Tag: Stimulus

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The latest COVID relief/stimulus bill, now about to emerge from the US House, is a boondoggle on steroids. But there are many more things at stake. How this plays out. Well, there you have it. Some 70% of Americans support President Biden’s and the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID 6.0 relief/stimulus package. That’s right, the 6th […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they dish out two bad martinis and a crazy one. First, they sigh as reports from non-conservative sources say President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill will actually waste taxpayer dollars and do economic damage. They also cringe as Dr. Fauci suggests a new vaccine needs to be created to ward off the effects of the South African variant of COVID, but Jim explains why Fauci is probably wrong. And they wade into the news of Sen. Ted Cruz flying to Cancun while Texas is in crisis and the media reaction to it.

Join Jim and Greg as they discuss former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers warning that the Biden COVID relief bill is way too big and could trigger the worst inflation in decades. They also shake their heads as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suggests the CDC director’s recommendation to open schools is just her personal opinion and they have to wait for the science. And they react to news that Hunter Biden is writing a tell-all book and are pretty sure he plans to skip a lot of stuff.

As the Biden administration officially begins, join Jim and Greg as they cheer the U.S. for declaring a Chinese genocide against the Uighurs on President Trump’s final day in office. They also groan as Biden plans an economic policy around issues like race, gender equality and climate change rather than traditional metrics. And they’re surprised to see Democrats predict a COVID relief bill being delayed until March, although given what’s likely to be in it, we’re in no hurry to see much of it become law.

Julio Gonzales, CEO of Engineered Tax Services and national tax expert who helped advise on the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act joins Carol Roth to discuss the fallout on small business and the economy from 2020 and what to expect under a Biden administration. Julio and Carol also discuss some surprise places where individuals and business owners can turn for financial assistance, and the importance of advocating for yourself with your elected officials. 

Plus, a “Now You Know” on an underused tax break.

Your Friday martinis are served as Rob Long fills in for Jim. Today, they applaud Tim Scott for pointing out the Democrats didn’t block police reform because of what was in the bill but because of who was proposing it. They also wade into the scrutiny on some red states as their COVID infections increase, and they dissect the intense political debate over wearing masks. And they have fun with the news $1.4 billion in stimulus checks were sent out to dead people.

Welcome dear podcast addicts to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for May 1, 2019 – Workers of the World Unite! You have nothing to lose but your CHAINS!!!). This is the $2T Podcast edition of the podcast (from the department of redundancy department). We are your hosts, radio guy Todd Feinburg and AI guy Mike Stopa.

This week, Chuck and Nancy are giddy that they went to the White House, asked for, basically, the store, and DJT (or so they claim) *gave* it to them to the tune of 2 trillion (with a “t”) for our crumbling roads and bridges. (and what else, pray? …or should I say “prey”?).

The Potential Downside and Upside in Washington’s New Stimulus Experiment

 

So are we really going to do this? Is the United States, the world’s most important economy, really going to thoughtlessly stumble into a novel experiment in fiscal policy? Massive fiscal stimulus at this point in the business cycle?

Apparently so. Even before Trump’s tax cuts, America’s debt-GDP ratio was projected to rise to 91% of GDP over the next decade from around 77% currently and 35% before the Great Recession. Now factor in the tax cuts and this new budget deal and — assuming what’s temporary is made permanent — the debt burden would reach 109% of GDP in 2027, “higher than the previous record of 106% of GDP set just after World War II,” notes the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. And trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. Up, up, and away.

Why Fiscal Stimulus Fails

 

Federal ReserveOver the past several weeks, we’ve once again seen how the Federal Reserve’s stimulus policy has done nothing to help the economy. Fourth quarter growth for 2015 was a disappointing 0.7 percent, and there are no obvious signs of improvement in sight for 2016. Nonetheless, as the U.S. economy continues to smolder, the Fed acts as though pulling levers on interest rates will get us out of this seemingly endless trough.

In December, the Fed thought that the economy was turning around and accordingly raised the federal funds rate from one-quarter to one-half percent, with the prospect of further increases down the road. In January, the Fed let the interest rate remain constant, and there is now an active debate over whether the weak growth numbers will induce the Fed to postpone raising that key rate as widely expected. As usual, the Fed conceives that its mission is to run a delicate balancing act between overall economic activity on the one hand and the job market on the other. Thus the justification offered for the December increase—the first in about seven years—was the “considerable improvement” in the job market, which is in reality far weaker than it appears, given the low labor market participation rate, the rise in part-time employment, and the general stagnation in wages.

Nor is the U.S. exceptional in how it deals with these problems. Labor market problems in Europe are chronic, and the prolonged economic slowdown is of increasing worldwide concern. In late January, nervous central bankers in other major countries adopted stimulus policies more aggressive than the Fed’s. The Bank of Japan, joined by number of European banks, set key short-term interest rates at below zero, in effect charging banks to hold their deposits in order to encourage private lending. Japan’s central bank accomplished this by imposing a 0.1 percent penalty on excess reserves. No longer is there general expectation of a 2 percent inflation rate. Instead the recent central bank decisions presage a new deflationary cycle, which is no recipe for growth.

Giving Thanks For Congress

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 12.56.48 PMEvery Thanksgiving I sympathize with lobbyists: can you imagine sharing their obligation to feel grateful for Congress? Amidst the vast, un-American growth of the administrative state, the world’s greatest deliberative body continues to do what it does best: taxing our children and passing the savings onto us.

The distinction progressives make between public and private is a false one. Many Americans know what it’s like to struggle beneath the weight of debt: not a day that goes by when my mailbox isn’t stuffed with offers from Visa or MasterCard informing me that I have been pre-declined.

Recall the heyday of the Tea Party, which relentlessly pointed out that every penny of the stimulus would have to be paid for by our children and grandchildren. Frankly, that’s the only thing I like about it. Even the New Deal wasn’t able to extend the Great Depression beyond a decade. Today, nearly one decade after the orgy of spending instituted during the George W. Bush administration, crony capitalists can say it was worth it. With each passing year, it seems government assumes more and more responsibility for our lives. Take solar subsidies — please! As Republicans and Democrats debate how much taxpayers should fund solar energy, let’s take a step back and realize that politicians have figured out a way to charge us for the sun.

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What qualifies me as the most-principled, least-electable conservative in the Republican field?  As a third-generation Californian, my connections offer the GOP the best chance of winning my state’s tantalizing 55 electoral votes. And my political experience here in the Golden State speaks for itself: I’m not only president of the Bay Area Republicans Club but I’m also the […]

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Was Not Helping Underwater Homeowners a Massive Mistake?

 

091813housing-600x353In their much-praised new book, House of Debt, economists Atif Mian and Amir Sufi argue the 2000s housing crash caused a much worse recession than the tech-stock crash because asset losses were more heavily concentrated among the 99% — who then stopped spending. The burst Internet stock bubble, on the other hand, “concentrated losses on the rich, but the rich had almost no debt and didn’t need to cut back their spending.”

Which raises the following counterfactual: what if Washington had pushed massive relief for underwater homeowners?

Former Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner doesn’t think something like a principal reduction scheme would have helped much. As he wrote in his new book, Stress Test: “We did not believe, though we looked at this question over and over, that a much larger program focused directly on housing could have a material impact on the broader economy.”