Commentary: The Fed’s Interest Rate Hikes Have only Destroyed $398 Billion of the $6 Trillion It Printed

“Our expectation has been we would begin to see inflation come down, largely because of supply side healing.  We haven’t. We have seen some supply side healing but inflation has not really come down.”

That was Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Sept. 21, speaking to reporters following the central bank’s meeting where the Federal Funds Rate was once again increased 0.75 percent to its current range of 3 percent to 3.25 percent in a bid to combat sticky 8.3 percent consumer inflation the past year.

Read More

Commentary: (Not) Sorry Democrats, Abortion Won’t Save You

The desperate attempts by the White House, congressional Democrats, and the corporate media to refocus voter attention on abortion rather than inflation are failing. Most reputable polls show that the electorate is far more concerned about mismanagement of the economy by President Biden and his collaborators in Congress than about threats to reproductive rights posed by “MAGA Republicans.” Contrary to Democratic hopes, November won’t be about abortion vs. inflation. The midterms will be a referendum on Biden’s performance, particularly as it affects inflation.

Read More

New Poll Shows Americans Trust Republicans More than Democrats with the Economy

Voters overwhelmingly trust Republicans to manage the economy, a new poll ahead of this year’s midterm elections suggests, while also viewing the economy as the most important issue.

Roughly 52% of voters said that they trust Republicans to manage the economy, compared to 38% for Democrats, while only 1% of respondents said they agreed with the proposals of both parties to manage it, according to a poll conducted by the Times and Siena College, which measured the relative strength of both parties in advance of the election scheduled on Nov. 8. The economy has been the most important issue to voters heading into the polls; in a July edition of the same NYT/Siena poll, 20% called it the “most important problem facing the country today,” while roughly 76% said that it would be “extremely important” to them as they vote.

Read More

Hispanic Americans Point to Crime, Immigration and the Economy as Key Concerns

Recent reports indicate a dramatic political shift for Hispanic Americans, citing a defection from the left toward the right. While some mainstream media accounts dispute the shift, other national surveys are missing the on-the-ground factors that illustrate why a sizeable portion of Latinos are moving right politically, and the fact that many polls suggest Hispanics are drifting from the Democratic party over economic issues.

Read More

Revised GDP Numbers Show the Economy Shrinking

The Department Of Commerce revised the estimate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Thursday morning, finding similarly to July’s estimate that real GDP contracted in the second quarter of 2022.

The revised estimate for the second quarter finds that real GDP decreased annually at a rate of 0.6%, slightly less than the July 28 estimate of a 0.9% decrease, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Read More

Commentary: Federal Reserve’s False Assumptions Push the Economy into Recession

Federal Reserve

Based on its assumptions, the Federal Reserve is doing everything right by raising interest rates rapidly after years of easy money. It will certainly succeed in its goal of “cooling down” the economy.

Unfortunately, the Fed’s basic assumptions are wrong, and it has already begun reducing Americans’ standard of living, as indicated by this week’s Commerce Department report showing the nation’s gross domestic product fell for the second quarter in a row, meeting the common definition of a recession.

Read More

U.S. Senate Passes Massive Tax and Spend Bill Targeting Carbon Emissions, Prescription Drug Costs, More

The U.S. Senate on Sunday passed a $740 billion new taxing and spending bill that seeks to combat climate change and allow the government to control the price of prescription medications, among other things.

No Republicans voted for the bill, named the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, in the divided 50-50 Senate, forcing Vice President Kamala Harris to break the tie. The measure must return to the House for a concurrence vote after senators passed several amendments Sunday. The House is expected to take the bill up again on Friday. If the House concurs, President Joe Biden has indicated he will sign it.

Read More

Americans Taking Side Gigs to Make Ends Meet amid Soaring Costs

The Labor Department’s newly released jobs report for July appeared to be good news for the economy — at first glance.

A dig below the surface, however, reveals a different picture: Americans, strapped for cash by inflation, taking on second jobs as families have less money to spend.

