Monday, October 31, 2016

Highest Rent Metropolitan Areas For Low And Average Quality Apartments: Units That Are Old And Needing Renovation: Chart

From Bloomberg, "Two New Charts Prove San Francisco Rents Are Out of Control: It's getting even more expensive to live in the Bay Area." by Patrick Clark:
CoStar Group, a real estate data firm, uses a five-star system to rate multifamily properties based on architectural attributes, structural systems, amenities, and other traits. For instance, one star buildings require significant renovation or are functionally obsolete. Two star buildings are associated with phrases like “functional,” average,” and “aging.” Together, one- and two-star buildings account for roughly one-third of market rate multi-family units in the U.S. There are plenty of big cities, like Dallas, or Atlanta, where the average asking rents for such apartments are less than $800 a month.

In San Francisco, typical monthly rent for the metropolitan area’s most humble housing stock is more than three times that amount—a staggering $2,586.

Chart Of High Rent Metropolitan Areas With Low Quality Apartments
Source:  Bloomberg

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Social Security Funding Problem In 3 Pictures From BloombergPolitics

From BloombergPolitics, "How the Next President Could Save Social Security" by Dave Merrill and Chloe Whiteaker:
The problem
Since 2010, Social Security’s funding mechanism has been taking on water. The number of workers supporting a growing number of retiring baby boomers is not sufficient to pay all the benefits they are due.

Source: BloombergPolitics

‘Trust fund’ draw down
Since there are not enough payroll taxes being collected day-to-day, money is drawn from Social Security’s “trust fund” reserve to meet the shortfall. The $2.8 trillion reserve grew out of payroll tax increases initiated in 1984.

Source: BloombergPolitics

Reserve depletion, 2034
When the trust fund reserves are depleted in 2034, retirees will collect only what the workers’ payroll taxes can provide: about 79 percent of benefits. So, for example, instead of an annual $18,000 benefit, a retiree would receive $14,220.

Source: BloombergPolitics

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

74 Percent Of Voters Want Congressional Term Limits

From Rasmussen Reports, "More Voters Than Ever Want Term Limits for Congress:"
Voters agree more strongly than ever with the need for term limits but also still doubt Congress will go along with them.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 74% of Likely U.S. Voters favor establishing term limits for all members of Congress. Just 13% are opposed, while just as many (13%) are undecided.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Iran, Not Russia, Hacked Democratic National Committee (DNC), Says John McAfee

From CYBERSECURITY BUSINESS REPORT, "John McAfee: 'Iran hacked the DNC, and North Korea hacked DYN' " by Steve Morgan:
John McAfee -- in an email exchange and follow up phone call just moments ago -- said sources within the Dark Web suggest it was Iran, and he absolutely agrees. While Russian hackers get more media attention nowadays, Iranian hackers have had their share.
Earlier this year, Iranian hackers were charged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over cyber attacks.
What about Russia?

"If all evidence points to the Russians, then, with 100% certainty, it is not the Russians," said McAfee. "Anyone who is capable of carrying out a hack of such sophistication is also capable, with far less effort than that involved in the hack, of hiding their tracks or making it appear that the hack came from some other quarter. The forensic tools used to assign culpability in a hack are well known, in the cybersecurity world, to be largely ineffective. They may, sometimes, correctly identify an unsophisticated 15 year old as the source of a hack, such as the teenager who hacked the FBI less than a year ago. But they are completely ineffective against large, sophisticated groups of hackers such as those run by the Russian State."

Friday, October 21, 2016

Bank Fines Causing Slow Global Growth: Fines Reduced Global Lending Capacity To Real Economy By Over $5 Trillion

From The Wall Street Journal, "Bank Legal Costs Cited as Drag on Economic Growth: Fines on banks translate into $5 trillion of ‘reduced lending capacity,’ bank says" by Katy Burne and Aruna Viswanatha:
A heightened emphasis by banking regulators and law-enforcement officials on financial misconduct may be constraining global growth, some officials warn.

Legal expenses are among the burdens weighing on banks, policy makers say. “The roughly $275 billion in legal costs for global banks since 2008 translates into more than $5 trillion of reduced lending capacity to the real economy,” Minouche Shafik, a deputy governor of the Bank of England, told a New York conference of regulators and bankers Thursday.

