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Bursting the jobs numbers bubble

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Well, I really don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble. After all, when I get good news, the last thing I want is to see another episode of Adam Ruins Everything and suddenly what I thought was great news is only going to be marginally beneficial … maybe. Before I get started, though, I want one thing to be crystal clear: I am not an economic wizard. As a matter of fact, I don’t want anyone to think I am even slightly good with economics, especially on a national scale. But I don’t think I have to be; common sense should be enough.

Since before President Trump’s inauguration, he has been making deals. What started with Carrier back in late November, 2016, with the “saving of 1000 jobs” as it was reported, jobs numbers have been on a positive move. As an aside, the NYSE and other markets began a steady trend upward on November 9, 2016 that has continued a generally positive movement. Things look good and we are not yet tired of winning. Right? Let’s analyze what over 1 million newly added and filled jobs means.

First, I really hope for the best and for these jobs (and the markets) to continue the positive growth. The recent proposal to immigration in favor of American workers will certainly help growth, both in jobs and the economy. Bringing talented individuals to partake in the American dream is something we all embrace. Innovation and work is good for them, for us, for America and ultimately for the world. First, however, the immigration bill, or RAISE Act, must become an actual piece of legislation; second to be voted on and, third, signed into law. Expect a lot of push-back from the Democratic Liberals on why this legislation is bad: its racist, Islamophobic and “too cosmopolitan” for the globalist elites, are my guesses. I expect 6 months or more before the RAISE Act is actual law and, most likely, part of a larger immigration reform package.

Since January, 2017 the jobs numbers have surged. Not small numbers, massive numbers that, frankly, the Democrats probably find disappointing because they haven’t been able to achieve these growth rates in … well, decades. And President Trump has only been in office for 6 months. Obama’s 1st year in office witnessed the loss of 5 million jobs. In October, 2010, we saw those numbers begin to return with an additional 5 million over his tenure for a total of 10 million. That is roughly 1.67 million jobs per year, from October, 2010 through October, 2016. At this rate, under Trump’s watch, he should be able to easily match if not surpass Obama’s numbers.

The big difference is that Trump didn’t have to make up for lost ground. He started his tenure in office gaining jobs. Now, I’m not discussing whether or not Trump can actually be credited with the gains. Frankly, I don’t care who gets the credit. The problem is that the gains for the American worker, as it stands now, will be minimal. Sure, we feel better when we are working and earning our way, providing for our family and able to make a vacation or two at some point in our lives. But we still have massive issues that are, quite simply, going to erode any good these jobs numbers project.

There are two glaring problems that the Gutless Old Party has yet to accomplish: 1) tax reform, and 2) repeal of Obamacare.

We still need tax reform. If we want corporate America to succeed, they need incentive – taxes and repatriation are two items that must be addressed. For the individual, so what if I have a job. I’m still paying exorbitant taxes. I have been promised tax reform and I want to see it before the 2018 filing season. Oh, and by the way, it would be beneficial to anyone wanting to keep their job on Capitol Hill to make tax reform retroactive to January 1, 2017.

We still have Obamacare. This piece of legislative and regulatory disaster has been most responsible for inhibiting growth in the public and especially the private sectors. Are we still going to have the IRS looking over our shoulders to make sure we have that burden securely fastened to our backs? Am I still going to be fined a penalty if I don’t have Obamacare?

And, finally, what really grinds my gears (thanks, Peter, for that) is that our Republican President says we need an addition $50 billion in this year’s debt ceiling and “we will reduce that to $30 billion next year.” Wait. What? I thought we were trying to limit government spending. Am I going to be able to go to the grocery store and tell them I have opted for an increased debt ceiling? No. And don’t give me this “reduce to $30 billion.” You aren’t reducing anything. You are increasing the debt ceiling by $80 billion over 2 years. And do you think I am naïve enough to believe that it will stop there?

All these jobs are necessary. We have the government’s subsistence to upkeep and that popping sound you heard was the button on the Fed’s fat pants. Yes, once again, our “conservative” Republicans in Congress are just as liberal with our tax dollars as the Democratic Liberals. The difference is who gets to be in control of the purse and spend the money. What is obvious is that two Liberal parties exist. They simply have different ways they want to spend our money.

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Economy

Nearly $5 billion being sent to Mexico while border wall languishes in political hell

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Nearly 5 billion being sent to Mexico while border wall languishes in political hell

Talk about adding insult to injury. Not only are we nowhere nearer to getting the wall built on our southern border, but now taxpayer dollars are actually being sent to Mexico to fund development.

This is not a joke, though it’s actually pretty funny.

Today, we learned the White House may be backing down on shutting down the government to get Congress to fund the down payment on the border wall.

Is the White House backing down on the government shutdown?

http://noqreport.com/2018/12/18/white-house-backing-government-shutdown/The White House seems to be in damage-control mode as it shifts from claiming the President will shut down the government if he doesn’t get $5 billion in wall funding to now saying the President could find other ways to get the money for the border wall if DHS budget isn’t sufficient.

This is a clear departure from the bold words during last week’s public standoff between the President and his friends on the Democratic side, Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi. At that point, the President was willing to “carry the mantle” of “Trump’s Shutdown” if he didn’t get a CR that included $5 billion for DHS.

Now we’re learning that the United States is sending over $10 billion to Central America and southern Mexico in an aid package designed to stimulate economic growth in the impoverished region, including $4.8 billion to Mexico.