Read More

‘It’s An Absurd Argument’: Economists Take Apart One of Biden’s Favorite Talking Points

The Biden administration’s oft-touted talking point that employment has boomed under the administration is misleading and instead simply a natural recovery from pandemic losses, economists told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Facing consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth, sky-high inflation and plummeting consumer sentiment, the Biden administration has routinely cited a low unemployment rate and strong on-paper jobs creation as positive results of President Joe Biden’s economic stewardship. But the notion that these figures represent booming job creation is misleading since the economy has merely rebounded by adding back jobs that were lost during the pandemic and has still yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, economists told the DCNF.

Read More

Economist: 30 Percent Chance That U.S. Enters a Recession Within a Year’s Time

A Goldman Sachs economist says there is a 30% probability of the U.S. entering a recession within one year and 48% within two years. 

Goldman Sachs Chief U.S. economist David Mericle outlined the probability of a recession at an event Tuesday and said that the likelihood of a recession would decrease if the U.S. had not entered one within two years.

Read More

Commentary: After 18 Months of Biden, We Have Yet to Hit Bottom

Next week will mark one and a half years since Joe Biden became president on Jan. 20, 2021. On July 20, every American should look within and ask: “Am I better off than I was 18 months ago?”

To Biden’s credit, the unemployment rate has fallen from 6.4% when he took office to 3.6% in June. Today’s figure is a notch higher than the 3.5% joblessness that Americans enjoyed in February 2020, thanks to President Donald Trump’s Republican tax cuts, deregulation, energy dominance, and other pro-growth initiatives.

Read More

Commentary: The Biden Bust Could be Coming to a Neighborhood Near You Soon

For many readers, the above title will conjure up memories of the 2008 housing crash caused by the proliferation of subprime mortgages and the subsequent tsunami of defaults. But a better corollary for the coming Biden bust is the Carter crash that occurred three decades earlier. During the final two years of Carter’s term, sales of existing and new homes collapsed because the Fed was forced to raise interest rates sharply to get double-digit inflation under control. This, in turn, produced double-digit mortgage rates that priced millions of potential buyers out of the market.

Read More

Commentary: States Can Help Conservatives Secure Even More Legal Victories

America is currently in the midst of a broader political realignment. The political Left, which once upon a time purported to stand for the forgotten “little guy” against the titans of Big Business, has in recent years decided that Big Business is actually an ally of convenience in its long Gramsci-an “march” through the institutions. Chris Rufo has perhaps demonstrated this trend better than anyone else.

And the political Right, whose once-instinctive neoliberal proclivities made it a convenient ally for Big Business, is currently rethinking its approach to political economy in general, as well as its specific relationship to culturally leftist multinational corporations. The most tangible recent expression of this rethinking has been Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ crippling punishment of The Walt Disney Company for its coming out on behalf of sexually grooming innocent children in the Sunshine State.

Read More

Commentary: Vast Majority of Americans Disapprove Biden’s Handling of Economy

67 percent of Americans disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of the U.S. economy and 71 percent disapprove of his handling of inflation as gasoline prices continue hitting records at $5 a gallon, a recent Fox News poll taken mid-June found, even as Biden recently suggested a recession is not “inevitable”.

Read More

Commentary: Recession Predictor 10-Year, 2-Year Treasuries Spread Inverts Once Again Amid Crushing Inflation

The spread between 10-year and 2-year treasuries, a reliable indicator of incoming recessions that has predicted almost every recession in modern economic history, inverted once again overnight Monday amid financial markets turmoil with interest rates rising rapidly, the dollar strengthening and equities markets crashing.

That is almost certainly terrible news for President Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats ahead of the 2022 Congressional midterms. The White House has attempted to highlight relatively low unemployment numbers as signs of a healthy economy, with President Biden on June 3 declaring the latest jobs numbers as “good news.”

Read More

As Food Prices Soar with No End in Sight, Americans Change Habits

Americans are changing their shopping habits because of soaring food prices. And disruptions in the international farming community have some worried about the food supply heading into 2023.

