To say we consider Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross a man with a unique skill-set for this defined moment in U.S. economic history would be an understatement of epic proportions. Ross is one of the most consequential and dynamic forces within the President Trump administration.
That said, Secretary Ross also knows the real economic adversary is not necessarily external to our border. The bought-and-paid-for UniParty congress has been under the influence of the globalist-minded U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the myriad of K-Street lobbyists, for almost two decades.
Today, Wilbur “Wilburine” Ross fires a shot across the bow of the U.S. Economic Swamp Defenders:
Our message is simple – the games are over, and improper treatment of the United States will no longer be tolerated. We will approach future negotiations and actions with a clarity of purpose guiding us as we work to establish both free and fair trade.
Unfortunately, NAFTA negotiations cannot begin until Congress accepts our 90-day notification letter in compliance with the Trade Promotion Act. But, under President Trump’s leadership, I have no doubt that we will be successful in rebalancing American trade in favor of American workers and businesses.
There are, as you know, trillions of dollars at stake. The American electorate have no reference points for the battles that lie ahead within budgets and trade principals. The Trump administration will necessarily direct attention to the real source of political power and influence, the DC financial system.
Wilbur Ross provides no quarter. This is a zero-sum game; it is not some esoteric argument about priorities. The DC UniParty will do everything within their power to block their diminishment.
As outlined by Wilburine:
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross – The United States is the least protectionist country in the world but has the largest trade deficit, while other countries are highly protectionist and have huge trade surpluses. This cannot continue.
We can no longer afford to be ignorant or naive in the aggressive global marketplace, and there is no reason why we should be forced to singlehandedly absorb the $500 billion trade surplus of the rest of the world.
Since inauguration, the Administration and the Department of Commerce have been moving rapidly to institute the vision and policies of President Trump. We are acting to vigorously protect the interests of the United States and to restore the primacy of American workers and businesses.
This administration will not be taken advantage of or cheated through illegal subsidies and market manipulation, and we are acting aggressively against those countries that mock our trade laws.
To start, we have brought a new energy to enforcement, working to ensure that all countries play fair and by the agreed-upon rules. We have been executing these trade investigations very rapidly.
In our short time in office, Commerce has opened investigations into dumping or unfair subsidization of over $1 billion dollars of aluminum and metal imports from China and other countries; progressed in investigating over $14 billion in dumped or illegally subsidized imports of steel, chemicals, and other products into the United States; and issued final determinations and imposed duties on imports of steel and other products valued at over $2 billion, including steel from China.
We have also begun the process of self-initiating trade cases, which speeds up the process of taking corrective action while allowing the Department of Commerce to shield American businesses from retaliation.
To further these efforts, the President recently issued two executive orders giving the federal government additional tools to ensure fair treatment of American workers and businesses.
The first order tasks the Department of Commerce with an omnibus review of our nation’s trade deficit. We are now going through country by country, product by product, to identify and study the sources of America’s trade imbalance.
While some of this information is already collected by various government agencies, there has never been such a systematic collection, review, and analysis of the data. As we seek to rebalance our trade relationships, this report will be our go-to resource.
The second executive order provides another more concrete weapon in the fight against unfair trade practices. I was amazed to hear that the government has failed to collect literally billions of dollars in antidumping and countervailing duties that we impose pursuant trade judgements in favor of American industry. Many importers use straw man companies with little or no assets to import their goods, so that when it comes time to collect the duties, there is nothing to collect.
It makes no sense to expend the time and resources to get an affirmative ruling if you cannot then take the necessary action to punish and deter bad actors. This will no longer occur, as the President’s second executive order empowers the Department of Homeland Security to require companies to put up collateral in the form of cash, insurance bonds, or letters of credit in order to import goods.
While we will ensure that there is a full and fair assessment of the facts in all enforcement cases, we intend to act swiftly and harshly to halt any unfair or improper trade practices.
Commerce is also charged with protecting our national security from those who would harm this country. In executing that mission, our Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) recently led the federal government in imposing a $1.19 billion dollar fine against Chinese telecommunications manufacturer ZTE, the largest fine ever in an export control case. BIS caught ZTE shamelessly exporting sensitive telecommunications products to both Iran and North Korea.
