Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

David Catron’s article, titled “A Plague of Democratic Partisanship”, highlights the Democrats’ willingness to delay the benefits of the stimulus plan for purely partisan purposes. Democrats had negotiated in semi-good faith with Republicans while Queen Pelosi vacationed in San Francisco. Saturday night, the queen re-entered DC. Hours later, the bipartisan deal was dead.

In its place, the Queen insisted that the following items be part of the coronavirus emergency stimulus legislation:

  1. Corporate pay statistics by race and race statistics for all corporate boards at companies receiving assistance
  2. Bailing out all current debt of postal service
  3. Required early voting
  4. Required same day voter registration
  5. 10k bailout for student loans
  6. For companies accepting assistance, 1/3 of board members must be chosen by workers
  7. Provisions on official time for union collective bargaining
  8. Full offset of airline emissions by 2025
  9. Greenhouse gas statistics for individual flights
  10. Retirement plans for community newspaper employees
  11. $15 minimum wage at companies receiving assistance
  12. Permanent paid leave at companies receiving assistance

That’s just a partial list. At a time when the American people were hurting and some were literally dying, Democrats didn’t hesitate to put people’s lives at risk for some partisan trinkets. The Democrats’ character, or lack thereof, shined through.

Next, ask yourself if that’s the type of people you want leading the nation through a crisis. I don’t require much time to figure out my answer. That definitely isn’t the type of person I want in charge of the nation. Period. John Kennedy nailed it with this summarization:

Amen, Sen. Kennedy. You’re exactly right.

Is our long national nightmare finally over? Have negotiators finally put together a deal that will start the economy growing again? Shortly after midnight, the White House struck a deal with Senate Democrats on a massive stimulus bill to jumpstart an economy that was sizzling up until the start of the new year.

Justin Amash, the former Republican and current independent, is threatening to upend the bill:

Michigan independent Rep. Justin Amash, who recently left the Republican Party, signaled that he might essentially delay consideration of the bill in the House. The lower chamber may seek to pass the legislation via unanimous consent because many members are not in Washington — but a single member can ruin that plan.

“This bipartisan deal is a raw deal for the people,” Amash tweeted. “It does far too little for those who need the most help, while providing hundreds of billions in corporate welfare, massively growing government, inhibiting economic adaptation, and widening the gap between the rich and the poor.”

This is more of a delaying tactic than anything else. If Amash doesn’t consent to adopting the bill without a vote, then it will require a roll call vote, which will pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. That will essentially end Amash’s political career. He’s already in difficulty for re-election in his district. This won’t make him more popular.

It’s time to finish this part of the coronavirus fiasco. When the scientists and statisticians tell us that it’s ok to return to work, let’s return to work. Let’s rebuild the strongest economy in the world.

According to Katie Pavlich’s article, this is what prevented the Democrats from reaching agreement on the emergency stimulus bill:

According to a source close to the process on Capitol Hill, in order to move forward with any kind of relief package, Pelosi and her far-left Democrat caucus will demand the following be included:

  1. Publication of corporate pay statistics by race and race statistics for all corporate boards
  2. A bail out on all current debt at the Postal Service
  3. Required early voting
  4. Required same day voter registration
  5. Provisions on official time for union collective bargaining
  6. Full offset of airline emissions by 2025
  7. Publication and reporting of greenhouse gas statistics for individual flights
  8. Retirement plans for community newspaper employees
  9. Federal $15 minimum wage
  10. Permanent paid leave
  11. Study on climate change mitigation efforts

People are getting laid off and this is Nancy Pelosi’s priorities list? Seriously? That isn’t a priorities list. It’s a special interest’s wish list. The thought that Senate Democrats would put a hold emergency financial assistance hostage for these things is beyond unethical. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi should be thrown out of DC for that type of bad-faith negotiating. You know you’ve gone too far when Susan Collins gets this irate:

Roger Simon nailed it in this column:

But the Dems don’t seem to be listening, at least as of this writing, and remain determined to squeeze every molecule of advantage while the nation and its healthcare professionals suffer. They also risk fully tanking the U.S. economy and affecting the welfare of its citizens for years.

The economy is tanking? What do Democrats care? They want $15/hr. minimum wage nationwide. That isn’t all Democrats want. Democrats want “retirement plans for community newspaper employees”, too. Democrats want “paid permanent leave”, too. Democrats aren’t the party of the little guy anymore. They’re the party of the special interests. Blue collar workers can go to hell as far as the Democrats can go. Paul Wellstone and Hubert Humphrey are turning over in their graves this moment.

