October 14, 2012

Oh Noes! Politicians hating on mortgage deduction AGAIN!

Tax deduction for mortgage interest could be targeted

By Pete Carey, Posted: 10/12/2012 04:21:11 PM PDT, Updated: 10/12/2012 05:03:23 PM PDT

121013-mortgage-mittSAN FRANCISCO — The mortgage interest tax deduction beloved by many Americans is a logical target for raising revenue to deal with growing deficits, a leading housing economist said Friday.

“For fiscal sustainability, we need to get revenue,” said Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. The alternative to shrinking the tax break is raising taxes, he said at a forum on California’s housing market sponsored by the Lusk Center and the online real estate service Zillow.

“My judgment is it’s better to do something about tax expenditures,” Green said. “One of the largest is the home mortgage interest deduction.”

The issue has been a hot button in the presidential campaign, as Democrats challenge Republicans to disclose what tax “loopholes” they would close to pay for their proposed tax cuts.

We are doomed.  DOOMED!  Once they come for our mortgage deductions, there is no more point to living.

Comments (60) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

60 Responses to “Oh Noes! Politicians hating on mortgage deduction AGAIN!”

  1. magdalena Says:

    Oh boy, lets discuss politics today!

    If Romney can guarantee that I only have to pay 13% and can keep 87% I’ll consider voting for him. I want whatever deal he has.

    And $100,000,000 in my retirement account would be nice too.

  2. Real Estater Says:

    They can keep talking about it, but it will never happen, because supporting it would be political suicide.

    I’m a swing voter right now, since I’m not a big fan of either candidate. What’s going to swing me is tax policy. I will not support taxing families making over $250k, which is a middle class income in the Bay Area.

  3. nomadic Says:

    I wouldn’t get too excited over this highly speculative article.

  4. madhaus Says:

    How can the article be anything but speculative when Team Vulture-Voucher refuse to disclose what loopholes they plan to close? Mortgage interest deduction is the big one as far as increasing tax revenue.

    #2, you are correct that people will howl, but look at Romney’s actions as Governor of Massachusetts. Over 800 vetoes, over 700 bills passed overriding his vetoes. After two years in office he was essentially an absentee, working the national stage to begin his presidential run in 2008. Inotherwords, Romney doesn’t care what you little people think of him or his actions, because he knows better than you, and if you think otherwise, he doesn’t want to hear it. The guy thinks he’s Mormon royalty. Google White Horse Prophesy. Mitt has been told his entire life he was born to lead, and it’s just part of why he’s convinced he’s right and anyone saying otherwise is wrong.

    You don’t support taxing families making over $250K? Oh, now you’re Mitt Romney too?

  5. JSims Says:

    Good this will crash real estate prices in RBA

  6. magdalena Says:

    RE and Nomadic –

    I’ve learned that things that will never happen often do. I can think of a lot of things that have happened that were way worse than losing the mortgage interest deduction and no one stopped them from happening. Haven’t you figured out that politicians can be amazingly stupid? Each election season I lose more faith in politicians and government.

  7. Real Estater Says:

    The reason it will never happen is because it will kill housing, which will in turn kill any hope of economic recovery. Why would they buy mortgaged back securities on the one hand and try to kill housing on the other? They are not that stupid.

    I agree the article is highly speculative. Media likes to create controversy to generate readership; this is why American media is full of trash these days.

    To solve the deficit problem the big hitters are military spending and healthcare. America cannot afford to maintain its military presence as the evil empire anymore.

  8. magdalena Says:

    Maybe SEA can do the math on how much someone in fly over country would lose if they couldn’t deduct the interest on their $50,000 mortgage. I don’t know how much money that would be. I’ve been living in California too long and have lost all perspective. I paid a lot more than not a lot of money for my house and the mortgage deduction is very important to me. I also support certain artistic organizations. I like the perks I get and enjoy going to their parties but I don’t think I would be as generous if I couldn’t deduct the donation. What I can deduct matters to me but maybe it isn’t as important to people who don’t live in major metropolitan areas. If I’m too lazy to do the math maybe the people who think their tax rate going down will be better than losing a few deductions will be too lazy to do the calculations too. What’s important in our lovely little part of the world might not matter much to a large part of the country.

