Occupy Wall Street: What are they Protesting?

While the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has occupied a major amount of national press lately, there remains some confusion over just what the protesters are protesting. After interviewing some of the protesters in New York, FNC’s Bill Rayburn reports that there are three main areas that seem to be of greatest concern:

1) The enormous personal, state, and national debt picture that seems to be pulling down employment and economic growth.
2) The continuation of mortgage interest deductions in federal tax law.
3) The sense that income levels among different segments of society are extremely out of balance with such a small percentage of taxpayers making such a large percentage of all earnings.

Protesters believe that federal government policies remain slanted toward relief to banks as compared to ordinary borrowers. This is tied to the current proposed settlement where around $25B is slated to go to banks to help restructure some of their troubled loans, a move designed to reduce home foreclosures by bringing a large number of loans current, allowing borrowers to stay in their homes.

Of course, the mortgage interest deduction itself was and is designed to promote just such home ownership. The policy reflects the idea that providing a tax incentive to home buying will allow more people to afford to own rather than rent, leading to more stable neighborhoods and greater domestic tranquility. There seems to be fairly broad support for this approach, leading many to believe that this incentive will not be eliminated.

“Occupy Wall Street” was the focus of this week’s FNC Morning View, a live streaming call with FNC co-founders Bill Rayburn and Bob Dorsey. Each Monday Bill and Bob provide an intense ten-minute recap and forecast of the housing market in real time. Visit the archives at FNC Morning View to hear audio from previous calls.

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