Jan 7, 2015
commented on Some Interesting Details About the Woman Who Was Shot to Death by Her 2-Year-Old Son in an Idaho Walmart
@60 How is this surprising? Most gun owners understand the correlation between gun ownership an potential harm to themselves, yet the perceived benefits outweigh the odds of such an event. Same thought process as buying a drill press, chainsaw, or welder. "I need this for a certain job, but need to be careful or I'll seriously hurt myself."
This kind of event is a statistical pimple on the Elephant's ass (1146/316,000,000) which is precisely why the story has received so much interest.
Jan 7, 2015
commented on City of Seattle Offers Video Help for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure, But Little Else
@10 Please explain how this portion of the Richmond program works:
This “principal reduction” prevents foreclosures that harm the community. There is no cost to the homeowner or the City.
Re: 3% downpayment - That is a BENEFIT to the borrower. It essentially amounts to a free option on home price appreciation. Home prices up 10%? Great. I'll cash out refi or sell. Down 10%? I lose 3% and have to rent a U-Haul. Fannie, Freddie, the FHA, and banks don't make loans with the hope or expectation of owning the home. They only end up with the home when the loss exceeds the downpayment they received.
Rather than throwing money at bad decision makers after the fact, we should enhance education on the basics of mortgage finance. Starting with you.
Apr 16, 2012
commented on Robert Reich Explains Bain Capital (Rmoney)
The mortgage interest deduction can be considered a "regressive tax break" as the actual dollar amount of the benefit increases as you approach the $1 million in mortgage debt limit. To the extent that real estate owned is correlated with income, it does disproportionally benefit high earners.
Whether you like the deduction or not, using a dollar amount, rather than "no second homes" policy is superior. You should get the same benefit if you choose a modest primary plus second home, or one big one.