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.

Leadership Matters

Breitbart is reporting today that according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 6.2 million individuals dropped off food stamps since President Donald Trump completed his first full month in office.

The article reports:

The most recent USDA data shows that 6,268,285 individuals discontinued their participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)— the program in charge of food stamps— since February 2017 when Trump finished his first month as president.

Individual and household food stamp participation has consistently declined since 2013 back when the Obama administration was in power and enrollment in the program reached its highest point in U.S. history.

The article concludes:

Trump has stated that he wants to curb the nation’s dependency on food stamps and wants those coming into the country to be self-sufficient.

The president told Breitbart News in an Oval Office interview that he does not want any immigrants coming into the U.S. to be dependent on welfare programs.

“I don’t want to have anyone coming in that’s on welfare,” Trump told Breitbart News in March.

The Trump administration also recently released several policies that would close loopholes for those taking advantage of the nation’s food stamp program.

The USDA issued a proposal in July that would close a “loophole” allowing 3.1 million people who already receive benefits from a non-cash welfare program to receive food stamps through SNAP.

The Trump administration also released a “public charge rule” last month which would deny green cards to immigrants or make it harder for them to obtain them if they have a history of using welfare benefits such as food stamps.

Welfare programs are meant to be a temporary help–not a career choice. Americans need to get back in the habit of working to support themselves and their families. President Trump is moving us in that direction.

Some Presidential Candidates Don’t Understand Economics

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about a recent tweet by Elizabeth Warren.

This is the tweet:

The article includes the following quote from an article posted at The Heartland Institute website on September 19, 2018:

A 2015 Harvard Business School/Boston Consulting Group study estimates fracking supported 2.7 million jobs in 2014, with the potential to grow to 3.8 million jobs by 2030. Similarly, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) prepared a report for the American Petroleum Institute that estimates the oil and natural gas industries supported 10.3 million jobs in 2015, an increase of about 500,00 compared to 2011.  The RAND Corporation projects the industries will support an additional 1.9 million jobs by 2035.  By the same year, a 2012 IHS Markit study estimates fracking will have created 3.5 million jobs. 

A 2016 Chamber of Commerce study projects that if the fracking revolution of the previous decade had not occurred, 4.3 million jobs would not have been created, the U.S. economy would be $500 billion smaller and residential natural gas prices would be 28 percent higher. 

There is also the matter of national security. America now has the freedom to choose its friends without worrying whether or not our oil supply will be cut off. Some of us remember the 1970’s gas lines and high price of gasoline.

The world economy (that includes America) is currently based on fossil fuels. Countries who can supply reasonable priced energy attract manufacturing and businesses which create jobs. The end the production of fossil fuel and fracking in America is to reduce America to the status of a third-world (or lower) country.

Is This The Future We Want For America?

Breitbart posted an article today about a tax crisis in Sweden. The causes are something Americans need to consider as our southern border continues to be seen as a political issue rather than a national security and economic issue.

The article reports:

A Swedish municipality that took in one of the highest numbers of asylum seekers per population faces a crisis as natives move out and decimate the local tax base.

The municipality of Filipstad took in many asylum seekers during the migrant crisis of 2015 and now are facing increasing costs as unemployment among migrants has surged and financial assistance rates have tripled, broadcaster SVT reports.

Claes Hultgren, the local municipal manager, described the situation, saying of the migrant population: “In this group, unemployment and dependency are very high, while education levels are very low. This group runs the risk of ending in an eternal alienation that is already heavily burdening the municipal economy.”

The article concludes:

While many cities across Sweden are facing housing shortages, the rate of unemployment between native Swedes and migrants is stark.

A 2018 report stated that the unemployment rate for native Swedes was a mere 3.6 per cent while the foreign-born rate was much higher at 19.9 per cent. The city of Malmo, which has a high migration-background population, was shown to have double the national unemployment average.

At some point, we need to realize that generosity has to have limits. You can only accept a certain amount of people who are dependent on others for their basic needs before those policies have a negative impact on the people who are working to meet their own basic needs. Charity is a wonderful part of life, but it has to be voluntary and it has to be within the bounds of ability. The number of immigrants coming into Europe and America who have no marketable skills and do not know the language is a burden on the economics of the countries involved. Immigration needs to be controlled, and assimilation needs to be part of immigration.

