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The Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018, Story 1: Oprah Winfrey Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech — Winfrey Running For President? — Videos — Story 2: The Big Lie Media’s and Lying Lunatic Left’s Mantra That President Trump is Mentally Unstable — Nuts — Junk Journalism Progressive Propaganda — Desperate Delusional Democrats — No Evidence of Russian Collusion or Obstruction of Justice — Now Trump is Nuts — Please Keep This Up — Losing All Credibility With American People — Videos — Story 3: The Roaring 2020s with The Unstoppable Trump and Pence Boom — Inflation Less Than 1%, U-3 Unemployment Rate Less Than 3%, Economic Growth Rate Exceeding 5% and Labor Participation Rate Exceeding 67% — Real Tax Reform With Fair Tax Less Replacing All Federal Taxes With A Single Broad-based Consumption Tax With A $1,000 Per Month or $12,000 Per Year Tax Prebate For All American Citizens Age 18 and Older — Democratic Socialist Worse Nightmare — 16 Year Peace and Prosperity Presidencies of Trump and Pence! — Videos 

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Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

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Image result for oprey winfrey at golden globes

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Story 1: Oprah Winfrey Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech — Winfrey Running For President?

Oprah Winfrey Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech

Oprah for president? Golden Globes speech stirs speculation of 2020 run

Mark Steyn Reacts to Oprah’s Speech

Ben Shapiro: Oprah Winfrey is a Fraud

The Truth About Oprah Winfrey

The Truth About Oprah Winfrey’s 2020 Presidential Run

Ben Shapiro on Oprah’s presidential possibilities

MARK LEVIN GOES NUCLEAR!: Oprah’s Golden Globes ‘Lecture’ Was ‘GROTESQUE’

LIMBAUGH: Oprah Winfrey Is NOT A Nationwide Vote-Getter

Ivanka Gives Surprising Response to Oprah’s Golden Globe Speech, Instantly Attacked by Hollywood

Oprah “Open to” Running for the Presidency: She Won’t Get Nominated if She Does

MILO Explains ‘Oprah 2020’

“Could Oprah DEFEAT Trump in 2020??” Ben Shapiro Gives His Take

‘She Is a Hypocrite’ – Ben Shapiro Reacts To Oprah’s Golden Globes Speech

Ben Shapiro – Here Is Why Oprah winfrey Will NOT Win If She Ran For President

Memo to #MichaelWolff: #Trump Laughs at Your Unverified Lies, You Blatherskite and Pathetic Poltroon

Seth Meyers’ Monologue at the 2018 Golden Globes

 

Trump: I would beat Oprah
President Trump speaks during a bipartisan immigration lunch
Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

Following his bipartisan immigration lunch at the White House, President Trump addressed the hype surrounding a potential presidential run by Oprah Winfrey in 2020, telling reporters he would beat her.

“Oprah will be lots of fun. I did one of her last shows…. I like Oprah. I don’t think she’s going to run.”

Oprah Presidential Talk Renews Questions About Swiss Race Hoax, Harvey Weinstein

In the wake of her speech at Sunday night’s Golden Globes gala,talk has revived of Oprah Winfrey challenging Donald Trump for the presidency in 2020. Also revived are questions about Winfrey accusing a Swiss sales clerk of racism and her relationship with Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood mogul accused by dozens of women of everything from harassment to serial rape.

Picking up steam on Twitter is the hashtag #OprahKnew accompanied by photos of an obviously chummy Winfrey nuzzling with and even kissing Weinstein:

Back in late November, Oprah’s name was dragged into the Weinstein scandal when British actress Kadian Noble, who has filed an 11 page complaint against the former mogul, alleged, among other terrible things, that Weinstein got to her through Winfrey and model Naomi Campbell.

“An aspiring actress says Harvey Weinstein used Oprah Winfrey and Naomi Campbell to dupe her into thinking he would help her with her career — only to use her for sex,” Page Six reported.

There is no claim or insinuation that Winfrey was in any way complicit in setting this young woman up for the sexual assault she alleges occurred, but there is also no question that Winfrey is not only very friendly with Weinstein, but that she is a welcome member of his professional circle.

Moreover, Weinstein’s and Winfrey’s names appear together on two films: Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013) and The Great Debaters (2007). Which, along with the chummy photos, might help to explain why Weinstein felt comfortable reaching out to Winfrey to help with damage control in the early days of the scandal. Oprah’s response was that she was only interested in booking him for an interview.

Overall, when you factor in the above along with the fact that Oprah herself is now a reigning queen of Hollywood, with a career devoted almost entirely to the entertainment business (via her OWN cable network), it would appear fair to say that any denial from Winfrey about her knowledge of Weinstein’s alleged predations are as credible as those coming from fellow-Queen Meryl Streep, which some say are not credible at all.

This is not the first time the billionaire has been dragged into a sexual abuse case. Shortly after Winfrey opened up a school for girls in South Africa in 2007, one of her matrons was charged with sexually molesting several students. The woman was later acquitted, but Winfrey said she was disappointed with the verdict.

Four years later, ABC News reported that a “dead newborn was found at Oprah Winfrey’s school.”

Winfrey also found herself in hot water in 2013 when, without any proof, she appeared to manufacture a racial controversy in order to promote her latest movie, Lee Daniels’s The Butler. Appearing on Entertainment Tonight, Winfrey accused a Swiss shopgirl of racism.

“I say to the woman, ‘Excuse me, may I see that [$38,000 purse] right above your head?’ And she says to me, ‘No, it’s too expensive.’ … She refused to get it,” Winfrey dramatically explained.

But Winfrey refused to back up her story by identifying the store or the “racist” clerk. Eventually, though, the store and the shopgirl were located, and the young woman accused of racism by the most powerful woman in the world, openly declared Winfrey a liar:

I didn’t hurt anyone. I don’t know why someone as great as her must cannibalize me on TV. … If it had all taken place as she claimed, why has she not complained the next day at the wedding of Tina Turner with Trudie Goetz, my boss? She was there also at the Turner wedding as a guest. I don’t understand it. … I spoke to Oprah Winfrey in English. My English is OK but not excellent, unfortunately. … I didn’t know who she was when she came into the store. That wouldn’t have made any difference if I had.

And what was Winfrey’s bizarre response to this hideous “racist” adding insult to injury by declaring her a liar? Outrage? Fury? Nope. Winfrey backed off with a non-apology apologyabout being “sorry” that the incident “got blown up.”

Well, it was Winfrey who blew it up, not only on Entertainment Tonight but on Larry King’s CNN show.

A billionaire mogul falsely accusing an innocent sales clerk of racism is about as grotesque an abuse of power as anyone has ever seen, and that is what many believe happened.

It is no longer 2012, and Winfrey’s fawning media no longer has a monopoly on either truth or information. The era of Barack Obama is over — the elitist media can no longer cover up for a Hillary or Oprah.

If Winfrey is serious about running for president, many questions will dog this powerful billionaire, questions that she appears to have no interest in answering.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/08/oprah-presidential-talk-renews-questions-swiss-race-hoax-harvey-weinstein/

 

 

Story 2: The Big Lie Media’s and Lying Lunatic Left Mantra That President Trump is Mentally Unstable — Nuts — Junk Journalism Progressive Propaganda — Desperate Delusional Democrats — No Evidence of Russian Collusion or Obstruction of Justice — Now Trump is Nuts — Please Keep This Up — Losing All Credibility With American People — Videos —

“It’s Completely Insane!” Ann Coulter REACTS to Trump-Bannon Feud

Biographer: Trump can’t afford Bannon to do damage on him

Pat Buchanan Reacts to Michael Wolff’s Explosive Book

Rand Paul on Donald Trump’s Political Brilliance

Rush Limbaugh: Didn’t everyone know Sloppy Steve Bannon was the leaker? (audio from 01-05-2018)

Memo to #MichaelWolff: #Trump Laughs at Your Unverified Lies, You Blatherskite and Pathetic Poltroon

Is Steve Bannon genuinely sorry or doing damage control?

Roger Stone: Bannon committed ‘stunning act of betrayal’

Ann Coulter Reacts to Michael Wolff’s Explosive Book

EPIC! See Ann Coulter’s REACTION to Steve Bannon Turning on President Trump

Hannity: Media are addicts that crave their next Trump fix

What’s really behind the Trump-Bannon war of words?

Trump campaign adviser weighs in on Bannon allegations

Trump attacked by ‘mainstream’ media over ‘nuclear button’ tweet

Michael Wolff’s tell-all book is to discredit Trump’s successes: Liz Peek

Michael Wolff on his access to the president for “Fire and Fury”

Steve Bannon goes rogue on the Trump White House

Donald Trump: Former adviser brands ‘Fire and Fury’ a ‘non event’

White House blasts tell-all book that questions Trump’s mental fitness

Michael Wolff: Trump White House Facing ’25th Amendment Stuff’ (Full) | Meet The Press | NBC News

Michael Wolff on Bannon statement: ‘This is not true’

Roger Stone: Joe and Mika turned on Trump out of bitterness

Lawmakers Met With Psychiatrist About Trump’s Mental Health | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Psychiatrist spoke with Congress on Trump’s mental fitness

Trump: I’m a very stable genius

President Donald Trump’s Mental State An ‘Enormous Present Danger’ | The Last Word | MSNBC

Dr. Phil on Donald Trump

Joe Biden: Trump “might actually be stupid”

Trump’s Ex-Butler: He’s a Picky Eater Who Hates Sloppy Dressers

Donald Trump’s former butler: ‘He loves mirrors’

Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Twenty-fifth Amendment (Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President as well as responding to Presidential disabilities. It supersedes the ambiguous wording of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, which does not expressly state whether the Vice President becomes the President or Acting President if the President dies, resigns, is removed from office, or is otherwise unable to discharge the powers of the presidency.[1] The Twenty-fifth Amendment was adopted on February 10, 1967.[2]

Text

Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.[3]

Background

The Twenty-fifth Amendment in the National Archives
Page 1
Page 2

Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution states:

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

That clause was unclear regarding Presidential succession and inability; it did not state who had the power to declare a President incapacitated.[1] Also, it did not provide a mechanism for filling a Vice Presidential vacancy before the next Presidential election. The vagueness of this clause caused difficulties many times before the Twenty-fifth Amendment’s adoption:

  • In 1841, President William Henry Harrison became the first U.S. President to die in office. Representative John Williams had previously suggested that the Vice President should become Acting President upon the death of the President.[4] John Tyler asserted that he had succeeded to the presidency, as opposed to only obtaining its powers and duties. He also declined to acknowledge documents referring to him as “Acting President”. Although he felt his vice presidential oath negated the need for the presidential oath, Tyler was persuaded that being formally sworn-in would clear up any doubts about his right to the office. Having done so, he then moved into the White House and assumed full presidential powers. Tyler’s claim was not formally challenged, and both houses of Congress adopted a resolution confirming that Tyler was the tenth President of the United States, without any qualifiers. The precedent of full succession was thus established.[5] This became known as the “Tyler Precedent”.
  • There had been occasions when a President was incapacitated. For example, following Woodrow Wilson‘s stroke no one officially assumed the Presidential powers and duties, in part because the First LadyEdith Wilson, together with the White House PhysicianCary T. Graysoncovered up President Wilson’s condition.[1][6]
  • The office of Vice President had been vacant sixteen times due to the death or resignation of the Vice President or his succession to the presidency.[1] For example, there was no Vice President for nearly four years after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. During the impeachment of Andrew Johnson there was no Vice President to succeed him. At that time, the Presidential Succession Act of 1792 provided that the President pro tempore of the Senate would succeed Johnson if he was removed from office.[7] Had the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson resulted in Johnson being removed from office, Senator Benjamin Wade, then the President pro tempore of the Senate, would have become acting president pending a special presidential election.[8]

After having been temporarily incapacitated by several severe health problems, President Dwight D. Eisenhower attempted to clarify procedures through a signed agreement with Vice President Richard Nixon, drafted by Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr. However, this agreement did not have legal authority.[9] Eisenhower suffered a heart attack in September 1955 and intestinal problems requiring emergency surgery in July 1956. Each time until Eisenhower was able to resume his duties, Nixon presided over Cabinet meetings and, along with Eisenhower aides, kept the executive branch functioning and assured the public that the situation was under control. However, Nixon never made any effort to formally assume the status of Acting President or President.

All of these incidents made it evident that clearer guidelines were needed.[1] There were two proposals for providing those guidelines.

Keating–Kefauver proposal

In 1963, Senator Kenneth Keating of New York proposed a Constitutional amendment which would have enabled Congress to enact legislation providing for how to determine when a President is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”, rather than, as the Twenty-fifth Amendment does, having the Constitution so provide.[10] This proposal was based upon a recommendation of the American Bar Association in 1960.[11]

The text of the proposal read:[12]

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the said office shall devolve on the Vice President. In case of the inability of the President to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the said powers and duties shall devolve on the Vice President, until the inability be removed. The Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then be President, or, in case of inability, act as President, and such officer shall be or act as President accordingly, until a President shall be elected or, in case of inability, until the inability shall be earlier removed. The commencement and termination of any inability shall be determined by such method as Congress shall by law provide.

Senators raised concerns that the Congress could either abuse such authority[13] or neglect to enact any such legislation after the adoption of this proposal.[14] Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, a long-time advocate for addressing the disability question, spearheaded the effort until he died of a heart attack on August 10, 1963.[15][16] Senator Keating was defeated in the 1964 election, but Senator Roman Hruska of Nebraska took up Keating’s cause as a new member of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments.[9]

Kennedy assassination

The assassination of John F. Kennedy showed the need for a clear way for determining presidential disability in the context of the Cold War.[17] The new President, Lyndon B. Johnson, had once suffered a heart attack[18] and – with the office of Vice President to remain vacant until the next term began on January 20, 1965 – the next two people in the line of succession were the 71-year-old Speaker of the House John McCormack[17][19] and the 86-year-old Senate President pro tempore Carl Hayden.[17][19] Senator Birch Bayh succeeded Kefauver as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments and set about advocating for a detailed amendment dealing with presidential disability.[17]

Bayh–Celler proposal

On January 6, 1965, Senator Birch Bayh proposed S. J. Res. 1 in the Senate and Representative Emanuel Celler (Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee) proposed H. J. Res. 1 in the House of Representatives. Their proposal specified the process by which a President could be declared “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”, thereby making the Vice President an Acting President, and how the President could regain the powers of his office. Also, their proposal provided a way to fill a vacancy in the office of Vice President before the next presidential election. This was as opposed to the Keating–Kefauver proposal, which neither provided for filling a vacancy in the office of Vice President prior to the next presidential election nor provided a process for determining presidential disability. In 1964, the American Bar Association endorsed the type of proposal which Bayh and Celler advocated.[20] On January 28, 1965, President Johnson endorsed S. J. Res. 1 in a statement to Congress.[9] Their proposal received bipartisan support.[21]

On February 19, the Senate passed the amendment, but the House passed a different version of the amendment on April 13. On April 22, it was returned to the Senate with revisions.[9] There were four areas of disagreement between the House and Senate versions:

  • the Senate official who was to receive any written declaration under the amendment
  • the period of time during which the Vice President and Cabinet must decide whether they disagree with the President’s declaration that he is fit to resume his duties
  • the time before Congress meets to resolve the issue between the President, Vice President, and the Cabinet
  • the time limit for Congress to reach a decision[9]

On July 6, after a conference committee ironed out differences between the versions,[22] the final version of the amendment was passed by both Houses of the Congress and presented to the states for ratification.[23]

Proposal and ratification

The Congress proposed the Twenty-fifth Amendment on July 6, 1965, and the amendment was ratified by the following states:[2]

  1. Nebraska (July 12, 1965)
  2. Wisconsin (July 13, 1965)
  3. Oklahoma (July 16, 1965)
  4. Massachusetts (August 9, 1965)
  5. Pennsylvania (August 18, 1965)
  6. Kentucky (September 15, 1965)
  7. Arizona (September 22, 1965)
  8. Michigan (October 5, 1965)
  9. Indiana (October 20, 1965)
  10. California (October 21, 1965)
  11. Arkansas (November 4, 1965)
  12. New Jersey (November 29, 1965)
  13. Delaware (December 7, 1965)
  14. Utah (January 17, 1966)
  15. West Virginia (January 20, 1966)
  16. Maine (January 24, 1966)
  17. Rhode Island (January 28, 1966)
  18. Colorado (February 3, 1966)
  19. New Mexico (February 3, 1966)
  20. Kansas (February 8, 1966)
  21. Vermont (February 10, 1966)
  22. Alaska (February 18, 1966)
  23. Idaho (March 2, 1966)
  24. Hawaii (March 3, 1966)
  25. Virginia (March 8, 1966)
  26. Mississippi (March 10, 1966)
  27. New York (March 14, 1966)
  28. Maryland (March 23, 1966)
  29. Missouri (March 30, 1966)
  30. New Hampshire (June 13, 1966)
  31. Louisiana (July 5, 1966)
  32. Tennessee (January 12, 1967)
  33. Wyoming (January 25, 1967)
  34. Washington (January 26, 1967)
  35. Iowa (January 26, 1967)
  36. Oregon (February 2, 1967)
  37. Minnesota (February 10, 1967)
  38. Nevada (February 10, 1967)
    Ratification was completed on February 10, 1967. The following states subsequently ratified the amendment:
  39. Connecticut (February 14, 1967)
  40. Montana (February 15, 1967)
  41. South Dakota (March 6, 1967)
  42. Ohio (March 7, 1967)
  43. Alabama (March 14, 1967)
  44. North Carolina (March 22, 1967)
  45. Illinois (March 22, 1967)
  46. Texas (April 25, 1967)
  47. Florida (May 25, 1967)

The following states have not ratified the amendment:

  1. Georgia
  2. North Dakota[24]
  3. South Carolina

Six days after its submission, Nebraska and Wisconsin were the first states to ratify the amendment. On February 10, 1967, Minnesota and Nevada were the 37th and 38th states to ratify, respectively. On February 23, 1967, in a ceremony in the East Room of the White HouseGeneral Services Administrator Lawson Knott certified the amendment’s adoption.

Effect

Section 1: Presidential succession

John Tyler, first to succeed to the office of President. His succession was initially contested and it was unknown whether he should be considered to be president or acting president.

Section 1 codified the “Tyler Precedent” regarding when a President is removed from office, dies, or resigns. In any of these situations, the Vice President immediately becomes President.

Section 2: Vice Presidential vacancy

Prior to the Twenty-fifth Amendment’s adoption, a Vice Presidential vacancy remained until the next vice-presidential term began. The Vice Presidency has been vacant several times due to death, resignation, or succession to the Presidency. Often these vacancies lasted for several years.

Under Section 2, whenever there is a vacancy in the office of Vice President, the President nominates a successor who becomes Vice President if confirmed by a majority vote of both Houses of the Congress.

Section 3: Presidential declaration

Section 3 provides that when the President transmits a written declaration to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, stating that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the Presidency, and until the President sends another written declaration to the aforementioned officers declaring himself able to resume discharging those powers and duties, the Vice President discharges those powers and duties as Acting President. The Vice President does not become President and the sitting President is not removed from office.

Section 4: Vice Presidential–Cabinet declaration

Section 4 is the only part of the amendment that has never been invoked.[25] It allows the Vice President, together with a “majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide”, to declare the President “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” by submitting a written declaration to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. As with Section 3, the Vice President would become Acting President, not President, and the sitting President would not be removed from office.

Section 4 is meant to be invoked should the President’s incapacitation prevent him from discharging his duties, but he is unable or unwilling to provide the written declaration called for by Section 3. The President may resume exercising the Presidential duties by sending a written declaration to the President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House.

Should the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet believe the President is still “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”, they may within four days of the President’s declaration submit another declaration that the President is incapacitated. If not already in session, the Congress must then assemble within 48 hours. The Congress has 21 days to decide the issue. If within the 21 days two-thirds of each house of Congress vote that the President is incapacitated, the Vice President would “continue” to be Acting President. Should the Congress resolve the issue in favor of the President, or make no decision within the 21 days allotted, then the President would “resume” discharging the powers and duties of his office. The use of the words “continue” and “resume” imply that the Vice President remains Acting President while Congress deliberates.

However, the President may again submit a written declaration of recovery to the President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House. That declaration could be responded to by the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet in the same way as stated earlier. The specified 21-day Congressional procedure would start again.

Proposed replacing of Cabinet

On April 14, 2017, Representatives Jamie Raskin and Earl Blumenauer introduced the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act.[26] The bill would replace the Cabinet as the body that, together with the Vice President, determines whether Section 4 should be invoked. Under the bill, an eleven-member commission would conduct an examination of the President when directed to do so by a concurrent resolution of the Congress.[27]

According to Blumenauer:

It is hard to imagine a better group to work with the vice president to examine whether the president is able to discharge the duties of the office. When there are questions about the president’s ability to fulfill his or her constitutional responsibilities, it is in the country’s best interest to have a mechanism in place that works effectively.[27]

Invocations

Two women are flanked by two men in suits, standing in a room of the White House.

(L–R): President Richard Nixon, First Lady Pat NixonBetty Ford and Gerald Ford, after President Nixon nominated Gerald Ford to be Vice President
(The White House, October 13, 1973)

The Twenty-fifth Amendment has been invoked six times since its ratification. The first three times were applications of Sections 1 and 2 in the context of scandals surrounding the Nixon Administration. The latter three were applications of Section 3 regarding Presidents undergoing a medical procedure requiring general anesthesia.

Succession to presidency

Nixon’s resignation letter, August 9, 1974.

President Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, resulting in Vice President Gerald Ford succeeding to the office of President.[28] Gerald Ford is the only person ever to be Vice President, and later President, without being elected to either office.[29]

Filling vice presidential vacancies

1973: Appointment of Gerald Ford as Vice President[edit]

On October 12, 1973, following Vice President Spiro Agnew‘s resignation two days earlier, President Richard Nixon nominated Representative Gerald Ford of Michigan to succeed Agnew as Vice President.

The United States Senate voted 92–3 to confirm Ford on November 27 and, on December 6, the House of Representatives did the same by a vote of 387–35. Ford was sworn in later that day before a joint session of the United States Congress.[30]

1974: Appointment of Nelson Rockefeller as Vice President[edit]

When Gerald Ford became President, the office of Vice President became vacant. On August 20, 1974, after considering Melvin Laird and George H. W. Bush, President Ford nominated former New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller to be the new vice president.

On December 10, 1974, Rockefeller was confirmed 90–7 by the Senate. On December 19, 1974, Rockefeller was confirmed 287–128 by the House and sworn into office later that day in the Senate chamber.[30]

Acting Presidents

1985: George H.W. Bush

On July 12, 1985, President Ronald Reagan underwent a colonoscopy, during which a villous adenoma (a pre-cancerous lesion) was discovered. When told by his physician (Dr. Edward Cattau) that he could undergo surgeryimmediately or in two to three weeks, Reagan elected to have it removed immediately.[31]

That afternoon, Reagan consulted with White House counsel Fred Fielding by telephone, debating whether to invoke the amendment and, if so, whether such a transfer would set an undesirable precedent. Fielding and White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan recommended that Reagan transfer power and two letters doing so were drafted: the first letter specifically invoked Section 3 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment; the second only mentioned that Reagan was mindful of this provision. At 10:32 a.m. on July 13, Reagan signed the second letter and ordered its delivery to the appropriate officers as required under the amendment.[32] Vice President George H. W. Bush was Acting President from 11:28 a.m. until 7:22 p.m., when Reagan transmitted a second letter to resume the powers and duties of the office.

Books such as The President Has Been Shot: Confusion, Disability and the 25th Amendment, by Herbert Abrams, and Reagan’s autobiography, An American Life, argue President Reagan’s intent to transfer power to Vice President Bush was clear. Fielding himself adds:

I personally know he did intend to invoke the amendment, and he conveyed that to all of his staff and it was conveyed to the VP as well as the President of the Senate. He was also very firm in his wish not to create a precedent binding his successor.

2002: Dick Cheney

On June 29, 2002, President George W. Bush underwent a colonoscopy and chose to invoke Section 3 of the amendment, temporarily transferring his powers to Vice President Dick Cheney. The medical procedure began at 7:09 a.m. EDT and ended at 7:29 a.m. EDT. Bush woke up twenty minutes later, but did not resume his presidential powers and duties until 9:24 a.m. EDT after the president’s physician, Richard Tubb, conducted an overall examination. Tubb said he recommended the additional time to make sure the sedative had no aftereffects. Unlike Reagan’s 1985 letter, Bush’s 2002 letter specifically cited Section 3 as the authority for the transfer of power.[32]

2007: Dick Cheney

On July 21, 2007, President Bush again invoked Section 3 in response to having to undergo a colonoscopy, temporarily transferring his powers to Vice President Cheney. President Bush invoked Section 3 at 7:16 a.m. EDT. He reclaimed his powers at 9:21 a.m. EDT. As happened in 2002, Bush specifically cited Section 3 when he transferred the Presidential powers to the Vice President and when he reclaimed those powers.[32]

Considered Section 4 invocations

There have been two instances in which invoking Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment was considered. Both involved the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.

1981: Reagan assassination attempt

Following the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, Vice President George H. W. Bush did not assume the presidential powers and duties as Acting President. Reagan was unable to invoke Section 3, because he was in surgery. Bush did not invoke Section 4, because he was on a plane returning from Texas. Reagan was out of surgery by the time Bush arrived in Washington.[33] In 1995, Birch Bayh, the primary sponsor of the amendment in the Senate, wrote that Section 4 should have been invoked.[34]

1987: Reagan’s alleged incapacity

Upon becoming the White House Chief of Staff in 1987, Howard Baker was advised by his predecessor’s staff to be prepared for a possible invocation of the Twenty-fifth Amendment[35] due to Reagan’s perceived laziness and ineptitude.[36][37]

According to the PBS program American Experience,

What Baker’s transition team was told by Donald Regan‘s staff that weekend shocked them. Reagan was “inattentive, inept”, and “lazy”, and Baker should be prepared to invoke the 25th Amendment to relieve him of his duties.

Reagan biographer Edmund Morris stated in an interview aired on the program,

The incoming Baker people all decided to have a meeting with him on Monday, their first official meeting with the President, and to cluster around the table in the Cabinet room and watch him very, very closely to see how he behaved, to see if he was indeed losing his mental grip.

