Will Inflation Slow?

A good question for us armchair economists…..and I am sure there is a wealth of opinions out there…..this is just mine.

Let’s begin with the new Inflation Reduction Act before the Congress……

The bill, introduced last week after a long-awaited deal was struck between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) and moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.), was pitched as a way to lower costs for consumers while also reducing the federal budget deficit and spending billions on environmental initiatives meant to combat climate change.

It didn’t take long for a problem to present itself.

“The impact on inflation is statistically indistinguishable from zero,” concluded the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM), a number-crunching policy center based at the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, if the bill’s passage had any impact on inflation in the short term, it would be to increase it very slightly until 2024, according to the group’s preliminary analysis, released on Friday.

Other parts of the Inflation Reduction Act would do what Manchin and Schumer claim. According to the PWBM report, the bill would reduce future deficits by a cumulative $247 billion over the next decade and would marginally reduce the national debt as a result. It would spend about $370 billion on new environmental and climate initiatives. It would pay for all that by raising taxes and by boosting IRS enforcement, in hopes of chasing down revenue that currently goes unpaid.

But again, the Inflation Reduction Act won’t actually reduce inflation.

The ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ Won’t Actually Reduce Inflation

Once again the answers to the nation’s economic problems is a bill or action that does little to help.

I have made my thoughts known and the comments were as I expected…..but like I say….they are my opinions not a game plan although my ideas would help.

“Inflation” is the new buzzword of the year. It is the reason for the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes designed to increase the costs of some loans. It is the excuse given against renewing the expanded child tax credit program that briefly lifted millions of American families out of poverty. It forms the name of one of the key pieces of legislation that may salvage President Joe Biden’s first term: the Inflation Reduction Act. And, it is the basis of Republican complaints against Democrats heading toward the midterm elections this fall.

With all this concern over inflation, one wonders why so little heed has been paid to another “i” word: inequality.

For decades, government officials, media pundits, mainstream economists, politicians, and others were content to allow and even enable money to flow upward, enriching the already wealthy. They paid little heed to increasing inequality, beyond shrugging their shoulders and lamenting the injustice of it all.

To fiscally conservative politicians, it seems that inflation equates to trouble, but inequality is perfectly tolerable.

To Reduce Inflation, Control Corporate Profits

We are told daily how tough things are for the corporations…..and yet they find enough cash to buy other companies even football teams when times are tough.

So yes….I agree with the article above.

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Dems Did Something Right

In a vote down party lines (go figure) the Dems have passed a sweeping economic package (I am not sure how damn sweeping it is….but at least they did something)

Democrats pushed their election-year economic package to Senate passage Sunday, a hard-fought compromise less sweeping than President Biden’s original domestic vision but one that still meets deep-rooted party goals of slowing global warming, moderating pharmaceutical costs, and taxing immense corporations. The estimated $740 billion package heads next to the House, where lawmakers are positioned to deliver on Biden’s priorities, a stunning turnaround of what had seemed a lost and doomed effort that suddenly roared back to political life. Democrats held united, 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote, the AP reports.

“The Senate is making history,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer ahead of the final votes. “I am confident the Inflation Reduction Act will endure as one of the defining legislative measures of the 21st century.” Senators engaged in a round-the-clock marathon of voting that began Saturday and stretched into late Sunday afternoon. Democrats swatted down some three dozen Republican amendments designed to torpedo the legislation. Confronting unanimous GOP opposition, Democratic unity in the 50-50 chamber held, keeping the party on track for a morale-boosting victory three months before elections in which congressional control is at stake. The House seemed likely to provide final congressional approval when it returns briefly from summer recess on Friday.

The bill ran into trouble midday over objections to the new 15% corporate minimum tax that private equity firms and other industries disliked, forcing last-minute changes. Still, the approval gives Democrats a campaign-season showcase for action on coveted goals. It includes the largest-ever federal effort on climate change—close to $400 billion—while capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare to $2,000 a year and extending expiring subsidies that help 13 million people afford health insurance. By raising corporate taxes, the whole package is paid for, with some $300 billion extra revenue for deficit reduction. Nonpartisan analysts have said the package would have a minor effect on surging consumer prices. Schumer told the Washington Post that the legislation provides “things that Americans have longed for, and couldn’t get done.”

