Policies Have Consequences

We can all look back with nostalgia at the prosperity and low inflation we enjoyed under President Trump. One of the keys to that prosperity was deregulation that allowed business and the economy to grow.

In January 2021, Forbes reported:

According to the administration, agencies in the 2020 fiscal year issued 145 deregulatory actions and 45 significant regulatory actions, for an out-to-in ratio of 3.2 to one.

Of those deregulatory actions, 58 were deemed “significant” by agencies and the administration. Comparing significant-in to significant-out still gives a ratio of 1.3 to one.

This regulatory streamlining requirement was one of the earliest 2017 moves of the Trump administration, put in place by Executive Order 13771. A Biden administration will kill it on “Day One,” as the incoming supervisors like to say.

We have now had three plus years of the Biden administration’s economic policies. It has been a tough three plus years.

On Monday, Blaze Media reported the following:

A group of black voters told MSNBC last week why they are considering voting for Donald Trump in the 2024 election.

Reporting from Charleston, South Carolina, MSNBC correspondent Trymaine Lee spoke with black voters in a barbershop and discussed the “appeal” Trump has over President Joe Biden with black men specifically.

They explained:

    • Thomas Murray: “I just think that Donald Trump, in spite of all the craziness he may have in his head, reading some of the things that he talks about with business, I can kind of agree with as far as business-wise because I’m trying to grow my business. As far as Biden, I haven’t seen Biden really care about business like that. And my concern is having my business, so that I can build generational wealth, so my kids can see and have something to take upon when I’m not here.”
    • Kinard Givens: “A lot of my friends we’ve only voted once, and Trump is kind of all we know — Trump and Biden. And they’re like, ‘Well, we were broke with Biden. We weren’t with Trump.’ And that’s kind of the only thing that I’m hearing over and over again is that ‘with Trump, we had money.'”
    • Juston Brown: “A lot of people admire the persona and they want to be him. They want to enjoy the perks that he has. He seems to always be able to circumvent the rules.”
    • Anthony Freeman: “Donald Trump has a reputation of being the money man.”

As James Carville stated in 1992, “It’s the ECONOMY, Stupid!” That statement still holds true today.

The Numbers That Are Not Being Shared By The Mainstream Media

On Thursday, Fox Business posted the following headline:

Layoffs surged 136% in January to second-highest level on record

The article reports:

The pace of job cuts by U.S. employers accelerated at the start of 2024, a sign the labor market is starting to deteriorate in the face of ongoing inflation and high interest rates.

That is according to a new report published by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which found that companies planned 82,307 job cuts in January, a substantial 136% increase from the previous month. However, that is down about 20% from the same time one year ago. It marked the second-highest layoff total for the month of January in data going back to 2009.

“Waves of layoff announcements hit U.S.-based companies in January after a quiet fourth quarter,” said Andy Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The cuts were “driven by broader economic trends and a strategic shift towards increased automation and AI adoption in various sectors, though in most cases, companies point to cost-cutting as the main driver for layoffs.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the workforce participation rate has remained steady since December at 62.5, down from 62.8 in November. Generally hiring is up in November due to Christmas shoppers.

The article concludes:

Another source of layoffs in January was retail stores, which trimmed 5,364 positions in January, a significant increase from the 110 layoffs announced in December. 

The top reason cited for job cuts last month was restructuring; companies blamed stores closing and artificial intelligence for the layoffs, as well.

The labor market has remained historically tight over the past year, defying economists’ expectations for a slowdown. Although economists say it is beginning to normalize after last year’s blistering pace, it is nowhere near breaking. 

The findings precede the release of the more closely watched January jobs report from the Labor Department on Friday morning, which is expected to show that employers hired 180,000 workers, following a gain of 216,000 in December

The unemployment rate is expected to inch higher to 3.8%.

As more people are laid off, there will be less demand for consumer goods. This theoretically will slow inflation, but at the cost of the American people. If the government truly wanted to slow inflation without hurting the average American, they would cut government spending, but that is not likely to happen.

The Real Cost Of Living

Washington always finds a way to lie with statistics when it comes to the economy. Limiting the items included in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is one way to convince Americans that inflation isn’t as bad as it seems and also a way to limit the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of various federal disbursements. However, those fake numbers don’t help Americans deal with the rising cost of food and gasoline.

On Sunday, PJ Media posted an article about the rising cost of living in America.

The article reports:

Perhaps the most misleading government statistic of all is the Consumer Price Index. The CPI is an incredibly important statistic because so many government programs that benefit American citizens are tied to that number.

It’s usually cited as the inflation rate, but it’s not really. The CPI is the rate of increase in a subjective “market basket” of goods and services. The things that concern you and me the most as far as price increases have very little to do with the CPI. The CPI doesn’t track food or gas prices at the pump, so the CPI that we see every month doesn’t tell us anything useful.

Right now, the CPI stands at 3.1%. That’s down from a high of 9.1% in June 2022. But even that doesn’t tell us the whole inflation story because along with skyrocketing food and gas prices, real wages failed to keep pace with the price increases.

According to The New York Sun:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released jobs numbers this morning that show non-farm wages increased 4.1 percent in the past year, which is above the inflation rate of 3.1 percent. The problem is that inflation-adjusted real hourly wages — those of the average blue-collar or middle-class person — are down 4.7 percent today from when Mr. Biden took office. That’s a weekly earnings decline in real wages to $381 in November 2023 from $399 in January 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The reason Biden polls so badly is that there’s a decline in wages and an increase in prices,” a former economic adviser to President Trump, Larry Kudlow, tells the Sun. He calls this the “affordability crisis.”

Americans feel it when they walk into the grocery store. Food prices increased nearly 6 percent in 2023, according to the Department of Agriculture. In 2022, at-home food prices — what one buys in a grocery store — increased more than 11 percent. No matter one’s income, it’s hard not to notice the rising cost of food at the grocery store and at restaurants — even fast food.

Are voters going to believe what they are told or what they see?

