Category Archives: The Economy

Trump Budget Director talks about Social Security disablity ‘fixes’?

The guy is walking into a political  landmine field…..

Messing with Social Security…

The program WILL have to be tackled by CONGRESS….

And it is gonna be a heavy left like Healthcare…

Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney: “Well, I think the promise was he wasn’t going to affect anybody and we haven’t with this budget. Keep in mind what this budget is. This is just the discretionary spending part of the budget, which was a necessary first step.”

Dickerson: “But he might look at future retirement — future Medicare recipients?”

Mulvaney: “Let me ask you a question: Do you really think that Social Security disability insurance is part of what people think of when they think of Social Security? I don’t think so. It’s the fastest growing program. It grew tremendously under President Obama. It’s a very wasteful program and we want to try and fix that.”
— Exchange on CBS “Face the Nation,” March 19, 2017…

Is it a “very wasteful program”? The OMB pointed to improper disability payments, which can result from mistakes or incorrect information from either the Social Security Administration or from the beneficiary. In fiscal 2011-2015, there were $6.6 billion in overpayments and $1.5 billion in underpayments — but they represented 0.99 percent and 0.22 percent of total disability outlays, respectively, so it’s a stretch to use these figures to say the program is “very wasteful.”….

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U.S. payroll gains slowed in March…Jobless rate @ 4.5%

The Jobless rate is the lowest since 2007….

Wages have slowed in rising….

While the payroll figures are the weakest since last May and represent a pullback from the first two months of the year, it may reflect that things are getting back to normal. Employment has been on a healthy run, giving Federal Reserve policy makers enough confidence to raise interest rates in March and forecast two more hikes this year. Businesses have been challenged by a dwindling pool of unemployed, and are gradually giving in to pressures to raise wages in order to attract and retain talent.

“Even if payrolls are slowing down, I’m not sure that that means the labor market is weakening,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC. “To the extent that it is slowing down or going to slow down, it’s probably more a function of tight supply than weakening demand.”…

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They voted FOR Trump…He wants to screw them…

Trump and Co. want to cut funds to a HUD programs that has help rural Americans ….

THAT is their payback for voting for a snake oil type salesman……

And folks?

Some of those he’s trying to screw?

STILL would follow him off a cliff….

HOME Investment Partnerships is one of dozens of programs and independent agencies aimed at the poor — including the Appalachian Regional Commission, AmeriCorps, the Legal Services Corporation and the Interagency Council on Homelessness — that Mr. Trump has proposed cutting. The budget for the fiscal year beginning in October would cut $6.2 billion — about 13 percent — from HUD, eliminating the Community Development Block Grant program, which funds local initiatives like Meals on Wheels and anti-poverty efforts; and the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity and Choice Neighborhoods programs, which aim to replace distressed public housing with mixed-income development.

Trumbull County, where the Pavlics live, teamed up with the City of Warren in the 1990s to create the Warren-Trumbull HOME Consortium, which receives about $450,000 a year from HUD to repair homes, assist with down payments, finance affordable housing and build housing for people suffering from chronic mental illness, said Julie Edwards, the economic development coordinator for the county’s planning commission.

The county, which voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump, is the type of place where people might hope to be great again. Open fields of overgrown grass line winding roads that lead to rusted steel mills and shuttered factories. The median household income in the county, which is about 90 percent white and 8 percent black, dropped by $7,400, to $42,368, from 2006 to 2015, while the population declined by 14,000, to 203,750. Near Kinsman is Masury, which locals have nicknamed Misery.

“Our county voted for President Trump, so I’m not sure they quite understand what is going to happen,” Ms. Edwards said. “I don’t think people realize how much we rely on these services. I don’t think people are making the connection between cutting the HUD funds and paving our streets or building new affordable housing.”….

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American Government has ALWAYS provided healthcare support for its citizens…

Do NOT let todays Conservatives bull shit you people…

America has ALWAYS had government help in providing healthcare for those who have trouble affording it, paid by those who can….

Though it had been around for decades, private health insurance didn’t become popular among consumers until the Great Depression. Hospitals began offering insurance, in part, to encourage cash-strapped patients to use their services. The Great Depression also set the stage for the federal government to jump into poor relief in a big way. The Social Security Act of 1935 was intended, in part, to empty local poorhouses of their elderly occupants, allowing older Americans enough of a retirement income to be able to live at home. Between Social Security, unemployment insurance, and welfare for single mothers of dependent children, poorhouses began to fall out of use in the generation after the Great Depression. Many closed their doors in the mid-20th century. Local poor-relief offices were transformed, serving in large measure as administrators of state and federal programs.