The American people shouldn’t give Democrats any levers of power for the next 30 years after pulling a stunt like that. Jason Lewis criticized Tina Smith’s votes this way:

Senator Tina Smith is gambling with thousands of Americans’ lives. It’s disgusting and it needs to stop today. At the direction of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Tina Smith has been voting to block the coronavirus relief package. Until families and small businesses across Minnesota are put back to work (which must happen as soon as possible), they continue to struggle to get by. But shockingly, obstructionist Senate Democrats are holding up relief based on carbon footprints? It’s egregious and every American should be outraged.

Minority Whip James Clyburn made the Democrats’ intentions perfectly clear when he called the relief package ‘a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.’ Senator Cory Booker said the bill should be used to ‘reform corporate culture.’ To Senate Democrats, this relief bill isn’t about helping Americans who suddenly find themselves struggling financially in the face of this virus. Instead, they see it as a political tool to push their radical agenda, including the Green New Deal.

Unlike these partisans in Congress, Minnesotans and Americans are united against one common enemy. Doctors and nurses on the front lines are risking their lives and manufacturers are retooling. They badly need our support. Tina Smith must immediately put aside the partisan politics and put the needs of the American people first.

Tina Smith, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats don’t give a damn about America. With the nation facing this crisis, the Democrats’ priority has been the Green New Deal. Are you seriously kidding me? Chuckie Schumer finds a microphone every 2 hours, then repeats the line ‘We’re getting close to a deal.’

The people whose lives are getting ruined by the Democrats’ obstruction don’t give a damn, Chuckie. We need a deal done yesterday. If you gave a damn about the people who make this nation great, you would’ve finished this deal. You don’t give a tinker’s damn. This November, you’ll give a damn when We The People throw Democrats out of office en masse from the House and Senate.

Last night, partisan Democrats squashed a week of bipartisanship by returning to the Democrats’ partisan ways. Democrats voted to not start debate on a much-needed stimulus bill. According to Sen. Mitch McConnell, things had been going well with the bipartisan working groups. The problems started when Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer entered the picture.

Suddenly, without warning, Democrats objected to the creation of what they called a “slush fund for corporations.” It isn’t surprising that Sen. Pocahontas triggered Democrats to jump on that warpath. This fight isn’t over, though, because Sen. McConnell “entered a motion to reconsider the measure and said he’d bring it up again for a vote by Monday”:

“We’ll have this…vote again at some point of my choosing and hopefully some adults will show up on the other side of the room and understand the gravity of the situation and the need to act before the markets go down further and the American people become even more depressed about our lack of ability to come together under the most extraordinary of circumstances,” he said.

This is stupidity on display. You can’t create jobs if you don’t have employers. Here’s Mitch speaking on the defeat of the motion on the Senate floor:

Notice what he said about a minute into his speech:

Now the build up to this, so everybody fully understands, is that we had a high level of bipartisanship in five different working groups over the last 48 hours. Where members who were participating were reaching agreement.

And then all of a sudden, the Democratic leader and the Speaker of the House shows up. And we’re back to square one. So we’re fiddling here. Fiddling with the emotions of the American people, fiddling with the markets, fiddling with our health care.

Saying that Sen. McConnell was fired up is understatement. Here’s more of what he said:

So we’re fiddling here. Fiddling with the emotions of the American people, fiddling with the markets, fiddling with our health care. The American people expect us to act tomorrow and I want everyone to fully understand, if we aren’t able to act tomorrow, it’ll be because of our colleagues on the other side continuing to dither when the country expects us to come together and address this problem.

Now, I’ve changed my vote which gives me the opportunity to reconsider at a different time. That is all I can do in the face of this obstruction. Look, I can understand obstruction when you’re trying to achieve something. This obstruction achieves nothing, nothing whatsoever other than prevent us from getting into a position where there are literally 30 more hours that they could use to continue to dither.

“So at a time when the country is crying out for bipartisanship and cooperation — and we saw that over the last 48 hours when regular members of the Senate, not in the leadership office, not in the speaker’s office, for goodness sake, she’s the speaker of the House, not the speaker of the senate — we don’t have one. We were doing just fine until that intervention.

Speaker Pelosi shouldn’t have intervened. She’s part of the problem. She isn’t part of the solution. Pelosi insists that House Democrats are putting a bill together.

That’s laughable since the House is out on recess. The Democrats’ bill will necessarily be a partisan bill because they won’t have included Republicans in the drafting of the bill. Pelosi’s Democrats specialize in hyperpartisanship. Working through a crisis requires bipartisanship. Ms. Pelosi isn’t capable of bipartisanship.