I Guess That Didn’t Go As Planned

On Wednesday, Just the News posted the following headline:

Massive offshore wind project that was to be operational in 2023 gets a single turbine running

At some point, I believe that we are going to discover that wind and solar may not be the future of energy–they may be a supplement, but they can never replace fossil fuel to handle the energy needs of a growing world population.

In 2019, I reported the following:

In August 2014 The Daily Caller posted an article about Spain’s attempt to convert to green energy:

According to a new report by the free-market Institute for Energy Research, Spain’s green energy policies have resulted in skyrocketing electricity prices, billions of euros in debt and rising carbon dioxide emissions.

“For years, President Obama has pointed to Europe’s energy policies as an example that the United States should follow,” said IER in a statement on their new study. “However, those policies have been disastrous for countries like Spain, where electricity prices have skyrocketed, unemployment is over 25 percent, and youth unemployment is over 50 percent.”

Spain began heavily subsidizing green energy sources, like wind and solar, in the early 2000s with its“Promotion Plan for Renewable Energies. The country used a combination of generous feed-in tariffs, green energy generation quotas and green power subsidies to boost renewable energy development in the country and lower its carbon dioxide emissions.

…But what seemed like a booming green energy economy on the surface was really becoming a costly way to help drive Spain into economic recession. By 2011, Spain’s electricity prices stood at 29.46 U.S. ¢/kilowatt-hour — two and a half times what electricity cost in the U.S. at the time.

The Just the News article reports:

Vineyard Wind, a massive offshore wind project 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, failed to deliver electricity in 2023 as its developers had pledged to do, but they announced Wednesday that one of the project’s 62 turbines was running.

The project’s developers had for years been selling the project as the first utility-scale offshore wind project in the country, based on the 2023 timeline, according to Statehouse News. In December, New York’s South Fork Wind became the nation’s first.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid, Inc. announced Wednesday that it had managed to get one of the project’s 62 turbines operational, supplying 5 of its 800 megawatts to the grid.

The Commonwealth Beacon reported Tuesday that the developers had missed its 2023 pledge, which they were promising to meet late last week.

Two days into the new year, the Beacon reported, the developers of the $4 billion project still had not made good on the promise.

Please follow the link above to read the rest of the story. At what point are we going to admit that no matter how much money the government gives solar and wind energy, the disadvantages outweigh the benefits?

Policies Have Consequences

Recently, The Epoch Times posted an article about the village of Ilion, New York. For two centuries, Ilion has been the home of a Remington Arms Co. manufacturing plant.

The article reports:

In the village of Ilion, New York, 80 miles west of the state capital in Albany, residents are mourning the departure of gunmaker Remington Arms Co. after two centuries of continuous operation.

Without fanfare, the company announced last month that the manufacturing plant would be closing its doors on March 4, 2024.

“I feel like a family member has died,” Ilion Mayor John Stephens told The Epoch Times. “My dad raised four kids on a paycheck from there for 37 years. He walked to work and carried his lunch every day.”

Mr. Stephens said no one expected the announcement a week after Thanksgiving that the plant was set to close.

On Nov. 30, at 3:26 p.m., the company notified village officials of the decision by email. The message noted that “all separations” with the village would be completed by March 18, 2024.

Likewise, the company notified its 270 employees that they would soon be out of a job.

The article notes:

Publicly, the company attributed the plant closure in part to a hostile political climate in Albany regarding firearms production.

“I am writing to inform you that RemArms LLC has decided to close its entire operation at 14 Hoefler Avenue, NY 13357,” Remington Arms said in a letter to employees. “The company expects that operations at the Ilion facility will conclude on or about March 4, 2024.”

The Georgia-based company said it would continue to make firearms at its facility in Huntsville, Alabama, which opened in 2014, a year after New York’s passage of the Safe Act, which created stricter gun laws.

The anti-gun political climate in Democrat-controlled Massachusetts prompted competitor Smith & Wesson to move from its longtime base in Springfield to Maryville, Tennessee. The company announced the opening of its new headquarters there in October.

The article notes that the town has been losing population in recent years:

Until recently, Remington Arms employed about 1,500 workers, whose wages helped support the local retail economy, said village public historian Mike Disotelle.

“At noontime, when the employees would go to lunch, there would be a flood of factory employees going to local businesses,” he said.

Mr. Disotelle said Remington Arms was one of the village’s largest employers and a centerpiece of the downtown economy. This remained true even as the village continued to lose residents over the course of several decades, he said.

In 1960, the village had 10,000 residents. Today, that number is down to about 7,700 and could drop below 6,500 by 2030 due to the slow economy, high taxes, and limited housing availability, Mr. Disotelle said.

The northeast is losing its luster because of high taxes, limited housing, and the high cost of living. There is an exodus from blue states to red states. We just need to remind people not to bring their blue politics into red states.

Bidenomics At Work

Aside from what you are paying for groceries and gasoline, have you looked at mortgage rates and home sales right now?

On Monday, One America News reported the following:

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell more than expected in October, likely as higher mortgage rates reduced affordability, but the housing segment remains supported by a persistent shortage of previously owned properties on the market.

New home sales dropped 5.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 679,000 units last month, the Commerce Department said on Monday. September’s sales pace was revised lower to 719,000 units from the previously reported 759,000 units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for a small share of U.S. home sales, would fall to a rate of 723,000 units.

New home sales are counted at the signing of a contract, making them a leading indicator of the housing market. They, however, can be volatile on a month-to-month basis. Sales increased 17.7% on a year-on-year basis in October.

The stock of previously owned houses on the market is nearly 50% below it’s pre-pandemic level, according to the National Association of Realtors, which last week reported that home resales plunged to more than a 13-year low in October. Most homeowners have mortgage rates under 3%, making many reluctant to sell, boosting demand for new construction.

According to The Mortgage Reports, the mortgage interest rate in 2021 was 2.96 percent. In 2022, it was 5.34 percent. The current mortgage rate, according to Nerd Wallet is about 7.5 percent. That is a significant increase. Interest rates were artificially kept low for a number of years. That was not sustainable. However, the rate of increase (the Federal Reserve’s attempt to curb inflation) has hurt real estate sales. At one point many years ago because of a job change, we were forced to take out a mortgage at 8.5 percent (giving up a mortgage of 4 percent). If you are sitting on a 3 or 4 percent mortgage right now, the last thing you want to do is move and take out a 7.5 percent mortgage. Bidenomics has hurt Americans across the board. We need a new President with a new approach to the economy.

