Category Archives: ECONOMY

GREAT AGAIN! LESS FOOD STAMPS

Food Stamp Usage Has Fallen Every Month of Trump Presidency – Breitbart
www.breitbart.com

Food stamp usage has declined every month since President Trump took office in January, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics on food stamp enrollment.
Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dropped to 41,310,785 in June 2017, the latest data available from the USDA, from 42,691,363 in January 2017.

Food stamp usage has been on a steady decline since Donald Trump began his presidency in January 2017, with the latest data showing that SNAP enrollment decreased by more than 1.3 million, or 3.23 percent, since the beginning of his term in office.

A closer look at the data shows that food stamp usage has been consistently decreasing each month since January 2017.

Here is the breakdown of how many people dropped off the food stamp rolls each month of 2017:

January to February- 408,956
February to March- 95,152
March to April- 521,295
April to May- 176,527
May to June- 178,648
The most significant drops in enrollment took place from January to February and March to April.

The two months where SNAP participation dropped the most can be attributed to states that started reimplementing work requirements to receive food stamps around that time.

Georgia, for example, expanded work requirements in 21 more counties that went into effect starting April 1, 2017. The state began implementing work requirements in a handful of counties in January 2016.

Alabama fully implemented work requirements in all of its counties by January 2017.

Many policies at the federal level have also contributed to the decline in food stamp enrollment overall.

Trump’s 2018 budget proposal proposed cuts to SNAP, and suggested that states match up to 20 percent of federal money allotted for the food stamp program.

The president also called for states to expand work requirements for able-bodied adults receiving food stamps if they have not already done so. Some federal lawmakers are crafting legislation to implement this policy nationwide, along with time limits on how long food stamp recipients can receive benefits.

Trump’s illegal immigration crackdown has also indirectly affected food stamp enrollment. Many immigrants, both legal and illegal, canceled their food stamps over fears they might be denied citizenship or deported.

Food stamp participation on average in 2017 has dropped to its lowest level since 2010, and the steady decrease in SNAP enrollment shows this trend has no signs of stopping.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that this downward trend will continue through the next decade, with food stamp enrollment dropping 1 to 2 percent each year. By 2027, CBO estimates that 32.5 million people would be receiving food stamps.

GLOBAL ECONO-CRASH VERY LIKELY

Next global crash could arrive ‘with a vengeance’

A new financial crisis is brewing in the emerging economies and it could hit “with a vengeance”, an influential group of central bankers has warned.

Emerging markets such as China are showing the same signs that their economies are overheating as the US and the UK demonstrated before the financial crisis of 2007-08, according to the annual report of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

Claudio Borio, the head of the BIS monetary and economic department, said a new recession could come “with a vengeance” and “the end may come to resemble more closely a financial boom gone wrong”.

The BIS, which is sometimes known as the central bank for central banks and counts Bank of England Governor Mark Carney among its members, warned of trouble ahead for the world economy.

It predicted that central banks would be forced to raise interest rates after years of record lows in order to combat inflation which will “smother” growth.

The group also warned about the threat poised by rising debt in countries like China and the rise in protectionism such as in the US under Donald Trump, City AM reported.

Chinese corporate debt has almost doubled since 2007, now reaching 166 per cent of GDP, while household debt rose to 44 per cent of GDP last year.

In May, Moody’s cut China’s credit rating for the first time since 1989 from A1 to Aa3 which could potentially raise the cost of borrowing for the Chinese government.

The BIS’s credit-to-GDP gap indicator also showed debt, which is seen as an “early warning indicator” for a country’s banking system, is rising far faster than growth in other Asian economies such as Thailand and Hong Kong.

“Brexit will make Britain worse off, Bank of England chief Carney says.”

The world economy is still recovering from the financial crisis and the euro crisis which followed it in 2010.

The UK is said to be experiencing a “lost decade” as productivity and wages have flatlined.

