Small Business Growth Was Killed Under Dodd-Frank

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the impact of the Dodd-Frank Bill on the growth of small businesses in America.

The editorial reports:

A new study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the quasi-private think tank that serves as the referee for deciding U.S. upturns and downturns, shows the damage done by Dodd-Frank to small businesses was severe.

The study, “The Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on Small Business,” by economists Michael D. Bordo and John V. Duca, goes a long way toward explaining why GDP growth under Obama was a mere 2%, a full third slower than the long-term average.

It’s based on a long-term and well-known dynamic. Small businesses grow faster than large ones, and account for over two-thirds of all U.S. jobs growth. Dodd-Frank’s damage was substantial and persistent.

The editorial explains how the regulations impacted small businesses:

Dodd-Frank made making loans to large companies far more attractive. They did so by new compliance rules that treated small and startup loans as inherently more risky than big-business loans.

In economic terms, Dodd-Frank increased the fixed cost of making a loan to smaller companies. So banks simply stopped lending to them. Overnight, businesses that once had lines of credit lost them. Many closed. Startups could get nothing.

This may sound like a wonky debate, but it isn’t. Dodd-Frank’s destructive lending restrictions destroyed millions of jobs and kept entrepreneurs from creating thousands and thousands of new, wonderful businesses.

And it also explains why, with a few deft strokes of his presidential pen, cutting both regulations and taxes sharply, President Trump has been able to offset Dodd-Frank’s growth-killing rules and restored 3% growth to the economy.

The cutting of regulations and the tax cuts created the economic atmosphere that has resulted in stunning economic growth in the past year. Now if the Federal Reserve will be very careful as it raises interest rates to reasonable levels, we should be able to come out of the slump we were in during the Obama administration smoothly.

The Positive Economic News Continues

Yahoo News is reporting today that jobless claims expectantly fell last week. (Why was it unexpected–the trend has been going downward for a while?) Because of this, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates next week to keep the economy from overheating. I have mixed emotions about this. We do have to get back to reasonable interest rates, but it seems as if the federal reserve also has a habit of overreacting and slowing down (or speeding up) the economy a little too quickly.

This is a chart of interest rates starting in approximately 2008 taken from trading economics:

As you can see, the rates were kept very low during the Obama Administration in order to avoid an economic crash. Ideally, the Federal Reserve will raise them very slowly so as to protect the economic growth we are currently seeing.

Yahoo News reports:

The dollar was trading lower against a basket of currencies. Prices for longer-dated U.S. Treasuries rose marginally and stocks on Wall Street were mixed. The labor market is considered to be close to or at full employment. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 223,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate dropped to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent.

The jobless rate, which has declined by three-tenths of a percentage point this year, is now at a level where the Fed projected it would be by the end of this year.

The number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid increased 21,000 to 1.74 million in the week ended May 26. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims dropped 13,250 to 1.73 million, the lowest level since December 1973.

…The strong job market conditions were also underscored by the publication on Thursday of the Labor Department’s Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements survey, which showed 1.3 percent of U.S. workers in May 2017 held jobs they considered temporary or did not expect to last beyond a year.

That is a decline from 1.8 percent in February 2005 when the government last conducted a similar survey.

When self-employed individuals and independent contractors were included, the share of workers was 1.6 percent in May 2017, down from 2.3 percent in February 2005. Most contingent workers were under the age of 25.

The Labor Department will publish its Contingent Worker Supplement report in September. It is expected to shed light on the so-called gig economy.

Like him or not, President Trump is a successful businessman who understands how economics works. It might be a good idea in the future to elect businessmen to the presidency instead of politicians.

Who Benefited From The Tax Cuts?

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the Trump Tax Cuts.

The article reports:

The numbers are now in. According to Congress’ nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the rich are now paying a higher share of federal taxes after enactment of the Republican tax reform plan than before.

For 2017, before tax reform, the JCT estimates those earning $1 million or more a year paid 19.5% of all federal taxes, counting income taxes, payroll taxes, and excise taxes. But for 2018, after tax reform, the committee estimates that these same millionaire taxpayers will pay 20.4% of all federal taxes.

The biggest relative tax cuts resulting from the tax reform are for those making less than $50,000 a year. Their share of federal taxes fell from 4.4% to 3.8%, a tax cut of 14%.

Indeed, the committee estimates that the federal tax burden went up for all taxpayers now making over $200,000 a year, from 49.8% before tax reform, to 51.3% this year after tax reform. You have to go down to those making between $100,000 and $200,000 a year to find taxpayers paying a lower share of federal taxes, from 29% of the federal tax burden last year to 28.8% this year.

But how could that be? The fundamental reason is the economic growth effects of tax reform.

Higher economic growth means increased wages, jobs, employment and income. As the economy grows, the share of taxes paid, especially by those earning higher incomes who still pay much higher tax rates under our so-called “progressive” tax code, goes up as well.

This is the Democrats’ biggest nightmare. That is the reason they opposed the tax cuts and tried to use the media to turn the American people against the idea of tax cuts. I believe that in the 2018 mid-term elections, we will see the Democrats attempt to campaign on the idea that the tax cuts were ‘tax cuts for the rich,’ but if American voters choose to be informed, they will recognize the lie in that statement.

The article reports more bad news for Democrats campaigning in 2018:

Those same economic effects of the tax reform amount to economic liberation for the poor, working people and the middle class. After 8 years of economic stagnation under the neo-socialist policies of Obamanomics, the rising wages, jobs, employment and income under the long overdue Trump Republican economic recovery are making America great again for those with low and moderate incomes.

Top economists estimate wages for average middle-class families are increasing by $4,000 a year due to tax reform. That’s in addition to direct tax cuts of $2,000 a year for middle class families.

