Search
Archives

You are currently browsing the archives for the Economy category.

Categories

Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

It’s truly amazing what good policy will do for a political party’s fortunes. Put differently, good policy makes for great politics. It always has. It always will. The Democrats’ lead on the generic ballot question has officially disappeared.

That’s the verdict of “a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that, for the first time since April, also shows President Donald Trump’s approval rating equaling the percentage of voters who disapprove of his job performance. Fully 39 percent of registered voters say they would support the GOP candidate for Congress in their district, while 38 percent would back the Democratic candidate. Nearly a quarter of voters, 23 percent, are undecided.” With almost 9 months left until the midterm election, there’s time for several dozen more swings.

Still, there’s no disputing that Democrats lost ground after voting unanimously against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. What’s worse is that they’re caught in a difficult situation on DACA/immigration reform. If Democrats don’t make a deal on immigration, a major part of their base will be upset with them. What’s worse is that another significant part of their base will be upset if they do cut a deal with President Trump on immigration.

That’s what a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation looks like.

I never took the ‘building blue wave’ talk seriously for multiple reasons. First, Democrats haven’t done enough to win back blue collar voters to expand their bi-coastal base. Until Democrats start taking blue collar workers seriously, they’ll be the minority party. It’s that simple.

Next, Democrats made huge strategic mistakes by unanimously voting against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. I can’t emphasize enough how that’s killing Democrats. What’s making that worse is Nancy Pelosi’s bone-headed “crumbs” statement:

That’s what being tone deaf sounds like. It’s this cycle’s “basket of deplorables” moment:

Later, Democrats made the mistake of unanimously voting for shutting down the government. Then Democrats compounded that by voting to re-open government by voting yes for the exact same bill that they voted against on Friday night. Talk about Keystone cops. This can’t make Tom Perez happy:

The new year has also produced a Trump polling bump. In the new poll, 47 percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while the same percentage disapprove.

Just 6 short weeks ago, President Trump was in the upper 30’s. Now, he’s in the upper 40’s in terms of approval rating. These statistics can’t leave the DCCC smiling:

“Not only have Republicans increased support on the generic congressional ballot, they are now trusted more to handle the most important issue when voters head to the polls: the economy,” said Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s co-founder and chief research officer. “In mid-December, 39 percent of voters said they trusted Democrats more to handle the economy, compared to 38 percent who said Republicans. Today, 43 percent say Republicans and 32 percent say Democrats.”

That’s a huge swing in 2 months. With the economy growing and showing no signs of slowing down, it isn’t foolish to think that the generic ballot question might cast the Republicans in a more positive light by Memorial Day.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , ,

This Reuters article reports that “Senate Democrats said they had identified more than two dozen buyback programs announced since Jan. 5 by banking, energy, manufacturing, retailing and other companies.” It continues, saying “The buybacks show that the first priority of corporations is to use their windfall from the tax overhaul to ‘line the pockets of powerful senior executives and shareholders,’ said Senator Ron Wyden, the senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee.”

My question to Sen. Wyden is simple: so what? After all, the money put into buyback programs doesn’t negate the benefits that employees have received through bonuses, pay raises and improved benefits. That’s what makes this statement so interesting:

The new tax law and its impact on workers and the wealthy are likely to play a major role in this year’s congressional mid-term election campaign, which will determine whether Republicans maintain their control of the Senate and House of Representatives.

That ship has sailed. Before the tax cuts were passed, Democrats held a 15 point lead in the generic ballot question in Monmouth’s monthly poll. In their first poll after the tax cuts passed, Democrats held a 2 point advantage.

The new tax law and its impact on workers and the wealthy are likely to play a major role in this year’s congressional mid-term election campaign, which will determine whether Republicans maintain their control of the Senate and House of Representatives. “The American people deserve an honest accounting of how this tax law is working,” he told reporters.

Knock yourself out, Sen. Wyden. Millions of people have benefitted from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Millions of people got bonuses. Tens of millions receive more money in their paychecks as a result of lower marginal rates.

The other thing Democrats haven’t admitted is that the economy is much stronger than it was during the Obama years. They don’t care whether that’s the result of the tax cuts or if it’s the result of other policy changes. They’re just thankful the economy is stronger and wages are increasing.