Our message is simple – the games are over, and improper treatment of the United States will no longer be tolerated.
We will approach future negotiations and actions with a clarity of purpose guiding us as we work to establish both free and fair trade. Unfortunately, NAFTA negotiations cannot begin until Congress accepts our 90-day notification letter in compliance with the Trade Promotion Act. But, under President Trump’s leadership, I have no doubt that we will be successful in rebalancing American trade in favor of American workers and businesses. –link–
interview with FOX and Friends, Pruitt said that “Paris [agreement] is something that we need to really look at closely. It’s something we need to exit in my opinion.”
“It’s a bad deal for America,” he continued. “It was an America second, third, or fourth kind of approach. China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030. We front-loaded all of our costs.”
Pruitt’s comments increase the likelihood the U.S. will pull out of the agreement, which requires governments to present national plans to reduce emissions to limit global temperature rise, as well as regularly report on their progress. Pruitt has previously referred to the agreement as a “bad deal,” but has never openly called for America to quit.
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump was a prominent critic of the deal, promising to “cancel” it, and this week he refused to sign a statement endorsing the agreement. Although Trump could not instantly pull America out, he could initiate the process for the country’s exit.
Since taking office, Trump has revoked a range of environmental legislation—including Barack Obama’s climate orders—with a plan to focus on energy independence and revitalize the coal industry. In his first White House budget, Trump also proposed a 31 percent cut to the EPA’s overall budget.
However, reports in March suggested that members of Trump’s senior team were divided over pulling out of the deal, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his own daughter Ivanka advising him not to pull the plug over concerns it would upset major allies.
On Thursday, Energy Secretary Rick Perry confirmed that his department is conducting a review of all energy policy, adding that it was “the right to do.”
Published on Apr 18, 2017
Vidar Skjelstad, president of Kongsberg Defense Systems and the Norwegian-American Defense & Homeland Security Industry Council (NADIC) discusses corporate growth priorities, America First rhetoric, domestic investment and hiring, and how to succeed in the North American market with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian during an interview at the National Press Club in Washington on April 6, 2017, during this year's NADIC Conference.
Trumponomics: Graph reveals how Ivanka's clothing sales increased by 10,700% when Kellyanne Conway promoted her on TV - as outrage grows over fact China gave her three trademarks the same day she met Chinese President
Sales of Ivanka-brand merchandise went up massively on February 9 and 10
On February 9, Kellyanne Conway had promoted the brand on national TV
Conway was criticized for a breach of ethics, but it helped out Ivanka's sales
The Ivanka brand had three provisional Chinese trademarks confirmed on April 6
That day, Chinese president Xi Jinping was visiting the Trumps at Mar-a-lago
Ivanka no longer manages her company - but she still owns it
And critics say that it's compromising her ability to counsel the president
Nearly 100 Days In, Is Trump Any Closer to Fiscal Reform? By: Frank Holmes
This week I will be in Washington, D.C., attending Evercore ISI’s Energy Policy And Geopolitics Conference, where I will be visiting senior staff from the White House infrastructure team and House Energy and Commerce Committee. I will also be meeting with John Fagan, head of the Treasury Department’s Markets Room, and Robin Dunnigan, the Bureau of Energy Resource’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy. Among the topics of discussion will include energy independence, legal and policy issues impacting the energy sector, tax reform and geopolitical risks in Syria, Russia and Iran.
During an AP interview last week President Trump first mentioned a possibility of complete withdrawal from the 25-year-old NAFTA agreement. Today several outlets are reporting on a draft executive action to do just that.
BACKGROUND: One of the problems with the NAFTA trade agreement (and most other trade deals) has been that no administration ever reevaluates them to measure their long-term impact since implementation. It has been almost 25 years since Bill Clinton signed NAFTA (’94) and only now in 2017 is the Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross evaluating the current value and measuring the economic impact to the U.S. in current terms.
AP: I would like to know what your plan is in terms of renegotiating.