The Economy Is Questionable At Best

I love it when a Democrat is in power–when unemployment rises it is always a surprise–even at Fox News.

On November 3rd, Fox News posted an article about the current state of the American economy.

The article reports:

U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in October, a sign the labor market is finally softening in the face of higher interest rates, stubborn inflation and other economic uncertainties.

Employers added 150,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said in its monthly payroll report released Friday, missing the 180,000 jobs forecast by Refinitiv economists.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, unexpectedly ticked up to 3.9% — the highest level in nearly two years. The pickup in the jobless rate suggests that layoffs are on the rise; the survey of households shows that the number of workers laid off rose in October by 92,000 from the previous month.

The unemployment number of 3.9% is not really a good measure of the economy unless it is looked at in relation to the workforce participation rate, currently slightly down at 62.7. Just to give some perspective, the workforce participation rate was 62.8% when President Trump took office in January 2017. It peaked at 63.3 in February 2020 (the ‘stop the spread’ shutdown began in March 2020). The reported unemployment rate is calculated only counting people who are looking for jobs. I suspect that if you counted everyone who is able to work but not working, the number would be much higher.

The article also notes:

The report also contained steep downward revisions to job growth at the end of the summer. Gains for August and September were revised down by a total of 101,000 jobs to a respective 165,000 and 297,000, the government said, suggesting that the labor market is weaker than it previously appeared.

The bottom line here is that the economy is not really growing although inflation is. For further details, please follow the link above to read the entire article.

 

When The Fact-Checkers Are Evidently On Vacation

Everything President Trump said was fact-checked at least three times. If  he exaggerated about something, it was considered a lie. Somehow, when Joe Biden became President, the fact-checkers went on vacation. Since they are on vacation, I will do a little fill-in work for them. On December 24th, Townhall printed a list of “7 Bid Biden Lies of 2022.”

Here is the list:

1. “The economy is strong as hell.”

Somehow I don’t think many Americans who are struggling to pay energy bills and put food on the table would agree with that.

2. I “signed a law” to cancel student loan debt that passed “by a vote or two.”

This is simply delusional–there never was a law–it was an Executive Order that is in the process of being struck down by the courts.

3. “Jim Crow 2.0”

Any law that makes it more difficult to cheat is characterized by the Democrats as Jim Crow 2.0. There is no basis for this claim.

4. “No national plan to get Americans vaccinated.”

President Biden has also claimed that there was no vaccine when he took office. Both claims. are lies.

5. “You couldn’t buy a cannon.”

This was part of the claim that no constitutional right is absolute–a claim our Founding Fathers would totally disagree with.

6. Basically his whole resume

  • Biden claimed he was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1965 — but that’s the year he graduated from the University of Delaware. 
  • Biden claimed he “really enjoyed teaching” at the University of Pennsylvania — but he never taught a class there. 
  • Biden claimed “a significant portion” of his house burned down in 2004 “with my wife in it” — but it was a small, contained kitchen fire.

These are simply outright lies.

7. The border is “secure.”

Pay no attention to the thousands of people who are walking across the shallow parts of the Rio Grande.

Where are the fact-checkers?

Information We Need Now

Yesterday Issues & Insights posted an article about some things that we won’t learn until after the election. I am posting the list. Please follow the link to the article to read the details.

The article reports:

1. Biden is a far-left liberal with a big agenda.

2. Biden doesn’t have any plans to solve the COVID-19 problem.

3. The economy has been doing much better than the public had been led to believe.

4. There are some “concerns” about Biden’s mental abilities.

5. Hate-filled politics wasn’t caused by Trump.

The article concludes:

Make no mistake, whoever espouses limited government, lower taxes, greater individual freedom – even if they have the demeanor of Mr. Rogers – will be branded as a hate-mongering fascist worthy of censorship, bullying, and violence.

This is all speculation, of course. But it’s speculation based on decades of observations.

There is one thing we know for certain. If Trump wins against all expectations, Democrats will say he cheated, that the Russians helped him, that he should be immediately impeached. And there will be riots across the nation.

Unfortunately, that is true. It is also quite likely that average Americans will rebel against what they are being fed by the elite media and vote for President Trump.

This Is Where The Candidates Stand

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted a summary of the stands taken by President Trump and former Vice-President Biden on various issues. Please follow the link to the article to read it in its entirety, but here are a few examples:

Economy

Trump

    • Grant tax credits to companies that move manufacturing back to United States, tariffs on those that don’t.
    • Continue improving trade deals after USMCA, China Phase 1, South Korea, and Japan deals.
    • Continue to cut regulations for businesses.
    • Fund on-the-job training, apprenticeships.
    • Make major investment in infrastructure.
    • Launched “opportunity zones” program in 8,766 distressed areas, which, so far, have attracted $75 billion in private capital.
    • Build on becoming a net energy exporter.

Biden

    • Increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
    • Strengthen worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions.
    • Make major investment in infrastructure focused on reducing carbon emissions.
    • Make racial equity part of the mandate of the Federal Reserve.
    • Will insist on strong and enforceable standards for labor, human rights, and the environment in any future trade agreements
    • Will ban anonymous shell companies, expand anti-money-laundering requirements, disclosure of beneficial ownership, and greater oversight of cross-border transactions.

Taxes

Trump

    • Signed tax cut legislation.
    • Cut capital gains tax to 15 percent.
    • Increased the estate tax basic exemption amount from $5 million to $10 million.
    • Proposes a cut to payroll tax.

Biden

    • Greatly increase capital gains tax to same rate as income tax.
    • Increase taxes by $4 trillion over 10 years, including raising taxes on people making over $400,000 a year.