  9. sprezzatura Says:

    I can easily see them closing the loophole on mortgage deductions beyond your primary residence. Cutting the mortgage interest deduction on the primary resident would be killer not just for the Bay Area but all high cost of living areas.

    Come to think of it, most of those high cost of living areas are soildy Blue. So maybe that IS Romney’s master plan — to stick it to the Democrats.

  10. Real Estater Says:

    >>You don’t support taxing families making over $250K? Oh, now you’re Mitt Romney too?

    No question Romney is an asshole, but what choices do we have right now? Obama has spent more money than the last moron who was in office, and now he wants me to pay for it? No fucking way. Enough is enough. The more taxes you pay, the more money they waste. I’d much rather elect a moron who will allow me to keep my hard earned money than someone who will take it away to finance his runaway spending.

  11. magdalena Says:

    #9 – Exactly!

    According to some polls the country is evenly split in this election. People see a debate and 6% of the people being polled change who they support. If that is all it takes to move 6% of the population then I don’t have any faith left. Our fate could be in the hands of a small group of low information voters who can’t make up their minds until they get in the polling booth on the morning of the election.

  12. Real Estater Says:

    >>I can easily see them closing the loophole on mortgage deductions beyond your primary residence.

    What kind of amateur statement is that? There is no mortgage deduction for investment properties.

  13. nomadic Says:

    Tsk, tsk, RE. What about second (or third) houses? Vacation properties. Have you lost your “I’m rich” persona?

    You should read this:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/opinion/sunday/the-self-destruction-of-the-1-percent.html

  14. Real Estater Says:

    I don’t care for vacation homes. Unless you go to the same place for vacation, you don’t need one. When I go on vacation, I’d rather stay at a hotel, where they clean your rooms and provide you the services you need.

    By the way, I don’t have a “I’m rich” persona. I’m just an average guy working hard for a living, and wanting to keep what I earned.

  15. Real Estater Says:

    #13, I saw the article. I think in previous decades, we saw the fall of Communism. In this decade, we are seeing the fall of American capitalism. All indications are the system is not sustainable, just as Communism is not sustainable.

  16. Real Estater Says:

    Nomadic, As a matter of principle, I would never purchase real estate as a way to splurge or to show-off. I buy property with the intent to yield a return, either through rental income or appreciation. I’m probably one of the most down to earth persons you can meet. If you must insist on a persona, I think “the millionaire next door” would probably fit.

  17. madhaus Says:

    We had this argument a few years ago, RE. Investment property has always allowed mortgage interest as a deduction, because it’s a cost of doing business. Completely different animal than residential property’s mortgage tax deduction. If you really owned investment property you would know this.

    And you think you should pay zero taxes because you earn half of not a lot of money? O RLY? Why do you think we’re having deficit issues in the US? Could it be that our tax revenues and rates are at historical lows? The US was pretty danged economically successful in the 1950s and 60s with those sky-high marginal rates. Reagan said lowering the rates would increase revenues. He was wrong. That’s why he had to quietly increase other taxes after cutting the rates.

    You should look up what “middle-class income” means. You keep using that phrase, but I do not think it means what you think it means. Median income in the US is $52,000.

    Median incomes are higher here in the RBA. We know that. But if you have to keep drawing the circle around yourself smaller and smaller, it gets really silly. Sure, you can be “middle class income” if you only define the class you’re in as “people with my educational attainment who live on my street and are currently employed, and only for well-respected companies who have been profitable every year with no layoffs” etc etc. And these arguments that “Sure I make a quarter million a year but I have very little left after I have to pay for housing, private school, 401K investments, expected charitable donations, etc…” basically come down to “I don’t have much money left because I spent it.”

    Nobody put a gun to your head and told you to buy in one of the most expensive zip codes in one of the most expensive cities in one of the most expensive regions in the entire country. Nobody told you to work hard and make a lot of money. You made those decisions, now deal with the consequences. Your high income taxes are just the icing on the joy of living in the RBA.

