It’s Not A Pretty Picture

Just the News posted an article on Sunday that sums up the Biden administration in five numbers.

These are the numbers:

1. 8.6 percent

2. $5.01 per gallon

3. 234,088 illegal border crossings

4. 39% approval

5. 83% dissatisfied

Obviously, this is not a pretty picture. The 8.6 number represents the government figure on inflation. There is little question that government policies on spending and energy have fueled the rapid spike in inflation. According to Fox Business, on Jan. 20, 2021, the average price for a gallon of gas nationwide was approximately $2.39. Today it generally $5.00 or more. That impacts everyone. It has the same impact as a massive tax increase.

The number of illegal border crossing also impacts everyone because of the drug traffic and human trafficking associated with those illegal crossings.

The article notes:

The figure reached about 2.4 million illegal border crossings from April of last year to this past April, the last month for which there’s publicly available data and the month with the highest number of migrant encounters during the Biden administration at 234,088.

The 39 percent approval rating is not a surprise, but I would love to know who those 39 percent are.

The article notes:

A new poll from Quinnipiac last week found that approval of Biden’s job performance plummeted to 33%. More striking, however, the data shows just 22% of Americans ages 18-34, 24% of Hispanic voters, and 49% of black voters said they approve of Biden’s job performance. Each of those demographics is a critical voting bloc for the Democratic Party.

And finally, the article notes that 83 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with “the way things are going in the United States at this time.” Only 16% of Americans said they were satisfied.

The article concludes:

In this political environment, Democratic pollsters and strategists are growing increasingly pessimistic, seeing major Republican gains as all but inevitable.

To make matters worse for Biden and Democrats in Congress, “election outcomes are more-or-less baked in” by the end of the second quarter of an election year, according to RealClearPolitics Senior Elections Analyst Sean Trende.

Of course, things can always change, but the numbers don’t look good for Biden.

More importantly, behind those numbers are real people who are hurting. And each of them has a vote in November.

These numbers only matter if there is an honest election in November.

The Real Numbers On Electric Cars

On Wednesday, The Western Journal posted an article about the actual cost of purchasing, driving, and maintaining an electric car.

The article notes:

As the average cost per gallon of gas has soared past $4.20, and with no end in sight, many of our leaders — including Joe Biden — are pushing EVs as a cost-effective replacement for gas-powered cars.

As Fox Business recently noted, a one-to-one comparison of the cost of charging an EV versus filling a regular auto with gas showed that EV charging appeared cheaper. But many other factors need to be included in the math to make a true analysis — factors that many EV advocates are desperate to ignore.

“According to the EPA, the national average for a kilowatt-hour of electricity is 13 cents, including at homes where most electric car owners charge their vehicles with 240-volt Level 2 chargers that typically take eight hours or more to fill them up,” Fox reported on Wednesday. “Many of these are also available in public settings like office and shopping center parking lots, where they are known as destination chargers.”

The article also points out:

But charging your EV comes with its own set of pricey problems. As noted above, costs are rising per kilowatt-hour when using public stations, and using a home charger offers the biggest savings. However, owners also have to shell out between $700 and $2,000 to install a Level 2 home charging unit, Carvana reported. This might tend to make the first year’s savings for not buying gasoline a wash.

Worse, if you want to install a Level 3 charger in your home, you’ll be hit with costs of up to $50,000 or more — including upgrading the electrical system in your house to power the thing.

The article also notes:

Also, a major source of expense for EVs is battery pack replacement. Depending on the car, battery packs can last between 5 and 20 years, but the replacement costs might make keeping the car prohibitive. Some experts say that the average battery life is eight years or 100,000 miles, and depending on the model, battery packs cost between $5,000 and $20,000 to replace — not including labor.

This high cost is also a warning to anyone buying a used EV. After all, if you buy a 10-year-old EV that still has its original battery, you might be forced to fork out another $10,000 to replace a dead battery pack shortly after putting as much as $25,000 to purchase the used vehicle. This is a cost that few average Americans can afford.

Another issue is a geopolitical concern.

Many of the rare earth minerals — such as lithium — and the manufactured batteries and parts are made in China, and the costs for these materials are also skyrocketing.

Indeed, in December it was found that the cost of lithium had surged more than 250 percent over the year. Not only are these materials rising in expense, but we are enriching China in the process.

