Housing credits leverage private investment, create jobs, bring in revenue for local and state economies and do not impact local or state budgets

 

Chicago - Nearly 700 affordable rental apartments will be built or preserved across Illinois thanks to Housing Credit allocations approved by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) on Friday, June 27.

The Housing Credit is the most successful federal affordable housing program in our nation's history, producing and preserving close to 100,000 affordable rental homes annually through public-private partnerships.  It creates quality affordable housing for working families and people with special needs (such as the elderly, the disabled, veterans and the homeless) in urban, suburban and rural communities throughout the country.

Since its creation in the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the Housing Credit has enabled IHDA to provide a critical financing tool for the development of 80,000 units and created an estimated 80,000 jobs in Illinois.  Since Governor Pat Quinn took office, 16,450 units have been built and an estimated 16,000 jobs have been generated across the state thanks to the Housing Credit program.

"Governor Pat Quinn is dedicated to leveraging public-private partnerships to meet the affordable housing needs of working families, seniors and people with disabilities," IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney said. "Our communities improve as a whole when low- to moderate-income residents have options for affordable housing, and these new developments will create quality full-time jobs that keep our economy moving."

The Housing Credit contributes more to the creation of housing than any other federal housing resource. Housing Credits generate private investment in affordable housing when the credits are sold to private investors. The equity generated reduces the debt that the developer would otherwise have to borrow, and as a result, a property can offer lower rents.  The Housing Credit serves those whose income is 60 percent or less of the area median income (AMI) or $30,420 for a one-person household in the Chicago metropolitan area and $29,280 for a one-person household in the Springfield area.  However, the Housing Credit exceeds this requirement by assisting households well below that limit.

Private investors, not the Federal Government or the taxpayer, bear the risk.  Housing Credit properties perform well and have an extraordinarily low foreclosure rate of only 0.62 percent over the history of the program.

The Tax Credit allocations approved on Friday will generate an estimated $89 million in private equity to support 13 developments and more than 1,400 jobs across Illinois. Demonstrating the State of Illinois' dedication to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities or special needs, nearly one-half of the total units will be supportive housing, providing more options that enable residents to live independently in the community of their choice.

Developments approved for financing include an innovative renovation of a former nursing home and the replacement of foreclosed single family properties with new two, three and four bedroom homes for working families.

A complete list of the developments approved for Housing Credits is below. For more details, visit www.ihda.org/developer/approvedProjects.htm.

  • Humboldt House (Chicago)
  • Reclaiming Southwest Chicago (Chicago)
  • Axley Place (Glenview)
  • Phil Haven (Wheeling)
  • Mundelein Apartments (Mundelein)
  • Woodridge Horizon Senior Living Community (Woodridge)
  • Macoupin Homes (Staunton, Gillespie & Bunker Hill)
  • St. James Place (Pontiac)
  • Morton Senior Residences (Morton)
  • Diamond Senior Apartments of Princeton (Princeton)
  • The Villas at Vinegar Hill (Springfield)
  • The Landings at Belle Meadows (Alton)
  • Vermilion Disability SLF (Peoria)

About the Illinois Housing Development Authority

IHDA (www.ihda.org) is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and the preservation of affordable housing across Illinois. Since its creation in 1967, IHDA has allocated $12.4 billion and financed approximately 240,000 affordable housing units for residents of Illinois.

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Iowans are no strangers to working hard. We have a deep history of working full-time, labor intensive jobs in order to provide for ourselves and our families.

The minimum wage has been hotly debated in recent years, but the simple truth is that if the minimum wage was restored, 300,000 hard-working Iowans would receive a pay raise ? a statistic that's more than just a number. It's stability for Iowa families and economic growth for our state.

[...]

For generations, American workers have believed that hard work pays off. Today, unfortunately, many of those who work the hardest are living paycheck to paycheck. That's why I am calling on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work together and pass the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which restores the minimum wage to $10.10, and gives America's working class a better chance at improving the lives of themselves and their families.

