Obama Mortgage Relief Refinancing Plan – A Tax on Big Banks and More

We Can’t Wait

That’s the new slogan that the Obama Administration is trying out, presumably thinking of the campaign as Obama approaches the full force of election season.

In Las Vegas, one of hardest hit housing markets in the United States, Obama said, “we can’t wait” for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job and provide relief for the millions of Americans underwater on their mortgages.

Obama went on to say that the housing bubble was the greatest cause of the current economy and that millions of Americans have continued to responsibly pay their mortgage even though their home is worth less than the value of the loan.  In his recent State of the Union address, Obama laid out a plan to help underwater homeowners.

Here’s how the mortgage relief plan would work. Continue Reading

Three Stories That Prove Consumers Still Have Power

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There’s a story that the media has missed in all of their 2011 wrap up stories.

It’s one of those rare feel-good economics stories that deserves to be relived because in 2011, one group above so many others who tried, showed that they have far more power than what they thought.

It’s not a story about Wall Street bankers, Washington politicians, the Tea Party movement or even the Occupiers.

It’s about you.

You, the consumer, showed that when you speak, you can influence the actions of the world’s biggest companies.

Not convinced? Continue Reading

Senate Passes Bill to Extend Payroll Tax Cut Temporarily (and Other Provisions)

On December 17th, after what were characterized as more heated, intense negotiations, Republicans and Democrats in Senate came to a compromise that extends the payroll tax cuts for just two months. 

The House still needs to pass the bill, then it’s up to the President to sign the bill.

The Obama Administration wanted further cuts that would save a household making $80,000 per year an additional $2,500 in tax liabilities.

If the payroll tax cuts haven’t been high on your reading list, there are a few reasons why that should change.

Within the bill there are winners and losers and much like the recent Supercommittee impasse, when this issue surfaces again in February, your paycheck could be at risk if both parties can’t come to a longer term agreement.

Here are a few reasons you might want to keep up with this issue. Continue Reading

Unemployment Extensions In Jeopardy – What Long Term Jobless Should Consider Doing

Congress is racing against the clock to renew extended unemployment benefits.

Democrats in the House and Senate would like to renew the current program, allowing the unemployed in the hardest hit states like California and Illinois, to collect unemployment insurance for a maximum of 99 weeks.

If the GOP’s plan goes through, these states will see that maximum cut by 40 weeks, leaving millions of people in an even tougher financial crisis.  If Congress doesn’t move fast, about 6 million people will lose benefits.

How unemployment extended benefits work

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Occupy Movement Protests: A Revolution or a Waste of Time?

Unless you’re completely oblivious to all news outlets, chances are you’ve heard of the recent Occupy Movement protests in the U.S.

It all started on September 17, 2011 with the New York General Assembly.  Over one thousand people assembled and “occupied” in Liberty Square in the Manhattan Financial District to express their outrage and “a feeling of mass injustice” that the 1% of the richest people in America are making hard, selfish decisions, negatively affecting the other 99% of the country.  This commenced the Occupy Wall Street movement that we hear so much about in the news.

Some of these injustices include, but are not limited to: Continue Reading

Foreigners Could Get Visas for Buying US Homes – Does that Make Sense?

We need to do what we can to stimulate housing and the economy.  Right?

That seems to be the overriding sentiment aimed at the new proposed bill authored by Senators Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah) , the section titled, “Increasing Home Ownership by Priority Visitors,” who want to give foreigners a visa if they purchase $500,000 or more in American homes.

It can’t be just any real estate, either.  They can’t buy land, warehouses, or office buildings.  We’re talking about residential real estate like town houses, homes, or condos.  They’re free to use them as investment property but the minimum purchase is $250,000 per property.  If they want to purchase 10, $50,000 homes they can do that but they won’t qualify for the visa.
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What is Occupy Wall Street and Should You Care?

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Occupy Wall Street has become something so un-American yet American all at the same time.  Mass demonstrations happen frequently in countries around the world but here in America, not so much.

In America we protest on talk shows, twitter, facebook, and for those “radicals”, letter writing campaigns and maybe a demonstration with a dozen others in front of an abortion clinic or government building.

But 20,000 people with tents and kitchens camped out in a public park in front of the world’s financial capital?

Not in our back yard.  OccupyWallStreet has taken off and now the movement is “occupying” cities all over the nation.  This just doesn’t happen in America anymore.
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