NAHB Gives Political PredictionsJuly 16th, 2012 by DWM Magazine
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) held a mid-year forecast webinar late last week, and much of that time was spent analyzing the current state of the presidential race, and a few predictions regarding who will be the winner come November.
Jerry Howard, president and CEO, NAHB, and Jim Tobin, chief lobbyist, NAHB, addressed how current economic and political conditions affect homebuilders, remodelers and industry suppliers.
Howard deemed this election period as the, “The Silly Season,” and pointed out that there is a political divide among the candidates on how to best improve the economy. Tobin highlighted the fact that tax and housing finance reform have consumed a lot of time for Congressional members over the past 12-16 months.
“We have conducted important research regarding these issues, including housing finance reform,” Tobin said. “The big question is what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac moving forward.” He said Congress has been paralyzed on these larger issues but was glad to see them come together for a flood insurance program.
“Because of all this we are in the position that Congress is posturing for top-tier candidates,” he said. On top of that, he added that November 7 may be the date when the country will have a “Lame Duck” Congress. “We are rapidly heading toward the most jam-packed legislative session in a long time,” he said.
This includes major issues that need to be addressed after the election, including raising the debt ceiling and a possible extension of the Bush tax cuts.
Ultimately, the ‘Lame Duck’ session will set the stage for 2013 and will bring a long-term deal for tax and spending reform,” he said. “There will be renewed cause to put the country on better standing regarding its finances.”
While Tobin covered the major issues, Howard offered some predictions regarding the next president.
“The polls are very close between Romney and Obama but what the polls don’t tell you is that if you looked at the electoral states President Obama would be reelected,” he said.
Tobin agreed that Romney will have an uphill climb.
Whatever the outcome the NAHB wants both parties to consider the fragile state of housing.
“We want both the candidates to stand up for housing and we will make that a priority,” said Howard. “The NAHB has a long history of working with both parties on key objectives.”
Regarding the Congress, Howard predicted that Republicans will pick up some states in the Senate but won’t recapture their hold there. In the House it will likely be status quo with Republicans in the majority.
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