Meanwhile, where is the electricity to power these electric vehicles coming from? If 20 percent of Americans owned electric cars, could the power grid handle the load?

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It provides much food for thought.

Responding To Public Pressure

On Saturday, Fox Business reported that GoFundMe had reversed its decision to redistribute the donations made to the Canadian truck drivers protesting vaccine mandates and other Covid restrictions. GoFundMe was planning to redistribute the donations made for the truckers to other organizations.

The article reports:

Facing a potential fraud investigation by the state of Florida, GoFundMe reversed a decision to redistribute money given by thousands of donors to the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” protesting COVID-19 regulations.

On Friday, the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe froze the convoy’s official campaign, claiming law enforcement convinced the company that the convoy had become violent and unlawful.

GoFundMe encouraged donors to submit a refund form, and said that any funds not properly returned to donors would be donated to a charity chosen by the Freedom Convoy.

Within hours, however, GoFundMe walked back the refund applications, instead announcing it would be refunding donors automatically.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that he would “investigate” the company, accusing them of fraud.

The article concludes:

Critics of the company’s haphazard cancellation include Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who questioned whether there is a “double-standard,” given past fundraisers for legal funds in defense of antifa members and criminal protesters.

There is a double standard. There is also the fact that organizations should not be able to take donations for one case and channel them to another cause. Good for Governor DeSantis for standing up to the attempted theft of charitable donations.

The Woke Crowd Is Targeting Monopoly

MRCTV reported yesterday that the woke police have gone after the Monopoly game.

The article quotes a Fox Business article:

Hasbro will change all 16 of Monopoly’s “community chest” cards to remove outdated concepts. The company said the classic versions of the cards, which included prompts referencing beauty contests and holiday funds, were “long overdue for a refresh.”

New community chest cards will focus on topics that emphasize “community.” Hasbro asked the public to vote on potential replacements, with rewards for in-game actions such as rescuing a puppy or shopping local among the options. Other cards would penalize players for forgetting to recycle or blasting music too late at night.

The only good thing I can say about this is that it will make the game more relatable for younger generations who did not grow up playing the game. However, how many of the younger generation still play board games instead of video games?

 

Voting With Your Feet

California is a beautiful state. As a teenager I remember being enthralled by the Beach Boys and the lifestyle they talked about–beautiful beaches and surfing most of the year. At that point I was not smart enough to realize what the water temperature is along most of the California coast. At any rate, for a long time California was a very desirable place to live. Now–not so much. Taxes, the high cost of living, the homeless problem, crime issues, and generally poor leadership by the state politicians have taken a toll on the desirability of making California your home.

Yesterday Fox Business reported the following:

The smart money may be sticking together and sticking it to California.

Oracle is joining Tesla and Hewlett Packard Enterprise in moving some operations to Texas, detailing the move in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday.

“Oracle is implementing a more flexible employee work location policy and has changed its Corporate Headquarters from Redwood City, California to Austin, Texas. We believe these moves best position Oracle for growth and provide our personnel with more flexibility about where and how they work. Depending on their role, this means that many of our employees can choose their office location as well as continue to work from home part-time or all of the time. In addition, we will continue to support major hubs for Oracle around the world, including those in the United States such as redwood City, Austin, Santa Monica, Seattle, Denver, Orlando and Burlington, among others, and we expect to add other locations over time. By implementing a more modern approach to work, we expect to further improve our employees’ quality of life and quality of output” the SEC filing noted.

While the move signals working remotely is here to stay, it also signals more corporations could be becoming disillusioned with California.

The article notes that earlier this month, Hewlett Packard Enterprise also announced it was moving its headquarters to Houston. Tesla is also moving. The high taxes and bad government in California are driving businesses out of the state. This will result in a loss of tax revenue, tax increases for people and businesses who remain in the state, and eventual bankruptcy for the state. Unfortunately, depending on who controls Congress, the rest of the country may be asked to pay for the mistakes of California.

 

Where Did The Jobs Go?

Today Fox Business posted an article that included some comments White House trade adviser Peter Navarro made on “Sunday Morning Futures.”

