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Sen. Sherrod Brown’s economic illiteracy is frightening at the same time it isn’t surprising. Sen. Brown’s spirited exchange with Sen. Orrin Hatch revealed how little Sen. Brown understands about capitalism. What was particularly illuminating was when Sen. Brown said “I just think it would be nice, just tonight, to just acknowledge, well, this tax cut isn’t really for the middle class. It’s for the rich, and that whole thing about higher wages, well, it’s a good selling point, but we know companies don’t just give away higher wages. They just don’t give away higher wages just ’cause they have more money.”

Sen. Brown is either economically illiterate or he’s dishonest. Either way, it frightens me that he’s on the Finance Committee. It’s disturbing that he doesn’t understand what creates great economies. Brown has voted for some of the most counterproductive economic policies in recent history. Those policies have led to slow economic growth and stagnant wages. During the Obama administration, companies left the United States because of high tax rates and unreasonable regulatory burdens.

This isn’t opinion. Since Trump took office, consumer confidence has surged, unemployment has dropped, companies have started investing again and the workforce participation rate has improved. That’s because Trump has eased the regulatory burdens and promised competitive corporate tax rates.

At no time during the Obama administration did the economy grow at 3% per year for a full year. Right now, we’re on target to exceed 3% economic growth in Trump’s first year in office. If I’m forced to trust Trump’s policies or Obama’s policies, it isn’t much of a fight. This was fun to watch but it wasn’t much of a fight:

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It isn’t a stretch to say that the DFL hates cutting taxes. Further, it isn’t a stretch to think that the DFL doesn’t understand economics. When Democrats, whether they’re in the US Senate or the Minnesota legislature, complain about tax cuts for “the rich”, I’m reminded of Ronald Reagan’s cliché that you can’t create jobs if you hurt employers. There’s indisputable proof that companies are leaving the US for low-tax countries. Not all companies leave but there’s no doubt that many companies do.

Yesterday, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Dayton’s veto of the legislature’s operating budget was constitutional. At the heart of that fight is Gov. Dayton’s hatred of tax relief. If Gov. Dayton understood the power of pro-growth tax policies, he wouldn’t have objected to the Republicans’ tax relief bill.

Further, after watching every DFL legislator vote against the tax relief package last spring, it isn’t a dishonest statement to say that the DFL hate pro-growth tax policies. At what point will the DFL admit that pro-growth tax policies work? Will they ever admit that?

It isn’t just DFL legislators that hate pro-growth tax policies. By now, most LFR readers have seen this fight between ‘Uncle Orrin’ Hatch, (R-UT), and Sherrod Brown, (D-OH), during Thursday night’s mark-up of the Senate Tax Cuts and Job Act:

Way to go, Uncle Orrin! That’s what I’d call a beat-down! Beyond seeing Republicans fighting Democrats over the benefits of this pro-growth tax policy, that exchange is instructive because Sen. Brown said something totally stupid. Specifically, Sen. Brown said “And I get sick and tired of the rich always getting richer.” Let me state this clearly. I can’t imagine a politician saying something more foolish than that. Why wouldn’t you want the rich to keep getting richer? If they aren’t getting richer, that means that they aren’t making a profit. People that aren’t making a profit can’t continue employing people.

I don’t know who Republicans will run against Sen. Brown but whoever they run should run that clip morning, noon and night against Sen. Brown. I’d finish the ad by asking ‘Was Sherrod Brown just gratuitously grandstanding? Or is he that economically ignorant?’

Seriously, how can a U.S. senator be that stupid? That’s painful to watch.

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It’s now official. Blue Dog Democrats officially stated that they oppose middle class tax cuts and tax simplification. They officially stated “We simply cannot support a bill that, by every kind of measurement, has been determined to add over $2 trillion to the deficit at the expense of middle-class Americans. It’s a fact that some middle-class Americans will see their taxes go up and small business owners will face a more complex tax system under this bill.”

Their statement went further, saying “Unrealistic, rosy economic growth projections should not be used to offset the costs of tax reform or tax relief.”