The BMO Real Financial Progress Index, a quarterly survey from BMO and Ipsos, shows that 42% of surveyed adults “are changing how they shop for groceries,” including “opting for cheaper items, avoiding brand names and buying only the essentials.”

The report found “46% are either dining out less or consciously spending less when dining out.”

Read More

‘A Source of Concern’: Jobs Growth Stalls, Unemployment Rises in May

The U.S. economy added 390,000 jobs in May while the unemployment rate was largely unchanged at 3.6%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

The number of unemployed people ticked up slightly to about 6 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. Economists projected 328,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Read More

Majority of Americans Say They Are ‘Falling Behind’ Rising Cost of Living

The majority of Americans feel they cannot keep up with the cost of living as inflation and the price of goods continue to rise, according to new polling data.

A poll from NBC News asked Americans, “Do you think that your family’s income is … going up faster than the cost of living, staying about even with the cost of living, or falling behind the cost of living?”

Read More

Small Businesses Struggle to Survive in Biden’s Economy: Poll

Small business owners are increasingly pessimistic about U.S. economic conditions and overwhelmingly support an expansion of domestic fossil fuel infrastructure, the latest polling data showed.

Just 27% of small business owners agreed the economy was in “good” or “excellent” condition, according to a Job Creators Network Foundation poll released Friday and shared with The Daily Caller News Foundation. The figure represented the lowest rating of the current economic situation among small business owners since the group began the poll a year ago.

Read More

‘Signs of Slowing’: Unemployment Remains Unchanged as Economists Predict Dim Future

Woman organizing table contents in restaurant

The U.S. economy added 428,000 jobs in April while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

The number of unemployed people remained even at about 5.9 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. Economists projected 400,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Read More

Shrinking GDP Could Hurt Georgia Economy as Recession Fears Rise

A shrinking gross domestic product could cost Georgia taxpayers and is likely to hurt middle-class Georgians in particular as the country appears headed toward a recession, a non-profit policy group said this week.

“The tab is coming due for all the reckless stimulus spending during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Erik Randolph, director of research for the Georgia Center for Opportunity, said in a statement. “The declining GDP in the first quarter is the strongest indicator yet that our nation is headed into a recession.”

Read More

Measure to Allow Gambling in Georgia Advances

interior of a casino with slot machines

Georgia voters soon could decide whether to allow sports wagering and casino gambling.

The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee signed off this week on versions of Senate Resolution 135 and Senate Bill 142. If approved, voters could decide on the measures as soon as November.

Legalizing sports wagering and casino gambling in The Peach State has been an on-again-off-again proposition for years. The passage of the most-recent legislation could face long odds as the state Legislature is in its final days.

Read More

Commentary: A Biden Recession Is Virtually Guaranteed After 10-Year, 2-Year Treasuries Spread Inverts as Economy Overheats from Rampant Inflation

Joe Biden

The spread between 10-year treasuries and 2-year treasuries, a leading recession indicator whose inversions have predicted almost all of the U.S. economic recessions in modern history, on March 31 inverted for the first time since Sept. 2019.

When the 10-year, 2-year spread inverts, a recession tends to result on average 14 months afterward, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. The one time there was a head fake on the 10-year, 2-year was in the mid-1990s at a time when inflation was much lower Visit Site than it is now.

As an aside, potentially the Sept. 2019 inversion might have ended up being a premature indicator, too, but then Covid and global economic lockdowns in early 2020 went ahead and ensured a recession even if one was not due. On the other hand, at that point it had been 11 years since the prior recession and so the business cycle was going to end sooner or later.

Read More

Biden’s Job Approval Plummets to New Low

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden’s job approval rating plummeted to a new low as concerns grew over the war in Ukraine and surging inflation, according to an NBC News poll released Sunday.

Only 40% of Americans surveyed approved of the job Biden has done through his first two years, marking the lowest rating since he took office, according to the poll. Just 16% of registered voters strongly approved of Biden’s job, and 71% of those surveyed said the country is “off on the wrong track.”