The article reports:

“We lost over 70,000 factories, over 5 million manufacturing jobs, and it was because Joe Biden likes made in China,” Navarro said. “Donald Trump came along. … He said, ‘Hey, that’s not good. That’s not right. I’m going to fix that.’ And so what President Trump has been carefully doing is putting in place a wide range of policies, whether it’s lowering the corporate income tax to bring investment on-shore, steel and aluminum tariffs, or buy American.”

The U.S. lost 5 million manufacturing jobs between January 2000 and December 2014 because of “growing trade deficits in manufacturing products prior to the Great Recession and then the massive output collapse during the Great Recession,” according to a 2015 report from the Economic Policy Institute.

The article notes:

China’s state-run tabloid Global Times deemed Biden “smoother to deal with” than President Trump in August.

I don’t doubt that!

The article concludes:

“Economic security is national security. That’s one of the principles of the Trump Administration and what we learned from this China virus pandemic,” Navarro said. “If we bring those jobs back onshore as we have been doing, we will create great jobs at great wages but also protect the American people from the Chinese communist party.”

Navarro touted Trump’s stance on U.S. manufacturing, but the president has repeatedly taken criticism for manufacturing his branded products in other countries, including China.

The goal should be to make it cheaper and more practical to manufacture things in America. That goal can be achieved through lower corporate taxes, tariffs on foreign goods, and reliable and inexpensive energy. President Trump has worked in all three of these areas to bring manufacturing back to America. Because of Hunter Biden’s continuing investments in China, it is unlikely that Joe Biden would continue policies that would move jobs away from China.

Selflessness In A Crisis

Yesterday Fox Business posted an article noting that Shake Shack Inc will return the small business loan it received from the U.S. government.

The article reports:

The company will immediately return the entire $10 million SBA loan as it was able to raise additional capital, CEO Randy Garutti and founder Danny Meyer said in a blog post on Monday. Last week, it raised about $150 million in an equity offering.

…Shake Shack said the money it received could be reallocated to the independent restaurants “who need it most, (and) haven’t gotten any assistance.”

The company runs around 189 restaurants in the United States, with about 45 employees in each outlet, and reported nearly $600 million in revenue for 2019.

It has closed about half of its 120 locations worldwide, and furloughed or laid off more than 1,000 employees after sales fell 28.5% in March, the company said in a filing on April 17.

This is an interesting decision. First of all, it frees the company from any restrictions or limitations that were put on the government handout. The government loans to businesses would only become grants if the companies retained 75 percent of their employees. By returning the money, Shake Shack is free to make decisions of what is best for both the business and the employees. I don’t know if that was part of their decision making process, but it is part of the federal loans to small businesses program. All of us need to remember that when there is federal money involved there are strings attached–those strings can be about the size of the cables that hold up suspension bridges.

The Consequences Of Success

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article that illustrates the bias of the mainstream media.

The article begins with a denial from the networks. I am not sure I believe the denial:

Representatives from both CNN’s State of the Union and CBS’s Face the Nation refuted Grisham’s claims that they turned down an appearance from a White House official. A Fox News spokesperson also pointed out that Grisham inaccurately said Fox Business was the only network to accept a White House spokesperson because they do not have a Sunday talk show.

The article states:

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham claimed a slew of networks declined to book a White House official for Sunday programming after a good news week for President Trump.

Grisham, in a Friday night appearance on Hannity, acknowledged the White House will not get much airtime to discuss the State of the Union address, the president getting acquitted in the Senate impeachment trial, and a strong jobs report.

“I have got to tell you there is not going to be one White House official on any of the Sunday shows this weekend. Only Fox Business is taking a White House official to talk about what an amazing week this president has had, and I do find that timing very, very suspect,” she explained.

The article concludes:

While most networks aren’t featuring a White House official, many are bringing on Trump supporters. CBS’s Face The Nation will have South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, as well as 2020 hopefuls Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The two presidential candidates will also appear on Fox News Sunday.

Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani will appear on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures.

ABC’s This Week will also feature two Democratic presidential candidates; the only conservative on their guest list is former Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, who is also a network contributor.

It will be interesting to see the comments about Speaker Pelosi’s tearing up the speech on the Sunday shows. Her actions were childish and totally inappropriate. However, I doubt they will be reported as such.

Happening Beneath The Radar

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about the signing of the first phase of the trade deal with China.

