The Pronk Pops Show 1029, February 8, 2018, Story 1: Count Down To Shutdown and Defeat of Bipartisan Budget Busters Bill — Reactivate The Tea Party Movement Now — March On Washington — Form New Independence Party To Replace Big Government Budget Busting Democrats and Republicans — Fiscal Responsibility: Balanced Budgets — No More Deficits — Permanently Shutdown 8 Federal Departments — Videos — Story 2: FBI Informant On Uranium Deal Disclosures To Congress: Russians Attempted To Buy Influence With Bill and Hillary Clinton For Approval of Sale of Uranium One Deal To Russians — Videos

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Rand Paul’s Epic Speech on Government Spending, $20.6 Trillion Debt, and fiscal responsibility

Friedman on Reagan

Ronald Reagan Describes Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman on his Ideal Society

Milton Friedman – Enemies of the Free Market

Milton Friedman – The Seen Vs The Unseen

Milton Friedman – The Proper Role of Government

Milton Friedman: Why Government Started Growing

Milton Friedman – Spending and not “the debt”

Milton Friedman – Deficits and Government Spending

How to Reduce Debt and Grow the Economy: Milton Friedman on Budget Reconciliation Legislation (1993)

BREAKING: White House ‘preparing for the worst’ as second US government SHUTDOWN expected

Shutdown likely as Rand Paul holds up key vote

Rep. Brat Says Budget Deal a ‘Non-Starter’

Will the House follow the Senate on a budget deal?

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Paul on Holding Up ‘Rotten’ Budget Deal: ‘We’re Going to Bring Back Obama-Era Deficits’

Congress Scrambles Towards Budget Deal

Congress to Vote on Long Term Spending Bill

Why Congress’ budget solution might not avert a shutdown

PBS is a publicly funded American broadcaster

Shutdown ends after Trump signs budget deal

After Rand Paul’s blockade concluded, the Senate and House passed a sweeping budget deal.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is pictured. | AP Photo
“This is a great victory for our men and women in uniform. Republicans and Democrats joined together to finally give our troops the resources and our generals the certainty to plan for the future,” said Speaker Paul Ryan. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

After five and a half hours of a government shutdown, Congress passed a sweeping budget deal early Friday morning that will keep the doors open at federal agencies and lift stiff spending caps — giving Republicans another legislative victory, although it came at a high price.

At about 8:40 a.m. Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he “just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!”

The measure faced opposition from the right and left, but lawmakers were loath to force a protracted shutdown fight. And many lawmakers were eager to see higher spending on defense and domestic programs.

The House vote, around 5:30 a.m., was 240-186. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) had urged her members to oppose the bill over the GOP’s failure to resolve the standoff over 700,000 Dreamers, but her efforts ultimately fell short. Seventy-three Democrats ended up backing the bipartisan package, which came after months of closed-door talks.

The defeat was a bitter one for Pelosi and other top Democrats, who have sought for months to tie a resolution of the fight over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to the budget caps negotiations.

“She didn’t have a cohesive message… and at the end of the day, her team broke,” crowed Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) following the House vote. “It’s a fascinating display of a bipartisan win and at the same time, Democrats ripping themselves apart about a bipartisan agreement. It doesn’t make any damn sense.”

The Senate had earlier passed the measure on a 71-28 vote shortly before 2 a.m.

In addition to tens of billions of dollars in new funding for both the Pentagon and domestic programs, the budget package will keep federal agencies open until March 23. This will give time for the House and Senate Appropriations panels to craft a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that will fund federal agencies until Sept. 30.

The bipartisan agreement includes nearly $90 billion in disaster aid for Texas, Florida, California, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The federal government’s debt limit will also be extended until March 2019.

“This is a great victory for our men and women in uniform. Republicans and Democrats joined together to finally give our troops the resources and our generals the certainty to plan for the future,” said Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Senate Democrats also claimed victory, especially Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who helped craft the deal along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and House leaders.

“What makes Democrats proudest of this bill is that after a decade of cuts to programs that help the middle class, we have a dramatic reversal,” added Schumer. “Funding for education, infrastructure, fighting drug abuse, and medical research will all, for the first time in years, get very significant increases, and we have placed Washington on a path to deliver more help to the middle class in the future.”

Yet the Senate vote came only after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) refused to allow any action on the measure before the midnight funding deadline, triggering the second government shutdown in three weeks and an embarrassing outcome for the GOP-controlled Congress.

Paul blocked consideration of the measure because he didn’t get a vote on an amendment to keep Congress under strict budget caps, as well as stripping the debt limit from the package. GOP and Democratic leaders in the Senate feared if they let Paul proceed with his proposal, other senators would seek to amend the underlying deal as well. So they refused to allow a vote on Paul’s proposal.

Paul countered by delaying Senate consideration of the bill as long as possible, a move that angered McConnell and other top Republicans. Paul didn’t seem to care.

“There’s only so much I can do. This is a silly thing about it. I can keep them here until 3 a.m. I will make them listen to me,” Paul said on Fox News.

With a shutdown only hours away, McConnell tried to set up a vote on the budget deal beginning at 6 p.m. But Paul objected.

McConnell then pleaded with senators to accept a procedural vote and allow the Senate to move a deal that Trump backs.

“The president of the United States supports the bill and is waiting to sign it into law. I understand my friend and colleague from Kentucky does not join the president in supporting the bill,” McConnell said. “It’s his right, of course, to vote against the bill. But I would argue that it’s time to vote.”

Paul told POLITICO on Thursday evening that he would not consent to congressional leaders’ plan without a vote on his amendment. He ended up never getting that vote.

Asked if he’s worried about singlehandedly inheriting the blame for a shutdown, Paul replied: “No. I think it’s an important enough thing that we should have a discussion over.”

At midnight, the federal shutdown began, and the Office of Personnel Management emailed federal employees to make it official.

“Due to a lapse in appropriations, Federal government operations vary by agency,” the agency said. “Employees should refer to their home agency for guidance on reporting for duty.”

Even after all the Senate drama, passage in the House was not a sure bet either.

Opposition from GOP conservatives required Republican leaders to lean on Democrats for votes even as Pelosi took a hard line on DreamersIn the end, dozens of her rank-and-file rejected Pelosi’s plea and supported the package.

During a two-hour Democratic Caucus meeting on Thursday, Pelosi and party leaders made the case for why members should vote no but weren’t twisting arms.

“We have a moment. They don’t have the votes,” Pelosi declared inside the meeting according to two sources. Pelosi said Democrats needed to use their leverage on the budget deal to extract concessions from Ryan on resolving the standoff over Dreamers.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.) warned his Democratic colleagues that donors would not support them if they don’t stand up and fight.

“Right now, I would say that I don’t believe that the Republicans are going to get enough votes from the Democrats to pass this, Gallego said. “They’re going to have to rely very heavily on enough of their votes.”

However, Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.), top Democrat on the Budget Committee, said he would back the budget accord. Yarmuth said he believed Ryan wants a deal on the Dreamers. He also worried Democrats would get blamed for a shutdown.

“That’s my concern,” Yarmuth said. “If Republicans had 70 votes and needed 140 from us, then there’s no pressure on us. If they have 170 and we can’t put up 40 to support a bipartisan bill coming from the Senate, then we get blamed for a shutdown.”

After teasing details of the deal earlier in the day, congressional leaders unveiled the more than 650-page bill just before midnight Wednesday, proposing expansive policy changes and funding bumps for specific programs in every corner of the federal government.

“This is not the kind of deal you celebrate,” said House Budget Chairman Steve Womack (R-Ark.), who explained Wednesday that he had concerns he would be voicing to leadership before divulging whether he will vote for the bill.

Ryan played up the big boost in defense spending in order to placate Republicans, while also trying to reassure Pelosi and wavering Democrats that he is resolved to coming up with a solution for Dreamers.

“I know that there is a real commitment to solving the DACA challenge in both political parties. That’s a commitment that I share,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday. “If anyone doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not. We will bring a solution to the floor, one the president will sign.”

Trump canceled the DACA program last year and called on Congress to come up with a legislative fix he can support. Despite months of bipartisan talks, congressional leaders have failed to do so, leading to last month’s government shutdown and questions over whether Congress can pass a budget caps deal.

Ryan had hoped his last statement — a different version of what he has already promised — would provide enough Democrats the political cover they needed to vote for the budget deal. But it wasn’t enough for Pelosi.

A group of about 10 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including its chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), were seen in an intense debate about the bill on the first floor of the Capitol Thursday morning. And members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were debating whether they should support the plan during their weekly lunch huddle later that day. A number of Democrats from those groups ended up voting for the budget agreement.

For a number of House Democrats, the budget caps deals means billions of dollars more in federal spending for their districts , funds they desperately want.

“I cannot in good conscience go home and say to my [hospitals that serve low-income patients] that I didn’t vote for this because of DACA,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), a member of the CBC.

“Or I can’t go home and say to health centers that have already been handing out pink slips, ‘I didn’t vote for this and they gave me money for a permanent fix for your problem.’ I can’t go home and say to union people, ‘Look, they’re going to try to take care of your pension problem, but I didn’t vote for it.'”

Burgess Everett, Matthew Nussbaum and Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/08/congress-massive-budget-deal-2018-398189

 

Sen. Paul cites jittery markets and rising rates as reasons to block spending bill

  • As the Senate tries to pass a massive spending bill, Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul raises alarm about jittery markets and rising interest rates.
  • The deadline for the spending bill looms, threatening a government shutdown.
  • Paul also razzes colleagues for being against deficits during the Obama administration but embracing them now.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Joshua Roberts | Reuters
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul was threatening to derail the Senate’s massive budget deal, pointing to the stock market plunge this week and arguing the bill spends too much money.

Paul said financial markets are “jittery” and demonstrate an “undercurrent of unease” because investors are worried about government debt and inflation. On Thursday the Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 1,000 points for the second time this week, also marking the second-worst point drop in its history.

Frenzied selling in the market has come with a surge in the widely watched volatility index, with things going haywire last Friday after a report showed wages were growing. While good news for workers, the report sparked fears of inflation, sending stocks into their initial tailspin. The selling continued into this week.

But the government has also scrambled to pass a spending bill that will keep it in business and extend its ability to borrow beyond current limits. A shutdown deadline looms overnight. In the Senate on Thursday, Paul said he was elected to fight reckless government spending regardless of the funding deadline.

“You wonder why the stock market is jittery, one of the reasons is we don’t have the capacity to continue funding” the government like this, he said. “We’ve been funding it with phony interest rates.”

Rates have been near historic lows since the financial crisis forced the Federal Reserve to slash them and aggressively buy bonds to support the economy. The Fed is backing off that easy money policy, aiming to raise rates very gradually to more normal levels and reduce the amount of its bond holdings over time. But the Fed’s ability to raise rates and the timing of those increases could cool down a growing economy.

“What if rates become real again?” Paul asked in the Senate. “Already, interest rates are ticking up. Stock market is jittery. If you ask the question why, maybe it has something to do with the irresponsibility of Congress spending money we don’t have.”

He also razzed his colleagues for supporting the spending bill, which will raise the cap on government spending $300 million over two years. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would cost about $320 billion, much of it in the first year.

“If you were against [President] Obama’s deficits and now you’re for Republican deficits, isn’t that very definition of hypocrisy?”

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/08/rand-cites-jittery-markets-and-rising-rates-to-block-spending-bill.html

What you need to know about the Senate budget deal

Senate to vote on two-year budget Thursday

Senate leaders have agreed to the biggest budget deal of Donald Trump’s presidency, ending a months-long partisan standoff that briefly shuttered the federal government in January.

Both chambers are expected to vote on the package Thursday ahead of a midnight deadline for keeping the government open.

Passage in the Senate is a certainty given support from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), who have hailed it as a major breakthrough.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has also praised the deal, but conservative Republicans are rejecting it.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) says she’ll vote against the bill because it does not include language to protect from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the country illegally as children. But she isn’t whipping her members to oppose the legislation.

Here’s what’s in the deal:

Spending cap increases

The measure raises the cap on defense discretionary spending by $80 billion in fiscal year 2018 and $85 billion in fiscal year 2019.

It also provides $71 billion in emergency or overseas contingency funding for 2018 and $69 billion for 2019, bringing total defense spending for those two years to $700 billion and $716 billion, respectively.

It raises the cap on nondefense domestic discretionary spending by $63 billion in fiscal year 2018 and $68 billion in fiscal year 2019.

It fully repeals the automatic spending caps known as sequestration for nondefense programs. Counting the repeal of the sequester cut and $57 billion in new spending, it represents a $131 billion increase for nondefense programs.

The big jump in defense spending has earned plaudits from Pentagon chief James Mattis and defense hawks in both chambers, though some have questioned whether it’s too much money for the military.

“Military spending and defense spending is far above the president’s request,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), an outspoken budget hawk who said Thursday he’d be voting on the bill. “I’m all for supporting our military, and I want to make sure they’re funded properly. It’s very difficult to have that big an increase in one year and then be able to use it wisely.”

It includes $23.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s fund for recovery repairs and future mitigation and $28 billion in community development block grants for housing and infrastructure.

It also has $2 billion to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands rebuild their electric grids and $2.4 billion to help citrus growers in Florida and farmers in other areas recover from hurricanes and wildfires.

It spends $4.9 billion in Medicaid funds for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were hit hard by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Debt ceiling

The measure suspends the debt ceiling until March 1, 2019, sidestepping a fight with House conservatives who have demanded attaching spending reforms to any expansion of federal borrowing authority.

There’s growing sentiment on both sides of the aisle that the debt limit should be abolished, as it only authorizes the Treasury Department to pay obligations that Congress has already authorized.

Budget hawks, however, are unhappy with the fiscal impact of the deal. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget warns it would “set the stage for more than $1.5 trillion of new debt over the next decade.”

Opioid addiction

The agreement allocates $6 billion over two years to fight opioid addiction, a major priority of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who has spearheaded the Senate push to address what he says is a nationwide crisis.

It would fund prevention programs and law enforcement operations.

Infrastructure

The bill provides $20 billion in new infrastructure investment, reflecting demands from Republicans who wanted a portion of the nondefense spending hikes to go to infrastructure.

This reflects a priority for Trump, who has called on Congress to pass a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill.

The $20 billion falls far short of the amount of federal money needed to leverage an infrastructure overhaul of the magnitude that Trump envisions, but it’s a start.

Veterans

The bill provides funding to reduce the backlog of more than 400,000 claims at Department of Veterans Affairs health centers.

One of Trump’s top priorities during the 2016 campaign was to improve care for military veterans. He signed an executive order expanding health care services for veterans leaving active duty.

The measure would provide $4 billion — $2 billion in 2018 and $2 billion in 2019 — to address the backlog.
Health care

Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) would be extended by four years under the bill. The program was previously authorized for six years as part of a funding deal late last month that ended the January shutdown.