TRUMP: I am very upset with NAFTA. I think NAFTA has been a catastrophic trade deal for the United States, trading agreement for the United States. It hurts us with Canada, and it hurts us with Mexico. Most people don’t even think of NAFTA in terms of Canada. You saw what happened yesterday in my statements, because if you look at the dairy farmers in Wisconsin and upstate New York, they are getting killed by NAFTA.
AP: Is your plan still, though, to renegotiate the whole deal?
TRUMP: I am going to either renegotiate it or I am going to terminate it.
AP: Termination is still on the table.
TRUMP: Absolutely. If they don’t treat fairly, I am terminating NAFTA.
AP: What’s a timeline for that decision?
TRUMP: It’s a six-month termination clause, I have the right to do it, it’s a six-month clause. (link)
Yesterday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross discussed the current NAFTA issues within this interview with Bloomberg News:
Today Via Politico – The Trump administration is considering an executive order on withdrawing the U.S. from NAFTA, according to two White House officials.
A draft order has been submitted for the final stages of review and could be unveiled late this week or early next week, the officials said. The effort, which still could change in the coming days as more officials weigh in, would indicate the administration’s intent to withdraw from the sweeping pact by triggering the timeline set forth in the deal. (read more)
Amazing how this stuff works when our side actually makes other countries honor their agreements ain't it?
Wilbur Ross put Canada on notice 90 days ago about dumping soft wood lumber into the American market. 2 days ago he hits them with a retroactive tariff.
Today both Canada and Mexico are eager to negotiate.
President Trump said:
“it is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation. It is an honor to deal with both President Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better.” ###
This is how it's supposed to work people, when there is not complete sellout idiots on our side of the table.
Saturday marks the 100th day of the Trump presidency, and it’s certain that pundits, elite blowhards and the endless parade of twerpish D.C. political consultants who make TV appearances will use ink and air time to declare our president and his agenda an epic fail.
They already have. In the last two weeks, I’ve collected almost a dozen mainstream media analyses softening the ground for full bore assault likely set for EF-Day — Epic Fail Day. Giddy as old men invigorated with Viagra, they experience ecstasy proclaiming American collapse.
Given that there are people who pay Yale $62,000 a year for tuition, room and board, and then demand “safe spaces” to keep from having their feelings hurt, Trump ain’t the only one suffering “dangerous mental illness.”
But I digress.
Summing up these 100 days in headlines: Donald Trump is a deeply unpopular, hurtful, horrifying failure who doesn’t keep his promises and is psycho, too.
Gee, why not call Trump a pinko puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Oh, wait…
Really, you must have a college education — or a late night comedy show — to be this smug.
Nixon said history isn’t “ripe” for understanding until at least 50 years after an event, such as Trump’s improbable election. But why wait a half century when your show on Comedy Central has a staff of Yale-educated joke writers to explain to low-info millennials what has happened.
These are the elitists who Jackie Kennedy called the “bitter old men” who write history. They never get into the arena to make history themselves, but instead sit in the cheap seats with their Ivy credentials and flaccid imaginations, selling shabbily stitched historical narratives to the masses whom they consider asses. Or late night comedy show-watchers.
These embittered souls will never accept the results of the Nov. 8, 2016, presidential election. They will spend the rest of their lives — and go to their graves — shaking their fists at Trump’s America, cursing, kicking dirt, peddling conspiracy theories that make even nutty Alex Jones roll his eyes.
Since Nov. 8, and especially the last 100 days, the full fury of media and entertainment industries has relentlessly pounded President Trump, and he's still standing, while making slow, steady progress. Declarations that his first 100 days are a failure don't matter. This drives the president's critics bonkers.
If you are a Trump supporter, the hourly condemnations spilling forth from social media newsfeeds and cable news networks should play like hapless Wile E. Coyote concocting yet another self-immolating scheme to kill the Road Runner.
Do the elite journos and entertainers who engage in anti-Trump hysterics, rather than sober, thoughtful critiques, see how foolish they look to the country? Does Wile E. Coyote ever tire of springing another wacky trap made of gadgets from the Acme Co.?
Trump will not spend his 100th day as president in D.C. Saturday, but will hold a rally in central Pennsylvania at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center.