It’s worth noting that Sen. Wyden is the idiot that criticized the tax cuts, saying that “There is no magical growth fairy”:

Apparently, the growth fairy union didn’t get Sen. Wyden’s memo. The economy is strong and strengthening. Sen. Wyden’s hatred of the Trump/GOP tax cuts have blinded him to the benefits people are experiencing.

Andy Puzder’s WSJ op-ed questions whether President Obama should take credit for the Trump Bump. In his op-ed, Puzder wrote “In 2010 the Obama White House forecast gross domestic product growth would ‘accelerate in 2011 to 3.8%’ and ‘exceed 4% per year in 2012-2014,’ consistent with the 4.3% growth rate in the other 10 recoveries since World War II. That never happened. Actual post-recession growth averaged an anemic 2.1%. And Mr. Obama’s last year in office saw measly 1.5% GDP growth—hardly the springboard to our current expansion.”

While Mr. Puzder’s GDP figures tell the story that economic growth during the Obama administration was anemic, that’s only part of the story. Besides tepid economic growth during the Obama administration, another hallmark of the administration’s economic record was wage stagnation. It’s difficult to argue that the wage increases that we’re seeing now are because of President Obama’s policies. Simply put, wages didn’t start increasing until after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed and long after the Trump administration cut regulations.

Further, the fact that the administration said that GDP “growth would ‘accelerate in 2011 to 3.8%’ and ‘exceed 4% per year in 2012-2014′” indicates that these figures were either made up or that the forecasters were utterly incompetent. At this point, I’m leaning towards the figures were made up.

Austan Goolsbee has called Mr. Trump’s growth goals unrealistic. In May Larry Summers declared that accepting the Trump administration’s forecast of 3% GDP growth was like believing “in tooth fairies.”

Call me foolish but I think that 3% GDP has nothing to do with tooth fairies. It just requires the right policies. This is what happens when the right policies are put in place:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people working full time increased by 2.4 million in 2017, compared with only 1.6 million in 2016. In other words, the overall number of jobs added was lower in 2017, but only because hundreds of thousands of people left part-time for full-time jobs.

Wages are up, too. The CEOs that are announcing these wage increases are attributing them directly to the Trump tax cuts. How can the Obama administration take credit to wage increases that happened because of a tax bill that President Obama hates?

Finally, there’s this information:

Both 2016 and 2017 set some year-end records. In 2016, BLS recorded the highest number of people working part time at year’s end since it began recording the data in 1968. In 2017, it recorded the highest number of people working full time at year’s end since 1968 and the fewest working part-time since 2011.

The good news is that President Trump’s policies are working beautifully. He’s unleashed the economy’s animal spirits. Don’t take my word on that. Just ask Art Laffer:

Dan Henninger’s column makes the case that Nancy Pelosi will be speaker of the House when President Trump delivers his next State of the Union speech. Henninger starts his column by saying “It was impossible not to notice that Nancy Pelosi spent President Trump’s 70-minute State of the Union speech grimly chewing her cheek. She was thinking: ‘What I know, and he doesn’t know, is that history says a year from now I will be speaker of the House, and he’ll be on the brink of impeachment.’ Odds are, she’s right.”

The problem with Henninger’s theory is that the Democratic Party has turned into the elitist party. When Ms. Pelosi called the bonuses “crumbs”, people noticed. Speaking this afternoon at the Republicans’ retreat in White Sulphur Springs, VA, President Trump said “And then we got hit with these corporations giving tremendous bonuses to everybody, the ones that Nancy Pelosi called “crumbs” — that was a bad — that could be like deplorables. Does that make sense? Deplorables and crumbs? Those 2 words seem to have a resemblance. I hope it has the same meaning. But she called it crumbs when people were getting $2,000 and $3,000 and $1,000. That’s not crumbs. That’s a lot of money.”

The reason why I think Henninger will be wrong is because Democrats have become so elitist that they’re totally unlikable. They’re so elitist that Democrats come across as not liking blue collar voters. It’s impossible to like environmentalists and miners simultaneously. It’s impossible to like tons of regulations and be friends of blue collar workers simultaneously. Check this out:

That image of Ms. Pelosi isn’t going away. The ads are already going into production. Next fall, Republicans will ask people if they think $1,000 is crumbs or if it’s a lot of money. The ads write themselves. As juicy as that is, that’s just the appetizer. Jazz Shaw’s post is the ribeye steak entrée:

The phrase “repeal and replace” is coming back into vogue, but this time we’ll be hearing it from the Democrats.

