Thursday, March 04, 2021

Nashville is not one of the cities with a serious potential mortgage foreclosure problem.

By Rod Williams- Good news is no news so this is not news, but those in the banking, real-estate or housing counseling field can breath a sigh of relief for now.  Nashville is not on the verge of a serious housing crisis.

Here is the list of metropolitan areas most at risk of a foreclosure crisis. 

Here are the stats for the Nashville MSA:          64, 063       9,699       15.1         9.9%          13.2%  

I have had the fear that the Cova pandemic would lead to another housing crisis like that of 2006.  The loss of income and the moratorium on foreclosures, I feared, would lead to more people not paying their house payment. While the stimulus payments did not cover everyone's loss of income, for many it did.  And, people are being more responsible than I had expected.

While this data only covers FHA loans, those are the loans of more first-time homebuyers and people who had little down payment when they bought their home. If these loans are performing well, other loans are probably performing well also.

In 2006 there was an active subprime market that allowed many people to buy homes who should not have bought homes.  Credit standards were relaxed and all kinds of creative financing such as no down payment loans, graduated interest rates, and variable interest rates, and graduated payments, and loans that allowed negative equity to occur were common. Also, many of the people who bought homes with these risky type financing terms were what we would deservingly call high risk borrowers.  Not only was their income not stable, many had poor money management skills and had not learned delayed gratification or setting priorities or balancing a budget. Thankfully, those kind of loans are rare now and those high risk borrowers are not getting loans. 

There is enough bad news now; good news that it looks like we are not going to have a housing foreclosure crisis is welcome.  For those wanting more information and to see the data for the 168 largest metro areas, follow this link

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Young Republicans March Meeting, Tuesday, March 9.

For Facebook page follow this link

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Proposed constitutional amendment which would give legislature a hand picking attorney general advances.

By Rod Williams - The bill proposing a change in the way Tennessee appoints it's Attorney General has passed the Senate Currently in Tennessee, the state's chief law enforcement official, the attorney general is appointed to an eight-year term by the Supreme Court, behind closed doors in secret session. This is the way it has historically been done. However, for most or our history, the Supreme Court was elected which at least resulted in some degree of making the process democratic. Now, the Supreme Court is appointed, yet the process of selecting the attorney general has not changed. 

Under a proposed change which would require amending the State constitution, the Supreme Court would make the appointment to a six-year term but it would be made in open court with a recorded vote. Then, the appointment would be subject to confirmation or rejection by the state legislature within 60 days of the appointment.

I tend to favor this change. For more on this issue follow this link

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Tax dollars to mismanaged cities and states is like giving crack to a crack addict.

by Rod Williams - There is a lot to not like in the Biden $1.9 trillion stimulus plan. The plan calls for sending another $1,400 per person to eligible recipients. This would be in addition to the $600 payments that was approved by Congress in December and would make for a total of $2,000. The new payments would go to adult dependents over the age of 17. So a dad, mom and a couple dependents over the age of 17 could mean one household gets $8,000. That is money the government borrows.

Also, now, illegal aliens could also get the money if the illegal alien is married to a citizen. In my view we should not be giving any of this funding to illegal aliens.

One of the worst things that luckily will not be in the bill is increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The Senate parliamentarian ruled congress could not do that through reconciliation.  That makes what is still a terrible bill only a little less terrible. 

There are various things in the bill to increase government dependency, such as increasing by 15% the food stamp allowance, increasing the federal addition to a state's unemployment benefit from the current $300 a week to $400 a week, $25 billion in new rental assistance for low- and moderate-income households on top of the $25 billion approved in December. It also includes a lot of money to help people pay utility bills and extends the moratorium on eviction. These generous benefits may slow the recovery. If people are better off not working than working, they may not be in a hurry to return to work. 

There is something for almost everybody in the bill. There is money for schools, for small business, more subsidy for health insurance, Indian tribes, NASA, the military, money for transit systems, $75 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the list goes on and on.  Congress just kept hanging shiny ornaments on this Christmas tree.  A lot of the money will not help with economic recovery because much of it will not have to be spend until years in the future.  For a detailed list of what is in the bill, follow this link.

In my view, one of the worst things in the bill is $350 billion for states and cities to meet budgetary shortfalls. "To meet budgetary shortfalls," means a city or state has to need the money to get the money.  Essentially, this is a bailout for failing red states and big cities dominated for years and years by Democrats.  Republican ran cities and states are not having the same budgetary shortfalls as Democrat cities and states.  Many of the cities in dire financial straights are in that condition as a result of many years of spending more money than they were taking in. One of the worst failures is to adequately account for pension fund deficiencies and unfunded retiree health care obligations. Most of these cities and states were deep in debt before the coronavirus ever hit.  This bill will in essence make well managed city and states bail out mismanaged cities and states. 