The larger landscape of health care also changed. Private health insurance spread during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. In the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson’s administration added health-care insurance to the Social Security Act for both Social Security recipients—through Medicare—and the poor or disabled through Medicaid. Despite all of this, local institutions providing health care to the poor continued to find patients, and some continue to provide local, tax-supported health care to this day….

Americans seem to have lost an understanding of government’s historical role in health care, as most of their political battles target programs just a few years old. Also lost is the promise the poor laws made for more than 300 years: If you need health care, you will receive it, thanks to the people you belong to…..

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Conservative’s Rally AGAINST Trump’s Border Tax idea….

Yup….

You read that right….

ANOTHER battle seems to firming up against Trump & Co. that will probably mean Democrats and Conservatives will sink any chance a border tax will survive in the upcoming budget, which means that there isn’t any money for Trump’s ‘Wall’ or big spending increases in the Defense budget….or Tax Reform….

Donald Trump continues to TRY to drive a stake thru the heart of his adopted political party as Democrats sit and watch and get a break….

Their opposition threatens yet another rupture with President Trump, some of whose advisers see the provision as a critical way to bring about tax reform while protecting American manufacturers.

The battle could not only jeopardize Mr. Trump’s second major legislative initiative, but also redefine the boundaries of conservative economic policy. Much like the failed repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the import tax is dividing conservatives, the business sector and some of the deepest-pocketed groups funding conservative politics. Along the way, it is exposing the broader ideological divide between nationalist policies embraced by Mr. Trump and the traditional small-government movement that his election ejected from the driver’s seat of Republican policy-making.

“Trump ran on a different set of economic issues than traditional conservative Republicans have,” said Stephen Moore, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation who favors the border tax on intellectual grounds, but said he had come to see it as a “poison pill” for broader tax reform.

“The baton has been passed on from Reagan to Trump,” Mr. Moore continued, “and there’s no doubt he ran on a much more populist economic message.”

The idea of a border adjustment tax has percolated among academic economists and in think tanks since the 1970s, as the United States has considered ways of harmonizing its tax code with countries that use value-added taxes. Central to the plan is a provision that would tax imports at a rate of 20 percent while exempting exports from taxation. In theory, this would buttress domestic manufacturing, make American products more competitive with foreign goods and encourage American companies to bring home cash they have been parking overseas…..

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Trump moves to impose tariff’s on foreign steel….

The Trump is following thru on his promise to make the rest of the world PAY America for their exports….

His move is a gambel with American imports….

Now if the cost of products RISE?

The American taxpayer is gonna be spending a LOT of their disposable income for imports rising in price….And whole American products are gonna be repleced by cheaper products from countries with free trade agreements among each other….

Germany’s foreign minister on Friday morning said the Trump administration is taking a “dangerous step” after the Commerce Department announced a tariff on imports of foreign steel, indicating the tax could become a new source of conflict with the powerful U.S. ally and trading partner.

The strongly worded statement from German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel further intensified trade tensions between the United States and international officials since President Trump took office. Although Trump’s actions on trade so far have been modest and have in many respects preserved the status quo, the president and his advisers have hinted at more disruptive measures in the future, and Gabriel claimed that the administration was abandoning established international principles of free trade.

“The U.S. Government is apparently prepared to provide American companies with unfair competitive advantages over European and other producers, even if such action violates international trade law,” Gabriel’s statement read. “I very much fail to comprehend the decision.”…

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Oh, and like with refugee’s….

Trump & Co. don’t much care for trade agreements that America might have with other countries…

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North Carolina lawmakers announce deal to repeal transgender bathroom law…

The Republican majority lawmakers law against transgender bathroom access staying on the books could eventually cost North Carolina OVER $3 Billion in lost business from boycotts including  popular NCAA Sports events….

North Carolina state legislators announced late Wednesday they had reached a deal with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to repeal the controversial HB2 law, which restricted transgender bathroom access in the state.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, according to local reports, said at a late-night press conference that House Bill 142, which would repeal House Bill 2, would be introduced to the Senate floor Thursday morning.

“We have reached an agreement with the governor,” said Berger. “We have agreed with the governor that we will take no questions tonight.”