Full article: http://www.press-citizen.com/story/opinion/contributors/guest-editorials/2014/06/23/hard-working-iowans-deserve-pay-raise/11244909/

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Endorsement underscores clear choice between Braley & Ernst on protecting Social Security & Medicare

Des Moines, IA - Rep. Bruce Braley has earned the endorsement of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare PAC, an organization dedicated to protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits for all communities and generations.

Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, said Braley "earned the endorsement of the National Committee because you understand and support the critical roles that Social Security and Medicare play in the retirement and health security of our nation's older citizens and their families."

Braley said, "Protecting Social Security and Medicare is vitally important for the tens of thousands of Iowa seniors who rely on these programs for a secure retirement. Workers who have paid into Social Security and Medicare their entire lives should be able to count on their promise when they retire. That's why I've fought against schemes to privatize Social Security and transform Medicare as we know it, because these risky plans threatens the benefits of current seniors and ends the promise of guaranteed benefits for future generations. We should strengthen these programs, not undermine them."

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare's endorsement letter can be downloaded at the following link: http://bit.ly/SW5uvL

Braley has strongly opposed efforts to privatize Social Security and transform Medicare into a voucher program. Braley has also opposed efforts to reduce future Social Security benefits for retirees if cost-of-living increases were shifted to a so-called "chained CPI" calculation.

In contrast, state Sen. Joni Ernst has called for privatization of Social Security, a position that would undermine benefits for current retirees. Sen. Ernst has also supported plans that would transform Medicare as we know it and pave the way for Medicare vouchers, increasing costs for retirees.

Braley has made protecting Social Security and Medicare a key focus of his campaign for Senate. On Monday, Braley hosted a pair of Retirement Security Roundtable events in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines to meet with Iowa seniors and discuss the future of Social Security and Medicare and how to safeguard the programs for current retirees and future generations of workers.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 530,000 Iowans were enrolled in Medicare in 2012. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare calculates that Iowa has more than 584,000 Social Security beneficiaries, with the average senior receiving a monthly benefit of $1,131.

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Legislation brings more predictability to program; elevates project "readiness"

 

(DES MOINES) - Governor Terry Branstad today signed legislation that strengthens and brings more predictability to the State Historic Preservation and Cultural & Entertainment District Tax Credit Program overseen by the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, DCA Director Mary Cownie and Dubuque businessman John Gronen and others joined Branstad for the signing ceremony at the Salisbury House in Des Moines.

"This program plays a major role in revitalizing Iowa's communities, generating economic opportunities and creating jobs for Iowans," said Branstad. "Future generations of Iowans will have historic buildings available to connect with earlier generations that made Iowa a great place to live. I thank the Iowa Legislature for passing this bill and it is my great pleasure to sign it.  By signing this bill, I fully support the joint efforts of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the Iowa Legislature to improve the State Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, which to date boasts more than one billion dollars of investments in Iowa's communities."

"This new legislation maintains the objectives of the program as originally introduced in 2001, while improving the Department of Cultural Affairs State Historic Preservation Office's ability to effectively distribute the tax credits," said Reynolds. "The changes to the current program all have one common end goal: more predictability."

The Iowa Legislature originally enacted the program to provide a state income tax credit of 25 percent of qualified costs for the rehabilitation of historic buildings. The goal was to encourage the private sector to protect historic properties, preserve the cultural heritage of Iowa communities and increase investment in local communities.

Since 2001, the state has invested $177 million in historic preservation tax credits, which have been the catalyst behind the rehabilitation of 283 historic buildings and the revitalization of 64 communities across Iowa. That investment has leveraged and attracted $890 million in investments, including $800 million for rehabilitation activities and an additional $90 million in related new construction.

Additionally, owners of historic properties, developers and community stakeholders have leveraged the program to reinvigorate mixed-used neighborhoods that attract entrepreneurs, small businesses and creative workforce seeking authentic and unique places to live and work.

"This program has been very popular among owners of historic properties and developers all across Iowa," said Cownie. "It has had a dramatic impact on retaining the authentic character-defining properties of our state and our overall quality of life, while also playing an important role in generating economic activity and creating job opportunities."

