With the economy back in check and some modest growth happening, TCF fellow and economist Mark Thoma says "homeowners are missing out on billions of dollars in potential savings" and might consider refinancing their mortgages. Thoma gives a non-technical overview of what a refinancing might look like:
"... a household with a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage of $200,000 at an interest rate of 6.5 percent that refinances when rates fall to 4.5 percent will save over $80,000 in interest payments over the life of the loan, even after accounting for typical refinancing costs. With long-term mortgage rates at roughly 3.35 percent, this same household would save roughly $130,000 over the life of the loan by refinancing."
Read the full article featured in CBS Moneywatch.
The nearing 2016 presidential election is likely to bring up the tricky question of taxing the wealthy on their capital gains, dividends, interest, and inheritances, says TCF fellow Mark Thoma. Thoma goes through the advantages and disadvantages of imposing an additional tax on the wealthy including the effects that such a situation would have on innovation and economic growth.
When each individual strives to get ahead, when we truly have an equal opportunity meritocracy that rewards each individual according to her contributions, we collectively propel ourselves forward. The more people who are subject to this meritocracy rather than relying upon inherited wealth, the faster we will grow.
Read the full piece here.
TCF fellow and USC professor Edward Kleinbard was interviewed on NPR's Morning Edition with host David Greene among other tax experts. They discuss the segment of the 2015 State of the Union address in which President Obama spoke on tax reform and the increase taken from the wealthiest 1 percent. Here is the interview:
Access the audio transcription here.
TCF fellow and USC law professor Edward Kleinbard and his colleagues California Senator Bob Hertzberg and UC Berkeley professor Laura Tyson elaborate on the state funding crisis in California. Despite its progressive tax structure, California is leaving many students unable to afford the rising cost of tuition as well as small business owners struggling to pay good wages to employees. They explain further saying:
If California's future is to be as promising as its past, we need a tax system that reflects our real economy in the 21st century while ensuring that new revenue is invested in strengthening the ladder of mobility for all residents.
Here is the full article from the San Jose Mercury News.
TCF fellow Edward Kleinbard tells of the models that are used to determine the federal deficit as it relates to raising or cutting taxes. He explains the difference between dynamic and conventional scorekeeping, and why Republicans favor one over the other.
The Republicans’ interest in dynamic scoring is not the result of a million-economist march on Washington; it comes from political factions convinced that tax cuts are the panacea for all economic ills. They will use dynamic scoring to justify a tax cut that, under conventional scorekeeping, loses revenue.
Check out the full article from the New York Times.
In recent decades, and especially since 2000, the richest Americans have enjoyed soaring income and wealth while the rest of the population's living standards have stagnated. The Century Foundation was one of the first institutions to raise serious concerns about these trends and propose ideas for improving economic conditions for all Americans- not just the fortunate few.
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