This ought to improve the Dems chances in November……it may even boost Biden to low approval ratings from very poor approval.

More needed doing but I guess we should be thankful that these people did something positive.

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Biden To Attack Inflation

In a recent news conference Biden addressed our growing inflation…..

The administration is going after rising prices by trying to solve the problems in the supply chain, Biden said, per the Washington Post. “We’ve been able to make progress on speeding up the access to materials,”

Seriously?

Let’s say Biden solves the supply thing….does anyone think prices will come down?

I do not!

It has not solved the problem yet so why would it now?

Food is not calculated in the inflation stats….so will we continue to pay outrageous prices for the stables?

So just how will Biden solve the inflation problem?

Tax cuts for corporations?

That has never worked in the past and in this age of corporate greed it will be no better than a fart in the wind.

Biden big idea was to consult so-called experts….

iberal CNN political analyst Bakari Sellers slammed President Biden Friday for responding to a question about the worsening inflation crisis gripping the U.S by referring to what “Nobel laureates” and “corporate leaders” told him about the issue rather than offering a solution to the American people.

During an appearance on “New Day,” Sellers called Biden’s response “terrible,” argued Americans weren’t concerned about the input of Nobel laureates, and declared that the problem was now Biden’s to fix.

Pundits always have answers but have no actual solutions just their hearsay…..

Dems will pay the price for this in the mid terms……as I have said many times there is a easy solution but NO one in DC has the guts to propose…..

The term “price controls” refers to the legal minimum or maximum prices set for specified goods. Price controls are normally mandated by the government in the free market. They are usually implemented as a means of direct economic intervention to manage the affordability of certain goods and services, including rent, gasoline, and food.

The American people do not need talk or promises of a solution….they need action and politicians are not capable of giving that solution.

Interest rates by the Fed will not help anyone today…..when hamburger cost $5+ a pound the interest rate will not effect whether I get a grilled sandwich or not.

Biden is doing what all presidents do….let think tanks decide…..instead of asking a cross-section of average Americans what would benefit them the most.

The solution will preserve corporation high profits and not worry about whether I can afford a steak once a  month.

So as usual…..we will not benefit from Biden’s limp ass solution.

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An Alternative To The $15 Minimum Wage

Well that big thing is the proposal for a $15 minimum wage….and of course the GOP is having a stroke at the idea.

They preach the same crap every time….that it will cost jobs and drive corporations overseas…..To this I say BS to the first accusation and to the second then let the cowards go as long as they pay a fat tax for leaving.

Contrary to popular support…..Two-thirds of Americans (67%) support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, including 41% who say they strongly favor such an increase, according to a Pew Research Center survey…..although a majority of the American public support this idea…..it is a doomed proposal.

The $15 thing will NEVER fly in the Senate…..even though the Dems have a slim majority they also have a couple of conservs in the party that hate seeing humans make a descent living….not to mention any name….Manchin and Sinema…..

Maybe there is a couple of things that could be done that would actually make a difference in people’s lives…..

The government could make it a more just society but they are afraid to slap around the wealthy that take from society and give nothing in return…..afraid the cash cow will dry up for their re-election funds.

Just my idea to help if you cannot manage to raise the minimum wage…..since food seems to suck up the cash on hand along with shelter, utilities…..why not use a tool, that is at hand?

Price controls.

The government could step in and make life easier for those that are struggling especially these days of lockdowns and unemployment….

Government price controls are situations where the government sets prices for particular goods and services.

Types of price controls

  • Minimum prices – Prices can’t be set lower (but can be set above)
  • Maximum price – Limit to how much prices can be raised (e.g. market rent)
  • Buffer stocks – Where government keep prices within a certain band
  • Limiting price increases – In a privatised monopoly (e.g. electricity, gas, water – where there is no competition) the government regulator may play a role in limiting how much prices can be increased. In the UK, regulators use a formula like RPI-X.
  • Direct price setting – In a command economy, prices of goods may be set by the government.

Since food seems to continue in a never ending spiral upward to the point where people have to decide between food or rent the government should step in and help.

It is not like this has not taken place in the past…..

Signed on August 15, 1970, during the administration of Richard Nixon, the Economic Stabilization Act gave the president power to impose wage and price controls to stem inflation caused by federal efforts to finance its operations. It extended a law that had provided the executive with similar authority during the Korean War; the earlier law, in turn, had precedents in controls imposed during World Wars I and II.

For those that would like to know more about this law then I can help…..

https://scholarlycommons.law.case.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=3158&context=caselrev

Not to worry this will NEVER happen because Congress is well paid by lobbyist to keep anything good from ever taking place.

Politicians play to a base and the rest of us be damned….people go hungry and people become homeless and yet NO ONE gives a shit.

You may not like my idea but for now it would help those that need it the most.

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“lego ergo scribo”

GOP Economics

Since 1980 I have not thought the GOP had the best economic ideas to put this country on the path for progress….and since then all their economic solutions have actually done little to improve the lives of Americans unless they are in the wealthy class.

These days nothing has changed……here are some of the statements made that illustrate the GOP lackluster economic ideas and why.

First infrastructure……most specially our road systems….

… it’s up to Senate Republicans to try to demonstrate there’s some rationale for their GOP colleagues to be participating in this thing called government. It’s been ages since they’ve been called upon to proactively contribute to a policy-making process, in this case infrastructure, and thus far they’re not making much headway.

They’re “getting there,” says Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, of the process they’ve been working at for nearly a month. Back in mid-April they revealed just how incompetent they’ve become at governing, offering up a $568 billion counter to President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion proposal. It was a back-of-the-napkin scribble that offered a vague funding mechanism of taxes on electric car drivers and taking COVID-19 relief money away from states. It’s a reflection of just how inadequate that proposal was that senior Republicans are now inching up their spending limit. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went up to $800 billion just last week, and on Monday Sen. Lindsey Graham offered $900 billion, but they’re still fighting the idea of raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations to fund it.

https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2021/5/18/2031013/-While-rural-America-clamors-for-infrastructure-Republicans-obsess-over-keeping-corporate-taxes-low

Then there is the attempt to starve people into accepting crappy wages…..

Millions of jobless workers in Republican-led states across the U.S. are growing increasingly worried that they soon won’t be able to afford rent, medicine, and other basic necessities as GOP governors rush to cut off pandemic-related unemployment benefits, a widely condemned attack on struggling people that the Biden administration insists it is powerless to stop.

As of this writing, 22 Republican governors have moved to withdraw from a federal program that boosted regular unemployment checks by $300 per week to help jobless people weather the ongoing economic crisis.

Of those Republican-led states, 19 are also ending their participation in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)—federal initiatives that provide an extension for people who have exhausted their state-level benefits and offer aid to gig workers and others who are typically ineligible.

To justify stripping a crucial lifeline from the jobless, the Republican leaders of Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, South Dakota, and other states have falsely claimed that the federal unemployment programs are so generous they are dissuading people from rejoining the workforce—a narrative that ignores a slew of other relevant factors, from the low wages on offer to lack of child care to health concerns.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/05/21/attempting-starve-people-back-work-anger-grows-gop-governors-cut-jobless-benefits

Their big idea is that if people get help then the economy will collapse…..according to Sen Ron Johnson of Wisconsin….

Senator Ron Johnson, are asking the poor to stay poor for the good of all America.

On Sunday, Johnson appeared on WKOW in Wisconsin to explain his support for a bill that would end the $300 enhanced unemployment benefits. While many conservatives have argued that these benefits are hurting employers who want to pay their employees less than the $16.75 an hour the unemployment benefits come out to, Johnson is taking the bold step of claiming that employers paying workers more in order to compete with said unemployment benefits, and workers demanding more money to work, is bad, because that will lead to inflation.

https://www.wonkette.com/ron-johnson-wants-people-to-work-for-less-money-than-they-need-to-live

Really?

Johnson has just stated what I wrote about over a decade ago…….https://lobotero.com/why-poverty/

I have written many times that GOP economics suck….and now with the stupid within the party their true colors are finally emerging.

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Will ‘Trickle Down’ Return?

For about fifty years the Repubs have promised with every tax cut that it would miraculously help the working class in the long run. Well that was a lie….and the working class is still waiting for the ‘trickle down’ effect promised.

And now that the GOP is out of favor I expect that there will be more calls for tax cuts to pay for all the assistance that was given to the country….including the wealthy that did not need the help.

I have given my thoughts on this BS and every time the GOP offered it is accepted….and now I try again to prevent bullshit from becoming policy.

My original posts…..

https://lobotero.com/2008/10/09/the-humor-that-is-trickle-down-economics/

https://lobotero.com/2011/06/24/trickle-up-economics/

Now that we have a new president I suspect the calls for massive tax cuts will begin in January 2021 by the GOP and its minions.

Neoliberal gospel says that cutting taxes on the wealthy will eventually benefit everyone by boosting economic growth and reducing unemployment, but a new analysis of fiscal policies in 18 countries over the last 50 years reveals that progressive critics of “trickle down” theory have been right all along: supply-side economics fuels inequality, and the real beneficiaries of the right-wing approach to taxation are the super-rich.

The Economic Consequences of Major Tax Cuts for the Rich(pdf), a working paper published this month by the International Inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics and written by LSE’s David Hope and Julian Limberg of King’s College London, examines data from nearly 20 OECD countries, including the U.K. and the U.S., and finds that the past five decades have been characterized by “falling taxes on the rich in the advanced economies,” with “major tax cuts… particularly clustered in the late 1980s.”

But, according to Hope and Limberg, the vast majority of the populations in those countries have little to show for it, as the benefits of slashing taxes on the wealthy are concentrated among a handful of super-rich individuals—not widely shared across society in the form of improved job creation or prosperity, as “trickle down” theorists alleged would happen.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/16/study-50-years-tax-cuts-rich-confirms-trickle-down-theory-absolute-sham

It is ALL a lie….there has never been any benefit for the working class from so-called ‘trickle down’ economics.

Just wait….the calls for wealthy tax cuts will begin again now that there is a Dem in the White House and can watch the middle class dissolve a little more.

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Remember Dodd-Frank?

Does anyone remember the days around 2008?

The financial collapse….remember now?

Well after the collapse Congress did all they could to make things better for the society and spawned the rooks on Wall Street…..it was called Dodd-Frank.

In case you have no damn idea what I am talking about…..

Dodd-Frank is also geared toward protecting consumers with rules like keeping borrowers from abusive lending and mortgage practices by banks.

It became the law of the land in 2010 and was named after Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) and U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), who were the sponsors of the legislation.

But not all of the provisions are in place and some rules are subject to change, as we’ll see.

The bill contains some 16 major areas of reform and contains hundreds of pages, but we will focus here on what are considered the major rules of regulation.

https://www.cnbc.com/id/47075854

Basically the Congress allowed the industry to write the bill and then makes it look like someone is protected……you are NOT!

The pandemic has created a similar situation,,,,and Congress is doing what it always does….bails out the crooks as a solution to the problem….

Big business and banks are just as corrupt and eager to shovel profits to senior executives 10 years after the landmark banking reform legislation known as Dodd-Frank as they were during the 2008 crisis, a new report warns, because the bill’s regulations on executive pay remain unimplemented.

“White collar crime pays, and until Congress enacts the rules to change it, we’ll continue to see top executives raking in off catastrophes of their own making,” report author Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate at Public Citizen, said in a statement.