Remember that this November when you’re voting. Electing a Democrat means re-electing Ms. Pelosi as Speaker. That, in turn, means 2 additional years of Pelosi’s obstructionism.

At the top of the RealClearPolitics website is an ad asking people to thank President Obama “for fighting to defeat Trump in 2020.” Here’s what it looks like:

President Obama might’ve been the smoothest-talking president in history but his policies stunk. Did his Iran Treaty guarantee nuclear peace into perpetuity? Did the Paris Climate Accords finish climate change? Oh wait. The negotiations between the Obama administration and Iran, handled so deftly (not really) by John Kerry were a masterpiece for artists who use crayons. It was so fatally flawed that it couldn’t be submitted as a treaty. It was so fatally flawed that dozens of Democrats voted against it.

The JCPOA and the Paris Climate Accord are now history. Prior to the Wuhan Virus, the Trump economy was hitting on all cylinders. The minute the virus is part of history, the economy will jump back to life. Unemployment is at 50-year lows. Consumer confidence is high. Companies are moving back from China. Other than that, the Trump economy is pretty mediocre.

President Trump’s handling of the virus crisis gets mixed grades. The mixed messaging definitely isn’t a positive. His travel bans deserve high grades, though. Wiping out the red tape at CDC that allowed the private sector to get involved in testing was brilliant. Why that wasn’t done sooner is testimony to President Obama’s obedience to big government.

It’s time to do what works and fix what doesn’t. Trusting government doesn’t work. Another 4 years of President Trump should fix lots of things.

The joint statement from Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Schumer is disappointing in that it’s a purely partisan document. While President Trump delivered a measured, serious speech to the nation in which he called for both sides to work together, Pelosi and Schumer chose to push division on Capitol Hill:

We have a public health crisis in this country and the best way to help keep the American people safe and ensure their economic security is for the president to focus on fighting the spread of the coronavirus itself. Alarmingly, the president did not say how the administration will address the lack of coronavirus testing kits throughout the United States.

Tomorrow, we urge Republicans in the House and Senate to help immediately pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill will include free coronavirus testing, paid emergency leave for workers, food security assistance, help to states overburdened by Medicaid costs, and strengthened Unemployment Insurance, among other much-needed measures to keep the American people safe.

Notice that the Democrats’ leadership on Capitol Hill didn’t acknowledge President Trump’s month-long travel ban of people coming from Europe, with the exception of the British. That’s a major step. When the Trump administration implemented the travel ban with China, Democrats called President Trump xenophobic. Tonight’s travel ban was met with crickets.

The Democrats’ plan is government-centric. President Trump’s plan is a mix of making sure that the US health care system stays strong, reducing international travel, financially helping workers who get infected with the virus and relying on the best public health system in the world to get us through this crisis. This isn’t just a ‘whole of government’ approach. President Trump’s plan is a whole of America plan.

Compare the Pelosi-Schumer 2 paragraph statement with this Rubio-Gingrich op-ed:

First, the U.S. government should empower our robust private business sector to expand in order to meet new demand for medical supplies. Congress should cut taxes on manufacturers committing to new capital spending in America by making permanent the accelerated cost depreciation measures in the 2017 Republican tax law. New medical structures and equipment should be temporarily singled out for additional reductions.

Second, agencies with lending operations like the U.S. Small Business Administration should make low-cost capital available to businesses seeking to solve their supply chain problems by bringing production in-house to America, or otherwise buying from American small businesses.

Third, as American businesses struggle with supply chain disruptions due to the coronavirus, the U.S. government must resolve any tax, regulatory or capital barrier preventing a new, trusted source from emerging.

The Pelosi-Schumer plan does nothing to address this frightening situation. The thought that China has this much of a grip on our medicines is totally unacceptable. From the start of his administration, President Trump has worked hard to eliminate US reliance on Chinese products. This proves that he’s right, especially in light of this crisis. This isn’t just a health crisis. It’s a national security crisis, too.

It’s time for Pelosi and Schumer to start putting America first rather than playing partisan games. They’re welcome to join the Put America First Team anytime.

John Hinderaker’s post highlights why the markets’ volatility is likely overstated. In his post, John touches on something noteworthy when he writes “The virus has demonstrated that President Trump was right all along: outsourcing a huge percentage of our manufacturing capacity to China was dumb. It was especially dumb with regard to pharmaceuticals. But with regard to any non-trinket product, China’s low wage rates are at best a dubious trade-off against low productivity, low quality–I could write a book about this–transportation costs, and unforeseeable disruptions associated with a primitive and autocratic society, like coronavirus. The trend toward bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. was already underway, but it will accelerate and become permanent as a result of the coronavirus.”