Governance

Trump

    • Restore balance and vertical separation of powers between the federal and state governments.
    • Promote voter ID, urging all states to join program to keep voter rolls accurate.
    • Supports apportionment and redistricting based on Census count of all citizens, and not including illegal immigrants.
    • Appoint more federal judges.
    • Make Puerto Rico the 51st state; keep the District of Columbia as a district.
    • Pass congressional term limits.
    • Directed federal agencies to move out of D.C. to opportunity zones.

Biden

    • Make the District of Columbia the 51st state.
    • Supports removing the Confederate flag and statues of Confederate leaders from public properties.
    • Establish a national commission to examine slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and racially discriminatory federal policies on income, wealth, educational, health, and employment outcomes, and to study reparations.
    • Opposes Voter ID laws and supports automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, early voting, and universal vote-from-home and vote-by-mail options.
    • Supports apportionment and redistricting based on Census count of everyone, including illegal immigrants.
    • Supports requirement for all federal office candidates to disclose at least 10 years of tax returns.

Health Care

Trump

    • Rescinded the individual mandate in Affordable Care Act and supports repealing the entire act.
    • Protect those with pre-existing conditions.
    • Supports health care price transparency.
    • Stop “surprise billing” by banning out-of-network charges when the patient doesn’t have control over provider choice.
    • Drive down prescription drug prices. Allow purchases from abroad; cut out the middlemen who negotiate drug rebates; introduce “favored nation status” where Medicare pays the lowest drug price available globally.
    • Accelerated generic drug approval.
    • Signed the Right to Try bill.
    • Anti-abortion—curbed federal spending that even indirectly supported abortion.
    • Permanently expand telehealth through Medicare payments and preserve more rural hospitals through Medicare incentives.
    • Enabled short-term insurance up to a year and is expanding the use of health savings accounts.
    • Allowed employers to pay premiums for employees in individual market.
    • Allowed small businesses to band together to access insurance plans available to large employers.
    • Declared opioid crisis a national public health emergency and focused resources on supply, demand, and treatment.

Biden

    • Introduce “public option” health insurance plans run by the federal government.
    • Protect and expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
    • Increase tax credits toward health coverage. Give the tax credits to higher-income people who currently aren’t eligible
    • Provide free health care to illegal aliens.
    • Expand Medicaid in states that rejected expansion offered by ACA.
    • Stop “surprise billing”—ban out-of-network charges when the patient doesn’t have control over provider choice.
    • Lower drug prices. Repeal law barring Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug corporations; government-set prices for new drugs with no competition; allow consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries.
    • Treat abortion as a constitutional right and restore federal funding to Planned Parenthood.
    • Double the federal funding to community health centers.
    • Target health care companies for antitrust violations.
    • Exclude drug ads from tax deductible costs for pharma companies.
    • Expand national and global vaccine programs.

These positions should be the basis of your decision on how you vote in November.

Actions Have Consequences

Fox News posted an article today about a statement made by the co-owner of JKC Trucking, Mike Kucharski.

The article reports:

A trucking company owner told Fox News on Wednesday that in order to keep drivers safe, he will not direct services to cities that are pushing to defund the police.

“Our first priority is to support our drivers and their safety when they are on the road,” co-owner of JKC Trucking Mike Kucharski told “Fox & Friends First.”

Kucharski said that defunding the police is a bad idea because drivers carry valuable cargo on the road for weeks.

“Everybody wants to steal this,” Kucharski said.

A soon-to-be-released survey of 258 police departments nationwide shows almost half have had their budgets cut amid calls for police to be defunded despite increases in gun violence and otherwise violent crime in some parts of the country, according to USA Today.

The outlet was first to report that the Police Executive Research Forum publication, which is expected to be released in the coming days, shows cuts in the police budgets are largely being made to training and equipment.

The article also notes:

Kucharski said that his company is also avoiding states pushing to defund the police because his insurance coverage is prone to dissolve.

“Another issue that I am seeing in the future is I have cargo insurance, liability insurance, fiscal damage insurance, and I am very curious how when I renew my contracts at the end of the year, if there is going to be language — if I am going to even have coverage going into these places,” Kucharski said.

“Right now I have coverage going all over domestically. You have to get special coverage for Canada or Mexico or you might have to buy special riders for this on top of everything.”

If you were planning a family trip right now, would you be willing to drive through some of the cities where the police are letting rioters run wild or would you avoid those cities? Why should truck drivers be any different? This will result in shortages of products in cities that defund their police departments. It will be interesting to see how the leaders of those cities attempt to deflect the blame for the consequences of their actions.

Policies Proposed By The Biden Campaign

Issues & Insights posted an article today about one of the proposals of the Biden campaign. All of us understand that politicians often do not keep their campaign promises, but in this case that might actually be a good thing.

The article reports:

Joe Biden’s $2 trillion climate change plan, released this week, was described by one liberal outlet as “the Green New Deal, minus the crazy.” We beg to differ. Just look at Biden’s plan to eliminate the internal combustion engine.

Biden says that on his first day in office, he will develop “rigorous new fuel economy standards aimed at ensuring 100% of new sales for light- and medium-duty vehicles will be zero emissions.”

…Aside from fuel economy mandates, Biden also wants to extend and expand the EV tax credit, pump federal money into charging stations, and create a new “cash for clunkers” program for those who trade in a gasoline-powered car for a plug-in.

The cost of all this? Who knows. Aside from the $2 trillion price tag that Biden put on his entire Green New Deal plan, he hasn’t broken down his EV mandate scheme. But Sen. Chuck Schumer has already proposed a cash-for-clunkers plan, which would cost $454 billion over a decade.

The article continues:

And for all this, the electric car mandate will have a negligible impact on CO2 emissions and zero impact on the climate.

For one thing, the CO2 advantage of electric cars is vastly oversold. These are not “zero emissions” vehicles. They simply change the source of the emissions from the car to power plants — most of them powered by coal and natural gas.

A study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found that when you factor in CO2 emissions from electricity production, the average plug-in produces as much CO2 over its lifetime as a gas-powered car that gets 55 miles per gallon.

The CO2 advantage of electric cars diminishes even more when you consider the entire lifecycle of the vehicle, including the environmental impact of mining required to manufacture the batteries. A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that CO2 emissions from manufacturing electric cars was 68% higher than gas-powered cars.

