Ever Heard Of ‘Cause And Effect’?

Closing Thought–31May19

I realize that the “invasion” of Latin Americans is important to this president and “tariffs” are his answer to all our economic problems…..whether you believe these fantasies or not…there is a thing call ’cause and effect’……

That is ….. one process or state, a cause, contributes to the production of another process or state, an effect, where the cause is partly responsible for the effect, and the effect is partly dependent on the cause. In general, a process has many causes, which are also said to be causal factors for it, and all lie in its past.

A little simpler?

For every action there is an opposite but equal reaction. Did that help?

All that out of the way what am I going on about?

The newest utterance from Our Beloved Supreme Leader……

President Trump has vowed to slap new tariffs on all goods from Mexico—and to keep increasing them until the country stops migrants coming to the US. On June 10, the US “will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” the president tweeted Thursday. “The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied at which time the Tariffs will be removed.” The White House says the tariffs will rise to 10% on July 1, then go up 5% each month after that until they hit 25% on Oct. 1, reports the Washington Post. Earlier Thursday, Trump told reporters he was going to make his biggest statement on the border so far.

Trump said in a statement that after October, the tariffs will remain at 25% “until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory.” The surprise announcement came on the day that Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador began to ratify the USCMA trade deal with US and Canada, which could now be in jeopardy, reports Reuters. The tariffs could devastate Mexico’s economy, though experts including trade lawyer Daniel Ujczo suspect Trump will backtrack on the move, as he did with his threat to seal the border in March. “This seems more theater and tactics than a strategy to solve the migration crisis and rebalance North American trade,” Ujczo tells the AP.

Is this just something said to divert the attention of the MSM?  Will it remain if the markets tank?

Does he realize that if this is law and the economic activity in Mexico ceases it will create more people in search of economic security?  (That is cause and effect)…..

This is a silly trade policy…it is that simple……

But let us look at other economic news……

How about those “tax cuts”?……..(Read and weep!)

Despite lofty promises from President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that went into effect last year have done little—if anything—to raise workers’ wages, boost economic growth, or spur business investment.

That’s according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), which appeared to vindicate warnings from progressive critics that the GOP tax cuts were little more than a scam designed to put more money in the pockets of wealthy Americans.

In its 23-page report (pdf), the independent research arm found that while the Republican tax law has not done much for workers or the overall economy, it has sparked a wave of stock buybacks, which primarily benefit rich executives.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/29/virtually-no-wage-growth-surge-stock-buybacks-study-offers-more-proof-trump-tax-cuts

Billions are pouring into the US treasury because of the Trump tariffs……..

President Donald Trump likes to talk about the money Washington is making from the spate of tariffs his administration has imposed on global trading partners. The catch? Most of it is probably coming from American pocketbooks.

At a postelection news conference on Wednesday, Trump misleadingly claimed that billions of dollars would “soon be pouring into our Treasury from taxes that China is paying for us.”

He got the first part right. Federal revenue from tariffs in the third quarter increased by more than 33% from the same quarter last year, Treasury Department data shows. And in October — the first full month in which all tariffs announced to date were in effect — the monthly collection appears to have doubled from the 2017 level to about $6 billion, according to estimates from daily receipts.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/trump-tariffs-revenue-up-sharply-american-costs-increase-2018-11-1027713336

These Trade Wars are good for the US, right?

President Trump’s trade battles are costing the U.S. stock market $5 trillion and counting, according to Deutsche Bank.

Given the bulk of equity returns come from equity price appreciation, in an escalated trade war with China and now Mexico, the U.S. is losing trillions of dollars in foregone returns as markets sink on the negative headlines, the bank said Friday.

“The costs of the trade war in our view are about its indirect impacts,” said Deutsche Bank chief strategist Binky Chadha in a note to clients. “The trade war has been key in preventing a recovery in global growth and keeping US equities range bound. Foregone US equity returns from price appreciation (12.5% annual rate) for 17 months are worth $5 trillion.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/31/trumps-trade-wars-have-cost-the-stock-market-5-trillion-and-counting-deutsche-bank.html

Someone explain to me where the “good news” is in all this trade war stuff?

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Farmers Get Help

Yesterday Our Beloved Supreme Leader had a presser to announce his aid to the American farmer that may have trouble with the tariffs……and they all bow down……

With more than a dozen farmers at his side, President Trump announced a $16 billion aid package to compensate farmers for their losses in the trade war with China. “This support for farmers will be paid for by the billions of dollars the Treasury takes in” from China, he said. That’s not the way it works, the Washington Post points out: China does not pay the tariffs; importers do. Some importers then pass the cost on to American consumers. The administration had announced $12 billion in emergency measures in July. The relief announced Thursday will be distributed to farmers in three installments, with the first payment in July or August, the others in November and January 2020, if the tariffs are still in place.

Randy Spronk, a hog farmer and past president of the National Pork Producers Council who attended the White House meeting, said farmers realize the aid will not make up for their losses in a trade war. “But it makes enough of a difference to keep a lot of farmers so they can survive,” Spronk said, per the Post. The aid for farmers will ultimately come from taxpayers, said one expert, ABC reports. “Do the Chinese pay some of the tariff? Yes, probably in specific cases,” he said. “Do they pay most of it? No, the consumer pays most of it ultimately.” The American Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union said that they appreciate the help, but that farmers would prefer to have a long-term trade deal with China.

This money was offered last Summer….and I agree with whoever said…”if tariffs hurt farmers then welfare is not the answer”……as always…I have written about the announcement a year ago……https://lobotero.com/2018/09/21/closing-thought-21sep18/

God knows our farmers need the help….but not everyone sees this politicial ploy as the answer to that problem……

President Donald Trump’s snap decision to send billions of dollars in new aid to farmers could be bad for the farm economy and the federal budget.

Many farmers are still deciding what to plant this spring and could be swayed toward crops that receive higher payouts from the aid package, such as soybeans. That would add to already record supplies and further depress prices that have been falling for five year

But the Trump administration’s decision to roll out the program now is drawing critics.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, told reporters Wednesday that the White House should have been more cautious about the timing of the announcement because farmers are still planting.

“[W]e want farmers to make decisions on how many acres of corn and soybeans to plant based on the market and not something the government’s doing,” he said.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse,” said Jonathan Coppess, an agricultural policy professor at the University of Illinois, and a former head of the USDA Farm Service Agency during the Obama administration.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/23/trump-farmer-bailout-trade-usda-1459840

Our farmers do not want the ‘welfare’ they prefer to earn their money….keep one thing in mind….agri-business also will get this ‘welfare’ and that who it is truly protecting.

Where are the deficit hawks?  They have plenty to say when food stamps are on the agenda….where are they now?

Closing Thought–22May19

A follow up to my post of the day on the M-IC…….

I have been a staunch opponent and critic of the Military-Industrial Complex (M-IC)……I see the defense contractors getting away with murder…both literally and physically…..

I have written about the waste at the Pentagon……https://lobotero.com/2015/04/28/wasted-days-and-wasted-money/

And then this post…….https://lobotero.com/2016/04/12/only-the-pentagon-could-spend-640-on-a-toilet-seat/

Finally some proof of the fraud a report has been issued…..

The four-page report covering fiscal year 2013 through 2017 was sent to lawmakers in December, as required under the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, but was released to FOIA requester Steven Aftergood, who writes the Secrecy News blog for the Federation of American Scientists.

Investigators at the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Department Office of Inspector General found that during the five-year period, there were 1,059 cases resulting in criminal convictions of 1,087 defendants. “The cases reported involved 678 defendants as individual persons and 409 defendants as business entities,” the Pentagon said. “As a result of the criminal convictions, a total of $368,670,055 was recovered in fines and penalties; $370,194,702 was recovered through restitution; and $53,361,358 was recovered through forfeiture of property.”

https://www.defenseone.com/politics/2019/05/under-pressure-pentagon-makes-its-contractor-fraud-report-public/156991/

Just another case of fraud by contractors and the American people could care less where their money goes as long as their social bullshit issues are addressed.  Truly sad!

Waiting For The Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy now there is a term that our Dear Beloved Supreme Leader should know by heart……but in this case I am talking about the many many wars that this nation is fighting….on just about every continent.

The M-IC has been playing a con, the long con, on the American people…….

Consider it a conundrum. Both parties in Congress and the president simply can’t pour enough money into the Pentagon and the rest of the national security state. As a result, theirs has been a cumulative trillion-dollar budget for years and it’s still on the rise. On the other hand, the domestic basics are increasingly being starved. When the president’s long-delayed infrastructure plan finally made it to Congress, two years late, it disappeared without a trace. Meanwhile, the country’s roads, rail networks, dams, schools, and so on are in increasingly poor shape. (In reality, the only infrastructure being built up is the Pentagon’s.) Meanwhile, Medicare is now slated to become insolvent in 2026, three years earlier than previously expected. As for the Social Security system, according to the latest government report, its costs will exceed its income next year and it’s expected to become insolvent in 2035. The result: retirement payments are likely to diminish and healthcare costs for aging Americans rise.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176558/

This country is spending so much taxpayer cash on wars and the so-called defense of the nation that it is slowly bankrupting the treasury….

War spending is bankrupting America.

Our nation is being preyed upon by a military industrial complex that is propped up by war profiteers, corrupt politicians and foreign governments.

America has so much to offer—creativity, ingenuity, vast natural resources, a rich heritage, a beautifully diverse populace, a freedom foundation unrivaled anywhere in the world, and opportunities galore—and yet our birthright is being sold out from under us so that power-hungry politicians, greedy military contractors, and bloodthirsty war hawks can make a hefty profit at our expense.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your hard-earned tax dollars are being used for national security and urgent military needs.

It’s all a ruse.

 
Even parts of our military see the dangers we are in with this out of control spending on worthless systems…instead we need a new approach to defense…..

If Congress approves, the Trump administration will spend about $750 billion on defense in fiscal year (FY) 2020. The unanswered question is whether that considerable sum will make America and its friends and allies any safer. I fear not.

One reason for this concern is that 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) sets military objectives that are unobtainable, inexecutable, unnecessary, and unaffordable. The Pentagon’s strategy is “to compete, deter, and win” in an “increasingly complex security environment” with China and Russia atop the list of potential adversaries. But how China and Russia are to be defeated is unstated, a deficiency pointedly noted in the report by the Commission on the NDS.  “. . . the NDS too often rests on questionable assumptions and weak analysis, and it leaves unanswered critical questions regarding howthe United States will meet the challenges of a more dangerous world.” It goes on to say, “. . . it does not articulate clear approaches to succeeding in peacetime competition or wartime conflict against those rivals. Resource shortfalls, unanticipated force demands, unfilled capability gaps, and other risk factors threaten DOD’s ability to fulfill the central goals of the NDS . . .” 

https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2019/april/needed-workable-and-affordable-defense-strategy

The key is an “affordable” approach to defense……AFFORDABLE!

As it is now there is NOTHING affordable about the crap the M-IC has this nation spending hard cash on…….again the key is to find an approach that is….AFFORDABLE!

The privatization of war is NOT it!

Thoughts?

It’s Infrastructure Stupid

Think back to the campaign of 2016….one of the big promises from Trump was to resurrect our dying infrastructure…..and so far we got nothing of the sorts.

But today the party leaders and Trump will meet on how to go about getting the $2 trillion for the plan that has been set forth.

This plan will go NOWHERE….why? The only way to pay for this plan is a rise in taxes on corporations and the wealthy……

With President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders set to meet Wednesday to discuss a possible $2 trillion infrastructure package, a progressive advocacy group on Monday warned that any proposal that doesn’t include significant tax hikes on the rich and corporations “will be meaningless and doomed to failure.”

“If major tax increases are off the table, there is no way to pay for a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, it’s that simple,” Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), said in a statement. “Other options, such as raising the gas tax, might be part of the package, but by themselves won’t come close to reaching the $2 trillion that’s needed.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/20/without-tax-hikes-corporations-and-rich-critics-warn-2-trillion-infrastructure-plan

Every body agrees that our infrastructure is in trouble…….ever body agrees that it needs to be updated….the problem is NOBODY wants to pay for it.

I have an idea!

Since we have spent about $6 trillion on wars in the last decade or so…cancelling those abortions would easily pay for the infrastructure they all say they want.

The price tag of the ongoing “war on terror” in the Middle East will likely top $6 trillion next year, and will reach $7 trillion if the conflicts continue into the early 2020s, according to a new report out Wednesday.

The annual Costs of War project report, from the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, puts the full taxpayer burden of fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria over the last 17 years at several times higher than official Defense Department estimates, because it includes increases in Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs spending, as well as new military equipment and personnel.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/11/14/price-tag-of-the-war-on-terror-will-top-6-trillion-soon/

The Fiscal Times look at out spending on wars as well….

“It’s important for the American people to understand the true costs of war, both the moral and monetary costs,” Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) said in a statement last week, according to The Hill. “Our nation continues to finance wars and military operations through borrowing, rather than asking people to contribute to the national defense directly, and the result is a serious fiscal drag that we’re not really accounting for or factoring into deliberations about fiscal policy or military policy.”

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2018/11/19/Problem-Our-6-Trillion-War-Tab

I think the easy answer would be the best answer.

Closing Thought–17May19

We are in a war of words and deeds…a trade war….with China….Our Beloved Supreme Leader went on the Tube and soothed the ruffled feathers on Wall Street and the markets calmed down a bit…..but how about the rest of us unwashed masses that do not depend on Wall Street for our wealth?

Me? I do not shop on 5th Avenue so I want to know how I will fare with Trump’s mash up with China…..

Walmart warned on Thursday that higher tariffs on imports from China will mean higher prices, the AP reports. The comments came after the nation’s largest retailer reported its best sale performance at its established US namesake stores for the fiscal first quarter in nine years. It marked 19 straight quarters of same-store sales gains. “We’re monitoring the tariff discussions and are hopeful that an agreement can be reached,” said Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs. But he told reporters, “Increased tariffs will lead to increased prices for our customers.” Walmart declined to comment on what type of price hikes shoppers could expect and which products would get the biggest increases.

The specter of higher prices was also echoed by Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette. He told investors Wednesday that if a fourth round of tariffs takes effect, that could mean higher retail prices for both store label and national brands. Target, JC Penney, and other major retailers will be reporting results in the next few days and should shed more light on the issue. Walmart, Macy’s and other major retailers have been left largely unscathed by the first several rounds of tariffs since they focused more on industrial and agricultural products. But that changed last week when the Trump administration slapped 25% tariffs on imports like furniture. The administration wants to extend the 25% tariffs to practically all Chinese imports not already hit with levies including toys, shirts, household goods and sneakers.

While Wall Street smiles the rest of us get raped……well our wallets to be exact……not what I signed on for…..

You?

Closing Thought–10May19

Keeping with the economic trend I started a couple of posts ago……

Have you filed your taxes yet?  Did you get a refund?

I have filed and I had to pay.

What about the rest of America?

I mean us real people not those stiff criminals that we call the top 1%.

Did those lovely tax cuts that Trump gave the country benefit the rest of us or were the benefits for his rich buddies?

A new six-month analysis of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cuts details how workers received little benefit from the plan, despite the savings many of their powerful corporate employers received.

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) interviewed independent tax analysts and officials who were involved in the Republican Party’s effort to sell the so-called American Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to the public—and within their own party ranks. Progressive critics have consistently called the law nothing nothing more than a “tax scam.”

The GOP’s insistence on a tax law which included the largest corporate tax cut in U.S. history—from 35 to 21 percent—resulted in companies saving about $150 billion in the first year after the passage in December 2017.

Trump and then-House Speaker Paul Ryan had spent months telling Americans they stood to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in taxes, with Trump telling one crowd that the average family would see a pay raise of about $4,000, a benefit that would “trickle down” from employers’ corporate tax cuts.

 
This tax policy has done nothing to end the inequality that this country has been plaguing the country for decades……in reality everything we were told about the benefits of the Trump tax cuts was a LIE!
 
If the “economy” is doing so well then why are there no movements in the Middle Class?  As a matter of fact the Middle Class is diminishing every year sinc e the 1990s.
 
And this economy is so good it is making most American miserable……
 
After running a campaign on the idea that America was an impoverished wasteland, Donald Trump has spent his presidency bragging about the economic expansion that began under Barack Obama but continued under him. Though he might be a glutton for credit, Trump isn’t wrong, exactly, when he celebrates the “record economy” in his tweets: Unemployment in the United States is at a 50-year low, the stock market is soaring, and GDP is growing at a brisk clip. Polls have found that people are confident in the state of the economy.
 
 
And yet Americans buy the crap and the lies EVERY TIME!
 
WHY?
 
Lear Stuff!
 
Then VOTE!
 
I want to start my weekend….the ‘honey dos’ are considerable….but with luck it will rain and they will have to wait….(he said with crossed fingers)…….