Morris went on to explain,

Reagan who was, of course, completely unaware that they were launching a death watch on him, came in stimulated by the press of all these new people and performed splendidly. At the end of the meeting, they figuratively threw up their hands realizing he was in perfect command of himself.[36][37]

See also

References

 

 

Story 3: The Roaring 2020s with The Unstoppable Trump and Pence Boom — Inflation Less Than 1%, U-3 Unemployment Rate Less Than 3%, Economic Growth Rate Exceeding 5% and Labor Participation Rate Exceeding 67% — Real Tax Reform With Fair Tax Less Replacing All Federal Taxes With A Single Broad-based Consumption Tax With A $1,000 Per Month or $12,000 Per Year Tax Prebate For All American Citizens Age 18 and Older — Democratic Socialist Worse Nightmare — 16 Year Peace and Prosperity Presidencies of Trump and Pence — Videos

What’s fueling stock market record highs?

 

Will The Economic Boom Doom The Democrats?

The winners and losers in US tax bill – BBC News

Stock Market BOOMING Under Trump But…

President Trump’s America Booming as Retailers See Historic Rise

 

Americans’ Optimism About Job Market Hit Record High in 2017

by Megan Brenan

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 56% viewed job market positively in 2017, up from 42% in 2016
  • Confidence in job market buoyed by Republicans since Trump’s inauguration
  • 40% of unemployed adults seeking jobs rated job market as good

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ optimism about finding a quality job averaged 56% in 2017, the highest annual average in 17 years of Gallup polling and a sharp increase from 42% in 2016. Coinciding with rising optimism, the U.S. unemployment rate fell from an average 4.9% in 2016 to 4.4% in 2017, the lowest rate since 2000.

GoodTimeQualityJob1_new

Since October 2001, Gallup has asked Americans monthly if it is a good time or a bad time to find a quality job. Historically, Americans’ perceptions of the job market have tracked closely with the monthly unemployment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When the unemployment rate is low, public perceptions that it is a good time to find a quality job rise. Conversely, when the unemployment rate is high, views of the job market get worse.

Prior to this year, Americans’ assessments of the job market were most positive in 2007 (43%) at the start of the Great Recession and least positive its last year, 2009 (10%). Since the job market bottomed out in 2009, Americans’ ratings of it have improved steadily, rising to the highest level yet in 2017.

Sharp Republican Reversal on Job Market in 2017

Positivity about jobs among all U.S. adults began to rise on a monthly basis in January 2017, reaching 54% in February 2017. By the end of 2017, it hit 62% in November and again in December. This increase was largely driven by a Republican reversal. The monthly reading for Republicans saying it was a good time to find a quality job rose 20 percentage points to 64% after Donald Trump was inaugurated and ultimately ended 2017 at 78%.

GoodTimeQualityJob2_new

Partisans who identify with the sitting president’s party typically hold more favorable views than those of the opposing party concerning the economy and other national metrics. While the shift in Republicans’ view of the job market was dramatic after Trump’s election and inauguration, the change in Democrats’ opinion of the job market following Barack Obama’s exit from the White House was more modest. This was perhaps because the general consensus at the time was that the economy and job market were in poor shape. Shortly after Trump took office, the percentage of Democrats who said it was a good time to find a quality job fell 10 points to 45%, and was 50% last month.

Demographic Differences in Assessments of Job Market

Several demographic groups were less inclined than others to think 2017 was a good time to find a job, including those who were out of work and trying to find a job, blacks and those in households earning less than $30,000 a year. These are typically Democratic groups and less than half of each of them assessed the job market positively in 2017.

Those employed full time, college graduates and those with annual household incomes of $75,000 or more are among the demographic groups that are most likely to say it is a good time to find a quality job. The assessments of the job market by each of these groups improved by double digits from 2016 to 2017. Additionally, the greatest increase in perception on this issue is among whites (21 points), respondents 50 and older (20 points) and men (18 points), all typically Republican groups.

Percentage in U.S. Saying Now is a Good Time to Find a Quality Job, Yearly Averages by Subgroup
Thinking about the job situation in America today, would you say that it is now a good time or a bad time to find a quality job?
Good time in 2016 Good time in 2017
% %
Gender
Men 44 62
Women 41 51
Party ID
Republican 31 66
Independent 41 55
Democrat 53 49
Age
18-29 55 58
30-49 46 59
50-64 37 57
65+ 30 50
Annual Household Income
Less than $30,000 annual income 38 46
$30,000-less than $75,000 42 54
$75,000 or more 48 66
Race/ethnicity
White 38 59
Black 55 48
Hispanic 49 53
Education
College graduate 48 61
Not a college graduate 39 54
Employment
Employed full-time 50 62
Employed part-time 38 53
Unemployed but looking for work 36 40
GALLUP

Americans in the lowest household income bracket and those unemployed and searching for work are undoubtedly discouraged by their personal situations and therefore are less likely to see it as a good time to find a quality job, even though the unemployment rate is at its lowest point since 2000.

Likewise, black Americans, who experienced record unemployment in December, think the job market is worse than do whites and Hispanics. Yet, unlike those with annual household incomes under $30,000 and the unemployed who are looking for work, blacks and Democrats have grown significantly less positive about the availability of quality jobs since Trump became president. These were the only groups that in 2017 showed a decline in positive ratings compared to 2016.

Bottom Line

Gallup didn’t start gauging the public’s assessment of the job market with the quality jobs question until 2001; thus there are no data to compare against the last time the unemployment rate was as low as it is now. Republicans view the job market much better now than Democrats did during Obama’s presidency. While this overwhelming positivity about the job market by Republicans can certainly be attributed partially to a lower unemployment rate, partisanship also plays a large part.

SURVEY METHODS

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted throughout 2017 with a random sample of 13,185 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

http://news.gallup.com/poll/225071/americans-optimism-job-market-hit-record-high-2017.aspx

Dimon thinks even his own economist at J.P. Morgan is dead wrong about GDP, predicts 4% U.S. growth

Published: Jan 9, 2018 4:27 p.m. ET

Those were the thoughts of JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon, who offered a forecast for U.S. economic growth that outstrips even some of the more bullish economists.

Speaking during an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday, Dimon said the recently signed tax legislation, which cuts the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, is likely to support higher levels for the Dow Jones Industrial AverageDJIA, +0.41% the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.13% and the Nasdaq Composite IndexCOMP, +0.09% which have already rung up all-time highs in first several sessions of 2018, after a record-setting rally for the equity benchmarks last year.

ReadDow set to resume record run after taking a breather

Dimon said he expects the “competitive tax rate” to encourage deal-making on Wall Street, pointing to Europe which he said is on pace to grow at a 3% rate. A reading of gross domestic product is slated for Jan. 26.

In the U.S., the economy grew at a 3.1% annual pace in the second quarter and a 3.2% annual rate in the third, according to the Commerce Department, exceeding the postrecession pace of near 2% A fresh estimate of gross domestic product is slated for Jan. 26.

However, few prominent economists are expecting GDP growth to hit a stellar 4% pace this year.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School dean, said corporate tax cuts aren’t likely to have the stimulative effect many are hoping. “It’s not going to raise us off to 4% GDP growth,” he told the newspaper. “But it’s not going to kill 10,000 people a year.”

Moreover, J.P. Morgan’s chief U.S. economist Michael Feroli’s forecast for early GDP readings lands below his boss’s much loftier expectations, even factoring the tax cuts: “We boosted our 1Q18 real GDP forecast from 2.0% to 2.5%…following the recent passage of the tax package. The changes are set to take effect somewhat earlier than we had anticipated a few weeks ago, and also are more frontloaded than we had expected. As a whole, we look for the package to boost GDP growth by about 0.3%-pt in 2018 and 0.2%-pt in 2019, according to his recent research report.

Still, the J.P. Morgan JPM, +0.07%  CEO is bullish on the prospects for further economic growth, even as the Federal Reserve officials said they are mindful that tax-cuts and other measures could overheat the U.S. economy and are likely to raise borrowing costs to quell growth.

Meanwhile, Dimon also said he regretted calling bitcoin BTCUSD, -1.80% a “fraud”, but also said that he believed that blockchain, or distributed-ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies, is “real” but still thinks that digital assets like the No. 1 digital asset in the world is hyped.

“The issue, he said, is “what the governments are gonna feel about bitcoin as it gets really big, and I just have a different opinion than other people. I’m not interested that much in the subject at all.”

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dimon-thinks-economists-are-dead-wrong-about-gdp-predicts-4-us-growth-2018-01-09

 

Photo

The annual economic forum takes place in the resort town of Davos high in the Swiss Alps, bringing together more than 2,500 members of the global elite in what has been described as the world’s most high-powered networking event. CreditFabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Trump is expected to attend the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, in the coming weeks, an administration official said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said the president was looking forward to attending the gathering of world leaders and business executives.

“The president welcomes opportunities to advance his America First agenda with world leaders,” Ms. Sanders said. “At this year’s World Economic Forum, the president looks forward to promoting his policies to strengthen American businesses, American industries and American workers.”

Mr. Trump’s planned appearance at an event that is synonymous with wealth and elite prestige comes as he enters the second year of a term he won on a message of economic populism.

Presidents have rarely attended the forum in Davos, in part out of a concern that it would send the wrong message to be rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s richest individuals.

Continue reading the main story

Mr. Trump won the 2016 election in part by attacking elites in the United States and promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington of lobbyists, corporate influence and members of the establishment — the very description of those who regularly attend the Davos forum.

The event in Switzerland is a global symbol of everything that Mr. Trump’s former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, railed against during the presidential campaign and the first seven months in the administration.

But Mr. Trump has also spent a lifetime as a real estate mogul and television personality seeking to be accepted by the financial and media elite in New York and around the world. His decision to travel to Davos as president may represent his desire to prove that he has achieved that goal.

Some of Mr. Trump’s advisers were befuddled by his planned trip, coming a year after his team decided not to send a representative to the 2017 gathering.

A year into his term, Mr. Trump’s appearance at the forum is certain to highlight the clash between his America First agenda and the more globalist approach of some of America’s closest allies around the world.

Those disagreements have been highlighted during Mr. Trump’s earlier trips abroad, including arguments with European leaders about the need for action to confront climate change. Mr. Trump’s visit to Asia last year underscored his disagreements on trade issues with countries in the region.

Many of the participants at Davos are sure to embrace the globalist views that Mr. Trump has rejected, providing the potential for dramatic disagreements between the president and others at the meeting.

But the event — which often focuses on global economic issues — also will provide Mr. Trump with a platform to boast about the improving American economy, including the rise in the stock market and the low jobless rate.

The president has eagerly claimed credit for the economic improvements during his first year in office, and has predicted that the tax overhaul passed at the end of last year would accelerate those trends.

The annual economic forum takes place in the resort town of Davos high in the Swiss Alps, bringing together more than 3,000 members of the global elite in what has been described as the world’s most high-powered networking event.

Those who attend include journalists and columnists, Hollywood celebrities, researchers, corporate chief executive officers and other business titans, and some heads of state. Former President Bill Clinton attended the forum in 2000 and former president George W. Bush attended a meeting of the Word Economic Forum in Egypt in 2008. But former President Barack Obama did not attend the meetings during the time he was in the White House.

Founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German economics professor, the forum has become an annual meeting that includes dinners and over 400 panel discussion sessions, largely about world social and economic trends. Officially, it is an academic conference; unofficially it is a global schmoozefest for the rich and powerful.

The conference is still dominated by corporate executives, but the gathering also now attracts world leaders, some of whom use the venue as a way to hold less formal bilateral conversations.

Last year, President Xi Jinping of China attended the forum, which began just days before Mr. Trump’s inauguration, becoming the first Chinese leader to mingle with the corporate and media crowd in the mountain village.

In a speech at the forum, Mr. Xi portrayed his country as a global leader interested in free trade at a time that Mr. Trump was already calling for a turn inward. Mr. Xi challenged the incoming president not to forsake trade with the rest of the world.

“Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room,” Mr. Xi said in Davos last year. “While wind and rain may be kept outside, that dark room will also block light and air. No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.”

The forum has also become a way to be seen with the growing number of global celebrities; last year, it was attended by Matt Damon and Forest Whitaker, the actors, and the singer Shakira.

Officials with the World Economic Forum, which takes place from January 23 to 26, said they did not know what dates to expect the president to attend. The White House did not say when Mr. Trump would travel there, or say whether he would make other stops on a broader overseas trips.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/us/politics/trump-davos-world-economic-forum.html 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017, Story 1: Special Counsel To Be Appointed To Investigate Hillary Clinton’s Compromise of National Security and Obama Administration’s Cover-up And Conspiracy To Use of Intelligence Community Including FBI and National Security Agency To Spy on Trump Campaign — Department of Justice Inspector General’s Report Will Blow The Lid Off  The Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice By Obama’s DOJ and FBI To Clear Hillary Clinton and FBI informant’s Congressional Testimony On Russian Rosatom Bribery, Extortion and Kickbacks — The Political Scandal of The Century — American People Have Lost Confidence and Trust in Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation — Videos — Story 2: Republican House and Senate Agree on Tax Bill — Rush To Pass Bill Before Congressional Christmas Break — Videos — Story 3: Federal Reserve As Expected Raises Federal Funds Target Rate Range By .25% to Between 1.25% and 1.5% — Expect Three Hikes in 2018 or Four Hikes If Economy Booming — Videos — We wish you a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1005, November 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 1000, November 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 999, November 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 992, October 31, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 983, October 13, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 978, October 5, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 976, October 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 975, September 29, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 973, September 27, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 970, September 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 969, September 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 968, September 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 967, September 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 966, September 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 965, September 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 964, September 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 963, September 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 962, September 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 961, September 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 960, September 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 959, September 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

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Story 1: Special Counsel To Be Appointed To Investigate Hillary Clinton’s Compromise of National Security and Obama Administration’s Cover-up And Conspiracy To Use of Intelligence Community Including FBI and National Security Agency To Spy on Trump Campaign — Department of Justice Inspector General’s Report Will Blow The Lid Off  The Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice By Obama’s DOJ and FBI To Clear Hillary Clinton and FBI informant’s Congressional Testimony On Russian Rosatom Bribery, Extortion and Kickbacks — The Political Scandal of The Century — American People Have Lost Confidence and Trust in Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation — Videos

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The Latest on a Biased Bureau

DC attorney sends final WARNING to DOJ, FBI as Bob Mueller’s Russia probe collapses

“Stunning Examples of Bias Taint Mueller Probe”

Real Collusion: The FBI & Clinton Campaign – Trump & Russia Tainted Probes – Tucker Carlson

Trump Blasts FBI, Then Praises New Agents – Story

Chaffetz on the Inspector General and the DOJ/FBI Scrutiny

Penn: Mueller and FBI face a crisis in public confidence

Mueller probe paints a picture of a banana republic: Ken Blackwell

Reps. Gaetz and Jordan call for a second special counsel

Gaetz Demands FBI Director Explain “Special” Treatment of Clinton During Investigation – 12/7/17

Sen. Grassley calls for greater scrutiny of Strzok’s texts

Evidence of “Brazen” FBI Plot Deepens and Thickens

Trump addresses FBI event after criticizing agency

DOJ bias is like a cancer: Rep. Gaetz

Deep State Conspiracy Revealed – Bruce Ohr’s CIA Russia Expert Wife Worked with Fusion GPS

New Revelations Regarding Hillary’s Exoneration by the FBI

Judge Nap on the Mueller Probe Bias and More

Tom Fitton on credibility problems of DOJ and FBI

Gohmert on New Allegations of Bias in Mueller/Russia Probe

Gohmert on Peter Strzok’s Biased & Vengeful Text Exchanges

Judge Nap: Too Early to Say Mueller Probe Is Biased Against Trump

Documents confirm language softened in Comey’s Clinton memo

Gingrich on cesspool of corruption covering up for Clintons

DOJ SCANDAL: List of democrats making donations to Bob Mueller’s team EXPOSED

Trey Gowdy on FBI Dep Director Andrew McCabe – Surprised if Still an FBI Employee Next Week

OMG!!ROBERT MUELLERS INVESTIGATIONS JUST ESCALATED TO ANOTHER LEVEL.SEE HOW.”DEEPER THAN YOU THINK”

EXPOSED! How the FBI, DOJ conspired to stop President Trump. What will happen to Bob Mueller now?

FBI’s Strzok & Page in Andrew McCabe’s Office Discuss ‘Insurance Policy’ to Prevent Trump Election

Mueller’s Russiagate Prosecution Is Imploding Before His Eyes While DOJ and FBI Scandals Metastasize

OMG!! Bob Mueller JUST confessed to Coup d’état plot against President Trump

Congressman Jim Jordan sends SHOCKING WARNING to Jeff Sessions, Bob Mueller will be trembling now!

JUST IN: Judge reveals names of corrupt FBI and DOJ officials to be arrested

Fox News obtains texts between FBI agent Strzok, lawyer

Hannity 12/5/2017 – Sean Hannity Dec 5, 17 on Fox News

Demoted top DoJ official Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS of dossier fame

Congressman Jim Jordan sends SHOCKING WARNING to Jeff Sessions, Bob Mueller will be trembling now!

Jordan: We need to depose Peter Strzok, talk to Bruce Ohr

“Peter Strzok is the SMOKING GUN!!” Hannity and Ben Shapiro Break it Down

Bret Baier and Trey Gowdy speak about Strzok

Mueller, Strzok, Comey should the subjects of criminal investigations: Lou Dobbs

FBI Hillary Cheerleader Peter Strzok Changed Comey Language That Exonerated Hillary

Former FBI Ass’t Dir says DoJ cabal is a conspiracy

Hannity: Rosenstein pretends not to see evidence of bias

Body Language: Rosenstein Mueller Expansion

BREAKING: JW Sues FBI Over Removal of FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok from Mueller Operation

“The FBI Belongs to the VOTERS!!” Tucker GOES OFF on FBI Leaders

‘NUCLEAR’ Sen. Grassley Lashes out at FBI, DOJ in Fiery Senate Floor Speech

Strassel: Fusion GPS dossier a dirty trick for the ages

Obama knew about the Russian dossier: Tony Shaffer

Rpt: Obama Aligned Group Paid Law Firm That Hired Fusion GPS To Create Dossier – Story

Obama campaign connection to Fusion GPS

FBI Comey “Don’t call us weasels” Trey Gowdy Grills FBI James Comey On Hillary Clinton’s Email

Judge Nap on FBI Bias and More

Corruption at the FBI

The FBI Now Under Intense Scrutiny Over McCabe Potential Hatch Violations

BOMBSHELL Sen. Grassley “THE FIX WAS IN..Congress has the Right to Know”

Gohmert Speaks on House Floor about the Recent Rosenstein Hearing

What happened during Andrew McCabe’s testimony at Senate Intelligence hearing?

Acting FBI director McCabe gets GRILLED on James Comey Firing & Trump Russia Connections

Acting FBI director contradicts White House on Comey

Judge Napolitano on acting FBI director McCabe’s ties to Clinton ally

FBI Director James Comey FULL STATEMENT on Hillary Clinton Email Investigation (C-SPAN)

 

Fusion GPS admits DOJ official’s wife Nellie Ohr hired to probe Trump

A co-founder of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS acknowledged in a new court document that his company hired the wife of a senior Justice Department official to help investigate then-candidate Donald Trump last year.

The confirmation from Glenn Simpson came in a signed declaration filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., and provided a fuller picture of the nature of Nellie Ohr’s work – after Fox News first reported on her connection to Fusion GPS.

Her husband, Bruce Ohr, was demoted at the DOJ last week for concealing his meetings with the same company, which commissioned the anti-Trump “dossier” containing salacious allegations about the now-president. Together, the Fusion connections for Mr. and Mrs. Ohr have raised Republican concerns about objectivity at the Justice Department, and even spurred a call from Trump’s outside counsel for a separate special prosecutor.

Simpson’s statement shows Mrs. Ohr was indeed involved in the Trump research. He said bank records reflect Fusion GPS contracted with her “to help our company with its research and analysis of Mr. Trump.”

WIFE OF DEMOTED DOJ OFFICIAL WORKED FOR TRUMP DOSSIER FIRM

Further, Simpson said he disclosed to the House intelligence committee that he met personally with Bruce Ohr, “at his request, after the November 2016 election to discuss our findings regarding Russia and the election.”

Fox News first reported last week that Bruce Ohr had been demoted at the DOJ amid an ongoing investigation into his contacts with Fusion GPS. Evidence collected by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., indicates that Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the “dossier.” Additionally, as acknowledged in the court filing, he met with Simpson after the election.

bruceohr

DOJ official Bruce Ohr was demoted amid questions over his contacts with Fusion GPS figures.  (AP)

Fusion GPS has attracted scrutiny because Republican lawmakers have spent the better part of this year investigating whether the dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, served as the basis for the Justice Department and the FBI to obtain FISA surveillance last year on a Trump campaign adviser named Carter Page.

On Tuesday, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow called for the appointment of a separate special prosecutor to look into potential conflicts of interest involving Justice Department and FBI officials.

A group of House Republicans for months has called for the appointment of a second special counsel to probe certain Obama and Clinton-related controversies, something Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing.

When asked Tuesday about the Sekulow call, Sessions noted he’s already ordered that review following the prior call from members of Congress.

“I’ve put a senior attorney, with the resources he may need, to review cases in our office and make a recommendation to me … if things aren’t being pursued that need to be pursued, if cases may need more resources to complete in a proper manner, and to recommend to me if the standards for a special counsel are met,” he said, calling that the “appropriate” course.

Fox News’ James Rosen and John Roberts contributed to this report. 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/13/fusion-gps-admits-doj-officials-wife-nellie-ohr-hired-to-probe-trump.html

A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now.

 December 4

The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was “also a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically. The Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.

The Strzok report comes on the heels of the widely derided Justice Department investigation into IRS discrimination against conservative groups, including the disposition of allegations against IRS senior official Lois Lerner, and after the wildly erratic behavior of then-FBI Director James B. Comey during 2016. It also follows the vote to hold then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress — the first ever against a sitting member of the Cabinet — with 17 Democrats voting in support. Mix into this battering of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s reputations the still-murky charges and counter-charges of abuse of “unmasking” powers during the waning days of the Obama era.

As a result, a large swath of responsible center-right observers are demanding a full review of the investigation and prosecution powers wielded by the Obama-era Justice Department and FBI. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote in National Review on Saturday that President Trump should call for a second independent counsel to investigate abuse of the counterintelligence authorities under President Barack Obama, abuses he suggests were undertaken to protect the controversial Iran deal on nuclear weapons.

This is an excellent idea. The new special counsel could also review Strzok’s texts and, more crucially, his conduct throughout 2015 and 2016. Strzok may be completely innocent of everything except an offhand joke that the straight-laced Mueller deemed necessary to punish in a display of a “Caesar’s wife” sort of purity of purpose. But if his texts to FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal a partisan animus toward Trump or admiration for Clinton, then the bureau and the department have a huge problem on their hands and not just with Strzok and Page.

When FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen was revealed to have committed espionage against the United States, it didn’t mean that even one other member of the bureau was guilty of Hanssen’s sins, but it did require a painstaking review of all of Hanssen’s activities and inputs, as all of them had to be reconsidered in light of his treasonous behavior.

If Strzok’s texts reveal deep animus toward Trump or an operational effort to tilt one or more investigations, then all of his actions have to be reviewed to assure the public’s confidence in the bureau. That one or two agents or officials of the bureau are discovered to have been acting from improper motives would be bad enough. To try and sweep those activities under the rug would be worse. Against the backdrop of other recent controversies, it would be disastrous.

Step one is a quick publication of the questionable texts. All of them. The public has a right to know what the predicate for Mueller’s extraordinary action was. The public also deserves a detailed account of Strzok’s (and Page’s) duties and authorities during the years in question. If an NBA official was discovered to have purposefully thrown even one game, every game in which he had carried a whistle would be under the microscope. That’s how it works.

Unless there’s a coverup.

Nevertheless, just as Hanssen was “one bad apple” who didn’t spoil the bunch, so even an out-of-bounds Strzok doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the FBI beyond him. To get to the truth, and restore confidence in federal law enforcement, a special counsel should conduct an inquiry, bring any necessary charges and make a report — someone without ties to the president or his opponents.

They do exist, such men and women. Former federal judges make excellent candidates. But we need one appointed right now.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-special-counsel-needs-to-investigate-the-fbi-and-justice-department-now/2017/12/04/5ca1234c-d916-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.3035631daa63

Meet the Inspector General

Photo of Michael E. Horowitz

Michael E. Horowitz was confirmed as Inspector General for the Department of Justice (DOJ) by the U.S. Senate on March 29, 2012, and sworn in as the fourth confirmed Inspector General on April 16, 2012. Since 2015, he has simultaneously served as the Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).

As Inspector General, Mr. Horowitz oversees a nationwide workforce of more than 450 special agents, auditors, inspectors, attorneys, and support staff whose mission is to detect and deter waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct in DOJ programs and personnel, and to promote economy and efficiency in Department operations.

Prior to serving as Inspector General, Mr. Horowitz worked as a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham, & Taft LLP, where he focused his practice on white collar defense, internal investigations, and regulatory compliance. He also was a board member of the Ethics Resource Center and the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics. From 2003 to 2009, Mr. Horowitz served as a Presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed Commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Mr. Horowitz previously worked for DOJ in the Criminal Division at Main Justice from 1999 to 2002, first as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and then as Chief of Staff. Prior to joining the Criminal Division, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1991 to 1999. From 1997 to 1999, Mr. Horowitz was the Chief of the Public Corruption Unit, and from 1995 to 1997, he was a Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. In 1995, he was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his work on a complex police corruption investigation.

Before joining the DOJ, Mr. Horowitz was an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton and clerked for Judge John G. Davies of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Mr. Horowitz earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Brandeis University.

https://oig.justice.gov/about/meet-ig.htm

 

Peter P. Strzok II[1] (born c. 1970[2]) (English pronunciation: /stɹʌk/like “struck”[3][4]) is a United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agent currently assigned to its Human Resources Branch.