The pair of legislators gave no further details of the repeal measure, but asserted that the bill “will pass” when it hits the floor of the legislature Thursday.

If the repeal is successful, it would shutter a hotly contested law enacted under Republican Gov. Pat McCrory that prevented individuals from entering government facilities that matched their gender identity. The law also limits discrimination protections on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals….

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Heroin use spikes Up for poor unemployed White ‘s in America…

The increase drug usage seems tied to economic factors….

Heroin use in the United States has risen five-fold in the past decade and dependence on the drug has more than tripled, with the biggest jumps among whites and men with low incomes and little education, researchers said on Wednesday.

Whites aged 18 to 44 accounted for the biggest rise in heroin addiction, which has been fueled in part by the misuse of opioid prescription drugs.

The findings are troubling because the people most affected have few resources to deal with the problem, said Dr. Silvia Martins, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and her colleagues.

“We are seeing that heroin use has increased in the past 10 years,” Martins said in a phone interview. “It is more prominent among whites with lower incomes and education and young adults.”

Heroin use, which includes those who have tried the drug but not become dependent on it, and addiction also rose more among unmarried adults. Although a jump was seen among women, it as was not as prominent as for men.

The researchers found no differences in heroin use or addiction among the major regions of the country….

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Trump working rollbacks of Obama Climate saving efforts…

Why try to save the planet for your children when you can have it dirty and suffering and your freinds can make money doing so?

Trump marches BACKWARDS…..

This is another thing the next Democratic President will have to undo….

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday to roll back most of President Barack Obama’s climate change legacy, celebrating the move as a way to increase the nation’s “energy independence” and to restore thousands of lost coal mining jobs.

But energy economists say the expected order falls short of both of those goals — in part because the United States already largely relies on domestic sources for the coal and natural gas that fires most of the nation’s power plants.

“We don’t import coal,” said Robert Stavins, an energy economist at Harvard University. “So in terms of the Clean Power Plan, this has nothing to do with so-called energy independence whatsoever.”

Administration officials said the new order would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to start the legal process of withdrawing and rewriting the Clean Power Plan, Mr. Obama’s climate change policy. Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, said in an interview on ABC News on Sunday that it will help the United States “be both pro-jobs and pro-environment” and described it as the “energy independence executive order.”….

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Trump & Co want to get in bed with Democrats against GOP Conservative’s for Tax Reform?

It’s REALLY getting crazy in Washington DC…..

Stung by the intransigence of the REPUBLICAN Conservatives in the Freedom Caucus ? Reports are that the White House has threaten their own party rightwing nuts that they should bow down and fall in line with Trump and Ryan on the Tax Reform effort (and other legislative Bills)….

Wait?

Did I just say Trump/Ryan think they can co-opt their own party with Democrats?

The same Democrats they ran AGAINST and demonized to their base?

Bipartisanship?    (John Boehner is laughing someplace!)

What is WRONG with this picture?

Fresh off a defeat on U.S. healthcare legislation, the White House warned rebellious conservative lawmakers that they should get behind President Donald Trump’s agenda or he may bypass them on future legislative fights, including tax reform.

The threat by White House chief of staff Reince Priebus to build a broad coalition on tax reform that could include moderate Democrats came as the Republican head of the tax-writing committee in the House of Representatives said he hoped to move a tax bill through his panel this spring….

Both Trump and Priebus have scolded hardline conservatives who rejected legislation backed by the White House to replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Priebus held out the possibility of working with moderate Democrats as well as Republicans to pass other aspects of Trump’s agenda, such as his proposed budget, the revamp of the tax code and a renewed effort at healthcare reform.

“If we can come up with a bill that accomplishes the goals of the president with Republicans alone, we’ll take it and we’ll move forward with it,” Priebus said.

But he added: “I think it’s more or less a warning shot that we’re willing to talk to anyone. We always have been and I think more so now than ever.”…

Trump has put tax reform at the top of his legislative agenda now that the healthcare bill has failed.

Priebus said Trump was not backing off his view that the tax reform bill needed a border tax. He also said that the measure would include a middle-class tax cut that he said might help to attract votes from moderate Democrats…..

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Germany and Japan promote Free Trade vs Trump….

As Trump & Co. look to step out of exisiting free trade agreements to  haggle his own deals?

Other countries are talking about keeping their trade connections and lower trade barriers….

Will Trump’s experiment cost Americans MORE as other countries turn away from Trump’s American markets?