  18. madhaus Says:

    nomadic, that was a great piece you shared (NYT on the American Serrata). Thank you.

  19. Alex Says:

    I can’t believe it. The apocalypse must be here.

    I actually agree with Faux Estater’s #10 post. =(

    I support closing ALL tax deductions. Loopholes allow politicians to whore themselves out to special interests.

    Eliminating deductions will decrease my charitable donations to some degree. But a lower tax rate will also cut my tax bill, which I can then direct towards my favorite charities. I’d rather have a more direct say in where I give my money than allow politicians use it to whore themselves.

  20. Schultz!!!!! Says:

    Mortgage deduction elimination. Boo-yah! Lower McMansion prices across the board! Last I heard, it would be structured to only hit those over $500k. So I’m okay, Jack.

    Bummer about the Bay area, though. Guess that’s what comes of being owned and operated by the Democratic machine. Mittens couldn’t care less. Cheer up though, when the prices finally collapse it will be a lot easier for Bay area oppressed minorities to get their own homes. Diversity Rawks.

    Of course, I’m sure the Democrats will want to retaliate for this affront by knocking off prop 13. :)

  21. Mole Man Says:

    That the mortgage interest tax deduction even comes up is a sign of great change. Close study shows that it hasn’t worked as intended. All it did was make housing more expensive and give yet another special gift to the wealthy.

  22. nomadic Says:

    Okay, #16, three posts in a row. I’ll bite, Mr. “down to earth millionaire next door” (snicker). I can respect that you want to act in your own self-interest, but before you cast your vote think about the longer term effect on your self interest. Also keep in mind that while you aspire to be part of the 1,% you aren’t there to reap the rewards dangled by the current Republican ticket. When the hollow promises of the current tax “proposal” (see him after the election for specifics) are revealed to be the Emperor’s new clothes, they’ll go after your earned income next. Deductions for passive income will be the last to go.

    Oh, and which candidate is most likely to remove the mortgage interest deduction? It’s the one who doesn’t worry about a petty $20,000, $30,000 or even $50,000 interest deduction on their primary residence. A deduction that gets phased out as your income increases anyway.

    P.S. madhaus, you’re welcome. Glad you enjoyed it.

  23. magdalena Says:

    Is anyone old enough to remember Nixon’s “I have a secret plan to end the Vietnam war”?

    If you don’t remember that get ready to experience Romney’s secret plan to lower everyones taxes, create 12 million jobs and make everyone happy. Rainbows and unicorns for everyone!

  24. Divasm Says:

    I, too, must have taken that Portal to hell because I agree with RE on #2: $250K a year is darn near middle class in the bay area. Certainly if you make just that amount you probably can’t afford a 4/2 2K sq ft house in an area with decent schools without something wrong with it. If Obama is really going after folks with private jets, I’d rather he target $1mil a year and above.

    That being said, I’m still supporting him of course.

  25. Alex Says:

    Obama will go down as one of the worst presidents ever.

    I can not fathom how sheeple allow themselves to be led by the mass media to vote for this bozo.

    How you can vote for an overhyped community organizer who has never had a real job is beyond me.

    HYPE and SPARE CHANGE.

    FORWARD over the debt cliff.

  26. Banker East Says:

    RE is right on all counts. Tax and spend on Steroids is getting old.

  27. madhaus Says:

    Sure #26 (or do I mean #16). Borrow and spend makes so much MORE sense than tax and spend, because neither of these doofuses are going to say no to special interests. The question is which special interests can you stand more?

    Vote for Obama and watch the green tech/energy, health care, construction and education sectors get a bunch of boosts. Your taxes will go up if you make more than $250K. Your taxes will go up a lot if you make more than $1M. You’ll pay more for gasoline, which will make you consider a green vehicle (their subsidies will continue). The roads will get fixed faster so you’ll spend less on tires. We’ll move more in the direction of Sweden and less in the direction of Brazil.