Until July 2017, Strzok served as the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller in the 2017 Special Counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[5][6][7][8][9][10]He also served as the section chief of the Counterespionage Section during the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server.[4]

Education and personal life

Strzok attended high school in Minnesota.[11] He earned a bachelors degree from Georgetown University in 1991 and returned to earn a master’s degree there in 2013.[12]

He is married to Melissa Hodgman, an associate director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.[13][14][15] His father worked for many years as an employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and after 1980 worked in villages of several West African countries.[16]

Career

Strzok served as a captain[citation needed] in the United States Army before joining the FBI in the 1990’s as an intelligence research specialist.[9][17]

Clinton email server investigation

By July 2015, Strzok was serving as the section chief of the Counterespionage Section[4] and a led a team of a dozen investigators to examine Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.[18] After the investigation was closed, Strzok changed draft language being prepared for then-FBI Director James Comey, which had described Clinton’s actions as “grossly negligent“, which may be a criminal offense, to “extremely careless”. The draft was reviewed and corrected by several people and its creation was a team process.[4] Strzok and his team also helped review newly discovered Clinton emails days before Election Day.[18]

Russia election interference investigation

By July 2016, Strzok had been promoted to Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and oversaw espionage investigations involving Russia and China.[6][9] According to The New York Times, he was “considered one of the most experienced and trusted FBI counterintelligence investigators”.[17] He was also “considered to be one of the Bureau’s top experts on Russia” according to CNN.[4] He signed the document opening the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[4][19] Strzok then led that investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, including the Russian role in the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak and the Donald Trump–Russia dossier.[20][3][18] He also oversaw the bureau’s interviews with then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Flynn later pled guilty to lying to the FBI.[21]

Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation

Strzok was the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller‘s special counsel investigation of foreign electoral intervention by Russia in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, initiated by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 after the firing of FBI Director James Comey by President Trump.[22][23] Earlier, in January 2017, the DOJ’s Inspector General (IG), Michael E. Horowitz, had begun an inquiry to review how the FBI handled investigations related to the election.[17][24] In late July 2017, the IG’s inquiry discovered text messages transmitted between Strzok and Lisa Page, a trial attorney on Mueller’s team. The text messages were sent between August 2015 and December 2016[25][26] and were anti-Donald Trump in nature.[27][28] They also contained personal information concerning to the Justice Department (DOJ), allegedly about an extramarital affair.[5] Mueller removed Strzok from his team the week after a search warrant was executed at the home of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.[29][30] Strzok was reassigned to the FBI’s Human Resources Branch and Page returned to working for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe shortly thereafter.[31][32] Fox News reported that a source close to the IG’s ongoing inquiry said it will include examining Strzok’s participation in other politically sensitive matters, and that it should be complete “very early next year.”[33] The IG announced it will issue a report in March or April of 2018 at the latest.[17] At the request of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the DOJ agreed to allow Strzok to be interviewed and turned over 375 partially redacted text messages between Strzok and Page to the House Judiciary Committee.[25][26][34]

According to Strzok’s colleagues and a former Trump administration official, Strzok had not previously shown any overt political bias.[2][27] An associate of his says the political parts of the text messages were especially related to Trump’s criticism of the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton emails.[2] Some GOP U.S. representatives cited the anti-Trump messages as evidence of Strzok’s bias. However, in his private correspondence with Page, Strzok had also made disparaging remarks about Eric Holder, Attorney General in the Obama administration, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (a Democrat), and Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.[35][36] According to FBI guidelines, agents are allowed to have and express political opinions as individuals. Former FBI and DOJ officials told The Hill that it was possible for agents like Strzok to hold political opinions and still conduct an impartial investigation.[37] Several agents said that Mueller removed Strzok in order to protect the integrity of the special counsel’s Russia investigation. Since there was no proof that Strzok did anything wrong, he was not punished following his reassignment.[38][39] Defenders of Strzok and Page in the FBI said that no professional misconduct between them occurred.[27]

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Strzok

 

2017 Special Counsel investigation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 2017 Special Counsel investigation is an ongoing investigation in the United States led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel under supervision of the United States Department of Justice. Mueller is exploring any links or coordination between Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government as part of the election interference that Russia conducted against the U.S. in 2016.

Mueller’s investigation subsumed several existing FBI investigations including those involving former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. In August 2017, Mueller’s investigation reportedly expanded to include several lobbying firms, including the Podesta Group. Mueller has assembled a team of attorneys to conduct the investigation into links between Trump associates and Russian officials along with related matters.

On October 30, 2017, Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates surrendered to the FBI on charges brought by the special counsel unrelated to the Trump campaign. On the same day, Mueller’s team revealed that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on October 5 to making false statements to FBI agents about contacts he had with agents of the Russian government while working for the Trump campaign in 2016, and was cooperating with investigators. On December 1, 2017, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI, and confirmed that he is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.[1]


Appointments


Policy positions





Business and personal


Donald Trump's signature

Seal of the President of the United States.svg

 

Origin and powers

On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller, a former Director of the FBI, to serve as special counsel for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). In this capacity, Mueller oversees the investigation into “any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation”.[2] As special counsel, Mueller has the power to issue subpoenas,[3] hire staff members, request funding, and prosecute federal crimes in connection with the election interference.[4]

The appointment followed a series of events that included President Donald Trump‘s firing of FBI director James Comey and Comey’s allegation that Trump asked him to drop the FBI investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.[5]

Rosenstein, in his role as Acting Attorney General due to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has authority over the use of DOJ resources by Mueller and the investigation. In an interview with the Associated Press, Rosenstein said he would recuse himself from supervision of Mueller if he himself were to become a subject in the investigation due to his role in the dismissal of Comey.[6] If Rosenstein were to recuse himself, his duties in this matter would be assumed by the Justice Department’s third-in-command, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.[7]

Grand juries

On August 3, 2017, Mueller impaneled a grand jury in Washington, DC, as part of his investigation. The grand jury has the power to subpoena documents, require witnesses to testify under oath, and indict suspects on criminal charges if enough evidence is found.

The Washington grand jury is separate from an earlier Virginia grand jury investigating Michael Flynn; the Flynn case has been absorbed into Mueller’s overall investigation.[8]

Grand jury testimony

The grand jury has issued subpoenas to those involved in the Trump campaign–Russian meeting held on June 9, 2016, at Trump Tower, which was also the location of Trump’s presidential campaign headquarters.[9]

  • Russian-born lobbyist and former Soviet Army officer, Rinat Akhmetshin, testified under oath for several hours on August 11, 2017, as a participant in the Donald Trump Jr meeting.[10][11]
  • Jason Maloni, spokesman for Paul Manafort, testified under oath for two and one-half hours.[12] Maloni was employed by Manafort following the five months he served as Chairman of Trump’s campaign for president in 2016, to answer questions about Manafort’s involvement in Trump’s campaign.

The grand jury subpoenaed witness testimony from the executives of six public relations firms, who worked with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on lobbying efforts in Ukraine.[13]

Legal teams

Mueller and investigation team

Special Counsel Robert Mueller

Upon his appointment as the Special Counsel, Mueller resigned his position at the Washington office of law firm WilmerHale, along with two colleagues, Aaron Zebley and James L. Quarles III.[14][15] On May 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts announced they had declared Mueller ethically able to function as special counsel.[16]

Politico proposed that the “ideal team” would likely have six to eight prosecutors, along with administrative assistants and experts in areas such as money laundering or interpreting tax returns.[17] By August 1, 2017, Mueller, who has an active role in managing the inquiry,[18] hired 16 lawyers,[19] and had a total staff of over three dozen, including investigators and other non-attorneys.[20]

Members of the team include:[17][21][22][23][24][25][26]

Mueller has also added unidentified agents of the IRS Criminal Investigations Division to his team. “This unit—known as CI—is one of the federal government’s most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities. Its 2,500 agents focus exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering. A former colleague of Mueller’s said he always liked working with IRS’ special agents, especially when he was a U.S. Attorney.”[41]

In December 2017, Weissmann and Strzok were accused of an anti-Trump bias because of an email directed to Sally Yates praising her refusal to defend Executive Order 13769 in court, and a similarly-worded text message. [42][43] House Conservatives have since ramped up accusations that the investigation is manned by personnel with an “anti-Trump” bias who “let Clinton off easy last year”.[44]

Trump’s defense team

Members of the team include or have included:[45]

Topics of investigations

Russian election interference

The primary responsibility of the special counsel is “to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election”. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded “with high confidence” that the Russian government interfered in the election by hacking into the computer servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the personal Gmail account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and forwarded their contents to WikiLeaks,[50][51][52] as well as by disseminating fake news promoted on social media[53] and by penetrating, or trying to penetrate, the election systems and databases of multiple U.S. states.[54] In July 2016, the FBI began looking into these issues, as well as the question of whether members of the Trump campaign might have coordinated or cooperated with Russia’s activities.[55] Those investigations became part of the special counsel’s portfolio.[56]

Russia’s influence on US voters through social media is a primary focus of the Mueller investigation.[57] The special counsel has used a search warrant to obtain detailed information about Russian ad purchases on Facebook. According to a former federal prosecutor, the warrant means that a judge was convinced that foreigners had illegally contributed to influencing a US election via Facebook ads.[58]

Mueller is investigating ties between the Trump campaign, and Republican activist Peter W. Smith. Smith stated that he tried to obtain Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers, and that he was acting on behalf of Michael Flynn and other Trump campaign members. Trump campaign officials have denied that Smith was working with them.[59]

Links between Trump associates and Russian officials

As early as spring 2015, US intelligence agencies started overhearing conversations in which Russian government officials, some within the Kremlin, discussed associates of Trump, then a presidential candidate.[60][61] In one such conversation, Russian officials said they had cultivated a strong relationship with Michael Flynn and believed they could use him to influence Trump and his team.[62]

Multiple Trump associates, including Flynn, Manafort, and other members of the Trump campaign had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials during 2016.[63] In particular, Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak met with several Trump campaign members and administration nominees. Flynn was forced to resign as National Security Advisor on February 13, 2017, after it was revealed that on December 29, 2016, the day that Obama announced sanctions against Russia, Flynn had discussed the sanctions with Russian ambassador Kislyak. Flynn had earlier acknowledged speaking to Kislyak but denied discussing the sanctions.[64][65] Also in December 2016, Flynn and presidential advisor Jared Kushner met with Kislyak hoping to set up a direct, secure line of communication with Russian officials that American intelligence agencies would be unaware of.[66][67] Jared Kushner also met with Sergei Gorkov, the head of the Russian state-owned bank Vnesheconombank (VEB).[68] Flynn and Kushner failed to report these meetings on their security clearance forms.[69][68]

FBI agents, working with the special counsel, raided Manafort’s home in July 2017. The no-notice, no-knock raid used a federal search warrant, authorizing agents to look for tax documents and foreign banking records. A wide range of documents and other items were seized. Before the raid, Manafort had voluntarily provided some documents to congressional investigators, including the notes he took during the Veselnitskaya meeting.[70][71]

The Trump team issued multiple denials of any contacts between Trump associates and Russia, but many of those denials turned out to be false.[72][73]

On December 4, 2017, prosecutors filed that Paul Manafort worked on an op-ed with a Russian intelligence official while out on bail, in a court filing requesting that the judge revoke Manafort’s bond agreement.[74]

Alleged collusion between Trump campaign and Russian agents

Mueller is looking into the meeting on June 9, 2016, in Trump Tower in New York City between three senior members of Trump’s presidential campaign  – Kushner, Manafort, and Donald Trump Jr. – and at least five other people, including Russian lawyer Natalia VeselnitskayaRinat Akhmetshin, a lobbyist and former Soviet army officer who met senior Trump campaign aides, Ike Kaveladze, British publicist Rob Goldstone and translator Anatoli Samochornov.[75][76] It has been confirmed that Goldstone had suggested the meeting to Trump Jr., and it was arranged in a series of emails later made public. Trump Jr. initially told the press that the meeting was held to discuss adoptions of Russian children by Americans. He added that he agreed to the meeting with the understanding that he would receive information damaging to Hillary Clinton.[77] Goldstone had stated in his email that the Russian government was involved as part of its support for the Trump campaign.[78] Mueller’s team is investigating the emails and the meeting,[75] and whether President Trump later tried to hide the meeting’s purpose.[79]

On July 18, 2017, Kaveladze’s attorney said that Mueller’s investigators were seeking information about the Russian meeting in June 2016 from his client,[80] and on July 21, Mueller asked the White House to preserve all documents related to the Russian meeting.[81] It has been reported that Manafort had made notes during the Russian meeting.[70]

By August 3, 2017, Mueller had impaneled a grand jury in the District of Columbia that issued subpoenas concerning the meeting.[82] The Financial Times reported on August 31 that Akhmetshin had given sworn testimony to Mueller’s grand jury.[83]

In fall 2017, Mueller’s team interviewed former Government Communications Headquarters IT specialist Matt Tait, who had been approached by Republican political operative Peter Smith to verify the authenticity of allegedly hacked emails from the Hillary Clinton’s private email server.[84]

Obstruction of justice

Early in Trump’s presidency, senior White House officials reportedly asked intelligence officials if they could intervene with the FBI to stop the investigation into former National Security Advisor Flynn.[85] In March, Trump reportedly discussed the FBI’s Russia investigation with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and asked if they could intervene with Comey to limit or stop it.[86] When he was asked at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the report, Coats said he would not discuss conversations he had with the president but “I have never felt pressured to intervene in the Russia investigation in any way.”[87]

In February 2017, it was reported that White House officials had asked the FBI to issue a statement that there had been no contact between Trump associates and Russian intelligence sources during the 2016 campaign. The FBI did not make the requested statement, and observers noted that the request violated established procedures about contact between the White House and the FBI regarding pending investigations.[88] After Comey revealed in March that the FBI was investigating the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Trump phoned Coats and Director of National Security Admiral Michael S. Rogers and asked them to publicly state there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and the Russians.[85][89][90] Both Coats and Rogers believed that the request was inappropriate, though not illegal, and did not make the requested statement. The two exchanged notes about the incident, and Rogers made a contemporary memo to document the request.[89][90]

In May 2017, a February memo by Comey was made public about an Oval Office conversation with Trump on February 14, 2017, in which Trump is described as attempting to persuade Comey to drop the FBI investigation into Flynn.[91][92] The memo notes that Trump said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Comey made no commitments to Trump on the subject.[93] In testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, Comey gave a detailed report on the February 14 conversation, including Trump’s suggestion that he should “let go” the Flynn investigation. Comey said he “took it as a direction… I took it as, this is what he wants me to do.” He added that it was “a very disturbing thing, very concerning”, and that he discussed the incident with other FBI leaders.[94] Comey created similar memos about every phone call and meeting he had with the president.[95]

The FBI launched an investigation of Trump for obstruction of justice a few days after the May 9 firing of Comey.[96] The special prosecutor’s office took over the obstruction of justice investigation and has reportedly interviewed Director of National Intelligence Coats, Director of the National Security Agency Rogers, and Deputy Director of the NSA Richard Ledgett.[96][97][98] ABC News reported in June that the special counsel was gathering preliminary information about possible obstruction of justice, but a full-scale investigation had not been launched.[99] On June 16, Trump tweeted: “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”[100] However, Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said Trump’s tweet was referring to the June 14 Washington Post report that he was under investigation for obstruction of justice,[96] and that Trump has not actually been notified of any investigation.[101][102]

Financial investigations

The special counsel investigation has expanded to include Trump’s and his associates’ financial ties to Russia. The FBI is reviewing the financial records of Trump himself, The Trump Organization, Trump’s family members, and his campaign staff, including Trump’s real estate activities, which had been under federal scrutiny before the campaign. According to CNN, financial crimes may be easier for investigators to prove than any crimes stemming directly from collusion with Russia.[20] Campaign staff whose finances are under investigation include Manafort, Flynn, Carter Page, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.[103]

Transactions under investigation include Russian purchases of Trump apartments, a SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, transactions with the Bank of Cyprus, real estate financing organized by Kushner, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev.[104] The special counsel team has contacted Deutsche Bank, which is the main banking institution doing business with The Trump Organization.[105]

Mueller took over an existing money laundering investigation into former Trump campaign chairman Manafort. On October 30, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Manafort and his associate Rick Gates on charges including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, being an unregistered agent of foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements.[106] Manafort’s financial activities are also being investigated by the Senate and House intelligence committees, the New York Attorney General, and the Manhattan District Attorney.[107]

The special counsel will be able to access Trump’s tax returns, which has “especially disturbed” Trump according to the Washington Post. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, as presidential candidates normally do, has been politically controversial since his presidential campaign.[108]

Flynn activities

Michael Flynn statement of offense

As part of the investigation, Special Counsel Mueller assumed control of a Virginia-based grand jury criminal probe into the relationship between Flynn and Turkish businessman Kamil Ekim Alptekin.[109] Flynn Intel Group, an intelligence consultancy, was paid $530,000 by Alptekin’s company Inovo BV to produce a documentary and conduct research on Fethullah Gülen, an exiled Turkish cleric who lives in the United States.[109] The special prosecutor is investigating whether the money came from the Turkish government, and whether Flynn kicked funds back to a middleman to conceal the payment’s original source. Investigators are also looking at Flynn’s finances more generally, including possible payments from Russian companies and from the Japanese government. White House documents relating to Flynn have been requested as evidence.[110] The lead person within Mueller’s team for this investigation is Brandon Van Grack.[111]

Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, is also a subject of the special counsel investigation. Michael G. Flynn worked closely with his father’s lobbying company, the Flynn Intel Group, and accompanied his father on his 2015 visit to Moscow.[112] On November 5, 2017, NBC News reported that Mueller had enough evidence for charges against Flynn and his son.[113]

Flynn’s defense team stopped sharing information with Trump’s team of lawyers in late November 2017.[114] This was interpreted as a sign that Flynn was cooperating and negotiating a plea bargain with the special counsel team.[114][115][116] On December 1, 2017, Flynn appeared in federal court to plead guilty to a single felony count of “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI and to confirm his intention to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation.[117] As part of Flynn’s plea bargain, his son Michael G. Flynn is not expected to be charged.[118][119]

Investigation of Podesta Group lobbying

In August 2017, Mueller’s team reportedly issued grand jury subpoenas to officials in six firms, including lobbying firm Podesta Group, with regard to activities on behalf of a public-relations campaign for a pro-Russian Ukrainian organization called European Centre for a Modern UkraineTony Podesta, brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, is head of the Podesta Group. John Podesta is not employed by the company. According to the reports, Mueller is investigating whether the firms violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Paul Manafort headed the public relations effort, which took place from 2012 to 2014. [120][121][122][123]

Charges

As of December 2, 2017, the Special Counsel has initiated criminal proceedings against four individuals.

Accused Date charged Charge(s) Case status Ind.
George Papadopoulos October 3, 2017 1 count: false statements. Pleaded guilty on October 5, 2017.[124] [125]
Rick Gates October 27, 2017 8 counts: conspiracy against the United Statesconspiracy to launder moneyfailure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts (×3), unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements. Pleaded not guilty on October 30, 2017.[126] [127]
Paul Manafort October 27, 2017 9 counts: conspiracy against the United Statesconspiracy to launder moneyfailure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts (×4), unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements. Pleaded not guilty on October 30, 2017.[126] [127]
Michael Flynn November 30, 2017 1 count: false statements. Pleaded guilty on December 1, 2017.[128] [129]

George Papadopoulos

On October 30, 2017, it was revealed that George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty earlier in the month to making a false statement to FBI investigators.[130] The guilty plea was part of a plea bargain in which he agreed to cooperate with the government and “provide information regarding any and all matters as to which the Government deems relevant.”[131]

Paul Manafort and Rick Gates

On October 30, 2017, Paul Manafort surrendered to the FBI after being indicted on multiple charges. Rick Gates was also indicted and surrendered to the FBI.[132] The pair have been indicted on one count of conspiracy against the United States, one count of conspiracy to launder money, one count of being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, one count of making false and misleading FARA statements, and one count of making false statements. Manafort was charged with four counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts while Gates was charged with three.[127] The charges arise from their consulting work for a pro-Russian government in Ukraine and are unrelated to the Trump campaign.[133] Both were placed under house arrest. On December 4, 2017, prosecutors asked the judge to revoke Manafort’s bond agreement, charging that Manafort violated the terms of his bail by working on a op-ed piece with Konstantin Kilimnik,[134] an associate with ties to Russian intelligence.[135]

Michael Flynn

On December 1, 2017, it was reported that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn agreed to a plea bargain with Mueller, pleading guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI, and agreeing to cooperate with Mueller’s probe.[136]

Reactions

Mueller’s appointment to oversee the investigation immediately garnered widespread support from Democrats and even some from Republicans in Congress.[137][138] Senator Charles Schumer (DNY) said, “Former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual for this job. I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D–CA) stated, “Bob was a fine U.S. attorney, a great FBI director and there’s no better person who could be asked to perform this function.” She added, “He is respected, he is talented and he has the knowledge and ability to do the right thing.” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (RUT) tweeted that “Mueller is a great selection. Impeccable credentials. Should be widely accepted.”[137] Much Republican support in Congress was lukewarm: Rep. Peter T. King (RNY) said “It’s fine. I just don’t think there is any need for it.”[139]

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara wrote of the team that “Bob Mueller is recruiting the smartest and most seasoned professionals who have a long track record of independence and excellence”.[22] Former special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who had investigated Bill Clinton during the Clinton Administration, said that the team was “a great, great team of complete professionals”.[19]

Later some conservatives, including political commentators Laura IngrahamAnn Coulter and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (who had initially praised Mueller for “integrity and honesty”), stated that Mueller should be dismissed and the investigation closed.[140][141][142] Christopher Ruddy, the founder of the Right-leaning Newsmax, and a friend of Trump, stated that the president has considered firing Mueller.[143]

On June 23, 2017, Trump stated that members of Mueller’s team were “all Hillary Clinton supporters, some of them worked for Hillary Clinton.” PolitiFact rated Trump’s claim “Mostly False”, noting that only three had made campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton and one had defended the Clinton Foundation in court. One member of the team had made contributions to Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz and Republican Senator George Allen.[144][25] In an interview with The New York Times published on July 19, 2017, Trump stated that he would have not appointed Sessions as Attorney General had he known that he was going to recuse himself from the investigation. Furthermore, Trump confirmed that he would view it as a violation if the special counsel investigated his and his family’s finances, unrelated to Russia.[145]

On June 25, 2017, it was reported that a pro-Trump group had launched an ad called “Witch Hunt,” featuring conservative Tomi Lahren, which attacked Mueller and the investigation.[146]

On July 21, 2017, the Washington Post reported that Trump asked his advisors about his power to pardon those under investigation. Trump and his legal team discussed the possibility of Trump pardoning aides, family members, and himself. No president has ever pardoned himself, so there is no case law on whether it would be legal. Trump attorneys also reportedly created a list of Mueller’s potential conflicts of interest. Trump lawyer John Dowd said the story was “nonsense”.[108]

On August 3, 2017, at a campaign-style rally in West Virginia, Trump continued to deny any Russian involvement in his campaign or win: “The Russia story is a total fabrication. It’s just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics, that’s all it is.” This occurred on the same day as the announcement that another grand jury had been impaneled.[147]

On August 12, 2017, the New York Times published an interview of Republican Senator Richard Burr, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which he said he was hopeful that the investigation would be complete by the end of the year.[148]

On August 24, 2017, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) added a rider to the proposed fiscal 2018 spending bill package that would block funding from being used “for the investigation under that order of matters occurring before June 2015” (the month Trump announced he was running for president) immediately and terminated funding for the Special Counsel investigation 180 days after passage of the bill.[149] Rep. DeSantis said that the DOJ order of May 17, 2017, “didn’t identify a crime to be investigated and practically invites a fishing expedition.”[150]

Shortly after the indictments against Manafort and Gates were unsealed, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz introduced a congressional resolution demanding Robert Mueller’s recusal as Special Counsel due to conflicts of interest. This resolution was cosponsered by Congressman Andy Biggs from Arizona and Congressman Louie Gohmert from Texas.[151][152] In the resolution Gaetz called for a Special Counsel investigation into the handling of the Hillary Clinton email controversy by James Comey, undue interference of Attorney General Loretta Lynch in that investigation, and the acquisition of Uranium One by the Russian state corporation Rosatom during Mueller’s time as FBI director.[153][154] Gaetz stated that he did not trust him to lead the investigation because of Mueller’s alleged involvement in approval of the Uranium One deal and Mueller’s close relationship with the dismissed FBI director James Comey, a probable person of interest in the proposed investigation.[154] On November 8, 2017, Arizona Congressman Trent Franks cosponsered the resolution.[155]

Polling

A May 2017 Politico/Morning Consult poll showed that 81% of U.S. voters supported the special prosecutor’s investigation.[156] A June 2017 Associated PressNORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll asked U.S. adults whether the special counsel’s investigation could be fair and impartial: 26% were “extremely confident” or “very confident”; 36% were “moderately confident” and 36% were “not very confident” or “not at all confident.”[157] The poll indicated that 68% of Americans were at least “moderately concerned” about inappropriate connections between the Trump campaign and the Russians.[158]

A poll published in November 2017 by ABC News and The Washington Post found that 58% of Americans approved of Mueller’s handling of his investigation, while 28% disapproved. It also indicated that half of Americans believed that President Trump was not co-operating with the investigation.[159] A Quinnipiac poll published on November 15, 2017 suggested that 60% of Americans believed that Mueller’s investigation was proceeding fairly, with 27% believing that it was not. The poll also found that 47% of respondents said that President Trump ought to be impeached if he were to dismiss Mueller.[160]

A December poll by Associated PressNORC indicated that four out of ten American believed Trump to have committed a crime in connection to Russia, with an additional 3 out of 10 beyond that believing that he had acted unethically. It found that 62% of Democrats and 5% of Republicans believe that Trump acted illegally. It found that 68% of Americans believed that Trump was obstructing the investigation. 57% of respondents said that they were “extremely confident” or “moderately confident” that Mueller’s investigation is fair.[161]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Special_Counsel_investigation

18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

(a)

Whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, goes upon, enters, flies over, or otherwise obtains information concerning any vessel, aircraft, work of defense, navy yard, naval station, submarine base, fueling station, fort, battery, torpedo station, dockyard, canal, railroad, arsenal, camp, factory, mine, telegraph, telephone, wireless, or signal station, building, office, research laboratory or station or other place connected with the national defense owned or constructed, or in progress of construction by the United States or under the control of the United States, or of any of its officers, departments, or agencies, or within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, or any place in which any vessel, aircraft, arms, munitions, or other materials or instruments for use in time of war are being made, prepared, repaired, stored, or are the subject of research or development, under any contract or agreement with the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or with any person on behalf of the United States, or otherwise on behalf of the United States, or any prohibited place so designated by the President by proclamation in time of war or in case of national emergency in which anything for the use of the Army, Navy, or Air Force is being prepared or constructed or stored, information as to which prohibited place the President has determined would be prejudicial to the national defense; or

(b)

Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, and with like intent or reason to believe, copies, takes, makes, or obtains, or attempts to copy, take, make, or obtain, any sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing, or note of anything connected with the national defense; or

(c)

Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, receives or obtains or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain from any person, or from any source whatever, any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note, of anything connected with the national defense, knowing or having reason to believe, at the time he receives or obtains, or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain it, that it has been or will be obtained, taken, made, or disposed of by any person contrary to the provisions of this chapter; or

(d)

Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(e)

Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(f)

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(g)

If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.