The Wile E. Coyote national press corps will not stoop to travel to cow country to cover the news. They will be in D.C. at the glittery White House Correspondents dinner.
Two pictures will emerge from this weekend’s news cycle.
One of wealthy, connected, smug, cigar smoking, tuxedoed and sequined Trump bashers, yukking it up to cringe-inducing jokes laced with sophomoric blue language at the D.C. nerd prom.
The other picture is President Trump, spending the night with thousands of ordinary Americans.
The Road Runner effortlessly escapes another trap.
To a large degree, isn't our current trade imbalance a good thing? If we weren't in the Dollar export business, we'd have to deal with just that many more Dollars here in our domestic economy. The foreigners help us by taking that shit off our hands in exchange for boatloads of goods. lol
Edited to add: I'd consider digits on a computer screen in exchange for new cars to be a pretty good deal.
It's a start. But to me it seems mostly symbolic. Reversing a directive that affected 75,000 people who can't handle their financial math is obviously good. But I would like to see complete removal of import restrictions of firearms and ammunition. The importer would have to comply with states' laws, but otherwise, bring them in!
Oh noes, how is the U.S. media going to find a way to spin this? It was only a matter of time. President Trump and Secretary Tillerson played out the global strategy perfectly.
By assembling international allies in a coalition of influence, specifically by pulling China into a close relationship with President Trump, Russia has been cast into a brutally diminished role. Secretary Tillerson’s exceptionally well received visit to the U.N. Security Council yesterday appears to have been the final straw.
The panda fur has been stroked perfectly. China is literally on the cusp of calling for five-party talks, sans N-Korea, over the entire Asian crisis; and all regional U.S. partners are perfectly positioned to support Trump/Tillerson in that endeavor. Additionally, the delicate sensibilities of the U.N. have been cultured, praised, and Patrone’ Trump has personally laid down reasonable expectations which the participants applauded.
The international diplomacy of President Trump, Vice-President Pence, Secretary T-Rex and even Ambassador Nikki Haley has been incredibly well received. Starting in the mid-east, through Europe and NATO all the way to the Asia-Pacific, international leadership has been effusive in praise for what President Trump is making possible.
As hard as it is for the media to admit, that’s the backdrop reality for this:
(Reuters) Moscow is ready to cooperate with the United States on settling the Syrian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday, Russian news agencies reported.
Russian authorities reiterate periodically that they stand ready to renew cooperation with Washington on Syria and, more globally, on fighting terrorism.
Relations between the two countries, however, are seen reaching another low after U.S. fired missiles at Syria to punish Moscow’s ally for its suspected use of poison gas earlier in April. Russia condemned the U.S. action.
Lavrov’s deputy Mikhail Bogdanov also said on Saturday that Russian authorities hope that Syrian armed opposition will take part in Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan’s Astana on May 3-4, Interfax reported. (link)
Friends, this is almost too much winning on the international front, ‘almost’. No-one, and I do mean no-one, saw this level of international success coming.
Seriously,…. think about the scale of diplomatic movement here against the backdrop of where President Trump picked up relationships from the prior administration.
All of this has been accomplished in THREE MONTHS.
We knew the groundwork was already in place for the Freedom Alliance to accomplish incredible things – and their work hasn’t yet surfaced for the world to fully understand and discuss; However, even with our optimism in that regard – we couldn’t fathom how effective the Trump administration might be in realigning the entire dynamic of global political influence.
Stunning level of winning.
Nothing except an epic standing ovation is warranted.
I sure hope nobody still believes paul ryan is an incompetent. He is delivering well for the people who own him as are the other traitorous mutherfeckers in congress who call themselves republicans.
If nothing else President Trump is shining a spotlight on the real problem in DC, and it isn't the crazy democrats.
This is no small thing, to restore a republic after it has fallen into corruption. I have studied history for years and I cannot recall it ever happening. It may be that our task is impossible. Yet, if we do not try then how will we know it can’t be done? And if we do not try, right now, it most certainly won’t be done. The Founders’ Republic, and the larger war for western civilization, will be lost.