During the Obama administration, Blue Dog Democrats sat silent. They didn’t offer plans to simplify the tax code or provide middle class tax relief. They especially didn’t criticize President Obama’s super-sized deficits. Simply put, they acted like spineless eunuchs. Now that there’s a Republican president that’s pushing major improvements to the tax code, though, Blue Dogs are suddenly criticizing plans that will strengthen the economy, create jobs and grow families’ 401(k)s.

Their position paper supports corporate tax reduction, income tax simplification, and emphasizes deficit reduction.

That’s nice-sounding but it’s totally BS. They were nowhere to be found for 8 long yeas on the topic of deficit reduction. Had they stood up to President Obama and Nancy Pelosi back then, they’d have some credibility.

Legitimate conservatives have a different idea:

Thanks to Republicans, tax relief will soon become reality. During her interview with Kevin Brady, Harris Faulkner asked him if they’d done a whip count. Chairman Brady said that they’d done a whip count and that they had the 218 votes needed to pass the House Bill:

The Senate bill includes the repeal of the individual mandate, which isn’t part of the House’s legislation. Last night during his townhall, however, Speaker Ryan said that House Republicans didn’t have a problem with repealing the individual mandate. Chairman Brady said that they wouldn’t add it to the House bill but said that they wouldn’t have a problem agreeing to it in the conference committee negotiations.

UPDATE: Ron Johnson just announced that he won’t vote for the Tax Bill in its current form:

“We have an opportunity to enact paradigm-shifting tax reform that makes American businesses globally competitive, helps our economy reach its full potential, and creates greater opportunity and bigger paychecks for every American. In doing so, it is important to maintain the domestic competitive position and balance between large publicly traded C corporations and ‘pass-through entities’ (subchapter S corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships). These businesses truly are the engines of innovation and job creation throughout our economy, and they should not be left behind. Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment, so I do not support either in their current versions. I do, however, look forward to working with my colleagues to address the disparity so I can support the final version.”

The key part of Sen. Johnson’s statement is where he said “I do not support either in their current versions. I do, however, look forward to working with my colleagues to address the disparity so I can support the final version.” That isn’t slamming the door shut. It’s leaving the door wide open. Frankly, this sounds more like the opening of negotiations rather than a rejection.

Tuesday night, Speaker Ryan was Bret Baier’s and Martha MacCallum’s guest for a townhall meeting in Herndon, Virginia. Specifically, the subject was the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. It would be fun watching him slice-and-dice Nancy Pelosi on the subject, though I’m certain she’d never participate in such a debate.

Ryan on how the tax cuts would help veterans:

Ryan on small business growth:

(Notice the specificity of his response.)
Ryan on the need to grow the economy:

Thus far, the Democrats’ economic plan is to criticize the Republican plan. That’s the plan offered by Pelosi and Schumer. That’s bad enough. The Bernie/Warren plan is even worse. They want to raise taxes and drive companies overseas.

Do we want a vibrant economy led by robust small business investment or do we want the pathetic economic growth we had during the Obama administration? That’s a pretty easy answer for most people.

This LTE has a helpless feel to it that’s sad to see. When the writer says “A quick google search yields a third: Between 20 and 25 percent of mall will close within five years and Credit Suisse estimates that a record 8,600 stores will close this year, according to Money.com. Larson closes by noting ‘ … both will likely yield to something as yet unimagined within our lifetime.’ Allow me to imagine that some of these shuttered malls should be repurposed to house the homeless — ‘The fastest-growing segment of the homeless population is families with children. About two-fifths (41 percent) of the homeless population is made up of families,’ according to the Huffington Post.”

What a blithering idiot. No, let’s not transition these malls into homeless shelters. Let’s fix the problem that President Obama created. Let’s fix the economy so people, families especially, can find good-paying jobs that support families. For eight years, Democrats have whined about income inequality and raising the minimum wage. That’s Bernie Sanders’ economic message. Since then, it’s been co-opted by Elizabeth Warren nationally and Rebecca Otto here in Minnesota.