(h)

(1)

Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall forfeit to the United States, irrespective of any provision of State law, any property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, from any foreign government, or any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, as the result of such violation. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “State” includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(2)

The court, in imposing sentence on a defendant for a conviction of a violation of this section, shall order that the defendant forfeit to the United States all property described in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3)The provisions of subsections (b), (c), and (e) through (p) of section 413 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (21 U.S.C. 853(b), (c), and (e)–(p)) shall apply to—

(A)

property subject to forfeiture under this subsection;

(B)

any seizure or disposition of such property; and

(C)

any administrative or judicial proceeding in relation to such property,
if not inconsistent with this subsection.

(4)

Notwithstanding section 524(c) of title 28, there shall be deposited in the Crime Victims Fund in the Treasury all amounts from the forfeiture of property under this subsection remaining after the payment of expenses for forfeiture and sale authorized by law.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 736; Sept. 23, 1950, ch. 1024, title I, § 18, 64 Stat. 1003Pub. L. 99–399, title XIII, § 1306(a), Aug. 27, 1986100 Stat. 898Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994108 Stat. 2147Pub. L. 103–359, title VIII, § 804(b)(1), Oct. 14, 1994108 Stat. 3440Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 607(b), Oct. 11, 1996110 Stat. 3511.)

 

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

Story 2: Republican House and Senate Agree on Tax Bill — Rush To Pass Bill Before Congressional Christmas Break — Videos —

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Full text: Republicans unveil their final tax bill

Republicans are expected to vote on this bill as soon as Tuesday.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The final draft of the Republican tax bill has dropped.

After a week of backdoor negotiations to hash out the differences between the House and Senate tax proposals, Republicans have released their final vision for the American tax code: a bill that permanently gives corporations a massive tax break, temporarily cuts individual rates — primarily benefiting the wealthiest Americans — increases the standard deduction, and the repeals the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which is estimated to leave 13 million fewer insured over the next 10 years.

The bill cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, 1 percent less than the Senate and House proposals; and lowers the top individual income tax rate to 37 percent, which is less than the 38.5 percent in the Senate bill and the 39.6 percent in the House bill and current law. It will allow pass-through businesses, like LLCs and partnerships, to deduct 20 percent from their taxes in addition to having the lower top individual rate. The bill also caps the mortgage interest deduction at $750,000 and the state and local property and income deduction at $10,000, particularly disadvantaging Americans who live in high-tax states.

All in all, the bill is a far cry from the simplified tax code that Republicans have long been promising, but it is a substantial reshaping of the nation’s tax base. Republicans are adamant that cutting corporate taxes will in turn increase investments and wages in the United States and lead to unprecedented economic growth — despite analyses that indicate otherwise.

It’s a gamble they are willing to make. This bill has not yet received an official score from the Congressional Budget Office or the Joint Committee on Taxation, which measures legislation’s cost and impact.

Republicans are expected to vote on this bill as soon as Tuesday.

Here’s the bill in its entirety:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/12/15/16781062/read-republican-final-tax-bill

GOP releases its final tax plan — here’s what’s in it

  • Republicans release their final tax plan, which strikes compromises on many provisions that differed in separate versions passed by the House and Senate.
  • The House plans to vote on the bill on Tuesday.
Jacob Pramuk | John W. Schoen

Representative Brady: Wanted to drive tax relief for everyone

Representative Brady: Wanted to drive tax relief for everyone  

Republicans on Friday released their final proposal to overhaul the American tax system, which would chop taxes for corporations, trim rates for individuals and tweak tax deductions.

The House and Senate GOP hope to pass the sweeping measure by the middle of next week, hitting a year-end target. The House will vote on the plan on Tuesday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement.

Republicans argue that cuts contained in the bill will spark business investment, hiring and wage growth. Democrats call the plan a giveaway to corporations at the expense of the middle class, expressing concerns about the $1 trillion or more it is projected to add to federal budget deficits over a decade.

With two skeptical Republican senators falling in line Friday, the GOP appears set to have the support to push the bill through next week on a party line vote.

Here are some of the provisions the bill contains, according to a Republican summary:

  • The proposal would maintain seven individual income tax brackets at slightly different rates: 10 percent, 12 percent, 22 percent, 24 percent, 32 percent, 35 percent and 37 percent. The top rate would fall from the current 39.6 percent. The House originally proposed collapsing the system to four brackets, saying it would simplify the filing process. (Click here to see which bracket would apply to you.) The changes would phase out after 2025.
  • The bill would scrap the personal exemption but increase the standard deduction to slightly less than double its current level. It would go to $12,000 for an individual or $24,000 for a family.
  • It would drop the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from the current 35 percent. The change would take effect next year.
  • The plan would set a 20 percent business income deduction for the first $315,000 in income earned by pass-through businesses.
  • The bill would scrap Obamacare’s provision that requires most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, beginning in 2019. Doing so is projected to lead to 13 million fewer people with insurance and raise average Obamacare premiums, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
  • The plan would eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax, which the Senate added back to its plan at the last second to raise money. House leaders and corporate groups said the tax would stifle research and development. It would also increase the exemption from the individual AMT.
  • The estate tax, or so-called death tax, would remain but the exemption from it would be doubled.
  • The child tax credit would double to $2,000 per child from $1,000. It would be refundable up to $1,400 and start to phase out at $400,000 in income. The tweak would end after 2025.
  • The plan would limit state and local tax deductions. It would allow the deduction of up to $10,000 in state and local sales, income or property taxes.
  • It will not change the mortgage interest deduction for existing homeowners. For new homes, taxpayers can deduct interest on up to $750,000 in mortgage debt, down from $1 million currently.
  • Tax breaks for charitable contributions and retirement savings plans would remain.
  • The bill would not include the controversial first in first out stock sales change, which sparked backlash in the investing community.

A “very preliminary” projection by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the congressional scorekeeper, estimated that the bill would lead to budget deficits increasing by $1.46 trillion over a decade. That falls just shy of the maximum $1.5 trillion it could add to the deficit under rules set by the Senate earlier this year.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who opposed the Senate version of the plan because he had concerns about a nearly identical effect on budget deficits, is supporting the final legislation.

Republicans cheered the bill’s completion following its release.

“We’re in the final stretch—and we’re ready to get this done for the American people by Christmas,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump “is on the precipice” of fulfilling a campaign promise and passing a plan that she said would boost wages and economic growth.

“The president applauds the House and Senate conferees on coming to an agreement on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and looks forward to fulfilling the promise he made to the American people to give them a tax cut by the end of the year,” she said.

Democrats, meanwhile, warned of repercussions for the middle class.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the plan counterproductive.

“Under this bill the working class, middle class and upper middle class get skewered while the rich and wealthy corporations make out like bandits. It is just the opposite of what America needs, and Republicans will rue the day they pass this,” he said in a statement.

In a statement, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., deemed the plan a “moral obscenity” and a “con job.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/15/gop-releases-its-final-tax-plan–heres-whats-in-it.html

Key details revealed in Republican tax deal

  •  The deal would lower the top tax rate to 37%, a push by House Republicans
  • The deal also drops the corporate tax rate to 21%

(CNN)House and Senate Republicans have struck a tentative deal on a tax bill Wednesday, a major step in ensuring the GOP majority is on its way to deliver an overhaul of the US tax system by the holidays.

According to two GOP aides, Republicans struck a deal in principle that will meld together the House and Senate tax deals and put the parties on a path to vote as soon as next week. Aides say there are still smaller issues to work out, but Senate Republicans will discuss remaining issues at their conference-wide lunch Wednesday and see how their rank-and-file members react.
Lawmakers have been working for more than a week to find a way to combine two very different tax bills.
Here’s what Republican negotiators as of Wednesday evening had in the plan:
  • The corporate rate would be reduced to 21%, from 35%. That is an additional point added from the 20% originally proposed in the House and Senate versions. It would take effect in 2018.
  • The top individual tax rate would be set at 37%, down from the 39.6% proposed in the House and 38.5% in the Senate.
  • The State and Local Tax deduction will be expanded, beyond just property taxes, to include income tax. It would be capped at $10,000.
  • The corporate alternative minimum tax, included at the last minute in the Senate version, would be fully repealed.
  • The individual alternative minimum tax would remain, but the threshold would be tweaked to exclude any individual under $500,000 or family below $1 million.
  • The mortgage interest deduction threshold — dropped to $500,000 in the House and left untouched in the Senate — would be set at $750,000.
  • The rate for pass-through income — business entities like s-corporations and partnerships that pay taxes through the individual side — would be determined by a 20% deduction, 3% lower than the Senate version.
  • The estate tax exemption would be doubled, but the tax would not be repealed entirely, as it was in the House proposal.
  • The Obamacare individual mandate to have health insurance would be repealed.
  • A House provision that proposed taxing graduate school tuition is not included in the final deal.
These deductions will remain untouched (they were all repealed in the House bill, left alone in the Senate bill). Of note, repeal of these deductions were some of the most controversial elements of the House plan. None will be repealed in the final version.
  • Medical expense deduction
  • Tax-free graduate school tuition waivers
  • Private activity bonds
  • Student loan interest deduction
  • Teacher spending deduction
The news of a deal came just hours after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Republicans to hold off on a tax bill until newly-elected Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat, was seated in January.

President Trump said at the White House on Wednesday, “We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.” CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The day after suffering a political blow in the Alabama special Senate election, congressional Republicans sped forward with the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades, announcing an agreement on a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and individuals and signal the party’s first major legislative achievement since assuming political control this year.

Party leaders in the House and Senate agreed in principle to bridge the yawning gaps between their competing versions of the $1.5 trillion tax bill, keeping Republicans on track for final votes next week with the aim of delivering a bill to President Trump’s desk by Christmas. The House and Senate versions of the tax bill started from the same core principles — sharply cutting taxes on businesses, while reducing rates and eliminating some breaks for individuals — but diverged on several crucial details.

In the end, more of the Senate bill appeared to be included in the final version, though lawmakers continued to make significant changes from the legislation that passed either the House or the Senate.

The changes included a slightly higher corporate tax rate of 21 percent, rather than the 20 percent in the legislation that passed both chambers, and a lower top individual tax rate of 37 percent for the wealthiest Americans, who currently pay 39.6 percent. But the bill will still scale back some popular tax breaks, including the state and local tax deduction and the deductibility of mortgage interest.

In a break from the House bill, the agreement would allow taxpayers to continue to deduct high out-of-pocket medical expenses, and it would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition waivers to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. Also included in the consensus bill is the Senate’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty and a provision that opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to energy exploration.

Still unclear is the overall cost of the revised legislation, which cannot exceed the $1.5 trillion bucket that lawmakers have allowed if they want to pass the bill without Democratic support. Several of the provisions added by the Senate to help pay for the overall bill were either reversed or scaled back in the consensus version, and some tax breaks eliminated by the House were added back in.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/us/politics/tax-bill-republicans-deal.html

House, Senate reach tax bill agreement

Original source for this article can be found on RT by clicking here
Dec. 13 (UPI) — Republicans in the House and Senate on Wednesday reached an agreement, in principle, on a consensus tax bill, keeping the party on track for final votes next week and a push to President Donald Trump‘s desk by Christmas.Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, said he is confident the deal will be approved. Details of the agreement were not immediately available.Democrats, who have been locked out of the process, criticized the rush to pass the bill next week and called on Republican leaders to wait for the newly elected Democratic senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, to be sworn in. He defeated Roy Moore on Tuesday in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.Senate Republicans had a meeting Wednesday to go over the details before briefing House Republicans and making a formal announcement.Last-minute changes to the bill include lowering the top individual tax rate to 37 percent and setting the corporate tax rate at 21 percent, a source who was briefed on the package told a The Hill.Also, as a compromise between the Senate and House versions of the bill, mortgage interest deduction will be capped at $750,000 and as a relief to people living in high-tax areas. The bill allows state and local property or income tax deductions of up to $10,000.

If passed, the legislation repeals an essential piece of the Affordable Care Act that requires people to purchase health insurance.

https://newsline.com/house-senate-reach-tax-bill-agreement/

President Trump said at the White House on Wednesday, “We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.” CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The day after suffering a political blow in the Alabama special Senate election, congressional Republicans sped forward with the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades, announcing an agreement on a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and individuals and signal the party’s first major legislative achievement since assuming political control this year.

Party leaders in the House and Senate agreed in principle to bridge the yawning gaps between their competing versions of the $1.5 trillion tax bill, keeping Republicans on track for final votes next week with the aim of delivering a bill to President Trump’s desk by Christmas. The House and Senate versions of the tax bill started from the same core principles — sharply cutting taxes on businesses, while reducing rates and eliminating some breaks for individuals — but diverged on several crucial details.

In the end, more of the Senate bill appeared to be included in the final version, though lawmakers continued to make significant changes from the legislation that passed either the House or the Senate.

The changes included a slightly higher corporate tax rate of 21 percent, rather than the 20 percent in the legislation that passed both chambers, and a lower top individual tax rate of 37 percent for the wealthiest Americans, who currently pay 39.6 percent. But the bill will still scale back some popular tax breaks, including the state and local tax deduction and the deductibility of mortgage interest.

In a break from the House bill, the agreement would allow taxpayers to continue to deduct high out-of-pocket medical expenses, and it would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition waivers to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. Also included in the consensus bill is the Senate’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty and a provision that opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to energy exploration.

Continue reading the main story

Still unclear is the overall cost of the revised legislation, which cannot exceed the $1.5 trillion bucket that lawmakers have allowed if they want to pass the bill without Democratic support. Several of the provisions added by the Senate to help pay for the overall bill were either reversed or scaled back in the consensus version, and some tax breaks eliminated by the House were added back in.

Photo

President Trump had lunch with Republicans on the House-Senate conference committee, including Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, right, and Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, left, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The announcement that Republicans had overcome their differences to get to a consensus bill added more momentum to the sprint to the finish line. Republicans dismissed requests by Democrats to delay a vote until the new senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, is sworn in.

“I see no need to wait for Doug Jones to become a senator,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine. “We vote all the time in lame-duck sessions with retired and defeated members casting votes.”

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the majority whip, told reporters that he was confident the final bill would be approved next week. The leaders of the tax-writing committees in the House and the Senate, Representative Kevin Brady of Texas and Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, each proclaimed a bill “close” to completion.

In a compromise between the bills, the deal would cap the popular deduction for interest on mortgage debt at $750,000 for newly purchased homes, a higher cap than the $500,000 limit in the House-passed bill but lower than the $1 million limit that currently exists and remains in the Senate-passed bill.

The agreement would cut the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, which is lower than the current 35 percent rate but higher than the 20 percent that Mr. Trump had, until recently, said was nonnegotiable. The corporate rate would take effect in 2018, rather than 2019, as the Senate bill originally called for, according to a senior Republican congressional aide.

The bill also allows individuals to somewhat choose how to use their state and local tax deduction, giving them the ability to write off up to $10,000 in property taxes, income or sales taxes paid or a combination of property and sales or property and income taxes. That move is intended to alleviate the concerns of House Republicans, particularly those from California, over the bill’s treatment of the state and local tax deduction.

Lawmakers also yielded to concerns by business groups about the Senate’s last-minute inclusion of the corporate alternative minimum tax, which was added as a way to pay for the bill but faced stiff blowback from companies that said it would restrict their ability to use the research and development tax credit.

Photo

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the finance committee, tweeted on Wednesday morning that Republican leaders should delay the tax process until Doug Jones, the newly elected Democratic Senator from Alabama, takes his seat. CreditPete Marovich for The New York Times

In an effort to assuage concerns that wealthy individuals would face a potential tax increase, the top individual income tax rate will drop to 37 percent, down from the current rate of 39.6 percent in the Senate bill and the 38.5 percent in the House bill. And the lower rate will apply to more people, allowing those with income levels below the $1 million cutoff outlined in both the House and Senate bills to claim the marginal rate.

The consensus bill will preserve the individual alternative minimum tax, which the House bill had eliminated and the Senate bill retained in a watered-down form. But it will apply to even fewer taxpayers than the Senate bill would have, the congressional aide said. The alternative tax, which was put in place to ensure high-income earners did not exploit loopholes to avoid paying taxes, would kick in for individuals earning at least $500,000 and for couples earning at least $1 million.

The agreement may allow some high-earning business owners to claim an even larger tax break than the Senate bill would have. Negotiators agreed to keep the Senate’s approach to provide a tax deduction for so-called pass-through companies, whose owners pay taxes on profits through the individual code. That deduction is likely to be lower than the 23 percent deduction in the Senate-passed bill.

But, the aide said, the consensus bill will include a House provision that would allow some pass-through owners with few employees — but large amounts of investment in their businesses — to bypass a limit on how much income qualifies for the preferential deduction.

The consensus bill would also largely retain the Senate approach to taxing multinational companies, by levying what is effectively a minimum tax on both American-based and foreign-based companies that operate in the United States.

Mr. Trump praised House and Senate negotiators in a lunch meeting at the White House. “We’re very close to getting it done; we’re very close to voting,” Mr. Trump said of the tax bill.

It is not clear whether all Republican senators will roundly endorse the deal, which includes provisions that Ms. Collins and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida had raised concerns about this week. Ms. Collins has said she does not favor a lower individual rate, and Mr. Rubio has pushed for a more generous child tax credit.

GRAPHIC

How the Final Tax Bill Will Affect Families, Homeowners, Businesses and More

Republicans have resolved the differences between the two versions of their tax bill.

 OPEN GRAPHIC

Still, none of those concerned senators indicated on Wednesday that they were opposed to the bill taking shape under the agreement in principle, an encouraging sign for Republican leaders.

The Senate bill narrowly passed 51 to 49, with Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, voting against the legislation, and other lawmakers, like Ms. Collins, getting on board only once certain changes, including expanding the medical expense deduction, were made. Mr. Corker said on Wednesday that “nothing has alleviated the concerns” that caused him to oppose the bill, which were rooted in a desire not to add further to the national debt.

The agreement was completed on Wednesday morning, hours before the first and only scheduled public meeting of the congressional conference committee formed to work out the differences between the House- and Senate-passed versions of the bill.

“Let’s understand what’s happening today is a sham,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee. “Nobody ought to mistake this conference for real debate.”

Mr. Trump delivered what was called a closing argument for the tax bill from the White House on Wednesday afternoon, flanked by five families who each took the microphone to extol the benefits of the tax bill on their households and communities.

“As a candidate, I promised we would pass a massive tax cut for the everyday working American families who are the backbone and the heartbeat of our country,” Mr. Trump said. “Now we are just days away from keeping that promise. We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.”

Mr. Trump added that if the bill were to be signed in that time frame, Americans would begin seeing tax cuts reflected in their paychecks by February, citing the Internal Revenue Service. “The cynical voices that opposed tax cuts grow smaller and weaker, and the American people grow stronger,” he said.

Correction: December 14, 2017 
Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to one provision of the tax proposal. The agreement would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition waivers to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. It does not apply to tuition stipends.

 

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What Is The Federal Reserve?

Fed Raises Rates, Sticks to Forecast for 2018 Increases

Policy makers pencil in three quarter-point rate raises for next year, as they had in September

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen arrives for her press conference Wednesday. The central bank’s rate-setting committee voted 7-2 to raise the benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 1.25% and 1.5%.
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen arrives for her press conference Wednesday. The central bank’s rate-setting committee voted 7-2 to raise the benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 1.25% and 1.5%. PHOTO: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

WASHINGTON—The Federal Reserve showed continued optimism about the U.S. economy in voting Wednesday to raise short-term interest rates for the third time this year, and signaling it would stay on a similar path next year amid a leadership transition.

Officials nudged their economic-growth estimates higher for the next few years on expectations that congressional Republicans will pass tax cuts. But the Fed policy makers’ new projections suggest the boost wouldn’t be so large that they would have to speed up the pace of rate increases to guard against too much inflation.

“At the moment the U.S. economy is performing well,” Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said at a press conference after the central bank’s two-day policy meeting ended Wednesday.

“The growth that we’re seeing, it’s not based on, for example, an unsustainable buildup of debt,” she added. “The global economy is doing well. We’re in a synchronized expansion. This is the first time in many years we’ve seen this.”

The Fed said it would increase its benchmark federal-funds rate Thursday by a quarter percentage point to a range between 1.25% and 1.5%, the fifth such increase in the past two years. Officials penciled in three quarter-point rate increases for next year, as they had in September, and two such increases each in 2019 and 2020.

The big question heading into their two-day meeting was how much Fed officials expected to lift rates in coming years. The prospect of new fiscal stimulus in the form of tax cuts, combined with solid hiring and lofty asset values, could argue for picking up the pace to prevent the economy from overheating. But low inflation and modest wage growth could support the case for sticking with a gradual approach.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans joined Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on Wednesday in casting two dissenting votes, against seven in favor or raising rates. Both have cited weak inflation as a reason to hold off.

Fed officials projected the economy would grow 2.5% next year, up from the 2.1% they predicted in September. They also expect the unemployment rate will fall to 3.9% by the end of next year, down from their earlier forecast of 4.1%.

Officials didn’t project more interest-rate increases or higher inflation because price pressures have been surprisingly muted this year. They still project inflation to rise to their 2% target by 2019, the same as they expected in September.

“It could take a longer period of a very strong labor market in order to achieve the inflation objective,” Ms. Yellen said Wednesday.

Economists said the latest projections and Ms. Yellen’s comments Wednesday show officials believe growth won’t generate as much inflation as previously thought. “If inflation does actually pick up, it implies that they move more rapidly” to raise rates, said Lewis Alexander, chief U.S. economist at Nomura Securities.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, above, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, below, dissented to the Fed’s decision to raise short-term interest rates.
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, above, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, below, dissented to the Fed’s decision to raise short-term interest rates. PHOTO: ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS
Fed Raises Rates, Sticks to Forecast for 2018 Increases
PHOTO: MARK KAUZLARICH/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Fed officials slashed their benchmark federal-funds rate to near zero during the financial crisis and held it there for seven years before raising it by a quarter percentage point in December 2015, the start of a gradual series of small increases. In October, the Fed also started shrinking its $4.5 trillion portfolio of bonds and other assets, most of which were purchased as part of extraordinary postcrisis measures to support the economy.

Since officials last met in early November, Congress has moved rapidly on legislation that would cut business and individual taxes by around $1.4 trillion over the next decade. Before this week, many Fed officials refrained from building into their forecasts much prospect of fiscal stimulus because it wasn’t clear what Congress would pass.

House and Senate Republicans are reconciling different versions of tax bills that have passed their respective chambers with the goal of putting a unified plan before President Donald Trump to sign by Christmas. The White House has said the plan can boost growth to levels that make up for revenue shortfalls.

An analysis from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation found the tax bill wouldn’t pay for itself with more economic growth and instead would result in about $1 trillion in additional budget deficits over a decade.

Fed officials’ projections show they don’t see the tax cut raising the economy’s long-run growth rate, which they left unchanged at 1.8%.

“It’s fair to say that the Fed doesn’t see the tax package as a game changer in terms of growth—just some modest upside, concentrated mostly in 2018,” said Roberto Perli, an analyst at research firm Cornerstone Macro LP.

While officials have now largely incorporated the effects of tax changes into their growth forecasts, Ms. Yellen said, “importantly, you really don’t at the end of the day see very much change in the federal-funds rate path.”

Ms. Yellen added that she remained concerned higher budget deficits could leave fiscal policy makers with less scope to respond aggressively to an economic downturn in the future. Budget deficits are projected to grow as the baby boom ages, even before the added effect of tax cuts. “Taking what is already a significant problem and making it worse, it is a concern to me,” she said.

While Ms. Yellen will preside over one more Fed meeting early next year, Wednesday featured her last scheduled press conference before her term ends Feb. 3. While she is likely to hand her successor an economy in far better shape than when she took over four years ago, the Fed faces several balancing acts.

On one hand, inflation has run below its annual 2% target most of this year, reaching just 1.6% in October by the central bank’s preferred gauge. On the other hand, with the economy so strong and more stimulus on the way, they don’t want to hold rates too low for too long and cause price pressures to surge out of control or fuel asset bubbles and other financial imbalances.

Now that the Fed has successfully moved interest rates away from zero and initiated the steady wind down of the portfolio, “the battle is over the terminal fed-funds rate, and how quickly you get to it,” said Vincent Reinhart, chief economist of Standish Mellon and former director of the Fed’s monetary policy division. Fed officials’ new projections show they see that longer-run level at around 2.75%, implying the Fed is already about half way there.

Mr. Trump’s nominee to succeed Ms. Yellen as central bank chief, Fed governor Jerome Powell, has indicated he could offer a lighter touch on financial regulation but has shown few signs of diverging from Ms. Yellen on monetary policy.

Ms. Yellen has said she would resign her seat on the Fed’s seven-member board once Mr. Powell is confirmed and sworn in, making her the third governor to leave within a year and giving Mr. Trump another opportunity to reshape the Fed.

Fed officials also are wrestling with the fact that the economy isn’t responding to its rate moves as it did in the past, making it harder to discern the right policy path.

Fed increases in short-term rates used to tighten credit more broadly, causing bond yields to rise and boosting other borrowing costs, such as for mortgages, credit cards and business loans. This year, instead, financial conditions have eased, with stock prices rising to new highs and long-term bond yields remaining low, due in part to easy-money policies from central banks in Europe and Japan.