But I tell you this: We will not go gently into their collectivist good night. Indeed, we make with our defiance such a sound as ALL history from our November ’16 day forward will be forced to note, even if they despise us in the writing of it.
And perhaps when we are gone, the scattered, free survivors hiding in the ruins of our once-great republic will sing of our deeds in forbidden songs, tending the flickering flame of individual liberty until it bursts forth again, as it must, generations later. We will live forever, like the Spartans at Thermopylae, in sacred memory.
With profound appreciation for your time and fellowship, and the most warm of regards.
All positions have some bearing on the average American; however, some confirmation votes are more directly tied to the well-being of ordinary people than others. This confirmation will directly and specifically make the lives of middle-class workers, and ordinary American people, improve.
Thank you to those who contacted their Senator and applied the pressure. There was a great deal of feedback received by the senate in the past 24 hours. There are those within the swamp lobbying community who are beginning to understand that WE KNOW far more than they ever thought we know. Change is a direct consequence of that reality.
In a strong showing of bi-partisan support for Trump’s ‘America First’ trade platform the nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 82-14. The U.S. Trade Representative is a critical position ahead of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.
Three Republicans voted NO: ♦Cory Gardner (Colorado), ♦John McCain (Arizona), and ♦Ben Sasse (Nebraska).
For the past 30 years Lighthizer has been a trade lawyer representing American steel companies in their efforts to fight dumping of foreign-made steel below costs and unfair steel subsidies from foreign governments. He has pledged to strengthen enforcement of existing trade deals and to find new legal tools to combat unfair trade practices.
Lighthizer has criticized some Republicans for being too pro-free trade. He told a Senate panel this year that the U.S. should have an “America first trade policy.” “We can do better in negotiating our trade agreements and stronger in enforcing our trade laws,” he said.
(Reuters) […] [President] Trump has said the 23-year-old trade pact devastated U.S. workers and has vowed to tear it up if he fails to get a better deal.
Some Democrats, while critical of Trump’s own views on trade, said they were confident Lighthizer, who served in the Reagan administration as deputy U.S. Trade Representative, would work to help U.S. workers.
“He’s a real pro,” Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, said before voting in favor of Lighthizer’s nomination.
Lighthizer’s approval came despite the objections of two Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who said they were worried Lighthizer did not appreciate NAFTA’s benefits.
While the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico has ballooned since the trade deal was enacted in 1994, U.S. farmers have profited from exports to America’s southern neighbor while automakers have cut costs by building cross-border supply chains that benefit from lower Mexican wages.
Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican who chairs the Senate Finance Committee and voted in favor of Lighthizer’s nomination, also urged the incoming trade representative to be careful not to put at risk the gains NAFTA has brought. (read more)
K-Street wants to retain three decades of Wall Street control over trade to position the multinational interests as a priority. President Trump wants to break K-Streets lobbying grip and work trade policies that benefit Main Street, not Wall Street.
The issue(s) behind the argument is/are complex, and the political lobbying expenditures only compound the matter. In essence over the past three decades large portions of U.S. agriculture have been sold to multinational corporations. With control over production principles, those multinational corporations manipulate the market value of U.S. agricultural outputs to retain the highest profit margin.
It is not a free market system, it’s a controlled market system; and the control is not domestic ownership, it’s multinational corporations. Part of the way they control the pricing of U.S. agriculture outputs is through export control; the traditional supply and demand commodity equation is non-existent.
This is not a free market. When multinational corporations control commodity pricing, it is not a free market. The paradigm that everyone needs to remember is that a free market doesn’t exist because the owners (control agents) of the market are not independent – they are massive institutional multinational corporations. Through heavy handed contracts pushed on farmers they control the product from field to processing and beyond.
The export of domestic food production is a big part of the reason why U.S. food prices have skyrocketed in the past decade. The corporations factor in an ability for the U.S. to afford higher prices than alternative destination nations; they know you have the ability to pay more, so they export more and recipient nations pay less.
Again, it’s a complex dynamic but this also ties into the same groups lobbying for increased consumer welfare payments on SNAP and EBT (food stamp) legislation. Yes, multinational corporations -who control agriculture- lobby congress to fund more subsidy payments for food. This allows them to export more, tighten the domestic supply, drive up U.S. pricing and increase their profit. It’s a deeply tentacled controlled process toward increasing the bottom line profit margin of the Wall Street entities.