The report lists billions in bonus cash paid out to executives over the past decade despite Dodd-Frank’s regulatory framework banning such cash-outs.

“It’s 2008 all over again,” said Naylor. “Congress is bailing out Big Business and enriching CEOs while workers scrape by as the economy lurches downward in a pandemic.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/21/white-collar-crime-pays-decade-after-dodd-frank-executives-still-lining-their

Once again the Congress is only protecting their donors……. they care NOTHING for the “people”……and yet we are to believe that they have our best interests at heart……

Time for them to have a wake up call….and the people take back the government that began with them in mind and has gone so far off the original track.

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Remember All Those Tariffs?

Well I do and I have written about Trump’s tariffs extensively……https://lobotero.com/2018/03/05/word-of-the-week-tariffs/ and https://lobotero.com/2019/12/18/tariffs-trump-weapon-of-choice/

Before I continue…do I need to refresh everyone’s mind on the tariff thing?

I thought so……https://lobotero.com/2019/10/03/sanctions-and-tariffs/

Now that I cover all my bases…..let’s move on to the news on tariffs.

A study by the Federal Reserve has found that the tariffs that Trump so loves has done MORE HARM than good….

President Trump‘s tariffs on imports — meant to boost the economy — ultimately led to job losses and higher prices, a new study from the Federal Reserve has found.

“We find that tariff increases enacted in 2018 are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices,” the report by Fed economists Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce reads.

MarketWatch first reported the study, noting that 10 primary industries were hit by retaliatory tariffs and higher prices, including producers of magnetic and optical media, leather goods, aluminum sheet, iron and steel, motor vehicles, household appliances, sawmills, audio and video equipment, pesticide, and computer equipment.

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/476100-fed-study-trump-tariffs-backfired-caused-job-losses-and-higher-prices

And how much of that profit hiding offshore accounts have returned to the shores of the US?

Not enough to make a difference….but wait I thought that was going to be a gimme when Trump won….what happened?

The world economy does not look good for the next several years…..between an idiot in the White House and a pandemic….all is NOT well.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has significantly increased its forecast for the contraction in global economy, warning that it will take a cumulative $12 trillion hit over 2020–2021. Updating its forecast yesterday, the IMF said the global contraction for 2020 would be -4.9 percent, some 1.9 percentage points below the forecast it issued in April.

The IMF said that for the first time ever all regions of the world are expected to experience negative growth in the 2020.

Growth in the advanced economy group is projected at -8 percent this year. The US economy is predicted to contract by 8 percent, Japan 5.8 percent, the UK 10.2 percent, Germany 7.8 percent, France 12.5 percent and Italy and Spain 12.8 percent.

If Trump wins in November I cannot to see what monumental economic stupidity he will cough up or pull out of his ass next.

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The Next Stim Package

It appears the economics will be the savior of the nation during this pandemic.

We have already had 4 or 5 stim packages to lift the morale and hopes of the American people while steadily increasing the profits of corporations.

And now I hear the Dems and others are talking about another round of stim to help cope with this virus….but what should be included in the final bill?

How about such deals as pay check guarantee or mortgage/rent assistance or maybe some economic stabilizers……

For the next stimulus package, some lawmakers want to go bigger. Much bigger.

While it could be weeks before members of Congress land on the next bipartisan bill to combat the economic fallout of the coronavirus, many have no shortage of ideas about what that could look like. House Democrats, after all, have already passed their $3 trillion opening bid, with a focus on getting more than $900 billion to states and cities.

Make no mistake, focusing on an influx of funding to local governments is hugely important and could do a lot to stave off the long-term economic effects of the crisis. But other ideas that have been proposed — like a federal paycheck guarantee or rent cancellation — would also be more ambitious ways to address the problem than what lawmakers have done so far.

A focus on implementing such expansive stimulus could well be warranted given the scale of the problem: Economists say that Congress’s economic support needs to match the devastating nature of the issue at hand. As of mid-May, the country’s unemployment rate is still growing, with more than 36 million people applying for unemployment insurance within the first eight weeks of the crisis.

https://www.vox.com/2020/5/18/21246421/congress-stimulus-ideas

But then I ask…who will these “guarantees” actually benefit…the average American or the people that control their lives?