Democrats had called for a 10-year reauthorization of CHIP, but Schumer characterized the funding as a victory.

“American families with children who benefit with CHIP will now be able to rest easy for the next decade,” Schumer said Wednesday.

The deal OKs a two-year reauthorization of community health centers with more than $7 billion in total funding, another priority Democrats demanded during the January shutdown.

It closes the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” for seniors.

And it gives $620 million over two years to the National Health Service Corps and $253 million over the same period to teaching health centers.

The bill also includes structural reforms to Medicare that a senior Democratic aide described as a routine way to offset the cost of the bill.

It would repeal ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, a controversial part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act that never got off the ground as critics warned it would take medical decisions away from doctors.

Budget, appropriations and pension reform

The bill establishes special committees to work on budget and appropriations reform and pensions reform.

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), a leading proponent of budgetary reform, applauded the development Wednesday.

“There may be some new energy behind working on process reform. That could be an encouraging sign,” he said.

Democrats say the creation of a joint select committee to address what they call the multiemployer pension crisis will help millions of pensioners, including miners who are faced with cuts to their benefits.

Helping retired miners is a top priority of Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) who are running for reelection this year in states that voted for Trump.

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/372932-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-senate-budget-deal

RAND PAUL: Government spending is out of control

Rand Paul
US Sen. Rand Paul.Reuters/John Sommers II

US Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is a 2016 presidential candidate.

Last year, when the Republican Party gained control of both houses of Congress, the American people were promised that things would change. The American people were promised that the economy would improve — that President Obama and his reckless spending habits would be pinned down once and for all. One year later, however, things do not appear to have changed at all.

Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced that the deficit for this fiscal year will hit $544 billion — $130 billion more than expected — while the 10-year deficit is projected to climb over $1 trillion higher than previously forecast.

That’s right: We are already over $18 trillion in debt — we already have a debt that is equal to our GDP — and yet our Republican-controlled Congress is still ready to continue spending more of our money at every turn.

Throughout my time in Washington, I have worked tirelessly to wake up Republicans and Democrats to the dangers of their reckless spending habits, but neither side is willing to face fiscal reality.

In the last decade, we have added nearly $10 trillion in new debt and the results have been far from stellar. Our labor force participation rate is sitting at a near-40-year low. Wage growth has remained stagnant, while real median household income has declined by over 7%.

What frustrates me the most about Washington’s penchant for spending $7 million a minute is that there is clearly hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of pork barrel spending that should be removed from our list of expenditures. For example, we recently spent taxpayer money on everything from a $104 million subsidy for millionaires to live in public housing to $850,000 on a foreign made-for-T.V. cricket league in Afghanistan. I cannot imagine that anyone living outside the beltway would support such wasteful expenditures.

Although there is clearly plenty of waste within our budget, my Republican colleagues — including fellow presidential candidates Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — refuse to cut even a penny.

This March, Cruz and Rubio wanted to increase military spending by $190 billion over the next two years. I proposed raising defense spending by exactly the same amount, but also proposed offsetting the hike with cuts to wasteful spending. Cruz, Rubio, and nearly every other Republican in the Senate voted against my amendment. Fiscal conservatism is apparently much easier to preach than to do.

The problem in Washington is that there is an unholy alliance between right and left. They come together to spend more of your money at every turn. Conservatives want more military spending and liberals want more domestic spending. As a result, they shake hands and agree to spend more on everything.

Last October, this secret alliance came together to introduce the Bipartisan Budget Act, a statute which aimed to suspend the debt limit until the end of President Obama’s tenure and increase spending by $85 billion in just three years. It also proposed taking $150 billion from the Social Security trust fund — the trust fund that is projected to reach insolvency within 20 years — to fund other areas of the budget.

The U.S. Capitol is pictured on the opening day of the 112th United States Congress in Washington, January 5, 2011. REUTERS/Jim BourgThe US Capitol.Thomson Reuters

When it came time to vote on the Bipartisan Budget Act, I was not shy in expressing my disapproval. In hopes of convincing my colleagues of the negative impacts that this legislation would have on our economy, I voiced my objections on the Senate floor until the wee hours of the morning.

Instead of thanking me for fighting for conservative principles until the bitter end, however, many of my colleagues cursed and yelled at me for wasting their time. In the end, only 34 of my Republican colleagues stood with me to restore fiscal sanity.

It is disappointing that Republicans would agree to any new spending, especially since there is plenty of pork barrel spending that can and should be cut. Unfortunately, however, wasteful spending is the common ground that the unholy alliance never ceases to agree upon.

The truth is, Republicans are just as fiscally irresponsible as Democrats. Conservatives may support lowering your taxes, but they are still willing to spend more of your money at every turn. Cutting taxes while increasing spending simply means that American workers will be taxed in a more discrete and worse way. It means that our borrowing will increase, which will lead to more debt, higher inflation, and less money in all of our pockets.

Unfortunately, both parties will continue to spend us into oblivion until we restrain them from doing so. That’s why I have consistently advocated for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. We need to make every Congressional representative swear an oath to balance the budget and ensure that it gets done.

Throughout my time in the Senate, I have also proven that I am serious about balancing the budget by laying out precisely what programs, departments, and expenditures I would cut in order to bring fiscal stability back to our nation’s checkbook. Every conservative that pays lip service to reining in the debt should follow my lead. We can’t afford for politicians to be “all talk.” We need action, and we need it now.

http://www.businessinsider.com/rand-paul-government-spending-is-out-of-control-2016-1

Congress stumbles toward second shutdown

Resistance from Rand Paul and House Democrats may push the government over the brink.

The Capitol is pictured. | Getty Images
In contrast to the House leaders’ battle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have repeatedly praised the deal — and each other — as a compromise that dozens of senators from each party can support. | Saul Loeb/Getty Images

The White House urged federal agencies on Thursday evening to prepare for a government shutdown at midnight, as a budget deal stalled on Capitol Hill amid resistance from a cantankerous GOP senator and unhappy House Democrats.

“The Office of Management and Budget is currently preparing for a lapse in appropriations,” said an OMB official.

A senior Trump administration official said if a shutdown does happen, it would be over “within a few hours.” The official expressed confidence that the House would pass the bill once it ultimately comes over from the Senate.

The House and Senate were expected to vote earlier Thursday on the bipartisan budget package, which would jack up federal spending by about $300 billion over two years. The agreement also calls for raising the debt ceiling until March 2019, as well as nearly $90 billion in disaster aid.

But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is blocking consideration of the measure until he gets a vote on an amendment to keep Congress under strict budget caps, as well as stripping the debt limit from the package. Senate GOP leaders had believed they could work out an agreement with Paul, but the libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican has not relented yet.

That could lead to a shutdown on Friday unless some action is taken to head it off. GOP leaders have already begun discussing a one- or two-day continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown, said Republican aides. Such a proposal could quickly pass both chambers if no lawmakers objected. Paul, however, may object.

“There’s only so much I can do. This is a silly thing about it. I can keep them here until 3 a.m. I will make them listen to me and they will have to have me to listen to me,” Paul said on Fox News. “It is too important for the country not to have a debate.”

Paul added: “I’m not advocating for shutting down the government. I’m also not advocating for keeping the damn thing open and borrowing a million dollars a minute. This is reckless spending that is out of control.”

With a shutdown only hours away, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tried to set up a vote on the budget deal beginning at 6 p.m. But Paul objected.

McConnell pleaded with senators to accept a procedural vote and allow the Senate to move a deal that President Donald Trump backs.

“The president of the United States supports the bill and is waiting to sign it into law. I understand my friend and colleague from Kentucky does not join the president in supporting the bill,” McConnell said. “It’s his right, of course, to vote against the bill. But I would argue that it’s time to vote.”

But Paul told POLITICO on Thursday evening that he will not consent to congressional leaders’ plan without a vote on his amendment.

Asked if he’s worried about singlehandedly inheriting the blame for a shutdown, Paul replied: “No. I think it’s an important enough thing that we should have a discussion over.”

The Kentucky Republican’s move could lead to a shutdown starting at midnight. Unless he agrees to back off, the Senate couldn’t vote before 1 a.m. Even then, the House will need several hours to complete its work.

And passage in the House isn’t a sure bet either.

Opposition from GOP conservatives is forcing Republican leaders to lean on Democrats for votes even as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) digs in with immigration demands.

“Part of it depends on the Democrats,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday morning on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show. “This is a bipartisan bill. It’s going to need bipartisan support.”

Right now it’s unclear how many Democrats will support the bill and the debate is sharply dividing the caucus.

During a two-hour Democratic Caucus meeting on Thursday, Pelosi and party leaders made the case for why members should vote no but weren’t twisting arms.

“We have a moment. They don’t have the vote,” Pelosi declared inside the meeting according to two sources. Pelosi said Democrats needed to use their leverage on the budget deal to extract concessions from Ryan on resolving the standoff over Dreamers.

A number of Democrats estimated that between 40 to 60 of their colleagues would support the budget agreement, although Republicans still believe more Democrats will vote for it in the end rather than allow a shutdown to happen.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.) warned his Democratic colleagues that donors would not support them if they don’t stand up and fight.

“Right now, I would say that I don’t believe that the Republicans are going to get enough votes from the Democrats to pass this, Gallego said. They’re going to have to rely very heavily on enough of their votes.”

But Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.), top Democrat on the Budget Committee, said he would back the budget accord. Yarmuth said he believed Ryan wants a deal on the Dreamers. He also worried Democrats would get blamed for a shutdown.

“That’s my concern,” Yarmuth said. “If Republicans had 70 votes and needed 140 from us, then there’s no pressure on us. If they have 170 and we can’t put up 40 to support a bipartisan bill coming from the Senate, then we get blamed for a shutdown.”

Top House Republicans believe they will get a “majority of the majority” to support the measure, although the House Freedom Caucus and other deficit hawks are against the proposal. Republicans are hoping for 70-plus Democratic votes. There are 238 House Republicans.

“This is not the kind of deal you celebrate,” said House Budget Chairman Steve Womack (R-Ark.), who explained Wednesday that he had concerns he would be voicing to leadership before divulging whether he will vote for the bill.

Ryan is playing up the big boost in defense spending in order to placate Republicans, while also trying to reassure Pelosi and wavering Democrats that he is resolved to coming up with a solution for Dreamers.

“I know that there is a real commitment to solving the the DACA challenge in both political parties. That’s a commitment that I share,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. “If anyone doubts my intention to solve this problems and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not. We will bring a solution to the floor, one the president will sign.”

President Donald Trump canceled the program last year and called on Congress to come up with a legislative fix he can support. Despite months of bipartisan talks, congressional leaders have failed to do so, leading to last month’s government shutdown and questions over whether Congress can pass a budget caps deal.

Ryan had hoped his latest statement — a different version of what he has already promised — will give enough Democrats cover to vote for the budget deal. But it wasn’t enough to assuage Pelosi.

While a legal fight is being waged in federal court over the Dreamers’ fate, Pelosi has been seeking Ryan’s assurance that the House will vote to protect the 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.

Despite Pelosi’s position, and the threat of losing on the budget agreement vote, Ryan has refused to commit to anything more than the House would consider a bill that Trump can endorse. Yet without those assurances, there may not be enough House support to pass the budget deal.

A trio of House Democrats — Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) — are whipping their colleagues to oppose the budget deal, according to multiple sources.

The budget deal is also threatening to divide the minority groups — the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus — which have banded together during the immigration debate over the past several months. The three groups along with the Congressional Progressive Caucus were supposed to put out a statement Wednesday opposing the budget deal. But deep divisions within the CBC and CHC have delayed the unified show of opposition, and it’s unclear if the statement will come out at this point.

A group of about 10 members of the CBC, including its chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), were seen in an intense debate about the bill on the first floor of the Capitol late Thursday morning. And members of the CHC were debating whether they could and should support the plan during their weekly lunch huddle later that day.

For a number of House Democrats, the budget caps deals means billions of dollars more in domestic spending, funds they desperately want. So they will back the agreement despite their concerns over the Dreamers.

“I cannot in good conscience go home and say to my [hospitals that serve low-income patients] that I didn’t vote for this because of DACA,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), a member of the CBC.

“Or I can’t go home and say to health centers that have already been handing out pink slips, ‘I didn’t vote for this and they gave me money for a permanent fix for your problem.’ I can’t go home and say to union people, ‘Look, they’re going to try to take care of your pension problem, but I didn’t vote for it.'”

In contrast to Pelosi and Ryan’s battle, McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have repeatedly praised the deal — and each other — as a compromise that contains billions of dollars that dozens of senators from each party can support.

The massive package includes $89 billion in disaster aid, surpassing the $81 billion allocation the House approved in December for regions hit by wildfires and last year’s trio of catastrophic hurricanes.

As the Treasury Department reaches the upper limits of its borrowing authority this month, the measure would lift the debt ceiling until March 2019, giving lawmakers more than a year without the worry of default.

Burgess Everett, Matthew Nussbaum and Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/08/congress-massive-budget-deal-2018-398189

Speaker Paul D. Ryan arriving to vote on Friday. He expressed support for bringing a debate on immigration to the House floor. CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday morning signed into law a far-reaching budget deal that will boost spending by hundreds of billions of dollars and allow the federal government to reopen after a brief shutdown.

In an early morning tweet, Mr. Trump said he had signed the bill, adding: “Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more.”

Mr. Trump’s signature came quickly after the House gave final approval early Friday to the deal, hours after a one-man blockade by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky delayed the votes and forced the government to briefly close.

House Democrats, after threatening to bring the bill down because it did nothing to protect young undocumented immigrants, gave Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin the votes he did not have in his own party and ensured passage. In the end, 73 House Democrats voted yes to more than offset the 67 Republicans who voted no.

Just before the vote, Mr. Ryan voiced support for bringing a debate on immigration to the House floor — though he did not make a concrete promise, as Democratic leaders had wanted.

With Mr. Trump’s signature, the government will reopen before many Americans were aware it had closed, with a deal that includes about $300 billion in additional funds over two years for military and nonmilitary programs, almost $90 billion in disaster relief in response to last year’s hurricanes and wildfires, and a higher statutory debt ceiling.

It should pave the way for a measure of stability through September 2019 after months of lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis. Mr. Trump will get to boast of a huge increase in military spending, long promised, but his desire to more broadly reorder the government with deep cuts to programs like environmental protection, health research and foreign aid are dead for now — as is any semblance of fiscal austerity.

Mr. Paul, a Republican, made that final point. Angered at the huge spending increases at the center of the accord, he delayed passage for hours with a demand to vote on an amendment that would have kept in place the strict caps on spending that the deal raises.

