Senate Finance Staff Discussion Draft: Energy Tax Incentives

Last week saw the release of yet another discussion draft from the staff of the Senate Finance Committee concerning tax reform. Following draft proposals concerning depreciation/accounting and other business expenses (such as advertising), the most recent draft proposes changes to the tax code’s rules concerning energy production and energy-efficient improvements. Under the draft proposal, most…

Land Value Tax: An Alternative to the Property Tax

An alternative to the local property tax, the land value tax offers certain benefits over the economically inefficient property tax. However, its novelty and legal and political challenges continue to make it an elusive option at this time. According to numerous polls, the most hated tax is the local property tax. Economists Marika Cabral and…

Mortgage Changes to Know in 2014

The New Year is almost here, and with it comes a bevy of legal and regulatory changes, especially for the mortgage industry. To help potential homebuyers understand how the changes will affect their mortgage processes, Don Frommeyer, CRMS, President of NAMB (The Association of Mortgage Professionals), outlines some of the regulations set to start in…

Enchant a Goblin Priest

  Think we can all agree these are pretty exciting times. Matter of fact, might be more exciting than we had any inkling. Recent revelations indicate we’ve all become inadvertent assets in governmental spy operations. You may have thought the NSA was everywhere, but you didn’t know the half of it. And no, there shouldn’t…

How to make high-speed rail work in California

Two court decisions have blocked the California High-Speed Rail Authority from issuing more than $8 billion in bonds and from using bond funds on construction until it fixes its funding plan. Now what? The authority says it will move forward using federal funds. But as one of the attorneys who successfully challenged the project, I…

Since 2009, 11 Million Americans Out of Job Market

Real Unemployment 14.6 Percent The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ November employment report was its usual misleading statistical good news mish-mash that, when slapped together, came out as what the mainstream media called the most “encouraging” in months. Officially, the economy added 203,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent, its lowest level in…

Through The Looking Glass

What compromises must we make when it comes to our security on the one hand, and our privacy on the other? Personally, I’m far less concerned about being tracked by the National Security Agency than I am about being monitored by, say, Google. Adam Zyglis / Buffalo Bills According to the latest headlines, the NSA…

The President on Inequality

The issues that have obsessed Washington for the last few months — the government shutdown, the broken health care website, the unrelentingly bitter tone of a stalemated Congress — mean very little to most Americans. For a broad swath of the country, what matters hasn’t changed since the recession, and it is economic anxiety. Six…