BPC Blog

Next month, the project will release a review of al Qaeda and its affiliates, as well as other extremists who may target U.S. interests

On July 23, in an op-ed published by POLITICO, HSP Co-chairs former Governor Thomas Kean and former Congressman Lee Hamilton, called for a national debate on the NSA surveillance program. In late May, they outlined in the Cleveland Plain Dealer the evolution of the terrorist threat to our homeland.

The monthly mortgage payment on the median-priced home was just $644 in 2012, the lowest level since 1972

If homeownership is more affordable than ever, why is it so tough to get a mortgage? That’s a big question confronting many families who find themselves shut out of the mortgage market and unable to take advantage of today’s record low rates and favorable home prices.

The Congressional Budget Office recently projected reduced GDP in 2014 of about 0.7% as a result of sequestration

One narrative gaining traction is that the sequester of defense and non-defense discretionary spending for Fiscal Year 2013 has been much less damaging to the economy and to jobs than had been forecast. In fact, some have gone so far as to say that it is having no damaging effect at all.

As noted in one of our earliest posts on the economic impact of the sequester, we believed that it could result in as many as 750,000-1,000,000 jobs lost in 2013 and 2014 . The Congressional Budget Office predicted similar job losses and recently projected reduced gross domestic product in 2014 of about 0.7 percent as a result of sequestration.

A look at the national situation as if it were a company and you were considering buying part of that business

“’The debt is yesterday’s problem.’” That’s the new cry in Washington, D.C., and, apparently, on Wall Street. Lulled by new forecasts that show deficits declining for the next three years, policy- and market-makers have moved on to the next challenges—guessing what the Federal Reserve will do (or perhaps who the Federal Reserve Chair will be) and how Congress will fund the government next year.

One should expect nothing less in the ten-second attention span of Wall Street and the two-year election-cycle attention span of political Washington.

Governor Hassan signed into law a tax credit for R&D that will increase economic competitiveness and lead to private-sector investment

Too often it appears that politicians are more focused on scoring political points or tarnishing the reputation of an adversary than working across the aisle to achieve a legislative victory. New Hampshire bucked this unfortunate commonality, as the Republican-controlled state Senate worked closely with both the Democrat-controlled state House and a Democratic governor to score a meaningful achievement for New Hampshire businesses.

Americans are not saving sufficiently for retirement, and the trend is moving in the wrong direction

We have a retirement savings crisis in the United States. Using the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research calculates the retirement savings gap to be $6.6 trillion*. The bottom line is quite simple: individuals are not saving enough for retirement.

This has several straightforward, but important, implications. If retirees have inadequate savings, they will be overly dependent on the federal government’s entitlement programs, which already have troubling financial outlooks and are intended to serve as supplements to – not replacements for – private savings. For many seniors, this set of circumstances results in a low level of consumption and a poor standard of living in retirement. The good news is that this crisis can be addressed with targeted reforms.

QUESTION: Who are unconventional stakeholders who can help rally support for housing?

Welcome to the BPC Housing Commission expert forum! This forum is intended to foster interactive and substantive discussion about pressing housing issues. Each month contributors from different parts of the housing sector will be invited to respond to a discussion topic.

Guest posts are shared regularly with Housing Commissioners to help inform their work.

Have a pressing question you’d like us to consider? Please leave it in the comments section. We encourage you and our expert bloggers to add comments, contributing to the national dialogue on solutions for the future of the housing sector.

Expert bloggers are not members of the BPC Housing Commission. Any views expressed on this forum do not necessarily represent the views of the Housing Commission, its Co-Chairs, or the Bipartisan Policy Center.


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HOPE SF: Rallying Support For Housing Through Unexpected Partnerships
By Terri Ludwig

As advocates of affordable housing, partnership needs to be in our DNA.

Advocates can’t solve our nation’s housing problems on their own—nor can governments, nor philanthropists, nor corporations. And we can’t build strong communities just by building homes. For low-income families to have any chance at a better life, housing must be linked to good schools, well paying jobs, quality health care and other opportunities.

The Intergenerational Financial Obligations Reform (INFORM) Act, recently introduced by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), recognizes that America’s long-term debt crisis cannot be measured accurately using only short-term analyses. As we have argued for the past three years,phased-in action taken now by Congress and the President to reform the tax code and the major federal entitlement programs will have a profound impact on the tax and economic burden of future generations.

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Poll observers and the news media reported unusually long wait times to vote at several poll locations across the country during the 2012 general election. Some observers reported voters waiting four hours or more to vote in some jurisdictions.

August Bipartisan Champions: Representatives Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Donna Christensen (D-VI)

In August, BPC recognizes Representatives Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Donna Christensen (D-VI) for their efforts on the Preventive Health Savings Act (HR 2663). The bipartisan duo’s legislation would change the way the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) would forecast the future budgetary impact of health care legislation to reflect cost savings through the use of preventive health and preventive health care services.

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