They have more to export (they make more money), and they drive up the domestic pricing (they make more money), and they pay the lobbyists for welfare legislation to subsidize U.S. food pricing (they make more money). That’s the basic scheme, and when you know the financial con you can spot their motives.
Kobach discussed Obama’s failures as president to assure voter integrity.
Kris Kobach: You pretty much need an ID to function in American society… One thing that’s never been done that I alluded to earlier is the Department of Homeland Security has a database of all known aliens, green card holders, temporary visa card holders in the United States. And that has never been bounced against a state’s voter rolls, to say, “Hey, how many of these people with this name and this date of birth… how many of them are registered to vote in state A or state B.
It’s stunning that this was never performed before now.
And watch Democrats fight this with court case after court case.
President Trump has a long history of action that almost all media and political opposition seem to ignore when trying to attack him. Every effort to “get” Trump fails due to a key flaw in their approach; a flaw they can never overcome.
President Trump approaches his opposition in politics similarly to his opposition in business, with one key and consequential difference. In business opponents challenge goals based on financial ends; in politics opponents challenge based on intent or motive.
The reason no attacks stick to Trump as a candidate, or now to Trump as a president, is because his motives and intents are transparently good. He genuinely wants to see America Great Again. Period. There’s no self-interest, benefit or self-advancement within President Trump’s objective; as a consequence the ‘motive’ or ‘intent’ to attack Trump on the political angle consistently fails.
It’s a weird and disconcerting dynamic for career politicians to face an opponent who is not looking to advance his ‘political career’. However, conversely, understanding this dynamic politician Trump consistently hits at his opposition specifically on the motive and intent angle.
All of the daily accusations against Trump, as presented by his political opposition and media, are based on the false premise that President Trump is carrying a malicious intent. His political opposition seem to miss this structural flaw in their argument because they are not familiar with facing a political opponent who is absent of career self-interest, influence or power.
The factual reality that Trump harbors no malicious disposition, evidences itself, and inevitably means all the attacks go nowhere. In every single manufactured media controversy President Trump is inherently never in a position where he is personally gaining from the details within the controversy du jour.
This factual and uniquely non-political disposition means there is an inherent inoculation from accusations of illegal or unethical action. The only distinction between each “controversy” is the time it takes this inherent reality to surface. The story of Mike Flynn is another prime example. There is no attempt to influence FBI Director James Comey, and specifically the accusation in that regard contains no benefit to President Trump.
At worst, President Trump is guilty of expressing a favorable personal opinion of General Flynn. The absence of malicious intent and motive, and the absence of personal benefit, lends to a natural conclusion of a nothingburger…. Just wait for it, you’ll see.
Ironically, the ‘intent and motive’ angle was clearly evident in Hillary Clinton’s decision to hide her communication as a public official. The FBI claimed the absence of their ability to prove intent or motive as the reason for not prosecuting her. Exactly the opposite is true with the Clinton example. There was voluminous evidence proving to a certainty that specific action was taken to hide, deceive, and even to impede investigation. Every effort Platt River Network’s Paul Combetta (aka. “stonetear”) took was jaw-dropping evidence in that regard (remember, he took the fifth).
Political Trump uses this “intent” and “motive” approach to draw attention to his opponents, and it is structurally successful because the opposition is, FACTUALLY, always holding a motive.
When political Trump gets to the point where he’s ready to crush is opposition he simply points out their obvious motive and intent; it becomes common sense for the observing public to see it. Trump’s opposition cannot do the same.
The international leadership who have met Trump, particularly Theresa May (UK), King Abdullah III (Jordan), Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (Egypt), and even President Xi Jinping (China) and President Abbas (PA), have all noted this dynamic publicly to their respective domestic audiences. President Trump can uniquely accomplish things because President Trump doesn’t have any ulterior motive or agenda other than to succeed in good things.
Trump’s political ‘Robert-The-Bruce’ opposition, the Republicans, would be well counseled to pay attention to this dynamic.