 

How Rand Paul Exposed a Republican Reversal

It wasn’t long ago that fiscal responsibility was a mainstream Republican rallying cry. This was not lost on Senator Rand Paul who briefly shut the government down Friday morning over spending increases.

By CHRIS CIRILLO and SARAH STEIN KERR on Publish DateFebruary 9, 2018. Photo by Erin Schaff for The New York Times

“The reason I’m here tonight is to put people on the spot,” Mr. Paul said Thursday night. “I want people to feel uncomfortable. I want them to have to answer people at home who said, ‘How come you were against President Obama’s deficits and then how come you’re for Republican deficits?’”

The shutdown came on the heels of a three-day closure brought about by Senate Democrats last month. As midnight approached, Mr. Paul did not relent, bemoaning from the Senate floor what he saw as out-of-control government spending and repeatedly rebuffing attempts by his fellow senators to move ahead with a vote.

“I think the country’s worth a debate until 3 in the morning, frankly,” he said.

Senate leaders were left helpless.

“I think it’s irresponsible,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, lamenting what he described as “the act of a single senator who just is trying to make a point but doesn’t really care too much about who he inconveniences.”

Mr. Paul’s ideological opponents were not buying his fiscal rectitude either. Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, posted on Twitter: “Rand Paul voted for a tax bill that blew a $1.5 trillion hole in the budget. Now he is shutting the government down for three hours because of the debt. The chance to demonstrate fiscal discipline was on the tax vote. Delaying a vote isn’t a profile in courage, it’s a cleanup.”

The Senate finally passed the measure, 71 to 28, shortly before 2 a.m. The House followed suit around 5:30 a.m., voting 240 to 186 for the bill.

Before Mr. Paul waged his assault on the budget deal, trouble was already brewing in the House, where angry opposition from the Republicans’ most ardent conservative members, coupled with Democratic dissenters dismayed that the deal did nothing for young undocumented immigrants, created new tension as the clock ticked toward midnight.

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, told a closed-door meeting of House Democrats that she would oppose the deal, and said that Democrats would have leverage if they held together to demand a debate on immigration legislation. But she suggested that she would not stand in the way of lawmakers who wanted to vote their conscience.

Pressing the issue further, Ms. Pelosi and the next two highest-ranking House Democrats sent a letter to Mr. Ryan noting their desire for the government to remain open and imploring him to make a public statement about the scheduling of a vote on legislation to protect young undocumented immigrants who are now shielded from deportation by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Senator Rand Paul on Thursday ahead of a budget vote in Washington. He held up the vote in a protest of government spending. CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

“Most of our members believe the budget agreement is a reasonable compromise to address America’s military strength and critical domestic priorities, like fighting the opioid crisis, boosting N.I.H., moving forward to resolve the pension crisis, caring for our veterans, making college more affordable and investing in child care for working families,” they wrote. “We are writing to again reiterate our request that you make a public statement regarding the scheduling of a vote on a DACA bill.”

The run-up to the House vote, when passage was no foregone conclusion, highlighted the divisions within the Democratic caucus over how hard to push on the issue of immigration as Congress prepares to turn its focus to that politically volatile subject.

The text of the deal, stretching more than 600 pages, was released late Wednesday night, revealing provisions large and small that would go far beyond the basic budget numbers. The accord would raise strict spending caps on domestic and military spending in this fiscal year and the next one by about $300 billion in total. It would also lift the federal debt limit until March 2019.

Critically, it would also keep the government funded for another six weeks, giving lawmakers time to put together a long-term spending bill that would stretch through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The previous temporary funding measure, which was passed to end the last shutdown, expired at midnight on Thursday.

The deal had been expected to sail through the Senate, and the House had planned to vote on it later Thursday, until Mr. Paul took his stand.

The White House Office of Management and Budget instructed federal agencies to prepare for a possible lapse in funding, a spokeswoman said Thursday night. Even with a technical lapse in government funding, the effect of the shutdown was limited because lawmakers gave final approval to the deal only hours after funding expired.

As the midnight deadline approached, Senate leaders from both parties nudged Mr. Paul to stop holding up the vote. And his colleagues had little to do but wait.

“It’s just further example of the dysfunction of this place,” said Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin. “It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?”

Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia, offered a succinct account of his evening: “Living the dream.”

GRAPHIC

Budget Deficits Are Projected to Balloon Under the Bipartisan Spending Deal

The two-year budget agreement reached by Senate leaders would contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to federal deficits.

 OPEN GRAPHIC

Among the Democratic ranks in the House, the objections were also strenuous, but for reasons very different from Mr. Paul’s.

With the monthslong budget impasse appearing to be on the cusp of a resolution, lawmakers were girding for a fight over the fate of young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, known as Dreamers, as well as Mr. Trump’s plan to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico and other possible immigration policy changes.

The uncertain outlook for immigration legislation, and the disagreements on the best strategy to move forward, was starkly apparent as Ms. Pelosi commanded the House floor for more than eight hours on Wednesday in an effort to help the young immigrants. She said she would oppose the budget deal unless Mr. Ryan offered a commitment to hold a vote on legislation in the House that would address the fate of the Dreamers.

On Thursday, Ms. Pelosi herself displayed the conflicting pressures on Democrats. She simultaneously hailed the budget deal while proclaiming she would vote against it. In a letter to colleagues, she explained her opposition to the deal, but also nodded to its virtues and held back from pressuring other Democrats to vote against it.

“I’m pleased with the product,” she told reporters. “I’m not pleased with the process.”

In his own comments to reporters on Thursday, Mr. Ryan stressed his desire to address the fate of the young immigrants. But he did not offer the kind of open-ended commitment that might assuage Ms. Pelosi. Instead, he signaled that whatever bill the House considers would be one that Mr. Trump supports.

“To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not,” he said. “We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign.”

Just before the vote on Friday morning, Mr. Ryan offered a further reassurance about his commitment to addressing DACA. Once the budget deal has been approved, he said, “we will focus on bringing that debate to this floor and finding a solution.”

The fate of the Dreamers has been in question since Mr. Trump moved in September to end DACA. The president gave Congress six months to come up with a solution to resolve their fate.

In recent months, Democrats have tried to make use of the leverage they have in fiscal negotiations, and the issue of immigration played a central role in last month’s shutdown. But Democrats have struggled to determine how hard they should push.

Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, voted against the budget deal, but she did not pressure other Democrats to do so. CreditAl Drago for The New York Times

In last month’s closure, the vast majority of Senate Democrats voted to block a bill that would have kept the government open, only to retreat a few days later and agree to end the closure after Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, promised a Senate debate on immigration.

This time, House Democrats were clearly split in their calculations about the best way to exert influence over immigration.

Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez, Democrat of Illinois, demanded that Ms. Pelosi use her muscle to “stop the Democrats from folding.”

“Anyone who votes for the Senate budget deal is colluding with this president and this administration to deport Dreamers,” he said. “It is as simple as that.”

Democrats also ran the risk of angering liberal activists who want to see them take a stand. Ben Wikler, the Washington director for MoveOn.org, said House Democrats would be making a strategic mistake by voting for the budget deal.

“If you’re looking at a boulder and you have a choice between a lever or your bare hands, you should use the lever,” he said.

But Democrats secured important victories in the budget pact, obtaining big increases in funding for domestic programs. Voting against those wins to take a stand on DACA — and possibly prolonging the shutdown — carried its own political risks.

Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, noted that the budget deal “meets nearly every one of our priorities.”

“If Democrats cannot support this kind of compromise, Congress will never function,” he said.

The spotlight was on House Democrats in part because it had become apparent that Republican leaders would most likely lack the votes to push the budget deal through the House with only votes from their own party.

A sizable number of House Republicans rebelled against the deal because of its huge increase in spending. The conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has roughly three dozen members, formally opposed the deal.

“It was pretty much a smorgasbord of spending and policy that got added to this,” said Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina and the chairman of the Freedom Caucus. “Normally, people who eat at smorgasbords all the time are not the healthiest.”

Amount Added to the Debt for Each Fiscal Year Since 1960:

Barack Obama:Added $7.917 trillion, a 68 percent increase from the $11.657 trillion debt at the end of George W. Bush’s last budget, FY 2009.

  • FY 2016 – $1.423 trillion.
  • FY 2015 – $327 billion.
  • FY 2014 – $1.086 trillion.
  • FY 2013 – $672 billion.
  • FY 2012 – $1.276 trillion.
  • FY 2011 – $1.229 trillion.
  • FY 2010 – $1.652 trillion.
  • FY 2009 – $253 billion. (Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Act, which spent $253 billion in FY 2009. This rare occurrence should be added to President Obama’s contribution to the debt.)

George W. Bush:Added $5.849 trillion, a 101 percent increase from the $5.8 trillion debt at the end of Clinton’s last budget, FY 2001.

  • FY 2009 – $1.632 trillion. (Bush’s deficit without the impact of the Economic Stimulus Act).
  • FY 2008 – $1.017 trillion.
  • FY 2007 – $501 billion.
  • FY 2006 – $574 billion.
  • FY 2005 – $554 billion.
  • FY 2004 – $596 billion.
  • FY 2003 – $555 billion.
  • FY 2002 – $421 billion.

Bill Clinton: Added $1.396 trillion, a 32 percent increase from the $4.4 trillion debt at the end of George H.W. Bush’s last budget, FY 1993.

  • FY 2001 – $133 billion.
  • FY 2000 – $18 billion.
  • FY 1999 – $130 billion.
  • FY 1998 – $113 billion.
  • FY 1997 – $188 billion.
  • FY 1996 – $251 billion.
  • FY 1995 – $281 billion.
  • FY 1994 – $281 billion.

George H.W. Bush: Added $1.554 trillion, a 54 percent increase from the $2.8 trillion debt at the end of Reagan’s last budget, FY 1989.

  • FY 1993 – $347 billion.
  • FY 1992 – $399 billion.
  • FY 1991 – $432 billion.
  • FY 1990 – $376 billion.

Ronald Reagan: Added $1.86 trillion, a 186 percent increase from the $998 billion debt at the end of Carter’s last budget, FY 1981. Reaganomics didn’t work to grow the economy enough to offset tax cuts.

  • FY 1989 – $255 billion.
  • FY 1988 – $252 billion.
  • FY 1987 – $225 billion.
  • FY 1986 – $297 billion.
  • FY 1985 – $256 billion.
  • FY 1984 – $195 billion.
  • FY 1983 – $235 billion.
  • FY 1982 – $144 billion.

Jimmy Carter: Added $299 billion, a 43 percent increase from the $699 billion debt at the end of  Ford’s last budget, FY 1977.

  • FY 1981 – $90 billion.
  • FY 1980 – $81 billion.
  • FY 1979 – $55 billion.
  • FY 1978 – $73 billion.

Gerald Ford: Added $224 billion, a 47 percent increase from the $475 billion debt at the end of Nixon’s last budget, FY 1974.

  • FY 1977 – $78 billion.
  • FY 1976 – $87 billion.
  • FY 1975 – $58 billion.

Richard Nixon: Added $121 billion, a 34 percent increase from the $354 billion debt at the end of LBJ’s last budget, FY 1969.

  • FY 1974 – $17 billion.
  • FY 1973 – $31 billion.
  • FY 1972 – $29 billion.
  • FY 1971 – $27 billion.
  • FY 1970 – $17 billion.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Added $42 billion, a 13 percent increase from the $312 billion debt at the end of JFK’s last budget, FY 1964.

  • FY 1969 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1968 – $21 billion.
  • FY 1967 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1966 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1965 – $6 billion.

John F. Kennedy: Added $23 billion, an 8 percent increase from the $289 billion debt at the end of Eisenhower’s last budget, FY 1961.

  • FY 1964 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1963 – $7 billion.
  • FY 1962 – $10 billion.

Dwight Eisenhower: Added $23 billion, a 9 percent increase from the $266 billion debt at the end of Truman’s last budget, FY 1953.

  • FY 1961 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1960 – $2 billion.
  • FY 1959 – $8 billion.
  • FY 1958 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1957 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1956 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1955 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1954 – $5 billion.

Harry Truman: Added $7 billion, a 3 percent increase from the $259 billion debt at the end of FDR’s last budget, FY 1945.

  • FY 1953 – $7 billion.
  • FY 1952 – $4 billion.
  • FY 1951 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1950 – $5 billion.
  • FY 1949 – slight surplus.
  • FY 1948 – $6 billion surplus.
  • FY 1947 – $11 billion surplus.
  • FY 1946 – $11 billion.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Added $236 billion, a 1,048 percent increase from the $23 billion debt at the end of Hoover’s last budget, FY 1933.

  • FY 1945 – $58 billion.
  • FY 1944 – $64 billion.
  • FY 1943 – $64 billion.
  • FY 1942 – $23 billion.
  • FY 1941 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1940 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1939 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1938 – $1 billion.
  • FY 1937 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1936 – $5 billion.
  • FY 1935 – $2 billion.
  • FY 1934 – $5 billion.

Herbert Hoover: Added $6 billion, a 33 percent increase from the $17 billion debt at the end of Coolidge’s last budget, FY 1929.

  • FY 1933 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1932 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1931 – $1 billion.
  • FY 1930 – $1 billion surplus.

Calvin Coolidge: Subtracted $5 billion from the debt, a 26 percent decrease from the $21 billion debt at the end of Harding’s last budget, FY 1923.

  • FY 1929 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1928 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1927 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1926 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1925 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1924 – $1 billion surplus.

Warren G. Harding: Subtracted $2 billion from the debt, a 7 percent decrease from the $24 billion debt at the end of Wilson’s last budget, FY 1921.

  • FY 1923 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1922 – $1 billion surplus.

Woodrow Wilson: Added $21 billion to the debt, a 727 percent increase from the $2.9 billion debt at the end of Taft’s last budget, FY 1913.

  • FY 1921 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1920 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1919 – $13 billion.
  • FY 1918 – $9 billion.
  • FY 1917 – $2 billion.
  • FY 1916 – $1 billion.
  • FY 1915 – $0 billion (slight surplus).
  • FY 1914 – $0 billion.

FY 1789 – FY 1913: $2.9 billion debt created. (Source: Historical Tables, U.S. Treasury Department.)

https://www.thebalance.com/us-debt-by-president-by-dollar-and-percent-3306296

 

The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases

The Global Deployment of US Military Personnel

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New Uranium One Revelations from FBI Informant and His Attorney

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Tucker – Russia Uranium One deal – Is it a real scandal? Guy Benson answers

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Gorka: Uranium One scandal is absolutely massive

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FBI Uncovered Russian Bribery Plot Before Obama Approved Uranium One Deal, Netting Clintons Millions

Clinton – Russia – Uranium One deal – Clear simple version of the facts

CLINTON CASH – Full Documentary

Uranium One informant makes Clinton allegations to Congress

n FBI informant connected to the Uranium One controversy told three congressional committees in a written statement that Moscow routed millions of dollars to America with the expectation it would be used to benefit Bill Clinton‘s charitable efforts while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quarterbacked a “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations.