At first glance I had to double check to make sure this wasn’t an article from The Onion. But it’s really published at The Hill and deals with the Democrats’ overarching strategy heading into the midterms and perhaps even the 2020 elections. They’re counting on Americans being so unhappy with their “crumbs” from the tax cuts that they will ask the voters to give them control of Congress so they can repeal and replace the new tax law.

Just speaking from a talent standpoint, Democrats must be total idiots. Why would Democrats think that fatter paychecks, pay raises, bonuses and more generous benefits equal a great opportunity to repeal and replace the Trump/GOP corporate tax cuts?

Republicans should thank their lucky stars for this opportunity. When Democrats explain what they mean by repeal and replace, Republicans should ask Democrats why they’d want to raise taxes on the companies that have given literally billions of dollars worth of bonuses to tens of thousands of people? And if Democrats don’t explain what they mean by repeal and replace, Republicans should pressure them constantly until Democrats explain what they mean.

Mr. Henninger is right. History indicates that Republicans should lose a ton of seats in the House. Then again, never in history has the president’s party run against such a bunch of elitist idiots. I’d just add that patterns are patterns until they aren’t anymore. I suspect we’re watching the death of another pattern. Good riddance.

I’m tired of people giving President Obama credit for the economy’s outstanding performance. I’ll stipulate that President Obama got us out of the Great Recession. I’ll further stipulate that President Obama’s oppressive taxes and regulations kept growth lower than it should have been.

In Ron Brownstein’s article, he states “But growth still may not be a silver bullet for the party. One reason is that polls show that roughly as many Americans credit former President Barack Obama as Trump for the good economy. There’s good reason for that verdict: On most fronts, the economy’s performance under Trump represents a continuation of its improving health over Obama’s second term—not a radical improvement in its trajectory.”

That’s a myth. First, economic growth under President Trump is significantly higher. Art Laffer predicts 4% growth for 2018, thanks in large part to the Trump/GOP tax cuts but also because of deregulation. Economic activity is booming. Another thing that’s happening is repatriation of money kept overseas. Rather than keeping money overseas, multinational corporations are returning that money to the US.

Other companies are giving bonuses or pay raises or both. Most of these companies have said that they’re able to do this thanks to the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Other companies have increased employer contributions to employees’ 401(k)s or assumed more of their employees’ out-of-pocket health care costs.

Those aren’t things that President Obama can claim credit for. Here’s another way of putting it: if this is just a continuation of the Obama economy, why didn’t corporations start their repatriation until almost a year after President Obama left office? Why didn’t corporations hand out pay raises and bonuses until almost a year after President Obama left DC?

Remember when Democrats tried convincing Republicans not to vote for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act because it wasn’t popular? Then, only 20% of people liked it. According a Monmouth University poll that I wrote this post about, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has gained in popularity. When asked “Do you approve or disapprove of the tax reform plan passed by Congress in December?  [Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?]”, 44% say that they either strongly or somewhat approve of them while 44% say that they either strongly or somewhat disapprove.

That’s after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted. As people experience the benefits of the Trump/GOP tax cuts, the more credit that Republicans will get.

Another obstacle for the GOP is that, unless and until wage growth accelerates for a sustained period, not everyone may view economic conditions the way Trump did when he called the country’s current state a “new American moment.”

That’s already happening. While I agree this is a lagging indicator, it isn’t lagging that much this time. President Trump is a great cheerleader for the economy. People are noticing, which is why consumer confidence is high. This isn’t an obstacle. It’s a highlight for the GOP.

It isn’t a stretch to think that people will credit Republicans for the people’s improved economic situation as they see their situation improve.

Now that Electrolux has officially announced that it’s moving to South Carolina, it’s time Minnesota admitted what Minnesotans have known for years. It’s time Minnesota, especially the DFL, admitted that we aren’t competitive with other states.

This isn’t shocking in that Minnesota’s taxes are far too high. Gov. Dayton’s tax-the-rich administration brought this on. The phony-baloney award that Minnesota received is meaningless. According to the award, Minnesota is “the 2nd-strongest state in the union.” The thing about the award is that they don’t consider whether Minnesota is competitive from a business standpoint.

Minnesota’s DFL politicians have insisted that all that’s been needed to have a great economy is a great investment in education. In the 1970s, that was enough. This is the 21st Century. That isn’t enough anymore. Other states have well-trained workforces, too. Unlike Minnesota, though, other states, like South Carolina where Electrolux is moving to, have low taxes and minimal regulations. South Carolina’s policies invite people to the state.