These economic effects are why we now see the lowest unemployment rates among blacks in American history. And despite the lies of the Democrat fake news media, the lowest unemployment rates among Hispanics in history as well.

And these economic effects are why Trump/Republican economics is now resonating among blacks and Hispanics culturally as well, from young black Millennials like Candace Owens to hip-hop stars like Kanye West.

As John F. Kennedy stated, “A rising tide lifts all the boats.'” We have watched the tax cuts (and the ending of some over regulation) do just that. John Kennedy would probably not be welcome in today’s Democrat party. That is a shame. In spite of his questionable activities regarding women, I believe he would have been a reasonable President had he lived.

The Economic Impact Of Tax Cuts

First of all, let’s take a short walk down memory lane to a Washington Post article from November 20, 2017.

The article explains how the Democrats plan to use the tax cut plan in the 2018 mid-term elections:

The goal of the ads will be to hit two messages. The first is that the GOP changes to the tax code themselves would be enormously regressive, showering most of their benefits on the wealthy while giving crumbs to working- and middle-class Americans or even raising their taxes. The second is that these tax cuts would necessitate big cuts to the safety net later — the ad references $25 billion in Medicare cuts that could be triggered by the GOP plan’s deficit busting — further compounding the GOP agenda’s regressiveness down the line.

Geoff Garin, a pollster for the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, tells me that his polling shows that this combination alienates working-class whites, particularly Obama-Trump voters. “They are fundamentally populist in their economic views, and they find big breaks to corporations and the wealthy especially heinous when the flip side of that means cutting Medicare and Medicaid,” Garin said.

That was the original plan. Now lets look at an article posted yesterday in The New York Post about the results of the tax cut plan.

The New York Post reports:

We are already starting to see a fiscal dividend from Trump’s pro-business tax, energy and regulatory policies. The Congressional Budget Office reports that tax revenues in April — which is by far the biggest month of the year for tax collections because of the April 15 filing deadline — totaled $515 billion. That was good for a robust 13 percent rise in receipts over last year. ‎

…But there’s another lesson, and it’s about how wrong the bean counters were in Congress who said this tax bill would “cost” the Treasury $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion in most revenues over the next decade. If the higher growth rate Trump has already accomplished remains in place, then the impact will be well over $3 trillion of more revenue and thus lower debt levels over the decade.

Putting people back to work is the best way to balance the budget. Period.

The article concludes:

No one thought that Trump could ramp up the growth rate to 3 percent or that his policies would boost federal revenues. But he is doing just that — which is why all that the Democrats and the media want to talk about these days is Russia and Stormy Daniels.

I want to go back to the original Democrat statements about the damage the tax cuts would do to the economy. Did they really believe that or do they simply want more of our money under their control? Either way, it doesn’t say good things about them–either they don’t understand economics (see the Laffer Curve) or they lied. Obviously they have to continue lying if they want to use the tax cuts as part of their mid-term election campaign–they have already stated that they want to rescind many of the tax breaks that have resulted in the recent economic growth.

If you are inclined to vote on pocketbook issues, the only choice in November is to vote for Republican candidates for Congress.

Pro-growth Or No-growth

Guy Benson posted an article at Townhall today about the impact of the Trump Tax Cuts on the American economy. As has been pointed out by anyone with a brain, any deficits in Washington are caused by a spending problem–not by a lack of tax revenue.

The article includes a chart showing revised economic growth estimates based on the growth that has already occurred because of the tax cuts:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now projects 156.8 million jobs in America by year-end 2027—2.6 million more jobs than in its June 2017 Budget and Economic Outlook. CBO attributes an average of 1.1 million additional jobs over the next 10 years to the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

On April 10, I posted an article detailing the Democrats plan to roll back the tax cuts and increase both personal and corporate taxes. That will bring us back to the slow economic growth we experienced under President Obama. The Republicans need to make sure that the American voters understand that–a vote for a Democratic Congressman is a vote for economic slowdown.

Economic policies do have consequences. That has become very obvious in the past year or so.

Bringing An Out-Of-Control Agency Under Control

On April  5, Steve Forbes posted an article at Investor’s Business Daily. The article deals with the changes being made at the Environmental Protection Agency under the leadership of Scott Pruitt.

The article states:

It should come as no surprise how the man who is boldly redirecting the EPA — a once rogue agency that operated far beyond its constitutional authority — is now the subject of routine attacks from liberal news outlets and activists who want him fired. Scott Pruitt has taken his job as EPA Administrator seriously and has done more to reinstate the EPA’s true, core mission than any of his modern-day predecessors.

Pruitt’s sharp focus is correct — to restore contaminated lands, safeguard our nation’s air and water, and do so by respecting real science rather than the ideologically driven fake science of his predecessors. He is demonstrating that we can both have a cleaner environment and greater economic growth and job creation. Contrary to the extreme environmentalist, prosperity and a safer environment can go hand-in-hand.

As Scott Pruitt observes, our nation can be, “pro-growth, pro-jobs and pro-environment.”

That is a statement of a concept that has been lost by the environmental movement in recent years.

The article concludes with the accomplishments of the EPA under Scott Pruitt’s leadership:

And the notion that enforcement under Scott Pruitt’s EPA is lacking is just plain wrong. In fiscal 2017, EPA collected $1.6 billion in administrative and civil judicial penalties. That figure is higher than any of the previous ten years of EPA enforcement operations, excluding fiscal 2016.

President Trump and Administrator Pruitt rightfully believe we can protect our environment without saddling American factories, manufacturing plants and energy operations with billions in unneeded regulatory costs while offering no way to measure any improvement to the environment or our quality of life.