    Vote for Romney and your money will go to the high finance, old energy (oil, coal and gas), insurance, and defense sectors. Your taxes will go up if you make less than $1M, otherwise they will go down a lot. You’ll die sooner, because all the clean/green energy programs will be cut, or you’ll die of your preexisting conditions that won’t be covered since he’s gutting Obamacare. Your job is more likely to be sent to China. Watch the deficit explode as he makes Dick Cheney look like a piker.

    #25, since when is a law professor not a real job? And since when is government rip-off artist a real job? Turns out he’s no successful businessman at all. Everything he touched was rescued by your tax dollars. Yes, I’m voting for the community organizer.

  28. nomadic Says:

    Let’s get down to basics. I used to respect the Republican Party. I cannot respect a bunch of creationists who are in denial about climate change and the scientific method. The inmates have taken over the asylum.

    McCain sold his soul when he took Palin on as a running mate. Things have only gotten worse since then. What’s worse than tax & spend? A party divorced from reality and the American people as a whole.

  29. Alex Says:

    #27,

    Obama was a law professor? Sounds like he was an instructor for a hocus-pocus course.

    #28, Democrats like to pretend they know something about scientific methods but they don’t know sh*t. I don’t deny that humans have a tendency to sh*t on the environment wherever they step. But the “climate change” theory has been hyped far beyond the twilight zone. When Al the-gasbag-fatso-10k sq ft McMansion-jetsetting Gore is the mouthpiece of the climate change movement, the followers are no more than mindless zombie sheeple. Let’s have carbon credits so some corrupt fck can milk the people for money again. *snicker*

  30. Alex Says:

    Democraps have fcked this state beyond all sensibility.

    Tax and spend. After revenues come up short, threaten to cut education funding so people will be scared into raising taxes again. Never mind that the lazy ass government employees continue to get ginormous pensions that most of us can only fantasize.

    BTW, Republicons are just as guilty at the federal level (but CA, NY and IL are all the Democraps fault). I have some choice words for those as*holes too.

    I used to have a bit of respect for you guys here because I thought you’re able to engage in some semblance of critical thinking but you’re not much different from Faux Estater. This country is being mortgaged to hell and you’re still baaaaaaaaaaa-ing.

  31. nomadic Says:

    Critical thinking? I’ll do it if you will.

    Let’s start with the trend of government spending by W. As madhaus alluded, he didn’t tax & spend. He just spent and spent with abandon. BTW, I completely agree with you that spending needs to be cut. I just don’t think you can solve the problem only through cuts. Governing is supposed to involve compromise, not one party unilaterally declaring they won’t consider closing one loophole or raising one more dollar of taxes.

    On second thought, politics on a real estate site is boring… except Burbed’s reappearance today of course!

  32. Alex Says:

    W absolutely screwed the the future generations over. Then Obama came along and cornholed them.

    In Obama’s 4 years, he has added just as much as W over 8 years.

    Let’s do a little arithmetic. Let’s say you confiscate ALL of the top 1%’s entire income. 100% of it. Does it balance the budget? What sort of income places a person in the top 1%? Top 2%?

    You want some critical thinking? Try that.

  33. nomadic Says:

    Hyperbole is your idea of critical thinking?

  34. Alex Says:

    Hyperbole?

    It’a little arithmetic. You can’t handle a little number-crunching?

    Calculate the debt burden that the current spenders shackling to the necks of their kids. How can anyone argue that is ethical or moral?!

    We don’t have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.

    If you had bothered to do the numbers, you would have found that a 100% confiscatory tax rate for everyone making above $250,000 would barely cover the current budget.

    Reality is a bitch, ain’t it. So go ahead and live in perpetual denial.

  35. sprezzatura Says:

    Going to have to bowdlerize this one as well, as the recipient did not appreciate its tone. Folks, if you can’t be nice, stick calling each other names about your ownership status or lack thereof. –ed.

    Alex, you’re a [person of limited intelligence] spitting out right-wing talking points. Kindly [remove yourself] until you can come back with facts.