The article notes:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears on FOX Business to discuss the U.S-China ‘phase-one’ trade agreement, the benefits, enforcement mechanisms and retention of tariffs and particular sanctions until compliance can be reviewed.

Phase-1 establishes the baselines; resets the ability of U.S. companies to enter China; establishes rules for market entry; and sets the parameters for enforcement. Any future phase is contingent upon evaluation of phase-one enforcement mechanisms.

The article includes the following video:

The important aspect of this agreement is that no future agreements will be made until the rules of this agreement are complied with. China has been a dishonest trade partner for years and has been largely responsible for the decline of manufacturing in America. Phase-1 of the trade agreement with China is the first step in reversing this trend.

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 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 Beginning Of Progress In The Trade War With China

It is no surprise that trade negotiations with China have moved slowly. President Trump is attempting to level a playing field that has been tilted for a long time. China has manipulated its currency to gain trade advantage, China has stolen intellectual property, and China has used slave labor to manufacture products at ridiculously cheap prices. We have looked the other way, ignoring human rights abuses. We have also looked the other way in terms of the censorship of speech in China. Google has helped develop a search engine that will meet the requirements of the Chinese censors. We have complied with things that are against our principles for the sake of money. The trade deal being negotiated is not going to change that, but at least it will be a beginning attempt to level the playing field.

Fox Business is reporting today that the U.S. and China agreed to a “phase one deal” in the trade war.

The article reports:

The deal, which has been agreed to in principle and will take three to five weeks to write, includes China agreeing to raise its agricultural purchases to between $40 billion and $50 billion from $8 billion to $16 billion, in addition to making reforms on intellectual property and financial services. The U.S. will not be raising tariffs from 25 percent to 30 percent on Oct. 15. A decision has not yet been made on the tariff increase scheduled for Dec. 15.

A comprehensive trade deal will have two or three phases, according to Trump. China’s trade team is calling the agreement a “pause” in the trade war, and not a deal.

China is not a free country, and the Chinese negotiators who are working out this trade deal will pay a high price if the deal is not totally acceptable to the leadership in China. The fact that a phase one deal has been reached is good news, but China does not have a great track record on keeping promises or abiding by trade agreements.

An Interesting Twist On The Game Of Baseball

Fox Business reported yesterday that Major Leage Baseball has announced that the New York Yankees will plan the Chicago White Sox at the “Field of Dreams” stadium located in the cornfields of Dyersville, Iowa. The temporary stadium seats 8,000. This will be the first ever Major League Baseball game played there.

The article reports:

“As a sport that is proud of its history linking generations, Major League Baseball is excited to bring a regular-season game to the site of Field of Dreams,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “We look forward to celebrating the movie’s enduring message of how baseball brings people together at this special cornfield in Iowa.”

This won’t be the first time that Major League Baseball has built a temporary stadium for just one game. Iin 2016, a 12,500-seat stadium was erected at Fort Bragg in North Carolina to give military members and their families a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What a great idea!

 

 

Trying To Level The Playing Field Has Its Challenges

Fox Business posted an article today about the devaluing of the Chinese yuan. The devaluing of the Chinese currency (currency manipulation) has been used by China for decades to grow their economy at the expense of America. It has been used to lure manufacturing away from America, impact our trade balance, and generally work against the American economy. We have needed to combat this practice for decades, but no President had the courage.

The article reports:

The onshore Chinese yuan weakened to worse than seven per U.S. dollar, hitting its lowest level since 2008, as Beijing looks to cushion the blow from Trump’s tariffs. A weaker yuan makes Chinese goods cheaper for overseas buyers, which may be necessary as China just lost its spot as the US’s biggest trading partner.

Trade data released Friday by the Department of Commerce showed U.S. imports from China fell by 12% in the first six months of the year, allowing Mexico to supplant it as the U.S.’s biggest trade partner.

“China dropped the price of their currency to an almost a historic low,” Trump tweeted Opens a New Window. on Monday. “It’s called “currency manipulation.” Are you listening Federal Reserve? This is a major violation which will greatly weaken China over time!”

Last week, Trump said beginning Sept. 1 the U.S. would place a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese goods. He went ahead with the announcement despite objections from his advisers.

