box says:

    re # 76 -re: ” stop govt. backing” We are used to borrowing our way to prosperity, and we won’t easily give up the habit. So what if $120 billion of the student debt is 90 days or more late. It cannot be discharged, just run up the interest and collect it later. Deficits and debt don’t matter….

  77. jj says:

    You used my ” you obviously mistaked my Mercury Neighborhood for a Mercedes Neighborhood speech”

    They have not updated my assessor picture of my house in 12 years. The front steps and sidewalk was cracked when I bought house and steps were rusty. I also owned my beat up black Mercury Sable station wagon back then. But in 2014 when assessor pulls up my house that is what they see.

    Today it has new sidewalk and steps and a new Denali in driveway but the old picture is gold. They try to retake pictures at least every ten years and they are behind. But the picture helps me. For some reason it is also on google maps.

    66.The Original NJ ExPat says:
    May 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm
    [61] JJ – You might be the best tax griever, but I am the most efficient. In Boston they have (or had) a nasty and profitable policy of just assessing you at purchase price and right fast before you learn anything about taxes or how much you should be paying. When we bought our place in 2002 our taxes jumped to the highest rung of the ladder for our 50 unit condo association that was converted in 1978. I did some research and saw that taxes were all over the place. If you bought in 1980 you probably had the lowest taxes, if you bought today you had the highest (they’ve since fixed this). Anyway I just called up the assessor’s office and talked to this nice lady on the phone about our new baby and how poor we were and that we certainly didn’t have the nicest unit, not the biggest, pointed out several identical floor plans that were taxed much lower. She said something like, “How about if I change this to that, and this to that and then your taxes will come out to this, how does that sound?” I told her that was great and thanked her. She instantly changed my assessed value from $260K down to $152K with just a single phone call! Whatever she changed back in 2002 it stuck. I’ve been the lowest assessed since then and my taxes keep going down on their own, they’re now down to $1675 after the increased resident tax exemption. Considering the sum total of my effort was a single phone call in 12 years ago, I think I get the most efficient tax griever crown. I’m afraid to call back ever again and have someone else who isn’t so nice take a closer look at our tax records.

  78. grim says:

    Why not just stop govt. backing of BAs altogether?

    Not entirely, but perhaps we should extend the financial aid review process to include the period after graduation. I’m sure there are plenty of wealthy families who don’t mind subsidizing their kids for a little longer.

  79. grim (70)-

    This is what corrupt, hack politicians do now instead of trying to solve actual problems, like Bojangles’ task force on crimes against women in colleges: how can anyone be for the r@pists?

    Pick an issue on which there can only be one-sided argument, publicize yourself, spend money on “blue ribbon panels”, then declare victory. All on our dime.

    We are firmly into the endtimes.

    “NJ is going to solve America’s college debt problem?

    Why is this NJ’s responsibility? Our tax dollars are paying for this?

    Why exactly do we need a commission to study this, we know exactly what the problem is.”

  80. I bet Clay Aiken whacked his geezer opponent.

  81. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    JJ – Yes, I played the “poor working class guy with a small baby, how we hope we can afford to have one more child, just trying to make ends meet” card. You haven’t checked Google maps in a while. Google has your house looking good with the two trees the town planted up front and a different GMC vehicle parked in the driveway. It’s from August 2012, so you might want to grab that image if you need it for any insurance purposes. You’re right, the tax assessor’s office still has the 2000 picture with the black car in the driveway and the old sidewalks.

    You used my ” you obviously mistaked my Mercury Neighborhood for a Mercedes Neighborhood speech”

    They have not updated my assessor picture of my house in 12 years. The front steps and sidewalk was cracked when I bought house and steps were rusty. I also owned my beat up black Mercury Sable station wagon back then. But in 2014 when assessor pulls up my house that is what they see.

    Today it has new sidewalk and steps and a new Denali in driveway but the old picture is gold. They try to retake pictures at least every ten years and they are behind. But the picture helps me. For some reason it is also on google maps.