According to Iowa Department of Revenue survey results - for projects completed between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2013:

  • Projects employed over 9,200 workers during the various stages of the work, for an average of 2,300 jobs each of the four years for which data is available.
  • Supported direct salaries and wages of $228.5 million and total spending on labor, materials, and other related expenses exceeding $537 million, with 84 percent of that spending occurring in Iowa.
  • Property values at the time of project completion reflect a total of $205 million in increased assessed value.  Because some of the properties receive property tax exemptions or abatements, it is not possible to accurately estimate the resulting change in property tax collections.
  • And 53 of Iowa's 99 counties have seen historic buildings rehabilitated using the Historic Tax Credit.

The changes were a result of feedback gathered by a Governor-appointed stakeholder group assigned to look at the program and suggest improvements.  The Governor's office worked with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs State Historic Preservation Office, the Iowa Legislature and the Stakeholders to improve the program.

Under the legislation signed today, Iowans will see a number of changes in the program:

  • Elimination of a lottery-based tax credit reservation system in favor of a more predictable readiness-application process.
  • Elevated emphasis on project pre-planning, financing and timeline.
  • A transition from a three-year tax credit reservation system to a "use-when-you're-ready" system that offers more predictability for establishing project completion dates and submission of tax credit.
  • Retools the review process to be more predictable for the applicant and the state.
  • Uses an approach similar to other state tax incentive programs to promote consistency for tax preparers and for ease of administration.

The State Historic Preservation and Cultural & Entertainment District Tax Credit Program is overseen by the Department of Cultural Affairs State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), a bureau of the State Historical Society of Iowa (SHSI).

The bill summary is as follows:

House File 2453: an Act relating to the administration of the historic preservation and cultural and entertainment district tax credit program by the Department of Cultural Affairs, providing for fees, and including applicability provisions.

 

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The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state's interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its three divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa; the Iowa Arts Council; and Produce Iowa, the film, television and digital media office that supports media production in Iowa. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at www.culturalaffairs.org.

Financial Planner Shares 3 Smart Tips for Retirement

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008, many pundits and experts have openly doubted the viability of achieving the American dream.

With homeownership, job opportunity and retirement security in decline, an Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll shows that most Americans agree with what the experts have said. Seven in 10 think that tomorrow's adults - today's kids - will have less financial security than adults today.

"There are several long-term issues we need to address, including our estimated $17.3 trillion debt, a legacy that our children are poised to inherit; but I think the United States will be stable for the next 10 years, and maybe longer if we get our financial house in order," says Stephen Ng, founder and president of Stephen Ng Financial Group, (www.stephenngfg.com).

"Many Americans who've worked their entire lives for a comfortable, if not luxurious, retirement want to know their money will be there - that's their dream."

Ng is an international financial planner with certifications in 19 states. He's passionate about teaching sound wealth practices to both clients and his community. Here are three important tips every pre-retiree and retiree should know to help preserve their wealth.

• Go to an independent retirement-planning advisor. Financial planning can be confusing. For most retirees who are not professionals, the numbers, rules and terminology can seem like a foreign language. An independent advisor, who is licensed in multiple products - insurance, annuities and more - allows for a higher degree of objectivity, tailoring options for a client's specific needs. He or she will not be bound to a corporate agenda or limited in their knowledge. Also, talk to the person who will be the architect of your financial future. Find out his or her values. How do they feel about their job? Are they patient in explaining your options? Do you trust your advisor?

• Pre-retirees: know your start-date options for retirement. Be aware that in most cases, withdrawals from tax-deferred retirement plans before age 59½ may be subject to a 10 percent federal income tax penalty. The latest date to begin required minimum distributions is usually April 1 of the year after you turn age 70½. In most cases, withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income. There are 10 common planning options, some of which are funded by employers. They are the defined benefit pension; money purchase pension; profit-sharing plan; savings plan; employee stock ownership plan; tax-sheltered annuities, or 403(b) plans; individual retirement accounts; self-employed plans; simplified employee pensions; Savings Incentive Match Plans for Employees; and annuity contracts.

• Make sure you feel good about your annuity. An annuity is a contract with an insurance company in which you make one or more payments in exchange for a future income stream in retirement. The funds in an annuity accumulate tax-deferred, regardless of which type of annuity you choose. Fixed annuity contracts are issued with guaranteed minimum interest rates. Although the rate may be adjusted, it should never fall below a guaranteed minimum rate specified in the contract. Keep in mind that annuity guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the insurance company and contain fees and charges which are not limited to sales and surrender charges. All withdrawals of tax-deferred earnings are subject to current income tax, and, if made prior to age 59½, may also be subject to a 10 percent federal income tax penalty. Additionally, if purchased within a qualified plan, an annuity will provide no further tax deferral features. The contract, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than the total amount invested.

"This may be plenty of information to take in for now, but this is only the tip of the iceberg," Ng says. "Don't be afraid to ask questions. And, the more education you have about your own money, the better."

About Stephen Ng

Stephen Ng is the founder and president of Stephen Ng Financial Group™ (www.stephenngfg.com). Since 1992, he has helped pre-retirees and retirees preserve and increase their wealth by, in part, helping them avoid common mistakes. He regularly holds financial management, retirement investing and insurance planning seminars at businesses, churches and non-profit organizations. Ng is a Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant and a Certified Estate Planner. He is also an Investment Advisor Representative offering securities and advisory services through SagePoint Financial, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Stephen Ng Financial Group and SagePoint Financial, Inc. are unaffiliated entities. Stephen brings a national and international perspective to his financial advice, with professional and educational roots in Australia and Asia, and certifications in 19 states.

Braley: this program is a life or death matter for states like Iowa with high concentrations of radon

Washington, D.C. - After the Iowa legislature's recent attempt to require radon testing in Iowa schools stalled, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today made an aggressive push to protect one of the last available federal programs that can help states test for the deadly gas. President Obama has singled out this program for elimination in his 2015 budget.

Braley is circulating a letter among his colleagues seeking support to preserve the State Indoor Radon Grant Program (SIRP). The program was created in 1988 to provide assistance to states to test and reduce radon exposure in schools and homes.

"Radon, behind smoking, is the leading cause of lung cancer in Iowa, and we're not doing nearly enough to ensure our families and schoolchildren are protected," Braley said. "This is a matter of life and death for Iowans and I'm going to do everything possible to save this program?it's the only resource we have to help reduce this threat until Iowa lawmakers act."

Braley has already rallied the support of over a dozen lawmakers and is making resources for radon testing a top priority during the appropriations process. The American Lung Association has also announced their support for Braley's initiative.

"Eliminating the SIRG program would have a devastating effect on the work being done across the United States to educate the public about the dangers of radon and save lives by protecting people from lung cancer," Braley's letter reads.  

Braley has spent years fighting at the federal level for the resources to allow testing in Iowa schools. In 2012, Braley introduced the End Radon in Schools Act to protect students, teachers, and school employees from high levels of radon in public schools and provide grants to test the radon levels in school buildings.

In July of 2013, Braley introduced an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to end the threat of radon gas in America's schools.

A copy of Braley's letter is available immediately below:

 

March 26, 2014

 

The Honorable Ken Calvert                        The Honorable Jim Moran

Chairman                                                   Ranking Member

House Appropriations Subcommittee        House Appropriations Subcommittee

on Interior, Environment, and Related         on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies                      

Agencies

 

Dear Chairmen Calvert and Ranking Member Moran:

As you both work to craft your fiscal year 2015 appropriations bill, we would like to urge you to provided significant funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) State Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) Program.

As you may know, Radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that causes lung cancer.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, after smoking, responsible for thousands of deaths each year, according to the Surgeon General and the EPA.  Because people spend much of their lives indoors, the quality of indoor air is a major concern. Radon has been found at elevated levels in homes in every state, and can also build up in schools and other buildings. The EPA estimates that nearly one out of every fifteen homes in the United States has unsafe indoor radon levels.