The informant, Douglas Campbell, said in the statement obtained by The Hill that he was told by Russian nuclear executives that Moscow had hired the American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide specifically because it was in position to influence the Obama administration, and more specifically Hillary Clinton.

Democrats have cast doubt on Campbell’s credibility, setting the stage for a battle with Republicans over his testimony.

Campbell added in the testimony that Russian nuclear officials “told me at various times that they expected APCO to apply a portion of the $3 million annual lobbying fee it was receiving from the Russians to provide in-kind support for the Clintons’ Global Initiative.”“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.”

APCO officials told The Hill that its support for the Clinton Global Initiative and its work with Russia were not connected in any way, and in fact involved different divisions of the firm. They added their lobbying for Russia did not involve Uranium One but rather focused on regulatory issues aimed at helping Russia better compete for nuclear fuel contracts inside the United States.

“APCO Worldwide’s activities involving client work on behalf of Tenex and The Clinton Global Initiative were totally separate and unconnected in any way,” APCO told The Hill in a statement. “All actions on these two unconnected activities were appropriate, publicly documented from the outset and consistent with regulations and the law. Any assertion otherwise is false and unfounded.”

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton, said Campbell’s account is simply being used to distract from the investigations into President Trump and Russian election meddling.

“Just yesterday the committee made clear that this secret informant charade was just that, a charade. Along with the widely debunked text-message-gate and Nunes’ embarrassing memo episode, we have a trifecta of GOP-manufactured scandals designed to distract from their own President’s problems and the threat to democracy he poses,” Merrill said.

In addition to his written statement, Campbell on Wednesday was interviewed for several hours behind closed doors by staff from both parties on the Senate Judiciary, the House Intelligence and the House Oversight and Government Reform committees.

Democrats have asked that a transcript of the interview be released to the public, but a court reporter was not present for the interview and Campbell was not sworn in.

Republicans are seeking to use Campbell’s account to expand their investigations beyond the 2016 election and Trump to possible questions about Russian graft during the Obama administration.

They note that the FBI found Campbell’s undercover work valuable enough to reward him with a $50,000 check in 2016.

Democrats, in turn, have accused Republicans of making “wild claims” about Campbell and Uranium One.

In a letter sent this week, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, asserted that Justice Department officials told both parties during a briefing in December that they ultimately found they “could not trust” Campbell when he was working as an FBI informant.

Justice officials also said that Campbell had at no point made “any allegations of corruption, illegality, or impropriety on Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, President Clinton, the Uranium One deal, or [the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States],” according to the Democrats.

Campbell painted a different picture in his written statement.

He accused Obama administration officials of making decisions that ended up benefitting the Russian nuclear industry, which he said was seeking to build a monopoly in the global uranium market to help President Vladimir Putin seek a geopolitical advantage over the United States.

The United States already imports more than 90 percent of the uranium it uses in nuclear reactors, according to U.S. government figures from 2016.

Campbell wrote that Russian nuclear executives “boasted” during vodka-fueled meetings monitored by the FBI about “how weak the U.S. government was in giving away uranium business and were confident that Russia would secure the strategic advantage it was seeking in the U.S. uranium market.”

He also said he asked his FBI handlers why the U.S. was not more aggressive.

“I expressed these concerns repeatedly to my FBI handlers. The response I got was that politics was somehow involved,” he stated.

Much of the GOP’s interest in Campbell’s story centers on the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal. That deal at the time gave the Russian mining giant Rosatom control of roughly 20 percent of America’s capacity to mine uranium.

The deal was approved unanimously in 2010 by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a multi-agency board that includes the State Department, the Defense Department and the Justice Department, among other agencies. The board has the power to block deals that threaten national security.

Campbell, whose work as an informant was first disclosed in a series of stories published last fall by The Hill, helped the FBI gather evidence as early as 2009 that the Russian nuclear industry was engaged in a kickback, bribery and racketeering scheme on U.S. soil. The criminal scheme, among other things, compromised the U.S. trucking firm that had the sensitive job of transporting uranium around America, Campbell testified.

Campbell says he provided the FBI the evidence of wrongdoing months before the Obama administration approved a series of favorable decisions that enriched Rosatom, including the CFIUS decision.

The Hill’s stories last fall prompted the Justice Department to take the rare step of freeing Campbell from his nondisclosure agreement as an intelligence asset so he could testify to Congress about what he witnessed inside Russia’s nuclear industry.

Campbell gave the congressional committees documents he said he provided to his FBI handlers in 2010 showing that the Russian and American executives implicated in the Tenex bribery scheme specifically asked him to try to help get the Uranium One deal approved by the Obama administration.

“In 2010, officials inside Tenex became interested in helping another Rosatom subsidiary, ARMZ, win Obama administration approval to purchase Uranium One, a Canadian company with massive Kazakh and large U.S. uranium assets,” Campbell said.  “Although Tenex and ARMZ are separate subsidiaries, Tenex had its own interest in Uranium One. Tenex would become responsible for finding commercial markets and revenue for those uranium assets once they were mined.”

“The emails and documents I intercepted during 2010 made clear that Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One — for both its Kazakh and American assets — was part of Russia’s geopolitical strategy to gain leverage in global energy markets,” he testified. “I obtained documentary proof that Tenex was helping Rosatom win CFIUS approval, including an October 6, 2010 email … asking me specifically to help overcome opposition to the Uranium One deal.”

Campbell told lawmakers the purchase of the Uranium One assets and the securing of billions of new uranium sales contracts inside the United States during the Obama years were part of the “Russian uranium dominance strategy.”

“The importance of the Uranium One decision to Tenex was made clear by the fact that the Russian government directed Mikerin to open a new U.S. office for Tenex and to create a new American entity called Tenam in early October 2010, just weeks before Rosatom and ARMZ won the Obama administration approval to buy Uranium One,” he said.

“Rosatom/Tenex threw a party to celebrate, which was widely attended by American nuclear industry officials. At the request of the FBI, I attended and recorded video footage of Tenam’s new offices,” he added.

Campbell’s written statement covered a wide array of activities he conducted under the FBI’s direction, ranging from a failed sting effort to lure Putin to the United States to gathering evidence that Russia was “helping Iran build its nuclear capability.”

Campbell provided Congress an April 16, 2010, memo he said he wrote and gave to the FBI that spelled out in detail the Russian efforts to aid Iran.

“Tenex continues to supply Iran fuel through their Russian company,” Campbell wrote in that 2010 document obtained by The Hill, naming the specific company that was being used to help. “They continue to assist with construction consult [sic] and fabricated assemblies to supply the reactor. Fabricated assemblies require sophisticated engineering and are arranged inside the reactor with the help and consult” of Russians.

“The final fabricators to Iran are being flown by Russian air transport due to the sensitive nature of the equipment,” his 2010 memo to the FBI added.

Campbell told lawmakers he also gave the FBI “documentary proof that officials in Moscow were obtaining restricted copies of IAEA compliance reports on Iranian nuclear inspections, a discovery that appeared to deeply concern my handlers.”

While most of his account involved intelligence matters, Campbell also briefly described the toll years of undercover work took on him personally. He continued informing through a bout with brain cancer, a case of leukemia and battles with excessive drinking, he told lawmakers.

He also was never reimbursed for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he used of his own money to make bribe payments under the FBI’s direction to the Russians to facilitate his cover.

But Campbell said he was gratified when the FBI in 2016 gave him a $50,000 reward check celebrating his undercover work, directly answering Democrats criticisms that federal prosecutors didn’t trust him as a witness.

“My FBI handlers praised my work. They told me on various occasions that details from the undercover probe had been briefed directly to FBI top officials. On two occasions my handlers were particularly excited, claiming that my undercover work had been briefed to President Obama as part of his daily presidential briefing,” he said.

In the end, though, he told lawmakers he remains disturbed that the Obama administration made so many favorable decisions benefiting the Russian nuclear industry when the evidence of wrongdoing and ill intent was so extensive.

“I was frustrated watching the U.S. government make numerous decisions benefiting Rosatom and Tenex while those entities were engaged in serious criminal conduct on U.S. soil,” he wrote. “Tenex and Rosatom were raking in billions of U.S. dollars by signing contracts with American nuclear utility clients at the same time they were indulging in extortion by using threats to get bribes and kickbacks, with a portion going to Russia for high ranking officials.” 

He said he never got a satisfactory answer from the FBI.

“I remember one response I got from an agent when I asked how it was possible CFIUS would approve the Uranium One sale when the FBI could prove Rosatom was engaged in criminal conduct.  His answer: ‘Ask your politics,’ ” Campbell said.

This article was corrected on Feb. 8 to reflect that Campbell gave an interview to lawmakers.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/372861-uranium-one-informant-makes-clinton-allegations-in-testimony

An FBI informant connected to the “Uranium One” scandal said that Russian nuclear executives sent money to the United States in hopes it would influence the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a report Wednesday.

In written testimony obtained by the Hill, the informant, Douglas Campbell, told Congress that Russian nuclear officials told him that Moscow hired American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide with a $3 million annual lobbying fee in hopes of influencing Clinton to “reset” U.S.-Russia relations while supporting former President Bill Clinton’s charity efforts.

“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months,” Campbell explained. “APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.”

When asked for comment, a spokesperson for APCO said that their work with the Clinton Foundation and Russia are not connected in any way and their work with Russia did not involve Uranium One.

A spokesperson for Clinton said that Campbell’s testimony is a distraction from the Trump-Russia investigation.

Campbell testified before staff from the Senate Judiciary, House Intelligence and House Oversight, and Government Reform committees for several hours on Wednesday and Democrats are now pushing for a transcript from that testimony to be publicly released.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/fbi-informant-says-russians-wired-money-in-hopes-of-influencing-hillary-clinton-in-uranium-one-ploy-report/article/2648478

Analysis: As Liberals Cheer Shepard Smith’s Fact Check, is ‘Uranium One’ a Real Story, or Not?

|
Posted: Nov 15, 2017 1:05 PM

Liberals online are giddily sharing a segment that aired on Fox News yesterday afternoon, in which anchor Shepard Smith addresses the ‘Uranium One’ deal that many conservatives have cited as evidence of “collusion” between the Russian government and the Clintons.  One blogger from the left-wing attack site Media Matters cheers on Smith for ‘annihilating‘ the anti-Clinton storyline that characterized some of the story’s coverage elsewhere on the network.  A liberal journalism professor also tweeted out the video, applauding Smith for ‘shaming’ Fox News by exposing the controversy as a “nothing” story.  Watch:

Watch Shep Smith of Fox shame his own network by explaining what the ‘Uranium One’ controversy amounts to: nothing.

This is strong, concise journalism by Smith, who helps knock down a number of the misconceptions about the Uranium One deal.  I think some conservatives have been lazy in their understanding and framing of the issue, allowing embellishments and exaggerations to proliferate.  For instance, the general notion is widely shared in certain quarters that Hillary Clinton personally green-lit the deal, which lined the pockets of rich Clinton Foundation donors — while selling out US national security by shipping our uranium to the Russians.  The truth is much more nuanced and complicated than that, major elements of which Smith explains in the clip.  A few additional points:

(1) Smith notes that questions about the Uranium One deal were first seriously raised by Peter Schweizer, whom he identifies as a Breitbart editor.  Someone’s professional connection to that website can be discrediting in many circles, but it’s worth pointing out that Schweizer’s investigative journalism in Clinton Cash was seen as credible by mainstream media outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post, which forged formal agreements to access and build off of his research.

(2) The New York Times published a major piece about the Uranium One deal in 2015, noting that it helped fulfill Vladimir Putin’s goal of amassing more control over the global uranium supply.  The key excerpt from that story:

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One. Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.  As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation.

Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.Other people with ties to the company made donations as well. And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock. At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

So a big element of this story — which played out over five years, during which time key players in the transaction poured lots of money into the Clintons’ personal and “charitable” bank accounts — is the non-disclosure of interested donors, as was required.  Smith mentions this in his monologue.  Also at issue were the “repeatedly broken” pledges meant to mitigate national security concerns about Russia’s acquisition of significant American uranium interests.  And yes, it’s a fact that one of several agencies that ultimately had to sign off on the agreement was the State Department, which was headed at the time by Hillary Clinton.  She was not the sole approver of the deal, nor could she have single-handedly stopped it from going through; also, it’s unclear how personally involved she was in the process (given her track record, it’s reasonable to treat denials from her and her underlings with great skepticism).  Regardless, her agency’s thumbs-up did help pave the way for the plan to become reality.

(3) The biggest piece of the Clinton puzzle as it relates to Uranium One is Bill Clinton, and the gobs of money he hauled in from interested parties over the years — in exchange for the extraordinary access and political legitimatization that accompanies the blessing of a former US president.  Back to the Times story:

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side. The two men had flown aboard Mr. Giustra’s private jet to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where they dined with the authoritarian president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. Mr. Clinton handed the Kazakh president a propaganda coup when he expressed support for Mr. Nazarbayev’s bid to head an international elections monitoring group, undercutting American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator. Within days of the visit, Mr. Giustra’s fledgling company, UrAsia Energy Ltd., signed a preliminary deal giving it stakes in three uranium mines controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom.

If the Kazakh deal was a major victory, UrAsia did not wait long before resuming the hunt. In 2007, it merged with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia, in what was described as a $3.5 billion transaction. The new company, which kept the Uranium One name, was controlled by UrAsia investors including Ian Telfer, a Canadian who became chairman. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal was estimated at about $45 million, said he sold his stake in 2007. Soon, Uranium One began to snap up companies with assets in the United States…several months [after the fruitful 2005 trip], Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

At a later stage in this process, a crucial Uranium One business deal was in serious jeopardy; the company asked the US State Department to intervene on its behalf, as a means of reassuring the government of Kazakhstan. “What the company needed, [a Uranium One official] said, was official written confirmation that the licenses were valid,” the Times reported.  “The American Embassy ultimately reported to the secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton. Though the cable was copied to her, it was given wide circulation, and it is unclear if she would have read it…What is clear is that the embassy acted, with the cables showing that the energy officer met with Kazakh officials to discuss the issue on June 10 and 11.”  Three days later, the endangered deal went through.

The Times separately reported that Bill Clinton lied about a related meeting he hosted at his home with Kazakh officials in 2008, only telling the truth when he was informed that there was photographic evidence of the event.  Recent revelations that the FBI had investigated how “Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States” reignited this issue, and refocused attention on Russia’s efforts to influence US power-brokers and policy.  The Clintons were central to that story.