It’s a recipe for disaster but have Republicans said enough to highlight the fact that Sanders’ message is one of short- and long-term economic disaster? What’s unfortunately happened is that there are too many crony capitalists in the GOP. We need unabashed, full-throated Jack Kemp-Ronald Reagan capitalists.

President Trump is on the right track. He’s already outperforming President Obama by leaps and bounds. Economic growth is returning. Jobs are being created. Consumer confidence is surging. Why isn’t that the Republicans’ message? It’s just a hunch but I’m betting that the GOPe doesn’t want to give up power. I’m betting they’d rather Trump fail than give up their positions of power. (Vin Weber and Paul Manafort fit into that category.)

First, it’s time to stand up to the Weber-Manafort wing of the GOPe. After that, it’s time to obliterate the Sanders-Warren-Otto wing of the Democratic Party. The sooner it happens, the sooner we’ll be able to stop thinking about treating economic symptoms and start fixing economic problems.

That can’t happen fast enough.

This week, Democrats are crowing about their victories in New Jersey and Virginia. That’s fair enough. They turned out the vote in Virginia bigtime. Meanwhile, Republicans are left wondering how they’ll fare in the 2018 midterms. If I was advising House Republicans, I’d tell them to start early with a steady diet of granting TV and radio interviews to local shows with the major focus being on the strong economy and the other focus being on what the House has passed to help the economy grow.

Part of that growth message would focus on the robust energy industry growth. Another part of that message would highlight the candidate’s willingness to vote for building pipelines and other vital infrastructure. Whenever possible, highlight the times when you’ve worked with President Trump on these issues.

The thing that brings all Republicans together is economic growth. Voting for the tax reform legislation is still a positive, especially in the Midwest. Republicans shouldn’t be shy in highlighting the Democrats’ opposition to everything on Trump’s agenda, either. It’s one thing to be the loyal opposition. It’s another to simply oppose everything. The other thing Republicans shouldn’t hesitate in doing is calling out Bernie’s candidates. Republicans shouldn’t hesitate in exposing the Democrats’ beliefs.

Right now, Democrats are opposing the GOP tax plan because, in their words, it explodes the deficit. At the same time, Democrats are extolling the virtues of Bernie’s single-payer health care plan. The estimated cost of single-payer in California is $400,000,000,000 per year. The national tax cuts that Democrats oppose on the basis that it explodes the deficit adds less than $150,000,000,000 to the deficit per year. Force Bernie’s brigades to explain why they support something that expensive but reject something that puts money in middle class families’ pockets.

This isn’t a time for GOP timidity. It’s a time for them to go on offense. The Democrats don’t have an agenda except opposition to everything. Republicans have a record of accomplishments that have helped the economy grow. Not going on offense in this situation is sinful.

If Democrats ask for a Republican’s opinion on President Trump’s latest Twitter storm, that Republican should reflexively reply ‘I’m here to talk about how to improve families’ lives, not provide commentary on the latest from Page 6.’ The point is that this is about positive change that people are noticing. Unemployment is dropping. The economy is growing. People’s 401(k)s are growing rapidly. By Election Day, 2018, millions of jobs will have been created. Taxes will have been cut. Anti-mining regulations have been repealed.

Finally, does anyone think that this would be happening if Democrats held the gavels in the House or Senate? The Democrats’ Resistance Movement would certainly have led to a government shutdown, financial instability and tepid economic growth.

Bernie Sanders’ economic policies don’t lead to prosperity. They lead to income inequality, increased government dependency and stagnant wages. We know this because we just lived through 8 years of it.

Republicans need to do a compare-and-contrast with Democrats on economic growth, job creation and consumer confidence. Then Republicans should ask whether people think whether Democrats are capable of delivering economic growth, robust job creation and soaring consumer confidence.
Twenty-five minutes into this video, Kim Strassel nails it:;

People want to know that their policymakers are putting policies in place that quickly help them. Republicans haven’t gotten big ticket items passed but they’ve implemented important pro-growth economic policies. If you ask families whether it’s more important to get high-profile legislation enacted or whether it’s more important to get the economy running, I’m fairly certain that they’ll pick the strong economy.