It appears that Gernany’s Merkel is moving along with China to leave America behind in world trade….

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a concerted effort to defend free trade, saying global markets can be both open and fair.

Two days after U.S. President Donald Trump and Merkel held inconclusive talks at the White House, the German and Japanese leaders opened the CeBIT technology show in Hanover, Germany, by advocating a trade accord between Japan and the European Union as a way to underscore the benefits of an interconnected global economy.

“Of course we want fair markets, but we don’t want to put up barriers,” Merkel said in an apparent retort to Trump’s pledge of enacting “America First” economic and trade policies. “At a time when we have to quarrel with many about free trade, open borders and democratic values, it’s a good sign that Germany and Japan aren’t quarreling about that.”

Abe said Japan, having benefited from free trade and investment, “wants to be the champion of upholding open systems alongside Germany,” though “it will be necessary to have rules that are fair and can stand up to democratic appraisal.”…

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Cuba-US Air Travel dries up….

…from the LA Times….

Only six months after U.S. carriers began operating regular commercial flights to Cuba, Frontier Airlines and Silver Airways have become the latest airlines to cut service to the island nation.

The news comes after JetBlue and American Airlines both announced plans in the last two months to reduce their service to Cuba, either by scaling back on the number of flights or flying smaller planes to Cuba.

The cutbacks suggest that the nation’s airlines may have overestimated the demand for flights to Cuba when U.S.-based airlines scrambled for the slots offered last year by the Obama administration to fly to Havana and other Cuban cities….

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Trump’s anti-immigrant push combined with raising farm wages threaten American Farmers…

Donald Trump SAYS he wants to make America ‘Great’ again….

He isn’t doing so….

As cities across the country raise their min wages one would think there would be good news for American workers….

There are for some….

But farm work in American is principally  done by imported labor from South of the American border….

And  some of those workers are known to be undocumented ….

Trump & Co. idea that America’s would flock to those jobs is misguided and just plain stupid….

And their efforts are gonna could have a profound negative effect on the America’s economy….

This is just one of the backwards thinking that Trump believe in that will require a LOT of work for the next American Democratic president to straighten out…..(Obama had to starighten out Bush II’s mess last time)

The flow of labor began drying up when President Obama tightened the border. Now President Trump is promising to deport more people, raid more companies and build a wall on the southern border.

That has made California farms a proving ground for the Trump team’s theory that by cutting off the flow of immigrants they will free up more jobs for American-born workers and push up their wages.

So far, the results aren’t encouraging for farmers or domestic workers.

Farmers are being forced to make difficult choices about whether to abandon some of the state’s hallmark fruits and vegetables, move operations abroad, import workers under a special visa or replace them altogether with machines.

Growers who can afford it have already begun raising worker pay well beyond minimum wage. Wages for crop production in California increased by 13% from 2010 to 2015, twice as fast as average pay in the state, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Today, farmworkers in the state earn about $30,000 a year if they work full time — about half the overall average pay in California. Most work fewer hours.

Some farmers are even giving laborers benefits normally reserved for white-collar professionals, like 401(k) plans, health insurance, subsidized housing and profit-sharing bonuses. Full-timers at Silverado Farming, for example, get most of those sweeteners, plus 10 paid vacation days, eight paid holidays, and can earn their hourly rate to take English classes.

But the raises and new perks have not tempted native-born Americans to leave their day jobs for the fields. Nine in 10 agriculture workers in California are still foreign born, and more than half are undocumented, according to a federal survey.

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Trump budget would cut Coal Country assistance programs…

Biting the hand that feed him, eh?

If Trump works hard enough?

He can deliver the US House back to the Democrats…

President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating funding for economic development programs supporting laid-off coal miners and others in Appalachia, stirring fears in a region that supported him of another letdown on the heels of the coal industry’s collapse.

The 2018 budget proposal submitted to Congress by the White House on Thursday would cut funds to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The Washington-based organizations are charged with diversifying the economies of states like West Virginia and Kentucky to help them recover from coal’s decline.

The proposed cuts would save the federal government $340 million and come as the Republican president seeks to slash a wide array of federal programs and regulations to make way for increased military spending.

But they are perceived by some in Appalachia as a betrayal of his promises to help coal miners.

“Folks that live in Appalachia believe that the ARC belongs to them,” said federal ARC Co-Chair Earl Gohl, bemoaning the proposed cut. “It’s really their organization.”

