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Daily Archives: January 16, 2014

The Effect of Fundamental Housing Policy Reforms on Program Participation

The Effect of Fundamental Housing Policy Reforms on Program ParticipationEdgar O. Olsen, University of Virginia – Department of Economics. January 14, 2014

“This paper estimates the effects of alternative reforms of the current system of low-income housing assistance on the number of people of various types who would receive assistance. The reforms are designed to eliminate the system’s substantial inefficiencies, inequities, and bias against homeownership. All would replace HUD’s largest low-income housing programs with alternative tenure-neutral housing voucher programs that serve all eligible families that apply for assistance. Most cost less than the current system. The estimated effects on program participation are long-run effects after the transition to the new system has been completed. The estimates of participation in the reformed voucher programs are based primarily on the five-percent household sample from the 2000 Decennial Census and participation experience in the only similar housing assistance programs that have been operated in the United States. HUD’s administrative records provide data on current recipients of low-income housing assistance. The paper explores the sensitivity of the results to the equations used to predict participation in the reformed voucher programs. The results indicate that even the reformed program that reduces public expenditure by more than 10 percent would serve 75 percent more people in total and many more in families of each type – white, black, and Hispanic; elderly and nonelderly; families living in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas; small, medium, and large families; and families in the first two real income deciles. The most underserved types experience the largest increases.”

Report to Government on Massive Theft of Credit Card Data From Retail Customers

KAPTOXA POS Report Overview – “iSIGHT Partners, working with the U.S. Secret Service, has determined that a new piece of malicious software, KAPTOXA (Kar-Toe-Sha), has potentially infected a large number of retail information systems. This software can find, store, and then transmit sensitive information such as credit card and PIN numbers. These findings are part of a… Continue Reading

Guardian – NSA collects millions of text messages daily in ‘untargeted’ global sweep

James Ball – UK Guardian: “The National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents. The untargeted collection and storage of SMS messages – including their contacts – is revealed in a… Continue Reading

Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests

CRS – Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests. Jim Nichol, Coordinator, Specialist in Russian and Eurasian Affairs, January 9, 2014. “After the Soviet Union’s collapse, the United States sought a cooperative relationship with Moscow and supplied almost $19 billion in aid for Russia from FY1992 through FY2010 to encourage democracy and market reforms and in particular to prevent… Continue Reading

CRS – Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations. Jeremy M. Sharp, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, January 10, 2014. “This report provides an overview of the key issues for Congress related to Egypt and information on U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. The United States has provided significant military and economic assistance to Egypt since the late 1970s. U.S. policy makers have routinely justified aid… Continue Reading

Oil and Chemical Spills: Federal Emergency Response Framework

CRS – Oil and Chemical Spills: Federal Emergency Response Framework. David M. Bearden, Specialist in Environmental Policy. Jonathan L. Ramseur, Specialist in Environmental Policy, January 13, 2014. “Thousands of oil and chemical spills of varying size and magnitude occur in the United States each year. A recent spill of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the Elk River in early January 2014 in and near… Continue Reading

Presidential Policy Directive – United States Conventional Arms Transfer Policy

PRESIDENTIAL POLICY DIRECTIVE/PPD-27. SUBJECT: United States Conventional Arms Transfer Policy: “Conventional weapons have continued to play a decisive role in armed conflict in the early 21st century and will remain legitimate instruments for the defense and security policy of responsible nations for the foreseeable future. In the hands of hostile or irresponsible state and non-state actors,… Continue Reading

Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information

CRS – Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information, M. Maureen Murphy, Legislative Attorney, January 9, 2014 “One of the functions transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under P.L. 111-203, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), is authority to issue regulations and take enforcement actions under the two major federal statutes that specify conditions under… Continue Reading

Consolidated Appropriations Act 2014

H.R. 3547 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014. The measure is the vehicle for FY2014 consolidated appropriations. The House Committee on Rules has posted explanatory material and texts. Continue Reading

New GAO Reports: Federal-Highway Aids, Medicare, Property and Casualty Insurance, Public Transit

FEDERAL-HIGHWAY AIDS – Federal Highway Administration Could Further Mitigate Locally Administered Project Risks, GAO-14-113, Jan 16, 2014 MEDICARE – Continuous Insurance before Enrollment Associated with Better Health and Lower Program Spending, GAO-14-53, Dec 17, 2013 PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE – Effects of the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010, GAO-14-136, Jan 16, 2014 PUBLIC TRANSIT – Challenges Funding, Investing in… Continue Reading