We already did cash-for-clunkers in 2009. The cars turned in had to be disabled or scrapped. The ultimate result of the program was that it artificially inflated the cost of used cars, hurting the people who couldn’t afford to buy new cars.

Wikipedia (not always a reliable source, but in this case cited sources) reported:

The Economists’ Voice reported in 2009 that for each vehicle trade, the program had a net cost of approximately $2,000, with total costs outweighing all benefits by $1.4 billion. Edmunds reported that Cash for Clunkers cost US taxpayers $24,000 per vehicle sold, that nearly 690,000 vehicles were sold, and that only 125,000 of vehicle sales were incremental. Edmunds CEO concluded that without Cash for Clunkers, auto sales would have been even better.

I think we need to learn from our mistakes.

Losing Energy Independence

There are two groups of people who are attempting to end America’s energy independence–OPEC (The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and the Democrat Party. OPEC is fighting American energy independence because it represents competition and loss of OPEC’s worldwide influence. I am not really sure what the Democrat Party stands to gain by fighting American energy independence except that the position opposes President Trump’s position, which seems to be their platform–if President Trump is for it, we’re against it.

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the resistance to America’s energy independence.

The article reported:

The battle to win U.S. energy independence has been long, hard and well worth it but the industry is facing new foreign threats from OPEC as well as right here at home from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Biden wants to ban U.S. fracking, which was the key to our winning the war of energy independence. The former vice president at one point has said “no new fracking” — which, because of the nature of the shale decline rate, would end the U.S. shale revolution. This would not only cost the U.S. thousands of high-paying jobs, it would allow other countries to fill the void and produce more oil and gas.

…Biden has also said he has a goal to completely eliminate fossil fuels. While all men are created equal, energy sources are not. The move to fossil fuel alternatives in the near future is not reasonable and handicapping the U.S. energy industry will only put U.S. energy security at risk.

In fact, because of demand drops due to the COVID-19 shutdowns, many alternative fuels have also seen setbacks in investment and are not viable. The truth is the road to get the world off of fossil fuels will be much longer than the original goal of energy independence and in some form, we will be using fossil fuels for energy for generations to come.

Having a presidential contender looking to curb the U.S. energy industry comes at a time when threats from foreign actors are rising amid allegations they have conspired to try to bankrupt the U.S. energy industry so that we return to depending on them for our economic and national security.

While Saudi Arabia and Russia denied it, many believe that the goal of an oil production war in the midst of COVID-19’s oil demand collapse was to once and for all neutralize and bury the hard-won U.S. energy independence.

Does anyone remember the gasoline crisis of the 1970’s? Because we were almost totally dependent on foreign oil, we had gas lines and high gasoline prices. Does anyone really want to do that again? Energy independence is an economic issue, a national security issue, and a geopolitical issue. It determines our economy, our national security, and can influence our foreign policy. The less dependent we are on foreign oil, the more free we are to stand up to tyrants in countries with large supplies of oil. Energy independence should not even be debatable–it it necessary for the survival of our republic.

Good News

It always amazes me that good economic news is always ‘unexpected’ when a Republican is in the White House. Well, last month’s economic news also fits that pattern. Breitbart reported yesterday that factory activity in the U.S. surged higher than expected in June. That always makes me wonder who expected what.

The article reports:

The Institute for Supply Management’s index of manufacturing activity jumped 9.5 percentage points to 52.6 in June. The gauge of new orders rose 24.6 points to 56.4, the largest ever monthly increase. The production component of the index also rose by more than 24 points to 57.3.

…Economists had expected a reading of 49, with the highest estimate in those surveyed by Econoday 51.5. June’s score was the best since April of 2019.

“The manufacturing sector is reversing the heavy contraction of April, with the PMI increasing month-over-month at a rate not seen since August 1980, with several other indexes also posting gains not seen in modern times,” ISM’s Timothy Fiore said in a statement.

The article further reports:

“US manufacturers have reported a marked turnaround in business conditions through the second quarter, with collapsing production and demand in April at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown turning rapidly to stabilisation by June. The PMI posted a record 10-point rise in June amid unprecedented gains in the survey’s output, employment and order book gauges,” Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, said.

Williamson said:

“The record rise in the New Orders Index, coupled with low inventory holdings, bodes well for a further improvement in production momentum in July. A record upturn in business sentiment about the year ahead likewise hints that business spending and employment will start to revive. However, while the PMI currently points to a strong v-shaped recovery, concerns have risen that momentum could be lost if rising numbers of virus infections lead to renewed restrictions and cause demand to weaken again.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that the workforce participation rate for June was 61.5, up from 60.8 in May. In February the workforce participation rate was 63.4, so we have a ways to go to get back to where we were before the coronavirus shutdown.

We Can, You Can’t

Spectator USA posted an article yesterday about the resumption of Trump rallies in the coming weeks. The article illustrates the double standard being applied to large gatherings of people.

The article reports:

Are you ready for the second blame wave? As the country braces itself for an inevitable repeat surge in COVID-19 infections, we’re told red-state governors ‘opened too soon’. The next outbreak, we can be sure, will be something to do with the fact the President decided to resume his political rallies, approximately two weeks from now.

What nobody says is that individual or social behavior is the cause. It can’t possibly be the thousands of people closely together marching down city streets yelling and chanting, some with masks, some not. The guidelines fell completely by the wayside for the Democrats and much of network cable news.

In the middle of May, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser extended her lockdown order through to the June 8. Two days prior to her own lockdown order was to be reviewed, on June 6, she encouraged mass gatherings of protests, in a tweet saying ‘Let’s all meet here soon #BlackLivesMatter’, with a photo showing off her big block yellow letters painted down a DC street. In a press release about a possible spike in coronavirus cases in her city, after two weeks of protests she encouraged herself, Bowser announced that ‘DC Health has confirmed that a new peak was detected in the data, resetting the Districts Phase One count to nine days of sustained decrease.’