Playing Chess With World Trade

America has been on the wrong end of bad trade deals for a long time. We watched our manufacturing jobs leave America after NAFTA. We watched the steel industry disappear after being undercut by Chinese steel held up by subsidies by the Chinese government. President Trump is a businessman. As a businessman, he is trying to level the trade playing field. In some areas he is getting cooperation at home and abroad; in some areas he is not. China has been a difficult country to deal with regarding trade. The uneven playing field they have enjoyed for years has been very profitable for them. Because their economy is based on an uneven playing field, they are reluctant to make changes. Their economy is currently struggling, and if President Trump stands his ground, the Chinese economy could face serious challenges. That’s where we are. There is, however, some positive news about where we might be headed.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about a possible breakthrough in the talks with China.

The article reports:

Did China finally blink in Donald Trump’s trade war? Trump himself seems to think so. At the G-7 summit, Trump told reporters that a statement earlier in the day from a top official in Beijing showed that China had finally expressed a real interest in redefining the trade relationship between the world’s top two economies. It’s “the first time” that Trump sees China acting in good faith, he said

The article continues:

After rapid-fire escalations in tariffs by both sides, China’s vice premiere called for “calm.” Liu He also declared Beijing’s willingness to conclude a trade agreement and called for talks to begin immediately:

“We are willing to resolve the issue through consultations and cooperation in a calm attitude and resolutely oppose the escalation of the trade war,” Liu, who is President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser, said, according to a government transcript.

“We believe that the escalation of the trade war is not beneficial for China, the United States, nor to the interests of the people of the world,” he added.

U.S. companies are especially welcome in China, and will be treated well, Liu said.

“We welcome enterprises from all over the world, including the United States, to invest and operate in China,” he added.

“We will continue to create a good investment environment, protect intellectual property rights, promote the development of smart intelligent industries with our market open, resolutely oppose technological blockades and protectionism, and strive to protect the completeness of the supply chain.”

The last time we thought we had a deal, the person who made the deal was executed when he returned home. Hopefully this time will turn out better for everyone.

What The Democrats Are Really Afraid Of

You can dismiss the turnout at Trump rallies versus the turnout for Democrat candidates. You can dismiss the tweets you may not like, but you can’t dismiss what is happening to the President’s approval numbers in minority communities.

The American Spectator posted an article today with the following headline, “Why Trump’s Approval Ratings Are Up Among Minorities.”

The article notes:

A mounting number of voter polls show that, despite shrill denunciations of the President by the Democrats for his alleged racism, Trump is enjoying a dramatic increase in his approval ratings among minorities. This isn’t, as some liberal news outlets and pundits have suggested, wishful thinking based on outlier polls. The trend began showing up in surveys early this year and appears to be gaining momentum. Some polls now show his approval numbers at 25 percent among African-American voters and 50 percent among Hispanic voters. If those figures hold for the next 15 months, they will render Trump unbeatable in November of 2020.

The article notes a number of reasons for the rising approval ratings. Among the Hispanic community, two reasons are the President’s stand on immigration and the economy. Those in the Hispanic community who followed the rules to become Americans do not support endless illegal immigration. Those in the Hispanic community have also seen a dramatic increase in employment opportunities and a decrease in unemployment. In the black community, people are asking why cities that have been controlled by Democrats for decades and given massive amounts of money by the government still look worse than cities in other countries that were totally destroyed during World War II. In other words, after voting Democrat for decades with no visible improvement in their situation, minorities are seeing positive change. Minorities have the lowest unemployment numbers in history. They are seeing employment opportunities they have not seen before. Pocketbook issues are having an impact on the way they view President Trump.

The article concludes:

The main reason for the surge in Trump’s Hispanic support, however, is the economy. As Steve Cortes, a member of the President’s Hispanic Advisory Council, points out:

Hispanics neither desire nor expect a laundry list of deliverables from government, but rather seek the conditions to advance and prosper independently.  As the most statistically entrepreneurial demographic in America, Hispanics have thrived amid the Trump boom as regulatory and tax relief unleashes a small business surge. Every American benefits from this new dynamism, but Hispanics most of all.

Hispanic voters, mind you, will be the largest ethnic minority in the electorate by 2020. They, combined with African Americans, may very well decide who will live in the White House after the next election. Moreover, the days when Democrats could win all of their votes by screeching “racism,” encouraging illegal immigration, and offering massive giveaway programs are probably over. President Trump appears to be building real support among minorities by providing genuine opportunity in a thriving economy. If he receives their support in anywhere near the percentages suggested above, he will win in 2020 no matter who runs against him.