US pledges $10.6B aid for Central America, southern Mexico

http://noqreport.com/2018/12/18/us-pledges-10-6b-aid-central-america-southern-mexico/The plan was announced in a joint U.S.-Mexican statement released by the State Department and read aloud by Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in the Mexican capital.

“In sum I think this is good news, very good news for Mexico,” Ebrard said.

Newly inaugurated President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador waxed poetic about the plan to provide jobs so people won’t have to emigrate.

I wasn’t one of those who fell for the idea that the President was going to get Mexico to pay for the border wall, but I never thought I’d see the wall languishing in political hell while we’re sending nearly the exact amount needed to start the wall to Mexico instead. This isn’t the type of change we were promised. This isn’t draining the swamp.

Drudge encapsulated it perfectly with their current top headlines.

Drudge Report

Whether this is some sort of poetic justice against those who thought things would be different or a cruel joke on the nation, one thing is certain. We’re not seeing the progress on stopping illegal immigration that we were promised. Not even close.

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Economy

US pledges $10.6B aid for Central America, southern Mexico

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US pledges 106B aid for Central America southern Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The United States pledged $5.8 billion in aid and investment Tuesday for strengthening government and economic development in Central America, and another $4.8 billion in development aid for southern Mexico.

The U.S aid aims to promote better security conditions and job opportunities as part of a regional plan to allow Central Americans and Mexicans to remain in their countries and not have to emigrate.

The plan was announced in a joint U.S.-Mexican statement released by the State Department and read aloud by Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in the Mexican capital.

“In sum I think this is good news, very good news for Mexico,” Ebrard said.

Newly inaugurated President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador waxed poetic about the plan to provide jobs so people won’t have to emigrate.

“I have a dream that I want to see become a reality … that nobody will want to go work in the United States anymore,” Lopez Obrador said at a morning news conference before the announcement.

The combination of public and private investment for the stay-at-home effort doesn’t require congressional approval, unlike Trump’s signature project to stem illegal immigration — a border wall.

The U.S. State Department issued a simultaneous statement saying “The United States is committing $5.8 billion through public and private investment to promote institutional reforms and development in the Northern Triangle,” a term that refers to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Lopez Obrador’s administration has said it is also interested in agricultural, forestry and tourism projects in southern Mexico, and the U.S. said it will contribute to those efforts.

The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation “is prepared to invest and mobilize $2 billion in additional funds for projects in southern Mexico that are viable and attract private sector investment,” according to the statement. “This amount is in addition to the $2.8 billion in projects for Mexico through OPIC’s current investment pipeline.”

Ebrard said “The commitments established here signify more than doubling foreign investment in southern Mexico starting in 2019.”

Southern states like Chiapas and Oaxaca are home to many of Mexico’s poorest communities. Lopez Obrador, who took office Dec. 1, has sought to make development in that region a priority, including plans for a “Mayan train” stretching from touristy parts of the Yucatan Peninsula down to Chiapas.

It was unclear if Mexico would give anything in return. A planned announcement about Mexico’s migration policy was postponed until Wednesday.

The United States has reportedly wanted Mexico to allow migrants seeking asylum in the United States to remain in Mexico while their applications are processed.

Ebrard had previously suggested that about $25 billion in U.S. investment would be an appropriate figure for what Mexicans and Central Americans have dubbed “The Alliance for Prosperity” in the region.

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Economy

Is the White House backing down on the government shutdown?

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Is the White House backing down on the government shutdown

The White House seems to be in damage-control mode as it shifts from claiming the President will shut down the government if he doesn’t get $5 billion in wall funding to now saying the President could find other ways to get the money for the border wall if DHS budget isn’t sufficient.

This is a clear departure from the bold words during last week’s public standoff between the President and his friends on the Democratic side, Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi. At that point, the President was willing to “carry the mantle” of “Trump’s Shutdown” if he didn’t get a CR that included $5 billion for DHS.

Today, the White House is singing a different tune:

White House suggests it will back down on $5 billion border wall demand

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/18/white-house-suggests-it-will-back-down-on-5-billion-border-wall-demand.html“We have other ways that we can get to that $5 billion” and will “work with Congress” to do so, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News on Tuesday morning. She added that the Trump administration could support $1.6 billion in border security funding proposed by Senate Democrats, as long as it can “couple that with other funding resources” to get to $5 billion.

My Take

The border wall should have been funded when the Republicans still had a year of control over the House of Representatives. They had just come off a major victory with tax cut. Sentiment was strong and businesses showed signs they were reacting to the cuts well. It was the perfect time to hit the ground running and start building the border wall in earnest.

Somewhere along the lines, both the President and Capitol Hill lost their appetite for a border wall fight. Perhaps someone thought it was prudent to avoid funding the wall before the midterm elections.

Or, maybe it was never a priority to begin with. Maybe it was just a sales pitch.

On the other hand, if the President really can use alternative funding sources, such as from the defense budget, to start building the wall, so be it. That would be very different from what we were originally promised; to go from “Mexico will pay for it” to pulling from our national defense budget is atrocious, but so be it. We need the wall.

In the next couple of days, we’ll find out if the President will stick to his guns or cave under pressure. One way or another, we need to get the wall going as soon as possible. Every day it doesn’t exist is another day of rampant border crossings.

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