Category: Congress

Supermarket sweepstakes: legislative budget scoring

28 January, 2009 (10:29) | Congress, Legislation and policy, Primer posts, US News |

For the time being, those making the Washington sausage have given themselves leave to spend whatever they think appropriate, but it was not always so, and it will not be so again.    Ready to spend the public’s money?   One day – and it may well be in the second session of this Congress, […]

NNO: The curious incident of HUD at the hearing

16 December, 2005 (09:30) | Congress, HUD, Hurricanes, New Orleans, Politics, Redevelopment |

Last week, as reported by the National Housing Conference’s extremely helpful Washington Wire   On December 8, the Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on “Options in the Aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.” David Garratt, Acting Director of the Recovery Division of FEMA served as the […]

GSEs: Fierce competition. Fierce

9 December, 2005 (08:52) | Congress, Fannie Mae, GSEs, Legislation and policy, Scandal |

My sadistic high school gym teacher liked his charges to hurt.  In wrestling, which he occasionally made us do, his goal seemed to be to create pain (which he perhaps thought toughening).  Blood was best, but failing blood sounds of effort and anguish.  Confronted with these rules, my best friend and I agreed to reciprocity: […]

Political zugzwang and the OMB passback

29 November, 2005 (10:24) | Congress, Finance, Government, Local taxation, Vaporware |

A few weeks back, the Administration made a puzzling move whose deftness is becoming clearer the more I reflect on it.  By tabling a proposal to overhaul the tax code, the Administration has placed many other political players into political zugzwang: whatever they do, the Administration gains.   In chess, the German word zugzwang (“compulsion […]

Not to decide is to decide

24 October, 2005 (11:56) | Congress, Disaster recovery, Katrina, New Orleans |

  There are times to be reflective, and there are times to be decisive.  Reinventing New Orleans is a time to be decisive, because markets and people are moving, and now, nearly two months after Hurricane Katrina destroyed Old New Orleans, every day that passes lacking a plan makes it that much harder to create […]