The presidential election of 2020 will be very interesting.

We Have Seen This Play Before

The American economy is based on consumerism. Americans buy things and the economy continues. It is a rather delicate balance that can be manipulated for political purposes. We are currently watching an attempt to manipulate that economy for political purposes–President Trump’s strongest positive for re-election is the impact his administration has had on the economy. If the Democrats can ruin the economy, they might have a chance to win the presidency in 2020. After watching their behavior for the past two years, I am not surprised by any tactic they might use. So how are the Democrats and their friends in the media attempting to impact the economy?

The Associated Press reported today:

The threat of a recession doesn’t seem so remote anymore for investors in financial markets.

The yield on the closely watched 10-year Treasury fell so low Wednesday that, for the first time since 2007, it briefly crossed a threshold that has correctly predicted many past recessions. Weak economic data from Germany and China added to recent signals of a global slowdown.

That spooked investors, who responded by dumping stocks, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average into an 800-point skid, its biggest drop of the year. The S&P 500 index dropped nearly 3% as the market erased all of its gains from a rally the day before. Tech stocks and banks led the broad sell-off. Retailers came under especially heavy selling pressure after Macy’s issued a dismal earnings report and cut its full-year forecast.

The article goes on to list things that the writer is convinced are evidence of an imminent recession. But let’s step back a minute. The American economy is cyclical. We have been in a growth spike for the past two years due to tax cuts and deregulation. Those factors are not changing. Unemployment is at historic lows. There are more jobs than workers. There is no evidence of that changing. We might be due for a correction in the stock market, but it’s not time to panic.

This tactic has been used before. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush agreed to a tax bill with the Democrats. The agreement broke his pledge of ‘no new taxes’, but it also did something else. The tax increase on luxury items worked its way through the economy causing a recession. Workers in industries making ‘luxury items’ lost their jobs are sales of these items decreased due to the tax increases. As those workers lost their jobs, they stopped going out to dinner, traveling, and doing the things that people do when economic times are good. People in service industries and tourism lost their jobs. The impact trickled through the economy, and we were in a recession. We were coming out of the recession during the campaign, but the media failed to note that.

In the coming days, watch for a media narrative of ‘the sky is falling’. That narrative will be in play for the next year in order to convince American voters to vote Democrat.

The only way to crash this economy is to panic the public. Large investors in the market with a political agenda can begin that process. The media can fan the flames.

The fundamentals of the American economy are strong. If Americans refuse to play along with a media-created financial panic, all will be well.

The Economy Continues To Move In A Positive Direction

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about the latest economic numbers. As usual when a Republican is President, the ‘experts’ were surprised that the numbers were better than expected.

The article reports:

It’s not great news for the White House, but it could have been a lot worse. The US economy’s growth slowed to 2.1% in the second quarter, down a full point from Q1. However, with economists predicting a recession right around the corner, the growth is still substantial enough to look positive:

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019 (table 1), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent.

The Bureau’s second-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see “Source Data for the Advance Estimate” on page 2). The “second” estimate for the second quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on August 29, 2019.

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), federal government spending, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, exports, nonresidential fixed investment and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased (table 2).

The deceleration in real GDP in the second quarter reflected downturns in inventory investment, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment. These downturns were partly offset by accelerations in PCE and federal government spending.

President Trump weighed in on Twitter:

The article at Hot Air concludes:

“Not bad” is a little bit of an understatement, actually. It’s pretty good, especially in the context of the global economy. That’s the bigger anchor, especially the trade disputes that at least for one quarter hit our exports hard.

The steady growth with low inflation should result in the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates in the near future.

The House Of Representatives Accomplished Something Good

On Tuesday The Hill posted an article about the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the bill titled, “Opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel.” A similar bill was introduced in the Senate, but was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations on March 25, 2019. No further action has been taken on the Senate bill.

The final vote was 398 yeas, 17 nays, 5 voting present, and 12 not voting. (The numbers are from the U.S. House of Representatives website.)

The article at The Hill notes:

The resolution’s opponents included progressive freshmen Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who support the BDS movement.