Exposure to radon causes no immediate symptoms, but the long-term threat of lung cancer is significant to everyone.  Simple steps can reduce the threat through testing buildings for radon and fixing buildings where levels are dangerously high.  Unfortunately, the President's budget would eliminate an important program that prevents radon exposure.

The EPA's State Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) program was authorized in 1988 to provide financial assistance to states to develop, implement and enhance state capacity for reducing radon risk. Over the past two decades, the EPA's Radon Program has helped reduce radon exposure in homes and schools and reduced radon-caused lung cancer. Eliminating the SIRG program would have a devastating effect on the work being done across the United States to educate the public about the dangers of radon and save lives by protecting people from lung cancer. Many states have indoor radon programs in place, but they need ongoing support as well as technical assistance, to make sure that states can reduce the health burden caused by radon exposure. Without the guidance and funding support from EPA, state programs will simply not be able to protect the public from the threat of radon.  We ask that you provide $8 million in funding for the State Indoor Radon Grant Program as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.

We appreciate your attention to our request.  Please feel free to contact us if we can provide further assistance.

Sincerely,

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DES MOINES, IA (01/27/2014)(readMedia)-- From ferris wheels, food on a stick and free entertainment, to premier livestock events, expansive art exhibits and the country's largest state fair food department, the Iowa State Fair has something for everyone. This year, Iowans can show their love for the Iowa State Fair on their tax returns and help the Fair continue to preserve the allure of the historic Fairgrounds.

Look for the State Fairgrounds Renovation Check Off on line 58b of Iowa Tax Form 1040 or on line 14 of Iowa Tax Form 1040A and check off $1 (or more!) to help preserve the historic Iowa State Fairgrounds. Your gift is either deducted from your refund or added to the amount due. Contributions to the Corndog Checkoff are fully tax-deductible.

"The Corndog Checkoff is a great and easy way for Iowans to support the Iowa State Fair. The Iowa State Fair would not be what it is today without the Corndog Checkoff. Thank you to thousands of Iowans who have supported the Corndog Checkoff in the past and we hope you will consider doing so again this year to preserve this great institution for future generations," said Blue Ribbon Foundation Executive Director Peter Cownie.

Every dollar donated to the Checkoff is directly allocated to capital improvements. The Corndog Checkoff has raised over $1.7 million, and has supplemented restoration projects from the Grandstand to the newly air conditioned Cultural Center. In addition, funds generated by the Checkoff have helped improve the campgrounds, parking areas, sidewalks and restrooms.

The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Since its inception in 1993, the Foundation has generated over $95 million for renovations and improvements to the Iowa State Fairgrounds. For more information on the Corndog Tax Checkoff, please contact the Blue Ribbon Foundation at (800) 450-3732 or emailinfo@blueribbonfoundation.org.

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - January 22, 2014 - To assist farmers with farm management decisions, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) is hosting a webinar January 28 at 1:00 p.m. to highlight key factors that will have an impact on farm profit and risk in 2014. With crop margins expected to shrink and livestock margins uncertain, this timely informational webinar will provide insight into the drivers of risk in 2014.

The webinar, 'Has the Pendulum Swung on U.S. Agriculture?' will be presented by Nathan Kauffman, assistant vice president and Omaha branch executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.  Kauffman will present on topics such as crop and livestock profit projections for 2014, the drivers of farmland value and whether it's overvalued, market effects from export demand from China, and many more.

Farmers can access the webinar from their home or farm office by going to www.iowafarmbureau.com, clicking on the webinar banner and entering the forum as a guest on the day of the event.  Pre-registration is not required for online viewing.  Participants will have the opportunity to text questions to the speaker during the webinar

"Today's farmers face numerous challenges, and many factors contribute to farm management decisions," said Ed Kordick, IFBF commodity services manager.  "Each year is unique and different, and we look forward to providing our members expert analysis and outlook for 2014 and beyond."

For more information, contact Kordick at ekordick@ifbf.org.

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Q:        What does the Federal Reserve do?