By halting burdensome, often duplicative regulations, Pruitt’s EPA can focus on measurable environmental protection, guided by peer-reviewed science without hurting consumers or Americans looking for skilled jobs in the energy or manufacturing sectors.

Perhaps the most important change of all, Pruitt’s EPA is now operating under the proper rule of law and staying true to its mandate and defined authority by respecting facts rather than ideological fiction. The days of a rogue, agenda driven EPA are over. Pruitt is the right man for the job and it’s no wonder the radical left is screaming for his ouster.

Hopefully Mr. Pruitt will be able to stand firm and remain to complete the job he has begun.

Economic Policies Have Consequences

The really good news is that the labor force participation rate has increased from 62.7 in January percent to 6.3 percent in February. It’s a small increase, but it is moving in the right direction.

According to Townhall:

The rate of layoffs in the U.S. fell again in late March and dropped to the lowest level since 1973. Initial U.S. jobless claims declined by 12,000 to 215,000 in the seven days ended March 24,

…Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total 230,000. The more stable monthly average of claims dipped by 500 to 224,500…The revisions erased the previous low in jobless claims, a reading of 210,000 last month that would have been the lowest since 1969. But no matter. Layoffs in the U.S. is extremely low, as reflected by a 4.1% unemployment rate that is the smallest in 17 years…The labor market is so strong that it’s even drawing back in people who’ve been out of the workforce for years. And it doesn’t show any sign of letting up. The economy added 313,000 new jobs in February and economists predict another solid gain of around 200,000 in March.

Like him or not, Donald Trump is an experienced businessman who understands economics. I am not happy with the spending that is currently going on in Washington, but I suspect that will be dealt with in due time. Until then, President Trump’s economic policies have improved the lives of many Americans.

The Democrats have already stated that they want to repeal the policies that are causing the current economic growth. If they are elected in the House and Senate in November, they will do that. This is something to consider when voting.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It lists some of the specific companies who have passed their tax savings on to their employees. That is good news.

The Laffer Curve At Work

Yesterday CNS News reported that during the month of January (the first month the Trump tax cuts were in effect), the federal government ran a surplus.

The article reports:

January was the first month under the new tax law that President Donald Trump signed in December.

During January, the Treasury collected approximately $361,038,000,000 in total tax revenues and spent a total of approximately $311,802,000,000 to run a surplus of approximately $49,236,000,000.

Despite the monthly surplus of $49,236,000,000, the federal government is still running a deficit of approximately $175,718,000,000 for fiscal year 2018. That is because the government entered the month with a deficit of approximately $224,955,000,000.

The article also reports some of the history:

Over the last twenty fiscal years, going back to 1999, the federal government has run surpluses in the month of January 13 times and deficits 7 times. Six of the Januaries in which the federal government ran deficits overlapped President Barack Obama’s time in office—including January 2009, the month Obama was inaugurated, and the Januaries in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016.

If you are not familiar with the Laffer Curve, it is a financial theory that the website the balance describes as follows:

The Laffer Curve is a theory that states lower tax rates boost economic growth. It underpins supply-side economicsReaganomics and the Tea Party’s economic policies. Economist Arthur Laffer developed it in 1979.

The Laffer Curve describes how changes in tax rates affect government revenues in two ways. One is immediate, which Laffer describes as “arithmetic.” Every dollar in tax cuts translates directly to one less dollar in government revenue. 

The other effect is longer-term, which Laffer describes as the “economic” effect. It works in the opposite direction. Lower tax rates put money into the hands of taxpayers, who then spend it. It creates more business activity to meet consumer demand. For this, companies hire more workers, who then spend their additional income. This boost to economic growth generates a larger tax base. It eventually replaces any revenue lost from the tax cut.

This is an illustration of how the Laffer Curve works:

As you can see, there is a point where taxes reach a high point and the amount of revenue generated from taxes goes down. That is not a coincidence–that is what tax attorneys get paid for. One of the reasons we need to make the tax code simpler is that we need to take away the complexities that allow people to hide income and avoid taxes. I believe that was one of the goals of the Trump tax plan. It remains to be seen whether or not that goal was achieved.

One Way Tax Rates Influence The Economy

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the impact of corporate tax rates on entrepreneurship. The article notes that as the corporate tax rate increases, the number of start-up companies decreases.

The article reports:

Entrepreneurship is negatively impacted by higher corporate tax rates, according to a study from the Federal Reserve.

“While there are many actions governments may take to affect entrepreneurship, few are as important or contentiously debated as the setting of tax policy,” the paper explains. “Taxes are viewed by many as the primary lever elected officials have at their disposal to change the business environment, promote growth, and encourage innovation.”

The study looked at counties that had changes to their state corporate, personal, or sales tax rates and how entrepreneurial activity was affected compared with those counties that had no changes to tax rates. The study defines entrepreneurs and startups as those that are two years old or younger.

“We find that increases in corporate tax rates have a statistically and economically significant negative effect on employment among startup firms,” the study explains. “Specifically, for every one percentage point increase in the corporate tax rate employment in startup firms declines 3.7 percent.”

…”Tax liability reduces economic profits, restricting the set of potential entrepreneurs whose likely profits exceed entry costs,” the study explains. “Tax policy affects labor demand via the dependence of firm-level labor demand on other production or revenue factors.”

The study also points to previous research that finds self-employment is affected by how complex the tax code is. Corporate tax rates reduce research and development and new product development.

If this study is accurate, we are going to have substantial economic growth in America as the corporate tax cut begins to take effect. Like him or not, President Trump is a businessman, and a rather successful one. I suspect he was already aware of the relationship between corporate taxes and start-up companies.