  82. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    [83] cont’d. BTW, when I did the new trick you need to know to find a Google street view image date (Click “Report a Problem”), the old 2000 image flashed up for a second before being updated, so Google has both images on file.

  83. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    [85] It’s just a relaxing place for Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine to relax and talk about their future ventures.

  84. anon (the good one) says:

    Hey, looky here! Steve Benen highlights the chart on the right, which shows that President Obama is making steady progress reducing the massive federal deficit that was rung up in FY2009 by George Bush and the Republican Party. Nice work, Obama!

    @MotherJones: Who Deserves Credit for Reducing the Federal Deficit? http://t.co/8DHvyh61OG

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  86. anon (the good one) says:

    @markos: Fox News’ Eric Bolling: ‘I Don’t Remember’ Any Terrorist Attacks On America During President Bush’s term” http://t.co/IThxl59SUR

  87. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    [75] moose

    “Well, Princeton did just unload Krugman onto CUNY”

    Yeah, I wasn’t buying the “I moved because I can’t get good bagels here” line either.

  88. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    Could it be that what separates liberals from libertarians is simply math skills?

    Hey, looky here! Steve Benen highlights the chart on the right, which shows that President Obama is making steady progress reducing the massive federal deficit that was rung up in FY2009 by George Bush and the Republican Party. Nice work, Obama!

  89. Juice Box says:

    Krug man is getting $225,000 to not teach the first few years. Talk about a no show job,just more time for face time on TV.

  90. Street Justice says:

    @cnsnews: Scientists in U.N Climate Report: Rising Seas in East Antarctica Possible — in 2,000 to 10,000 Years http://t.co/zoEMPdghqd

  91. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [87] anon

    1. Deficits don’t matter, remember? But debt does.

    2. Proceeds from borrowing is counted as revenue in governmentland.

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled delusion.

  92. Juice Box says:

    Re:94 massive solar reflectors problem solved. Anyone want to fund my startup?

  93. Essex says:

    Quit modding my comments. It’s pathetic.

  94. ccb223 says:

    Eddie – what were you making 10 years ago? Are you making more now? I think so given that nice new job you got.

    It’s not all gloom and doom…scared money don’t make money.

  95. Street Justice says:

    “Hidden” mortgage fee paying for payroll tax cut

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hidden-mortgage-fee-paying-for-payroll-tax-cut/

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  97. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    Lib – Do you have tickets yet for Ted Nugent playing the Wellmont in Montclair in July? I thought it was a joke at first, but apparently not. I wonder if the NRA will have a sign-up table in the lobby?

    http://concertfix.com/tours/ted-nugent+wellmont-theatre+montclair-nj

  98. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [99] street

    Perhaps our Twit In Chief would be good enough to explain how this doesn’t violate the “not one thin dime” of no new middle class taxes promise that Dear Leader made?

    anon?

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  100. Street Justice says:

    Using less fossil fuels seems to have had an unintended consequence…

    This is your fault Grim…

    DOT Secretary: ‘The Roads You’re Driving On Will Crumble…’
    May 13, 2014 – 5:31 AM
    By Susan Jones

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/dot-secretary-roads-youre-driving-will-crumble

    “This may be the most dire moment the American transportation system has faced in decades,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told reporters at the White House on Monday.

    “Unless Congress acts, up to 700,000 Americans will lose their jobs over the next year,” he said. Road work, bridge-building and transit maintenance projects “may be delayed or shut down completely,” slowing trade and causing businesses not to hire.

    “And by the way, your morning commute will be longer because the roads you’re driving on will crumble, and no one will show up to fix it,” Foxx said.

    The dire scenario results partly from the insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund, a problem that’s been years in the making.

    The trust fund — which depends on gasoline taxes — is projected to run out of money by August, partly because people are driving more fuel-efficient cars, which means less tax money coming in.

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