COASTAL LIBERALISM IS DESTROYING RURAL AMERICA

Hard Times Come to Much of Rural America
www.wsj.com

Businesses in rural towns are starving for equal access to capital that has benefited urban areas for decades. Scarcity of capital for small businesses has accelerated the crisis described in “Rural America Is the New ‘Inner City’” (page one, May 27) by stunting the growth of young businesses. Traditionally, a rural business owner or enterprising farmer who needed assistance to purchase farm or manufacturing equipment or even warehouse space would go to the community bank or farm credit office and acquire a loan. Today there are far fewer community banks, and those remaining lenders have higher credit and liquidity standards. Federal lending standards have made loans cost-prohibitive for many entrepreneurs. Furthermore, big banks have decreased their loan volumes to small businesses, creating a widening lending gap.

Ab Basu

Rural Jobs Coalition

Occoquan, Va.

Rural America has endured poor socioeconomic conditions for over a century. Fifty years ago the President’s National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty published “The People Left Behind.” In the report, it noted some 14 million rural residents were classified as being in poverty—slightly over 25% of all rural residents. In contrast, central cities were estimated to have 10 million people in poverty—about 17% of central-city residents. The idea that local government, churches and community groups provided a viable social safety net is great theory not supported with facts. At best, these pick up a percentage of people in need. Life can be great growing up on a farm or living in a rural community away from horns and traffic and people. But there are costs. Services are always less available, the most important being health care.

Dale L. Stansbury

Los Gatos, Calif.

DEEP GOVT SPENDING CUTS

Trump Seeks $3.6 Trillion in Cuts to Reshape Government
www.bloomberg.com
President Donald Trump would dramatically reduce the U.S. government’s role in society with $3.6 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years in a budget plan that shrinks the safety net for the poor, recent college graduates and farmers.

Trump’s proposal, to be released Tuesday, claims to balance the budget within a decade. But it relies on a tax plan for which the administration has provided precious little detail, the elimination of programs backed by many Republican lawmakers, and heavy use of accounting gimmicks.

Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal has already been declared dead on arrival by many of his Republican allies in Congress. The plan would slash Medicaid payments, increase monthly student loan payments and cut food stamps and agricultural subsidies, each backed by powerful constituencies. The administration is unbowed.

“We’re no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said. “We’re going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we help get off those programs and back in charge of their own lives.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has already said he expects the Republican-led Congress to largely ignore the proposal, saying in an interview last week with Bloomberg News that early versions reflected priorities that “aren’t necessarily ours.”

Campaign Promises

The president’s proposal would fulfill his campaign promise of leaving Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare untouched while increasing national security spending. He’s also proposing severe cuts to foreign aid and tighter eligibility for tax cuts that benefit the working poor. He also seeks cuts in food stamps and disability insurance.

Read more: Trump Budget Has Little on Drug Prices Despite Tough Talk

The plan calls for some new domestic spending, including $25 billion over 10 years for nationwide paid parental leave — a cause championed by First Daughter Ivanka Trump — and an expansion of the Pell Grant program for low-income students. The Department of Homeland Security’s budget would increase $3 billion versus the final full year of President Barack Obama’s term, while the Pentagon’s budget would see a $6 billion increase over that same time.

The sheer ambition of the president’s plan, which would cut domestic agencies by 10 percent in 2018 and by 40 percent in 2027, make the budget even less likely to gain traction on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers regularly flout the annual blueprint offered by the executive branch. But lawmakers are also likely to view some of the administration’s accounting gimmicks with extreme skepticism.

Economic Growth

The budget predicts a sweeping tax overhaul package that would strengthen economic growth while providing few details of how the tax code would change. The one thing the administration has said is people and businesses will pay less; the budget asserts the amount of revenue collected won’t drop.

Neither of the White House’s assertions — that Trump’s tax plan would be both revenue neutral and fuel budget coffers by $2 trillion to $2.6 trillion through economic growth — are realistic, said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

She called the administration’s projections of three percent annual growth “really not possible — they have impossible assumptions of no changes in revenue and tax cuts.” She added that to see three or four percent growth “is nearly unprecedented. You’d need productivity growth at a level you’ve never seen.”

The scant detail in Trump’s tax proposal was likely to hinder tax reform, she said. “They rolled out all the goodies but none of the offsets that would be necessary,” MacGuineas said. “I’m not a fan of surprises, and you have to set realistic expectations, because there are real trade-offs and choices.”