Mayor Dave Kleis painted this the best he could, saying “It’s significant. It’s one of our largest employers. It’s not welcome news, but it’s something where we can coordinate with a number of folks to find employment before the end of two years.”

Minnesota has 2 options to change this. If Minnesotans keep giving the DFL any of the levers of power in St. Paul, we won’t become competitive anytime soon. The other option is to elect a reform-minded Republican governor and maintaining reform-minded Republican majorities in the state House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate.

If Minnesota doesn’t elect pro-growth legislators and a pro-growth governor, Electrolux won’t be the last company leaving.

Electrolux, St. Cloud’s fifth biggest employer, just announced that it’s leaving Minnesota, saying in a statement that “Electrolux announced Tuesday they are planning to close their plant here in St. Cloud. The freezer maker says production is expected to continue through the end of 2019. Electrolux spokeswoman Eloise Hale says they have about 900 employees in St. Cloud. She says all impacted employees will be eligible for jobs elsewhere in the company.”

King Banaian commented that “The unemployment rate is quite low. A 17-year low is correct. So there’s a very tight labor market. Our employers keep saying to us in our surveys that finding qualified workers is one of the most serious issues.” That’s the good news. The bad news is that Minnesota keeps losing high-quality employers and employees each year. The outmigration of wealth from Minnesota is devastating. It isn’t just retirees fleeing for warmer climates, either.

According to Minnesota’s State Demographer, people of all age groups are leaving. It’s the chief reason why Minnesota will lose a congressional district after the next census.

Under Gov. Dayton’s ‘leadership’, the Twin Cities have done well while the rest of the state has regressed. Gov. Dayton’s anti-wealth policies, coupled with Minnesota’s oppressive regulations, are driving businesses away while making Minnesota less competitive with other states.

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce President Teresa Bohnen says it’s good news that the community has two years to prepare for the job losses. And, she says the local Workforce Center will start working with those workers that are affected as soon as possible.

We have the jobs in St. Cloud, that’s the great news. And, we’ve already been approached by Senator Smith’s office this afternoon to talk about what they can do to help us. So we’re hoping for grant money, workforce grants, those kinds of things to get us help to get these people retrained and into new jobs as soon as possible.

Sen. Smith’s former boss, Gov. Dayton, is part of the problem. The DFL’s economic policies aren’t pro-growth. The regulations strangle investment.

President Trump’s first SOTU speech was one for the ages. At times, it was heart-wrenching. At other times, it was jubilant. At still other times, it was sensible. At all times, it was the Democrats’ worst nightmare. The speech lasted 81 minutes. It drew 110 rounds of applause. Optically, it was a terrible night for Democrats.

Early in the speech, President Trump talked about Hispanic and African-American unemployment, saying “Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.” The Congressional Black Caucus not only didn’t applaud. The CBC didn’t register a response:

When people started chanting “USA, USA, USA”, here’s how Rep. Luis Gutierrez reacted:

When President Trump spoke about noncontroversial things like working hard and unifying the nation, here’s how Nancy Pelosi responded:

Mixed into the 110 rounds of applause were lines like this:

So to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time. If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.

Meanwhile, Democrats virtually spent the entire night sitting on their hands. The optics really told the story Tuesday night. Republicans applauded President Trump’s accomplishments. They were the optimistic people in the room. Democrats looked like they’d eaten a bag of lemons. They looked like sourpusses the entire night:

The most heart-wrenching part of the speech came when President Trump spoke about 2 couples whose daughters were friends. Here’s that story:

Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers: Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens. Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island. But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home. These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown. Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders. Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors ?- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.

Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert: Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you. Everyone in America is grieving for you. And 320 million hearts are breaking for you. We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.

Trump is right. This shouldn’t ever happen in the United States. Period. Trump is also right in saying that, across the nation, parents’ hearts were breaking with those parents.

This was especially powerful in pushing Democrats into a ‘can’t-win corner’ on immigration. How can Democrats say no to building the wall or ending chain migration or the visa lottery at this point? I suspect that Democrats will try resisting. That’s what they’ve been about since Trump took office.

Potentially, President Trump’s SOTU speech is a game-changer:

According to that survey, the results of which were announced on-air on CNN, 48 percent of respondents said they had a “very positive” reaction to the speech — Trump’s first since taking office. Only 22 percent said they had a “somewhat positive” reaction to the speech, while 29 percent reacted negatively.