Florida congressswoman Val Demings, who features on the shortlist to be Joe Biden’s VP nominee, tweeted on June 8 that she had joined a ‘Healing and Hope Rally last night to speak with our community as America grieves.’ Two days later she scolded the President: planning to hold ‘mass rallies in Florida and elsewhere as we experience a resurgence in COVID cases is irresponsible and selfish’.

Wow! One set of rules for me, and one set of rules for thee.

The article concludes:

Either the funniest or most egregious behavior came from the Grim Reaper himself. Remember Daniel Uhlfelder? He is the Florida attorney who donned a Grim Reaper costume and harassed Florida beach goers with body bags, he secured through funds raised from Act Blue. Daniel was so serious about the deadly virus spreading through a state run by a Republican governor that he turned his novelty act into a traveling show. But those plans were apparently put on hold as he himself joined in and encouraged protests, as he tweeted on June 7, ‘We are here in the Florida panhandle in Deep South where hundreds have turned out for peaceful protest. No peace. No justice.’ Also, no virus, it seems.

These people want you to believe that this pandemic is caused by some magical woke virus, one which somehow skips those who have the right politics. What it actually does is raise the suspicion that Democrats and progressives have wanted to keep the economy shut down and people at home as long as possible to affect the outcome of the November election. Your job and your family or your church (also protected by the First Amendment) are not important. Our joining in large crowds to protest is.

There is almost assuredly going to be a spike in COVID cases and it will also almost assuredly be put on red-state governors and the President holding rallies. But Democratic activists and politicians themselves created this situation. They encouraged the world to disregard lockdown and people will now follow their lead, no matter how much they are scolded by the media. These people think we’re all stupid. We’re not.

What if there isn’t a significant uptick in coronavirus cases as a result of the protests? Would that mean that the past two months of lockdown was unnecessary? What kind of credibility would the CDC have if we simply see the normal increase due to reopening the economy? It’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks.

Some Good News

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse reported that the United States and the United Kingdom will begin negotiations on a new free trade agreement. This is great news. As Britain leaves the European Union, they are going to need good trade agreements to keep their economy healthy. As America begins to disengage itself from dependence on China, it is going to need good trading partners. This is definitely a win-win.

The article notes:

The United States is essentially a self-sustaining economy. Meaning, if you think about a nation as an independent construct able to sustain itself; our imports are enhancements not priorities. Our domestic resources, energy development, food production and essential internal needs are capable of sustaining our population.  The import of products is valuable, but in the bigger picture not fundamentally necessary for survival.

The United Kingdom is very similar in this regard. The U.K. has abundant energy resources, food and agricultural development, and is positioned as an independent economy absent the dynamic of internal politics regulating those functions. Domestic politics surrounding left-wing climate change (energy development etc), to restrict internal development, are a function of ability, not necessity. The U.K. has abundant coal, oil and natural gas; it also has abundant agriculture.  [The U.K weakness is military defense.]

Because both nations are similar in their ability to be non-dependent on trade, a free trade agreement is essentially a second-tier negotiation on products and services that enhance the independence. This is a unique dynamic not found in all trade discussions. Two independent economic systems negotiating on trade enhancements to each-other.

This is a much different dynamic than negotiation with a dependent country like China. China cannot feed itself, it needs to import raw materials to sustain itself; thus the importance of the One-Belt/One-Road Beijing initiative. China is a massive economy, but China is also a dependent economy; subject to damage from external dynamics.

Similarly, due to advanced political ideology, Canada cannot sustain itself economically; however, they are dependent by choice. Currently Mexico is not self-sustaining; they too are dependent on both access to the U.S. market and the import of industrial goods. However, unlike Canada our southern trade partner is working toward self-sustenance.

…A U.S-U.K trade agreement would not be based on “essential” trade products or “vital” trade services. The trade is not essential, but it is complimentary.

A U.S. and U.K. trade agreement is based on mutual enhancements or mutual benefits. This is an important distinction to keep in mind because it plays into the larger geopolitical dynamic.

The U.K. is currently in a post-Brexit negotiation phase after they spit away from the European Union. Strategically, it is smart for the U.K. to enter into trade discussions with the U.S. for needed products and services they might currently be gaining from the EU.

The timing of trade discussion with the U.S. gives Prime Minister Boris Johnson leverage toward the EU.  President Trump and Boris Johnson have previously discussed this.

Additionally, the U.S. and E.U will eventually have to work out a new trade agreement because President trump is realigning all existing U.S. trade terms.

Definitely a win-win.

One Problem With The Relief Bill Passed By Congress

Issues & Insights posted an article today about the impact of one item that was included in the CARES Act.

The article reports:

Buried in a story about the overly generous unemployment “bonus” that Democrats added to the CARES Act is the reason why they insisted on it in the first place — and why it will drag down the recovery once the lockdown ends.

While lawmakers were hammering out the massive $2 trillion bill, a key focus of which was to keep workers connected to their jobs through a loan guarantee program — Democrats insisted on a huge increase in unemployment benefits.

The result was a $600 a week bonus. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer was right to call this “unemployment on steroids.”

Well, guess what?

“The $600 payment aligns with working full time at $15 an hour – the minimum-wage level many Democrats in Congress support,” notes the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reports that – thanks to this bonus – workers will get an average of $978 in unemployment benefits. What’s more, “Labor Department statistics show half of full-time workers earned $957 or less each week in the first quarter of 2020.”

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham had it exactly right when he said that: “You’re literally incentivizing taking people out of the workforce at a time when we need critical infrastructure supplied with workers. If this is not a drafting error, then it’s the worst idea I’ve seen in a long time.”

The article includes comments from an employee who states that she will not go back to work unless she gets a raise–she likes unemployment at $15 an hour.

The thing to remember here is that the Democrats are all about the November election. If they can manage to pass bills that include things that will prevent the economy from returning to a growth mode after the coronavirus is past, they believe they can win the election. President Trump’s strong point has been his handling of the economy. If the democrats can destroy the economy, they have a better change of getting elected. There is no concern here for the well being of the American people–the Democrats simply want to be back in power. That is not a good thing for America.