Congress needs a “responsible guide” to finish appropriations this fall with some essential Democratic votes to avert a government shutdown, Terry Haines, managing director of Evercore ISI, wrote in a note to clients. Haines said Congress is likely to continue the stable spending pattern over the last four years with small increases for defense and domestic programs.

The independent Tax Policy Center estimated that Trump’s campaign tax plan would add $7.2 trillion to the deficit. Economic growth spurred by Trump’s tax and regulation policy would add more than $2 trillion in tax revenue, according to the budget documents.
Accounting gimmicks

The budget also makes use of several other classic accounting gimmicks. It assumes that the wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East will cause future Congresses to allocate $593 billion in extra war funding that won’t be needed and then claims to save that amount by not spending it.

The Trump budget also assumes a $35 billion savings from changes to financial services industry regulations and a repeal of the Dodd-Frank law’s orderly liquidation authority, under which financial regulators are empowered to untangle and wind down the biggest banks in a crisis. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected savings of $14.5 billion over a decade from eliminating the authority.

Trump has promised a wall on the southern U.S. border that Mexico will eventually pay for, and the budget includes $2.6 billion in 2018 – $1.6 billion for “new and replacement border wall’’ in certain locations and about $1 billion for other items including aircraft, equipment and surveillance technology to deter illegal activity. Trump estimates the wall will cost $8 billion to $12 billion, but most experts say it will likely be more expensive.

While Trump is proposing to increase the defense budget, the push for more high-priced weapons will wait another year.

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The Trump budget requests 70 Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35s and 14 Boeing Co. F/A-18E/F fighters — the same quantities anticipated by Obama’s administration for fiscal 2018. Similarly, the administration is requesting eight new Navy ships, the number proposed by Obama. With Trump pledging to increase the Navy fleet to 350 ships from 275 that can be deployed today, the Navy has said it will need to request 12 new vessels in fiscal 2018 to start the acceleration.

Safety Net

But while defense spending is set to see a boost, social safety net programs are in the president’s crosshairs. Medicaid cuts of $610 billion would come alongside $250 billion savings — partly fueled by limiting expanded Medicaid — from repealing Obamacare. Food stamps would be cut by $193 billion.

Federal workers would see much less generous retirement benefits under the budget. Eliminating cost-of-living adjustments for retirees would save $42 billion while increasing required employee retirement contributions would save $72 billion. And the budget would save $72 billion through cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance.

The administration has pitched its changes to student loan programs as beneficial to students. The budget would create a single repayment plan that would cap monthly payments at 12.5 percent of discretionary income, an increase from the 10 percent cap under some existing payment plans. But students would only need to repay their loans for 15 years, rather than 20, with the remainder wiped out by the federal government. That change would cut the federal subsidy by $76 billion.

COMMENT

THE PROBLEM: LATIN AMERICA

Why does the United States of America get criticized for  wanting to control its own immigration?

The citizens of the United States are the legitimate stakeholders of their Republic; the citizens own the country. What we decide to do within the bounds and confines of our US Constitution and our country is our own business. Our Constitution says we have the sovereign right to protect and defend our nation, and that includes securing our borders.

The Southern Border

I find it odd that virtually no scrutiny nor blame is ever placed on the governments Latin America – from the US-Mexico frontier south. I shall take the liberty and cut through the thicket so there is little chance here for you to misunderstand me: The Latin American countries that experience substantial exodus are corrupt and incompetent.

I have been to Mexico dozens of times; I have never seen a starving Mexican! Starvation simply does not exist in Mexico. Mexico has an abundance of every resource imaginable, including its hardworking and industrious people. I have never seen a beggar there either. So why are there 12 million Mexican nationals in the US?

The two ton elephant in the room everyone ignores; why is a significant portion of their citizens in the US? Incidentally, I am using Mexico  because it is the only country along the entire length of our southern border.

Mexicans do themselves a great disfavor by not openly and loudly criticizing their own government; one reason I theorize is latinos inextricably associate their country with its government. They love their country, as they should, so they feel compelled not to criticize the government. Oh, but they complain a lot about the US Government,  how it doesn’t give them a fair shake and let them work here etc. Isn’t that weird?