First, I hope John writes that book. I’d be one of the first to purchase it. Next, and this is important, it’s imperative that we bring back pharmaceutical manufacturing to the US. Putting our public health supply chains at risk is foolish when we have the capacity and capability to meet our needs. Relying on communist dictatorships for public health supplies leaves us potentially vulnerable.

When this virus is history, and it’s a matter of when, not if, the US economy will jump back to its strong self. At that point, or perhaps sooner, it’s important to ask some important long-term questions.

First, other than the partisans, does anyone seriously think that Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden’s economic policies would produce better economic growth than what we’ve just experienced? Sanders thinks that breadlines are a net positive while Biden thinks that China is a friendly rival. What part of that sounds smart?

That’s what Biden said 6 months ago. In the mental shape he’s in right now, who knows what he thinks of China? Who knows if he thinks of China? We’re going to turn over a robust economy to someone in that fragile mental state? Not if I can help it.

It’s time for Republicans to stop panicking over the what ifs of the economy. Today, President Trump, Secretary Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow will make a presentation for a stimulus package. Instead of modelling it like President Obama’s stimulus, which failed totally, President Trump’s stimulus will strengthen the economy.

Today’s selloff is undoubtedly disturbing to the average family. While it’s time to perhaps pay more attention to the portfolio, there’s a strong case to be made that it’s a great time to ignore it.

Let me start by saying that I’m not a market genius dispensing advice. That isn’t who I am whatsoever. I’m just someone who’s invested money before (mostly in mutual funds) and who has seen dips and crashes before. A couple of things are worth considering. During an interview with Bill Hemmer, David Asman talked about a person’s 401(k) or their IRA. He spoke specifically about retirement accounts. What he said about retirement accounts is great advice:

Remember that you haven’t lost money if you haven’t sold the stock. What you’ll see is an ugly statement. That isn’t a big deal if you don’t panic. It isn’t a big deal if you let the stock market recover, which will happen.

It’s important to note that the policies that President Trump and the Republican congress put in place have given us the strongest economy in a generation or more. The minute that this crisis is behind us is the minute the stock market will rebound. This administration’s economic team is the best since the Clinton or Reagan team. Steve Mnuchin knows what he’s doing. Larry Kudlow was the architect of Reaganomics. Now, he’s returned to work his magic with this administration.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t re-evaluate your portfolio. It simply means that you should do that in a calm, rational setting, not while you’re panicking. I have total confidence that President Trump, Secretary Mnuchin and Director Kudlow will put together a proposal tomorrow that will return the economy to the right path.

The biggest problem with the economy is the MSM. Two weeks ago, the MSM kept perpetrating the hoax that President Trump was caught asleep at the switch. That’s despite the fact that Democrats criticized him for overreacting. Democrats accused President Trump of racism because he took unprecedented action. Wouldn’t it be nice if the MSM and other Democrats made up their minds? You can’t be caught asleep at the switch and overreact to a crisis.

President Trump’s economic track record is brilliant. Unemployment is low. Minority unemployment is at a historic low. While 7,000,000 new jobs were create, most of those jobs went to women. Wages have risen, especially for the lowest-paid wage-earners. With a history of success like that, why shouldn’t I trust this administration? They’ve lifted more people out of poverty in 3 years than the Obama administration lifted out of poverty in 8 years.

If anything should start a panic, the thought of a third Obama term should frighten the daylights out of us. Trumponomics is working. It’s given us a resilient economy that’s able to withstand lots of setbacks. Remember when Democrats insisted that the Trump tariffs on China would collapse our economy? How’d that prediction work out?

If Democrats don’t nominate Bill Clinton, there won’t be growth like we’ve had with President Trump. If Democrats nominate Joe Biden, who lately has difficulty stringing 3 straight coherent sentences together, the Trump Blue Collar Boom will collapse. You know the thing, right?

You’re willing to put the economy in that idiot’s hands? That’s the ultimate panicked decision.

President Trump got another great jobs report this morning, with the economy creating 273,000 jobs in February. Adding to that good news were the revisions for January and December, which were revised upward by 48,000 jobs and 37,000 jobs respectively. The 3-month average for December-February was 243,000 jobs created per month.