Read More

Commentary: Blame Putin, Yes, But Also Blame Biden

As Ukraine coverage blankets the news nonstop, I keep asking myself: are we really so gullible as to be hoodwinked by an administration and political class covering for their massive failures at home and abroad by mustering up a frenzy of dangerously jingoistic militarism? Not only have they escalated the situation and brought us to the brink of World War III but they have also imposed—and will continue to impose—senseless costs on an American economy already grinding to a halt. 

I am not suggesting that any of Joe Biden’s major missteps, whether now or in the past, in any way excuse Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion, which is in violation of international law and being conducted with reckless indifference to—indeed, the direct intent to inflict—civilian casualties. Although there is no question (details below) that Biden majorly provoked Putin, nothing Biden did stripped Putin of his agency in doing what he is now doing, much less did it demand he do it in the manner in which he is doing it.

Read More

Commentary: All of Joe Biden’s Multitude of Failures Were Foreseeable in 2020

Every single one of senile president Joe Biden’s struggles was easily foreseeable.

It’s a bold statement, since many if not most of the issues that confront a new president can’t always be seen from a distance. If it can be said that elections are always about the future, it’s just as true to claim that the future would almost certainly be shaped by yet unseen events and circumstances that no politician could forthrightly discuss in the lead-up to his victory.

Read More

Shrinking Food Supplies, Soaring Prices Could Trigger Global Unrest, Key GOP Lawmaker Warns

Rep. Austin Scott

With U.S. and world food prices set to soar due to inflation and supply shortages stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a key GOP lawmaker is asking the Pentagon to study the potential for conflict if the global food supply shrinks by 5%.

U.S. farmers will pay $300-$400 more per acre to grow crops this year due to inflation and costs associated with the war in Europe, Georgia Republican Rep. Austin Scott warned Monday on the Just the News TV show.

Shipping is another issue, as trade is throttled by war-related disruptions and tough economic sanctions against Russia.

Read More

Farmers Hit Hard by Price Increases as Food Price Spike Looms

Man in white shirt and jeans planting seeds in the ground of a garden

Goods and services around the country are becoming increasingly more expensive, but farmers may be among the hardest hit as inflation, supply chain issues, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are expected to send food prices soaring even higher.

That impact is being felt by farmers around the country.

“The cost of fertilizer is up as much as 500% in some areas,” said Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron. “It would be unbelievable if I hadn’t seen it for myself as I priced fertilizer for our farm in southern Indiana. Fertilizer is a global commodity and can be influenced by multiple market factors, including the situation in Ukraine, and all of these are helping to drive up costs.”

Read More

Commentary: Under President Trump, We Really Had a Wonderful Life

In the film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” George Bailey is able to see what the world would have been like had he never been born. Everything changes. George wasn’t there to save his younger brother from drowning. And, that in turn, meant that his brother wasn’t there to save the lives of hundreds of men on board a U.S. military troop ship. Everything has a domino effect.

Unfortunately, we get to have a similar experience. We see how one terrible leader imposing his disastrous policies on the American people has negatively impacted every American. We also witness how Joe Biden’s immature foreign policy has produced unrest and war.

Read More

Commentary: The Green Immoralists

President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry participate in a virtual meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, Thursday, September 17, 2021, in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Thousands are dying from Russian missiles and bombs in the suburbs of Ukraine.

In response, the Biden Administration’s climate-change envoy, multimillionaire and private-jet owning John Kerry, laments that Russian president Vladimir Putin might no longer remain his partner in reducing global warming.

“You’re going to lose people’s focus,” Kerry frets. “You’re going to lose big-country attention because they will be diverted, and I think it could have a damaging impact”

Read More

Commentary: The Biden Administration’s ERISA Work-Around

Rising inflation threatens the value of Americans’ retirement savings. Now the Biden administration is finalizing a rule to loosen safeguards under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) that protect private retirement savings. The new rule, “Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights,” stems from President Biden’s May 20, 2021, Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk, which directed senior White House advisers to develop a strategy for financing the administration’s net-zero climate goals, including the use of private savings. 