Plus I do NOT see Trump approving of this stim package….this would not benefit many of his buddies….or enrich himself.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Dems And Stims

Then Congressional Dems have offered up economic stim plan #5….a 3 trillion virus relief plan….

US Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a $3 trillion coronavirus response package, the largest yet, to fund efforts to fight the pandemic and provide emergency payments to millions of American households.

The Heroes Act was introduced in the House of Representatives and could be voted on in the Democratic-led chamber as early as this week.

But the 1,815-page measure faced immediate opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate, where leaders have said a new round of emergency funding is not yet needed.

President Donald Trump has also said recently that he is against rushing through new coronavirus legislation.

Trump has signed four pandemic relief measures into law in recent months.

They including a massive, $2.2 trillion rescue package in March known as the Cares Act, and a $483 billion measure to pump funds into a popular loan program for small businesses devastated by lockdowns.

The new bill, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dubs Cares 2, includes a second round of payments of up to $6,000 per household, in an effort to ease the burden for tens of millions of Americans who have lost jobs in the pandemic.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/us-democrats-unveil-3-trillion-virus-relief-package-205046095.html

But is this plan as good for us mere mortals as it sounds?

The answer is…..”Democratic leadership has had plenty of input from progressive thinkers over the past couple of months. They just care more about the input from corporate lobbyists.”

There is your answer……

House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a sprawling 1,815-page, $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that spurns many of the key demands of progressive activists and lawmakers while including proposals that immediately provoked backlash, such as a tax cut for the wealthy and a provision that would allow corporate lobbying organizations to take part in federal small business loan program.

Formally titled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, the bill (pdf) would provide $1 trillion in additional funding for state and local governments, extend beefed-up unemployment benefits through January of next year, authorize an additional round of one-time $1,200 stimulus payments for adults earning up to $75,000 per year, expand federal nutrition benefits, provide $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service, establish a hazard pay fund for frontline workers, and increase spending on Covid-19 testing.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/12/no-excuse-house-dems-unveil-1815-page-bill-would-bail-out-corporate-lobbyists-omits

More info on the Dems big plan……

The Heroes Act proposes fully subsidizing COBRA, an existing health insurance program that allows laid-off or furloughed workers to remain on their employer-provided insurance plans. Under normal circumstances, COBRA is extremely expensive for individuals—recipients have to cover both their own and their employer’s premium payments—but the Democratic plan would cover 100% of the premium costs through next January.

COBRA expansion has the backing of a bizarre alliance of interests, including big business and some labor unions, but critics say the proposal is wildly inefficient and does not come close to matching the scale of the nation’s current healthcare crisis.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/13/massive-giveaway-health-insurance-ceos-democratic-cobra-plan-denounced-costly

“The historic crisis Americans are facing will not end on its own. To end it, these three things—getting people paychecks, ensuring access to healthcare, supporting businesses and their workers—are critical. But this legislation does not yet address them at the scale necessary.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/13/jayapal-rips-democratic-covid-19-bill-doesnt-end-mass-unemployment-or-ensure

Sounds more like a major bail-out for the profit health industry…..when an expansion of Medicare would have benefited more people…..it is all fraudulent relief……

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday released a $3 trillion coronavirus “relief” bill and scheduled a vote for Friday. The Democratic leadership has acknowledged that the measure has no chance of gaining passage in the Republican-controlled Senate, let alone being signed into law by President Trump.

The release of the bill initiates a process of political theater in which the two parties posture to rally their respective bases and generate sound-bites for campaign ads ahead of the November elections. It is expected that the measure will pass on a party-line vote in the Democratic-controlled House, setting off weeks of negotiations between the Democrats and the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/14/dems-m14.html

Image

This show just how non-progressive the Dem leadership truly has become…..

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