House Democratic leaders brought the resolution to the floor under a fast-track process that required a two-thirds majority for passage and limited debate to 40 minutes. No one spoke in opposition to the resolution during the allotted debate, but the two progressives delivered floor speeches earlier in the day to express why they’d vote against it.

Tlaib, citing her family’s Palestinian roots, said she “can’t stand by and watch this attack on our freedom of speech and the right to boycott the racist policies of the government in the state of Israel.”

Someone should point out to Tlaib that Palestinians have full rights in Israel. They are more free and more prosperous than the Palestinians that live anywhere outside of Israel.

The article continues:

Lawmakers opposed to BDS stressed that the boycott movement against Israel is unlike other boycotts in American history, arguing that it espouses anti-Semitic views and undermines the prospects for peace in the long-running Palestinian conflict

“Here’s the thing about the global BDS movement: I don’t believe it promotes racial justice or social change at all. It promotes a one-sided view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that seeks to marginalize Israel, that would deny the Jewish people the right of national self-determination,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said during floor debate.

“You want to criticize a government, that’s your right. You want to stop buying products from a certain country, that’s also your right. But participating in an international commercial effort that undermines Israel’s legitimacy and scuttles the chances of a two-state solution isn’t the same as an individual exercising First Amendment rights,” Engel added.

Unfortunately, the Palestinians have illustrated the fact in recent years that they are not interested in becoming a positive member of the global community. In 2005 Israel removed its settlers from the Gaza Strip and turned the land over to the Arabs. Up until that point the Gaza Strip was the home of greenhouses that supplied fruit and vegetables around the world and had a flourishing economy. The first thing the Arabs did was destroy the greenhouses (and thus destroyed the basis for the thriving economy). Since that time the Gaza Strip has been used as a base for firing rockets and building terrorist tunnels into Israel. Money given to the Arabs that was earmarked for humanitarian purposes has been instead used to buy weapons and build tunnels. The Palestinians do not want to exist peacefully in a two-state solution–they want to destroy Israel.

The following is taken from an article I posted in January 2018:

Until the Palestinians stop training their children to kill Jews, there will be no peace in the Middle East. The BDS Movement is simply another way to attack Israel. I am glad most of the House of Representatives understood that.

The Arrival Of Robin Hood

Remember teaching your children that money doesn’t grow on trees and that they have to earn it? Evidently some of our members of Congress never learned that lesson.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about some recent statements made by Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Minnesota.

The article reports:

Far-left “Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) spoke at the NAACP convention over the weekend and railed against the GOP tax cuts in a pitch for her anti-poverty BOOST Act, promising to take money from the rich and give it “back to the people that earned it.”

Tlaib introduced her anti-poverty legislation – the Building Our Opportunities to Survive and Thrive (BOOST) Act – last month and spoke about it at the NAACP convention over the weekend. The proposal offers a guaranteed income – up to $6,000 per year – to families and individuals under certain financial thresholds via a “refundable tax credit that can be paid monthly.”

The Michigan lawmaker’s BOOST Act serves as her response to what she calls the “GOP Tax Scam,” despite the fact that two-thirds of Americans will pay less in taxes in 2018, thanks to the tax cuts.

“Recently, I introduced the Boost Act. This legislation completely repeals the GOP Tax Scam that is only helping wealthy individuals – the rich, the corporations,” she told the crowd.

“And do you know what I did with that money? Do you know what I said? We’re going to go ahead and put it in the pockets of folks like everyday Americans,” she said, noting that families making less than $100,000 could get up to $6,000 per year.

Taking the moral route, Tlaib said it is important to give money back to the people who actually “earned” it, suggesting that wealthy individuals do not earn or deserve to keep the fruits of their labor.

 I guess the Democrats have decided that class warfare works better than racism. Their playbook is getting very old.

The article notes the impact of the GOP tax cuts:

The economy has seen a boost from the GOP tax cuts, with companies issuing employee bonuses and announcing plans to invest billions in the U.S., thereby providing thousands of new jobs.

Last year, Exxon Mobil announced that it would invest $50 billion in the U.S. economy, adding 12,000 new jobs, thanks to the GOP tax cuts.

Even Starbucks, a notoriously left-leaning company, used millions of its corporate tax cut to raise the wage for existing workers.

Under Tlaib’s economic plan, the people who would benefit are the people who are not working; and the people who would lose are the people who work for a living. How long would it be before those who are working to give those who don’t work a free ride would see the folly of their ways and quit producing? That’s where socialism always winds up.