Predictably, Wall Street is cheering the prospect of undoing ERISA safeguards. According to one analysis, 97% of comment letters support the proposal. But as I show in my RealClear Foundation report The Biden Administration’s ERISA Work-Around, it’s the remaining three percent that should give the Department of Labor (DOL) cause to rethink its deeply flawed approach.

Under ERISA, retirement savings must be invested for the exclusive purpose of providing retirement benefits. The May 2021 executive order illustrates the very danger that ERISA’s exclusive-purpose rule is designed to guard against. To achieve the goals set out in the order, DOL is instructed to “suspend, revise or rescind” two Trump-era rules designed to uphold ERISA’s exclusive-purpose rule.

Read More

Commentary: Seven Major Failures of the Biden Presidency

Joe Biden

With President Joe Biden set to deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, it’s a good time to ask: How has Biden done as president and what is the actual state of our union?

According to the American people, things aren’t going great.

A CNN poll in early February asked Americans what they thought of Biden’s presidency and what he’s done right since entering office Jan. 20, 2021.

Read More

New Jobless Claims Dip to 232,000

The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims decreased to 232,000 in the week ending Feb. 19, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

The Labor Department’s figure showed a decrease of 17,000 compared to the week ending Feb. 12, when claims increased to 249,000. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones estimated that new claims reported Thursday would total 235,000.

Last week’s jobless claim figure marked the first increase after three straight weeks of decline as the Omicron coronavirus variant caused workers to call in sick and businesses to temporarily close.

Read More

Commentary: The Gathering Storm in the West

Canada is now governed by absurdism, and it is symptomatic of an ailing Western elite.

Liberal Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week invoked martial law to arrest and financially destroy truckers on the charge that their largely peaceful protests are “dismantling the Canadian economy” that had already been dismantled for two years under some of the most draconian lockdowns in the world. The trucker “sect,” Trudeau added, is guilty of felonious “unacceptable views.” But his rhetoric still cannot square the circle of demonizing vital workers while conceding he cannot run his country without them. 

Read More

Commentary: The IRS Can’t Get the Basics Right, So Don’t Add to Its Authority

All taxpayers are dealing with a disastrous filing season this year, with the IRS backed up on processing millions of returns and refunds from last year and communication from the agency nonexistent at best. But some taxpayers will have an added headache in the future as a result of an unnecessary new paperwork requirement that went into effect this year. Fortunately, however, legislation introduced by Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) would address this issue by removing the burdensome new requirement.

Ever since IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig claimed last year that the “tax gap,” or the gap between what the IRS collects and what it believes it is owed, could be as large as $1 trillion, politicians and legislators have been scrambling to propose ways to collect all that missing revenue. That’s despite the fact that more sober analyses show that the $1 trillion figure is probably wildly exaggerated, that it is functionally impossible to wholly prevent tax evasion, and that a far greater concern is the IRS’s inability to handle its taxpayer service responsibilities.

But as far as proposals to collect all this supposed “extra revenue” go, most of the focus has rightly been on schemes to drastically increase the IRS’s enforcement budget and allow the IRS to snoop on taxpayers’ financial accounts. But another more targeted change has already gone into effect, and is already causing problems.

Read More

Commentary: Gas-Price Change, Not ‘Climate Change,’ Is What Matters to Americans

There are few more easily observable measures of the cost of everyday living than the price of gasoline at the pump. As has been widely reported, gas prices in the United States recently hit a seven-year high. The striking thing, however, is not just how high gas prices have gotten, but how fast and far they have risen.

Based on statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration—the statistical arm of the Department of Energy—weekly average retail prices for regular unleaded gasoline in the United States increased 94 percent in less than two years. Average gas prices rose from $1.77 per gallon during the week ending April 27, 2020, to $3.44 per gallon during the week ending February 7, 2022—nearly doubling in the process.