Just for the record, I was talking to someone last night who has been a Trump supporter since he announced his candidacy. She said something to me that I think is very astute–“Trump had to be the candidate–we needed a mud wrestler to fight the Democrats. The other Republican candidates wouldn’t do it.” That is an amazing (and true) statement.

Laws Have Consequences

The tax reform bill is expected to boost America’s economy, but it is becoming that the ending of excessive government regulation is also spurring economic growth.

One America News is reporting today that the changes in fracking laws have not only resulted in lower energy costs for Americans, but have also led to increased interest in building power plants.

The article reports:

The shale boom caused an oil price crash in 2014 as many sought fields to produce natural gas.

Now, despite competition from solar and other alternative energy sources, electricity producers are building near natural gas sources to save on fuel.

These gas-fired power plants are capable of powering more than eight million homes each.

Invenergy and Calpine Corporation are among the companies building the plants, which are scheduled to be opened between 2018 and 2020.

Some critics speculate the shale boom will not last as discoveries of new reserves were the fewest on record in 2017.

Actions have consequences.

What Economic Equality Really Looks Like

Today Breitbart posted an article about aspects of the Trump economy that have not been widely reported.

The article cites 7 economic facts:

  1. Latino Unemployment Hits Record Low
  2. Black Unemployment Rate Hits 17-Year Low
  3. Real Economic Growth
  4. Soaring Economic Optimism
  5. Booming Stock Market
  6. Unemployment Rate Hits 17-Year Low
  7. Manufacturing Jobs Boom

Regardless of his imperfections, Donald Trump is a businessman. He understands how money works and how economies work. His knowledge (and common sense on the part of many of the people around him) have turned around our economy.

The article reminds us:

After an unexpectedly high growth rate of 3.3 percent in the third quarter of 2017 (and that is with two devastating hurricanes), projections for the fourth quarter have edged into the magic number of 4 percent.

…So far in 2017, a full 171,000 manufacturing jobs have been created. Moreover, the manufacturing unemployment rate is just 2.6 percent, the lowest ever recorded.

In July 2013, CNS News reported:

During just the years that President Barack Obama has been in office (2009 through 2012), average annual growth in real GDP has been only 1.075 percent.

The 1.075 percent average annual growth in real GDP under Obama equals less than a third (31.57 percent) of the 3.405 percent average annual growth in real GDP the United States saw in the last two decades of the last century.

The 1.775 percent average annual growth of GDP in the twelve years since the beginning of this century, equals only 52 percent of the 3.405 percent average annual growth in real GDP the country saw in the last two decades of the last century. 

In the first two quarters of this year, the beginning of President Obama’s second term, real GDP has grown at an annualized rate of 1.1 percent and 1.7 percent.

In October 2017, The Balance posted a chart showing GDP growth by year. This is a portion of that chart:

Leadership and economic policy matter.

President Trump’s Economy

Today The Daily Signal posted an article showing four aspects of economic growth under President Trump.

This is their list:

1. Growth Gets Closer to 4 Percent  –  remember when President Obama said that we would not see growth of 3 percent again (that is probably true under Democratic economic policies).

2. Stock Market Hits Record Highs – this is important because many working Americans have 401k retirement accounts. This helps all of those Americans–not only the ‘rich.’

3. Companies Are ‘Coming Back Fast’ – part of this is due to pending lower corporate tax rates and part of this is due to the continued low cost of energy as America moves toward energy independence.

4. Healthy Consumer and Employer Confidence –  optimism can be contagious, and President Trump understands that and projects optimism.

If the Republicans in Congress would cooperate and pass tax reform, we will all be even better off.

Talking Points vs Reality

Investor’s Business Daily recently posted an editorial about the impact of President Trump’s proposed tax cuts. The editorial notes that the Democrats sudden concern for deficits is a bit disingenuous after the impact President Obama had on the deficit during the past eight years. The editorial also notes that President Trump’s tax plan will not increase the deficit, but will probably decrease the deficit due to the economic growth created by lowering taxes.

The editorial includes the following chart:

The editorial explains:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the House tax bill would boost deficits over the next 10 years by a total of $1.4 trillion. The added interest on the debt would kick that up to $1.7 trillion.

That looks like a lot of money. Except that equals just a 17% increase in total deficits projected over the next decade.

And that increase is a wild exaggeration, since it doesn’t allow for any extra economic growth from the GOP‘s pro-growth tax cuts — a premise that even some honest liberal economists don’t believe. The actual deficit boost, if there is any, will be far smaller than what the CBO says.

But let’s accept the CBO’s numbers as gospel truth.

Look more closely at the data and you see that what’s driving deficits ever upward isn’t the Republican tax cuts. It is out-of-control spending.

Over the past 50 years, despite all the myriad changes in tax laws, revenues as a share of GDP have remained remarkably close to the average: 17.4%.  In fiscal year 2017, which ended in September, the share was 17.3%. In Bush’s last in office, it was 17.1%. When Bill Clinton took office in 1991, it was 17.3%.

What happens if the Republican tax plan goes into effect? According to the CBO, taxes as a share of the economy in 2027 will be … 17.9%.

That’s right. Even with an allegedly budget-busting tax cut, the federal government will claim a greater share of the nation’s economy in 2027 than it does today, and that share will be above the average for the previous 50 years.

The only reason deficits continue to climb over the next decade is because federal spending is going up at an unsustainable rate.

The editorial concludes:

But the bigger problem is that any reasonable attempt to rein in any of the entitlement programs is met by fierce and unrelenting opposition from all those Democrats who now claim to worry about deficits. They will viciously demagogue any Republican who dares to propose real reforms of these programs, and then brag about any resulting election victories.

