BPC Blog

Sep. 18, 2014
Funding the fight against ISIS brings up big questions about the defense budget

Last week, President Obama announced that the U.S. would begin a campaign to fight ISIS (or ISIL), the Sunni militant group in Syria and Iraq. That operation will involve two parts – a campaign of airstrikes to weaken ISIS and an effort to train Iraqi troops. Budget analysts immediately started wondering how those missions are going to be funded and whether it would add pressure to the already-strained budget at the Department of Defense.

Turkey’s domestic political future will remain uncertain until after the next parliamentary elections

On August 28, 2014, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected Turkey’s 12th president, with 52 percent of the vote. His elevation to the highest public office represents a clear break with previous holders of the position: he is the first president to be directly elected by popular vote. Erdoğan’s ascendancy to the presidency is a game changer in another way as well. Previously, Turkey’s presidency was perceived to be the epitome of political retirement; a reward for individuals, at times intended to bench political heavyweights from active politics. Not anymore.

One change would provide the Federal Reserve more flexibility to tailor capital requirements for insurance companies deemed systemically important

The U.S. House of Representatives is poised to vote as early as today on two significant tweaks to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank). The two measures, part of a package of changes incorporated into the Insurance Capital Standards Clarification Act of 2014, are small but important improvements and would represent the most significant effort so far to update the landmark financial reform bill. 

During BPC’s 2014 Housing Summit, an expert panel convened to examine this demographic realignment. While it appears the American dream of homeownership is still on the minds of this younger generation, many among them possess considerable doubts, perhaps realistic doubts, about the likelihood of their achieving that piece of the dream any time soon.

Dowell Myers, demographer with the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, joined BPC’s 2014 Housing Summit to discuss how demographic trends will shape the US housing market and whether federal policy will anticipate the significant shifts taking place.

As the kick-off panel at BPC’s 2014 Housing Summit today, five current and former FHA heads met to discuss the past, present and future of the agency. All of them shared the belief that the FHA plays a critical role in the market, in good times and in bad.

Regardless of the outcome of the midterm elections, immigration is not an issue that will be going away soon

An article in POLITICO yesterday about its recent battleground polling is headlined “Poll: GOP has edge on immigration in midterms.” However, there is much more to the story than the headline. The poll showed deep ambivalence toward all parties on the issue of immigration.

If Congress and the president are committed to bringing the country closer together, they must expand service opportunities to meet the demand

Today marks the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, our country’s foremost domestic service program. Nearly 900,000 Americans have served their nation and communities through AmeriCorps, each pledging to get things done. In two decades, they have completed more than one billion hours of service and improved the lives of millions of Americans

Retirement in America: What’s Working and What’s Not?

Automatic enrollment is a powerful tool to combat non-participation. Workers in these plans automatically begin contributing to their defined contribution retirement account at the default rate unless they actively choose a different rate (or opt-out completely).

Defined retirement plans

The only ally that shares a border with Iraq and Syria, Turkey has several concerns underlying its hesitance

While the nation waits for President Barack Obama to announce his strategy for dealing with the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS or, alternatively, ISIL)—the terrorist group that has seized land in Iraq and Syria, declared a caliphate, persecuted ethnic and religious minorities, and beheaded two American journalists—U.S. officials have been traveling the globe, seeking out partners to help shoulder the burden. 

CBO releases score of bipartisan bill passed by the Senate Banking Committee

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its score of S.1217, the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014, which was approved by the Senate Banking Committee this past spring on a bipartisan basis. CBO estimates that the bill would decrease the federal deficit by $58 billion over the period from Fiscal Years 2015 to 2024 – though CBO cautions that those estimates are subject to significant uncertainty.

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