Obviously the non-agenda altruistic approach is 180° divergent from their entire career frame-of-political-reference; but it is still inherently true.
Illegal aliens in San Francisco have reportedly begun abstaining from food stamps in the belief it will help them avoid being detecting by the Trump administration. In fact, so many residents have turned against food stamps that “the city is concerned.”
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, local Human Services Agency director Trent Rhorer has noted that “households with one illegal” are wondering how much information will reach administration officials if they use food stamps, also known as CalFresh. Eligible families also wonder “whether the administration will cut food stamp benefits to immigrants.”
Rhorer is upset by the tension. He said, “[Eligible families] are putting their household in further jeopardy of not being able to pay the rent, or not being able to pay utility bills because they have to buy food. These are benefits they are entitled to receive, and they’re playing by the rules. They shouldn’t be penalized by this negative commentary coming out of the White House.”
In the last two months the number of households withdrawing from food stamps has been well above the norm. For example, the normal drop rate is less than 60 households a month, yet “150 households withdrew from the program in March and April alone.”
Families where children are legal residents but were born to parents who came here illegally are most prone to drop CalFresh at this time, the Chronicle reports. But the city has made clear that the only people who have to provide information are the family members who apply for benefits. That is reportedly intended to limit the amount of information shared with the federal government.
The administration's plan aims to provide incentives for infrastructure investment, a federal official said. President Donald Trump will propose spending $200 billion in federal funds over 10 years to spur investment in the nation’s infrastructure, a senior Office of Management and Budget official said.
The administration’s aim for the funds, which will be part of the budget proposal Trump plans to release on May 23, is to provide incentives for at least $800 billion of infrastructure investment by the private sector and state and local governments, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans were not yet public.
Administration officials are examining the use of federal grants and loans as well as other vehicles to spur the investment, much as the existing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan program leverages federal funding for state and local spending, the official said.
One option likely to be part of the plan is asset recycling, in which the federal government offers an incentive to encourage a state or municipality to lease a public asset to the private sector in return for an upfront payment that can be used for other projects that lack funding, according to the official.
Most U.S. infrastructure is owned and controlled by states, localities and private entities. Trump’s plan, the official said, will be designed to encourage them to secure their own funding and financing rather than relying on the federal government.
Trump promised throughout the campaign and since taking office to invest $1 trillion over 10 years to upgrade roads, bridges, airports and other assets. The $200 billion in the budget being released next week would be mostly spent between years two through six in the 10-year budget window, the official said, adding that it would be offset to avoid adding to the deficit. The official didn’t specify how.
The administration also has convened a task force of 16 federal agencies to identify rules, regulations and statutes that could be changed to streamline the environmental review and permitting process to accelerate projects.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has said the administration is providing principles for its infrastructure plan this month, with a complete legislative package expected by the third quarter.
Officials are using a broad definition of infrastructure that includes veterans’ hospitals, energy and broadband, Chao said during testimony on Wednesday at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Administration officials also have said the plan will encourage public-private partnerships as a way to tap the estimated trillions of dollars in available private capital worldwide.
Democrats and even some Republicans have said such deals don’t work in rural areas that can’t support tolls or a revenue stream needed to secure private investment, and Chao said during her Senate testimony that the administration is committed to meeting both rural and urban infrastructure needs.
Chao has said Trump’s plan could involve consideration for “special projects” that are not candidates for private investment and need to be funded directly, though the plan probably won’t include a list of specific projects, she said.
'A New Foundation for American Greatness': Trump proposes major cuts to welfare and Medicaid to fund paid family leave and infrastructure investments in ambitious plan that would balance the federal budget
Trump's budget slashes programs that benefit the poor to get government spending back on track and reduce the federal deficit
Budget comes out Tuesday even though the president is traveling abroad
It aims to balances the federal budget over the next 10 years
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney previewed the document to reporters on Monday
He said the administration wants to shift the burdern to states to fund anti-poverty programs to force them to be more thrifty
Mulvaney denied that Republicans want to get rid of the social safety net - they just think money could be spent more effectively
The White House unveiled its FY18 budget yesterday. It was quickly panned by the traditional media and many economists, including former Treasury Secretary Summers.
