WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Despite widespread gloom-and-doom forecasts, Republican members of the U.S. Congress will hold on to their house, regardless of the mid-term election outcome, a newly released study by the Cato Institute.
The study models the individual behavior of congress members under a varying set of election outcomes. Even when the models assume that a large number of Republican congressmen lose their seats, it is clear that most of them will maintain their current domiciles, according to the study's author.
"There are number of factors that go into residency decisions," said Arnold Harberger, professor of economics, University of California at Los Angeles. "For high wealth individuals such as these, immediate cash flow is usually not an issue. It would be uncommon for an individual to liquidate a major capital asset such as a primary residence even with an unexpected job loss, much less something they have had months to prepare for," he added.
"Put in more personal terms, Denny Hastert doesn't need to sell his house to pay his bills. He's got a thousand notes he can call in that mean he can sit on his house until real estate values perk back up," said Dr. Harberger.
Some few Republican candidates who lose my have to sell their vacation homes, however, if the worst-case scenario holds, the economic analyis shows.
"If it looks to be unlikely that Republicans will regain a majority soon, some former Republican congress members may have to get real jobs. Their disposable income and free time will drop making vacation places less useful and liquid assets more valuable. Without tax relief and federal subsidies, beach, mountain and lake houses may have to go," said Harberger.
Political analysts expect that if it does go the worst for the current Republicans, major emergency legislation will be passed during the lame-duck session after the election to provide assistance to those hardest hit.
One bill reported to be in the works now, the Congressional Vacation Homeless Assistance Act, would help bail out any current members adversely affected by the electoral process.
Copyright 2006, Douglas Salguod