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Ben Bernanke

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House prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years. Although speculative activity has increased in some areas, at a national level these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals, including robust growth in jobs and incomes, low mortgage rates, steady rates of household formation, and factors that limit the expansion of housing supply in some areas.
October 20, 2005, in testimony to Congress's Joint Economic Committee.

Ben Bernanke

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"It was the FLP that was committed to reducing the cost of doing business and started by lowering the cost of utilities, and requested the commercial banks and lending organizations to reduce their fees, charges and interest rates. The FLP also moved to reduce public expenditure, which saw a saving of $96 million in its year in office. It was also the FLP, which lowered interest in Housing Authority home loans from 12 per cent to 6 per cent for those on lower incomes. It was the aggregate effect of this and a range of other measures of tight fiscal control, investment in key growth areas and a firm hand on curbing corruption that saw the economy record an unprecedented growth of 9.6% in 1999."

Mahendra Chaudhry

Government spending cannot create additional jobs. If the government provides the funds required by taxing the citizens or by borrowing from the public, it abolishes on the one hand as many jobs as it creates on the other. If government spending is financed by borrowing from the commercial banks, it means credit expansion and inflation. If in the course of such an inflation the rise in commodity prices exceeds the rise in nominal wage rates, unemployment will drop. But what makes unemployment shrink is precisely the fact that real wage rates are falling.

Ludwig von Mises

You could say that GDP (National Income) and prosperity and wealth grows fastest when income tax rates are highest. And wealth slows, the economy slows, when taxes are cut. That's counter intuitive but if you look at any chart comparing tax rates and economic growth rates that's what you find. The 19th century knew it, the 18th century knew it but today you have a kind of counter revolution of junk economics that is basically anti-labor economics. - January 1, 2011

Michael (economist) Hudson

No free country will ever again have anything like the 90 percent tax rates that we had in this country. Past a certain point, high marginal tax rates are, indeed, terribly destructive.

Lawrence Summers

Ironically, by transferring the risk of a widespread mortgage default, the government increases the likelihood of a painful crash in the housing market. This is because the special privileges granted to Fannie and Freddie have distorted the housing market by allowing them to attract capital they could not attract under pure market conditions. As a result, capital is diverted from its most productive use into housing. This reduces the efficacy of the entire market and thus reduces the standard of living of all Americans. Despite the long-term damage to the economy inflicted by the government’s interference in the housing market, the government’s policy of diverting capital to other uses creates a short-term boom in housing. Like all artificially-created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever. When housing prices fall, homeowners will experience difficulty as their equity is wiped out. Furthermore, the holders of the mortgage debt will also have a loss. These losses will be greater than they would have otherwise been had government policy not actively encouraged over-investment in housing.

Ron Paul
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