Republican Congressman Hal Rogers, who represents eastern Kentucky’s coal counties, said he would fight to restore the funding when Congress negotiates the budget later this year….

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Republican Super PAC is ramping up early to cover it’s party House members for next years Midterms…

The party with the president in office USUALLY loses a good amount of House seats as a result of the actions of the sitting president….

With Trump losing the popular vote last November and the risdiong support FOR Obamacare now?…and Resisrtance protests on going….

Republicans SHOULD be worried….

The party of the sitting president has lost an average of 25 seats in midterm elections since 1994 and lost majorities three times. With Republicans fighting among themselves over repealing the Affordable Care Act and President Donald Trump at historical levels of unpopularity, Republicans are focusing intently on House races where their 23-seat majority may be most vulnerable amid a tide of Democratic grass-roots energy.

To prevent the House from flipping, the Congressional Leadership Fund, the House GOP’s super PAC, plans to raise and spend $100 million during the 2018 election cycle—twice what it spent in 2016 and eight times what it spent in the 2014 midterm.

The political-action committee is placing paid staff in 20 competitive House districts with the goal of installing a clinical Republican turnout machine to protect incumbents yoked to a president who so far has a net unfavorability rating. It is spending $30,000 a month in each district on online ads like the one Mr. Bacon saw in church.

Mr. Bliss’s goal is to find people who voted for Mr. Trump but typically skip midterm elections and get them to vote for their Republican House member….

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German Chancellor Merkel meets with Trump….

Angela Merkel has been office since 2005, longer than ANY Western head of state…..Not bad for a woman born in EAST Germany….

Germany IS Europe’s strongest nation….

Her term in office will probably be extended during the next German elections for a fourth term….

And since Donald Trump was elected?

Image result for merkel/trump

She has been called the Leader of the Free World…..

In the next 24 hours she will get to spend some time with a guy who is  180 degree’s from what she IS and has done in office….(She got alone fine with President Obama)

Donald Trump doesn’t do too well with strong females….

And Trump will have his friend /side Stephen Bannon looking over his shoulder whispering ‘America First ‘…..

Angela Merkel has displayed a pragmatic view of the world and good enough political sense to steer he country to a good place, leading Europe….

We’ll see how things go….

There IS a LOT riding on their first meeting…..

Their styles reflect their vastly different backgrounds. Merkel, Germany’s first and only female chancellor, was raised by a pastor in communist East Germany, where she earned a doctorate in physical chemistry. Although she is the longest-serving and most powerful leader in Europe, she is unfailingly modest, competent and consensus-oriented. Trump’s all-about-me mentality, Queens upbringing and brash, tabloid-and-reality-TV personality couldn’t be more different.

The contrast in substance is just as stark. From the Eurozone meltdown to the refugee surge, Merkel has been through multiple crises. She has no illusions about Vladimir Putin and the spy-ridden Kremlin team running Russia, and places a high value on quiet diplomacy, free trade, international law and the institutions of the European Union.

Trump is untested, unable or unwilling to criticize Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, determined to judge U.S. foreign policies by the trade balance involved or the extent to which the costs of U.S. military deployments are reimbursed, and happy to talk up the possibility of other EU countries following Britain out the door.

With his alliance diplomacy facing intense scrutiny following reports of tense phone conversations with the leaders of Australia and Mexico, Trump will be on his best behavior. Likewise, Germany’s government has no interest in playing up controversy and hopes to declare the session a diplomatic success.

Nevertheless, Merkel will try to persuade Trump to reverse his cheerleading for the collapse of the EU and put a stop to his ignorant critique of NATO. And why not? Such reversals have become a regular feature of the Trump foreign policy. In the Middle East, despite a lot of talk, the U.S. Embassy in Israel has not moved, nor has the administration taken steps to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran. In Asia, the Chinese government humbled the new president by insisting he shelve the idea of reconsidering Washington’s support for the “One China” policy.

Considering that Trump went out of his way to criticize Merkel just ahead of his inauguration, saying her decision to admit hundreds of thousands of refugees was a terrible mistake and that he intended to treat her and Putin in roughly the same way, expectations for the meeting are modest. No diplomatic breakthrough is envisioned, and a general meeting of the minds between two longstanding allies before the world’s media should be sufficient to avoid further diplomatic damage.

Behind the scenes, however, the evolution of the Trump-Merkel dialogue will shape the direction and strength of the Western alliance…

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image….Daily Express

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