A trip to the Walz-Flanagan campaign website exposes the DFL’s lack of an economic message. Their campaign website doesn’t have an issues page, which is telling. On its homepage, it has a tiny portion of the page dedicated to explain why they’re running. That portion of the page says “running for Governor and Lieutenant Governor to make our vision of One Minnesota a reality. We are united in this vision: A Minnesota where every child has the opportunity to succeed and hope for the future, a Minnesota where the people whose lives are most impacted by public policy choices have a seat at the table, a Minnesota with fair wages, fully funded public schools, and affordable healthcare as a right, not a privilege and a Minnesota where we protect our environment, invest in renewable energy and jobs, and maintain our roads, bridges, and transit across the state. We want to bring this vision to the governor’s office and support the Minnesota we know and love.”

In other words, they’re running for Gov. Dayton’s third term. They’re running without explaining what economic goals they’ll fight for.

A quick view of Paul Thissen’s website doesn’t lay out a vision for Minnesota’s economy, either. It talks about how the Supreme Court should protect labor unions. It talks briefly how we should implement single-payer health care statewide. Thissen talks about legalizing marijuana, too. There isn’t anything in that pile of words that sounds like he has a clue about capitalism. Then again, his legislative record hasn’t shown him to have a clue about creating high-paying middle class jobs so we shouldn’t be surprised.

Erin Murphy’s campaign website has a ‘Why I’m Running‘ page but it doesn’t have an issues page, much less an explanation of what economic policies she’d implement.

Of the 4 DFL gubernatorial candidates’ websites that I visited, only Rebecca Otto talked about the economy. Even then, she only spoke about raising the minimum wage:

Across her statewide listening tour Rebecca met hard-working people who are under-compensated, making it hard to make ends meet. This is hurting our families, our communities, and our way of life. Rebecca Otto supports increasing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation. She will also be releasing an economic plan that will help increase wages across the state.

There’s nothing on any of these candidates’ websites that talks about infrastructure, especially pipelines. Why is that? Is it because the DFL’s special interest masters won’t let them support legitimate projects that create middle class wages? Is it because the DFL doesn’t think that fossil fuels will play an important part in our economy?

Finally, it’s apparent that the DFL doesn’t understand capitalism whatsoever. This morning on At Issue with Tom Hauser, Katharine Tinucci said that cutting the corporate tax rate won’t create jobs because “the rich” won’t invest the money. What an idiot. What wealthy people want most is more money. The best way to get wealthier is by investing that money.

Isn’t it apparent that the DFL doesn’t understand human nature?

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If President Trump is looking for good news, this article should help put a smile on his face. Let’s dig into what the experts are predicting for this morning’s jobs report.

The article starts by saying “Economists expect job growth of 310,000 in October, a rebound after the impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma resulted in a 33,000 decline in September.” If 310,000 jobs are created in October, President Trump’s critics will be crushed. President Trump will have notched another victory that will improve his job approval rating, too. Most importantly, 310,000 new jobs would be welcome news to people after 8 years of lackluster economic growth.

President Trump still has to wait for the official report to be published but getting anywhere close to that would be a victory. Seth Carpenter, the chief U.S. economist at UBS, said “Our forecast is for 325,000. It’s going to be a big number. You’re going to get a kind of soft average for those two months.”

Thus far, we’ve had 2 straight quarters of 3% economic growth. The jobs reports have been decent, not spectacular. If these predictions are right, though, then that’s just another sign that this economy is primed to take a big step forward. If that happens, the Trump bandwagon will get a lot fuller. It’ll certainly give him the type of momentum that’s needed to push through tax reform.

Check back later to find out what the report actually said.