Banks have held rates on savings deposits at historically low levels. The average interest rate paid by the biggest U.S. banks on interest-bearing deposits rose to 0.40% in the third quarter, up from 0.34% in the second quarter, according to Autonomous Research.

Low interest rates have been a pleasant surprise for Joe Williams, 33, who is looking to trade up to a larger home to make room for a growing family. Mr. Williams, who works in retail operations, and his wife are preapproved for a 30-year mortgage that carries a 3.75% interest rate for the first seven years. That is higher than the 3.125% rate he locked in on his Minneapolis home two years ago.

If rates looked likely to rise faster, “that would motivate us to get a little bit more aggressive” in buying the move-up home, he said.

Write to Nick Timiraos at nick.timiraos@wsj.com

Appeared in the December 14, 2017, print edition as ‘Fed Hikes Rates as Economy Picks Up.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fed-raises-interest-rates-sees-continued-path-of-increases-in-2018-1513191780

Federal funds rate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions (banks and credit unions) lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight, on an uncollateralized basis. Reserve balances are amounts held at the Federal Reserve to maintain depository institutions’ reserve requirements. Institutions with surplus balances in their accounts lend those balances to institutions in need of larger balances. The federal funds rate is an important benchmark in financial markets.[1][2]

The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is determined by a meeting of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee which normally occurs eight times a year about seven weeks apart. The committee may also hold additional meetings and implement target rate changes outside of its normal schedule.

The Federal Reserve uses open market operations to influence the supply of money in the U.S. economy[3] to make the federal funds effective rate follow the federal funds target rate.

Mechanism

Financial Institutions are obligated by law to maintain certain levels of reserves, either as reserves with the Fed or as vault cash. The level of these reserves is determined by the outstanding assets and liabilities of each depository institution, as well as by the Fed itself, but is typically 10%[4] of the total value of the bank’s demand accounts (depending on bank size). In the range of $9.3 million to $43.9 million, for transaction deposits (checking accountsNOWs, and other deposits that can be used to make payments) the reserve requirement in 2007-2008 was 3 percent of the end-of-the-day daily average amount held over a two-week period. Transaction deposits over $43.9 million held at the same depository institution carried a 10 percent reserve requirement.

For example, assume a particular U.S. depository institution, in the normal course of business, issues a loan. This dispenses money and decreases the ratio of bank reserves to money loaned. If its reserve ratio drops below the legally required minimum, it must add to its reserves to remain compliant with Federal Reserve regulations. The bank can borrow the requisite funds from another bank that has a surplus in its account with the Fed. The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is set by the governors of the Federal Reserve, which they enforce by open market operations and adjustments in the interest rate on reserves.[5] The target rate is almost always what is meant by the media referring to the Federal Reserve “changing interest rates.” The actual federal funds rate generally lies within a range of that target rate, as the Federal Reserve cannot set an exact value through open market operations.

Another way banks can borrow funds to keep up their required reserves is by taking a loan from the Federal Reserve itself at the discount window. These loans are subject to audit by the Fed, and the discount rate is usually higher than the federal funds rate. Confusion between these two kinds of loans often leads to confusion between the federal funds rate and the discount rate. Another difference is that while the Fed cannot set an exact federal funds rate, it does set the specific discount rate.

The federal funds rate target is decided by the governors at Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. The FOMC members will either increase, decrease, or leave the rate unchanged depending on the meeting’s agenda and the economic conditions of the U.S. It is possible to infer the market expectations of the FOMC decisions at future meetings from the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Fed Funds futures contracts, and these probabilities are widely reported in the financial media.

Applications

Interbank borrowing is essentially a way for banks to quickly raise money. For example, a bank may want to finance a major industrial effort but may not have the time to wait for deposits or interest (on loan payments) to come in. In such cases the bank will quickly raise this amount from other banks at an interest rate equal to or higher than the Federal funds rate.

Raising the federal funds rate will dissuade banks from taking out such inter-bank loans, which in turn will make cash that much harder to procure. Conversely, dropping the interest rates will encourage banks to borrow money and therefore invest more freely.[6] This interest rate is used as a regulatory tool to control how freely the U.S. economy operates.

By setting a higher discount rate the Federal Bank discourages banks from requisitioning funds from the Federal Bank, yet positions itself as a lender of last resort.

Comparison with LIBOR

Though the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the federal funds rate are concerned with the same action, i.e. interbank loans, they are distinct from one another, as follows:

  • The target federal funds rate is a target interest rate that is set by the FOMC for implementing U.S. monetary policies.
  • The (effective) federal funds rate is achieved through open market operations at the Domestic Trading Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which deals primarily in domestic securities (U.S. Treasury and federal agencies’ securities).[7]
  • LIBOR is based on a questionnaire where a selection of banks guess the rates at which they could borrow money from other banks.
  • LIBOR may or may not be used to derive business terms. It is not fixed beforehand and is not meant to have macroeconomic ramifications.[8]

Predictions by the market

Considering the wide impact a change in the federal funds rate can have on the value of the dollar and the amount of lending going to new economic activity, the Federal Reserve is closely watched by the market. The prices of Option contracts on fed funds futures (traded on the Chicago Board of Trade) can be used to infer the market’s expectations of future Fed policy changes. Based on CME Group 30-Day Fed Fund futures prices, which have long been used to express the market’s views on the likelihood of changes in U.S. monetary policy, the CME Group FedWatch tool allows market participants to view the probability of an upcoming Fed Rate hike. One set of such implied probabilities is published by the Cleveland Fed.

Historical rates

As of 14 June 2017 the target range for the Federal Funds Rate is 1.00-1.25%.[9] This represents the fourth increase in the target rate since tightening began in December 2015.

The last full cycle of rate increases occurred between June 2004 and June 2006 as rates steadily rose from 1.00% to 5.25%. The target rate remained at 5.25% for over a year, until the Federal Reserve began lowering rates in September 2007. The last cycle of easing monetary policy through the rate was conducted from September 2007 to December 2008 as the target rate fell from 5.25% to a range of 0.00-0.25%. Between December 2008 and December 2015 the target rate remained at 0.00-0.25%, the lowest rate in the Federal Reserve’s history, as a reaction to the Financial crisis of 2007–2008 and its aftermath. According to Jack A. Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, one reason for this unprecedented move of having a range, rather than a specific rate, was because a rate of 0% could have had problematic implications for money market funds, whose fees could then outpace yields.[10]

Federal funds rate history and recessions.jpg

Explanation of federal funds rate decisions

When the Federal Open Market Committee wishes to reduce interest rates they will increase the supply of money by buying government securities. When additional supply is added and everything else remains constant, price normally falls. The price here is the interest rate (cost of money) and specifically refers to the Federal Funds Rate. Conversely, when the Committee wishes to increase the Fed Funds Rate, they will instruct the Desk Manager to sell government securities, thereby taking the money they earn on the proceeds of those sales out of circulation and reducing the money supply. When supply is taken away and everything else remains constant, price (or in this case interest rates) will normally rise.[11]

The Federal Reserve has responded to a potential slow-down by lowering the target federal funds rate during recessions and other periods of lower growth. In fact, the Committee’s lowering has recently predated recessions,[12] in order to stimulate the economy and cushion the fall. Reducing the Fed Funds Rate makes money cheaper, allowing an influx of credit into the economy through all types of loans.

The charts linked below show the relation between S&P 500 and interest rates.

  • July 13, 1990 — Sept 4, 1992: 8.00%–3.00% (Includes 1990–1991 recession)[13][14]
  • Feb 1, 1995 — Nov 17, 1998: 6.00–4.75 [15][16][17]
  • May 16, 2000 — June 25, 2003: 6.50–1.00 (Includes 2001 recession)[18][19][20]
  • June 29, 2006 — (Oct. 29 2008): 5.25–1.00[21]
  • Dec 16, 2008 — 0.0–0.25[22]
  • Dec 16, 2015 — 0.25-0.50[23]
  • Dec 14, 2016 — 0.50-0.75[24]
  • Mar 15, 2017 — 0.75-1.00[25]
  • Jun 14, 2017 — 1.00-1.25[26]
  • Dec 13, 2017 — 1.25-1.50[27]

Bill Gross of PIMCO suggested that in the prior 15 years ending in 2007, in each instance where the fed funds rate was higher than the nominal GDP growth rate, assets such as stocks and/or housing fell.[28]

International effects

A low federal funds rate makes investments in developing countries such as China or Mexico more attractive. A high federal funds rate makes investments in other countries less attractive. The long period of a very low federal funds rate from 2009 forward resulted in an increase in investment in developing countries. As the United States began to return to a higher rate in 2013 investments in the United States became more attractive and the rate of investment in developing countries began to fall. The rate also affects the value of currency, a higher rate increasing the value of the U.S. dollar and decreasing the value of currencies such as the Mexican peso.[29]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ “Fedpoints: Federal Funds”Federal Reserve Bank of New York. August 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  2. Jump up^ “The Implementation of Monetary Policy”. The Federal Reserve System: Purposes & Functions (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Federal Reserve Board. 24 August 2011. p. 4. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  3. Jump up^ “Monetary Policy, Open Market Operations”. Federal Reserve Bank. 2008-01-30. Archived from the original on 2001-04-13. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
  4. Jump up^ “Reserve Requirements”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  5. Jump up^ Stefan Homburg (2017) A Study in Monetary Macroeconomics, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-880753-7.
  6. Jump up^ “Fed funds rate”. Bankrate, Inc. March 2016.
  7. Jump up^ Cheryl L. Edwards (November 1997). Gerard Sinzdak. “Open Market Operations in the 1990s” (PDF). Federal Reserve Bulletin (PDF).
  8. Jump up^ “BBA LIBOR – Frequently asked questions”. British Bankers’ Association. March 21, 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-02-16.
  9. Jump up^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement” (Press release). Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. 2017-06-14. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  10. Jump up^ “4:56 p.m. US-Closing Stocks”. Associated Press. December 16, 2008. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012.
  11. Jump up^ David Waring (2008-02-19). “An Explanation of How The Fed Moves Interest Rates”. InformedTrades.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-05. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  12. Jump up^ “Historical Changes of the Target Federal Funds and Discount Rates, 1971 to present”. New York Federal Reserve Branch. February 19, 2010. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008.
  13. Jump up^ “$SPX 1990-06-12 1992-10-04 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  14. Jump up^ “$SPX 1992-08-04 1995-03-01 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  15. Jump up^ “$SPX 1995-01-01 1997-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  16. Jump up^ “$SPX 1996-12-01 1998-10-17 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  17. Jump up^ “$SPX 1998-09-17 2000-06-16 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  18. Jump up^ “$SPX 2000-04-16 2002-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  19. Jump up^ “$SPX 2002-01-01 2003-07-25 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  20. Jump up^ “$SPX 2003-06-25 2006-06-29 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  21. Jump up^ “$SPX 2006-06-29 2008-06-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  22. Jump up^ “Press Release”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2008.
  23. Jump up^ “Open Market Operations”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  24. Jump up^ “Decisions Regarding Monetary Policy Implementation”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. Archived from the original on 2016-12-15.
  25. Jump up^ Cox, Jeff (2017-03-15). “Fed raises rates at March meeting”CNBC. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  26. Jump up^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. June 14, 2017.
  27. Jump up^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 13, 2017.
  28. Jump up^ Shaw, Richard (January 7, 2007). “The Bond Yield Curve as an Economic Crystal Ball”. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  29. Jump up^ Peter S. Goodman, Keith Bradsher and Neil Gough (March 16, 2017). “The Fed Acts. Workers in Mexico and Merchants in Malaysia Suffer”The New York Times. Retrieved March 18,2017Rising interest rates in the United States are driving money out of many developing countries, straining governments and pinching consumers around the globe.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_funds_rate

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Stock market returns and economic forecasts are being distorted by a few big myths that are likely to be proven wrong in the near future. It is widely believed that the American economy has fully recovered and has reached escape velocity where it will be able to sustain momentum without stimulus. This belief has led the majority of forecasters to conclude that the Federal Reserve will begin raising rates this year and will continue hiking through the end of 2016. At the same time they believe that foreign central banks will fight slowing growth abroad with unlimited U.S. style quantitative easing, thereby pushing the U.S. dollar to new heights, and gold and oil to new lows. Their conclusion: U.S. stock markets will continue to lead the world. But what if these assumptions are dead wrong? What if the signs of growth were really just the direct result of Fed stimulus, which will disappear if the Fed raises rates? Recent economic data has been so dismal that savvy economists are drawing parallels with 2008, the year of the last crash. What if it’s not just the weather? If the Fed shocks the markets by keeping rates at zero for far longer than expected, the markets will unwind trades based on these false assumptions. This is where Peter Schiff and Euro Pacific Capital have ideas that you need to hear. Peter Schiff is a world renown investor and author who has made his reputation by seeing things that few other analysts can. He sees huge problems ahead for the U.S. economy and potentially a reversal of the U.S. dollar rally of the past year. He will discuss the inability for the Fed to dispose of its gargantuan $4 trillion balance sheet without sparking a financial collapse. He will also discuss opportunities in foreign, non-dollar, and precious metals investing. Ignore his advice at your own peril.

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Fed officials fear financial market ‘imbalances’ and possibility of ‘sharp reversal’ in prices

  • Minutes from the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 Federal Open Market Committee meeting indicate some worry about rising financial markets.
  • The meeting minutes also included a discussion about possibly changing the central bank’s approach to addressing inflation.

Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Fed: Rate increase likely warrented soon

Federal Reserve officials expressed largely optimistic views of economic growth at their most recent meeting but also started to worry that financial market prices are getting out of hand and posing a danger to the economy.

Minutes from the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 Federal Open Market Committee meeting indicate members with almost universally positive views on growth — the labor market, consumer spending and manufacturing all were showing solid gains. While there were disagreements on the pace of inflation, and even a discussion about changing the Fed’s approach to price stability, the sentiment otherwise was largely positive.

Moreover, they said the picture could get even better if Congress lowers corporate taxes as part of the reform plan making its way through the Senate.

“In their discussion of the economic situation and the outlook, meeting participants agreed that information received since the FOMC met in September indicated that the labor market had continued to strengthen and that economic activity had been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions,” the minutes stated.

However, when it came to evaluating market conditions, the talk took a more cautious tone.

Stocks have been on a tear throughout 2017, setting a series of record highs and adding trillions in value. That’s come both on the heels of stronger corporate earnings and hopes that the tax reform plan, which would take the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, becomes a reality.

Some members feared what would happen if the market suddenly took a hit.

“In light of elevated asset valuations and low financial market volatility, several participants expressed concerns about a potential buildup of financial imbalances,” the minutes said. “They worried that a sharp reversal in asset prices could have damaging effects on the economy.”

Concerns about the surge in stocks are not new at the Fed, but most officials have downplayed the idea that the market is in a bubble. Wall Street also has been at odds about the market, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch warning of a market top coming in 2018 though Goldman Sachs has predicted another big year.

Some members said the bull market was justified by a continued low “neutral” rate of interest that is neither overly restrictive nor accommodative to growth.

And there also was mention of “regulatory changes” that had helped “an appreciable strengthening of capital and liquidity positions in the financial sector over recent years,” which made the system less prone to shocks or sudden market drops.

President Donald Trump has taken a three-pronged approach to economic growth and frequently boasts of the stock market gains. In addition to tax reform, he has cut business regulations and is expected in the coming months to unveil a plan to boost infrastructure spending.

During the year, economic growth has increased, with GDP gaining 3.1 percent and 3 percent the past two quarters and on track to be around the same level in the fourth quarter.

FOMC members noted multiple areas of positive developments. The labor market is “operating at or above full employment,” GDP is likely to “grow at a pace exceeding that of potential output,” and even inflation has been slowed only by “temporary or idiosyncratic factors.”

But on inflation, the consensus was weaker, with some members disagreeing with the notion that all the softness was due to issues that would fade.

Other members, though, thought the Fed could be in danger of waiting too long for inflation to rise and could risk further instability in the financial markets. Several members said the upcoming data would be critical in determining whether they felt the Fed was close to meeting its 2 percent inflation goal.

A “couple” members even suggested the Fed tweak its approach to inflation, moving away from the 2 percent goal and toward a more nebulous “gradually rising path” in prices instead.

As a matter of policy, the committee chose not to hike rates at the meeting, as expected, but members indicated that gradual rate hikes are likely in the future. Markets are assigning a nearly 100 percent probability to a December rate hike, though only factoring in one or two so far for 2018.

Also at the meeting, members discussed the well-publicized reduction of the Fed’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet. Under the plan, the central bank is letting a capped level of proceeds from the bonds it owns run off each month. Fed officials agreed the program thus far has run smoothly.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/22/fomc-minutes–fed-officials-fear-market-imbalances-possible-effects-of-sharp-reversal-in-prices.html

It’s begun: Fed’s unwinding of its epic balance sheet officially showing up in the data

  • Thursday’s Federal Reserve report on its portfolio holdings shows a near $6 billion decline in its holdings of Treasury securities.
  • That’s the biggest outright weekly decline since 2012.

Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill November 17, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee | Getty Images
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill November 17, 2016 in Washington, DC.

The Fed’s campaign to reduce its $4.4 trillion balance sheet is now taking effect and showing up in the data.

Thursday’s Federal Reserve report on its portfolio holdings shows a near $6 billion decline in its holdings of Treasury securities. It’s the biggest outright weekly decline since 2012.

It’s just the leading edge of more to come as the Fed gradually ramps up its effort to “normalize” its balance sheet. The Fed hasn’t explicitly said what level it’s aiming for, only that it will ramp up its sales of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities to a point where it eventually is reducing them at a clip of $50 billion a month.

The decline in mortgage-backed securities, which is already taking place, should begin showing up in the data next month.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/03/its-begun-feds-unwinding-of-its-epic-balance-sheet-officially-showing-up-in-the-data.html

 

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Steve Bannon: What Built America Was Economic Nationalism (60 Minutes Interview)

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Bank of America sees end of bull market coming in 2018: Here’s how it will happen

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicts “capitulation” for the bull market in 2018, with the S&P 500 peaking at 2,863.
  • Strategist Michael Hartnett said the firm is prepared to “downgrade risk aggressively” once it sees the triggers in place.
  • A shift from passive to active in investor allocations would be one of the signs that the rally is about over.

A pedestrian passes in front of a statue of a bull in the Wall Street area in New York City.

Doug Kantor | AFP | Getty Images

A pedestrian passes in front of a statue of a bull in the Wall Street area in New York City.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch sees a scary good news-bad news scenario unfolding in 2018: A solid push higher in the first half followed by all sorts of potential trouble after.

The S&P 500 would peak out around 2,863 in the scenario, or about 11 percent higher than Monday’s close. Bond yields are expected to rise, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury note hitting 2.75 percent as global GDP growth reaches 3.8 percent.

That setting assumes three things: the “last vestiges” of stimulus from the Fed and other central banks, the passage of tax reform in Congress, and “full investor capitulation into risk assets” on better-than-expected corporate earnings.

After that, though, things get considerably sketchier as the second-longest bull market in history runs into trouble.

Real battle for leadership in this market: State Street's Michael Arone

Real battle for leadership in this market: State Street’s Michael Arone  

“We believe the air in risk assets is getting thinner and thinner, but the Big Top in price is still ahead of us,” Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at BofAML, said in a report for clients. “We will downgrade risk aggressively once we see excess positioning, profits and policy.”

Indicators that market positioning has gotten out of hand and signaling a fall would include active funds attracting more money than passive (there’s a $476 billion gap this year in favor of passive), and portfolio allocation for equities exceeding 63 percent, a level currently at 61 percent.

Hartnett pointed out that the current bull will be the longest in history if it continues to Aug. 22, 2018, while the outperformance of stocks versus bonds, at seven years running, would be the longest streak since 1929.

The forecast is predicated on three core beliefs: The first is the aforementioned capitulation; the second an expectation of “peak positioning, profits and policy” that “will engender peak asset price returns” and a low in volatility; and, finally, an expectation that higher inflation and corporate debt along with tighter monetary policy will roil the corporate bond market, a critical prong of the risk asset rally.

“The game changer is wage inflation, which on our forecasts is likely to become more visible,” said Hartnett, who projects that salaries could rise 3.5 percent and push the consumer price index up 2.5 percent and convince the Fed that it’s close to meeting its 2 percent inflation goal.

However, that cuts both ways: Should wage inflation again fail to materialize, Hartnett said “the era of excess liquidity” continues, bond yields would fall and the Nasdaq tech barometer would go “exponential.” That would signal a bubble that might not end until 2019, when a bear market would be triggered by “hostile Fed hiking, Occupy Silicon Valley and War on Inequality politics.”

“Big Top” trades favor technology, homebuilders, Japanese banks and the dollar against the Swiss franc.

BofAML’s forecast comes as Goldman Sachs released a price target of 2,850 for the S&P 500, after a comparatively bearish 2016 call for 2,400 that was passed six months ago.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/21/bank-of-america-bull-market-ending-in-2018-how-it-will-happen.html

Will Donald Trump be Herbert Hoover all over again?


President-elect Donald Trump. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
 Opinion writer November 11, 2016

As a Donald Trump victory became clear Tuesday night, the ghost of Herbert Hoover paid a visit to Trump’s election night party in New York.

In the Fox News coverage playing on screens in the ballroom, Megyn Kelly turned to Karl Rove. “It didn’t happen under Reagan or the Bushes. When was the last time a Republican president had a Republican Congress?”

“1928,” Rove answered.

“Incredible,” Kelly said.

Yes, quite: Republicans actually had unified control for four years under George W. Bush, and for two years under Dwight Eisenhower, as Rove amended when I followed up with him.

Expecting a celebration, The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote a letter to his daughter to help her cope with Hillary Clinton’s electoral loss.

But the 1928 comparison is instructive. It’s the last time a Republican president enjoyed anything like the majority Trump will have, particularly in the House.

And how did that work out for them?

Hoover took over in a time of general prosperity but stagnant wages and vast income inequality. Populists in Congress proposed dramatic increases in tariffs to help the struggling agricultural sector, the equivalent of today’s beleaguered blue-collar workers.

The proposal divided Republicans in Congress and Hoover before they produced the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, setting off retaliation, freezing international trade, contributing to the Great Depression and accelerating a ruinous cycle of nationalism around the world.

Hoover’s ghost should haunt the GOP right now. A populist, protectionist president has come to power at a time of long-depressed wages and vast inequality. He threatens to implement tariffs of 45 percent against China and 35 percent against Mexico, and he’s about to collide with free-traders and pro-business interests in his own party.

If they jettison Trump’s agenda and proceed with business as usual, they risk inflaming Trump’s already-furious followers. If they do what Trump has promised, there will be chaos as they pursue what amounts to a mission impossible: enacting a huge tax cut, making enormous spending increases on infrastructure and the military and cutting the debt in half — all without touching Social Security and Medicare.

And they’ll be without a mutual foil to unite them. President Obama will be out of office, Hillary Clinton defeated, Harry Reid retired. With unified control, Republicans now own every issue — health care, the economy, national security — and Democrats, who narrowly won the popular vote and are supported by exit polls showing tepid support for many of Trump’s policy priorities, have little incentive to cooperate.

 Some early signs show Trump won’t hesitate to disappoint supporters, including his statement Friday that, after talking with Obama, he no longer favors repealing all of Obamacare.

Drain the swamp? Trump has packed his transition team with a who’s who of the K Street lobbying trade, according to Politico. Among those in charge of staffing the new administration are people who have lobbied for or represented Altria, Visa, Anthem, Coca-Cola, General Electric, HSBC, Pfizer, PhRMA, United Airlines, Southern Company, Dow Chemical, Rosemont Copper Company, Boeing, Duke Energy and Nucor.

My colleague Catherine Ho reports that Trump’s win “is likely to be a boon to the lobbying business,” as businesses try to counteract the uncertainty with more lobbyists.

The Trump-proposed ban on Muslims entering the country? As The Post’s Jose A. DelReal reported, the Trump campaign removed that policy’s web page Thursday, then restored it after the reporter’s inquiries.

That wall on the Mexican border? “Going to take a while,” Trump lieutenant Rudy Giuliani said Thursday, suggesting “he can do it by executive order by just reprogramming money within the immigration service.”

“Reprogramming” money away from . . . deportation? Truly building the wall would cost hundreds of billions of dollars and require approval from Congress.

The “lock her up” crowd may also be disappointed. Chris Christie said “politics are over now.”

On that same question, however, Giuliani said prosecuting Clinton would be “a presidential decision” — an extraordinary departure from the American tradition of removing the president from prosecutorial decisions, particularly since President Nixon tried to block the Justice Department’s Watergate probe in 1973.

The Trump transition sounded another Nixonian note when Trump surrogate Omarosa Manigault told a conservative website that Trump is keeping an enemies list.

The conflicting signals suggest Trump himself hasn’t settled on his course. His gracious victory speech was about reaching out to the opposition, but Breitbart News, whose once and future leader ran the campaign, has been whipping up racial fears (“Shock Video Shows White Man Viciously Beaten in Chicago After Election”).

On Thursday night, the president-elect tweeted that “professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!” Friday morning he reconsidered: “Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!”

Trump’s internal tension is understandable. He can leave supporters disillusioned, or he can keep his promises — and send us all back to 1928.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/will-donald-trump-be-herbert-hoover-all-over-again/2016/11/11/8e533600-a820-11e6-8042-f4d111c862d1_story.html?utm_term=.15c6a091b1f6

Jamie Dimon says he would bet on Trump being a one-term president

  • The JPMorgan CEO said he’d bet on Trump being a one-term president.
  • That said, he thinks a “pro-free enterprise” agenda for jobs and economic growth.
  • Dimon has described himself as “barely” a Democrat, but has been more active on range of business and economic issues.

Jamie Dimon speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.

David A. Grogan | CNBC
Jamie Dimon speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, on Wednesday said he expects to see a new U.S. president in 2021 and advised Democrats to come up with a “pro-free enterprise” agenda for jobs and economic growth.

Asked at a luncheon hosted by The Economic Club of Chicago how many years President Donald Trump will be in office, Dimon said, “If I had to bet, I’d bet three and half. But the Democrats have to come up with a reasonable candidate … or Trump will win again” and have second four-year term.