(4) Smith accurately tells viewers that the Uranium One deal “stipulated that no uranium produced may be exported.”  He added that without special permission, the company was required to sell “the uranium that it mines in the United States to civilian power reactors in the United States.” These are important facts, but the top concern wasn’t that the US would export its uranium to Russia, or that Russia would gain an upper hand on nuclear weapons.  According to the Times, “the national security issue at stake in the Uranium One deal was not primarily about nuclear weapons proliferation…Instead, it concerned American dependence on foreign uranium sources. While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves.”  The story quotes Republican Senator John Barrasso expressing the worry that the agreement “would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.”  And so it did.

In summary, Smith’s segment clarified some important details about Uranium One that have too often been lost, overlooked, or intentionally ignored in the partisan shuffle.  Facts and truth ought to matter, and conservatives shouldn’t cut corners or make things up in order to deflect from unhelpful Russia-related issues in an effort to implicate “the other side” (though there are certainly some questions that Democratsand the Left should answer on that front).  It’s understandable why liberals would high-five each other over Smith’s report, but by pretending that Uranium One was an above-board, total non-issue for the Clintons all along, they’re making the same mistake some on the Right have made by mischaracterizing the string of transactions.  The facts suggest that one side has blown the process leading up to Uranium One deal’s approval out of proportion, while the other side has dismissed it entirely as a phony scandal (a reflexive impulse).  Echo chambers are powerful vortexes.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/11/15/is-uranium-one-a-real-story-or-not-n2409862

Uranium One

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Uranium One Inc.
Industry Mining
Founded 2005
Headquarters Toronto, OntarioCanada
Key people
Chris Sattler (CEO)
Vadim Zhivov (President)
Products Uranium
Gold
Number of employees
Rosatom2,220[1]
Parent
Website www.uranium1.com

Uranium One is a Canadian uranium mining company with headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. It has operations in AustraliaCanadaKazakhstanSouth Africa and the United States. In January 2013 Rosatom, the Russian state-owned uranium monopoly, through its subsidiary ARMZ Uranium Holding, purchased the company at a value of $1.3 billion.[2] The purchase of the company by Russian interests is, as of October 2017, under investigation by the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

History

On July 5, 2005, Southern Cross Resources Inc. and Aflease Gold and Uranium Resources Ltd announced that they would be merging under the name SXR Uranium One Inc.[3]

In 2007 Uranium One acquired a controlling interest in UrAsia Energy,[4] a Canadian firm with headquarters in Vancouver from Frank Giustra.[5] UrAsia has interests in rich uranium operations in Kazakhstan,[6] and UrAsia Energy’s acquisition of its Kazakhstan uranium interests from Kazatomprom followed a trip to Almaty in 2005 by Giustra and former U.S. President Bill Clinton where they met with Nursultan Nazarbayev, the leader of Kazakhstan. Substantial contributions to the Clinton Foundation by Giustra followed,[5][7] with Clinton, Giustra, and Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim in 2007 establishing the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative to combat poverty in the developing world.[8] In addition to his initial contribution of $100 million Giustra pledged to contribute half of his future earnings from mining to the initiative.[8]

In June 2009, the Russian uranium mining company ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (ARMZ), a part of Rosatom, acquired 16.6% of shares in Uranium One in exchange for a 50% interest in the Karatau uranium mining project, a joint venture with Kazatomprom.[9] In June 2010, Uranium One acquired 50% and 49% respective interests in southern Kazakhstan-based Akbastau and Zarechnoye uranium mines from ARMZ. In exchange, ARMZ increased its stake in Uranium One to 51%. The acquisition was expected to result in a 60% annual production increase at Uranium One, from approximately 10 million to 16 million pounds.[10][11] The deal was subject to anti-trust and other conditions and was not finalized until the companies received Kazakh regulatory approvals, approval under Canadian investment law, clearance by the US Committee on Foreign Investments, and approvals from both the Toronto and Johannesburg stock exchanges. The deal was finalized by the end of 2010.[11] Uranium One’s extraction rights in the U.S. amounted to 0.2% of the world’s uranium production.[12] Uranium One paid its minority shareholders a dividend of 1.06 US Dollars per share at the end of 2010.[citation needed]

ARMZ took complete control of Uranium One in January 2013 by buying all shares it did not already own.[2] In October 2013, Uranium One Inc. became a private company and a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Rosatom.[3][13] From 2012 to 2014, an unspecified amount of Uranium was reportedly exported to Canada via a Kentucky-based trucking firm with an existing export license; most of the processed uranium was returned to the U.S., with approximately 25% going to Western Europe and Japan.[14][15]

Congressional investigation

Since uranium is considered a strategic asset with national security implications, the acquisition of Uranium One by Rosatom was reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a committee of nine government agencies including the United States Department of State, which was then headed by Hillary Clinton.[16][17][18] The voting members of the committee can object to such a foreign transaction, but the final decision then rests with the president.[19]

In April 2015, The New York Times wrote that, during the acquisition, the family foundation of Uranium One’s chairman made $2.35 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. The donations were legal but not publicly disclosed by the Clinton Foundation, despite an agreement with the White House to disclose all contributors.[20] In addition, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin and which was promoting Uranium One stock paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in Moscow shortly after the acquisition was announced.[17][18] Several members of Clinton’s State Department staff and officials from the Obama-era Department of Justice have said that CFIUS reviews are handled by civil servants and that it would be unlikely that Clinton would have had more than nominal involvement in her department’s signing off on the acquisition.[21] According to Snopes, the timing of donations might have been questionable if Hillary Clinton had played a key role in approving the deal, but all evidence suggests that she did not and may in fact have had no role in approving the deal at all.[22]

In October 2017, following a report by John F. Solomon and Alison Spann published in The Hill and citing anonymous sources,[23][24] the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sale of Uranium One.[21]

FactCheck.org reported that there was “no evidence” connecting the Uranium One–Rosatom merger deal with a money laundering and bribery case involving a different Rosatom subsidiary which resulted in the conviction of a Russian individual in 2015, contrary to what is implied in the Solomon-Spann story.[20][25]Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post wrote that the problem with some of the accusations that Republican commentators levied against Clinton is that she “by all accounts, did not participate in any discussions regarding the Uranium One sale”.[26]

In October 2017, President Trump directed the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to lift a “gag order” it had placed on a former FBI informant involved the investigation. The DOJ released the informant from his nondisclosure agreement on October 25, 2017,[27][28][29]authorizing him to provide the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Oversight Committee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence “any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market” involving Rosatom, its subsidiaries Tenex and Uranium One, and the Clinton Foundation.[30] The informant’s laywer said that the informant “can tell what all the Russians were talking about during the time that all these bribery payments were made”.[31] During a C-SPAN interview, Hillary Clinton said that any allegations that she was bribed to approve the Uranium One deal were “baloney”.[32]

In November 2017, Shepard Smith of Fox News has described President Trump’s accusations against Clinton regarding Uranium One “inaccurate in a number of ways”. Smith said that the sale of Uranium One was “not a Hillary Clinton approval” but instead a unanimous decision by the nine cabinet-level department heads of CFIUS, approved by the president and with permits issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Smith added that “most of the Clinton Foundation donations” came from Frank Giustra, who said he “sold his stake in the company” three years before it was sold to Russia. Lastly, Smith noted that “none of the uranium was exported for use by the U.S. to Russia”.[33][34][35]

On November 16, 2017, William D. Campbell identified himself as the FBI informant. He is a former lobbyist for Tenex, the US-based arm of Russia’s Rosatom.[36][37]

See also

References

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

Rosatom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rosatom
Native name
Государственная корпорация по атомной энергии «Росатом»
State corporation
Industry Nuclear energy
Predecessor Federal Agency on Atomic Energy
Founded 2007
Founder Mehsin Nseir
Headquarters MoscowRussia
Revenue Increase821.2 billion[1] (2015)
Total assets Increase2,029 billion[1] (2015)
Website rosatom.ru

The State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom (RussianРосатомtr. RosatomIPA: [rɐsˈatəm] stylized as ROSATOM, also known as Rosatom State Corporation) is a Russian state corporation headquartered in Moscow and specializes in nuclear energy. Established in 2007, the organization comprises more than 360 enterprises, including scientific research organizations, the nuclear weapons complex, and the nuclear icebreakerfleet.

The state corporation is one of the leaders in the world’s nuclear energy industry. The organization is the world’s second largest uranium producer and the fifth largest in terms of production, the world’s fourth largest producer of nuclear energy, controls 40% of the world market of uranium enrichment services and 17% of the nuclear fuel market.[2]

“Rosatom” is a nonprofit organization, and while its tasks include the development of nuclear energy, the growth of enterprises of the nuclear fuel cycle, and the fulfillment of the functions assigned to it by the state, it also ensures national security (nuclear deterrence), nuclear and radiation safety, as well as development of applied and fundamental science. In addition, the state corporation is authorized on behalf of the state to fulfill Russia’s international obligations in the field of the use of nuclear energy and of non-proliferation of nuclear materials.

History

The history of the Rosatom is linked with the history of the nuclear industry in Russia and its predecessor, the Soviet Union. On June 26, 1953, by the decision of the Council of Ministers, the First Main Directorate under the Council of Ministers supervising the nuclear industry was transformed into the Ministry of Medium Machine Building (Minsredmash). In addition to developing and testing nuclear weapons, the ministry also dealt with production of nuclear power. In 1954, the world’s first grid-connected nuclear power plantObninsk, was opened and put under operation under the direction of Igor Kurchatov, a Soviet nuclear physicist in ObninskKaluga Oblast. As the Soviet nuclear industry grew, so did the ministry, and from the 1970s to the 1980s, more than 1.5 million people worked in the ministry’s organizations and enterprises. In 1989, Minsredmash and the Ministry of Atomic Energy merged to form the Ministry of Nuclear Engineering and Industry of the USSR.[3][4]

The Ministry for Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation [(RussianМинистерство по атомной энергии Российской Федерации, also known as Minatom (Russian: Минaтом)] was established as a successor to the Russian part of the Ministry of Nuclear Engineering and Industry of the USSR on January 29, 1992 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The newly created ministry received about 80% of the enterprises of the union department, including 9 nuclear power plants with 28 power units. Under this name, the ministry existed until March 9, 2004, when it was transformed into the Federal Agency on Atomic Energy, also known as Rosatom, in accordance to presidential decree. Physicist and academician of the Russian Academy of SciencesUSSR State Prize winner laureate, and former Minister for Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev was appointed head of the agency. On November 15, 2005, he was replaced by Sergey Kiriyenko. In 2006, the agency adopted target program “Development of the Russian Nuclear Energy Complex for 2007-2010 and for the Future to 2015” which 26 nuclear power units were to be launched in Russia before 2020.[3][4]

On December 1, 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law adopted by the Federal Assembly under which the Federal Atomic Energy Agency were to be abolished, and its powers and assets were to be transferred to the newly created “State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom.” On December 12 of the same year, the agency transformed into a state corporation with Sergey Kiriyenko appointed general director. In July 2008, Rosatom adopted an activity program designed to last till 2023. Rosatom’s positions were further strengthened by the transfer of the nuclear civil icebreaking fleet FSUE Atomflot under Rosatom’s jurisdiction.[3][5]

In 2009, nuclear technologies is assigned as one of the priorities for developing Russia’s economy. By 2011, Rosatom’s investments in research and development work have grown seven-fold compared to 2006. Another important direction of the development of the corporation was an increase in its influence on foreign markets, since the number of contracts for the construction of nuclear power plants abroad was almost doubled in 2011. According to Sergey Kiriyenko, the ten-year portfolio of orders of Rosatom State Corporation abroad was estimated at more than $100 billion at the end of 2014.[3][6]

In 2017, Rosatom decided to invest in wind power, believing that rapid cost reductions in the renewable industry will become a competitive threat to nuclear power, and has started to build wind turbines. Rosatom was also concerned that nuclear export opportunities were becoming exhausted. In October, Rosatom was reported to be considering postponing commissioning new nuclear plants in Russia due to excess generation capacity and that new nuclear electricity prices are higher than for existing plant. The Russian government is considering reducing support for new nuclear under its support contracts, called Dogovor Postavki Moshnosti (DPM), which guarantee developers a return on investment through increased payments from consumers for 20 years.[7][8][9]

Operations

The Russian government has set three major goals for Rosatom: ensure sustainable development of the nuclear weapons complex, increase nuclear contribution in electricity generation (to 25%-30% by 2030) with continued safety improvements, and to strengthen the country’s position on the global market of nuclear technology, by expanding traditional markets and acquiring new ones.

Rosatom holds first place in the world in terms of uranium deposits ownership, fourth in terms of nuclear energy production, produces 60% of the world’s enriched uranium and 45% of the world’s nuclear fuel. Rosatom is the only vendor in the world able to offer the nuclear industry’s entire range of products and services, starting from specialized materials and equipment and all the way through to finished products such as nuclear power plants or nuclear powered icebreakers.[10]

Rosatom controls nuclear power holding company Atomenergoprom, nuclear weapons companies, research institutes, and nuclear and radiation safety agencies. It also represents Russia in the world in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy and protection of the non-proliferation regime.[5]

Nuclear power plants

The management company Rosenergoatom operates all of Russia’s nuclear power plants and represents the electric power division of the state corporation Rosatom. As of July 2017, ten nuclear power plants (35 power units) operated in Russia with a total capacity of 27.9 GW, producing about 18% of all electricity produced in Russia.

In operation

Name Image Location Units operated
Balakovo
BalakovoNPP1.jpg
BalakovoSaratov Oblast
Beloyarsk
Beloyarsk NNP-3.jpg
Bilibino
Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant.JPG
Kalinin
Udomlya Kalinin AES.jpg
UdomlyaTver Oblast
Kola
Мурманская обл. Кольская АЭС Сбросной кананал.2008-22.jpg
Kursk
RIAN archive 341199 Kursk Nuclear Power Plant.jpg
Leningrad
RIAN archive 305005 Leningrad nuclear power plant.jpg
Novovoronezh
Novovoronezhskaya Nuclear Power Plant.jpg
Rostov
RIAN archive 155730 The first unit of the Volgodonsk NPP.jpg
Smolensk
Smolensk NPP 2013-05-07.jpg

Rosatom manages the Russian fleet of nuclear icebreakers through Atomflot.

OKB Gidropress, which develops the current Russian nuclear power station range VVER, is a subsidiary of Rosatom.[11] OKBM Afrikantov, which develops the current Russian nuclear power station BN-series such as BN-800 and BN-1200, is a subsidiary of Rosatom.

Projects

Rosatom is currently building 37% of nuclear reactors under construction worldwide, generally of the OKB Gidropress VVER type.[12] Fennovoima, an electricity company in Finland, announced in September 2013 that it had chosen the OKB Gidropress VVER AES-2006 pressurized water reactor for a proposed power-generating station in PyhäjokiFinland. The construction contract is estimated to be worth 6.4 billion euros.[13]

On 11 November 2014 head of Rosatom Sergey Kiriyenko and head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi have signed a Protocol to Russian-Iranian Intergovernmental Agreement of 1992, according to which the sides will cooperate in construction of eight power generating units with VVER reactors. Four of these reactors are planned to be constructed for the second construction phase of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and four of them will be constructed on another site.[14]

Rosatom received $66.5 billion of foreign orders in 2012, including $28.9bn for nuclear plant construction, $24.7bn for uranium products and $12.9bn for nuclear fuel exports and associated activities.[15]

Rosatom also involves on large-scale projects such as ITER | ITER-Russia and FAIR | FAIR-Russia.

As of Jan 2017, the total portfolio orders of Rosatom reached US$300 billion.[16]

Management

The highest executive body of Rosatom is the Board of Trustees. The board is headed since 2005 by Sergei Kiriyenko. The other Board members are[17]

See also

References

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018, Story 1: Temporary Schumer Shutdown vs. Permanent Downsizing The Federal Government By Closing Eight Federal Department and Agencies — Balanced Budgets or Living Within The Means of The American People — Blame Both Big Government Parties for Obese Government Resulting From Spending Addiction Disorder — When Will The Big Government Parties Balance The Budget? — The 12th of Never — Videos

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Updated

 Story 1: Temporary Schumer Shutdown vs. Permanent Downsizing The Federal Government By Closing Eight Federal Department and Agencies — Balanced Budgets or Living Within The Means of The American People — Blame Both Big Government Parties for Obese Government Resulting From Spending Addiction Disorder — When Will The Big Government Parties Balance The Budget? — The 12th of Never — Videos

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USA Debt Clock

US Debt Clock

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Latest on the government shutdown

U.S. government shutdown underway amid blame game

This Is What Happens When The U.S. Government Shuts Down | CNBC

What Happens During A Government Shutdown, And How Will It Affect You? | TODAY

President Trump Blames Democrats For Government Shutdown | TODAY

Government Shutdown: America’s Closed

TRUMP SHUTDOWN GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN Fox Report Weekend 1 20 18 I Fox News Today January 20, 2018

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode Jan. 20, 2018

Government shutdown: How it happened

White House Press Briefing 1/19/18 – Government Shutdown – January 19, 2018

🔴WATCH: White House Press Briefing on Possible Government Shutdown LIVE 1/19/18

Shields and Brooks on government shutdown blame, Trump’s first year

How a government shutdown could affect Americans

U.S. shutdown showdown Q&A

What would a government shutdown mean?

Trump comments on looming government shutdown

Congress deadlocked on DACA as shutdown looms

Tomi: Liberals are going crazy because Trump is winning

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Milton Friedman – Deficits and Government Spending

Milton Friedman – A Limit On Spending

Does Government Have a Revenue or Spending Problem?

Milton Friedman On John Maynard Keynes

Milton Friedman: The Rise of Socialism is Absurd

Milton Friedman: What is Actually Wrong with Socialism?

Milton Friedman: The Two Major Enemies of a Free Society

Friedrich Hayek: Why Intellectuals Drift Towards Socialism

Johnny Mathis – 12th of Never

ELVIS PRESLEY TWELVE OF NEVER

Appendix

BlueprintforBalance_AFederalBudgetforFY2018_AppendixTable01

What is the Deficit?

Deficit: The amount by which the government’s total budget outlays exceeds its total receipts for a fiscal year. US Senate Budget Committee

In FY 2017 the federal deficit was $666 billion. But the gross federal debt increased by $700 billion. Here is why.

This year, FY 2018, the federal government in its latest budget has estimated that the deficit will be $440 billion.

Here is the federal deficit by year for the last decade:

Deficits in billions
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
$161 $458 $1,413 $1,294 $1,295 $1,087 $679 $485 $438 $585 $666

Click for deficits from 1960 to present.

See also deficit as percent of GDP.

 

Federal Deficit Analysis

Federal

Recent US Federal Deficits by Year

Chart D.01f: Recent US Federal Deficits
(click chart to see the numbers)

Federal Deficits were declining in the mid 2000s as the nation climbed out of the 2000-02 recession. But the recession that started late in 2006 drove deficits higher, with a deficit in FY2009 driven up by over $700 billion in bank bailouts under the TARP program.

After the Crash of 2008 the federal deficits did not go below $1 trillion until FY2013.

Budgeted US Federal Deficits

Chart D.02f: Budgeted US Federal Deficits

The FY2018 federal budget estimates budget deficits out to 2022. It forecasts moderate deficits at about $500 billion per year.

 

But there’s more

The federal debt increases each year by more than the deficit. For FY 2016 the federal budget estimates that the federal debt will increase by about $1 trillion. That’s about $250 billion more than the official “deficit.” See Federal Debt.

But there’s more. There is the increase in debt from the “agency debt” of government-sponsored enterprises. And there is the implied deficit from unfunded liabilities like Social Security and Medicare. See chart of latest Long-term Budget Outlook from the Congressional Budget Office.

Now you are ready to explore. Click here for the basics on the national debt and deficits. Click here for a look at overall government spending; click here for a look at the federal budget by function. And there is no better place to get up to speed than Spending 101’s online course on Federal Debt.

US Federal Deficits in the 20th Century

Chart D.03f: Federal Deficit in 20th Century

The two major peaks of the federal deficit in the 20th century occurred during World War I and World War II.

Deficits increased steadily from the 1960s through the early 1990s, and then declined rapidly for the remainder of the 1990s.

Federal deficits increased in the early 2000s, and went over 10 percent of GDP in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008.

In the recovery from the Crash of 2008 deficits have slowly reduced to 3 percent of GDP.

US Federal Deficits since the Founding

Chart D.04f: Federal Deficit since Founding

The United States government did not always run a deficit. In the 19th century the federal government typically only ran deficits during wartime or during financial crises. The government ran a deficit of 2 percent of GDP at the end of the war of 1812, and through the decade after the Panic of 1837 and culminating in the US – Mexican War of 1846-48. It ran a deficit of over 7 percent of GDP in the Civil War; and ran a deficit in the depressed 1890s.
In the 20th century the US ran a deficit during World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and in almost all years since 1960, during peace and war.

Top Debt Requests:

Find DEFICIT stats and history.

US BUDGET overview and pie chart.

Find NATIONAL DEBT today.

See FEDERAL BUDGET breakdown and estimated vs. actual.

See BAR CHARTS of debtdebt.

Check STATE debt: CA NY TX FL and compare.

See DEBT ANALYSIS briefing.

See DEBT HISTORY briefing.

Take a COURSE at Spending 101.

Make your own CUSTOM CHART.

Debt Data Sources

Debt data is from official government sources.

Gross Domestic Product data comes from US Bureau of Economic Analysis and measuringworth.com.

Detailed table of debt data sources here.

Federal debt data begins in 1792.

State and local debt data begins in 1820.

State and local debt data for individual states begins in 1957.

https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html

What’s Ahead for 2018 and Beyond: Big Deficits and Fiscal Stalemate

In 2010, as congressional Democrats moved to enact Obamacare, Sen. Orrin Hatch echoed fellow Republicans in denouncing “trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.”

In fact, the record trillion-dollar deficit former President Barack Obama inherited was falling even then as the economy recovered from recession and financial crisis. By the time Obama left office last January, it dropped by two-thirds as a share of the U.S. economy.

But now the Utah senator’s prophecy is coming true. With a boost from tax cuts he helped his party push through Congress, the U.S. government indeed faces uninterrupted trillion-dollar deficits once the effects kick in during the next fiscal year.

The largest reason is America’s aging population. Over the next decade, the number of Americans drawing Social Security and Medicare benefits is projected to rise from 45 million to 60 million.

In June, the Congressional Budget Office forecast that would push the deficit back over the trillion-dollar mark in the 2022 fiscal year, during the next presidential term. Yet now the government is on track for that to happen before President Donald Trump completes his third year of this term.

That dubious achievement stems from three factors.

The first is the structural 2019 deficit that CBO estimated at $689 billion before major Trump administration policy changes.

The second is the spending agreement Republicans and Democrats expect to reach next month to avert a potential government shutdown. That agreement, raising current spending caps for both defense and domestic programs, would add roughly $100 billion in 2019 spending.

The third is revenue loss from the new tax cut. The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation forecasts, after accounting for faster economic growth, a loss of $245 billion.

That signals a 2019 deficit of $1.034 trillion, not counting new relief funds for recent natural disasters. Similar dynamics would keep annual deficits above $1 trillion through at least 2027, even if Congress allows the new individual tax cuts to expire as scheduled after 2025.

As a share of the growing economy, that would fall far below the 9.8 percent level deficits reached during the worst of the recession. Government had no trouble financing those deficits with inexpensive borrowing then, and there’s no sign of trouble now.

Yet higher deficits pose some risks.

They make it harder for government to resolve long-term solvency problems when the last baby boom retirements leave 77 million on Social Security and Medicare in 2033.

They reduce government’s flexibility to respond with fiscal stimulus when the long-running economic expansion turns into the next recession. They may even hasten the point at which that happens.

“There’s a danger the seeds of the next recession are built into the tax bill,” says William Hoagland, a longtime Senate Republican budget aide now at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

By heaping stimulus onto conditions of steady growth and low unemployment, he reasons, the tax cut could overheat the economy. That, in turn, could lead new Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell to raise interest rates faster than expected, triggering a downturn.

And if deficit headlines damage the investor confidence now buoying stock markets, there’s little Washington is likely to do about it anytime soon.

The forthcoming budget deal would foreclose cuts in annually approved spending. The White House, in fact, wants more money for new infrastructure spending.

Administration officials have signaled their plan will call for $200 billion in government money to stimulate much larger infrastructure investments by business. But Democrats consider that amount too small and geared toward private profit, while Republicans won’t be eager to send deficits still higher.

House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks of curbing major, automatically approved entitlement programs, the largest of which are Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell disclaims interest.

Trump promises unspecified “welfare reform.” But with Republican poll numbers sagging before midterm elections, slashing food stamps and other benefits for the poor would add new perils after tax cuts that deliver disproportionate benefits to businesses and the wealthy.

“A year of stalemate,” Hoagland predicts.

Trump, Ryan and McConnell, who huddle in a few days to plot next moves, insist the tax cuts will spark more deficit-reducing growth than mainstream forecasters expect. That may be the best they can hope for in 2018.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2017/12/29/Whats-Ahead-2018-and-Beyond-Big-Deficits-and-Fiscal-Stalemate

 

Who will be blamed for the government shutdown?

Associated Press
Park Ranger Amy Fink carries cones to use in the Bear Lake trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Estes Park, Colo. Despite a government shutdown, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and Yosemite National Park in California were open, but few Park Service staff were available to help visitors. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sure, Republicans and Democrats are battling over spending and immigration. But they’re also battling over blame.

On Day One of a government shutdown, both parties on Saturday launched a frantic messaging campaign aimed at mitigating the political blowback. The side that gets labeled responsible for the historic display of dysfunction may not only lose this fight, they could end up carrying that baggage into the midterm elections in November.

Republicans say Democrats are to blame because they’ve so far refused to go along with recent proposals for short-term temporary spending measures. Democrats argue that Republicans are stalling on immigration negotiations. They’re trying to force concessions from Republican that would shield from deportation the so-called Dreamers — the young immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for New Arrivals program.

A look at what Democratic and Republican strategists and other experts say about who will be blamed for the government shutdown:

___

Republican strategist Kevin Sheridan, former Republican National Committee spokesman and adviser to the Romney-Ryan presidential campaign in 2012:

“Democrat messaging is a mess. They are delusional to think DACA, which is unrelated to keeping the government open and doesn’t expire until at least March 5, but probably longer, is more important to the American people than paychecks for our troops and health insurance for children. Democrats do not oppose anything in the (continuing resolution) and after six years of governing by (continuing resolution) can’t make a credible case they oppose” them.

“They simply want to signal to their base that they are resisting the president. That’s not negotiating.”

___

Ross Baker, political scientist at Rutgers University:

“I think that Republicans are pushing up against a very uncomfortable fact and that is that they do control, although nominally, all the branches of the federal government and, consequently, I think it’s easier to hold them responsible.” Baker said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been “quite focused on trying to pin this on the Democrats,” but doubted he would be successful.

Baker adds that Republicans complaining that they only control 51 seats in the 100-member Senate isn’t an effective strategy. “If you have to retreat to procedural language and drag people into the legislative process and intricacies, it’s a difficult argument to make,” he said.

___

Josh Holmes, longtime adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“I think Democrats made a series of really grave mistakes, chief among them is having a three-week debate about the DACA program, which will likely get a solution but certainly didn’t call for a government shutdown to achieve it. And what that did is frame the entire debate … their purpose for shutting the government down is to try to provide citizenship for people who are currently here illegally. And that juxtaposed with soldiers and sick, poor kids is not a good set of optics.”

“It’s a lazy arrogance when it comes to political fortunes. The thing that gets you every time is this view that just because things have been going you way politically for a series of months it’ll go your way no matter what. So the conclusion there is, ‘the president has a 40 percent approval rating there 60 percent of the country is going to be with us.’ Well, not when it comes to choosing people who are not Americans over American soldiers.”

___

William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who worked in the Clinton administration:

“Traditionally the party in power, especially when there’s total unified government, is held responsible for policy outcomes. That’s what history says, but history also said that someone like Donald Trump couldn’t be elected president of the United States. I reference history with many more reservations than I used to.”

Galston adds: “Democrats are likely to be at an advantage in the struggle to assign blame, among other things because an effective message campaign requires what the professionals call message discipline, and that hasn’t been Donald Trump’s strong-suit. One impulsive tweet could undo a week of strategy.”

___

Michael Steel, press secretary for former House Speaker John Boehner from 2008-2015:

“Republicans from President Trump on down are clear and unified on why Washington Democrats forced this shutdown, while the Democrats can’t get on the same page. The American people know it was Washington Democrats who voted against funding the government and children’s health insurance. This is all on their heads.”

___

Former Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., a 38-year House veteran who was defeated in 2014:

“There’s risks on all sides. It’s obvious that Democrats are playing to their base and Republicans are playing to their base,” he said. “Everybody loses. It just feeds into the fed-up atmosphere of the American people that, No. 1, elected Donald Trump in the first place and, No. 2, I don’t think will put up with him in the second instance.”

Rahall says wave elections — one party wins a huge number of seats, often sweeping into control of the House or Senate — are getting “bigger and occurring more often because of the shenanigans the American people view are going on in Congress. I expect another wave this year, perhaps bigger than ever.”

Asked if it was worth it for Democrats to cause a shutdown over their demands to protect the young Dreamers from deportation, Rahall said, “I don’t think so, certainly not in my home state of West Virginia.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/blamed-government-shutdown-001901401.html

 

In second day of shutdown, Republicans, Democrats dig in for fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans and Democrats appeared to harden their positions on Sunday as both sides hunkered down for what could be a prolonged fight, with a U.S. government shutdown in its second day.

Democrats demanded that U.S. President Donald Trump negotiate on immigration issues as part of any agreement to resume government funding and accused him of reneging on an earlier accord to protect “Dreamers,” illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children, from deportation.

“I hope it is just a matter of hours or days. But we need to have a substantive answer, and the only person who can lead us to that is President Trump. This is his shutdown,” Dick Durbin, the second ranking Democrat in the Senate, said on the CBS “Face the Nation” program.

Republicans were just as adamant, saying they would not negotiate immigration or other issues as long as all but essential government services remain shuttered.

Speaking to U.S. troops at a military base in the Middle East, Vice President Mike Pence said, “We’re not going to reopen negotiations on illegal immigration until they reopen the government and give you, our soldiers and your families, the benefits and wages you’ve earned.”

A bipartisan group of senators met on Sunday in a Senate office building, searching for ways out of the crisis.

Moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins said a group of as many as 22 senators were discussing alternatives, though the details were “in flux.” She added it would be up to Senate Republican and Democratic leaders “as to how to proceed.”

After funding for federal agencies ran out at midnight on Friday, many U.S. government employees were told to stay home or in some cases work without pay until new funding is approved. The shutdown is the first since a 16-day closure in October 2013, with the effects being more visible on Monday, when government offices normally would reopen.

With elections set for November for a third of U.S. Senate seats and the entire House of Representatives, both sides are maneuvering to blame the other for the shutdown.

Trump said on Sunday that if the stalemate continued, Republicans should change Senate rules so a measure could be passed to fund the government.

Current Senate rules require a super-majority of three-fifths of the chamber, usually 60 out of 100, for legislation to clear procedural hurdles and pass.

“If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51 percent (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget,” Trump said on Twitter.

But Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, from Trump’s own party, rejected the idea.

Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate.

A traffic light shines red after President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress failed to reach a deal on funding for federal agencies in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Trump canceled a trip to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida that included a major fundraiser on the anniversary of his first year as president. The White House said his planned trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week was in flux because of the standoff.

‘HOSTAGES RIPE FOR THE TAKING’

“I’m kind of keeping hope alive here that before 1 a.m. tomorrow morning that we’ll have something that gets us out of this jam,” Senator John Thune, a junior member of the Republican leadership, told reporters.

The Senate will vote at 1 a.m. EST (0600 GMT) on Monday on whether to advance a measure to fund the government through Feb. 8, unless Democrats agree to hold it sooner, McConnell said on Saturday.

The level of support for the bill was uncertain, but given Democratic leaders’ public statements, it seemed unlikely the measure would receive the 60 votes required to advance.

In a Senate floor speech on Sunday, McConnell accused Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of imperiling children’s health care, military training, veterans’ care and other programs.

“To most Americans, those sound like fundamental responsibilities” of government, McConnell said. “To the Democratic leader, apparently they sound like hostages ripe for the taking.”

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Trump had instructed him to ease the effects of the shutdown as much as possible.

“The president has told me, make sure as many people go to work Monday as possibly can. Use every tool legally available to you,” Mulvaney said on “Face the Nation.”

Amid the sensitive talks to reopen the government, Trump’s campaign on Saturday released a 30-second advertisement on immigration.

The ad, posted on YouTube, focuses on the ongoing death penalty trial in Sacramento, California, of Luis Bracamontes, an illegal immigrant from Mexico accused of killing two local deputies in 2014.

“President Trump is right. Build the wall. Deport criminals. Stop illegal immigration,” an announcer says in the ad. “Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants,” the announcer says.

Democrats condemned the ad, and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan told “Face the Nation,” “I don’t know if that’s necessarily productive.”

Schumer and his colleagues accused Trump of being an unreliable negotiating partner, saying the two sides came close to a deal on immigration several times, only to have Trump back out under pressure from anti-immigration conservatives.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell and Howard Schneider; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason traveling with Pence; Writing by Warren Strobel; Editing by John Stonestreet and Jeffrey Benkoe

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-shutdown-trump/in-second-day-of-shutdown-republicans-democrats-dig-in-for-fight-idUSKBN1FA0OO

 

Senate Rejects Short-Term Spending Bill; Talks Continue as Shutdown Looms

Last-ditch talks between Donald Trump and Chuck Schumer failed to yield deal after House passed one-month spending bill

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) walked into the Capitol after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) walked into the Capitol after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday. PHOTO: JACQUELYN MARTIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON—The Senate rejected Friday a short-term spending bill to keep the federal government operating. Barring further action, the defeat will trigger a shutdown of many government services.

The vote was 50-48 against the bill, but the vote remained open as senators gathered on the chamber’s floor to discuss whether they could come up with a short-term plan. The bill required the approval of 60 senators to pass.

The bill, approved by the House on Thursdaylargely with GOP votes, would have funded the government through Feb. 16. Lawmakers have no clear fallback plan, and aides said they were expecting the government to partially close on the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

In the Capitol on Friday, leaders mired in disputes over immigration and spending refused to take the first step toward preventing a shutdown without concessions from across the aisle.

“I think it is almost 100% likely the government will shut down for some period of time,” said Rep. John Yarmuth (D., Ky.) after meeting with other members of House Democratic leadership before the vote. “Everything we see indicates there’s no way to avoid a shutdown.”

Lawmakers vowed to continue negotiations over the weekend, some holding out hope a resolution could be reached over the weekend and before normal business hours resume on Monday. Their disagreements range from the amounts to allocate for military and domestic spending to provisions, demanded by Democrats, aimed at providing protections to young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.

The measure failed despite intense negotiations throughout the day. In a last-ditch effort to strike a deal Friday, Mr. Trump had met in the early afternoon with Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the chamber’s Democratic leader, and he called House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) later. Although Mr. Trump and Mr. Schumer said progress was made in their meeting, it failed to yield an immediate long-term agreement.

One senator briefed on the meeting between the president and Mr. Schumer said it didn’t go well, putting the onus back on Congress to find a path forward. Another person familiar with the meeting said it wasn’t contentious, but it made clear that neither side would budge.

Mr. Trump called it an “excellent preliminary meeting in Oval with @SenSchumer” in a tweet Friday evening, writing that they were “making progress.”

But without any breakthrough on the immigration and spending issues that have stymied lawmakers for weeks, Washington prepared for the first major shutdown of a government controlled by one party.

A half-hour before the Senate was set to vote, Mr. Trump tweeted that averting a shutdown was “not looking good.”

“Dems want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy,” he wrote.

As the hours ticked down, both parties worked to ensure any political fallout would fall on the other side of the aisle in a year when control of both chambers is up for grabs in the fall’s midterm elections. Democrats stressed that Republicans control both chambers of Congress, as well as the White House.

“Their ability to govern is so tremendously in question right now,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) said.

Republicans chastised Democrats for derailing the spending bill in the Senate over an immigration debate that faces a later deadline.

“Apparently they believe that the issue of illegal immigration is more important than everything else, all of the government services people depend on,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on the Senate floor Friday.

The immigration fight stretches back to September, when Mr. Trump ended a programshielding the young illegal immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation. He gave Congress until March 5 to hash out a replacement.

Democrats sought to use their leverage on the spending bill, which needed their votes to clear the Senate, to secure legal protections for the Dreamers. Lawmakers from both parties have been meeting to hammer out a compromise but weren’t able to reach one by the government-funding deadline.

“I do think both sides want a deal and it’s going to happen,” said Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, on Friday night. But he said lawmakers were “too far apart this time to get it done in the next 48 hours.”

Much of the government’s work is expected to continue despite the shutdown, as the Trump administration aims to apply what senior administration officials called flexibility to shutdown rules that contain a variety of exceptions.

Social Security payments would be deposited as 53,000 workers for that agency stay on the job, as would Medicare reimbursements, because the payments don’t rely on an annual appropriation. In addition, Mr. Trump’s agencies aim to go further than previous shutdowns and existing plans on the book, keeping agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency open with unused funds, as well as national parks.

Mr. Trump’s own activities, including planned travel to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, can continue under an exemption for activity required by the president to carry out his constitutional duties. However, the president’s scheduled departure for his Florida resort on Friday afternoon was canceled.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also isn’t halting a planned trip to Asia this weekend; the military will generally continue operations, as will the Department of Homeland Security under exceptions for essential activities.

The director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, said Friday that his agency intended a different shutdown approach from the one taken by the Obama administration in 2013.

“We are going to manage the shutdown differently; we are not going to weaponize it,” Mr. Mulvaney said.

Still, Republicans worried that their party would shoulder an unfair portion of the blame, given that they control both chambers of Congress and the White House.

“We can say the Democrats voted against” funding the government, said Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.). “On the other hand, we control everything.”

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), who has been one of four lawmakers involved in immigration negotiations with the White House, blamed the bind on the president and the Republicans.

“We don’t want to shut down this government. We want to solve the problems facing this government and this nation, and that means working together, something which Sen. McConnell has not engaged in,” Mr. Durbin said.

Write to Kristina Peterson at kristina.peterson@wsj.com, Natalie Andrews at Natalie.Andrews@wsj.com and Siobhan Hughes at siobhan.hughes@wsj.com

Appeared in the January 20, 2018, print edition as ‘Federal Shutdown Seen as Likely.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/showdown-looms-as-senate-democrats-prepare-to-reject-spending-bill-1516364692

 

List of federal agencies in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of agencies of the United States federal government.

Legislative definitions of a federal agency are varied, and even contradictory, and the official United States Government Manual offers no definition.[1][2] While the Administrative Procedure Act definition of “agency” applies to most executive branch agencies, Congress may define an agency however it chooses in enabling legislation, and subsequent litigation, often involving the Freedom of Information Act and the Government in the Sunshine Act. These further cloud attempts to enumerate a list of agencies.[3][4]

The executive branch of the federal government includes the Executive Office of the President and the United States federal executive departments (whose secretaries belong to the Cabinet). Employees of the majority of these agencies are considered civil servants.

The majority of the independent agencies of the United States government are also classified as executive agencies (they are independent in that they are not subordinated under a Cabinet position). There are a small number of independent agencies that are not considered part of the executive branch, such as the Library of Congress and Congressional Budget Office, administered directly by Congress and thus are legislative branch agencies.

Legislative Branch

Seal of the United States Congress.svg

Agencies and other entities within the legislative branch:

Judicial Branch

Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg

Agencies within the judicial branch:

Specialty Courts

Executive Branch

Executive Office of the President

Seal of the President of the United States.svg

Main article: Executive Office of the President of the United States

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Seal of the United States Department of Agriculture.svg

United States Department of Commerce

Seal of the United States Department of Commerce.svg

United States Department of Defense (DOD)

United States Department of Defense Seal.svg

United States Department of Education

Seal of the United States Department of Education.svg
  • United States Secretary of Education
    • United States Deputy Secretary of Education
      • United States Under Secretary of Education
        • United States Deputy Under Secretary of Education

Department of Education structure

Office of the Secretary (OS)
Office of the Under Secretary (OUS)
Office of the Deputy Secretary (ODS)
Other federal agencies, centers, boards, clearinghouses

United States Department of Energy

Seal of the United States Department of Energy.svg

United States Department of Health and Human Services

Seal of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.svg

United States Department of Homeland Security

Seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security.svg
  • United States Secretary of Homeland Security
    • United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security

Agencies and Offices, Library and Coast Guard and Teams and schools

Offices and Councils

Management

National Protection and Programs

Science and Technology

Portfolios
Divisions
Offices and institutes

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Seal of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.svg
  • United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
    • United States Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Agencies[edit]

Offices and Centers and Library and University[edit]

Corporation

United States Department of the Interior

Seal of the United States Department of the Interior.svg

United States Department of Justice

Seal of the United States Department of Justice.svg

United States Department of Labor (DOL)

Seal of the United States Department of Labor.svg
  • United States Secretary of Labor
    • United States Deputy Secretary of Labor

Agencies and Bureaus and Corporation and Center and Program and Library and University

Boards[edit]
Offices and Offices of
  • Office of Security
  • Energy
  • Defense
  • Veterans Affairs
  • General Counsel
  • Labor
  • Commerce
  • Ethics
  • Compliance
  • NA Affairs
  • Agriculture
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Homeland Security
  • Health
  • Labor Policy
  • Administrative Law
  • State
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Interior
  • White House Liaison
  • Public Affairs
  • Education
  • Civil Rights
  • Treasury
  • Transportation
  • Justice
  • Office of Emergency Management
  • Office of Labor Intelligence
  • Office of Administrative Law Judges
  • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management
  • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy
  • Management
  • Administration
  • Communications
  • CPO
  • CISO
  • CHCO
  • CHRO
  • CTO
  • Office of the Chief Financial Officer
  • Office of the Chief Information Officer
  • Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Office of Disability Employment Policy
  • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
  • Office of Labor-Management Standards
  • Office of the Solicitor
  • Office of Worker’s Compensation Program
  • Ombudsman for the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program
  • Wirtz Labor Library

United States Department of State (DOS)

US Department of State official seal.svg
  • United States Secretary of State
    • United States Deputy Secretary of State

Agencies and Bureaus and Offices and Library and Boards and Councils and schools

Reporting to the Secretary
Reporting to the Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources
Reporting to the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security
Reporting to the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights
Reporting to the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment
Reporting to the Under Secretary for Managemen
Reporting to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs
Reporting to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

Permanent Diplomatic Missions

United States Department of Transportation

Seal of the United States Department of Transportation.svg

Operating Administrations[edit]

United States Department of the Treasury

Seal of the United States Department of the Treasury.svg

Bureaus[8]

United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Seal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.svg
  • United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
    • United States Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Agencies and university

Boards and offices and library

  • National Veterans Affairs Library
  • Office of International Affairs
  • Office of Security
  • Office of Emergency Management
  • Office of Veterans Affairs Statistics
  • Office Of Veterans Affairs Intelligence
  • DOVA Office of the Inspector General
  • Board of Veterans’ Appeals
  • Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
  • Center for Minority Veterans
  • Center for Veterans Enterprise
  • Center for Women Veterans
  • Office of Advisory Committee Management
  • Office of Employment Discrimination Complaint Adjudication
  • Office of Survivors Assistance
  • Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction
  • Office of Information and Technology
  • Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
  • Veterans Service Organizations Liaison

Independent agencies and government-owned corporations

Established under United States Constitution Article I, Section 4[edit]

Elections

Established under Article I, Section 8

Administrative agencies[edit]
Civil Service agencies
Commerce regulatory agencies

Government Commissions and Committees and Consortium

Education and broadcasting agencies
Energy and science agencies
Foreign investment agencies
Interior agencies
Labor agencies
Monetary and financial agencies
Postal agencies
Retirement agencie
Federal Property and Seat of Government agencies
Transportation agencies
Volunteerism agencies

Authority under Article II, Section 1

Defense and security agencies[edit]

Authority under Amendment XIV

Civil rights agencies[edit]

Other agencies and corporations

Joint programs and interagency agencies

  • Joint Fire Science Program
  • National Interagency Fire Center

Special Inspector General Office

Quasi-official agencies

Arts & cultural agencies

Museum agencies

Commerce & technology agencies

Defense & diplomacy agencies

Human service & community development Agencies

Interior agencies

Law & justice agencies

See also

References

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Fischer 2011, pp. 1-2.
  2. Jump up^ Federal Register 2013.
  3. Jump up^ Lewis & Selin 2013, pp. 13-14.
  4. Jump up^ Kamensky 2013.
  5. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k “Our Administrations”US Department of Transportation. 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  6. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k l m “Office of the Secretary”US Department of Transportation. 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  7. Jump up^ “Governance and Oversight”U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  8. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k l “Bureaus”http://www.treasury.gov. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  9. Jump up^ “IBM Cognos software”http://www.fedscope.opm.gov. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  10. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k “Organizational Structure”http://www.treasury.gov. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  11. Jump up to:a b “Offices”http://www.treasury.gov. Retrieved 2017-12-17.