It is a short document lacking in many details. Current Treasury Secretary Mnuchin pushed back, saying it was too early in the process to evaluate it. The lack of specifics also means it is difficult to assess the impact the deficit.
That begs the question, how then can the Administration argue that it will balance the budget? Mulvaney, the head of the Office of Management and Budget, let the proverbial cat out of the bag. He said he did not know the impact, but it was easier to assume it would be balanced. At the end of the day, it does not matter what OMB says is the impact. In these matters, the Congressional Budget Office scoring is the only relevant one.
The most important point that many critics miss is that the President's budget is rarely the framework for what comes out of Congress. It is about the aspirations of the Administration; its wishlist. As in the campaign, Trump's critics often take him literally but not seriously. Trump does not show sensitivity to words, and the precision of language (apologies to Wittgenstein) that many in the intelligentsia value. As we have suggested many times, rather than take Trump literally, investors and policymakers may be better advised to regard everything he says as a negotiation.
Second, the budget's growth forecasts are optimistic. US growth has averaged 2.1% of the last seven years. In the seven years before the crisis (which included the housing bubble phase, growth averaged around 3%. What has changed? Implicit in Trump's budget and many conservatives is that it is primarily the government's fault. Regulation and taxes are significant headwinds.
However, the more authoritative studies have placed a greater emphasis on demographics and the slowing of growth of the labor force. One of the key reasons why US demographics have not deteriorated as much as many other high income countries are the past liberal immigration. Discouraging immigration would seem to threaten the goose that has laid the golden egg. If the actual budget assumes growth that does not materialize, then the deficit and debt levels are higher than projected.
Third, the budget calls for cuts in many assistance programs. Initiatives like Low Income Energy Assistance and other programs are cut on the grounds that the social safety net should not be strong enough to discourage work. This is simply an exercise in cynicism. The costs of poverty are huge. Opportunities are fewer; life is harder and shorter. Are we as a society truly served better make making poverty even more onerous? The implicit idea is that the welfare state has created too many incentives to be poor and those incentives have to be reduced. The budget sketch and the aspirational revelations seem intent on making poverty a moral issue.
Fourth, if the budget calls for forcing greater self-reliance and creating incentives that don't "discourage able-bodied adults from working" it is counterproductive to slash the various programs that facilitate finding employment. There are several programs that help employers and employees. Isn't it cynical to cut these at the same time as the transfer payments are slashed? By 2028, if (and that is, of course, a big if) Trump's budget would be implemented, Medicaid would be halved and food stamps cut by a quarter. Moreover, adding another level of cynicism, the budget calls for charging retailers a fee for accepting food stamps.
Fifth, as others have noted, the budget not only exaggerates the likely sustainable growth level, it overuses it. Stronger growth is used to offset the effect of lower tax rates and used to close the budget deficit. The way it stands now, the Trump Administration, with its penchant for conspiracies, proposes its own 'magic bullet" or "free lunch." Tax cuts solve all problems, boost growth and don't cost anything. Really?
Because of the poorly developed ideas, as Mnuchin conceded, the Administration must work closer with Congress. Mnuchin warned that so-called Mnuchin rule, that there will not be net tax cuts for wealthy Americans might be violated in the compromise process. Mulvaney's comments about how he got to a balanced budget lack seriousness. Often the President's budget is rejected, but this particular budget sketch is more than dead-on-arrival. It appears to have been thrown together so the box can be checked. Investors are right for not taking it seriously.
Rhorer is upset by the tension. He said, “[Eligible families] are putting their household in further jeopardy of not being able to pay the rent, or not being able to pay utility bills because they have to buy food. These are benefits they are entitled to receive, and they’re playing by the rules.
To a large degree, isn't our current trade imbalance a good thing? If we weren't in the Dollar export business, we'd have to deal with just that many more Dollars here in our domestic economy. The foreigners help us by taking that shit off our hands in exchange for boatloads of goods. lol
Edited to add: I'd consider digits on a computer screen in exchange for new cars to be a pretty good deal.