In an article from Taxpayer Education Foundation titled Let Illinois State Government Fail, the authors examine this issue using Chicago and Illinois as the example. According the Truth In Accounting’s (TIA) analysis, Illinois ranks 49th in the country with a grade of “F” for health in finances, while Tennessee is the fifth highest ranked state with a grade of "A."  Illinois did not get their "F" overnight and neither did Tennessee earn its "A" overnight. 

In economics, there is the concept of "moral hazard." That is the likelihood of investors to take greater risks because of the knowledge that losses incurred as a result of those risks will be covered by another. Why act responsibly if I know the government will bail me out if I act irresponsibly?

In the article referenced above a Chicagoan is quoted as saying, "Like any kind of addict, the worst thing you can do is continue to feed the addiction. If the federal government bails out city and state governments, those governments will get away with their outright abuse of the taxpayers they purportedly represent.”

You don't help a crack addict by giving them more crack. 

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Monday, March 01, 2021

Did mainstream Republicans becoming captive to "extreme Libertarian ideology?"

by Rod Williams, 3/1/2021- Commentary in Nashville Star says mainstream voters in both parties feel that neither major party represents them, and that their opinions and wishes hold little sway over government policy.  "Establishment Republicans failed the average American by becoming captive to extreme Libertarian ideology," says the article.  

What??? I didn't notice that. Mainstream Republicans, nor Trump Republicans, did much to reduce government dependency, to legalize marijuana, to end civil asset forfeiture, or do much else that I would consider "extreme libertarian." If anything, I see mainstream Republicans as insufficiently libertarian.

Trump eased some burdensome regulations by executive order and got a tax bill passed that cut taxes and instituted some minor criminal justice reform,  so if that was "libertarian," that was Trump Republicans; not mainstream Republicans. 

Can anyone give me an example of mainstream Republicans becoming captive to "extreme Libertarian ideology? " I can't think of any.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Analysis: Nashville should ban facial recognition technology

by Coleman Harris, Nashville Outlook - In 2017, the Metro Nashville Council overwhelmingly passed an ordinance 25-2 taking steps to limit the use of surveillance technology by the city government. The resulting law, Section 13.08.080, requires council approval when placing surveillance devices onto public rights-of-way, with “surveillance” covering technology from biometric software to RFID scanners. 

In short, the law does not prevent the use of technologies like facial recognition. ... does not apply to the Nashville Electric Service, the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority. ... does not apply to surveillance conducted by law enforcement... it is often inaccurate and biased (read the article)

Rod's Comment: Technology can be helpful in catching the bad guys but so can illegal searches and seizures, beating confessions out of suspects, and violating due process. I am not willing to sacrifice liberty for the sake of more efficient law enforcement. This issue needs to be revisited and debated.  

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

The Davidson County Election Commission spent $214,000 to keep the the Nashville Taxpayers Protection Act off the ballot.

by Rod Williams - The Davidson County Election Commission spend more than $214,000 in 2020, to keep the Nashville Taxpayers Protection Act off the ballot. The Commission hired Bill Koch, a former Tennessee Supreme Court justice, to make their case before Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, who ruled that the proposed referendum was “facially unconstitutional.” Instead of using Metro legal for this purpose the Commission hired Koch on a no-bid contract.

Since then, the anti-tax measure has been reworded to address the concerns of the court, yet still accomplishes the same thing. The measure would revert the property tax rate to its 2019 levels before the 34 percent increase. Other things it would do are these:
  • Hold property tax increases to 3% per year
  • Make it easier to remove Metro officials by reducing the number of signatures needed to force a recall election. 
  • Abolish lifetime health insurance benefits for Metro Council members and other elected officials. 
  • Preserve voter-approved charter amendments by changing the charter itself to say those amendments could only be repealed by future voter referendums. 
  • Make it harder to give away Metro property by requiring 31 Metro Council votes to approve land conveyances instead of the current requirement of 21 votes. 
  • Revert pro sports stadiums and the surrounding developments back to taxpayers in the event a team leaves town or fails to play in its venue for 24 straight months.
Currently the sponsor of the anti-tax measure is gathering signatures to get the measure on the ballot. The last effort generated over 21,000 signatures, which was more signatures than needed. This time, the bar is higher. More than 32,000 good signatures are needed. Copies of the petition have been mailed to voters to sign and return. Time is running out. All petitions must be returned by March 5th. 

If you have a petition and have not signed and returned it. Please do so now. Do it today! 

Despite making the changes necessary to satisfy the court, if enough signatures are gathered to get the petition on the ballot, we will likely see the Commission make new arguments to try to keep the proposal off the ballot. A spokesman for Mayor John Cooper has indicated such would be the case. Metro charter experts allege that the renewed proposal remains legally flawed. I am not an attorney but I have spoken to Jim Roberts who is behind the proposal effort and he has assured me, the new language satisfies every objection of the Court. Also the new proposal is severable, meaning if one part of the proposal is ruled invalid the other provisions are not automatically thrown out. 

For more on this issue and source material see link, link, and link

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories