Trump’s Trade Reforms

The election of 2016 trade and jobs were a focal point of many voters….and the rhetoric was aimed at those concerns so much so that a win was registered in trump’s column.

He promised to re-negotiate some trade agreements and eliminate others and this would help create jobs that most Americans desperately need and want….

All great campaign words but how will they play out in reality?

Trump’s proposals for high tariffs might sound good. But combined with policies that weaken unions, they’re not good for wages.

President Donald Trump claims he will use international trade policy to bolster the middle class and reduce income inequality.

“The great American middle class is disappearing,” he wrote for USA Today during his campaign. “One of the factors driving this economic devastation is America’s disastrous trade policies.”

That rhetoric resonated with many of the disaffected and downwardly mobile workers who had voted for Democrats in past elections. It seemed to echo labor’s longstanding criticisms of so-called free-trade deals.

Source: Trump’s Trade Reforms Will Not Increase US Wages

Yes, it is early in his reign and there is still time of sanity….the biggest question is…..will the middle class survive?  Or will those jobs actually materialize?

When Is Too Many Too Many?

With every incoming president there is the endless promises of budget cuts and easing of the deficit…..and almost always one of the first issues is the closing of military bases….of course the Congress people will protect the ones in their district because it is worth billions to keep them open.

Sadly there needs to be some reality injected into that debate…..and an opinion piece has been written and a realistic look at this issue……

Members of Congress have a hard time agreeing on virtually anything, and they’re already butting heads with the new president. But one issue should unite them: a new initiative to shrink the Pentagon’s massive overhead.

President Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have pledged to cut waste. And key leaders in Congress have renewed their calls for rationalizing the Pentagon’s base structure. Now is the time for Congress to come together, put the national interest over parochial interests and finally support a new round of base closings.

Source: America Has Too Many Military Bases | The National Interest Blog

Anyone that comes here knows my feelings on this…..but in case you are new reader…I do not see why some of these bases cannot be closed….even some of the ones overseas….we have our troops stretched to the limit as it is…..plus the Pentagon budget never takes a hit….most times it is increased at the expense of other need programs….time for some realism in our approach to this situation….

“The Great Wall”

Not even is this a review of some cinematic magic!

Nope this is about that much chanted…much promised…big beautiful wall along our Southern border.  First let me say there is nothing beautiful about a wall.

The promise now is that the wall will be a combination of virtual and physical….let’s start with the virtual thing.

Back in 2008 I wrote about the virtual wall that Boeing had constructed…it was a worthless waste of money…..but rad it for yourself…..

I know, I know everyone is screaming about those darn pesky illegal immigrants, especially at election, they are a convenient scapegoat for pandering to the people.  But any way, someone somewhere in the bowels of the INS came up with the idea of a virtual border fence, where cameras, radar and other such devices would be used to detect those entering the US illegally.

Source: Immigration: Virtual Border Fence – In Saner Thought

Now estimates from DHS have come out on the cost of said wall…..

A barrier along the border with Mexico could be ready in 2020, but it won’t be cheap, according to a leaked Department of Homeland Security report seen by Reuters. The internal report estimates that the cost will be $21.6 billion, around double to $10 billion to $12 billion figure President Trump cited during his campaign. The plan commissioned by new DHS Secretary John Kelly calls for construction of walls and fences in three phases over more than three years to have the barrier ready by the end of 2020, starting with 26 miles of wall in Texas and California. This would be followed by 151 miles of barrier in Arizona and Texas, then 1,080 miles to seal off remaining sections of the border, which already has 654 miles of barriers.

The leaked plan does not reveal what the wall would look like, or what is going to be done in mountainous areas where construction would be unfeasible. Large parts of the border, especially in Texas, are in privately owned land and the cost of acquiring it, through eminent domain or other methods, is one reason for the soaring cost estimate. “People’s individual property will be condemned by the federal government for construction of the wall,” researcher Denise Gilman tells the Arizona Republic. “That’s what happened in the past. And that’s what would have to happen.” Trump tweeted early Saturday that he hasn’t gotten involved in wall design or negotiations yet. When he does, the “price will come WAY DOWN,” he promised.

Sorry people but that money could be better spent…there are so many other progrmas that will now be gutted to pay for this abortion….society will suffer.

An Alternative to Globalization

Most everyone knows what “globalization” means……or do they?

Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology. This process has effects on the environment, on culture, on political systems, on economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being in societies around the world.

Trump seemed to be an opponent to globalization…whereas Clinton was a modern founding member…..but the election of 2016 is given us a possible alternative to globalization…..

Below link is to the Unz Review a bit of a Libertarian tilt…keep that in  mind when reading the article….

During his inaugural speech, President Trump clearly and forcefully outlined the strategic political-economic policies he will pursue over the next four years. Anti-Trump journalist, editorialists, academics and experts, who appear in the Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have repeatedly distorted and lied about the President’s program as well as his critique of existing and past policies.

We will begin by seriously discussing President Trump’s critique of the contemporary political economy and proceed to elaborate on his alternatives and its weaknesses.

Source: President Trump: Nationalist Capitalism, An Alternative to Globalization – The Unz Review

As it is today…will globalization be replaced?

Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

One of Trump’s many campaign promises was that he would put together a infrastructure plan that would sure up our aging infrastructure…..on this I will agree with him whole-heatedly…..but my problem is just where will the money come from when he also promises the rich more tax breaks…..

There is always two sides to every proposal and I tried to give my reader both…..these two are from this blog, IST……

Source: Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Program–Part 2 – In Saner Thought

Source: Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan – In Saner Thought

My problem is that the GOP hates welfare for people but will do everything in the power to help corporations get their corporate welfare…..but Trump’s plan is something new……”Developer Welfare”…….

More on this below……

Source: Developer Welfare: Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

If he is successful getting his infrastructure plan installed….where will the cash come from?  Without new revenue then social programs will take the hit and wealthy developers will make the profits…..further dividing America along economic lines….

While infrastructure desperately needs upgrading…but this plan as it is now is not the answer this country needs.

On A Side Note:  Remember all the ink that Righties blew through on Obama’s vacations and golf games?  Well, it seems that Trump will go on vacation this weekend…

‘President Donald Trump hasn’t been in office even 10 days and is already scheduling his first vacation to start this coming Friday. He will be taking a trip to his Palm Beach club at the Mar-a-Lago resort and stay there for the entire weekend’.

Will he play golf too?

My money is on there will be NO mention of this on the Right wing blogs….any bets?

There is so much more…..remember when our new dude promised that to make health care cheaper that would negotiate for lower drug prices?  If so and you believed the lie then you are about to be disappointed…..

Source: Trump won’t try to renegotiate prescription drug prices.

What To Expect From The Economy

I am spending Trump’s first full week writing about the situations that he will be facing and even predicting a few things to come…..

Just how are most Americans coping these days with the economy and their finances?

Minor emergencies like a busted pipe, flat tire or a root canal happen all the time. But for the majority of Americans, such inconveniences are potential recipes for financial ruin, according to a new survey by finance site Bankrate.com.

In the survey released on Wednesday, Bankrate found that 63 percent of Americans don’t have enough saved to cover even a $500 financial setback. And just half of higher income respondents (defined as $75,000 or more in annual earnings) said they have enough cash to handle such an emergency.

Source: Most Americans Lack Reserve Cash to Cover $500 Emergency: Survey – NBC News

Now there will be those on the Right that will have lots to say about these findings….none of which will be accurate…..

Let’s move on…….what can we expect in the economy in Trump’s first 100 days?

For President-elect Trump, boosting economic growth and creating more good-paying jobs recovery will not prove easy. George W. Bush campaigned on — and delivered — lower taxes and more limited government, but his economic expansion was no more robust than Barack Obama’s and ended with the 2007/08 financial crisis.

Mr. Trump has promised a lot that will be difficult to accomplish, because federal resources are limited. Without any new tax or spending initiatives, the federal deficit will grow as more baby boomers retire, and congress will not always cooperate.

Still public confidence is as important as government policies for inspiring growth, and he can still spell out a robust agenda during his first 100 days. Here are five things to look for in the new president’s first days.

Source: What to expect from the economy in Trump’s first 100 days | Fox News

FOX News, huh?

Not always the most accurate source for actual news but this one is something to consider when dealing with the economy….Morici is a respected economist so his opinions are worth considering…..

The last factor he, Morici, covers is that of trade…….and then word has come out about one of Trump’s first EOs….(more on EOs later today)…….

President Donald Trump on Monday will unravel the behemoth trade deal he inherited from his predecessor, as two sources familiar with the matter told CNN he plans to sign an executive order to withdraw from the negotiating process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

That executive order will send signals to Democrats and leaders in foreign capitals around the world that Trump’s rhetoric on trade during the campaign is turning into action. Trump vowed during the campaign to withdraw the US from the Pacific trade deal, commonly known as TPP, which he argued was harmful to American workers and manufacturing.
The executive order is expected to be the first Trump will issue Monday, a senior White House official said, and will amount to the administration’s first major action on foreign policy.
(cnn.com)
The economy will be one of the indicators to tell whether the Trump plans are working or not.

Only thing that is obvious is the Goldman-Sachs will have a good couple of years…..

On The First Day

Instead of trying the help their new “idol” to get his message across the more ignorant of the Right are going on and on about the “protests”….the best they can muster is some vague macho crap and slogans…..and yet we have a new president and his policies should be the focus….not to worry they will, the more ignorant that is, will move on when their “sources” move on….once the bullshit has been exhausted they will find a new “threat” to rant about…..

Today is Monday and the first official day of the Trump Administration….but before we dive head long into this thing let us take a look a few figures that he will inherit……

4.7% unemployment rate as of Dec. 2016; 7.8% (Jan. 2009)

104.8% of GDP federal debt in Q3 2016; 77.4% (Q1 2009)

2,266.72 S&P 500 as of Jan. 11, 2017; 930.72 (Jan. 23, 2009)

372.6 per 100,000 violent crime rate as of 2015; 454.5 per 100,000 (2008)

9,920 nuclear warheads in all countries, as of 2015; 11,947 (2008)

8.9% those without health insurance, not counting the elderly, as of 2016; 16.8% (2008)

The figures do not prove out all the negativity from the conserv slugs on the Right…..but I guess there was more to it than the silly crap they tried to pass off as “fact”……

Now what will the first day look like for Pres. Trump?

Donald Trump promises a busy first few days in office, with a series of executive actions ready to be rolled out within days. Some highlights:

  • Day One may bring two major trade moves: Trump intends to give official notice that the US plans to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and that he wants to renegotiate NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, reports AP.
  • Reuters reports executive orders are coming within days, and cites two: a directive regarding the construction of a Mexico border wall, and limitations on the entry of Latin American asylum seekers.
  • “A senior GOP Hill aide said lawmakers anticipate that Trump will roll out multiple executive orders related to Obamacare. But the stresses they have not yet been briefed or given any heads-up about what is coming.” See CNN.
  • The Hill predicts “dramatic” funding cuts soon, and specifies five departments that will take a hit: Commerce, Energy, Transportation, Justice, and State.
  • The New York Times rounds up all of Trump’s “day one” promises from the campaign here, including a vow to lift restrictions on oil drilling.
  • Trump plans to visit the CIA on Saturday after weeks of rancor between him and the intelligence community. He would attend the swearing-in of Mike Pompeo as the new chief, assuming the Senate confirms him on Friday, reports NBC News.
  • Politico assesses the outlook for the first 100 days on some of the higher-profile issues, from a border wall to health care. On that wall, Trump can start aggressively, but “addressing larger immigration problems legislatively would require a vision that extended beyond fences and deportations.” Read it here.
  • ABC News’ 100-day preview suggests a giant infrastructure bill might be one of the few initiatives that will get bipartisan support. Read it here.

It will be an interesting 4 years…..today is the country’s “first day of the rest of its life”……