TRUMP SLASHES PORK!

Trump Budget Proposes Killing All Funding for PBS, NPR and National Endowment for the Arts
www.thewrap.com

President Donald Trump made good on a long-time conservative goal in his first proposed budget Thursday morning, targeting the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities for complete elimination.

Trump’s budget would zero out the $445 million budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a relatively small source of funding for programming and broadcast operations on public TV stations and NPR radio stations nationwide, per the Washington Post.

The budget would also eliminate the budgets for both national endowments, which stood at $148 million each in 2016, as well as $230 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which supports libraries and museums. Additional cuts would affect two tourist mainstays in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art.

Also Read: 11 Times Fox News Hosts Criticized Donald Trump (Photos)

Combined, the four arts organizations account for less than 0.02 percent of the U.S. government’s $4.6 trillion budget.

In 2016, the NEA allocated $47 million to 50 states and five jurisdictions, funding that that helped to leverage $368 million from state governments to support arts organizations via more than 24,000 grants, according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. In 2015, funding for the NEA was almost one-third what the U.S. budget allocated for military bands.

Republicans have long put the NEA and the CPB in their budget crosshairs. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan attempted to shut down the NEA, but backed down from the plans after a task force including actor and Reagan friend Charlton Heston advised against it. Reagan did, however, make major cuts to the NEA’s budget.

Also Read: 10 Women Who Have Left Fox News Shows, From Megyn Kelly to Laurie Dhue (Photos)

In December, Trump’s staff suggested that the incoming president would consider appointing Sylvester Stallone to head the NEA, though Stallone later declined.

The NEA and the NEH — which supports museums, archives, libraries, and universities — were created in 1965 by Lyndon B. Johnson. “An advanced civilization must not limit its efforts to science and technology alone, but must give full value and support to the other great branches of scholarly and cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future,” according to the congressional act.

Defunding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is unlikely to cripple either PBS or NPR. NPR received less than 1 percent of its revenue from the CPB, and PBS less than 7 percent, according to data from 2014 reported in the Washington Post.

Also Read: All 18 Movies and Shows Steve Bannon Wrote, Directed or Produced (Photos)

The CPB has relatively low overhead and paid out 99.3 percent of its $445 million appropriation in 2014 in grants, more than 90 percent of which went not to the national networks but to local affiliates in less populated cities like Lawton, Okla., and Texarkana, Tex.

10 Women Who Have Left Fox News Shows, From Megyn Kelly to Laurie Dhue (Photos) 1 of 12
The Roger Ailes scandal has cast even some old departures in a new light

Fox News has enhanced the careers of numerous women who have served as hosts. All were hired by Roger Ailes, the former network boss who exited in August amid a sexual harassment scandal.

COMMENTS

THE FEBRUARY JOBS REPORT

Weekend Editorial:
President Trump’s First 30 Days

It is beyond absurd and utterly ludicrous that some fanatical Liberal reporters would asked “when does the outgoing president’s [economic]  policies stop influencing the economy?” One only needs to go back quite recently, back to when the jobs market reacted positively to the the outcome of the Presidential Election and see the rapid turn-around not seen during outgoing President Obama’s eight years in office.

It is indeed ludicrous to suggest the economic turn-around during the outgoing president’s final two months is a culmination of eight years of “positive market animal spirit” – all the while ignoring the incoming president-elect’s positive message to the business community. Even hair-brained Nancy Pelosi was NOT HAPPY that the new jobs created were not government jobs. Thank you Nancy Pelosi for illustrating this. Private sector jobs are not “real, meaningful jobs” as defined by the Left. Might I also say that the Left shall remain unhappy until every American Citizen, and every single Illegal Alien is on the Federal Government payroll.

Sixty-three percent of Americans either held a job or actively looked for one in February, the highest participation rate in ten months.

The number Americans not in the labor force continued to drop, to 94,190,000 in February, 176,000 fewer than in January and well below the record of 95,102,000 set in December 2016.

M Souza