Archive of Articles in the "Economics" Category

Republicans Want You To Pay More Tax!

[ Posted Tuesday, April 19th, 2022 – 15:51 UTC ]

Yesterday I wrote in support of what Senator Elizabeth Warren is calling on her fellow Democrats to do (essentially: pass whatever Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema can agree to, and get Biden to issue a few impactful executive orders). Today I thought taking a look at what Democrats should be saying about their opponents would be a good follow-up, as the midterm campaign season heats up.

This could always change, of course, but right now the smart bet would be to paint the entire Republican Party with the brush that Senator Rick Scott -- the man in charge of the Senate caucus tasked with getting more Republicans elected -- has so helpfully provided. This effort has already begun, and it hopefully will grow a lot bigger over time. Because for once, the path forward for Democratic messaging is about as clear as it can be.

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Elizabeth Warren Is Right

[ Posted Monday, April 18th, 2022 – 15:45 UTC ]

Senator Elizabeth Warren published what amounts to a call to action for her fellow Democrats in today's New York Times, and it's really hard to disagree with anything she has written. Her main point is that if Democrats sit back and try to run on their record (since 2020), they are going to get badly beaten in the midterm elections. Without coming right out and saying it, Warren calls on Senate Democrats to pass whatever Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema can manage to agree to. And for President Joe Biden to start using his executive pen far more aggressively than he has, so far. There is no guarantee any of this will be successful, but if Democrats don't at least make the attempt, they're going to be toast in the midterms. This is Warren's main point, and like I said, it is hard to disagree with her.

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Friday Talking Points -- Democratic Early Primary Free-For-All

[ Posted Friday, April 15th, 2022 – 17:01 UTC ]

It wasn't the biggest or most important political news of the week, we admit, but the one story that definitely caught our attention was the earthquake which reverberated outward from the Democratic National Committee. This Wednesday, the D.N.C.'s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted to upset the early-primary applecart to allow for the possibility of a complete shakeup of the roster of early-voting states (currently: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina). For the 2024 presidential race, all the states have now been encouraged to apply for a spot on the early calendar -- with no guarantees for the four states that have previously enjoyed the privilege of going first.

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Inflation's Political Deadweight

[ Posted Tuesday, April 12th, 2022 – 16:00 UTC ]

There are two major political storms on the horizon that will both break long before the midterm congressional elections, but as it looks now there is one overriding issue in domestic politics that will likely be one of the core issues in the race no matter what. Yes, it's time once again to dust off the 30-year old quip from James Carville: "It's the economy, stupid." This time around, it could be narrowed to: "It's the inflation, stupid."

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Cashing In On Daddy's Name

[ Posted Monday, April 11th, 2022 – 16:44 UTC ]

I know this might astonish some folks, but it is indeed a fact of life in America that the children of famous and influential politicians occasionally cash in on their last name. Well, technically, they don't even have to have the same last name, they don't have to be children (they can be other family members or even close friends sometimes), and occasionally the "cashing in" is a bit more nefarious than just your garden-variety grifting. But the fact remains that a closeness (or even perceived closeness) to power is indeed a saleable commodity out in the marketplace.

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Friday Talking Points -- History In The Making

[ Posted Friday, April 8th, 2022 – 16:36 UTC ]

History was made this week, as Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman ever confirmed to a seat on the Supreme Court. It's rare that such a milestone is reached, and it is unquestionably worth celebrating when it does finally happen. Especially since the first Black woman ever to become vice president was the one presiding over the Senate as it cast this historic vote.

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Obama Returns

[ Posted Wednesday, April 6th, 2022 – 15:43 UTC ]

President Barack Obama returned to the White House yesterday, for the first time in five years. He was there to support President Joe Biden in a signing ceremony, although it wasn't for a bill but merely for an executive order. This directive will provide a fix for some people who had fallen through the cracks of the Affordable Care Act, and will wind up helping many American families afford health insurance for their whole family. So it's easy to see why Obama was invited, to help usher in a technical fix for his greatest achievement as president.

But I have to say, while it was good to see Obama give a short speech and crack a few jokes with Biden, it did kind of draw attention to how much he's kept himself in the background ever since he left office. And if Biden and the rest of the Democrats are smart, they'd be all but begging Obama to take a much more active role in his party heading into the midterm election season.

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No Trump "Truths" Has Consequences

[ Posted Monday, April 4th, 2022 – 15:09 UTC ]

I can't believe I'm about to do this, but this is a column offering some free and helpful advice to Donald Trump.

No, really -- it's not an extended April Fools joke, I swear!

What inspired me to write some political advice for the former president was watching how his fledgling social media platform Truth Social seems to be going down the tubes. Launched in February (on Presidents' Day) it soon became a very popular download -- but that's where the success story ended. Because downloading the app (onto your Apple phone, since there is still no version for the Android yet) didn't get you in. People were put on a wait list with hundreds of thousands of people in front of them. Which is where they'd stay for weeks and weeks. The waitlist is now reportedly up to over 1.4 million. When people finally did make it onto the platform, there wasn't much of anybody there to talk to.

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Will Rare Earths Be Supported In Biden's D.P.A. Order?

[ Posted Thursday, March 31st, 2022 – 16:40 UTC ]

President Joe Biden has just announced he will be using the Defense Production Act of 1950 to support the mining of some critical minerals, to ensure that America produces more of these elements that are necessary for the high-tech world we live in. This is important, as we've all seen the automobile industry struggle to build cars when things like computer chips are in short supply. The scarcity of one product (or even one element of one product) has ripple effects throughout all sorts of supply chains. It's not just cars, either -- the biggest thing Biden's new order addresses is the minerals needed for the batteries which power hundreds of millions of the devices which are now almost necessary for modern life. But I have to wonder whether this is going to include rare earth elements -- because it really should.

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California Has Too Much Money

[ Posted Monday, March 28th, 2022 – 15:46 UTC ]

That headline isn't a judgment in any way, nor is it a metaphor or pun or even a boast. It's the literal truth -- California's state government has too big a budget surplus. They've got too much money, and the only question is what to do with it. This may sound strange, since governments normally don't fret about having too much in their coffers, but there is a 1970s-era state law that says that they're going to have to send some of it back to the taxpayers. So that's what the politicians in Sacramento are now arguing about -- how to rebate this money and to whom.

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