20/20 Vision

Weaponizing the Debt

Update 662 — Weaponizing the DebtHouse GOP’s Cause: Whose Default? The Full Faith and Credit clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “[t]he validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned.” With good reason, given debts incurred in waging the Civil War, and …

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A Soft Landing in 2023?

Update 661 — A Soft Landing in 2023?Jobs, CPI, Tracking Fed Plane in the Sky As we enter a new year, the economy appears to be on the mend. Last year, inflation began accelerating and stayed elevated throughout. As yesterday’s CPI report makes clear, prices continue a descent thanks (only in part) to the Fed’s …

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Rules of engagement

Update 660 — Rules of Engagement:Starve the Beast, with an Orwell Nod On Monday, the House of Representatives adopted the GOP Rules for the 118th Congress. Newly-minted Speaker McCarthy had to make many concessions with the most extreme MAGA members in his conference in exchange for their votes, including creating new oversight committees and spending …

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The Putative 118th Congress

Update 659 — The Putative 118th Congress:What’s Ahead for Economic Policy Legislation The House GOP conference has had several thousand dollars of pizza delivered this week to sustain it through failed ballot after ballot to elect a Speaker. This spectacular display of chaotic dysfunction comes two years after the insurrection on the Capitol, a more …

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$1.7 T Budget Deal Caps Prolific Year

Update 658 — 117th Congress Wraps:$1.7 T Budget Deal Caps Prolific Year Congress heard last night from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who reminded democracies around the world that we are all In this — defense of self-government against state terrorism  — together. Congress concurred and will provide $45 billion in assistance to Ukraine to repel …

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Fed Boosts Rate 50 BPs

Update 656 — Fed Boosts Rate 50 BPsIs Soft—and Swift—Landing in Sight? Today, the Federal Reserve announced a 50 basis point interest rate increase, bringing the borrowing benchmark up to a targeted range of 4.25-4.5 percent. This rate hike, a slowdown after four consecutive 75 point increases, suggests the Fed believes it may have a …

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Georgia Breaks the Tie

Update 655 — Georgia Breaks the Tie:Political, Policy Import of Warnock Win Senator Raphael Warnock won reelection in Georgia’s runoff this Tuesday, defeating GOP nominee Hershel Walker, football star turned flawed first-time candidate, by almost three points. With Georgia again flashing purple, Democrats have bolstered their claim on a traditionally southern, conservative state. So Warnock’s …

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Tax Talk of the Town

Update 654 — Tax Talk of the Town:Fate of CTC and R&E Rest on FY23 Good news from Georgia — Senator Raphael Warnock has won re-election, giving Democrats 51 seats and a governing majority in the Senate (which we cover Friday).  Members of Congress, staff and advocates are working feverishly to hash out a compromise …

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Status of Housing Sector; Policy Possibilities

Update 653 — Housing in the HouseStatus of Sector; Policy Possibilities? Yesterday, the House Financial Services Committee held its sixth hearing this Congress on proposals to address chronic and current issues in the housing sector. This focus makes sense: spending on housing and related services represented 17.5 percent of GDP in 2020. Real estate constitutes …

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