That was the largest percentage increase in gas prices within a two-year window since October of 2005, more than 16 years ago. In the election of 2006, Republicans—then the party in power—lost 30 House and six Senate seats, thereby losing control of both chambers, before losing the presidency two years later.

Read More

Commentary: GoFundMe and How the Left Came to Despise the Working Class

Blue Collar Worker

What irony!

Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger must be turning over in their graves.

Bernie Sanders must be having sleepless nights.

The left-wing anthem “Which Side Are You On?” is no longer about whether you’re a “union man” or a “thug for J.H. Blair.” It’s about the size of your stock portfolio or when to go public with your start-up.

Read More

Commentary: By Design, Biden’s Border Crisis is Actually His Biggest Success

President Joe Biden’s no-border policy has detonated an explosion of illegal-alien apprehensions and got-aways at the southern “frontier.”

Millions of Americans consider this one of Biden’s biggest failures, surpassed only by his utterly calamitous withdrawal from Afghanistan. However, this fiasco is Biden’s finest hour.

After 11 months, Biden’s “border” remains wide open, if not functionally erased. Illegal aliens cascade across. Between Feb. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021, on Biden’s watch, Customs and Border Protection apprehended a record 1,956,596 illegal aliens on the southern “frontier,” versus 511,192 one year earlier, under then-President Donald Trump—up 283%.

Read More

Analysis: Coming to Grips with the Facts About Masks

Allegations that “masks work” and “don’t cause harm” have been enforced by governments and corporations around the world for more than 18 months through arrests, firings, censorship, fines, and denial of access to schools, supermarkets, hospitals, streets, and other public spaces. This has made it virtually impossible for many people to live without complying with mask mandates.
In recent weeks, however, more medical scholars and media outlets are coming to grips with facts about masks that Just Facts has been documenting for more than a year and painstakingly compiled in a September 2021 article sourced with more than 50 peer-reviewed science journals. Here’s a sample of people who are speaking up about the facts and their implications:

Dr. Vinay Prasad—an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco—has written an article that examines the scientific evidence for masking children and concludes that:

Read More

Migration from Blue States to Certain Cities Spikes Cost of Living There

The cost of living is skyrocketing in certain “migration destination” cities where those fleeing mostly blue states are landing, according to a newly released report.

Redfin released the analysis, which shows that cities like Atlanta, Phoenix and Tampa have seen higher rates of inflation than the country overall. According to the report, those increases are “double the inflation rates in San Francisco and New York, places people are moving away from.”

“Migration into those places is one reason for rapidly rising prices of consumer goods and services,” Redfin said. “Because of high inflation, including rising home prices, the financial advantage of living in what are now relatively affordable places is likely to diminish.”

Read More

Commentary: $800 Billion Stimulus Program Failed Terribly and Mostly Benefited the Wealthy, MIT Economist Finds

Close up of federal check

The federal government has spent an astounding $42,000 per federal taxpayer on so-called “stimulus” efforts since the pandemic began. Where did all that money go? Well, as it turns out, one of the biggest stimulus programs, the Paycheck Protection Program, failed miserably.

At least, that’s the finding of a new study from MIT economist David Autor and nine coauthors. They examined the $800 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which gave “loans,” most of which won’t have to be paid back, to businesses. It was created by Republicans and Democrats in Congress alike in hopes of helping businesses preserve their employees’ jobs for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. 

The study tracks the money to see where it ended up and what it achieved. The results… aren’t pretty. 

Read More

Commentary: Replacing the Irreplaceable Nancy Pelosi

President Joe Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as he departs the U.S. Capitol after addressing the House Democratic Caucus, Thursday, October 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Last week there was quite a lot of news media chatter about swapping Hillary Clinton for Joe Biden on the 2024 Democrat presidential ticket, a fascinating concept that pundits couldn’t stop talking about. It didn’t receive nearly the headlines, but whispers involving the impending retirement of Speaker Nancy Pelosi — and her eventual replacement — have also begun in earnest.