A:        The Fed was created to stem fault lines in the financial system that many argued bred depositor runs, interest rate spikes and market speculation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  The case was made in Congress that the ebb and flow of a growing U.S. economy needed more certainty and that a system was needed to manage money and the flow of credit.  The law that created the Fed -- the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 -- established staggered terms for presidential appointees to serve on the Board of Governors who also required a congressional green light of approval via the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.  Today appointees serve 14-year terms intended to help insulate monetary policymaking from politics.  Unlike the centralized banking systems of its international counterparts, the Federal Reserve System established a dozen regional banks known as the Federal Reserve District Banks to serve and reflect the diversity of each respective region.  Today they are located in the 12 original cities selected a century ago, including Boston (District 1), New York (District 2), Philadelphia (District 3), Cleveland (District 4), Richmond (District 5), Atlanta (District 6), Chicago (District 7), St. Louis (District 8), Minneapolis (District 9), Kansas City (District 10), Dallas (District 11), and San Francisco (District 12).  The Board of Governors and the Reserve Bank presidents meet eight times per year.  The Fed will launch its centennial year under new leadership with the Senate's approval in January of Janet Yellen to serve as the 15th executive at the helm of the seven-member Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. For the last 100 years, the Fed's primary responsibilities have included setting monetary policy, supervising the soundness of financial institutions and providing payment services to banks.  I've worked to require increased transparency of Fed activities and sponsored legislation to allow independent audits of the Federal Reserve by the Government Accountability Office, which is the investigative arm of Congress, and require that meaningful information about Federal Reserve operations be disclosed to Congress.

Q:        How does the Federal Reserve impact Americans?

A:        As the saying goes, money makes the world go round.  The Fed sets monetary policy that influences the supply and cost of credit.  As people go about their daily lives, from paying bills, buying goods and services, cashing or depositing checks or taking out a car or home loan, the policies set by the Federal Reserve affect these basic transactions and influence consumer behavior and decisions on whether to save, spend or invest.  The Fed provides financial services such as providing banks with currency and coin; moving money electronically between banks; and maintaining the U.S. Treasury's account, including processing electronic payments, such as Social Security checks.  In 2012 the Fed processed $4.2 trillion in payments per day.  By managing the money supply and influencing interest rates, the Fed plays a policymaking role to curb inflation, boost consumer confidence and trigger commercial activity.  Whereas the Federal Reserve manages the supply and demand of money, Congress sets the nation's fiscal policy through tax and spending policies that play a hand in consumer confidence, saving and investment up and down Main Street.  I'm committed to lowering the tax burden so the American public and job creators can keep more of their hard-earned money to save, spend, hire and invest as they see fit.

Q:        Why did you vote against Janet Yellen's nomination to chair the Federal Reserve?

A:       Under the leadership of Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Fed has flooded the economy with trillions of dollars since the economic recession hit in 2008.  Through an unconventional policy of buying mortgage-backed securities and longer-term Treasury securities, the Fed has created an addiction to easy money by Wall Street.  With significant uncertainty surrounding the Fed's ability to wind down $4 trillion of accumulated assets, it risks repeating the mistakes of the past.  The easy money policies of the late 1970s and early 1980s led to a painful recovery with interest rates reaching as high as 20 percent.  No one wants a flashback to this period of hyperinflation and high unemployment, least of all Main Street.  In fact, the Fed's so-called tool of quantitative easing hasn't buoyed Main Street's prognosis for long-term growth and stability.  Consider that unemployment remains too high, bank lending remains too tight and savers today are too often discouraged.  My concerns about the Fed's easy money policies and inflation led me to vote against Chairman Bernanke for his second term at the Fed.   Based on her statements, it seems that Janet Yellen will continue to pursue these misguided policies, and I couldn't in good conscience vote for her confirmation.  History shows the inflationary risks of easy money can do more harm than good.  This is a watershed moment for the Fed.  Continuing an open-ended monetary expansion policy may capsize the recovery by creating an economic bubble or even hyperinflation.  We need a chairman focused on a strong dollar and low inflation.

Friday, January 10, 2014

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