There weren’t many parts of the report that inspired pessimism:

The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 273,000 new jobs during the month, while the unemployment rate was 3.5%, matching its lowest level in more than 50 years. An alternative measure of joblessness that counts those not looking for work and holding part-time jobs for economic reasons edged higher to 7%.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for payroll growth of 175,000 and a 3.5% jobless level. Average hourly earnings grew by 3% over the past year, in line with estimates, while the average work week, considered a key measure of productivity, nudged up to 34.4 hours.

According to this video, 15,000 manufacturing jobs were created:

Year-over-year wage growth stayed steady at 3.0%, too. The coronavirus will likely have an effect in the upcoming months. Still, with economy this strong, it’s ok to question how much of an impact that might have. As James Freeman said “If we want to assume that the coronavirus is not a civilization-busting plague, then this economy is really ready to roll.”

Steve Moore added that President Trump loves thinking of himself as a blue-collar president, which led Moore to note that Trump would love this jobs report because of all the blue collar jobs that were created in February. Moore also said that he’s “a policy guy and you’re so right James. You get the taxes down, you get the regulations off the back of the businesses and then you get the trade deal. We forget how important the trade deal, both the China and the USMCA, have been.”

Rest assured, Steve, we haven’t forgotten the importance of those trade deals. I wish we could forget Nancy Pelosi’s monthly jobs report statement. Still here it is:

February’s jobs report comes as families across America face an uncertain economic future as a result of the worsening coronavirus outbreak. The coronavirus epidemic endangers both the health and financial security of our communities. That is why House Democrats ensured that the emergency coronavirus response package also includes measures to protect the stability of local economies by providing an estimated $7 billion in low-interest SBA loans to support small businesses impacted by this epidemic.

Americans need a smart, strong and science-based response to this epidemic. House Democrats will continue to listen to the experts and continue to work to ensure every community is receiving what it needs to combat this urgent public health crisis.

Pelosi’s statement on the jobs report is almost entirely about the coronavirus, which is a semi-legitimate topic on the economy. It will play a role. Still, it’s worth noting that Pelosi didn’t say anything about the impact that the trade deals have had on the economy. She also didn’t say anything about the tax cuts that Democrats voted unanimously against.

Everyone is used to President Trump’s ‘rally persona.’ Thursday night, people got to see a different side of President Trump when they got to see President Trump’s townhall persona. This Trump persona was relaxed, confident and informed. When asked about the coronavirus, he had strong command of the latest news. He enumerated then explained the decisions he’d made. He took the opportunity to praise Vice President Pence for the job he’s doing leading the task force and to emphatically state that Pence will be his running mate again in 2020.

When asked about the border wall, President Trump told the questioner that he’d already gotten rid of 129 miles that was easy to get over and replace it with 129 miles of wall that’s 30′ tall and is virtually impossible to climb. President Trump said that he’s building the wall that the border patrol wanted him to build. Trump said the new fencing is virtually impossible to climb.

The third questioner identified himself as David Hines. Mr. Hines identified himself as a Democrat who is the Director of Operations for the City of Pittston. Mr. Hines asked about regulations:

DAVID HINES:Mr. President, welcome back to Scranton. Everyone supports protecting the environment but the EPA seems to focus on complex regulations, fines, fees and lawsuits. What can you do to lead the EPA to focus more on proactive compliance than on punitive enforcement to protect the environment?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: David, I love the question because our EPA is much different. We’re very tough but we get things done and we’re taking regulations off the books like nobody’s ever seen and I say I want to have the cleanest air on the planet. I want to have the cleanest, crystal clear, beautiful water on the planet. The conditions we have now are much cleaner now than they were 3 years ago.

Let’s be clear about President Trump’s performance. He spoke with great specificity. He spoke with a better command of the facts than he speaks with at his rallies. If this President Trump shows up for the presidential debates this fall, he’ll win over the majority of the independents/undecideds.
Here is Part II of the town hall:

Here’s Part III:

You’ll want to watch the closing of the town hall in Part III. The electricity in the room was excellent. I thought President Trump answered the people’s questions directly, which is his style. After the town hall, Byron York joined Martha MacCallum on an abbreviated version of her show. Here’s what York said:

Here he was much more relaxed. And it was interesting to see him defend his administration, certainly on coronavirus and on a number of other issues, said some really interesting things about Obamacare. [Trump] said that he had basically inherited the carcass of Obamacare and would like to kill it altogether if Republicans could somehow come up with something better, which they haven’t been able to do.

Last night’s Trump will be quite the formidable opponent.