Of course, there’s been no formal announcement that she’s leaving — either from the Speaker herself or the poohbahs at Democrat National Committee headquarters. But like all worst kept secrets, everyone with a brain and some knowledge of American politics understands that Pelosi shares characteristics with a ticking time bomb set to go off later this year.

With the prospects for Democrats holding the majority after this year’s federal midterm elections growing dimmer by the day, folks have initiated a political death watch for the soon-to-be 82-year-old gavel bearer. A large number of veteran party incumbents have officially indicated they’re heading for the exits after this session concludes. Combined with redistricting changes (after the 2020 census) and a basketful of “moderate” (they’re really not balanced, but that’s how the media refers to them) Democrats facing fierce headwinds in their swing districts, and the numbers bloodbath could/should be scary.

Read More

Senior White House Climate Official Resigns

Three wind turbines

Cecilia Martinez, a member of the White House Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ), announced that she would resign Friday, nearly one year after accepting the role.

Martinez explained that she needed rest and wanted to spend more time with her family in an interview with the Associated Press. She was in charge of crafting the White House’s aggressive environmental justice policy which had been lauded by climate activists but criticized by Republicans and the fossil fuel industry.

“It was a hard decision,” Martinez told the AP.

Read More

Americans Ring in 2022 with Highest Mortgage Rates Since the Pandemic Started

Mortgage rates soared to their highest level since the beginning of the pandemic in the first week of 2022, according to Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.22% in the week ending on Jan. 6, up from a 3.11% average during the previous week and marking the highest level since May 2020, Freddie Mac announced Thursday. The 30-year rate dropped to 2.65% in early 2021, its lowest level on record.

“Mortage rates increased during the first week of 2022 to the highest level since May 2020 and are more than half a percentage higher than January 2021,” said Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, according to a company release.

Read More

U.S. Economy Adds Just 199,000 Jobs in December, Far Below Expectations

Man in a hard hat pointing his finger

The U.S. economy recorded an increase of 199,000 jobs in December and the unemployment dipped to 3.9%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 199,000 in December, according to the BLS, and the number of unemployed Americans dipped to 6.3 million. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected the economy to add 422,000 jobs in December and for unemployment to fall to 4.1%.

December’s jobs report leaves the U.S. economy with roughly 6.5 million more jobs than at the end of 2020 but still 3.5 million short of pre-pandemic levels.

Read More

European Tech Firm Chooses Arizona as First American Location

A European solar power tech company has chosen Arizona as its first location in the United States.

Switzerland-based mechanical engineering company Meyer Burger Technology AG is establishing a production site for high-performance solar modules in Goodyear, Arizona. Production is expected to be operational by the end of 2022, creating an initial 250 jobs and more than 500 jobs at full capacity.

“I am very pleased to welcome Meyer Burger to our community,” Mayor of Goodyear Joe Pizzillo said in a news release.“The decision to make a large investment in our community shows Goodyear is an excellent location for advanced manufacturing businesses. Our highly skilled workforce, modern infrastructure, and low cost of doing business has created an environment where companies can thrive.”

Read More

Kansas Lawmakers Reveal Draft Bill to Eliminate the Food Tax

Laura Kelly

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and the Legislature’s Democratic leadership on Thursday released a draft bill to get rid of the food sales tax in the state. 

Known colloquially as the “Axe the Food Tax” bill, the legislation would eliminate the state’s 6.5% sales tax on food. The draft bill also includes a full exemption on state and local taxes for items bought at farmers markets. 

Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, D-Lenexa, and House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita, helped craft the legislation and are formally looking for co-sponsors. 

Read More

Commentary: When Envy Trumps Economics

President Joe Biden has seized on a winning message: tax the rich. He tweets incessantly, “Big corporations and the super wealthy have to start paying their fair share of taxes. It’s long overdue,” and claims his Build Back Better agenda “will be paid for by the wealthy paying their fair share.”

Instead of highlighting the few benefits of his Build Back Better Act, (H.R. 5376) his public positioning is about harming a particular group. Why? This message sells with three key constituencies he’s counting on to pressure Congress to vote yes.

