ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Economics" Category

Trump Hits New Polling Low

[ Posted Monday, December 11th, 2017 – 18:29 PST ]

I originally wrote "Trump Hits New Low" as this article's title, but then realized that it was far too generic a headline. After all, Trump hits new lows all the time, in many shocking and unusual ways. A sitting president endorsing an accused child molester to sit in the U.S. Senate, for instance. So I clarified it, since this is a more qualitative thing -- Trump has indeed hit a new all-time low in the polls. As of this writing, his daily job approval average (as calculated by Real Clear Politics) is a dismal 37.3 percent. Trump's job disapproval also hit a record high, to now stand at 57.9 percent. This is also (not surprisingly) the most he's ever been underwater in the polls -- a negative gap of 20.6 points.

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Friday Talking Points [464] -- Ending GOP Whataboutism

[ Posted Friday, December 8th, 2017 – 18:28 PST ]

In the same week that Time magazine gave its "Person Of The Year" award to the #MeToo movement, three members of Congress resigned because of it. The last week anything similar happened, according to historians, was during the Civil War, over the issue of slavery. On a single day in January of 1861, five senators resigned (as their states seceded from the Union). One historian noted: "If you look over the history of the 20th century in Congress, there just is no comparable event."

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Making The GOP Tax Bill Slightly Less Awful

[ Posted Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 – 18:11 PST ]

Republicans like to boast about how their current plan to reform the tax code is the biggest such effort since the 1980s. They especially like this line because it references Saint Ronald of Reagan [pause for GOP genuflections], whose irreproachable sanctity is about all the Republican Party can even agree upon, these days. But back in Reagan's day, Congress spent something like two years developing their tax code overhaul, with at least six months of that spent in committee hearings and bipartisan work toward a common goal. That common goal was to reduce taxes on individuals and increase them on corporations. None of that is true this time around, of course, as Republicans only even have a prayer of passing anything these days (despite controlling both houses of Congress) by rushing things so hastily that nobody has a chance to talk about what is in the massive bill. That two-year process will be smushed into a few paltry weeks, with a self-imposed Christmas deadline. Also, the end goal this time is exactly the opposite -- massively reduce the taxes corporations pay by increasing the share individuals pay.

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Friday Talking Points [463] -- Lock Him Up!

[ Posted Friday, December 1st, 2017 – 19:35 PST ]

This morning, Donald Trump's first National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, pled guilty to charges of lying to the F.B.I. He is now the highest-ranking Trump aide to be targeted by Robert Mueller, and also the highest-ranking person to have flipped on Trump. Flynn is still at risk of being prosecuted for other charges as well, including lying about his foreign lobbying on government forms. But he's now apparently cut a deal with the prosecution to possibly avoid further charges and also reportedly to avoid charges for his son.

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Can Trump Deal With The Democrats?

[ Posted Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 – 17:35 PST ]

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are apparently ready to play hardball at the start of the negotiations to work out a year-end deal with Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress. They signaled their intentions today by snubbing a planned photo op at the White House in response to a rather nasty tweet the president sent out about them, hours before the meeting was supposed to begin. Why negotiate when Trump is already calling them names, after all?

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The Keys To Democrats Winning Next Year

[ Posted Monday, November 27th, 2017 – 19:01 PST ]

Two weeks from tomorrow, Alabama will hold its special Senate election. The chances of Democrat Doug Jones pulling off an upset win are really anyone's guess, at this point. Is Roy Moore so damaged that the very conservative voters of Alabama will reject him in favor of a Democrat? Stranger things have happened, but this is in no way assured. This is, after all, Alabama we're talking about. But Democrats should be looking ahead, whether Jones wins or not, to shape their strategy for the upcoming 2018 midterm congressional elections.

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Busy December Ahead For Congress

[ Posted Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 – 18:19 PST ]

Congress is currently tightly focused on the Republican tax-cutting bill, which is likely to consume most of their time when they return from the Thanksgiving break. But what is remarkable is how many other pressing issues they are currently all but ignoring which will have to be resolved before the end of the year. It's looking like a busy legislative December, in other words.

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Friday Talking Points [462] -- Speaking Out Causes A Sea-Change In Attitudes

[ Posted Friday, November 17th, 2017 – 18:24 PST ]

America is in the midst of a gigantic sea-change on how accusations of sexual misconduct are viewed. That much seems certain. You could say it began with the Access Hollywood tape during Donald Trump's campaign, or you could argue it began with the end of Harvey Weinstein's Hollywood career. Notably, the "Me Too" movement has actually been around for a decade, but it really caught fire this year in a big way. But no matter the origins of the shift, America now views accusations of sexual misconduct in a much different light than before.

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What Happens If Roy Moore's Vote Is Necessary To Pass GOP Tax Bill?

[ Posted Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 – 18:11 PST ]

There is one emerging scenario (which currently is in no way certain) where the Republican Party might just have to decide to swallow its outrage -- at least temporarily -- and welcome Senator Roy Moore into their ranks on Capitol Hill, no matter what he did with underage women in the past. Because if Moore wins his special election in Alabama while at the same time two Republican senators have publicly announced they'll be voting "no" on the GOP tax bill, then Moore's vote becomes the deciding one. If this comes to pass, the GOP will be faced with the hard choice of ignoring all their previous denunciations of Moore in order to pull off their first legislative win since Donald Trump took office. Call it a striking moral/political dilemma.

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Interpreting GOP Moves On Tax Bill

[ Posted Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 – 17:58 PST ]

The most popular game in Washington right now is trying to figure out where the Republicans are on their tax-cutting plan, and what they're about to do next. This game exists because nobody is really sure what's going to happen, leaving lots of room for rampant speculation. But the moves the Senate is apparently making right now (or, reportedly, at least seriously considering) either show that Republicans are pretty confident of their ability to get the legislation passed or that they're essentially creating excuses for why it isn't going to pass at all this year. Since these positions are so contradictory, it's worth examining the developing GOP politics over the tax bills.

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