  36. sprezzatura Says:

    FACT: the Obama administration has shrunk the deficit by over $200 billion since 2009.

  37. Alex Says:

    Okay gang, I got a complaint about this one, so I’ve cleaned up the more abusive language. Spirited discussion is good, but this one’s over the line in some places. –ed.

    Spezzatura,

    You’re a [reproductive act present participle] [person of limited intelligence]. You’re exactly the reason why this country is going down the [modern toilet facility]. [Other persons of limited intelligence] like you believe any [bovine product] fed to you by dirtbag politicians.

    Being fiscally conservative does not make me a right-winger. (And I sure as hell didn’t vote for Romney. Romney and Obama are 2 sides of the same coin)

    You’re going to give Obama a pass when he barely reduces the DEFICIT why adding heaps to the DEBT? Try borrowing 35-40% of what you spend on your family budget and see how long that lasts.

    [Still a third kind of persons of limited intelligence] like you turn CA into a debt-laden cesspool. I’m surprised the people here mock the mortgage debt slaves but then eagerly turn a blind eye to our state’s and country’s fiscal mess. I shouldn’t be surprised by people’s stupidity but they always seem to stretch that depth.

  38. CB Says:

    To get it back to real estate talk, it appears that Obama refi-ed a 20 year costing $1,300 a month into a 30 year costing $1,100 a month and cashed out some serious cheese in the process, then spent some of that cheese on a new GM Yukon and some solar panels that never got delivered.

    Those of us who lived through the bubble years have seen it all before.

  39. madhaus Says:

    CB, got links on that? Could be a good weekend article.

    Alex, please do not call people fvcking idiots for disagreeing with you. Just make your arguments why they’re wrong and more importantly, why you are right. Spitting and screaming aren’t effective methods of persuasion here. From where I sit, you seem to have downed too much Fox Kool-aid because you’ve got many insults but few actual ideas. That usually indicates the lack of an actual argument, which is why your calling people out on critical thinking is so deliciously ironic.

    There are hundreds of thousands of progressive liberals in the RBA. Calling them all stupid may feel satisfying, but it convinces nobody of anything other than the utter bankruptcy of your position. It’s also just factually wrong. Every measure of liberal vs conservative shows the former are better at analysis and handling ambiguity. You what conservatives are good at? Emotional appeal and tribalism. This explains why the right starts frothing at the mouth at the left. They cannot accept that anyone could hold a position different from theirs, so that group must be evil, stupid, depraved, insert ugly adjective here.

    This is all scientifically proven. You might want to read up on the brain differences between liberal and conservative.

    Meanwhile, if you actually have an argument beyond “You’re stupid” by all means share it.

  40. nomadic Says:

    #39, I believe #38 is an allegory. Cute, eh?

  41. Alex Says:

    madhouse,

    Got your blinders on much? Somehow you seemed to have glossed over #35.

    You may want to put down that bong once in a while.

  42. CB Says:

    #39, a lot of name calling and accusations based on emotion. Neither are bad unto themselves, but it is curious since you are tryin to convince Alex he is flawed for doing the same.

    Regardless, there are plenty of us conservatives who don’t watch Fox and live primarily froth free lives.

  43. Alex Says:

    It’s funny how the liberal wackos here are so quick to label me a right-winger when the only thing I’ve been advocating is FISCAL SANITY. You nutjobs have no clue as to the rest of my political leaning.

    This is the hypocrisy of the “open-minded” Bay Area liberals. Anyone who disagrees with them on anything is promptly labeled as neo-con or right-winger (or Rush Limbaugh or Fox Kool-aid drinker).

    Before you get your Birkenstocks in a tizzy, I support equal rights for gays, including civil unions. But because I’m such a fair guy, I also advocate revoking any benefits conferred by marital status. On any given day, you might be able to sway me on the issue of drug legalization.

    One thing I’ve learned is that Real Estater may be nuts, but he’s consistently nuts. He doesn’t pretend to be otherwise.

    However, the libs here are nuts but pretend otherwise.

    Bash people for getting in over their heads on mortgages. But it’s somehow ok for public unions and politicians to constantly rob the taxpayers?