Other policy makers have expressed concern that strict crackdowns on banks’ lapses in carrying out anti-money-laundering regulations have led banks to nearly cut off several emerging markets from the global financial system, damping their economies. The International Monetary Fund, in particular, has sounded that alarm repeatedly this year and held a conference highlighting the issue at its annual meeting in early October.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hillary's Tax Plan Will Lower GDP, Capital Investment, Jobs, Wages: Hillary's Tax Plan Will Lower Payroll Tax Revenue That Funds Social Security And Medicare

From Tax Foundation, "Details and Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals, October 2016" by Kyle Pomerleau:
Economic Impact

According to the Tax Foundation’s Taxes and Growth Model, Secretary Clinton’s tax plan would reduce the economy’s size by 2.6 percent in the long run (Table 2). The slightly smaller economy would lead to 2.1 percent lower wages, a 6.9 percent smaller capital stock, and 697,000 fewer full-time equivalent jobs. The smaller economy results from somewhat higher marginal tax rates on capital and labor income.

These projections are what we estimate would happen at the end of a ten-year period and are compared to the underlying baseline of what would occur absent any policy change. For example, the U.S. real GDP will grow by 19.2% from 2016-2025, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), if policy remains unchanged. We predict that the reduced incentives to work, save, and invest would reduce the end-of-period GDP by 2.6 percent below the level it would have been without the policy change.

Table 2. Economic Impact of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Plan
Capital Investment
Wage Rate
Full-time Equivalent Jobs (in thousands)
Source: Tax Foundation Taxes and Growth Model, March 2016.

Revenue Impact
On a dynamic basis, the plan would increase federal revenues by $663 billion over the next decade. The slightly smaller economy would reduce wages, which would narrow both the individual income and payroll tax bases. As a result, the individual income tax proposals would raise less than half as much revenue as they do under the static analysis, while payroll tax revenues would decline.

Table 3. Ten-Year Revenue Impact of Hillary Clinton's Tax Reform Plan (Billions of Dollars)
Static Revenue Impact (2016-2025)
Dynamic Revenue Impact (2016-2025)
    Individual Income Taxes
    Payroll Taxes
    Corporate Income Taxes
    Excise Taxes
    Estate and Gift Taxes
    Other Revenue
Note: Individual items may not sum to total due to rounding.
Source: Tax Foundation Taxes and Growth Model, March 2016.

Payroll taxes are used to fund Social Security and Medicare. Hillary's tax plan, through lower wages and fewer full-time equivalent jobs, will lower tax revenues to fund these two programs. Her plan will exacerbate the funding problem that Medicare and Social Security already have.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Video Of Donald Trump's PTSD Comment To Veterans

From The Washington Post, "Here's what Donald Trump said about veterans and PTSD:"

US Supreme Court Has Upheld Right Of Any Taxpayer To Decrease Or Avoid Taxes Altogether: Trump Is Just Doing What The US Supreme Court Has Said Is Legal For The Past 80 Years

From Justia, US Supreme Court, Gregory v. Helvering, 293 US 465 (1935):
The legal right of a taxpayer to decrease the amount of what otherwise would be his taxes, or altogether avoid them, by means which the law permits, cannot be doubted. United States v. Isham, 17 Wall. 496, 84 U. S. 506; Superior Oil Co. v. Mississippi, 280 U. S. 390, 280 U. S. 395-396; Jones v. Helvering, 63 App.D.C. 204, 71 F.2d 214, 217.
As the most quoted lower court federal judge, Judge Learned Hand stated in the same case at the lower level federal appellate court, Helvering v. Gregory, 69 F.2d 809, 810 (2d Cir. 1934), aff'd, 293 U.S. 465 (1935):
Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. U. S. v. Isham, 17 Wall. 496, 506, 21 L. Ed. 728; Bullen v. Wisconsin, 240 U.S. 625, 630, 36 S. Ct. 473, 60 L. Ed. 830. Therefore, if what was done here, was what was intended by section 112 (i) (1) (B), it is of no consequence that it was all an elaborate scheme to get rid of income taxes, as it certainly was.