The president warned he could “always do much more” with respect to tariffs, adding the 10 percent tax could go “well beyond 25 percent” if necessary. Earlier this year, the administration placed a 25% tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Weakening the yuan isn’t the only form of retaliation Beijing took on Monday. It also ordered state-owned enterprises to stop purchases of U.S. agricultural products, according to a Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the situation.

That is a reversal from just last week, when Beijing said it had purchased several tons of U.S. soybeans Opens a New Window. as a gesture of a goodwill amid trade negotitations. Before the trade war began, China was the largest buyer of U.S. soybeans, accounting for 70% of all purchases, but their imports have fallen by 97% since the trade war began.

The article notes:

Over the weekened, The Trump administration pushed back against the idea the trade war was hitting the wallets of U.S. consumers.

“China has strategically gamed the tariffs by slashing their prices and by devaluing their currency,” White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told “Fox News Sunday.”

This trade dust-up with China may get ugly, but it is something that has to be done.

Some Comments On Today’s Events

The following interview is from Fox Business News:

We are watching the last of an attempted coup. The Deep State, which included the upper echelon of the Department of Justice, in collusion with the Hillary Clinton campaign and aided by the mainstream media attempted (and is continuing to attempt) to unseat a duly-elected President because they don’t like him and they lost. Actually it’s more serious than that. President Trump represents a serious threat to the current status quo that has enriched Washington insiders for generations. Rather than lose the gravy train they are accustomed to, Democrats and some Republicans want him gone. They are not particularly fussy about following the Constitution in accomplishing their goal. Hopefully those who participated in this attempted coup with be dealt with appropriately.

 

President Trump Has Reached A Trade Deal With Canada And Mexico

America has not done well in trade deals in the recent past. Our manufacturing sector has suffered for a variety of reasons–high taxes, bad trade agreements, energy costs, etc. The Trump administration has begun to address these issues, sometimes more successfully than others.

This past weekend, Fox Business announced that the United States and Canada confirmed that they had reached a deal on a “new, modernized trade agreement,” which is designed to replace the 1994 NAFTA pact.

The article reports:

In a joint statement the two nations said the new deal would be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said following a cabinet meeting, “It’s a good day for Canada.”

…The agreements reportedly boost U.S. access to Canada’s dairy market and protect Canada from possible U.S. autos tariffs.

Trump’s administration has said Canada must sign on to the text of the updated NAFTA by a midnight Sunday deadline or face exclusion from the pact. Washington has already reached a bilateral deal with Mexico, the third NAFTA member.

If Canada did not sign a new deal, Trump had threatened to impose steep tariffs on all automotive imports.

…Trump blames NAFTA for the loss of American manufacturing jobs and wants major changes to the pact, which underpins $1.2 trillion in annual trade. Markets fear its demise would cause major economic disruption.

Negotiators from both sides spent two days talking by phone as they tried to settle a range of difficult issues such as access to Canada’s dairy market and U.S. tariffs.

As part of any agreement, Canada looks set to offer increased access to its highly protected dairy market, as it did in separate pacts with the European Union and Pacific nations.

Access to Canada’s dairy market was one of the sticking points of the negotiations. Canada places high tariffs on imported dairy products in order to protect its dairy farmers.

This agreement is another indication of the Trump administration’s desire to protect the interests of America. America is simply looking for a level playing field in trade agreements. This treaty is one more step in that direction.

Be Careful What You Believe Between Now And the Presidential Election

Yesterday Fox Business posted an article about the jobless claims data reported this week.

The article reports:

A sharp drop in the number of weekly jobless claims filed last week was caused by the failure of one large state to report all of its claims, a Labor Department spokesman confirmed to FOX Business.

Initial jobless claims, which are a measure of the number of people recently laid off, fell by 30,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the lowest level in more than four years.

But the Labor Department spokesman said the numbers were skewed by one large state that underreported its data. The spokesman declined to identify the state, but economists believe California is the only state large enough to have such a significant impact on the overall numbers.

Evidently, the state that did not report their numbers forgot to include that stockpile of unprocessed claims in their tally for this week (which is the first week of a new calendar quarter),

This is the equivalent of saying all of your bills are paid because you are haven’t gotten to the pile of bills you left on the kitchen table. We are truly in the silly season and need to discount at least ninety percent of what we read or hear from the media. Just for the record, the number will be revised upward, but at a time when no one is paying attention.

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