  44. madhaus Says:

    CB, #42, I have never bashed your opinions for being conservative. In fact I don’t think I’ve bashed your opinions at all, although #40 nomadic correctly caught me missing your political real estate analogy in #38. Fool me two hundred fifty thousand times (not a lot), shame on me.

    #43 Alex, my issue with your arguments here is how little grounding they have. They are mostly vitriol, and you demonstrate an unwillingness to even accept that alternate points of view have the right to exist. When I asked you to convince me, you responded with “liberal wackos nutjobs libs nuts.” This does not persuade me you have anything to back up your position. You’re welcome to prove me wrong anytime you wish, but you’ll have to do so without spitting invective unless that’s your purpose here.

    As to your animus on unions, that’s been a very long-term project of the Right, and you’ve succumbed to it. 40 years ago, most long-term private sector jobs provided defined pension benefits. Now those are mostly gone, while government jobs still have them. Instead of recognizing you’ve been screwed, and then manipulated by think tanks and op-eds and talking heads to believe that if you can’t have a pension then damn it, neither should they, you reserve your vitriol for those in the public sector. And that’s the way they want it, so thanks for enabling Mitt and his minions.

    You ever read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair? It’s where we’re headed, back to people getting crippled on the job with no protection whatsoever, because there are no unions. You’re arguing with someone whose great-grandparents know many people who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Heck, that must mean I’m practically a Communist for thinking this wasn’t a good thing.

    Deal with it.

  45. nomadic Says:

    What I don’t understand is why no one on the more conservative side (and I used to think I was there…) has any useful suggestions. There’s a lot of knee jerk reaction of “anything is better than what we have now” but that’s too simplistic. We had a balanced budget for awhile (and I was never a big Clinton fan back then), and then we had W getting us into two unfunded wars while handing out tax cuts to everyone. Now the sh*t has hit the fan and the incumbent has been trying to clear up the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. Admittedly, it’s taking much too long. However, the challenger now wants to hand out a bunch more tax cuts without ANY plan of how to pay for them aside from the magical growth that’s going to materialize and closure of unnamed loopholes. (You want some math, Alex? See how much money can be generated there. It isn’t enough, last I heard.) Numerous studies have shown that W’s cuts didn’t work so how is it different this time around? Not to mention the submarines Mitt wants to build for some unknown reason.

    Frankly, I trust the Democrats to get serious about reducing the deficit before the Republicans sober up and do something useful.

  46. CB Says:

    …you demonstrate an unwillingness to even accept that alternate points of view have the right to exist

    I don’t suppose you ever had an intention of considering another point of view yourself, so I’m pretty sure this is not a genuine critique. Either way, can we please stop patting ourselves on our backs for our imagined compassions?

    I have never bashed your opinions for being conservative

    You used post #39 to bash conservatives as relatively ignorant, and even go as far as to insinuate there is some scientific consensus to that effect. That is a shot in every right-thinkers direction.

    Yes, I am aware that every year or so a paper is published with “data” arguing this point. They are invariably authored by career academics or aspiring doctoral students with pony tails… people appropriately named something pretentious, white and liberal… like Seth.

    Another invariability is that these “studies” are largely touted at the Huffington Post. Now, I am a regular reader of the HuffPo, but I find it curious that someone would accuse another of drinking the “Fox Kool-Aid” when they themselves dutifully regurgitate shitty musing from a highly partisan new source. Even more astounding is that same person would have the gall to claim some moral or intellectual superiority, which you don’t.

    I’d like to pick apart your antiquated rant on union relevancy, your willful omission of abuses, greed and inequities and how fair criticism of unions is far from hard core Republican idea, but some San Jose Democrats have done the job for me.

    I’ll definitely look into “The Jungle”. Lord knows I can use a level analysis from the same set of superior liberal thinkers who brought us “Loose Change”…. and this burbed conversation.

  47. madhaus Says:

    LOL, no I don’t believe all Conservatives buy into the “other side doesn’t have the right to exist” attitude, and I didn’t even see this extremism 15 years ago. But seriously, with the rise of the Tea Party, it’s like all the wheels came off the Crazy Train, and the crypto-racists aren’t even pretending anymore.

    And just as you don’t get your news from Fox, I don’t get mine from Huffington Post. They don’t have much original stuff anyway but tend to popularize what’s already out there. And I don’t trust Arianna any further than I can throw her, plus she treated her unpaid staff like disposables after she sold out for millions.

    Do read Chris Moody’s book if you ‘re going to read anything; The Jungle describes the conditions in the Chicago packing plants a hundred years ago. If you didn’t like my rant about Triangle Shirtwaist, you won’t find it very compelling, but that’s fairly compelling history given my gg parents were in the clothing manufacturing trade. In New York. On the Lower East Side.

    Is your issue that I haven’t admitted there are union excesses? Of course there are, but I think crippling them financially is not the answer. I see corporate/government corruption, in the era of Citizens United (probably as bad a decision as Bush v Gore, which is really saying something) as the much bigger problem.

    Even more astounding is that same person would have the gall to claim some moral or intellectual superiority, which you don’t.

    Which I don’t what? Don’t claim some superiority? I certainly don’t claim suchwith respect to you, but you’re not going to argue that Alex is doing an effective job advocating for fiscal restraint, are you?

    The studies show austerity is a disasterous approach during an economic slowdown. Conservatives, along with the IMF force it, and it makes things worse. Many of the problems were seeing in California are the same on the national scale, where problems far beyond even national economics are drying up the economy. It’s easy to blame it on out of control spending, but when the entire economy is manipulated by a few key players, blaming the victims isn’t just wrong, it’s vicious. Remember Enron futzing with our energy market? Same thing, only instead of power it was bonds.

  48. CB Says:

    The Jungle describes the conditions in the Chicago packing plants a hundred years ago

    LOL. That will give me some perspective. Should I also read the history of the Model T Ford to better understand my Prius? That back up beep is a major plight.

  49. Alex Says:

    madhouse, it’s funny how you singled me out for starting a flame war when you conveniently dismiss spezzatura.

    ahhh the good ol libtards immediately label me as some right-winger because I attacked public employee unions.

    Public employee unions and their politician whores are in bed together. How many of you get to retire in your 50s with 70-100K annual pensions? Didn’t think so. (Public employee salary database http://www.mercurynews.com/salaries/bay-area)

    As for evidence to back up my position? Just look at the current fiscal mess in CA. NY. IL. And a whole host of other states. What’s our unfunded pension liabilities again? If the private sector employees are facing high unemployment and diminishing savings, why should they pay more to fatten the public union pigs? You can’t keep squeezing blood out of a turnip.

    I consider private sector unions merely a nuisance that adds to inefficiency. They served a purpose in the past. Public sector unions are corrupt through and through.

    @ nomadic, I never argued that Mittens’ plan will be any different from Obama’s. On the contrary, I strongly disagree with him on defense spending — we need to take an axe to it. I think Mittens will be a failure and I’m 95% certain of it. Obama’s track record is 100% failure when it comes to fiscal policy and yet the socialists in CA worship at his feet.

    Don’t assume that I’m a Republican because I’m bashing Obama. There’s this thing called third, fourth, etc party or Independent.

    Mittens is dishonest to argue that lowering tax rates will somehow magically generate more jobs. While not a panacea for our budget mess, I would like to see a simplified tax code with elimination of all deductions in order to weed out as much political whoring as possible.

    Your faith in the Democrats’ ability to address budgetary issues in a sane manner only reveals your delusion.

    None of you have responded to my comment: you guys bash the mortgage debt slaves for fiscal irreponsibility and yet you ignore our state and federal spending disasters. why is that? Blinded by party ideology much?

  50. Alex Says:

    The studies show austerity is a disasterous approach during an economic slowdown.

    No shit, Sherlock. But this is what we get to deal with when we’ve been pumping bubbles through deficit spending for decades. The maggots are coming home to roost.

    If you’d learned something from your Cupertino schools, there’s this thing called exponential growth. Now take our national debt and plot it.

    Ross Perot was the last politician to have an honest discussion regarding budgetary woes. But the sheeple insist on voting along party lines. Now your children get to deal with the consequences.

  51. nomadic Says:

    While not a panacea for our budget mess, I would like to see a simplified tax code with elimination of all deductions in order to weed out as much political whoring as possible.

    Now there’s common ground we can share.

    I wouldn’t confuse my odds giving Dems a better chance at improving the budget with anything resembling faith. Just as you aren’t a Republican, I’m not a Democrat. And I’m pissed that the party that is supposed to be more fiscally conservative has been an utter joke for the last decade.

    As for “mortgage debt slaves,” we just don’t normally discuss politics on here (and look where it’s gotten us). It’s easier to mock individuals buying craptastic houses than to pick apart the thousands of ways our various levels of government waste money. And it isn’t nearly as much fun as it is frustrating.

    BTW, I think #35 was overlooked because #37 was the same and then way more over the top.

  52. madhaus Says:

    BTW, I think #35 was overlooked because #37 was the same and then way more over the top.

    Both 35 and 37 have had a date with the editor’s virtual blue pencil.

  53. Alex Says:

    And I’m pissed that the party that is supposed to be more fiscally conservative has been an utter joke for the last decade.

    I can easily argue that we have been fiscally irresponsible for the past 3 decades at the federal level. Again, plot that debt curve. During that time, both Democrats and Republicans were in charge.

    For those of you who would like to get big money out of politics, go to unPAC.org to support our cause.

  54. madhaus Says:

    Alex, are you familiar with the case American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock? That’s the 1912 Montana law barring corporate spending in elections; struck down this June because Citizens United trumped it.

    SCOTUS gave We The People the finger over this one. Curious how your unPAC group plans to work around Citizens United, when the current Supreme Court is majority Corporatist.

    btw if PACs and especially SuperPACs and their disgusting 501c4 siblings were disallowed, I wouldn’t have a problem with something like Prop 32 limiting union influence on elections.

  55. Alex Says:

    Federal law supercedes state law. I am aware of the birdie that SCOTUS flipped us.

    Public unions are far more disgusting. Currently, they vote for politicians and subsequently negotiate with them for pensions, raises, etc.

    If union members are motivated, there is nothing to prevent them from having the dues charged to their credit card. No need to have it deducted from paychecks.

    Additionally, prop 32 does NOT take away unions’ ability to organize PACs. They can still wield their disgusting influence just like corporations.

    When Obama bailed out automakers, he essentially bailed out the unions at the expense of bondholders. There was no reason why Government Motors couldn’t reorganize under BK proceedings. Our auto industry would still exist; people don’t stop driving.

  56. Banker East Says:

    Good debate tonight, and Obama probably won. However, I think the important thing to remember is that talk is cheap. We need to judge by the job performance, and we cannot reward bad performance. The new guy may or may not be better, but voters need to send the message that if our leader does not deliver on his promises, his contract will not be renewed. Make sense?

  57. DreamT Says:

    “reward bad performance”
    Talk is cheap indeed. Spoken like a true middle manager.
    Leaders are judged on how they steer the ship. Stay the course and crash the Titanic. All good presidents inspiredly veer from campaign promises soon after they take office, if only because a candidate is an outsider missing too many pieces of the puzzle.

  58. Real Estater Says:

    Been busy with work lately, but did watch the debate. Both guys know how to put up a good fight with words, but are surely equally incompetent. By the way, noticed all the overweight people in the background? America is not in good shape! Also, did you notice the China bashing? That’s ludicrous. If it weren’t for China’s lending, how are they even going to survive the next budget? If it weren’t for China’s manufacturing, how will consumers be able to afford the iPhone upgrade? I say we outsource our government to China. That’s how we can achieve 8% growth and massive budget surplus. They’ve done it every year. Give it to the experts.

  59. nomadic Says:

    Now that is a better troll. I think even madhaus would approve.

  60. madhaus Says:


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