ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Economics" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Republicans Show Their True Colors

[ Posted Friday, January 27th, 2023 – 17:58 UTC ]

President Joe Biden gave a speech this week on the state of the American economy. On his watch, the economy has greatly improved as we all dug ourselves out of the pandemic recession together. So Biden deserves a victory lap. He also used the speech to draw a stark comparison between Democrats responsibly steering the economy and Republicans who apparently are salivating at the prospect of blowing it all up.

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Let New Hampshire Go First

[ Posted Thursday, January 26th, 2023 – 17:17 UTC ]

At President Joe Biden's urging, the Democratic National Committee has picked a big and (in my opinion) a completely unnecessary fight with the state of New Hampshire. Last year, when the party met to decide which states would go first in the presidential primary calendar, Biden blindsided just about everyone with his own preferred schedule. Earlier, the party had announced there would be a free-for-all for states to apply for early primary slots, which was largely seen as a convenient way to demote Iowa from the early states, for multiple reasons (the largest being how incompetent they had been in 2020). This conventional wisdom held that one or perhaps even two other additional states would be elevated to the ranks of the early-voting states, again for multiple reasons. But few predicted that New Hampshire would be affected. This proved to be wrong, as Biden released his preferred schedule: South Carolina would be the "first in the nation" state, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire three days later (both voting on the same day). Yesterday, the party met again and instead of locking in Biden's new schedule, gave two states until June to comply with the new setup -- New Hampshire and Georgia (which was newly elevated into the ranks of early-voting states).

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Republicans Are Their Own Worst Enemy

[ Posted Wednesday, January 25th, 2023 – 16:32 UTC ]

The big fight shaping up in the new Congress is going to be over the debt ceiling, the news media tells us. Republicans are on one of their traditional "there's a Democrat in the White House, so we must now slash spending to the bone" quests, and so they're going to try to use the debt ceiling as leverage to force concessions from President Joe Biden and the Democratic Senate. But the big question, after you get past all the fulminating rhetoric, remains: What concessions? What are they even fighting for? And the answer, to me, lies in the past. Remember the big push to "repeal and replace" Obamacare? That's what seems almost certain to happen this time around, too.

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Will Sinema Even Run?

[ Posted Monday, January 23rd, 2023 – 16:34 UTC ]

Representative Ruben Gallego made some news today with his announcement that he is running for the 2024 Democratic nomination for a Senate seat in Arizona. If she were still a Democrat, this would be framed as Senator Kyrsten Sinema "drawing a challenger" or "being primaried" from within her own party, but since she became an Independent that is no longer true. With a Republican in the mix as well, there may wind up being a three-way contest for the seat. But then again, maybe not.

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden's First Two Years

[ Posted Friday, January 20th, 2023 – 18:27 UTC ]

Two years ago today, Joseph Robinette Biden Junior was sworn in as the nation's 46th president. So how is he doing at his job? His approval rating in public opinion polls has generally improved since the midterm elections, hitting numbers he hasn't seen in a year. But those numbers are still south of 45 percent (on average), which is fairly common for a first-term president but certainly nothing to brag about.

Biden has had some notable successes as president, and some notable rocky patches as well. He entered office as the COVID-19 vaccines were becoming widely and freely available, and things seemed rosy on this front for his first year, only to get a lot grimmer as the Omicron strain hit much harder than any of the previous variants of the virus. All of a sudden we weren't done with COVID-19 and life didn't return to normal as expected. But since then, the virus has become almost an afterthought and didn't matter much to voters in the midterms (even though it had been predicted that it would be a major issue).

Biden's legislative accomplishments are more impressive than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson. True, Biden did have a Democratic Senate and House to work with, but both of those had historically-slender majorities -- L.B.J., for instance, had as many as 68 Democratic senators to work with. Biden only had 50 -- including two who loved the media spotlight so much they didn't care if they torpedoed Biden's agenda in major ways. Biden also managed to pass some major bills with bipartisan support, which is almost miraculous, these days.

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Biden's Sermon At Ebenezer Baptist Church

[ Posted Monday, January 16th, 2023 – 17:22 UTC ]

He followed the path of Moses, a leader of inspiration, calling on the people not to be afraid and to always, always, as my grandfather would say, "keep the faith."

He followed the path of Joseph. A believer in dreams, in the divinity they carry, in the promise they hold.

And like John the Baptist, he prepared us for the greater hope ahead, one who came to bear witness to the light.

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a nonviolent warrior for justice who followed the word and the way of His Lord and His Savior.

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Friday Talking Points -- Joe's Garage

[ Posted Friday, January 13th, 2023 – 17:43 UTC ]

With apologies to Frank Zappa, this week's big political story might be summed up as coming from "Joe's garage." But we'll get to all of that in a moment, down in the awards section (it shouldn't be any mystery which one he's going to get). First, though, let's take a look at the other momentous things that happened during the past week.

This column, of course, measures weeks from Friday afternoon to Friday afternoon. As we were writing last week, the House of Representatives was still deadlocked over who would become the next speaker. This continued far into the night, until Kevin McCarthy finally emerged victorious. Weakened, bloodied, diminished... but finally victorious.

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Biden's Biggest Mistake

[ Posted Wednesday, January 11th, 2023 – 16:48 UTC ]

Just for the record, that headline in no way refers to the current news frenzy over President Joe Biden's apparent retention of classified documents at an organization he controlled. It is indeed a subject worthy for another column, mostly to scoff at the false equivalency being offered up by the Republicans. There is an enormous difference between what Biden's team did and what Trump and his team were caught doing. In Biden's case, the documents were found and immediately they did the right thing -- they notified the National Archives and voluntarily turned all the documents over. Trump refused official requests for over a year, lied that he had turned over all the classified documents, got subpoenaed, lied some more about turning them all in and finally had a search warrant executed which turned up over 100 more classified documents. But there are plenty of people currently pointing all of this out, which is why this column is not about this at all. Biden's assumably accidental retention of a handful of classified documents may have been a political mistake (since already team Trump is saying "See? Everyone does it!"), but it is not the biggest one Biden has made to date.

The biggest political mistake Biden has made as president was to undercut -- twice -- the efforts by congressional Democrats to deal with the debt ceiling while they still had the chance. Later this year, this may come back to bite not just Biden but all of us. In what could be a catastrophic way.

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My 2022 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 23rd, 2022 – 19:51 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second of our year-end awards columns! And if you missed it last Friday, go check out [Part 1] as well.

As always, this is long. Horrendously long. Insanely long. It takes a lot of stamina to read all the way to the end. You have been duly warned! But because it is so long, we certainly don't want to add any more here at the start, so let's just dive in, shall we?

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Trump's Taxes To Be Released

[ Posted Tuesday, December 20th, 2022 – 18:06 UTC ]

As I write this, the news is just coming in from the House Ways and Means Committee -- Donald Trump's tax returns will be sent to the full House, meaning they will become public record.

I've been waiting all day to hear the outcome, and reading arguments both for and against this release in the media. And I have to say, the arguments for keeping Trump's tax returns private don't seem very convincing.

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