The results of that poll came less than two hours after Trump finished delivering his speech, in which he touted the tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks of his first year in office and outlined his ambitions to revitalize the nation’s infrastructure and take on immigration reform.

Sixty-two percent of respondents said that the policies outlined by the president on Tuesday would move the country in the right direction, according to the CNN/SSRS poll. By comparison, 35 percent said they would move it in the wrong direction.

Those aren’t good numbers for Democrats. They’re terrible statistics for Democrats. This won’t cheer up Democrats, either:

This poll isn’t good news, either:

Prior to Tuesday night, Republicans had gained a bunch of momentum. After Tuesday night, Republicans had a ton of momentum going into this new year. If Democrats think they can steamroll the Republicans, they’d better rethink their strategy. Fast.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

Last Monday, Sen. Chuck Schumer had a day from hell. I don’t feel sorry for him. He deserved everything he got — and then some. This week has the potential for being worse for Sen. Schumer. Bill McGurn’s column lays out Sen. Schumer’s nightmare scenario, saying “What if Mr. Trump looked up at the gallery full of Dreamers during his address and said, ‘I have offered a good-faith compromise that would not only resolve your place in America but open to you the precious gift of American citizenship. All I ask is that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi meet me halfway?'”

Clearly, Democrats prefer having the issue so they can beat Republicans with it. They don’t want a solution, partially for campaign purposes, partially to keep the steady stream of new voters flowing in. Democrats need those new voters because they’re alienating blue collar workers seemingly on a daily basis. (That’s why Ms. Pelosi’s dream of being speaker again is a pipe dream.)

Mr. McGurn introduced another irony into the column by saying “But if Mr. Schumer allows the Democratic zeal for resistance to take the form of rejecting every Trump offer for compromise, Mr. Schumer may well pull off another miracle by making Donald Trump look like the reasonable one in Washington. … Alas for poor Mr. Schumer, his tragedy is to have reached the top at precisely the worst moment, caught between a Republican president who can’t stop demeaning him and a Democratic Party that seems determined to ensure he remains a minority leader.”

Let’s be clear. President Trump has painted Sen. Schumer into a corner strategically. If Sen. Schumer makes a deal with President Trump on immigration, the division within the Democratic Party will grow. If Sen. Schumer doesn’t make a deal with President Trump on immigration, Sen. Schumer will look like an obstructionist. It likely also means Sen. Schumer will be the minority leader through at least 2024.

Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor today to tout President Trump’s accomplishments:

When President Trump gives his first State of the Union address, he’ll say that the state of our union is strong. Though Democrats, especially the ones boycotting the tone-setting speech, will disagree with that, President Trump will be right. The economy is the best it’s been in years. Our enemies, especially ISIS, are in a weakened state. The Trump/GOP tax cuts are working better than expected. Deregulation is unleashing small businesses so they can do what they do best, which is create jobs through innovation and creativity.

With all that being said, the state of part of our union is weaker than it’s been in years. That part of the union is the part that’s constantly resisting, constantly rejecting, constantly heckling. That part of the union is often referred to as the Democratic Party. They’re still the party that doesn’t have original ideas. They’re still the people who think everyone that disagrees with them is a racist, homophobe or Islamophobe. Today’s Democratic Party can’t just disagree with people. Today’s Democratic Party is filled with people who have to think that people they disagree with are evil. That’s what this Pelosi diatribe is about:

I’m predicting that President Trump will be the biggest winner Tuesday night, mostly because his policies are sensible and the American people agree with him on border security, ending chain migration and cutting taxes. When the Trump/GOP tax plan passed, its approval rating was in the mid-twenties. Now, it’s in the mid-forties. When people start noticing that their taxes are actually less, they’ll be happy. At that point, people won’t buy the Democrats’ doom-and-gloom talking points.

Mercedes Schlapp is a White House communications director. In this interview, she sounded an upbeat, optimistic tone:

President Obama talked about hope and change, then he underdelivered. President Trump hasn’t overpromised and underdelivered. He’s delivered. Jobs are being created. Wages are going up dramatically. Consumer confidence is soaring.

Finally, economic forecasts just aren’t complete without a healthy dose of Art Laffer to boost the spirits. Check this out and feel better:

If that doesn’t make your heart sing, you’re part of the union that isn’t strong.