Dimon, who in the past has described himself as “barely” a Democrat, has been going to Washington more often since the November 2016 election of Trump to lobby lawmakers on range of business and economic issues, including changes in corporate taxes, immigration policies and mortgage finance.

Jamie Dimon: There's a huge vaccuum if business isn't involved in policy

Jamie Dimon: There’s a huge vacuum if business isn’t involved in policy  

In December, Dimon became chairman of the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs who take their views to government policy makers.

Dimon, 61, touched briefly on range of topics, from Americas political climate and tax system to discrimination in the workplace and against black people.

He also commented on foreign affairs, saying, for example, “We should never be rude to a neighbor like Mexico.”

He also cautioned that the political weakness of German Chancellor Angela Merkel is bad for all of us. Talks on forming a governing coalition including Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union collapsed earlier this week, casting doubt on her future after 12 years in power.

Dimon is in his 12th year as CEO of JPMorgan, which is the biggest bank in the U.S. by assets

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/22/jamie-dimon-says-he-would-bet-on-trump-being-a-one-term-president.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 994, Story 1: President Trump Nominates Fed Governor Jerome Powell To Chair Federal Reserve Board of Governors — Expect Continuation of Interventionist Easy Monetary Policy — More Money Creation or Quantitative Easing When Economy Enters Next Recession in 2018-2019 — Videos — Part 1 of 2 — Story 2: No Tax Reform By Changing From Income Tax System to Broad Based Consumption Tax — The FairTax or Fair Tax Less — No Middle Class Tax Relief From Payroll Taxes — No Real Cuts in Federal Spending As Budget Deficits Rise with Rising National Debt and Unfunded Liabilities — Spending Addiction Disorder — Government Obesity — Crash Diet of Balanced Budgets Required — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Nominates Fed Governor Jerome Powell To Chair Federal Reserve Board of Governors — Expect Continuation of Interventionist Easy Monetary Policy — More Money Creation or Quantitative Easing When Economy Enters Next Recession in 2018-2019 — Videos

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Ron Paul’s Texas Straight Talk 10/23/17: Trump’s Fed Picks? More of the Same!

Bill Gross on Fed Chair Candidates, Bonds, U.S. Deficit

Bill Gross on the Future of Asset Management and the Fed

Who is Jerome Powell?

Trump leaning toward Jerome Powell for Fed Chair: sources

The Economic Club of New York Event – Jerome Powell

Published on Jun 28, 2017
Thursday June 1, 2017 Jerome Powell Governor, Federal Reserve System

Powell Is a Force at the Federal Reserve, Says Wallace

KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Jerome H. Powell

Trump Said to Be Leaning Toward Powell for Fed Chair

Powell, Taylor Said to Be Leading Fed Chair Choices

Trump: Fed’s a very important position

Published on Oct 23, 2017
President Donald Trump on tech regulations, the Federal Reserve, NAFTA, the outlook for U.S. economic growth and defense spending.

Alan Greenspan Is ‘Nervous’ Bond Prices Are Too High

Published on Aug 1, 2016
July 28 — Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman and founder of Greenspan Associates, discusses nervousness over bond prices and moving into currencies to counter negative interest rates, as well as dealing with uncertainties in the global economy. He speaks with Bloomberg’s Alix Steel on “Bloomberg ‹GO›.”

Greenspan: You Can’t Fix U.S. Economy Until You Fix Entitlements

Published on Dec 14, 2016
Dec.13 — Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan discusses his outlook for productivity and U.S. economic growth. He speaks with Bloomberg’s David Westin.

Who will be next Fed chair?

BVTV: The race to be next Fed chair

The Men Who Will Soon Run The Federal Reserve – What You Need To Know

A Powell, Taylor Fed Hawkish to Markets, Says Zentner

What John Taylor Would Bring to the Federal Reserve

Published on Oct 17, 2017
Oct.17 — David Riley, head of credit strategy at Bluebay Asset Management, and Ed Perks, chief investment officer at Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions, examine what John Taylor would offer as Federal Reserve Chairman. They speak on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas.”

Interview with Professor John Taylor

The Fed Should Raise Rates to Help the Economy – John Taylor

Published on Nov 13, 2015

 The Federal Reserve should return to conventional monetary policy as soon as possible as higher interest rates would be beneficial to the U.S. economy, said noted economist John Taylor of Stanford University. Taylor spoke with TheStreet during a conference called ‘Rethinking Monetary Policy,’ which was held at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. Thursday. ‘To me the rethinking in some sense is going back and seeing why things worked well when they did in the ‘80s and ’90s until this period,’ said Taylor. ‘Rethinking means adapting some of the things that we forgot.’ Taylor argues that unconventional Fed policy, which was enacted in response to the financial crisis, has in some ways been detrimental. ‘The world has suffered in a way from being off track, from these very unusual policies. And so fixing that, getting back to where I think the Fed wants to go, would be an improvement,’ explained Taylor. ‘Just globally speaking, it’s not been a very successful decade,’ he added. Taylor argues for a rules-based policy system for Central Banks, saying it would lead to less volatility in policy making. TheStreet’s Rhonda Schaffler reports.

John B. Taylor’s Keynote Address: Monetary Rules for a Post-Crisis World

Monetary Policy Based on the Taylor Rule

Debate on the “Neutral” Interest Rate: Opening Presentations

Debate on the “Neutral” Interest Rate: John Taylor’s Take

Debate on the “Neutral” Interest Rate: Audience Q&A

A Powell, Taylor Fed Hawkish to Markets, Says Zentner

5 Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity: John B. Taylor

n his new book, First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity, Stanford University professor of economics John B. Taylor, details the not-so-secret ingredients to rebuilding American’s economic future: predictable policy, rule of law, strong incentives, reliance on markets, and a clearly limited role for government. “America can be great again, economically speaking,” Taylor explains, “it’s just more recently where we’ve gone off track.” Taylor sat down with Reason Magazine Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward to discuss his book, the principles that underlie America’s economic supremacy and what’s gone wrong over the past decade. Taylor is the Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University and the George Shultz Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He was Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs from 2001 to 2005. His previous books include Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis.

John B. Taylor “How Government Interventions Caused the Financial Crisis.”

Author John B. Taylor discusses his book “Getting Off Track — How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis,” with Reason.tv’s Michael C. Moynihan.

Is the Fed Making the Crisis Worse? – John B. Taylor

Uncommon Knowledge with John B. Taylor

Economist Lee Says Taylor Can Be One of Best Fed Chairs

The Fed Should Raise Rates to Help the Economy – John Taylor

How to Think About the Federal Reserve – Peter Schiff

Exposing the Federal Reserve!

The Story of Your Enslavement

A War on Homelessness

The Owners of the Country

YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS – George Carlin

America is one big lie and you are a fool for believing in it.

Trump to Tap Jerome Powell as Next Fed Chairman

The president is expected to announce his decision Thursday

Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell spoke in Washington on Oct. 3. He has been on the board of governors since 2012.
Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell spoke in Washington on Oct. 3. He has been on the board of governors since 2012. PHOTO:JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS

If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Powell would succeed Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, the central bank’s first female leader, whose four-year term as Fed chief expires in early February.

In his five years at the Fed, Mr. Powell has been a reliable ally of Ms. Yellen and would likely continue the Fed’s current cautious approach to reversing the central bank’s crisis-era stimulus policies as the economy expands.

That would mean gradually raising short-term interest rates in quarter-percentage-point steps through 2020 while slowly shrinking the Fed’s $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities it purchased to lower long-term rates.

Mr. Powell’s nomination would mark the first time in nearly four decades that a new president hasn’t asked the serving Fed leader to stay on for another term, even though that person was nominated by a president of a different party. The last time a first-term president didn’t do that was in 1978, when President Jimmy Carter chose G. William Miller to succeed Arthur Burns.

The president spoke with Mr. Powell on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter who couldn’t describe what they discussed.

Mr. Trump had settled on Mr. Powell by Saturday, but people familiar with the process had cautioned that he could change his mind. The president plans to formally announce the decision Thursday before he leaves for a trip to Asia on Friday.

Reached by phone Wednesday, both Mr. Powell and Ms. Yellen declined to comment. A Fed spokeswoman also declined to comment.

Ms. Yellen was one of five finalists for the position, along with Stanford University economics professor John Taylor, former Fed governor Kevin Warsh and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

Mr. Taylor and Mr. Warsh didn’t respond to requests seeking comment Wednesday. Mr. Cohn’s spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Trump said in a video last week that he had “somebody very specific in mind” for the job. “It will be a person who hopefully will do a fantastic job,” Mr. Trump said in a video posted to Instagram, adding, “I think everybody will be very impressed.”

Fed officials began raising their benchmark federal-funds rate in December 2015 after holding it near zero for seven years following the financial crisis. They voted in June to lift rates to a range between 1% and 1.25% and in October started the process of slowly shrinking the Fed’s bond portfolio.

FED SPEECH ANALYZER

“The economy is as close to our assigned goals as it has been for many years,” Mr. Powell said in June. If it continues growing as expected, “I would view it as appropriate to continue to gradually raise rates.”

Officials have penciled in one more rate increase this year. But they indicated in September such increases are likely to end at a lower point than they had previously projected—at a longer-run level of around 2.75%—considerably lower than where officials have stopped raising rates in the past.

Mr. Trump told The Wall Street Journal in July, “I’d like to see rates stay low.”

The Fed on Wednesday left short-term interest rates unchanged, but signaled it would consider lifting them before year’s end amid signs the economy is gaining momentum.

Mr. Powell has never dissented on a Fed monetary or regulatory policy vote and in speeches hasn’t deviated far from the board’s consensus.

Where he could lead a shift is on regulatory policy. He has advocated loosening some of the financial rules adopted by the Fed and other agencies since the crisis, a position that meshes with Mr. Trump’s deregulatory agenda. Mr. Powell has suggested softening the Volcker rule barring banks from using their own money to make risky bets and easing some bank stress tests.

He also has endorsed reviewing some of the supervisory duties imposed on banks’ boards of directors to prevent them from being burdened with “an ever-increasing checklist.”

“More regulation is not the best answer to every problem,” Mr. Powell said in a speech in early October.

How Fed Chairs Have Fared

A look at various Fed regimes, and how they used interest rates to manage inflation, growth and the economy

*Seasonally adjusted †Change from a year earlier in the price index for personal-consumption expenditures

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

“To some extent he offers Trump the best of both worlds. You get broadly speaking continuity of Yellen’s careful and relatively dovish approach to monetary policy but with somebody who is a card-carrying Republican and who is significantly more inclined to revisit some of the postcrisis regulations,” said Krishna Guha, vice chairman at Evercore ISI and a former New York Fed official.

Karen Petrou, managing partner of the financial-services consulting firm Federal Financial Analytics, said Mr. Powell’s recent remarks on regulation “were certainly much more flexible than [Ms. Yellen] has been.”

Mr. Powell, a lawyer, would be the first Fed leader in three decades without a Ph.D. in economics. Before joining the Fed board, Mr. Powell worked as an investment banker in New York City, as Treasury undersecretary for financial institutions in the George H.W. Bush administration, as a partner at the Carlyle Group and as a scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

That background could serve him well, said Aaron Klein, an economic studies fellow at the Brookings Institution and director of the Center on Regulation and Markets.

“The Federal Reserve’s mandate has grown significantly since the financial crisis,” he said. “With a broader mandate, one should expect broader and more diverse backgrounds of potential good fits for a chair.”

“He would represent continuity of the Fed system and culture but a break from the predominance of monetary policy as the core background of the chair,” Mr. Klein said.

The decision marks the culmination of an unusually public and drawn-out search for one of the top economic policy-making jobs in the world.

Mr. Trump upended the usually staid selection process by openly weighing the pros and cons of various candidates and asking lawmakers, businesspeople and media personalities for their input.

Mr. Trump polled GOP senators last month on their preferred choice at a lunch on Capitol Hill, and said he was still considering “two, and maybe three” people for the job.

Mr. Trump has other opportunities to reshape the central bank. Randal Quarles, his first nominee to the Fed’s powerful seven-member board of governors, took office in October. Three other seats remain open.

Nominations for all board positions, including chairman and vice chairman, are subject to Senate confirmation.

Mr. Powell should have little trouble winning Senate approval, but his views could clash with those of some Republican senators who have criticized him for supporting the Fed’s easy-money and postcrisis regulatory policies.

He won confirmation to the Fed with bipartisan support in the Senate twice before: to fill an unfinished governor’s term in 2012 and for a full term in 2014. Some Republicans have suggested he could face difficult questions from his own side of the aisle. “I think we should move in a different direction,” from current Fed policies, Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) said last month about the possibility of a Powell nomination.

Write to Kate Davidson at kate.davidson@wsj.com, Peter Nicholas at

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-to-tap-feds-jerome-powell-for-fed-chairman-1509568166

Taylor rule

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In economics, a Taylor rule is a reduced form approximation of the responsiveness of the nominal interest rate, as set by the central bank, to changes in inflationoutput, or other economic conditions. In particular, the rule describes how, for each one-percent increase in inflation, the central bank tends to raise the nominal interest rate by more than one percentage point. This aspect of the rule is often called the Taylor principle. Although such rules may serve as concise, descriptive proxies for central bank policy, and are not explicitly proscriptively considered by central banks when setting nominal rates.

The rule was first proposed by John B. Taylor,[1] and simultaneously by Dale W. Henderson and Warwick McKibbin in 1993.[2] It is intended to foster price stability by systematically reducing uncertainty and increasing the credibility of future actions by the central bank. It may also avoid the inefficiencies of time inconsistency from the exercise of discretionary policy.[3] The Taylor rule synthesized, and provided a compromise between, competing schools of economics thought in a language devoid of rhetorical passion.[4] Although many issues remain unresolved and views still differ about how the Taylor rule can best be applied in practice, research shows that the rule has advanced the practice of central banking.[5]

As an equation

According to Taylor’s original version of the rule, the nominal interest rate should respond to divergences of actual inflation rates from target inflation rates and of actual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from potential GDP:

{\displaystyle i_{t}=\pi _{t}+r_{t}^{*}+a_{\pi }(\pi _{t}-\pi _{t}^{*})+a_{y}(y_{t}-{\bar {y}}_{t}).}i_{t}=\pi _{t}+r_{t}^{*}+a_{\pi }(\pi _{t}-\pi _{t}^{*})+a_{y}(y_{t}-{\bar y}_{t}).

In this equation, {\displaystyle \,i_{t}\,}\,i_{t}\, is the target short-term nominal interest rate (e.g. the federal funds rate in the US, the Bank of England base rate in the UK), {\displaystyle \,\pi _{t}\,}\,\pi _{t}\, is the rate of inflation as measured by the GDP deflator{\displaystyle \pi _{t}^{*}}\pi _{t}^{*} is the desired rate of inflation, {\displaystyle r_{t}^{*}}r_{t}^{*} is the assumed equilibrium real interest rate, {\displaystyle \,y_{t}\,}\,y_{t}\, is the logarithm of real GDP, and {\displaystyle {\bar {y}}_{t}}{\bar y}_{t} is the logarithm of potential output, as determined by a linear trend.

In this equation, both {\displaystyle a_{\pi }}a_{{\pi }} and {\displaystyle a_{y}}a_{y} should be positive (as a rough rule of thumb, Taylor’s 1993 paper proposed setting {\displaystyle a_{\pi }=a_{y}=0.5}a_{{\pi }}=a_{y}=0.5).[6] That is, the rule “recommends” a relatively high interest rate (a “tight” monetary policy) when inflation is above its target or when output is above its full-employment level, in order to reduce inflationary pressure. It recommends a relatively low interest rate (“easy” monetary policy) in the opposite situation, to stimulate output. Sometimes monetary policy goals may conflict, as in the case of stagflation, when inflation is above its target while output is below full employment. In such a situation, a Taylor rule specifies the relative weights given to reducing inflation versus increasing output.

The Taylor principle

By specifying {\displaystyle a_{\pi }>0}a_{{\pi }}>0, the Taylor rule says that an increase in inflation by one percentage point should prompt the central bank to raise the nominal interest rate by more than one percentage point (specifically, by {\displaystyle 1+a_{\pi }}1+a_{{\pi }}, the sum of the two coefficients on {\displaystyle \pi _{t}}\pi _{t} in the equation above). Since the real interest rate is (approximately) the nominal interest rate minus inflation, stipulating {\displaystyle a_{\pi }>0}a_{{\pi }}>0 implies that when inflation rises, the real interest rate should be increased. The idea that the real interest rate should be raised to cool the economy when inflation increases (requiring the nominal interest rate to increase more than inflation does) has sometimes been called the Taylor principle.[7]

Alternative versions of the rule

Effective federal funds rate and prescriptions from alternate versions of the Taylor Rule

While the Taylor principle has proved very influential, there is more debate about the other terms that should enter into the rule. According to some simple New Keynesian macroeconomic models, insofar as the central bank keeps inflation stable, the degree of fluctuation in output will be optimized (Blanchard and Gali call this property the ‘divine coincidence‘). In this case, the central bank does not need to take fluctuations in the output gap into account when setting interest rates (that is, it may optimally set {\displaystyle a_{y}=0}a_{y}=0.) On the other hand, other economists have proposed including additional terms in the Taylor rule to take into account financial conditions: for example, the interest rate might be raised when stock prices, housing prices, or interest rate spreads increase.

• Taylor Rule 1993 – the original definition by John Taylor with {\displaystyle a_{\pi }=a_{y}=0.5}{\displaystyle a_{\pi }=a_{y}=0.5}

• Taylor Rule 1999 – adapted and updated by John Taylor in a new research paper: {\displaystyle a_{\pi }=0.5,a_{y}\geq 0}{\displaystyle a_{\pi }=0.5,a_{y}\geq 0}

Empirical relevance

Although the Federal Reserve does not explicitly follow the Taylor rule, many analysts have argued that the rule provides a fairly accurate summary of US monetary policy under Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan.[8][9] Similar observations have been made about central banks in other developed economies, both in countries like Canada and New Zealand that have officially adopted inflation targeting rules, and in others like Germany where the Bundesbank‘s policy did not officially target the inflation rate.[10][11] This observation has been cited by ClaridaGalí, and Gertler as a reason why inflation had remained under control and the economy had been relatively stable (the so-called ‘Great Moderation‘) in most developed countries from the 1980s through the 2000s.[8] However, according to Taylor, the rule was not followed in part of the 2000s, possibly leading to the housing bubble.[12][13] Certain research has determined that some households form their expectations about the future path of interest rates, inflation, and unemployment in a way that is consistent with Taylor-type rules.[14]

Criticisms

Athanasios Orphanides (2003) claims that the Taylor rule can misguide policy makers since they face real-time data. He shows that the Taylor rule matches the US funds rate less perfectly when accounting for these informational limitations and that an activist policy following the Taylor rule would have resulted in an inferior macroeconomic performance during the Great Inflation of the seventies.[15]

In 2015, financial manager Bill Gross said the Taylor rule “must now be discarded into the trash bin of history”, in light of tepid GDP growth in the years after 2009.[16] Gross believed low interest rates were not the cure for decreased growth, but the source of the problem.

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (1993). “Discretion versus Policy Rules in Practice” (PDF). Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy39: 195–214. (The rule is introduced on page 202.)
  2. Jump up^ Henderson, D. W.; McKibbin, W. (1993). “A Comparison of Some Basic Monetary Policy Regimes for Open Economies: Implications of Different Degrees of Instrument Adjustment and Wage Persistence”. Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy39: 221–318. doi:10.1016/0167-2231(93)90011-K.
  3. Jump up^ Taylor, John (2012). First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Economic Prosperity. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. p. 126
  4. Jump up^ Kahn, George A.; Asso, Pier Francesco; Leeson, Robert (2007). “The Taylor Rule and the Transformation of Monetary Policy”. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Working Paper 07-11SSRN 1088466Freely accessible.
  5. Jump up^ Asso, Pier Francesco; Kahn, George A.; Leeson, Robert (2010). “The Taylor Rule and the Practice of Central Banking”. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Working Paper 10-05SSRN 1553978Freely accessible.
  6. Jump up^ Athanasios Orphanides (2008). “Taylor rules,” The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. v. 8, pp. 2000-2004, equation (7).Abstract.
  7. Jump up^ Davig, Troy; Leeper, Eric M. (2007). “Generalizing the Taylor Principle”. American Economic Review97 (3): 607–635. JSTOR 30035014doi:10.1257/aer.97.3.607.
  8. Jump up to:a b Clarida, Richard; Galí, Jordi; Gertler, Mark (2000). “Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Theory and Some Evidence”. Quarterly Journal of Economics115 (1): 147–180. JSTOR 2586937doi:10.1162/003355300554692.
  9. Jump up^ Lowenstein, Roger (2008-01-20). “The Education of Ben Bernanke”The New York Times.
  10. Jump up^ Bernanke, Ben; Mihov, Ilian (1997). “What Does the Bundesbank Target?”. European Economic Review41 (6): 1025–1053. doi:10.1016/S0014-2921(96)00056-6.
  11. Jump up^ Clarida, Richard; Gertler, Mark; Galí, Jordi (1998). “Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence”. European Economic Review42 (6): 1033–1067. doi:10.1016/S0014-2921(98)00016-6.
  12. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2008). “The Financial Crisis and the Policy Responses: An Empirical Analysis of What Went Wrong” (PDF).
  13. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2009). Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis. Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 0-8179-4971-2.
  14. Jump up^ Carvalho, Carlos; Nechio, Fernanda (2013). “Do People Understand Monetary Policy?”. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2012-01SSRN 1984321Freely accessible.
  15. Jump up^ Orphanides, A. (2003). “The Quest for Prosperity without Inflation”. Journal of Monetary Economics50 (3): 633–663. doi:10.1016/S0304-3932(03)00028-X.
  16. Jump up^ Bill Gross (July 30, 2015). “Gross: Low rates are the problem, not the solution”CNBC. Retrieved July 30, 2015.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_rule

Real interest rate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yields on inflation-indexed government bonds of selected countries and maturities.

The real interest rate is the rate of interest an investor, saver or lender receives (or expects to receive) after allowing for inflation. It can be described more formally by the Fisher equation, which states that the real interest rate is approximately the nominal interest rate minus the inflation rate.

If, for example, an investor were able to lock in a 5% interest rate for the coming year and anticipated a 2% rise in prices, they would expect to earn a real interest rate of 3%.[1] The expected real interest rate is not a single number, as different investors have different expectations of future inflation. Since the inflation rate over the course of a loan is not known initially, volatility in inflation represents a risk to both the lender and the borrower.

In the case of contracts stated in terms of the nominal interest rate, the real interest rate is known only at the end of the period of the loan, based on the realized inflation rate; this is called the ex-post real interest rate. Since the introduction of inflation-indexed bondsex-ante real interest rates have become observable.[2]

Risks

In economics and finance, an individual who lends money for repayment at a later point in time expects to be compensated for the time value of money, or not having the use of that money while it is lent. In addition, they will want to be compensated for the risks of having less purchasing power when the loan is repaid. These risks are systematic risks, regulatory risks and inflation risks. The first includes the possibility that the borrower will default or be unable to pay on the originally agreed upon terms, or that collateral backing the loan will prove to be less valuable than estimated. The second includes taxation and changes in the law which would prevent the lender from collecting on a loan or having to pay more in taxes on the amount repaid than originally estimated. The third takes into account that the money repaid may not have as much buying power from the perspective of the lender as the money originally lent, that is inflation, and may include fluctuations in the value of the currencies involved.

Nominal interest rates include all three risk factors, plus the time value of the money itself.
Real interest rates include only the systematic and regulatory risks and are meant to measure the time value of money.

The “real interest rate” in an economy is often considered to be the rate of return on a risk free investment, such as US Treasury notes, minus an index of inflation, such as the rate of change of the CPI or GDP deflator.

Fisher equation

The relation between real and nominal interest rates and the expected inflation rate is given by the Fisher equation

{\displaystyle 1+i=(1+r)(1+\pi _{e})}1+i=(1+r)(1+\pi _{e})

where

i = nominal interest rate;
r = real interest rate;
{\displaystyle \pi _{e}}\pi _{e} = expected inflation rate.

For example, if somebody lends $1000 for a year at 10%, and receives $1100 back at the end of the year, this represents a 10% increase in her purchasing power if prices for the average goods and services that she buys are unchanged from what they were at the beginning of the year. However, if the prices of the food, clothing, housing, and other things that she wishes to purchase have increased 25% over this period, she has in fact suffered a real loss of about 15% in her purchasing power. (Notice that the approximation here is a bit rough; since 1.1/1.25 = 0.88 = 1 – 0.12, the actual loss of purchasing power is exactly 12%.

Variations in inflation

The inflation rate will not be known in advance. People often base their expectation of future inflation on an average of inflation rates in the past, but this gives rise to errors. The real interest rate ex-post may turn out to be quite different from the real interest rate (ex-ante real interest rate) that was expected in advance. Borrowers hope to repay in cheaper money in the future, while lenders hope to collect on more expensive money. When inflation and currency risks are underestimated by lenders, then they will suffer a net reduction in buying power.

The complexity increases for bonds issued for a long term, where the average inflation rate over the term of the loan may be subject to a great deal of uncertainty. In response to this, many governments have issued real return bonds, also known as inflation-indexed bonds, in which the principal value and coupon rises each year with the rate of inflation, with the result that the interest rate on the bond approximates a real interest rate. (E.g., the three-month indexation lag of TIPS can result in a divergence of as much as 0.042% from the real interest rate, according to research by Grishchenko and Huang.[3]) In the US, Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) are issued by the US Treasury.

The expected real interest rate can vary considerably from year to year. The real interest rate on short term loans is strongly influenced by the monetary policy of central banks. The real interest rate on longer term bonds tends to be more market driven, and in recent decades, with globalized financial markets, the real interest rates in the industrialized countries have become increasingly correlated. Real interest rates have been low by historical standards since 2000, due to a combination of factors, including relatively weak demand for loans by corporations, plus strong savings in newly industrializing countries in Asia. The latter has offset the large borrowing demands by the US Federal Government, which might otherwise have put more upward pressure on real interest rates.

Related is the concept of “risk return”, which is the rate of return minus the risks as measured against the safest (least-risky) investment available. Thus if a loan is made at 15% with an inflation rate of 5% and 10% in risks associated with default or problems repaying, then the “risk adjusted” rate of return on the investment is 0%.