So, the next time you hear Democrats pretend to be deficit hawks, ask them what their plan is to bring entitlement spending under control.

 

The Trump Economy

There are no guarantees in the economy. There are certain things that the government can do that historically have aided growth and certain things that the government can do that have inhibited growth. We have history as our guide as to what works, but sometimes people have a political bias that tends to ignore history.

Real Clear Politics posted an article today about the Trump economy. The article was written by Stephen Moore. The economy is not booming, the workforce participation rate is still too low for it to be considered booming, but it is definitely improving. The title of the article is, “Why the Left Has Been So Wrong About the Trump Boom.”

The article reports:

Time magazine‘s cover story for the week of Nov. 6 is a classic. It blares: “The Wrecking Crew: How Trump’s Cabinet Is Dismantling Government As We Know It.” The New York Times ran a lead editorial complaining that team Trump is shrinking the regulatory state at an “unprecedented” pace.

Meanwhile, last week the stock market raced to new all-time highs; we had another blockbuster jobs report with another fall in the unemployment rate; and housing sales soared to their highest level in a decade.

The article at Time magazine fails to recognize that those two facts are related.

The article at Real Clear Politics further notes:

But so far the Trump haters have missed the call on the economy‘s trajectory. Doubly ironic is that the same Obama-era economists who are trashing Trump’s increasingly realistic forecast of 3 percent growth are the ones who predicted 4 percent growth from the Obama budgets. Obama never came anywhere near 4 percent growth, and at the end of his second term, the economy grew at a pitiful 1.6 percent.

Under Obama, free enterprise and pro-business policies were thrown out the window. What was delivered was the weakest recovery from a recession since World War II, with a meager 2.2 percent average growth rate. Middle America felt it, which is why Trump won these forgotten Americans.

One reason that economist Larry Kudlow and I and others assured Donald Trump that 3 to 4 percent growth was achievable was that Trump could capitalize on the underperformance of the Obama years. Under Obama, business investment fell almost two-thirds below the long-term trend line — thanks to higher taxes on investment. Now, partly in anticipation of the tax cut, business spending keeps climbing.

The article at Real Clear Politics concludes:

Maybe the liberal economists and their shills in the media should show some humility. They should acknowledge they were dead wrong about how much Obamanomics was going to grow the economy and about how Trumponomics would crash the economy and the stock market. Or better yet, maybe the rest of us should all just stop listening to them.

The other conclusion that can be reached is that the free market works every time it is allowed to work. Government interference has a very negative impact on economic growth. We need to send President Obama’s economic advisors and a good number of Congressmen back to school to study basic economics.

The Numbers Are Good, But They Need To Be Better

The American economy is slowly improving. It is not racing along, but it is improving. Investor’s Business Daily recently posted an editorial explaining that although we have a 4.1 percent unemployment rate, we are not yet at full employment. As the article explains, there are other numbers that need to be considered when looking at the economy.

The editorial reports:

But look at the numbers more closely and you see that we are far from full employment.

First, the 0.1 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate in October was almost entirely the result of the fact that 968,000 dropped out of the labor force that month.

That’s right, for every new job created, nearly four people left the labor force.

The broader measure of unemployed — which combines those actively searching for a job with those working part time but want to work full time or are “marginally attached” to the labor force — show the jobless rate to be 7.9%.

And the IBD-TIPP poll shows that there’s likely even more slack than that. The October survey — which asks those polled whether they or anyone in their household is looking for work — shows that the share of job seekers is currently above 10%. This number, by the way, has consistently tracked higher than either of the BLS’s two measures.

Here’s another way to look at it. Back in December 2000, the unemployment rate was 3.9%. But that month, the labor force participation rate — the share of the population that’s either working or looking for a job — was 67%.

The current rate: 62.7%.

If the labor force participation rate were the same today as it was in 2000, the official unemployment rate would be more like 10%.

The 10% unemployment rate would be better than what the actual rate has been in recent years, but obviously, it is not good.

The editorial concludes:

There is clearly still a need for pro-growth policies to get millions of workers sitting on the sidelines back to work.

Those pro-growth policies need to begin with the passage of President Trump’s tax proposal followed by a complete repeal of ObamaCare. If the Republicans in Congress want to be re-elected, they need to do both. It is time to put away the fear of a political outsider succeeding as President and begin to work together to move the country forward.

An article on

An article on the website of the JFK Library includes the following paragraph:

The president finally decided that only a bold domestic program, including tax cuts, would restore his political momentum. Declaring that the absence of recession is not tantamount to economic growth, the president proposed in 1963 to cut income taxes from a range of 20-91% to 14-65% He also proposed a cut in the corporate tax rate from 52% to 47%. Ironically, economic growth expanded in 1963, and Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress insisted that reducing taxes without corresponding spending cuts was unacceptable. Kennedy disagreed, arguing that “a rising tide lifts all boats” and that strong economic growth would not continue without lower taxes.

I wonder if John Kennedy would be welcome in today’s Democratic party.

 

Perspective On The Tax Plan

The Canada Free Press posted an article today about some of the benefits of President Trump‘s proposed tax package. The article points out some basic economic principles that should be considered when analyzing the tax proposal.

The article points out:

1. The corporate tax cut will free up approximately $200 billion in capital every year to be reinvested into the economy.

2. The transfer of this wealth from control of politicians to business people will ensure that capital fuels real, profit-driven productivity rather than simply being transferred to politically favored constituencies. In other words, if you want some of that capital, you’ll have to do something productive to earn it. That’s how economic growth happens.

3. A company that earned $100 million in profits will now save $15 million on its federal tax bill. What can a company that size do with a suddenly found $15 million? How many people can it hire, products can it develop, machines can it buy, facilities can it expand?

4. The professional service industry should benefit tremendously from this tax change, particularly smaller practitioners. Why, you ask? They don’t pay massive taxes, after all. You’re right, they don’t. But the massive corporations they’d like as clients do. Many of these corporations view the services of such professionals as a luxury they would like, but can’t afford when margins are too tight. Freeing up extra cash for big corporations will give professional service providers more opportunity to secure large corporate contracts.

5. Wages will increase, but not for the reason some people think. Many of the arguments liberals make against corporate tax cuts is that corporations will just pocket the money and won’t share it with their workers. But that’s not how business works. The goal of a corporation is to be more productive and profitable, and you need capital to invest in productivity. When productivity rises, wages follow because workers can provide more value. Corporations aren’t going to raise wages just because there’s more money sitting around, nor should they. They’ll raise wages because the greater capital availability will make it possible to increase productivity.

6. Liberals argue that the government would spend the $200 billion as well, so it would be reinvested back in the economy regardless. The government would spend it, but businesses will spend it more wisely because they’re accountable for the result of the spending. Also, you always spend money more wisely when it’s money you earned as opposed to money you simply confiscated from someone else. That’s why lottery winners so often end up in bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, many Americans are not familiar with the basic economics that will make this tax plan work. The Democrats have already begun yelling ‘tax cuts for the rich,’ and many people will believe them. The basic concept here is that the tax cuts should go to the people who are paying the taxes. Since almost half of Americans do not pay income taxes and will not pay taxes under the proposed plan, why should they resent those who are paying taxes getting a small break?

The July Jobs Report

I am not an economist, and I don’t play one on television, but I am capable of basic observations. The July jobs numbers came out Friday. This put the rather biased media in a position of having to say that the report beat expectations. When do they ever get their expectations right?

The Wall Street Journal posted the statistics on Friday. Here are some highlights:

The economy created 209,000 jobs in July, well above this year’s average monthly gain of 184,000.

…The jobless rate fell by a tenth of percentage point to 4.3%, matching May as the lowest level of unemployment in 16 years. It declined despite an expansion in the labor force.

…The average hourly wage for private-sector workers grew 2.5% in July. That’s a modest pace historically, but it looks better when considering inflation is so low.

…The share of Americans holding jobs or actively looking for work rose a tenth of a percentage point last month to 62.9%. That’s very slight progress.

…A measure underemployment—one that takes into account jobless workers, reluctant part-time workers and Americans too discouraged to look for work—remained at 8.6%. That’s two tenths of percentage point higher than May’s level, though it’s down more than a point from the prior year.

You can’t turn eight years of anemic economic growth around in seven months. However, we are definitely moving in the right direction. Despite the lack of cooperation from the Washington establishment, President Trump is deregulating and moving forward. If we are to see real economic growth, we need to drain the swamp of those establishment politicians who are blocking President Trump’s economic policies. We need to find primary challengers to many of the so-called leaders in Washington.

The Politics Within The Federal Reserve

In 1910 a group of political, industrial, and financial leaders met in secret on Jekyll Island in Georgia to lay the foundation for the Federal Reserve. The people in attendance included Nelson W. Aldrich, Republic Whip in the Senate, Abraham Piatt Andrew, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasure, Frank A. Vanderlip, president of the National City Bank of New York (representing William Rockefeller), Henry P. Davison, senior partner of the J.P. Morgan Company, Benjamin Strong, head of J.P. Morgan’s Bankers Trust Company, and Paul M. Warburg (partner in Kuhn, Loeb & Company, a representative of the Rothschild banking dynasty in  England and France). (This information is from The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin.) This meeting set up the cartel we now know as the Federal Reserve. It is a cartel because it is a small group of people not accountable to the government who control the flood of money in America. They have traditionally used that power politically and will continue to do that in the future. Although some members of Congress have called for a thorough audit of the Federal Reserve, but because of the power the fed has, that will never happen.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted a story about recent actions by the Federal Reserve. During the eight years of the Obama Administration, President Obama continually used executive orders to put roadblocks in the way of economic growth–over-regulation, increases taxes on successful people, and generally doing things that made it more difficult for small businesses (the backbone of our economy) to grow. During this time, the Federal Reserve kept the economy from feeling the impact of President Obama’s actions by not raising interest rates. Now we have a President who understands economics and is doing things to help the economy grow. So what is the Federal Reserve doing–trying to undercut his success.

The article at The Gateway Pundit reports:

No Fed Funds Rate increases took place between June 2006 and December 2015. CNBC reported in December 2015 that President Obama oversaw “seven years of the most accommodative monetary policy in U.S. history” (from the Fed). Finally, in December 2015 after the Fed announced its first increase in the Fed Funds rate during the Obama Presidency, it was reported that:

“Given the economic outlook, and recognizing the time it takes for policy actions to affect future economic conditions, the committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to ¼ to ½ percent,” the FOMC’s post-meeting statement said. “The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative after this increase, thereby supporting further improvements in labor Premarket conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation.”

The only other Fed Funds Rate increases since 2016 were after President Trump was elected President. The Fed Funds Rate increased on December 14, 2016, on March 15th, 2017  and yesterday June 14th, 2017 by .25%.

The article further notes:

The Fed Funds Rate greatly impacts the economy:

“Lower interest rates usually spur the economy by making corporate and consumer borrowing easier. Higher interest rates are intended to slow down the economy by making borrowing harder.”

So again the question is whether the Fed is trying to negatively impact President Trump’s economic recovery from the abysmal Obama years (Obama was the only President where the GDP growth rate never broke 3%) or is the economy just so much better now that President Trump has taken office?

We suspect both.

Stay tuned.

The ADP National Employment Report Was Released Today

The ADP National Employment Report was released today.  Yahoo News posted a story about the report.

The report includes the following:

The Report states:

“May proved to be a very strong month for job growth,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Professional and business services had the strongest monthly increase since 2014. This may be an indicator of broader strength in the workforce since these services are relied on by many industries.”

I am waiting for the workforce participation rate numbers for May to come out. Those numbers will provide more insight into what is happening with the American economy.

While You Were Watching The Political Circus…

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that at the beginning of May the total continuing claims for unemployment benefits ran at the lowest level in 28 years. The workforce participation rate in April was 62.9 percent (in March it was 63.0). That number has been hovering at 62 and 63 percent since January of 2012.

The article reports:

Over the past month, the average number of continuing claims per week has clocked in at 1.95 million, the lowest number in 43 years.

Those numbers were released as part of the department’s weekly jobless claims report, which is valued by investors and government officials because it provides a frequently-updated indication of new claims for unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs. Fewer layoffs means more job creation.

Thursday’s report showed just 232,000 new claims, adjusted for seasonal variations, for the week ending on May 13. That was the lowest number in nearly three months, and an extremely low mark by historical standards.

…At 4.4 percent in April, the unemployment rate is already below where Federal Reserve officials thought it could sustainably go if the economy were fully healthy.

Jobless claims below 300,000, economists calculate, go along with steady or declining unemployment, meaning that the unemployment rate could fall further still.

Deregulation, efforts to repeal ObamaCare, and the development of America’s energy resources have a lot to do with the economic growth that has begun under President Trump. Note that all three of these things involve an undoing of President Obama’s policies. Elections do have consequences, and the 2016 election has had very positive economic consequences.

Taking Steps To Improve America’s Economy

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about a bill that was recently approved by the House Financial Services Committee.

The article reports:

With little fanfare and even less media coverage, the House Financial Services Committee recently approved along party lines a bill that would significantly reform the economy-deadening Dodd-Frank law. It’s a good first step toward restoring our financial freedom.

The fact is, the 2010 Dodd-Frank law has been a disaster, responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs and putting a damper on economic growth by making credit harder to come by for those who need it most.

In a recent interview with NPR, House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas made a succinct case for getting rid of Dodd-Frank: “Free checking at banks has been cut in half. Banking fees have gone up. Working people are finding it more difficult to get mortgages,” he said.

He could have gone further. Small- to medium-size banks — the traditional sources of working capital for small business — have been hurt worst by Dodd-Frank’s extensive regulations that impose billions of dollars in unnecessary costs each year. And rather than repealing too-big-to-fail for big banks, Dodd-Frank actually makes it all but certain that taxpayers will be asked to bailout big banks during the next downturn.

Dodd-Frank was passed with the idea that the banks and Wall Street were responsible for the financial meltdown of 2008. Actually, the government and government policy were much more to blame.

The best explanation I have seen of the cause of the financial crisis can be found in a YouTube video called “Burning Down the House.”

Here is that video:

The article at Investor’s Business Daily further explains:

Under regulatory threat from the government, banks made loans they knew were bad, then the government bought them back. When the Fed went too far in raising interest rates in the mid-2000s, the housing market cratered, banks’ balance sheets were destroyed, and a massive credit crunch and the “Great Recession” ensued. The government caused this crisis — not Wall Street.

As we’ve written repeatedly in the past, Dodd-Frank should have been shut down long ago. It has strangled entrepreneurial activity and dampened economic growth, and made it impossible for millions of Americans to get home loans. It’s a major reason why GDP during the Obama years grew at a pathetic 1.9% rate, rather than the more normal rate of 3% or more.

We hope the House will move quickly to end Dodd-Frank, one of the worst financial regulatory laws in modern history.

It is going to take a while, but the damage done to the American economy by the policies of Congress and the misdirected efforts to correct something that did not cause the problem can be corrected. We need both political parties to work together to make that happen. Unfortunately, I don’t think that is likely. Hopefully the Republicans have enough votes to pass this legislation without any Democratic votes.

What Tax Reform Can Do

President Truman is quoted as saying, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” He also said, “You can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook.” We are seeing the truth in both of those observations in the current tax debate.

This is a picture of America‘s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in recent years from the balance:

You might remember that 2012 was the year the tax increases to pay for ObamaCare began. In 2013 the Capital Gains tax increased for high income earners, and the increase in the medicare payroll tax also began in 2013. Obviously raising taxes did not help the economy.

This is the laffer curve:

As you can see, there is a point where tax increases no longer generate revenue.

I am going to assume that Democrats are going to try to block President Trump’s tax reform. I think that is rather obvious. So the question becomes, “Do Democrats not understand economic principles and economic growth (e.g. the Laffer curve) or do they simply want to enslave the American worker?” At this point it is a valid question.

I can understand high-tax states not wanting to give up the benefit they reap in the current tax code. I can also understand all the lobbyists tearing their hair out because their special interest will no longer get a tax break, but at some point Congress needs to do what is best for the country and for the American people. Economic growth is struggling under the current tax burden. Every American who works is giving the government a higher percentage of what they earn than the Medieval surfs paid their lords. That is a scary thought. At the same time, many people who choose not to work are driving expensive cars and living better than the people who do work. The poverty in America that the government is now supporting currently owns a nice car, a big-screen television, an ipad, a smart phones, and central air conditioning. I am all for helping people in time of need, but I think we have lost our way.

Congress needs to pass President Trump’s tax plan. Every Congressman who does not support the plan needs to be voted out of office as soon as possible. Unless the American voters begin to hold their representatives accountable for what they do, the swamp will never get drained. The problem is in both political parties. It is time to take note of the people whose votes help America and the people whose votes hurt America.

 

The Impact Of A President On The Economy

Reuters is reporting today that U. S. weekly jobless claims have recorded their biggest drop in two years.

The article reports:

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 for the week ended April 1, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The drop was the largest since the week ending April 25, 2015.

The prior week’s data was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market for 109 straight weeks. That is the longest stretch since 1970 when the labor market was smaller.

The labor market is currently near full employment.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits falling to 250,000 last week.

A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing last week’s claims data. Claims for Louisiana were estimated.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 4,500 to 250,000 last week.

The article reminds us that last week’s data will have no impact on the March unemployment report due out on Friday.

The article further reports:

According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 180,000 jobs last month after rising 235,000 in February. The unemployment rate is seen steady at 4.7 percent.

Thursday’s claims report also showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid decreased 24,000 to 2.03 million in the week ended March 25. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims fell 7,750 to 2.02 million, the lowest level since 2000.

This is good news. The number to watch in the report coming out tomorrow will be the Labor Force Participation Rate. If the unemployment rate stays low as more people enter the workforce, then we are on our way to an actual recovery. The unemployment number was kept artificially low during the Obama Administration by not counting people who had given up looking for work. As those people begin to look for work, it is quite possible that the unemployment number will rise slightly. In order to get a true picture of what is actually happening to employment in America, you need to look at both the unemployment rate and the Labor Force Participation Rate. The unemployment rate needs to be low and the Labor Force Participation Rate needs to be high. I will be posting both of those numbers as soon as I get them.

 

Why Is Anyone Surprised?

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about the current state of the economy. The editorial reminds us that under President Trump, the economy is growing rapidly.

The editorial reports:

Growth: For eight years, economic indicators repeatedly came below forecasts. Now, there’s been a string of reports — the latest one is on jobs — that have outperformed economist predictions. What’s changed, we wonder?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the economy added 235,000 jobs in February, when economists expected 200,000 new jobs. And that comes after January’s 227,000 gain, which also beat economists’ forecasts by a substantial margin.

That’s not all. Other recent indicators have come in better than economists had expected.

Orders for capital goods were higher in December than forecast.

There were supposed to be 5.55 million existing-home sales in January. The actual number was close to 5.7 million — which was the highest level since 2007.

Retail sales in January climbed 0.4%, where economists had predicted they’d advance only 0.1%. At the same time, the Commerce Department revised the December sales increase upward to 1%.

Now, obviously we can’t draw any broad conclusions from a few unexpectedly good economic results.

But it’s worth pointing out that this is a dramatic change from the Obama years, when about the only thing that you could predict with any degree of accuracy was that the economy would underperform economists’ predictions.

This is an example of soft bias on the part of the media. When the economic numbers are changed during the month following their release, they may not receive the media coverage that the numbers received when they were originally released.

The editorial concludes:

…The National Federation of Independent Business‘ small business optimism index hit a 12-year high in January. The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index was the highest it’s been since October 2004. The Dow has gained nearly 17% since the November elections.

This sudden change of heart appears to be having an immediate impact on the economy. The unexpected rise in home sales, for example, is being driven in part by “a postelection jump in mortgage rates, led by optimism about President Donald Trump‘s plans to ease regulations and spur economic growth,” noted Crain’s Business. The jump in capital goods orders “is a sign that businesses might be following up buoyant postelection sentiment by spending more after years of tepid global growth,” according to Bloomberg.

Whether this will last depends on whether Trump gets his economic policies in place.

In the meantime, it’s worth asking why it is that economists consistently overestimated the economic impact of Obama’s tax-regulate-and-spend policies, and now appear to be underestimating Trump’s pro-business agenda.

It’s time to get on board–it seems that the train has left the station.

It Might Be Time To Elect A President Who Is A Successful Businessman

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon reported:

The International Monetary Fund downgraded the economic growth outlook for the United States to 1.6 percent in 2016, which is the largest one-year drop seen for an advanced economy, according to the Fund’s World Economic Outlook report.

That does not sound like the wonderful economic growth Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama keep talking about.

The report states that the United States grew at a rate of 2.6 percent in 2015 and is projected to slow to 1.6 percent in 2016, a decline of 38 percent.

The article further reports:

Weaker-than-expected growth in the United States is one of the reasons why the International Monetary Fund cut its global growth projections. The group projected that global growth would slow to 3.1 percent in 2016 after growing 3.2 percent in 2015, citing the U.S. growth forecast as well as the Brexit vote.

Economic growth in recent years has fallen short of expectations in both advanced and emerging market economies,” the report says. “As the world economy moves further away from the global financial crisis, the factors affecting global economic performance are becoming more complex. They reflect a combination of global forces—demographic trends, a persistent decline in productivity growth, the adjustment to lower commodity prices—and shocks driven by domestic and regional factors.”

Let’s look at how government policy can impact economic growth. The first problem is over-regulation. That is a problem in all industries, but in particular in the energy sector. How many coal mines, coal companies, or coal-powered electric plants has the Obama Administration put out of business? What happens to the cost of electricity for the average family as cheaper methods of generating electricity are shut down? As the cost of electricity rises, how does that impact the disposable income of Americans and the willingness of companies to do business here. Let’s also look at the healthcare industry. ObamaCare is dying a slow, painful death. Insurance premiums for some Americans are rising rapidly, and the government is fining other Americans who can’t afford health insurance. Meanwhile, some of the reimbursement rates are so low, some doctors are refusing certain patients.

What impact has the Obama Administration had on the cost of doing business in America? Will those policies change under Hillary Clinton? This may be an ‘if you like your job, you can keep it’ moment in America. Your vote may actually determine whether or not you are gainfully employed after January.