BPC Blog

With so much of housing assistance going just to maintain the existing stock of affordable housing, there is little left over to support new construction

As Congress continues to consider an overhaul of the federal tax code, a key priority must be to protect and expand federal support for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

Turkey’s March 30 local election, with the ruling Justice and Development Party earning 45.5 percent of the vote, revealed a country deeply divided. How Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan interprets these results will determine how he approaches the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections and whether he pursues a policy of conflict or compromise: continuing the repressive practices that characterized the lead-up to the local elections or abandoning them now that he’s secured his party’s rule.

Innovation: The Government Was Crucial After All
By Jeff Madrick, New York Review of Books

“Both government research and entrepreneurial capital are necessary conditions for the advance of commercial innovation. Neither is sufficient. But the consensus among many economists and politicians doesn’t seem to acknowledge an equal role for government.” 

According to a new DHS estimate, the unauthorized immigrant population declined slightly between 2010 and 2012

Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an updated estimate of the unauthorized immigrant population. As of January 1, 2012, DHS estimated that 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants were in the country. By comparison, the Pew Research Center’s commonly-cited estimates suggest that about 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants were in the country as of March 2012.

New technology is one of the prime drivers of economic growth, but the process that leads to innovations is marked by uneven progress

The research and experimentation (R&E) tax credit – alternatively referred to as the R&D tax credit, the research tax credit, or the credit for increasing research activities – is a tax provision designed to incentivize innovation by making research activities cheaper for businesses. The R&E credit is one of the “tax extenders,” a set of federal tax provisions that expired on December 31, 2013, but have routinely been renewed in the past. 

It is possible to inject greater flexibility into the underwriting process without necessarily increasing the risk of default

Long-term housing finance reform is essential for removing the uncertainty surrounding mortgage finance. In addition, there are a number of immediate challenges for homebuyers trying to finance a house. Most importantly, it is far too difficult for many qualified people to obtain a mortgage.  

How it works, why people like it, and why it might need updating

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal tax provision that supplies a valuable benefit to low-income, working Americans. The credit is held in high esteem by Republicans and Democrats alike because it incentivizes work by subsidizing take-home pay for low-income workers. The EITC’s generosity has been increased under presidents from both parties.

The plan builds on the work of Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA), who helped renew congressional interest in reform last year

Achieving housing finance reform received a major boost when Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and ranking member Mike Crapo (R-ID) recently unveiled their long-awaited reform proposal.  

International Atomic Energy Agency still lacks funds to carry out Iran nuclear inspections

Before the interim deal agreed to by Iran and six world powers in November 2013 and signed in January 2014, known as the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), the IAEA had more than 20 staff dedicated to inspections in Iran, with two to four staff in Iran every day. These inspectors visited the enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow about once a week and other sites less often. The JPA expanded access for inspectors, allowing for daily access to Natanz and Fordow, “managed access” to the Arak heavy water facility, which could be used to make weapons grade plutonium, as well as uranium mines, mills, and centrifuge facilities.

Data suggest that DHS’ border enforcement strategy, including its increased use of formal removals at the border, is achieving its intended goals

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of debate over the Obama Administration’s deportation numbers. As stakeholders on all sides of the debate put forward their take on the data, two key facts have been overlooked. First, the increase in formal border removals is part of a deliberate strategy to deter unauthorized immigrants at the border. Second, by at least one of the few sets of performance data available, the strategy appears to be working.


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