Importance in economic theory

Effective federal funds rate and prescriptions from alternate versions of the Taylor Rule

The amount of physical investment—in particular the purchasing of new machines and other productive capacity—that firms engage in depends on the level of real interest rates, because such purchases typically must be financed by issuing new bonds. If real interest rates are high, the cost of borrowing may exceed the real physical return of some potentially purchased machines (in the form of output produced); in that case those machines will not be purchased. Lower real interest rates would make it profitable to borrow to finance the purchasing of a greater number of machines.

The real interest rate is used in various economic theories to explain such phenomena as the capital flightbusiness cycle and economic bubbles. When the real rate of interest is high, that is, demand for credit is high, then money will, all other things being equal, move from consumption to savings. Conversely, when the real rate of interest is low, demand will move from savings to investment and consumption. Different economic theories, beginning with the work of Knut Wicksell have had different explanations of the effect of rising and falling real interest rates. Thus, international capital moves to markets that offer higher real rates of interest from markets that offer low or negative real rates of interest triggering speculation in equities, estates and exchange rates.

Real federal funds rate

In setting monetary policy, the U.S. Federal Reserve (and other central banks) establish an interest rate at which they lend to banks. This is the federal funds rate. By setting this rate low, they can encourage borrowing and thus economic activity; or the reverse by raising the rate. Like any interest rate, there are a nominal and a real value defined as described above. Further, there is a concept called the “equilibrium real federal funds rate” (r*), alternatively called the “natural rate of interest” or the “neutral real rate”, which is the “level of the real federal funds rate, if allowed to prevail for several years, [that] would place economic activity at its potential and keep inflation low and stable.” There are various methods used to estimate this amount, using tools such as the Taylor Rule. It is possible for this rate to be negative.[4]

Negative real interest rates

The real interest rate solved from the Fisher equation is

{\displaystyle {\frac {1+i}{1+\pi }}-1=r}{\frac {1+i}{1+\pi }}-1=r

If there is a negative real interest rate, it means that the inflation rate is greater than the nominal interest rate. If the Federal funds rate is 2% and the inflation rate is 10%, then the borrower would gain 7.27% of every dollar borrowed per year.

{\displaystyle {\frac {1+0.02}{1+0.1}}-1=-0.0727}{\frac {1+0.02}{1+0.1}}-1=-0.0727

Negative real interest rates are an important factor in government fiscal policy. Since 2010, the U.S. Treasury has been obtaining negative real interest rates on government debt, meaning the inflation rate is greater than the interest rate paid on the debt.[5] Such low rates, outpaced by the inflation rate, occur when the market believes that there are no alternatives with sufficiently low risk, or when popular institutional investments such as insurance companies, pensions, or bond, money market, and balanced mutual funds are required or choose to invest sufficiently large sums in Treasury securities to hedge against risk.[6][7]Lawrence Summers stated that at such low rates, government debt borrowing saves taxpayer money, and improves creditworthiness.[8][9] In the late 1940s through the early 1970s, the US and UK both reduced their debt burden by about 30% to 40% of GDP per decade by taking advantage of negative real interest rates, but there is no guarantee that government debt rates will continue to stay so low.[6][10] Between 1946 and 1974, the US debt-to-GDP ratio fell from 121% to 32% even though there were surpluses in only eight of those years which were much smaller than the deficits.[11]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B_Qxj5U7eaJTZTJkODYzN2ItZjE3Yy00Y2M0LTk2ZmUtZGU0NzA3NGI4Y2Y5&hl=en&pli=1 page 24
  2. Jump up^ “FRB: Speech with Slideshow–Bernanke, Long-Term Interest Rates–March 1, 2013”http://www.federalreserve.gov. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
  3. Jump up^ Grishchenko, Olesya V.; Jing-zhi Huang (June 2012). “Inflation Risk Premium: Evidence from the TIPS Market” (PDF). Finance and Economics Discussion Series. Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  4. Jump up^ U.S. Federal Reserve-Remarks by Vice Chairman Roger W. Ferguson Jr. October 29, 2004
  5. Jump up^ Saint Louis Federal Reserve (2012) “5-Year Treasury Inflation-Indexed Security, Constant Maturity” FRED Economic Data chart from government debt auctions (the x-axis at y=0 represents the inflation rate over the life of the security)
  6. Jump up to:a b Carmen M. Reinhart and M. Belen Sbrancia (March 2011) “The Liquidation of Government Debt” National Bureau of Economic Research working paper No. 16893
  7. Jump up^ David Wessel (August 8, 2012) “When Interest Rates Turn Upside Down” Wall Street Journal (full text)
  8. Jump up^ Lawrence Summers (June 3, 2012) “Breaking the negative feedback loop” Reuters
  9. Jump up^ Matthew Yglesias (May 30, 2012) “Why Are We Collecting Taxes?” Slate
  10. Jump up^ William H. Gross (May 2, 2011) “The Caine Mutiny (Part 2)”PIMCO Investment Outlook
  11. Jump up^ “Why the U.S. Government Never, Ever Has to Pay Back All Its Debt” The Atlantic, February 1, 2013

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_interest_rate

John B. Taylor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John Taylor
JohnBTaylor.jpg
Personal details
Born John Brian Taylor
December 8, 1946 (age 70)
Yonkers, New YorkU.S.
Political party Republican
Education Princeton University(BA)
Stanford University(PhD)
Academic career
Field Monetary economics
School or
tradition
New Keynesian economics
Doctoral
advisor
Theodore Wilbur Anderson[1]
Doctoral
students
Lawrence J. Christiano
Influences Milton Friedman
Paul Volcker
E. Philip Howrey
Alan Greenspan
Contributions Taylor rule
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

John Brian Taylor (born December 8, 1946) is the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.[2]

Born in Yonkers, New York, he graduated from Shady Side Academy[3] and earned his A.B. from Princeton University in 1968 and Ph.D. from Stanford in 1973, both in economics. He taught at Columbia University from 1973–1980 and the Woodrow Wilson School and Economics Department of Princeton University from 1980–1984 before returning to Stanford. He has received several teaching prizes and teaches Stanford’s introductory economics course as well as Ph.D. courses in monetary economics.[4]

In research published in 1979 and 1980 he developed a model of price and wage setting—called the staggered contract model—which served as an underpinning of a new class of empirical models with rational expectations and sticky prices—sometimes called new Keynesian models.[5][6] In a 1993 paper he proposed the Taylor rule,[7] intended as a recommendation about how nominal interest rates should be determined, which then became a rough summary of how central banks actually do set them. He has been active in public policy, serving as the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs during the first term of the George W. Bush Administration. His book Global Financial Warriors chronicles this period.[8] He was a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors during the George H. W. Bush Administration and Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisors during the Ford and Carter Administrations.

In 2012 he was included in the 50 Most Influential list of Bloomberg Markets Magazine. Thomson Reuters lists Taylor among the ‘citation laureates‘ who are likely future winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics.[9]

Academic contributions

Taylor’s research—including the staggered contract model, the Taylor rule, and the construction of a policy tradeoff (Taylor) curve[10] employing empirical rational expectations models[11]—has had a major impact on economic theory and policy.[12] Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said that Taylor’s “influence on monetary theory and policy has been profound,”[13] and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has noted that Taylor’s work “has affected the way policymakers and economists analyze the economy and approach monetary policy.”[14]

Taylor contributed to the development of mathematical methods for solving macroeconomic models under the assumption of rational expectations, including in a 1975 Journal of Political Economy paper, in which he showed how gradual learning could be incorporated in models with rational expectations;[15] a 1979 Econometrica paper in which he presented one of the first econometric models with overlapping price setting and rational expectations,[16] which he later expanded into a large multicountry model in a 1993 book Macroeconomic Policy in a World Economy,[11] and a 1983 Econometrica paper,[17] in which he developed with Ray Fair the first algorithm to solve large-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models which became part of popular solution programs such as Dynare and EViews.[18]

In 1977, Taylor and Edmund Phelps, simultaneously with Stanley Fischer, showed that monetary policy is useful for stabilizing the economy if prices or wages are sticky, even when all workers and firms have rational expectations.[19] This demonstrated that some of the earlier insights of Keynesian economics remained true under rational expectations. This was important because Thomas Sargent and Neil Wallace had argued that rational expectations would make macroeconomic policy useless for stabilization;[20] the results of Taylor, Phelps, and Fischer showed that Sargent and Wallace’s crucial assumption was not rational expectations, but perfectly flexible prices.[21] These research projects together could considerably deepen our understanding of the limits of the policy-ineffectiveness proposition.[22]

Taylor then developed the staggered contract model of overlapping wage and price setting, which became one of the building blocks of the New Keynesian macroeconomics that rebuilt much of the traditional macromodel on rational expectations microfoundations.[23][24]

Taylor’s research on monetary policy rules traces back to his undergraduate studies at Princeton.[25][26] He went on in the 1970s and 1980s to explore what types of monetary policy rules would most effectively reduce the social costs of inflation and business cycle fluctuations: should central banks try to control the money supply, the price level, or the interest rate; and should these instruments react to changes in output, unemployment, asset prices, or inflation rates? He showed[27] that there was a tradeoff—later called the Taylor curve[28]—between the volatility of inflation and that of output. Taylor’s 1993 paper in the Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy proposed that a simple and effective central bank policy would manipulate short-term interest rates, raising rates to cool the economy whenever inflation or output growth becomes excessive, and lowering rates when either one falls too low.[7] Taylor’s interest rate equation has come to be known as the Taylor rule, and it is now widely accepted as an effective formula for monetary decision making.[29]

A key stipulation of the Taylor rule, sometimes called the Taylor principle,[30] is that the nominal interest rate should increase by more than one percentage point for each one-percent rise in inflation. Some empirical estimates indicate that many central banks today act approximately as the Taylor rule prescribes, but violated the Taylor principle during the inflationary spiral of the 1970s.[31]

Recent research

Taylor’s recent research has been on the financial crisis that began in 2007 and the world economic recession. He finds that the crisis was primarily caused by flawed macroeconomic policies from the U.S. government and other governments. Particularly, he focuses on the Federal Reserve which, under Alan Greenspan, a personal friend of Taylor, created “monetary excesses” in which interest rates were kept too low for too long, which then directly led to the housing boom in his opinion.[32] He also believes that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae spurred on the boom and that the crisis was misdiagnosed as a liquidity rather than a credit risk problem.[33] He wrote that, “government actions and interventions, not any inherent failure or instability of the private economy, caused, prolonged, and worsen the crisis.”[34]

Taylor’s research has also examined the impact of fiscal policy in the recent recession. In November 2008, writing for The Wall Street Journal opinion section, he recommended four measures to fight the economic downturn: (a) permanently keeping all income tax ratesthe same, (b) permanently creating a worker’s tax credit equal to 6.2 percent of wages up to $8,000, (c) incorporating “automatic stabilizers” as part of overall fiscal plans, and (d) enacting a short-term stimulus plan that also meets long term objectives against waste and inefficiency. He stated that merely temporary tax cuts would not serve as a good policy tool.[35] His research[36] with John Cogan, Tobias Cwik, and Volcker Wieland showed that the multiplier is much smaller in new Keynesian than in old Keynesian models, a result that was confirmed by researchers at central banks.[37] He evaluated the 2008 and 2009 stimulus packages and argued that they were not effective in stimulating the economy.[38]

In a June 2011 interview on Bloomberg Television, Taylor stressed the importance of long term fiscal reform that sets the U.S. federal budget on a path towards being balanced. He cautioned that the Fed should move away from quantitative easing measures and keep to a more static, stable monetary policy. He also criticized fellow economist Paul Krugman‘s advocacy of additional stimulus programs from Congress, which Taylor said will not help in the long run.[39] In his 2012 book First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity, he endeavors to explain why these reforms are part of a broader set of principles of economic freedom.

Selected publications

Reprinted in Taylor, John B. (1991), “Staggered wage setting in a macro model”, in Mankiw, N. Gregory; Romer, David, New Keynesian economics, volume 1, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, pp. 233–42, ISBN 9780262631334.
  • Taylor, John B. (September 1979). “Estimation and control of a macroeconomic model with rational expectations”. EconometricaWiley47 (5): 1267–86. JSTOR 1911962doi:10.2307/1911962.
  • Taylor, John B. (December 1980). “Scale economies, product differentiation, and the pattern of trade”. The American Economic ReviewAmerican Economic Association70 (5): 950–59. JSTOR 1805774.Pdf.
  • Taylor, John B. (1986), ‘New econometric approaches to stabilization policy in stochastic models of macroeconomic fluctuations’. Ch. 34 of Handbook of Econometrics, vol. 3, Z. Griliches and M.D. Intriligator, eds. Elsevier Science Publishers.
  • Taylor, John B. (December 1993). “Discretion versus policy rules in practice”Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public PolicyElsevier39: 195–214. doi:10.1016/0167-2231(93)90009-L.Pdf.
  • Taylor, John B. (1999), “An historical analysis of monetary policy rules”, in Taylor, John B., Monetary policy rules, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 9780226791265.
  • Taylor, John B. (2007). Global financial warriors: the untold story of international finance in the post-9/11 world. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780393064483.
  • Taylor, John B. (2008), “Housing and monetary policy”, in Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Housing, housing finance, and monetary policy: a symposium sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, August 30-September 1, 2007, Kansas City, Missouri: Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pp. 463–76, OCLC 170267547
  • Taylor, John B. (2009), “The financial crisis and the policy response: an empirical analysis of what went wrong”, in Bank of Canada Staff, Festschrift in honour of David Dodge’s contributions to Canadian public policy: proceedings of a conference held by the Bank of Canada, November, 2008, Ottawa: Bank of Canada, pp. 1–18, ISBN 9780660199276.
  • Taylor, John B. (2009). Getting off track: how government actions and interventions caused, prolonged, and worsened the financial crisis. Stanford, California: Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 9780817949716.
  • Taylor, John B.; Shultz, George P.; Scott, Kenneth, eds. (2009). Ending government bailouts as we know them. Stanford, California: Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 9780817911287.
  • Taylor, John B.; Ryan, Paul D. (30 November 2010). “Refocus the Fed on price stability instead of bailing out fiscal policy”Investor’s Business Daily. Archived from the original on 13 April 2011.
  • Taylor, John B. (2012). First principles: five keys to restoring America’s prosperity. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780393345452.

See also

Further reading

References

  1. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (September 24, 2016). “The Statistical Analysis of Policy Rules”economicsone.com. Economics One (A blog by John B. Taylor). Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  2. Jump up^ “Hoover Institution Senior Fellow: Biography”Hoover Institution. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  3. Jump up^ “Notable alumni”shadysideacademy.orgShady Side Academy.
  4. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. “Curriculum vitae” (pdf). Stanford University.
  5. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (May 1979). “Staggered wage setting in a macro model”. The American Economic ReviewAmerican Economic Association69 (2): 108–113. JSTOR 1801626.
    Reprinted in Taylor, John B. (1991), “Staggered wage setting in a macro model”, in Mankiw, N. Gregory; Romer, David, New Keynesian economics, volume 1, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, pp. 233–242, ISBN 9780262631334.
  6. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (February 1980). “Aggregate dynamics and staggered contracts”Journal of Political EconomyChicago Journals88 (1): 1–23. JSTOR 1830957doi:10.1086/260845.
  7. Jump up to:a b Taylor, John B. (December 1993). “Discretion versus policy rules in practice”Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public PolicyElsevier39: 195–214. doi:10.1016/0167-2231(93)90009-L. Pdf.
  8. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2007). Global financial warriors: the untold story of international finance in the post-9/11 world. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780393064483.
  9. Jump up^ “Hall of ‘citation laureates’ (in economics)”science.thomsonreuters.com. Thomson-Reuters.
  10. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (September 1979). “Estimation and control of a macroeconomic model with rational expectations”EconometricaWiley47 (5): 1267–86. JSTOR 1911962doi:10.2307/1911962. Pdf.
    Reprinted in Taylor, John B. (1981), “Estimation and control of a macroeconomic model with rational expectations”, in Lucas, Jr., Robert E.; Sargent, Thomas J., Rational expectations and econometric practice, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 9780816610983.
  11. Jump up to:a b Taylor, John B. (1993). Macroeconomic policy in a world economy: from econometric design to practical operation. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780393963168.
  12. Jump up^ Ben Bernanke refers to the “three concepts named after John that are central to understanding our macroeconomic experience of the past three decades—the Taylor curve, the Taylor rule, and the Taylor principle.” in “Opening Remarks,” Conference on John Taylor’s Contributions to Monetary Theory and Policy
  13. Jump up^ Bernanke, Ben (2007). Opening Remarks. Remarks at the Conference on John Taylor’s Contributions to Monetary Theory and Policy.
  14. Jump up^ Yellen, Janet (2007). Policymaker Roundtable (PDF).Remarks at the Conference on John Taylor’s Contributions to Monetary Theory and Policy.
  15. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (October 1975). “Monetary policy during a transition to rational expectations”Journal of Political EconomyChicago Journals83 (5): 1009–22. JSTOR 1830083doi:10.1086/260374.
  16. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (September 1979). “Estimation and control of a macroeconomic model with rational expectations”. EconometricaWiley47 (5): 1267–86. JSTOR 1911962doi:10.2307/1911962.
  17. Jump up^ Taylor, John B.; Fair, Ray C. (July 1983). “Solution and maximum likelihood estimation of dynamic nonlinear rational expectations models”EconometricaWiley51 (4): 1169–85. JSTOR 1912057doi:10.2307/1912057.
  18. Jump up^ Judd, Kenneth; Kubler, Felix; Schmedders, Karl (2003), “Computational methods for dynamic equilibria with heterogeneous agents”, in Dewatripont, Mathias; Hansen, Lars Peter; Turnovsky, Stephen J., Advances in economics and econometrics theory and applications (volume 3), Cambridge, U.K. New York: Cambridge University Press, p. 247, ISBN 9781280163388 and “Eviews Users Guide II.”
  19. Jump up^ Taylor, John B.; Phelps, Edmund S. (February 1977). “Stabilizing powers of monetary policy under rational expectations”Journal of Political EconomyChicago Journals85 (1): 163–90. JSTOR 1828334doi:10.1086/260550.
  20. Jump up^ Sargent, Thomas; Wallace, Neil (April 1975). “‘Rational’ expectations, the optimal monetary instrument, and the optimal money supply rule”Journal of Political EconomyChicago Journals83 (2): 241–54. JSTOR 1830921doi:10.1086/260321.
  21. Jump up^ Blanchard, Olivier (2000), “Epliogue”, in Blanchard, Olivier, Macroeconomics (2nd ed.), Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, p. 543, ISBN 9780130557872.
  22. Jump up^ Galbács, Peter (2015). The theory of new classical macroeconomics: a positive critique. Heidelberg / New York / Dordrecht / London: Springer. ISBN 9783319175782doi:10.1007/978-3-319-17578-2.
  23. Jump up^ King, Robert G.; Wolman, Alexander (1999), “What should the monetary authority do when prices are sticky?”, in Taylor, John B., Monetary policy rules, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 9780226791265.
  24. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (1999), “Staggered price and wage setting in macroeconomics”, in Taylor, John B.; Woodford, Michael, Handbook of macroeconomics, Amsterdam New York: North-Holland Elsevier, pp. 1009–50, ISBN 9780444501585.
  25. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (April 1968). Fiscal and monetary stabilization policies in a model of endogenous cyclical growth (BA thesis). Princeton University.
  26. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (October 1968). “Fiscal and monetary stabilization policies in a model of endogenous cyclical growth”(pdf). Research Memorandum No. 104. Econometric Research Program, Princeton University. OCLC 22687344.
  27. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (September 1979). “Estimation and control of a macroeconomic model with rational expectations”EconometricaWiley47 (5): 1267–86. JSTOR 1911962doi:10.2307/1911962.
  28. Jump up^ Bernanke, Ben (2004). The Great Moderation. Remarks at the meeting of the Eastern Economic Association.
  29. Jump up^ Orphanides, Athanasios (2007). Taylor rules (pdf). Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007–18. Federal Reserve Board.
  30. Jump up^ Davig, Troy; Leeper, Eric M. (June 2007). “Generalizing the Taylor Principle”. The American Economic ReviewAmerican Economic Association97 (3): 607–35. JSTOR 30035014.NBER Working Paper 11874, December 2005.
  31. Jump up^ Clarida, Richard; Galí, Jordi; Gertler, Mark (February 2000). “Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: evidence and some theory”Quarterly Journal of EconomicsOxford Journals115 (1): 147–80. doi:10.1162/003355300554692. Pdf.
  32. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2008), “Housing and monetary policy”, in Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Housing, housing finance, and monetary policy: a symposium sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, August 30-September 1, 2007, Kansas City, Missouri: Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pp. 463–76, OCLC 170267547
  33. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2009), “The financial crisis and the policy response: an empirical analysis of what went wrong (housing and monetary policy)”, in Bank of Canada Staff, Festschrift in honour of David Dodge’s contributions to Canadian public policy: proceedings of a conference held by the Bank of Canada, November, 2008, Ottawa: Bank of Canada, pp. 1–18, ISBN 9780660199276.
  34. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (February 9, 2009). “How government created the financial crisis”The Wall Street Journal. p. A19. Pdf.
  35. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (November 25, 2008). “Why permanent tax cuts are the best stimulus”The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  36. Jump up^ Taylor, John B.; Cogan, John F.; Cwik, Tobias; Wieland, Volker (March 2010). “New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers”Journal of Economic Dynamics and ControlElsevier34 (3): 281–95. doi:10.1016/j.jedc.2010.01.010.
  37. Jump up^ Coenen, Guenter; et al. (September 2011). “Effects of fiscal stimulus in structural models”American Economic Journal: MicroeconomicsAmerican Economic Association4 (1): 22–68. doi:10.1257/mac.4.1.22. Pdf.
  38. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (September 2011). “An empirical analysis of the revival of fiscal activism in the 2000s”Journal of Economic LiteratureAmerican Economic Association49 (3): 686–702. JSTOR 23071727doi:10.1257/jel.49.3.686. Pdf.
  39. Jump up^ “Taylor Says U.S. Needs `Sound’ Monetary, Fiscal Policies”Bloomberg Television thru Washington Post. June 27, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2011.

External links

Story 2: No Tax Reform By Changing From Income Tax System to Broad Based Consumption Tax — The FairTax or Fair Tax Less — No Middle Class Tax Relief From Payroll Taxes — No Real Cuts in Federal Spending As Budget Deficits Rise with Rising National Debt and Unfunded Liabilities — Spending Addiction Disorder — Government Obesity — Crash Diet of Balanced Budgets Required — Videos

Paul Ryan’s full interview on GOP tax plan

GOP unveils tax plan (full event)

The House GOP Announces Their Tax Cut Plan

How the tax reform rollout will play out for Republicans

BREAKING: President Trump making jobs and tax proposal announcement

The House Republican tax bill, explained

It radically cuts taxes on corporations and wealthy heirs.

House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady (center) with House and Senate leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.
 Alex Wong/Getty Images

After months, even years, of outlines and blueprints and “frameworks,” Republicans in the House of Representatives finally released their first attempt at an actual tax reform billon Thursday.

While the broad strokes of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act were telegraphed weeks, if not months, in advance, this is the first time Republicans in any branch of the federal government have described their tax plan in enough detail that it can actually be debated, scored by the Congressional Budget Office so its cost and effects on the rich and poor are known, and voted upon by the House and Senate.

The legislation seeks to dramatically cut taxes on corporations and consolidate benefits like personal exemptions, the standard deduction, and the child credit for individuals. It would eliminate the alternative minimum tax and estate tax, and pare back certain individual deductions. It would also offer a new low tax rate for owners of “pass-through” businesses like LLCs and partnerships, whose income from their businesses is taxed as personal income.

The bill in its current form would almost certainly give disproportionate benefits to wealthy Americans, who tend to benefit from corporate tax cuts more than non-wealthy Americans and who could likely exploit the pass-through rate by setting up dummy corporations. People earning between $400,000 and $1 million would face a significantly lower top income tax rate.

But the bill will almost certainly not remain in its current form. As written, it is almost guaranteed to increase the budget deficit by trillions over 10 years, and quite possibly keep increasing the deficit after 10 years are up.

That’s a big problem: Under Senate rules, some legislation can pass with only 51 votes only if it doesn’t increase the long-run deficit. So the current draft of the legislation would probably need 60 votes instead, meaning significant Democratic support, which Republican leaders haven’t been even trying to court. They need legislation that can pass with 51 votes, and for that, they need the bill to not raise the long-run deficit.

That means the bill needs to change — either the cuts need to get smaller or Republican leaders need to find new ways to raise money, or both. But the bill in its current form at least suggests what GOP leaders want to do.

The bill would good for corporations and the wealthy

Before delving into the bill’s details, it’s worth taking a moment to consider who, all told, comes out ahead and behind. Here’s who would be better off:

  • Corporations, broadly, are the focus of most of the tax cuts. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, as the bill does, costs nearly $1.5 trillion over 10 years. They also gain new, more favorable treatment of income earned abroad, which is either not taxed or taxed at an even lower rate than 20 percent.
  • Wealthy, particularly ultrawealthy people, who tend to earn a disproportionate share of their income from capital (like stock sales and dividends) and thus benefit from cuts to the corporate tax, which is largely a tax on capital. If the corporate tax also reduces wages, as some conservative economists allege, then corporate cuts still disproportionately help the wealthy, as a huge share of wages go to high earners, not low- or median-wage workers. Additionally, the pass-through cut could enable some wealthy people who either own pass-throughs or create new ones to shelter some of their income from high rates.
  • People making mid to high sixfigure incomes, who arguably should count as wealthy or rich too. By raising the threshold for the 39.6 percent rate on individual income to $1 million for couples, up from $470,700 today, people with incomes in the $600,000 to $700,000 range will get a sizable reduction, in addition to the low-end tax cut they get because the new 12 percent bracket will apply to income now taxed at 15 or 25 percent.
  • Pass-through companies, like the Trump Organization, which get a new very low rate. There are some provisions included meant to prevent rich individuals from using this tax break as a way to shelter income, but they only limit the benefit in many cases. The overwhelmingly rich owners of these companies will still come out way ahead.
  • Heirs and heiresses, as the estate tax is first reduced (by increasing the exemption and applying it to an even smaller sliver of the hyperrich) and then eliminated entirely.