 

Social Distancing Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today detailing how the country of Sweden has handled the coronavirus outbreak. Sweden tried a totally different path than most of the world, and the results are astonishing.

The article reports:

Reporter Johan Norberg joined Laura Ingraham on Thursday to discuss the Sweden’s ‘controversial’ policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike other Western countries progressive Sweden, of all places, decided to leave their economy running and let the disease run its course while the population reached herd immunity.

The Swedish plan appears to be working.
Sweden, a country of 10 million, now has 2,152 reported coronavirus related deaths.
New York, a state of 19.85 million, now has 20,861 reported coronavirus related deaths.

Sweden is actually seeing better results than several of its European neighbors.

On Thursday Sweden’s chief epidemiologist announced the Swedish strategy appears to be working and that “herd immunity” could be reached in the capital Stockholm in a matter of weeks.

The article concludes with a portion of the transcript of the conversation:

Laura Ingraham: We found out that herd immunity will be reached in about 2-3 weeks in Sweden. I mean, then they’re kind of done.

Johan Norberg: That’s why we shouldn’t make too many comparisons to cases and deaths right now. Because almost every other country except Sweden has just postponed deaths. They won’t avoid them because there is still no argument that has been made that suddenly this disease will go away after their lockdowns are over. I mean if they’re waiting for a vaccine that could take over a year if we’re lucky. It could take several years. And no society can be shut down completely and shut down the economy for more than a year without ruining society and the economy entirely. And that will kill many more people than the virus does.

Herd immunity is the best solution to this virus. It seems that because of our lockdown, we may have delayed reaching that point. However, because we are being told that the virus does not like heat or humidity, the virus may exit the southern United States before the south faces the long term health consequences of the lockdown.

Leadership?

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about a recent statement by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The article reports:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled Thursday that the House is unlikely to return to session later this month, her clearest indication yet that Congress — like the rest of the country — could remain shuttered for weeks or even longer as the coronavirus crisis continues.

In a half-hour interview, Pelosi issued a stark warning to President Donald Trump, urging him not to prematurely rush to reopen major segments of the country before the coronavirus is under control, which she said could further send the U.S. economy into a tailspin.

“Nobody can really tell you that and I would never venture a guess. I certainly don’t think we should do it sooner than we should,” Pelosi said when asked if she still planned to bring the House back on April 20, which is the current target date.

“This has taken an acceleration from when we started this…Little did we know then that at this point, we’d be further confined.”

It would be nice if the House of Representatives convened to see if they could do anything to help Americans weather the crisis. On the other hand, considering how partisan and ineffective the House of Representatives is, we might actually be better off with them staying home.

The article concludes:

Congress, to put it mildly, is an essential business in constitutional governance. In a national emergency, they need to show up and do their damned jobs. Doctors, nurses, the armed forces, the National Guard, police, paramedics, firefighters, and even grocery-store workers and restaurateurs are showing up to their jobs in this national emergency. Shouldn’t we expect the same or more from our elected officials?

Pelosi and McConnell need to get their members back to Washington now. If those don’t want to do those jobs any more, then they should resign and be replaced by people who are more willing to lead in times of crisis. And if Pelosi and McConnell are reluctant to do that, even just to settle how to operate remotely in a national emergency, then Trump should start demanding it publicly — every day, in his coronavirus briefings — by asking, “Where’s Congress?”

Addendum: Not that I’d expect the media to adopt this policy, but they shouldn’t give any political oxygen to members of Congress who aren’t leading in a national crisis…

Why are we paying Congress right now while Americans are missing paychecks?

A Guest Post From Mark Jones, Chairman, Surry County Republican Party

America Needs to Go Back to Work

We have to put America back to work, and we have to do it sooner rather than later! President Trump’s instincts on this issue were right when he suggested a gradual, careful, and measured shift in parts of the Country. Most areas are mildly impacted with little strain on hospitals (which was the stated reason for the lockdowns in the first place). Putting America back to work is critical for so much more than our economy as it impacts our LIBERTIES, FREEDOMS, and our VERY WAY OF LIFE. THE CURE OF A TOO LONG LOCKDOWN WILL BE WORSE THAN THE DISEASE.

I have written multiple e-mails trying to put COVID-19 into perspective. I agree we MUST DO EVERYTHING we can to fight the disease and protect the elderly and vulnerable. Any loss of life is tragic, but I have used unequivocal data and research from several respected Universities to demonstrate that the death rate from the disease is being over-stated by the mainstream Media. Articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and additional articles by Stanford University Doctors support this and have been e-mailed and posted on the Surry GOP Facebook site. I’ll make them available to anyone who missed them.

The Media has scared the American people into believing we must destroy our American way of life, our freedoms, and our economy to save humanity from COVID-19. This is a lie. The Democrats, with help from the Media, are exploiting this crisis in an attempt to fill every socialist wish list on the planet including free “stuff” for everyone, on-line voting (to help them cheat), and TIGHT GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES (a socialist’s dream). The Democrats also want to hurt Trump who is set to face a very weak Democrat candidate (whether Biden, Cuomo, or someone else) this Fall. While the President is doing a good job under impossible circumstances against a hostile Media, Democrats continually try to exploit this disease to advance their Agenda rather than help America recover and go back to work. The longer panic-driven lockdowns occur, the more it plays into the Democrats’ hands, and the more Americans become used to their totalitarian philosophies.

To be fair, Republicans seem to have been scared and forgotten any concept of smart spending or concern about National deficits and debt. Many objective analyses of the so-called “Historic” and “Bipartisan” $2.2 Trillion Bill show that MUCH LESS than half of the Bill actually helps businesses or impacts COVID-19. The Senate, supposedly a “deliberative body”, sent it over to the House in a panic-driven rush. We were assured “it had to be done immediately”. Leaders in the U.S. House were in such a rush to pass the Bill they refused to debate or even record votes for and against. Wasteful and non-COVID spending in the Bill includes money for tens of millions of people still working along with funding for the Kennedy Center, Planned Parenthood, Unions, and National Public Radio. NO SENATOR OR HOUSE MEMBER SHOULD BE PROUD OF THAT BILL. Americans deserve better from our leaders. Our children already face monumental debt and will face inflation worsened by the Bill. Economics 101 tells us bad things happen when you borrow and print money and infuse it into a system where people cannot make products. Congress talks about passing another and more massive Bill as if it must happen. Over the long-term, our very way of life and economic survival is at stake. Will leaders encourage spending sanity?

If you dare to speak out against the crackdown on freedoms and the massive spending, the Media trots out statistics from the misrepresented death toll of this disease. They will be quick to tell you about the latest tragic death as if to suggest that anyone who suggests we are on the wrong track just doesn’t care. If hyped death tolls don’t suffice, they film Italian Hospitals and present the video as coming from New York (CBS did this and publicly admitted it as reported in the New York Post). When lies are exposed, they bury the retraction. They fail to provide perspective. The first two deaths in North Carolina occurred on a day when five people died of the flu. Did the Media tell you? Do they talk about the 99% with mild reactions to the disease?

A commonly used and 65-year old anti-malarial drug (Hydroxychloroquine) shows promise for severe cases and as protection for Health Care workers, but the Media only criticizes the President for giving false hope and calls the drug “unsafe”. Multiple Doctors have reported that thousands of people have been successfully treated for COVID-19 with the drug. Millions of people have safely taken this drug for Malaria and Lupus for decades, yet the Media seems almost afraid that it might work and be safe for COVID-19. Ask yourself why the Media almost gleefully reports the worst news possible and why they refuse to focus on the fact that WELL OVER 99% (remember tens of thousands of people have gone untested) OF INFECTED PEOPLE HAVE MILD COMPLICATIONS from this illness. Multiple scientific papers support this, were provided in prior messages, and are available upon request.

The same people telling us we need to lock down for months and not worry about our economy are the same people who criticized the President for closing travel from China. They are the same people who complained when the President closed travel from Europe and the same people who encouraged large gatherings for Chinese New Year in New York and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. They are the same people who favor open borders to allow illegal immigrants to become undocumented voters.

The United Nations is now calling for a 10% tax on every Country in the World to “fight COVID-19”. Henry Kissinger called for a “New World Order” in the Wall Street Journal. Many nations, and some American Democrats, have called for GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER of everything from businesses to banks in order “to fight COVID-19”. This is a dream-come-true for Socialists determined to advance their Agenda and SHOULD SCARE ALL MAINSTREAM AMERICANS more than the latest misrepresented death tolls from the Media. Never let a crisis go to waste! Fear will compel people to comply!

What the experts are not telling you is that their own models show severe lockdowns only DELAY THE EFFECTS of the disease until round two comes next winter. Multiple scientific papers show it and have been provided. Do we shut down America for months or even years? Do Doctors decide? That seems to be what the Media and Democrats favor – especially if they can force shut down through the Elections and force electronic or mail-in voting. Every time the President talks of finding creative ways to go back to work, the Media becomes frantic. HOW MUCH OF OUR FREEDOM AND OUR WAY OF LIFE WILL WE SACRIFICE FOR A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY? In addition to public health, we must also consider economic health and American Constitutional Liberties.

America must be smart enough to refuse to allow fear to rule our lives. Our Constitutional Rights and Liberties are what set us apart from the rest of the World. When President Trump suggested putting segments of our economy back to work, he was quickly attacked and told we could not do that. If “Essential Services” like grocery stores, gas stations, and hardware stores can remain open, can’t we figure out ways to open many other segments of our economy? How far will we allow the Media and fear to push us? As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”.

If you have had enough of the fear and panic driven by the mainstream Media, I encourage you to speak up. Write and call elected officials including Republicans in our State and National Legislature. Write and call to support President Trump and Vice President Pence. They are doing a great job against impossible opposition from many Democrats and many Media outlets. Refuse to let fear deprive you of what made America special in the first place. Think for yourself. Ask yourself if this is the Country our forefathers fought to defend. It is time the American people let our leaders know we don’t want to see our American liberties and our economy destroyed out of fear and panic. How many of our rights and liberties will we sacrifice? When do we put segments of American Society back to work? When do sensible and courageous political leaders step up?

 

The Question Of The Day

Theoretically the purpose of the nationwide lock-down was to insure that the healthcare infrastructure was not overwhelmed by the demand for hospital beds and respirators. Okay. That makes sense. As the coronavirus has continued to work its way through the nation, we have seen American ingenuity come to the forefront with additional hospital beds and respirators discovered or invented to meet the need. We have also seen that  the actual case load is only a fraction of what the ‘experts’ warned us about. Some of that is due to staying home, but some of that is due to estimates that were totally inaccurate. Now it is time to assess the damage the lock-down has done to America’s economy and search for a balance between the health and economic well-being of Americans.

The American Thinker posted an article today titled, “When Should Trump Restart the Economy?” That is definitely the question of the day.

The article reports:

As the world shudders into Easter and the death toll on the China virus continues to rise, the question is: should we quarantine or should we restart the economy before the shutdown kills us?

Or, more exactly, when should President Trump brave the sneers of the White House press corpse and proclaim that America is Back?

The answer, I think, is pretty clear. It will be midway between the point where only crazed libertarians propose a return to work and the point where Nancy Pelosi would announce that she is appointing a House Select Committee to investigate Trump’s criminal delay in restarting the economy.

In other words, effective political leadership is tricky.

The article notes how the media will treat any decision the President makes:

My prediction is that President Trump will issue a back-to-work order about two weeks before the geniuses in the media and left-wing hate groups catch up to reality. There will be two weeks where all the usual suspects are telling us that the walls are closing in on Trump. A couple of Inspectors General will change the rules on whistleblowers and leak to their favorite House committees which will start super-secret investigations in the House basement.

Then it will become evident to all that Trump made the right decision. However, he did it the wrong way.

Whatever the President does, he will be criticized in the press. He might as well do what he thinks is right and take the heat (as he has done all along). Frankly I am very grateful to have a businessman in the White House right now instead of a politician. Businessmen solve problems–politicians extend problems so that they can be re-elected.

Please follow the link above and read the entire article. It makes a lot of sense.

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).