UPDATE: Another positive report is in the books:

  1. Payrolls rose 261k (est. 313k) after 18k advance; revisions added 90k to Aug.-Sept. figures, including turning Sept. drop into a gain
  2. Unemployment rate, derived from a separate Labor Department survey of households, fell to 4.1% (est. 4.2%) from 4.2%

Those aren’t fantastic jobs numbers but the unemployment rate is pretty eye-catching.

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Saying that Newt Gingrich took so-called experts to the proverbial woodshed is understatement. Gingrich started his op-ed by saying “The left-wing media and the elites never seem to tire of being wrong. Remember in May when President Trump said his policies would spur the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at a rate of 3 percent or higher? The so-called experts insisted that it was unrealistic, highly unlikely, and probably impossible.”

Newt continued, saying “Some of these experts suggested 3 percent growth could only happen if our immigrant population doubled over a decade or the nation went to a six-day work week. They said even if unemployment fell to zero, we still wouldn’t get close. Imagine their surprise then when the Commerce Department announced on Friday that the GDP has grown at 3 percent – for the second quarter in a row.”

Though it’s unrealistic to think there’s nothing but smooth sailing ahead for the economy, it’s totally realistic to think Trump’s policies are working. Democrats are fond of saying that President Trump hasn’t achieved any major policy accomplishments. What they aren’t saying, though, is that the unpublicized legislative accomplishments concerning regulatory relief have helped unleash economic growth.

Then Newt throws this information into the public’s eye:

A recent report by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimated the GOP plan, “would boost long-run GDP by 9.1 percent. The larger economy would translate into 7.7 percent higher wages and result in 1.7 million more full-time equivalent jobs.”

At the end of this interview, Newt offers his advice to Congress and to the American people:

This has been Newt’s philosophy since before he became speaker. Pass the biggest tax cuts you can pass. If you don’t get everything you want, still pass the biggest tax cuts that can get 218 votes in the House, 50 votes in the Senate (and the Vice President’s tie-breaking vote) and President Trump’s signature. If economic growth continues, Republicans will have a great year at the ballot box in 2018. If that happens, then they can revisit the tax cuts and pass bigger, more permanent, tax cuts in 2019.

The Democrats and the liberal media will no doubt continue to try to find so-called experts who oppose the Republican tax cut plan. Americans should consider how often these supposed experts have been wrong about President Trump and his policies.

Conservative activists should remind people that a) Republican policies are working and b) the Democrats’ predictions are wildly inaccurate. People already think we’re heading in the right direction. That’s why consumer confidence is soaring.

This article is just what the Trump administration wanted to hear. I’d have to think that the Trump administration started smiling when they read “Consumers were even more optimistic in October than economists polled by Reuters expected. Consumer confidence rose to 125.9 in October, according to the Conference Board. The index ‘increased to its highest level in almost 17 years,’ Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement. That was in December 2000, when the index hit 128.6.” Franco added the “high level of confidence suggests the economy will continue to expand ‘at a solid pace’ for the rest of 2017.”

This article is sure to add to the Trump administration’s positive attitude. According to the article, “President Donald Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers on Friday released the second in a series of reports on how proposed changes to the tax code could influence economic growth. The CEA predicted that corporate tax cuts alone would produce GDP growth of between 3 and 5 percent in as little as three years. The cuts are part of the tax reform package currently being finalized in Congress and expected to be unveiled as a bill next week.”

Here in Minnesota, though, Gov. Dayton sounded like Mr. Pessimism:

“One of the most offensive proposals would eliminate the deductibility of Minnesota’s state income and sales taxes and local property taxes from our citizens’ federal tax liabilities,” Dayton said. “It would completely remove these important tax deductions which total over $12.3 billion per year for 900,000 Minnesota families.”

The good news is that a Republican governor, working with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, will fix Minnesota’s anti-growth tax and regulatory system. Why the DFL hasn’t figured out that people really want to keep the money they’ve earned is baffling. The good news is that the next Republican governor will get things straightened out.

Rick Santelli is back and he’s excited: