The Effort Continues

Just The News posted an article today about Congress’ continued effort to pass legislation that will help Americans cope with the financial fallout from the coronavirus.

The article reports:

The Senate on Monday afternoon resumes efforts to pass a trillion-dollar spending bill to help the country survive the severe economic impact of the coronavirus, following a failed vote Sunday that has put financial markets on edge.

The measure in the GOP-controlled chamber failed to get 60 votes to begin debate.

The failed vote has resulted in Democrats and Republicans blaming each other, with the virus rapidly spreading and threatening to inflict severe damage on the U.S. economy – from large-scale unemployment to a recession to businesses across the country shuttering.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the failed vote pointed his finger at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“The House speaker showed up, and we’re back to square one,” the Kentucky Republican said.

…Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he and fellow Democrats didn’t provide McConnell with enough votes to pass the bill in large part because, he argued, the money to help corporations doesn’t have enough restrictions and because of the lack of money for state and local governments.

The spending measure – now projected at more than $1.5 trillion – failed Sunday on a 47-47 vote. Five GOP senators are in coronavirus quarantine, making passage of the bill even more difficult for McConnell.

At this point, Congress does not represent the American people and is not acting in their behalf. It is time to withhold the salaries of Congress and all Congressional employees until a relief bill for ordinary Americans is passed. If the American people are not being helped in this crisis, Congress should not be paid.

In Case You Were Wondering Where The Holdup Was…

Breitbart posted an article today about Congress’ attempt to deal with the coronavirus epidemic. As usual, Washington is playing politics and not getting things done.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Sunday that she has decided to move forward with her own emergency coronavirus relief package.

Pelosi spokes just hours before the Senate was scheduled to take a procedural vote that would lead towards a final vote on a bipartisan economic relief package. The bill would provide economic relief after the coronavirus epidemic ravaged the country’s economy.

“From my standpoint, we’re apart,” she said.

Subsequently, Senate leaders decided to delay a planned vote to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on the Senate floor on Sunday that he intended for the legislation to be bipartisan and aimed at helping the American people.

“What we have is a compromise product which contains ideas, contributions, and priorities on both sides and which could become law as soon as tomorrow,” he said. “In other words, it’s just about time to take yes for an answer.”

…Pelosi said that Republicans and Democrats are still “talking” but that there is no need to meet McConnell’s Monday deadline for a Senate vote on the coronavirus package.
Senate Republicans and the White House have insisted that they will continue to push for the $1.6 trillion economic relief package, which would include $350 billion in support for small businesses and $250 billion for unemployment insurance. The package would also include direct cash payments to individuals around $1,200 per individual, with additional funds going to families with children.
Politico reported Sunday that “it’s not clear how Pelosi’s plan would work — committee chairs have been frenetically compiling ideas for a legislative package, but are not yet ready for legislative text.”
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said this weekend, “The Democrats are getting some of the things they’ve asked for. They’re getting what they wanted on unemployment insurance.”
It seems as if Washington is functioning as usual. Congress will continue to work and get paid while many Americans lose their source of income because of the coronavirus. They are playing politics rather than doing what they can to help Americans in a crisis.

Not A Cabinet I Would Vote For

The deep state wants its power back. They see the road to that power in the election of Joe Biden as President. As the campaign continues, there are some valid questions as to whether or not Joe Biden is mentally up to the task of being President, but that hasn’t slowed the momentum of the deep state in trying to put him there.

Breitbart posted an article today based on an article in Axios, a liberal-leaning source, about possible cabinet picks by a President Biden.

The article notes:

…Many of the names would return from the Obama administration, constituting an effective “third term.”

Axios says that former Secretary of State John Kerry could return in that role, or be appointed to a new Cabinet-level climate change position.

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice — who was never nominated for Secretary of State because of fears she would not survive confirmation after misleading the nation about the Benghazi attacks — could find her way to that position in a potential Biden administration, Axios claims.

There would also be room in the Biden Cabinet for some of his former 2020 rivals, including former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who could be UN ambassador, or U.S. trade representative.

Several are also currently under consideration, Axios reports, to be Biden’s running mate, including Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Kamala Harris (D-CA). The final choice may be up to Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), who delivered the key endorsement that helped Biden win South Carolina and change the direction of the entire Democratic primary.

Susan Rice lied about Benghazi; John Kerry lied about the Iran deal. President Obama did serious damage to the American economy in eight years because of over-regulation and increased taxes. Do we really want to bring the deep state back into power?

The Economy Is Strong

No one really knows what impact the coronavirus will have on our economy, but as for now, the February jobs report showed a strong, vibrant, growing economy.

Yahoo News posted details of the report today.

The article reports:

The Labor Department released its February jobs report at 8:30 a.m. ET Friday. Here were the main results from the report, compared to consensus expectations compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Change in non-farm payrolls: +273,000 vs. +175,000 expected and 273,000 in January
  • Unemployment rate: 3.5% vs. 3.6% expected and 3.6% in January
  • Avg. hourly earnings, month on month: +0.3% vs. +0.3% expected and +0.2% in January
  • Avg. hourly earnings, year on year: 3.0% vs. +3.0% expected and 3.1% in January

January’s job gains were upwardly revised to 273,000, from the 225,000 previously reported, and December’s non-farm payroll additions were upwardly revised by 37,000 to 184,000. This brought average job gains over the past three months up to 243,000, or above the average from 2019, when job growth averaged 178,000 per month.

The services sector again led the advance in job gains in February. Within this sector, health-care and social assistance added 56,500 payrolls, accelerating gains from January. Professional and business services also posted strong job gains, adding a net 41,000 positions.

Within the services sector, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing and temporary health services shed jobs in February. Retail posted the largest declines, losing a net 7,000 positions and extending a drop of 5,800 from January.

For the goods-producing sector, manufacturing added jobs for the first time in three months, posting a net 15,000 payroll gains. Construction and mining each also added jobs, underscoring a firming of the goods-producing sector in February after months of weakness relative to services. Employment in construction rose by 42,000 positions for the month after a gain of 49,000 in January, representing the best two-month advance for the industry since March 2018, as unseasonably warm weather and a strengthening housing market helped supported hiring.

The Workforce Participation Rate remained steady at 63.4 percent.

It’s always interesting to me that when the jobs report comes out during a Republican administration, the numbers always seem to be higher than the experts predicted. There will be some impact in March from the coronavirus because of the disruption in the global supply chain the virus has caused, but I believe the economy is strong enough to recover from any glitches that may occur (despite the undisguised wishes of the Democrat party for a serious economic downturn).

Another Unsung Accomplishment By President Trump

Hot Air is reporting today that America reduced its greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.

The article reports:

Increased natural gas consumption helped bring down U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, according to a recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Chances are you haven’t heard. That’s because the mainstream media and environmentalists insist on condemning the Trump administration for championing fossil fuels even though the United States is doing a better job at reducing emissions than many other countries that signed the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

The public can credit much of this success to the fracking boom, which has made natural gas much more plentiful. Cheap, abundant natural gas has gradually been displacing coal, which emits about twice as much carbon dioxide. A recent Rhodium Group study found that coal-fired power generation dropped by 18% last year, the lowest level since 1975.

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, thanks to a huge abundance of cheap natural gas (generated via fracking), America reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 2% in 2019 after previously cutting them by the same amount the prior year. In fact, U.S. emissions went down by 12% between 2005 and 2017. By next year, American emissions are projected to be the lowest they have been since 1991, a time when the population was much lower than it is now.

By comparison, how are the “good” countries who signed on to the Paris accord doing? As it turns out, France Germany and the United Kingdom all missed their emissions reduction goals last year. Germany’s emissions actually increased after they started gutting their nuclear power program and were forced to restart some coal-fired plants to keep the lights turned on.

The only countries that are given high marks for meeting the climate agreement’s objectives are very small nations with low populations and not very much economic or industrial activity. So who are the real bad guys in this story? Before any global consortium starts trying to dictate to us how to handle our greenhouse gas emissions, perhaps they should get their own houses in order and follow our example. Rather than just talking about reducing emissions, we’re actually doing it. And we didn’t need a treaty with anyone else to get the job done.

The reason the success of America in reducing greenhouse gases is not heralded is that the success goes against the purpose of the climate change agenda–it doesn’t allow tyrannical countries to shake down democracies and republics.The goal of the climate change rhetoric is to redistribute the world’s wealth–to take money from countries that have prospered under the free market and give it to countries where the government controls the economy. America’s success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions simply does not fit the desired template.

What Happens If The Trump Tax Cuts Are Repealed?

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an opinion piece with the following title, “Democrats want to repeal most important part of Trump’s tax cuts.”

I would like to note at this point that according to CNS News:

The federal government set records for both the amount of taxes it collected and the amount of money it spent in the first four months of fiscal 2020 (October through January), according to data released today in the Monthly Treasury Statement.

So revenue has increased under the tax cuts–not decreased.

The piece at The Washington Examiner continues:

Democrats are vowing to repeal the GOP’s 2017 tax reform bill, starting with raising the corporate income tax. The Democrat-controlled House Ways and Means Committee recently held a hearing laying the groundwork for this tax increase, falsely claiming that the corporate rate was lowered at the expense of middle-class families.

Reality belies this rhetoric. The corporate tax reduction from 35% to 21% has benefited families and workers alike by growing the economy, raising wages, and creating new jobs.

It’s no coincidence that, in the two years since the tax cut, unemployment has dropped to a 50-year low. It has hit all-time lows for key demographics including women, African Americans, and Hispanics. Thanks to these pro-growth policies, nearly seven million jobs have been created since Trump took office, and there are now fewer unemployed people than job openings.

Wages have also grown.

Annual hourly earnings have grown by 3% or more in the past 12 months. In fact, real median household income has increased by over $5,000 during Trump’s tenure, according to data released by Sentier Research. In addition to this wage growth, the tax cuts have allowed businesses to expand, hire new workers, and increase pay and benefits.

Savings are also on the rise.

When Trump was elected president, the Dow Jones sat at 18,332. It is now at roughly 29,000, an increase of about 60%. This stock market growth benefits the 100 million 401(k)s, the 46.4 million households that have an individual retirement account, and the nearly $4 trillion in public pension funds, half of which is invested in stocks.

And the Congressional Budget Office has revised revenue up by over $1.2 trillion, 80% of the cost of the tax cuts, due to improving economic conditions since the tax cuts were passed.

You have to wonder why the Democrats would want to undermine an economy that is obviously working for everyone. If federal revenue is at record levels, why would you change things?

The piece concludes:

Utility savings for households are another benefit of the corporate rate reduction. As a direct result of the corporate rate cut, utility companies in all 50 states reduced their prices. That means lower monthly electric, gas, and water bills for households and businesses. If Democrats raise the corporate rate, they will be saddling households with higher utility bills.

The Left won’t stop there, either.

Democrats have proposed trillion-dollar annual tax increases that include payroll tax increases, small-business tax increases, income tax increases, and even an increase in the “death tax.” The fact is, corporate tax cuts have grown the economy, lifted wages, and created more jobs. Democrats would undo these gains and harm middle-class families.

Are the Democrats economically ignorant, or do they simply not care about the impact of their policies on everyday Americans?

Here We Go Again

Fox News is reporting today the following:

The Trump Economy Continues To Thrive

Fox News posted an article today about the January jobs numbers.

The article reports:

U.S. hiring topped expectations in January, as the economy added 225,000 jobs, kicking off the decade on a stronger-than-expected note.

It marks the 112th month of straight gains.

Unemployment ticked up slightly to 3.6 percent, as more people were looking for work, the Labor Department said Friday. The labor force participation rate edged up slightly to 63.4 percent. Average hourly earnings, meanwhile, rose by 7 cents over the past year to $28.44.

“Taken together, the first report of 2020 is a healthy one — showing that a possible redux of the roaring twenties updated for the 21st Century isn’t off the table yet,” Daniel Zhao, Glassdoor senior economist, said.

The labor force participation rate has not been at 63.4 percent since June of 2013.

The article notes:

“The labor market is continuing at a solid pace, and unemployment remains low,” said CareerBuilder CEO Irina Novoselsky. “It’s a crowded market for those battling to attract top talent and businesses are seeing the most traction when touting company culture along with their open positions.”

As the U.S. continues the longest economic expansion on record, investors are looking at the Department of Labor’s monthly payroll and unemployment data for signs that the rapid job growth over the past two years is softening and leading way to an overall growth slowdown.

The report contained a bad omen for manufacturing, which has been in a year-long rut: In January, the sector lost 12,000 jobs, most of which stemmed from motor vehicles and parts.

More Americans are going back to work, and wages at all levels are increasing. That is good news for all Americans.

Wrecking A Good Economy

Yesterday The Daily Signal reported on a bill making its way through the House of Representatives that will negatively impact the job market.

The article reports:

Despite its congenial acronym, a bill the House of Representatives is about to pass would upend the U.S. labor market as we know it.

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act—dubbed the PRO Act—comes at a time when the labor market is stronger than it has been in decades.

Unemployment is at a 50-year low. Wage growth is incredibly strong, with the lowest-wage earners experiencing twice the average gains. The number of discouraged workers plummeted more than 25% over the past year as favorable work opportunities opened up for them.

The PRO Act threatens all of those gains at the expense of benefiting union bosses who send hundreds of millions of dollars to liberal causes and politicians each year.

The Democrats in the House of Representative are making a move to protect the flow of union money into their campaign coffers.

The article continues:

Here are just a few of the PRO Act’s harmful provisions:

1. It violates workers’ privacy. The PRO Act would force employers to provide employees’ private information—without their consent and without even the chance to opt out—including their home address, personal email address, and mobile and home phone numbers to unions.

2. It strips workers of the right to a secret ballot election. A fundamental component of our democracy is the right to vote in secret and free from fear and intimidation. That’s why many Democrats in Congress insisted on secret ballot union elections as a condition in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

3. It subjects neutral third parties to strikes and boycotts. In an attempt to force other companies to do their bidding, the PRO Act would allow unions to strike, boycott, and otherwise harass neutral third parties that are not involved in labor disputes, but that simply do business with a company involved in a dispute.

4. It overturns the franchising business model. There are about 750,000 franchise establishments in the United States, representing far more than just fast-food restaurants. All told, franchises are spread across 300 different types of businesses in the U.S.—including car dealerships, gas stations, hotels, and gyms—and employ nearly 8 million workers. The PRO Act would upend that business model by requiring franchisors to become legally liable for workers they do not hire, fire, pay, supervise, schedule, or promote—in short, workers over whom they exercise no direct control.

5. It upends the gig economy, contracting, and independent work. Lots of people like working for themselves. In fact, the Freelancers Union estimates that 1 out of every 3 workers in the U.S. participates in independent work. About 10% of workers perform independent work (contracting, freelancing, consulting) as their primary job, and that’s their choice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fewer than 1 in 10 independent contractors would prefer a traditional work arrangement. By changing the definition of an employee, the PRO Act would require that almost everyone answer to a boss instead of having the option to work independently—including when, where, and for whom they want.

6. It invalidates 27 states’ right-to-work laws and overturns a Supreme Court decision. Currently, 27 states have laws that allow workers the right to choose whether or not to join a union, and the Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public employees cannot be forced to pay fees to unions as a condition of their employment. The PRO Act would upend these laws of the land, usurping power from one branch of the federal government to another, as well as restricting state lawmakers from their rights to enact worker freedoms and establish an economic and business climate that they believe is most conducive to growth and opportunity. For workers in unionized workplaces, this could mean the loss of hundreds of dollars in wages each year to pay for a service workers do not want and may actively oppose.

This is the result of the election of a Democrat majority in the House of Representatives.

 

 

Why I Love The Alternative Media

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog titled, “Landmark Trade Deal With China; New York Times Hardest Hit.” The article details some of the actual facts of the trade deal and contrasts those details with the reporting of The New York Times.

Some examples:

Reaction was predictably partisan. On CNBC, Steve Bannon said that President Trump “broke the Chinese Communist Party,” and the U.S. “gave up very little in the end.” On the same program, hedge fund manager Kyle Bass said that he sees the agreement as a “‘temporary truce’ in which the U.S. got the better of China.”

At the New York Times, on the other hand, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth:

President Trump signed an initial trade deal with China on Wednesday, bringing the first chapter of a protracted and economically damaging fight with one of the world’s largest economies to a close.

Has the trade conflict with China damaged the U.S. economy? To some degree it has, although it has certainly hurt China’s economy more. This is the kind of short-term pain that Barack Obama, for example, was unwilling to accept. And yet economic growth under President Trump has been considerably better than under Obama.