But the bill would hurt the poor and increase the deficit

The GOP’s tax reform proposal would leave other groups worse off:

  • Blue state residents would pay higher taxes, as the state and local income/sales tax deduction is eliminated and the one for property taxes is somewhat curtailed. That said, wealthy people benefiting from these deductions will likely see this tax hike offset by the other tax cuts in the package.
  • The housing sector faces a new limit on the mortgage interest deduction. For individual taxpayers, the rate cuts largely make up for this, but it reduces the incentive to buy and build homes, which could affect lenders, construction companies, real estate firms, etc.
  • Poor families were rumored to be getting a tax cut due to a change in the refundability formula for the child tax credit — but that didn’t make it into the bill. The credit only goes to families with $3,000 in earnings or more, and phases in slowly; some in Congress were pushing to lower the threshold to $0, but they didn’t succeed. Instead, a provision denying the child tax credit to American citizen children whose parents are undocumented immigrants is included.
  • And it would increase the deficit; the Joint Committee on Taxation has reportedly scored the bill as costing $1.51 trillion over 10 years, about what the House/Senate budget allocated for the bill but still a sizable increase in the public debt.

Here’s the Joint Committee on Taxation’s estimates of what each provision raises and costs in tax revenue:

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s summary of the bill’s costCommittee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Individual income tax rates are consolidated and cut

The new tax reform bill (which, again, draws on plans Trump and congressional Republicans have released going back over a year now) would significantly change individual income tax brackets:

  • The seven current individual income tax brackets would be consolidated to four: 12 percent (up from the current bottom rate of 10 percent), 25 percent, 35 percent, and 39.6 percent.
  • Keeping the 39.6 percent top rate is a huge change from past Republican plans, which have focused heavily on cutting the maximum rate the richest households pay. However, the plan significantly reduces how many people pay the top rate: The threshold for the last bracket would increase from $470,700 for married couples today to $1 million.
  • The 35 percent rate would cover some affluent households currently paying a marginal rate of 33 percent, potentially raising their taxes; and the 12 percent bracket would extend into the income range currently covered by the 25 percent bracket, lowering taxes for many middle- and upper-middle-class households.
  • The thresholds for brackets will be adjusted according to chained CPI, a slower-growing measure of inflation than normal CPI, which is used currently; this change raises revenue over time by gradually pushing more and more people into higher tax brackets.
  • De facto taxes on some corporate executives would go up: Performance pay and commissions above $1 million would no longer be deductible for the purposes of corporate taxes.

The standard deduction is increased, personal exemptions are eliminated, and the child tax credit is mildly boosted

Standard benefits for families are changed significantly, with an eye toward simplifying the vast array of benefits (standard deductions, personal exemptions, child credits, etc.) currently available:

  • The standard deduction will be raised to $24,000 for couples and $12,000 for individuals, a near doubling from current levels.
  • The child tax credit, currently $1,000, will grow to $1,600, and a new $300 credit for parents and other non-child dependents in the house (the $300 credit expires after five years, presumably to save money).
  • Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have spent months working with Ivanka Trump, and persuaded her to abandon her plan to add a tax deduction for child care in favor of an increased child tax credit. It appears House Speaker Paul Ryan and Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) have adopted this approach — but have fallen short of the $2,000, more refundable credit Rubio and Lee want.
  • The child credit would be available for more wealthy households: It would start to phase out at $230,000 in earnings for married couples, as opposed to $110,000 under current law. It would not be expanded for poor families without a tax liability, as Rubio and Lee had proposed.
  • The personal exemption (currently offering households $4,050 per person in deductions) is eliminated, replaced in theory by the higher child credit and standard deduction.

Some deductions are limited, but most remain intact

  • The mortgage interest deduction is unchanged for current homeowners, but for all future mortgages, the benefit would be capped at a home value of $500,000, down from $1 million under current law.
  • The deduction for state and local income/sales taxes would be eliminated.
  • The deduction for state and local property taxes would be capped at $10,000, somewhat curtailing the current tax break.
  • A variety of other, much smaller deductions, like the medical expense deduction and the property casualty loss deductions, are repealed.
  • Most major tax breaks for individuals — the charitable deduction, retirement incentives like 401(k) and IRA provisions, the tax exclusion for employer-provided health care, the earned income tax credit, and the child and dependent care tax credit — would remain unchanged.

Corporate taxes are slashed dramatically

  • The corporate income tax rate will be lowered from 35 percent to 20 percent.
  • The corporate tax will be “territorial”: Foreign income by US companies will be tax-free.
  • All untaxed income currently held overseas will immediately be taxed at a fixed rate: 12 percent for money held in liquid assets like stocks and bonds, 5 percent for intangibles like buildings and factories.
  • Despite the tax being “territorial” in principle, there will be a 10 percent “minimum tax” imposed on profits above a certain threshold from foreign subsidiaries of US companies in the future, to prevent companies from moving income abroad to avoid taxes.
  • Additionally, any money that multinational corporations move from the US abroad will be subject to a new 20 percent tax.
  • Instead of having companies “depreciate” investments by deducting them over several years, companies could immediately expense all their investments. This benefit expires after five years, presumably to save money, which dampens any positive effect it has on economic growth.
  • Companies paying the corporate income tax would face a limit on how much debt they can deduct from their taxable income, a significant change for highly leveraged companies like banks. They could only deduct interest worth up to 30 percent of earnings before interest/taxes/depreciation/amortization. But real estate firms would be exempt from that limit.
  • Two big existing credits for corporations — the research and development tax credit and the low-income housing credit — won’t be repealed. But a deduction for domestic manufacturing is gone.

Pass-throughs like the Trump Organization win big

“Pass-through” companies like LLCs, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and S corporations, which are overwhelmingly owned by rich individuals like Donald Trump and currently pay normal income tax rates after their earnings are returned to the companies’ owners, would get a huge number of tax cuts too:

  • Taxes on pass-through income would be capped at the 25 percent bracket rather than the top individual rate.
  • Pass-through companies would still be able to deduct interest on loans in full, unlike C-corporations.
  • The 25 percent bracket creates a huge loophole for rich people, who could incorporate as sole proprietorships and “contract” with their employers so their income is pass-through income rather than wages.
  • To partially control that, the law would assume that 100 percent of earnings from professional services firms, like law firms and accounting firms, is wages, not pass-through income. For other businesses, people actively involved in the business as more than passive investors would see 70 percent of their income classified as wages and taxed normally, and 30 percent taxed at the pass-through rate.

Two other significant tax provisions are abolished:

  • The alternative minimum tax, which increases taxes for certain affluent or upper-middle-class households, is repealed.
  • The exemption for the estate and gift tax, the most progressive component of the federal tax code, only paid by extremely rich estates, is doubled, further limiting who pays it, and the whole tax is then gradually abolished.

And a brand new 1.4 percent tax on university endowment income is added.

The case for the bill

For the public at large, the case for a massive corporate tax cut is sort of hard to grasp. Seventy-three percent of Americans, and 53 percent of Republicans, say they want corporate taxes either kept the same or raised, according to Pew Research Center polling. That the cuts are pared with some tax increases on individuals, like the elimination of the deduction for state and local income taxes and the Social Security Number requirement which kicks some 3 million kids off the child tax credit, makes the choice even more confounding.

But the GOP has a specific economic theory that it claims supports the bill and makes the changes it envisions worthwhile.

The basic idea is that while most economists believe corporate taxes are primarily paid by owners of capital (that is, people who own stock in corporations) in the form of lower profits, a sizable minority, including White House chief economist Kevin Hassett, think that a large share of the tax is paid by workers in the form of lower wages.

In an influential 2006 paper analyzing data in 72 countries across 22 years, he and his American Enterprise Institute colleague Aparna Mathur estimated that a “1 percent increasein corporate tax rates is associated with nearly a 1 percent drop in wage rates.” A second paper in 2010 found a slightly smaller effect (a 0.5 to 0.6 percent decrease in wage rates per 1 percent increase in corporate tax rates) but still concluded that labor was ultimately paying the tax. More than paying it, in fact — they estimate that labor pays 2,200 percent of the tax’s burden, a really extraordinary estimate.

That suggests that cutting corporate taxes would be a very easy way to raise wages for ordinary workers. Hassett has also gone a step further and, with his AEI colleague Alex Brill, argued that cutting the corporate income tax could raise economic growth enough to actually increase revenue: a Laffer effect. They conclude, based on a data set covering rich developed countries from 1980 to 2005, that the revenue-maximizing corporate tax rate is about 26 percent, significantly below the US rate.

Plenty of economists and tax researchers have argued that Hassett’s results in particular are implausible, and reach some absurd conclusions. Jane Gravelle and Thomas Hungerford at the Congressional Research Service noted that the initial Hassett-Mathur study predicted a $1 increase in the corporate tax would reduce wages by between $22 and $26. Their 2010 follow-up predicted a wage loss of $13 per for every additional dollar paid in corporate taxes. But it’s very strange to imagine a corporation responding to an increase in costs like that. The implication is that corporations could have cut wages significantly before the tax hike without negative consequences and simply didn’t.

A more recent survey of the empirical research by Reed College’s Kimberly Clausing found “very little robust evidence linking corporate tax rates and wages.” The consensus in the field remains that most of the tax is paid by capital (as Treasury and the CBO both assume).

But if you believe that corporate tax cuts lead to raises, then corporate taxes should help workers. The biggest beneficiaries will, again, be rich people earning the most wages, but the benefits will trickle down more broadly too.

Other, smaller provisions of the reform package also have reasonable cases for them. The mortgage interest deduction is a huge distortion that leads to fewer people renting than should and hoards benefits among rich homeowners; the bill would reduce that advantage. Opponents of the state and local tax deduction, which the bill would largely eliminate, argue it’s regressive and concentrates benefits on rich states rather than poor ones that actually need the money. The current mix of standard deductions, personal exemptions, and child credit is needlessly duplicative, and the bill simplifies it a bit.

Others are a bit harder to defend. Many economists oppose wealth taxes like the estate tax on the grounds that they penalize savings, but intergenerational transmission of wealth also has huge negative externalities (heirs less willing to work, less equal politics, etc.) that eliminating the estate tax entirely would worsen.

Cutting taxes on pass-through income is particularly hard to defend. Pass-throughs already get a sizable tax advantage relative to other companies. While corporate profits are taxed in two stages — first by the corporate income tax, and then through dividend or capital gains taxes — pass-through income is only taxed once, at the individual level. This change would worsen that advantage.

Pass-throughs will counter that in many cases, people who own stock through 401(k)s and IRAs don’t have to pay capital gains or dividend taxes, and so their profits are only taxed at the corporate rate, which is lower than the top individual rate (and would be much lower under this plan), putting pass-throughs at a potential disadvantage. But analysts who’ve looked at this comparison generally conclude that pass-throughs are taxed less overall, and certainly don’t need another break.

Where the bill goes from here

As of this writing, the bill has not been officially scored for its cost and distribution, though the Joint Committee on Taxation has reportedly scored it as costing $1.51 trillion, just outside the $1.5 trillion the GOP budget set aside for tax reform.

Given that price tag, it’s hard to imagine the bill not raising the deficit after 10 years. Some provisions phase out, presumably to lower the long-run deficit effects for scoring purposes, but that’s unlikely to be enough. And so long as the legislation still increases the long-run deficit, it’s a nonstarter in the Senate.

What’s likely, then, is that this is an opening entry designed to pass the House and then be worked over, and shrunk in scale, in the Senate.

The legislation will face a lot of pressure to expand or protect certain cuts, and to abandon certain pay-fors. Mortgage lenders and housing builders will push against limiting the mortgage interest deduction, blue-state Republicans will fight the limit on property tax deductions, and just about every business will fight for as much as they can get in corporate tax cuts and pass-through cuts (the fact that lobbying firms are organized as pass-throughs might mean trouble for the rule eliminating pass-through privileges for law firms). Social conservatives and anti-poverty campaigners will fight for a bigger child tax credit, available to more poor families.

All of that makes the bill more expensive, and harder to pass in the Senate. So far, Republican leaders have mostly punted on designing the kinds of pay-fors that would make the plan viable under Senate rules. They can’t keep punting for much longer.

https://www.vox.com/2017/11/2/16596896/house-republican-tax-reform-cuts-trump-ryan-explained

House GOP tax plan filled with tough tradeoffs

The tax overhaul is Republicans’ top priority ahead of next year’s elections, and lawmakers are desperate for a victory after the Obamacare repeal failed.

Updated 

House Republicans unveiled plans Thursday for a sweeping overhaul of the tax system calling for fundamental changes in business and individual taxes, including big cuts in rates and new breaks for families.

It also includes provisions sure to stoke controversy and fierce lobbying, including new limits on the popular mortgage interest deduction. People could only deduct interest on the first $500,000 of loans for newly purchased homes, down from the current $1 million, and lawmakers would eliminate the break for second homes. The bill would also make it harder for people to sell their homes without paying taxes on any capital gains.

And there would be sharply lower limits on a long-standing break for state and local taxes.

While big companies would get a significantly lower 20 percent corporate rate, down from 35 percent, they would face new limits on their ability to deduct interest on their loans, a new global minimum tax on their overseas earnings, and new taxes on U.S. companies heading abroad.

Republicans dropped a contentious plan to curb tax benefits for 401(k) retirement plans, which had GOP lawmakers cheering House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady at a closed door briefing on the plan.

The unveiling of the 429-page bill — and a summary that runs 82 pages — kicks off what is sure to be a grueling slog to get legislation to President Donald Trump by the end of the year.

Exactly who would lose in the proposal — dubbed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” — has been a closely guarded secret, and many lawmakers will surely be surprised at the scope of changes needed to make the numbers behind the plan work.

Several influential business groups slammed the proposal.

The National Federation of Independent Business announced its opposition, citing restrictions lawmakers included on which small businesses can claim their lower tax rate on unincorporated “pass-through” firms. The issue has been one of the most difficult for lawmakers to work out, and could prove to be one of the most contentious going forward.

Though lawmakers would reduce the rate on those businesses to 25 percent, there would be limits on which firms could take advantage, provisions designed to avoid gaming by wealthy individuals.

Under the proposal, pass-throughs would get the lower rate on 30 percent of their profits, with the remainder taxed at ordinary income tax rates, though there would be circumstances in which businesses could qualify for a bigger share being subject to the special rate. That means, though, that some pass- throughs would actually pay more than 25 percent under the plan.

“This bill leaves too many small businesses behind,” said Juanita Duggan, the group’s president. “We believe that tax reform should provide substantial relief to all small businesses.”

The National Association of Home Builders said the legislation “eviscerates” housing tax benefits, and “abandons middle class taxpayers.”

The National Association of Realtors meanwhile has already begun lobbying against the proposal, running online ads in tax writers’ districts. “Don’t let tax reform become a tax increase for middle-class homeowners,” the ad says.

Other business groups embraced the plan, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable.

“This bold tax reform bill is exactly what our nation needs to get our economy growing faster,” said Neil Bradley, a senior vice president at the Chamber of Commerce. Said Jamie Dimon, head of JP Morgan Chase & Co. and the Business Roundtable: “We support this tax reform effort because it is good for all Americans.”

The plan is Republicans’ top priority ahead of next year’s elections, and lawmakers are desperate for a victory to take to voters after the failed campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans are hoping to move it quickly through the House, with committee action penciled in for next week. Lawmakers aim to forward it on to the Senate later this month. Senate Republicans are working on their own competing plan they aim to unveil next week. Lawmakers hope to land a compromise on Trump’s desk by the end of the year.

House leaders, who have written the plan in secret, have avoided identifying most of the breaks that would be quashed under the proposal in order to keep lobbyists at bay. But many Republicans had little inkling of what’s in the bill, and the strategy means leaders have not had much opportunity to build support among rank-and-file members for controversial proposals.

The bill is loaded with sure-to-be contentious ideas affecting broad swathes of the economy. It would delete a long-standing deduction for people with high medical bills — including those with chronic conditions. People would have to live longer in their homes, under the bill, to qualify for tax-free treatment of capital gains when they sell their houses.

It would also kill a long-standing breaks for adoptions, and for student loan interest costs. Private universities would face a new 1.4 percent tax on their investment earnings from their endowments. The Work Opportunity Credit, which encourages businesses to hire veterans, would be eliminated. So too would the New Markets Tax credit, which encourages investment in poor areas.

Tax benefits related to fringe benefits would be curtailed. It would also dump a long-standing break for casualty losses that allow people to deduct things lost in fires and storms, although it would continue to allow the provision for people hit by hurricanes — no doubt reflecting the influence of Brady, whose Houston-area district was hit by Hurricane Harvey.

Foreign companies operating in the United States would face higher taxes under the proposal, as would companies such as pharmaceutical firms that move overseas and want to sell goods back to the United States.

An official cost estimate of the legislation was not immediately available, though Brady said that would be released Thursday. He said the legislation met his party’s budget stipulating that they could not cut taxes by more than $1.5 trillion.

For individuals, the plan would reduce the number of tax brackets to four from the current seven, with the top rate remaining at 39.6 percent. Republicans would more than double the income threshold at which the top rate would kick in to $1 million for married couples. They would simultaneously raise taxes on the rich, though, by limiting their ability to take advantage of their lowest income tax bracket. The 35 percent bracket would begin at $260,000 for married couples, and the threshold for a 25 percent bracket would be $90,000 under the plan.

Republicans would also get rid of personal exemptions, which are designed to adjust tax burdens for family size. The plan would instead double the standard deduction while increasing both the size of the child tax credit to $1,600, from the current $1000, while increasing the income threshold at which it could be claimed. They would also create a new $300 credit for adult dependents as well as another $300 “family flexibility” credit.

The bill would ease the estate tax by doubling the threshold at which it would kick in before eventually repealing it.

But they would face new limits on their ability to deduct interest payments on the money they borrow. They would also face a new 10 percent foreign minimum tax targeting companies that squirrel away money in offshore tax havens. Life insurance companies would lose a number of tax benefits, private activity bonds would be eliminated and tax-exempt bonds could no longer be used to help build professional sports stadiums.

Rachael Bade and Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/02/tax-reform-house-gop-plan-244453

House GOP Tax Plan Sticks With Big Corporate Cuts

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act seeks the biggest transformation of tax code in more than 30 years; leaves top individual tax rate at 39.6%

WASHINGTON—House Republicans, seeking the biggest transformation of the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years, aim to permanently chop the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%, compress the number of individual income tax brackets, and over time repeal the taxes paid by large estates.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/republicans-stick-with-big-corporate-tax-cuts-in-house-bill-1509629510

 

 

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Trump picks Jerome Powell to succeed Yellen as Fed chair

  • President Donald Trump nominated Jerome Powell to run the Federal Reserve once current Chair Janet Yellen’s term expires in February.
  • Powell led a diverse field of potential nominees that included former Governor Kevin Warsh, Stanford economist John Taylor, chief Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn, and Yellen herself.
  • Yellen’s term has been marked by a mostly uninterrupted bull market that began in March 2009 and low interest rates even as the Fed has sought to unwind the stimulus initiated during the crisis.

President Donald Trump announces his nominee for Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell (L), in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, November 2, 2017.

President Trump announces Jerome Powell as next Fed chair nominee  

President Donald Trump nominated Jerome Powell to run the Federal Reserve once current Chair Janet Yellen’s term expires, in a move widely expected and one unlikely to disturb the roaring stock market.

Trump made the announcement during a Thursday afternoon ceremony in the Rose Garden.

The move follows an extended period of speculation over who would be named to head the central bank, whose aggressive policies have been considered central to a climate of low interest rates, surging job creation and booming asset prices.

“Today is an important milestone on the path to restoring economic opportunity to the American people,” Trump said with Powell standing to his right and the prospective chairman’s family nearby. The president said the Fed requires “strong, sound and steady leadership” and Powell “will provide exactly that type of leadership.”

“He’s strong, he’s committed and he’s smart, and if he is confirmed by the Senate, Jay will put his considerable talents and experience to work leading our nation’s independent central bank,” Trump added.

President Donald Trump announces Federal Reserve board member Jerome Powell as his nominee for the next chair of the Federal Reserve in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.

Alex Brandon | Reuters
President Donald Trump announces Federal Reserve board member Jerome Powell as his nominee for the next chair of the Federal Reserve in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.

Powell led a diverse field of potential nominees that included former Governor Kevin Warsh, Stanford economist John Taylor, chief Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn, and Yellen herself.

Trump’s relationship with Yellen has evolved; during the 2016 presidential campaign he said the Fed chief should be “ashamed” of the way she has run the Fed, arguing that Yellen kept policy loose for political reasons to boost the fortunes of former President Barack Obama.

Since taking office, though, his views have changed and he offered warm words for her Thursday despite deciding to replace Yellen and make her the briefest-serving Fed chair since G. William Miller from 1978-79.

Yellen’s term has been marked by a mostly uninterrupted bull market run in stocks that began in March 2009 and low interest rates even as the Fed has sought to unwind the stimulus initiated during the crisis. The central bank has hiked its benchmark interest rate four times under Yellen and has taken the first steps in unwinding the $4.5 trillion balance sheet built up during the efforts to spur growth through bond purchases.

Yellen is “a wonderful woman who’s done a terrific job,” Trump said. “We have been working together for 10 months and she is absolutely a spectacular person. Janet, thank you very much. We appreciate it.”

Though the Powell nomination was widely reported and anticipated for weeks, markets reacted positively to the announcement, with the Dow industrials tacking on about 60 points in the half-hour or so after Trump took the podium.

“Jerome Powell is a smart choice for Fed chair,” said Richard Clarida, global strategic advisor at bond giant Pimco. “He is likely to provide monetary policy continuity by adopting Yellen’s framework of gradually normalizing rates and predictably reducing the Fed’s balance sheet. He is also likely to be more receptive to calls for adjusting financial regulation prudently, especially for smaller banks.”

Powell had been named to fill an unexpired term in 2012 that won’t end until 2028. He is viewed as a convenient choice, someone who likely will continue the programs of the Yellen Fed but allow Trump a chance to put his own stamp on the central bank.

“I’m both honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve our great country,” Powell said. “If I am confirmed by the Senate, I will do everything within my power to achieve our congressional assigned goals of stable prices and maximum employment.”

The Fed is in the midst of normalizing the historically accommodative monetary policy it had begun to help pull the U.S. from the throes of the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

Under Yellen, the Fed has hiked interest rates four times and is expected to approve another increase in December. In addition, it is unwinding its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, which primarily consists of bonds the Fed purchased in an effort to drive down mortgage rates and push investors to risk assets like stocks and corporate bonds.

Powell has been part of the Fed’s voting consensus since taking his seat, not once veering from the majority’s position.

“I think the president has made a spectacular choice, and I’m really supportive of what the president is doing,” Cohn told the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. earlier in the day.

But the move had some critics, primarily from those worried about Powell’s academic background. Most Fed chairs have been PhDs and have more background in economics than Powell, who has spent much of his career as a lawyer, in investment banking and at the Treasury under former President George H.W. Bush.

” Powell’s resume is not up to the standards we would expect of a nominee for Fed Chair,” Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at forecasting firm Capital Economics said in a note. “The risk of a serious policy mistake — in either direction — will arguably be higher under Powell’s leadership than under Yellen’s.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/02/trump-picks-jerome-powell-to-succeed-yellen-as-fed-chair.html

 

 

Jerome H. Powell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jerome H. Powell
Jerome H. Powell.jpg
16th Chairman of the Federal Reserve
Nominee
Assumed office
February 4, 2018*
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Janet Yellen
Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Assumed office
May 25, 2012
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Frederic Mishkin
Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance
In office
1992–1993
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Robert R. Glauber
Succeeded by Frank N. Newman
Personal details
Born Jerome Hayden Powell
February 4, 1953 (age 64)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Republican[1]
Spouse(s) Elissa Leonard (m. 1985)
Children 3
Residence Chevy Chase, Maryland
Education Princeton University (BA)
Georgetown University (JD)
Net worth $19.7 – 55 million[2][3]
*Pending Senate confirmation

Jerome Hayden Powell (born February 4, 1953) is a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and has served since 2012. On November 2, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Powell to serve as the Chair of the Federal Reserve.[4]

Early life and education

Jerome H. Powell was born on February 4, 1953 in Washington, D.C., the son of Patricia (Hayden) and Jerome Powell, a lawyer in private practice.[5] His maternal grandfather, James J. Hayden, was Dean of the Columbus School of Law.[6]

In 1971, Powell graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School, a Jesuit university-preparatory school. He received a Bachelor of Arts in politics from Princeton University in 1975. In 1975-1976, he spent a year as a legislative assistant to Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania,[7][8] who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Vice President of the United States on a ticket with Ronald Reagan during the primary election in 1976.

Powell earned a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University in 1979, where he was editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal.[9]

Career

In 1979, Powell moved to New York City and became a clerk to Judge Ellsworth Van Graafeiland of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. From 1981 to 1983, he was a lawyer with Davis Polk & Wardwell, and from 1983 to 1984, he worked at the firm of Werbel & McMillen.[8]

From 1984 to 1990, Powell worked at Dillon, Read & Co., an investment bank, where he concentrated on financing, merchant banking, and mergers and acquisitions, rising to the position of vice president.[8][10]

Between 1990 and 1993, Powell worked in the United States Department of the Treasury, at which time Nicholas F. Brady, the former chairman of Dillon, Read & Co., was the United States Secretary of the Treasury. In 1992, Powell became the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance after being nominated by George H. W. Bush.[8][10][7] During his stint at the Treasury, Powell oversaw the investigation and sanctioning of Salomon Brothers after one of its traders submitted false bids for a United States Treasury security.[11] Powell was also involved in the negotiations that made Warren Buffett the chairman of Salomon.[12]

In 1993, Powell began working as a managing director for Bankers Trust, but he quit in 1995 after the bank got into trouble after several customers suffered large losses due to derivatives. He then went back to work for Dillon, Read & Co.[10]

From 1997 to 2005, Powell was a partner at The Carlyle Group, where he founded and led the Industrial Group within the Carlyle U.S. Buyout Fund.[9][13]

After leaving Carlyle, Powell founded Severn Capital Partners, a private investment firm focused on specialty finance and opportunistic investments in the industrial sector.[14]

In 2008, Powell became a managing partner of the Global Environment Fund, a private equity and venture capital firm that invests in sustainable energy.[14]

Between 2010 and 2012, Powell was a visiting scholar at the