Younger millennials and Gen Z who believe the uber-rich should not exist.
The working rich who believe taxing themselves is a solution to poverty and a source of economic growth.
The governing elites who want to accumulate more government control by enlarging the dependent class.
Younger Millennials and Gen Z: Being Rich Is Inherently Bad
A recent PEW research poll revealed that half of adults under 30 believe billionaires are bad for the U.S. One self-proclaimed “anticapitalist” Millennial and trust fund beneficiary summed it up this way: “I want to build a world where someone like me, a young person who controls tens of millions of dollars, is impossible.” Accordingly, wealth comes from exploitation. Giving their money away (or giving it to Washington to redistribute into a social justice plan) is making “reparations.”

Using this logic, the late Steve Jobs should have been prohibited from earning ridiculous amounts of wealth. Because of his ingenuity, however, millions of jobs have been created, young people have been inspired, and some of the greatest technology has been made available. Like Jobs, those who earn their billions through innovation (and experience many failures in their pursuit and on their own dime) reinvest it in the economy in ways the government could not. Moreover, their earnings are a result of what others were willing to pay them.

Working Rich: We’re Moral People
A 2019 letter penned by more than a dozen of the wealthiest Americans — including George Soros, heiress Abigail Disney, and Molly Munger, daughter of Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger— stated, “it is our duty to step up and support a wealth tax that taxes us.” They believe America “has a moral, ethical and economic responsibility to tax our wealth more.” Mr. Biden’s allies on the Left share this opinion.

A “transfer of wealth” by taxing the rich is nothing short of legal theft. Government is not, and cannot be, altruistic. Government has nothing to give that it has not taken from another by force. With few exceptions, this type of help will erode self-reliance and the moral incentive of charitable action, leading to more government spending.

Ignored is that the free market has done more to break the cycle of poverty than any government program, as it empowers people and mends the nonfinancial, relational parts of society.

The wealthy could put their money to better use by directly donating to effective charitable causes, investing in local communities, or investing in expanding their businesses to serve more consumers and create more jobs. Moreover, there is nothing stopping billionaires from giving their wealth directly to the U.S. government. If they genuinely believe it is their “moral, ethical and economic responsibility,” there is no need to wait.

Governing Elites: We Like Being In Control
They say it’s about social or economic justice, but President Biden’s messaging is déjà vu from Obama-era calls to redistribute wealth, or Marxist accolades of redistribution as a form of economic justice. The increasing popularity of taxing the rich makes the job of government elites easier. President Biden even engages in shame-tweeting such as, “Those at the top have been getting a free ride at the expense of the middle class for far too long.” But the bureaucrats’ real reason to tax the rich is to snatch individuals’ birthrights of personal responsibility, a move toward a centralized system that deflates personal choices and violates personal rights.

Taken together, these ideas unfortunately resonate beyond younger millennials and Gen Z, the working rich, and the governing elites. Jumping onto the “tax the rich” bandwagon feels good because – why should the rich have that much money anyway?

Envy permeates this ideology. Yet economics trumps envy.

The actual tax burden will not fall on folks writing checks to the US Treasury. The rich will, for the most part, still be rich. It’s the middle- and working class who will pay dearly when high-income individuals respond to the tax hike by simply investing less, resulting in fewer job opportunities and lower wages.

Left to fend for their economic lives will be small-business owners. President Biden may consider them wealthy, but taxing these individuals more will decimate communities, as jobs are lost or not created, and wages and hours are cut.

There’s no question that taxing the rich is popular. Problem is, it’s also reckless.

Instead of highlighting the few benefits of his Build Back Better Act, (H.R. 5376) his public positioning is about harming a particular group. Why? This message sells with three key constituencies he’s counting on to pressure Congress to vote yes.

Younger millennials and Gen Z who believe the uber-rich should not exist.
The working rich who believe taxing themselves is a solution to poverty and a source of economic growth.
The governing elites who want to accumulate more government control by enlarging the dependent class.

Read More