The deal caps more than two years of tense negotiations and escalating threats that at times seemed destined to plunge the United States and China into a permanent economic war.

No one thought “permanent economic war” was a realistic possibility, except, perhaps, readers of the always-hysterical New York Times.

The agreement is a significant turning point in American trade policy and the types of free-trade agreements that the United States has typically supported. Rather than lowering tariffs and other economic barriers to allow for the flow of goods and services to meet market demand, this deal leaves a record level of tariffs in place and forces China to buy $200 billion worth of specific products within two years.

Phase One reduces or eliminates some tariffs and leaves others in place for Phase Two. This isn’t really all that complicated, but the Times wants its readers to think that Trump’s approach represents a departure from an imagined, purist practice of the past.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is a beautiful example of how the mainstream media takes good news and attempts to make it bad news because it involves an accomplishment by President Trump.

The Biggest Lie Told In Last Night’s Debate

Breitbart posted an article last night which detailed the biggest lie told in the Democratic debate in Iowa.

The article reports:

Blue-collar and white-collar Americans “are being clobbered, they’re being killed,” former Vice President Joe Biden claimed at the January 14 Democrat debate in Iowa.

However, unemployment is at record lows, many sidelined Americans are getting jobs, and blue-collar wages are rising at rates not seen for many years amid President Donald Trump’s new curbs on legal and illegal immigration.

The article quotes Joe Biden’s remarks:

Working-class people — where I come from in Pennsylvania, the places I come from in Delaware — I have great support. I have support across the board, and I’m not worried about taking on Donald Trump at all. And with regard to the economy I can hardly wait to have a debate with him.

Where I come from — the neighborhoods I come from — they’re in real trouble: working-class people and middle-class people. When the middle class does well, [the] working class has a way up and the wealthy do well. But what’s happening now: they’re being clobbered, they’re being killed. They now have a situation where they [believe] — the vast majority believe — their children will never reach the stage that they reached in economic security.

I love that [economic] debate because the American public is getting clobbered. The wealthy are the only ones doing well. Period. I’m looking forward to the economic debate.

The article reports the facts:

Wages for blue-collar Americans rose by 4.3 percent in 2019 — or 2.7 percent after inflation — in President Donald Trump’s tightening labor market, according to a December report by Goldman Sachs.

The wage gains come amid very low inflation of just 2.1 percent in December.

…Blue-collar wages are rising faster than white-collar salaries because of different demands from employers, said Tom Donohue, the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “White-collar wages have been moving up over time, a bit, and the demand there, because of technology and other things, is not as high as the demand [for blue-collar skills]. … It’s a reality of the market,” he said January 9.

But Biden wants to increase the flow of foreign workers who will reduce wages for Americans.

“Biden will work with Congress to first reform temporary visas to establish a wage-based allocation process and establish enforcement mechanisms to ensure they are aligned with the labor market and not used to undermine wages,” said Biden’s plan for legal immigration. “Then, Biden will support expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, which create unacceptably long backlogs,” the plan says.

Hopefully enough Americans are familiar with the actual facts to believe this garbage.

Frightening Insight Into Some Of The Campaign Workers In The Bernie Sanders Campaign

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about the videos released by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas showing some disturbing comments made by a Bernie Sanders campaign field organizer.

This is the video (warning–horrible language–the man needs his mouth washed out with soap):

The article at Townhall concludes:

Ok, so it’s not as earth-shattering as PV’s excellent series on CNN, but it shows who we’re dealing with in the trenches of the 2020 election. There will probably be more videos like this, but at the same time, you can see why the Democratic establishment doesn’t want these folks gaining more prominence within the ranks of the party. Again, we shouldn’t be shocked that a) there are nutty people out there; and b) the Sanders operations hire such people. In terms of sexual harassment, Sanders’ 2016 campaign was totally infested with such a problem. It was a den of sexism and harassment that was not really addressed, and Sanders’ excuse was that he was too busy losing to Hillary Clinton to tackle it. I doubt Jurek will be purged, but it’s always good to keep tabs on people like this. they do the same against us and our totally radical ideas about…the Constitution, lower taxes, freedom, more jobs, and a strong economy. But we’re the extreme ones, right? 

We need to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, “A Republic, if You Can Keep It“. There are a number of Democrats running for President who are talking about ‘transforming’ America in ways that are totally opposed to the Republic established by the Constitutional Convention. Voters need to pay close attention to what is said openly and what is exposed about these campaigns.

This Should Be An Interesting House Race

Hot Air posted an article yesterday about one of the Democrat candidates for the 2nd U.S House district in New Jersey. The person currently holding this seat is Representative Jeff Van Drew, who recently switched from Democrat to Republican. The Democrat candidate is Amy Kennedy, ex-wife of former Representative Patrick Kennedy (son of Ted). Patrick Kennedy represented Rhode Island from 1995 to 2011. Patrick Kennedy has confessed to struggling with alcohol and has worked to combat drug addiction since leaving the House of Representatives.

The article reports:

Amy Kennedy released a video announcing her candidacy Monday.

What I see in that video is a candidate who knows exactly who she needs to win over to get elected – other women. She goes straight to our “moral compass” with a photo of Van Drew and Trump. She includes the soccer mom lingo of showing kindness, treat others with respect, and show compassion. All of this is heard in every household with kids every day. Then she pivots to the economy. She says people in south Jersey can’t find jobs. According to this chart, unemployment is higher in south New Jersey than the northern part of the state where it is more industrialized. The ‘richest corporations” she references are located further north. South New Jersey is more rural and always has been. Back in my college days, my first roommate was from Bridgeton. Her family owned a farm and her parents were active Republicans. In other words, it is traditionally a conservative part of New Jersey. Apparently, Kennedy thinks that inserting some far-left class warfare into the race is the way to go.

She speaks to the deregulation of the energy industry and mentions climate change. She’s really checking off all the boxes, isn’t she? She goes on to mention the mental health and addiction epidemic, too. “We continue to ignore the biggest public health emergency of our time — the mental health and addiction crisis that affects virtually every family.” Well, at least she didn’t succumb to the opinion of the most woke among us and say that climate change is the biggest emergency of our time. That will probably come later.

The video overall will certainly appeal to the audience for which she strives. She’s a former teacher and the mother of five. She’s the mom next door. She can fight the patriarchy and the bad Orange Man without breaking a sweat. Liberal voters are not prone to hold Kennedys morally accountable as they do conservatives. Conservatives see the irony of a Kennedy lecturing about the loss of morality in public life but liberals do not. We only have to look to the career of her father-in-law to see that.

It will be interesting to see how the voters of New Jersey react to Representative Jeff Van Drew’s decision to become a Republican and how they react to the candidacy of Amy Kennedy.

Economic Indicators In November

One America News is reporting today that U.S. homebuilding increased more than expected in November and permits for future home construction surged to a 12-1/2-year high.

The article reports:

The economy’s near-term prospects were also bolstered by other data on Tuesday showing a strong rebound in manufacturing production in November as the return of formerly striking General Motors’ <GM.N> workers boosted automobile output. The data suggested the economy remained on a moderate growth path in the fourth quarter despite slowing consumer spending.

…In a separate report on Tuesday, the Fed said manufacturing production rose 1.1% last month after dropping 0.7% in October. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing output increased 0.3%.

The rebound in manufacturing production suggests the factory downturn is probably close to running its course. Manufacturing output is still expected to contract in the fourth quarter.

“This is a welcome shift after declines in three out of the four preceding months, but not the end of the struggles for manufacturing,” said Tim Quinlan, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, increased 2.4% to a rate of 938,000 units in November, the highest level since January. Single-family housing starts rose in the West and Northeast, but fell in the Midwest and the South.

Single-family housing building permits rose 0.8% to a rate of 918,000 units in November, the highest since July 2007.

Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment jumped 4.9% to a rate of 427,000 units last month. Permits for the construction of multi-family homes rose 2.5% to a rate of 564,000 units.

The economy is doing very well. The only thing that would make it better would be if the people we elected and sent to Washington would get serious about cutting spending and lowering our national debt.

The Trump Economy

Fox Business reported today that the Dow has gained 10,000 points since Trump’s election.

The article reports:

The stock market has been unstoppable under the influence of President Trump.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 28,332.74 on Monday, meaning it has rallied 10,000 points, or more than 54 percent, since Trump’s election victory on November 8, 2016. The benchmark S&P 500 has gained more than 46 percent.

“The rally has been driven by pro-growth measures, de-escalation of trade tensions, huge liquidity injections by central banks and a FOMO approach by investors worried about missing out on a remarkable U.S. market outperformance that has set one record high after the other.” Mohamed El-Arian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, told FOX Business.

So if you are an average working American, why does this matter to you? First of all, most Americans have 401k plans. As the stock market rises, the value of those plans rises. However, there is another often overlooked aspect of a growing stock market. Many communities, counties, and states have pension plans for former employees. These are unfunded liabilities. That means that those payments are not considered when drafting budgets. Those payments are made from investment accounts. As the stock market rises, the possibility of having to decrease these payments diminishes and the possibility of the municipality involved having to raise taxes to cover these payments also decreases. People who work gain by both having the value of their retirement accounts increase and by not having to pay higher taxes to cover retirement costs.

The Quiet Revolution In American Shopping

One America News posted an article today about the changing habits of shoppers in America.

The article reports:

U.S. shoppers made more purchases online on Black Friday than in the mall – hurting traffic and sales at brick-and-mortar stores, according to data that offered a glimpse into what is still one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

For the first time in several years, however, store traffic on Thanksgiving evening grew – indicating a shift in when consumers are leaving their homes to shop. It is also a sign of how Thursday evening store openings have continued to hurt what has traditionally been a day that kicked off the U.S. holiday season.

The importance on the shopping calendar of Black Friday, or the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday, has waned in recent years. This is due to the choice by many retailers to open their stores on Thursday evening, as well as to early holiday promotions and year-round discounts. However, it is increasingly turning into a day when shoppers do not necessarily flock to stores but spend heavily online.

Also, for most retail chains, Black Friday store traffic and sales data is not necessarily grim as consumers continue to spend, consultants said. Winning the transaction, whether online or in-store, has now become more important for retailers than where it occurs.

Most major stores have followed the example of Amazon, making things available online (with options of in-store pick up). Shoppers can now find an item online, place an order, have it delivered, or go to their local store to pick it up immediately or within a day or two.

The article concludes:

Shopper traffic on Thanksgiving evening increased by 2.3%year-over-year but was dragged down by Black Friday, which fell 6.2% from a year ago.

Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak, said the traditional pattern of shoppers visiting stores has been disrupted not only by online shopping but by offerings like “buy online and pick up in store,” a growing category, which is not included in store traffic count on Black Friday.

“What all of this really boils down to is the customer journey has changed, now it can start anywhere online, in-store and end anywhere … and it is about making sure the customer makes the purchase and stays loyal to the brands more than where it happens,” he said.

Preliminary data from analytics firm RetailNext showed net sales at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday fell 1.6%, which the firm said is slower than in previous years. No data was yet available for actual spending in stores.

The National Retail Federation had forecast U.S. holiday retail sales over the two months in 2019 will increase between 3.8% and 4.2% from a year ago, for a total of $727.9 billion to $730.7 billion. That compares with an average annual increase of 3.7% over the past five years.

Consumer spending is a major part of the health of the American economy. The increase in holiday retail sales is part of what keeps our economy growing and thriving.

It’s Hard To Remove A Sitting President When The Economy Is Good

It is hard to remove a sitting President when the economy is good. That rule applies to attempts to impeach the President, and the rule also applies to elections. One impact of a strong economy is that people who are making good money and feel relatively secure in their jobs are less likely to engage in class warfare. Class warfare is one of the Democrat’s most frequently used weapons.

Yesterday One America News posted an article about the current state of the American economy.

The article reports:

The latest macroeconomic data is suggesting the chances of a U.S. recession have reduced in recent weeks due to steady consumer spending. According to a recent poll by Morning Consult, consumer confidence has rebounded over the past four weeks due to ongoing job creation, gains in wages and a soft price inflation.

Even without a resolution of the trade negotiations with China, consumers are feeling confident.

The article concludes:

Retail sales have also increased going into the holiday shopping season, beating previous expectations. Consumer spending makes up for roughly 70 percent of America’s GDP growth. Many experts have tied the ongoing stable expansion to President Trump’s economic policies.

I think on the whole, this economy has been remarkable. It’s taken the headwinds of the trade wars pretty successfully…and we’re still chugging along at roughly two percent. I think that’s an accomplishment.” – Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of the American Action Forum

A separate report from S&P Global found the probability of a U.S. recession in the coming year has dropped from 35 to 30 percent since August of this year.

I personally would like to see the probability of a U.S. recession at 0 percent, but I don’t know if I would trust the media to report that number even if it occurred.

The State Of The Economy

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the revision of the third quarter economic growth numbers.

The article reports:

More signs the U.S. economy is very strong show up today as several key economic indicators defy prior economist predictions.   Staring with a significant upward revision by the Bureau of Economic Analysis for the third quarter GDP growth from 1.9% to 2.1%:

The revision to GDP reflected upward revisions to inventory investment, business investment, and consumer spending.

The increase in consumer spending reflected increases in both goods (notably recreational goods and vehicles as well as food and beverages) and in services (led by housing and utilities as well as food services). (link)

Additionally, the commerce department released data showing U.S. core capital goods orders increased 1.2% in November, the largest gain since January; and more data on home sales shows a whopping 31.6% increase year-over-year. 

U.S. consumers and home buyers are benefiting from low inflation and significant blue collar wage gains that are an outcome of a growing economy and a very strong jobs market.  The most significant wage growth is in non-supervisory positions.   The economic strength is broad-based and the U.S. middle-class is confident.

We live in a commerce based society. When Americans feel confident about their financial futures and buy things, the economy grows. When Americans stop buying things, the economy shrinks. The economy is cyclical and interdependent. When people are insecure about their financial futures, they take fewer vacations, they go out to dinner less frequently, they go to the movies less frequently, etc. Then the jobs in those economic sectors begin to go away–fewer employees are needed. We saw that in the recession of 1990, which was essentially caused by a tax on luxury goods that Congress told us would affect only the people buying those luxury goods. Well, when people stopped buying luxury goods because they didn’t want to pay the taxes on them, the people making those goods lost their jobs. When those people lost their jobs, they traveled less, ate out less, shopped less, etc. Then the people in those industries were laid off because they were not needed. The pattern here is obvious.

When people feel secure about their future, the economy grows. Recent rumors of recession were not taken seriously because Americans were getting raises and could see that more of their neighbors were working. The economy right now is on a good path. It will take some serious effort to mess it up.

The Positive Impact Of President Trump’s Foreign Policy

The Gatestone Institute posted an article today about the impact of President Trump’s foreign policy on Iran. The article reminds us that because of the Trump administration’s decision not to extend its waiver for Iran’s eight biggest oil buyers; China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea, the economy of Iran is shrinking rapidly. Because of this, Iran is not able to fund terrorist groups at previous levels.

The article reports:

Before the US Department of Treasury leveled secondary sanctions against Iran’s oil and gas sectors, Tehran was exporting over two million barrel a day of oil. Currently, Tehran’s oil export has gone down to less than 200,000 barrel a day, which represents a decline of roughly 90% in Iran’s oil exports.

Iran has the second-largest natural gas reserves and the fourth-largest proven crude oil reserves in the world, and the sale of these resources account for more than 80 percent of its export revenues. The Islamic Republic therefore historically depends heavily on oil revenues to fund its military adventurism in the region and sponsor militias and terror groups. Iran’s presented budget in 2019 was nearly $41 billion, while the regime was expecting to generate approximately $21 billion of it from oil revenues. This means that approximately half of Iran’s government revenue comes from exporting oil to other nations.

Even though Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, boasts about the country’s self-sufficient economy, several of Iran’s leaders recently admitted the dire economic situation that the government is facing. Speaking in the city of Kerman on November 12, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged for the first time that “Iran is experiencing one of its hardest years since the 1979 Islamic revolution” and that “the country’s situation is not normal.”

The result of this is protests and demonstrations against the government.

The article reports:

Iran’s national currency, the rial, also continues to lose value: it dropped to historic lows. One US dollar, which equaled approximately 35,000 rials in November 2017, now buys you nearly 110,000 rials.

In addition, the Islamic Republic appears to be scrambling to compensate for the loss of revenues it is encountering. A few days ago, for example, Iran’s leaders tripled the price of gasoline. It appears a sign of desperation to generate revenues in order to fund their military adventurism in the region and support their proxies and terror groups.

This increase immediately led people to rise up against the government. In the last few days, several Iranian cities have become the scenes of widespread protests and demonstrations. The protests first erupted in Ahvaz and then spread to many other cities in the Khuzestan province as well as in the capital Tehran, and Kermanshah, Isfahan, Tabriz, Karadj, Shiraz, Yazd, Boushehr, Sari, Khorramshahr, Andimeshk, Dezful, Behbahan and Mahshahr.

Tehran’s diminishing resources have also caused Iranian leaders to cut funds to the Palestinian terror group Hamas and the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah. Hamas was forced to introduce “austerity plans” while Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, has also called on his group’s fundraising arm “to provide the opportunity for jihad with money and also to help with this ongoing battle.”

The economic weapon being wielded by President Trump appears to be the safest way to deal with Iran. War would not be a good option, but economic war has at least a possibility of being successful.

The Economic Numbers Under President Trump

Steve Moore posted an article at Fox Business on Thursday about the economy under President Trump.

The article includes the following:

The article explains:

In one Washington Post piece, the reporter sneers of Trump’s “rambling distortions” and complains: “Trump’s numbers appear to have originated in a pair of columns from the Heritage Foundation’s Steve Moore, who used research from a private firm called Sentier Research.”

Stop right there. Yes, it is true the data comes from Sentier Research — a private firm. But what is not ever mentioned in the article is that the data come from the Census Bureau’s “Current Population Survey,” which is the gold standard of economic data.

The article concludes:

In my analysis on these numbers, I have openly admitted these monthly data are a first rough estimate of what is happening with incomes over time — just as the jobs numbers are. They catch the trends over time.

Three years into the Trump presidency there is no calamity and there is no recession. Trump is right to recite real and legitimate data that substantiates the on-going middle-class boom in America today. It isn’t Trump, but his accusers who are engaged in “rambling distortions” and who deserve Pinnochio noses.

The questions for the 2020 elections are: “Do you want your income to continue to grow, and do you want to keep more of what you earn? How much of the money you have earned are you willing to give to people who did not earn it?”

The Impact Of The Policies Of President Trump

Yesterday Breitbart reported that Latino business owners are enjoying a 46 percent jump in revenue this year.

The article reports:

In May, Alfredo Ortiz of the Job Creators Network said that although Democrats claimed the Trump economy was no help to the Hispanic community, the facts revealed the opposite.

Ortiz wrote:

The fact is that Hispanics are flourishing in the Trump economy. Democrats asserting the contrary is a mere partisan talking point to try to deny Trump the Hispanic support he has earned and which may decide the presidential election outcome next year. Expect Democrats to increase their identity politics attacks in an effort to skew Latinos against Republicans over the next year and a half.

In September of 2018, Arora called the rapidly expanding Latino community a “powerful force” and stated that their businesses “contribute more than $700 billion to the economy annually.”

“The achievements of Latino small businesses are impressive when you consider it is often hard for them to gain access to capital. Yet they are making progress,” Arora concluded.

The Democrats will say anything to convince people that the Trump economy is not working for average Americans and minorities, but thinking Americans can look at the statistics and realize that the numbers show that average Americans and minorities are the people who have benefited from President Trump’s economic policies. If these groups want their prosperity to continue, they need to vote to continue those policies. I can guarantee that no Democrat running for President will continue those policies.

Who Runs This Agency?

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that the Supreme Court has agreed to take up a dispute over the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a case that could dramatically scale back the agency’s authority to police financial markets or eliminate it altogether. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), considered to be the brainchild of Senator Elizabeth Warren, was created in 2010. It was one of a few misdirected responses to the housing bubble that burst in 2008.

Just for the record, I want to review a few facts about the financial collapse of 2008 that the mainstream media somehow missed.

The following video was posted at YouTube in September 2008. The video was essentially a campaign ad, but the information in it is important. The CFPB never addressed the actual problem. (For that matter, neither did Dodd-Frank). The video below tells a story you might not be familiar with:

 

The article reports:

The court said Friday it will hear a challenge from a California-based law firm that argues the CFPB, the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, is unconstitutionally structured.

Opponents of the CFPB, created in 2010, argue that its structure violates the separation of powers, as Congress gave it broad authority to regulate mortgages, credit cards, and other consumer products, and is helmed by a single director who can’t be removed by the president except for cause.

The court said it will also address whether the entirety of the law that created the CFPB, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that re-ordered the financial regulatory system, should be struck down.

The Trump administration said in a filing with the Supreme Court it concluded the “statutory restriction on the president’s authority to remove the director violates” the Constitution, and “the director of the bureau has since reached the same conclusion.”

Trump tapped Kathy Kraninger to replace Mick Mulvaney, the acting CFPB director, last year.

Congress set up the CFPB as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform package, and its director is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The director serves a term of five years.

Cases challenging the constitutionality of the agency have been weaving their way through the lower courts. In 2016, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, then a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, said in a ruling in a similar case the CFPB is a “gross departure from settled historical practice.”

Stay tuned. A decision is expected by the end of June.

Good News For Working Americans

Breitbart posted an article today about the latest economic numbers.

The article reports:

The U.S. economy created 136,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent.

Economists had expected the economy to between 120,000 and 179,000 with the consensus number at 145,000, according to Econoday. Unemployment was expected to remain unchanged at last month’s 3.7 percent.

The jobs data for the two previous months were also revised upward, indicating that the labor market was stronger over the summer than previously indicated. Employment for July was revised up by 7,000 from 159,000 to 166,000, and August was revised up by 38,000 from 130,000 to 168,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 45,000 more than previously reported.

The stronger numbers for July and August may also explain the slightly-below expectations figure for September since some of the growth in employment forecast for last month had already occurred.

The last time the rate was this low was in December 1969, when it also was 3.5 percent.

Economic data has been intensely scrutinized this week for signs of economic sluggishness after the Institute for Supply Management’s survey of manufacturing companies suggested the manufacturing sector had unexpectedly contracted for a second consecutive month. Survey data of non-manufacturing companies, however, showed that the services sector continued to expand in September. Similarly, data on private payrolls and unemployment claims suggested that the U.S. economy had cooled but was not near a recession.

The September workforce participation rate remains unchanged at 63.2 percent. This is a chart showing changes in the rate since 2009:

Good Economic News For Americans

According to Investopedia:

A FICO score is a type of credit score created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Lenders use borrowers’ FICO scores along with other details on borrowers’ credit reports to assess credit risk and determine whether to extend credit. FICO scores take into account various factors in five areas to determine creditworthiness: payment history, current level of indebtedness, types of credit used, length of credit history, and new credit accounts.

Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about how the Trump economic policies have impacted the FICO scores of Americans.

The article reports:

Americans’ average FICO score has hit an all-time high of 706 on the personal credit rating scale. Ethan Dornhelm, the vice president for scores and analytics at FICO, told CBS News that a score of more than 700 basically qualifies individuals for just about any credit at favorable terms.

FICO scores range from 300 to 850. A score above 700 is considered great, and a score above 760 is considered excellent. This high national credit score may be largely attributed to the strong economy, with its historically low unemployment rate, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“This record-long stretch of economic growth has helped minimize reliance on debt to pay the bills,” said Joel Griffith, a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. “Low interest rates help ensure a greater portion of loan payment goes to paying down principal rather than merely making interest payments.”

Creditworthiness is now increasing, which means Americans have the ability to rely on their paychecks, not just borrowing from their futures, to fulfill their financial obligations.

Americans’ average FICO score hit a low during the financial downturn of 2008, with a score of 686. After the recession passed, the nation’s average FICO score continuously grew.

Is giving Americans more access to larger lines of credit such a good thing? According to Griffith and Federal Reserve Bank data, U.S. household debt is also declining. Even now that Americans are able to take on more debt, they are not. They’re paying off their credit cards and increasingly lowering their other debt.

Unfortunately, this national accomplishment has not been a topic discussed among 2020 Democratic nominees. Why have the Democratic presidential candidates shied away from talking about the economy? Because, they call for an economy that “works for everyone,” when the current system is working for more people than ever before.

A Gallup poll shows that 88 percent of Americans believe the current U.S. economy is either “fair,” “good,” or “excellent.” That’s because this economy has provided 5.1 million new jobs and dropped the unemployment rate to 3.7 percent — the lowest rate in nearly half a century.

Leadership and economic policies make a difference to ALL Americans. The tax cuts and economic policies of President Trump have ‘worked for everyone.’ The government cannot create an economy the ‘works for everyone’ by taking money from people who earn it and giving it to people who did not earn it. An economy  that ‘works for everyone’ is created when everyone has the opportunity to find a job or start a company and create their own success.

The Real Answer To Poverty

Breitbart posted an article today about the impact the economic policies of President Trump have had on poverty.

The article reports:

Black Americans are experiencing an economic renaissance under President Donald Trump.

Black unemployment hit a new low last week of 5.5% — the level once described in economics textbooks as “full employment” — and the gap between black and white unemployment shrank to its lowest margin ever.

This week, Census data showed that black poverty has dropped to its lowest level ever (18.8%). The reason: wages are climbing, even in low-wage jobs.

This is the Promised Land that left-wing activists have talked about for decades. Except they do not seem to have received the memo.

Listen to the Democratic presidential candidates debate, and you will still hear them complain that the economy is terrible, that the middle class is shrinking, that we need to redistribute income and wealth from the rich to the poor to over come the “white privilege” that is our country’s original sin, dating to slavery in 1619.

All of that is untrue. The economy continues to perform well, despite media-hyped fears of recession. Yes, the pace of hiring is slowing in some sectors, but that is partly because of the scarcity of labor — which is also driving wages up. Yes, the trade war is hurting some individual businesses, and China is retaliating against American agriculture — but the trade war has failed to drive up prices so far, as many people (including me) had expected.

The article notes:

While funding for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) declined under President Barack Obama, for example, “under the Trump administration, federal funding for HBCUs has increased by more than $100 million over the last two years, a 17% increase since 2017.”

The above information is a surprise to me. It totally goes against anything the mainstream media is telling us about President Trump. The article reminds us that President Trump’s economic policies have benefited all Americans–a strong economy is the best solution to poverty in minority communities.

The article concludes:

Limited government allows black Americans to do for themselves what government fails to do for anyone.

The Democrats do not get it. They are talking reparations — the brainchild of Al Sharpton, one of the worst racial demagogues in the country, whom Obama rehabilitated to provide political cover within the black community.

The frontrunners, including former vice president Joe Biden, promise to raise taxes, kill the energy industry, and bring back hyperregulation. They claim to be fighting racism. Trump has shown black Americans there is a better way.

Obviously this is not a message Americans will hear from the mainstream media. However, voters are perfectly capable of seeing the positive economic changes in their own lives and the lives of the people around them. That is one of the main reasons the media is trying to convince voters that a recession is right around the corner. Will voters believe what they see or what the media tells them? What voters believe will determine whether or not our economy continues to prosper.