Bibliography

External links

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017, Story 1: Labor Participation Rate In November 2017 Remained At 62.7% with Over 95.4 Million Not in Labor Force With 160.5 Million In Labor Force –U-3 Unemployment Rate Hit Low 4.1% and U-6 Unemployment Rate Rose To 8.0% — Total Non-farm Payroll Jobs Added 228,000 — Videos — Story 2: Corporate Tax Cut Bill Will Pass By December 22, 2017 — Definitively Not Fundamental Tax Reform For The Middle Class — Replace Income Tax System with A Single Broad Based Consumption Tax Replacing All Federal Income Based Taxes — Videos — Story 3: Defeating The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria By Bombing Them To Death — ISIS Free? — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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

Pronk Pops Show 997, November 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 995, November 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 994, November 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 993, November 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 992, October 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 991, October 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 990, October 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 989, October 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 988, October 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 987, October 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 986, October 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 985, October 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 984, October 16, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 983, October 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 982, October 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 981, October 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 980, October 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 979, October 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 978, October 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 977, October 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 976, October 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 975, September 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 974, September 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 973, September 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 972, September 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 971, September 25, 2017

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: Labor Participation Rate In November 2017 Remained At 62.7% with Over 95.4 Million Not in Labor Force With 160.5 Million In Labor Force –U-3 Unemployment Rate Hit Low 4.1% and U-6 Unemployment Rate Rose To 8.0% — Total Non-farm Payroll Jobs Added 228,000 — Videos —

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US economy adds 228K jobs in November

Analyzing The November Jobs Report Compared To Previous Years | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

U.S. economy continues its strong performance

National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn: Tax Reform Will Help Us Drive Real Wage Growth | CNBC

CNN’s Christine Romans Highlights November’s Really Good Jobs Numbers

Larry Kudlow: Jobs Report Shows We Are On Front End Of “Very, Very Strong Rebound In Manufacturing”

Panel on Strong November Jobs Report; 228K Jobs Added. #Economy #Jobs #Report #November

Stockman: Here’s Why Today’s Jobs Report Is Nothing to Celebrate

Alan Greenspan // We are about to go from stagnation to ‘stagflation’

Ep. 307: Trump Continues What He Once Called the Biggest Hoax in American Politics

The Reason Trump is President – Peter Schiff

 

Civilian Labor Force Level

160,529,000

 

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

 

Series Id:           LNS11000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153263(1) 153214 153376 153543 153479 153346 153288 153760 154131 153961 154128 153995
2012 154381(1) 154671 154749 154545 154866 155083 154948 154763 155160 155554 155338 155628
2013 155695(1) 155268 154990 155356 155514 155747 155669 155587 155731 154709 155328 155151
2014 155295(1) 155485 156115 155378 155559 155682 156098 156117 156100 156389 156421 156238
2015 157022(1) 156771 156781 157043 157447 156993 157125 157109 156809 157123 157358 157957
2016 158362(1) 158888 159278 158938 158510 158889 159295 159508 159830 159643 159456 159640
2017 159716(1) 160056 160201 160213 159784 160145 160494 160571 161146 160381 160529
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

 

Labor Force Participation Rate

62.7%

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.1 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.7
2013 63.6 63.4 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.3 63.3 62.8 63.0 62.9
2014 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.8 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.7
2015 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.6 62.6 62.6 62.4 62.5 62.5 62.7
2016 62.7 62.9 63.0 62.8 62.6 62.7 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.6 62.7
2017 62.9 63.0 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.7 62.7

Unemployment Level

6.6 Million

 

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 15046 15113 15202 15325 14849 14474 14512 14648 14579 14516 15081 14348
2011 14013 13820 13737 13957 13855 13962 13763 13818 13948 13594 13302 13093
2012 12797 12813 12713 12646 12660 12692 12656 12471 12115 12124 12005 12298
2013 12470 11954 11672 11752 11657 11741 11350 11284 11264 11133 10792 10410
2014 10240 10383 10400 9705 9740 9460 9637 9616 9255 8964 9060 8718
2015 8962 8663 8538 8521 8655 8251 8235 8017 7877 7869 7939 7927
2016 7829 7845 7977 7910 7451 7799 7749 7853 7904 7740 7409 7529
2017 7635 7528 7202 7056 6861 6977 6981 7132 6801 6520 6610

U-3 Unemployment Rate

4.1%

Series Id:           LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.8 9.3
2011 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.5
2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.1 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.9
2013 8.0 7.7 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.3 7.2 7.2 6.9 6.7
2014 6.6 6.7 6.7 6.2 6.3 6.1 6.2 6.2 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6
2015 5.7 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
2016 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.0 4.7 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.6 4.7
2017 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.1 4.1  U-3

U-6 Unemployment Rate

8.0%

 

Series Id:           LNS13327709
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers
Labor force status:  Aggregated totals unemployed
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over
Percent/rates:       Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 7.1 7.2 7.1 6.9 7.1 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.0 6.8 7.1 6.9
2001 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.9 7.8 8.1 8.7 9.3 9.4 9.6
2002 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.7 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.7 9.8
2003 10.0 10.2 10.0 10.2 10.1 10.3 10.3 10.1 10.4 10.2 10.0 9.8
2004 9.9 9.7 10.0 9.6 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.4 9.7 9.4 9.2
2005 9.3 9.3 9.1 8.9 8.9 9.0 8.8 8.9 9.0 8.7 8.7 8.6
2006 8.4 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.4 8.5 8.4 8.0 8.2 8.1 7.9
2007 8.4 8.2 8.0 8.2 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.8
2008 9.2 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.7 10.1 10.5 10.8 11.0 11.8 12.6 13.6
2009 14.2 15.2 15.8 15.9 16.5 16.5 16.4 16.7 16.7 17.1 17.1 17.1
2010 16.7 17.0 17.1 17.1 16.6 16.4 16.4 16.5 16.8 16.6 16.9 16.6
2011 16.2 16.0 15.9 16.1 15.8 16.1 15.9 16.1 16.4 15.8 15.5 15.2
2012 15.2 15.0 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 14.8 14.6 14.8 14.4 14.4 14.4
2013 14.5 14.4 13.8 14.0 13.8 14.2 13.8 13.6 13.7 13.6 13.1 13.1
2014 12.7 12.6 12.6 12.3 12.1 12.0 12.2 12.0 11.8 11.5 11.4 11.2
2015 11.3 11.0 10.9 10.8 10.7 10.5 10.3 10.2 10.0 9.8 9.9 9.9
2016 9.9 9.8 9.8 9.7 9.7 9.6 9.7 9.7 9.7 9.5 9.3 9.2
2017 9.4 9.2 8.9 8.6 8.4 8.6 8.6 8.6 8.3 7.9 8.0

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                  USDL-17-1616
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, December 8, 2017

Technical information:
 Household data:       (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:   (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                         THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- NOVEMBER 2017


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November, and the unemployment 
rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 
Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, 
and health care.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent in November, and the number of unemployed 
persons was essentially unchanged at 6.6 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate 
and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.5 percentage point and 799,000, 
respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers increased to 15.9 
percent in November. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.7 
percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (7.3 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics 
(4.7 percent) showed little change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially 
unchanged at 1.6 million in November and accounted for 23.8 percent of the unemployed. 
Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 275,000. (See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate remained at 62.7 percent in November and has shown no 
clear trend over the past 12 months. The employment-population ratio, at 60.1 percent, 
changed little in November and has shown little movement, on net, since early this year. 
(See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as 
involuntary part-time workers), at 4.8 million, was essentially unchanged in November but 
was down by 858,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time 
employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they 
were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In November, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 
451,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals 
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job 
sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not 
searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 469,000 discouraged workers in November, down by 
122,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers 
are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for 
them. The remaining 1.0 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November 
had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 
(See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November. Employment continued to 
trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care. Employment 
growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly 
gain of 187,000 in 2016. (See table B-1.)

Employment in professional and business services continued on an upward trend in November 
(+46,000). Over the past 12 months, the industry has added 548,000 jobs. 

In November, manufacturing added 31,000 jobs. Within the industry, employment rose in 
machinery (+8,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), computer and electronic products 
(+4,000), and plastics and rubber products (+4,000). Since a recent low in November 2016, 
manufacturing employment has increased by 189,000.

Health care added 30,000 jobs in November. Most of the gain occurred in ambulatory health 
care services (+25,000), which includes offices of physicians and outpatient care centers. 
Monthly employment growth in health care has averaged 24,000 thus far in 2017, compared 
with an average increase of 32,000 per month in 2016. 

Within construction, employment among specialty trade contractors increased by 23,000 in 
November and by 132,000 over the year.  

Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, 
transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, 
and government, changed little over the month. 

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour 
to 34.5 hours in November. In manufacturing, the workweek was unchanged at 40.9 hours, and 
overtime remained at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory 
employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and 
B-7.)

In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose 
by 5 cents to $26.55. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 64 cents, or 
2.5 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory 
employees rose by 5 cents to $22.24 in November. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from +18,000 
to +38,000, and the change for October was revised down from +261,000 to +244,000. With 
these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 3,000 more than 
previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from 
businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the 
recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 170,000 over 
the last 3 months. 

_____________
The Employment Situation for December is scheduled to be released on Friday, January 5, 
2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).


    ______________________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                                      |
   |               Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data                  |
   |                                                                                      |
   | In accordance with usual practice, The Employment Situation news release for December|
   | 2017, scheduled for January 5, 2018, will incorporate annual revisions in seasonally |
   | adjusted household survey data. Seasonally adjusted data for the most recent 5       |
   | years are subject to revision.                                                       |
   |______________________________________________________________________________________|


    ______________________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                                      |
   |        Conversion to the 2017 North American Industry Classification System          |
   |                                                                                      |
   | With the release of January 2018 data on February 2, 2018, the establishment survey  |
   | will revise the basis for industry classification from the 2012 North American       |
   | Industry Classification System (NAICS) to 2017 NAICS. The conversion to 2017 NAICS   |
   | will result in minor revisions reflecting content changes within the mining and      |
   | logging, retail trade, information, financial activities, and professional and       |
   | business services sectors. Additionally, some smaller industries will be combined    |
   | within the mining and logging, durable goods manufacturing, retail trade, and        |
   | information sectors. Several industry titles and descriptions also will be updated.  |
   |                                                                                      |
   | Approximately 4 percent of employment will be reclassified into different industries |
   | as a result of the revision. Details of new, discontinued, and combined industries   |
   | due to the 2017 NAICS update, as well as changes due to the annual benchmarking      |
   | process, will be available on January 5, 2018.                                       |
   |                                                                                      |
   | For more information on the 2017 NAICS update, visit www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/.  |
   |______________________________________________________________________________________|



 

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Nov.
2016
Sept.
2017
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017
Change from:
Oct.
2017-
Nov.
2017

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

254,540 255,562 255,766 255,949 183

Civilian labor force

159,456 161,146 160,381 160,529 148

Participation rate

62.6 63.1 62.7 62.7 0.0

Employed

152,048 154,345 153,861 153,918 57

Employment-population ratio

59.7 60.4 60.2 60.1 -0.1

Unemployed

7,409 6,801 6,520 6,610 90

Unemployment rate

4.6 4.2 4.1 4.1 0.0

Not in labor force

95,084 94,417 95,385 95,420 35

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.6 4.2 4.1 4.1 0.0

Adult men (20 years and over)

4.3 3.9 3.8 3.7 -0.1

Adult women (20 years and over)

4.2 3.9 3.6 3.7 0.1

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

15.2 12.9 13.7 15.9 2.2

White

4.2 3.7 3.5 3.6 0.1

Black or African American

8.0 7.0 7.5 7.3 -0.2

Asian

3.0 3.7 3.1 3.0 -0.1

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

5.7 5.1 4.8 4.7 -0.1

Total, 25 years and over

3.9 3.5 3.3 3.3 0.0

Less than a high school diploma

7.9 6.5 5.7 5.2 -0.5

High school graduates, no college

4.9 4.3 4.3 4.3 0.0

Some college or associate degree

3.9 3.6 3.7 3.6 -0.1

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.3 2.3 2.0 2.1 0.1

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,542 3,359 3,227 3,159 -68

Job leavers

934 738 742 751 9

Reentrants

2,266 2,079 2,006 2,029 23

New entrants

728 669 629 691 62

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,415 2,226 2,129 2,250 121

5 to 14 weeks

2,133 1,874 1,942 1,878 -64

15 to 26 weeks

1,073 963 853 927 74

27 weeks and over

1,856 1,733 1,621 1,581 -40

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

5,659 5,122 4,753 4,801 48

Slack work or business conditions

3,485 3,121 2,952 2,983 31

Could only find part-time work

1,902 1,733 1,629 1,559 -70

Part time for noneconomic reasons

21,059 21,011 20,923 21,018 95

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,932 1,569 1,535 1,481

Discouraged workers

591 421 524 469

– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Nov.
2016
Sept.
2017
Oct.
2017(P)
Nov.
2017(P)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

164 38 244 228

Total private

178 50 247 221

Goods-producing

35 26 34 62

Mining and logging

7 4 1 7

Construction

28 13 10 24

Manufacturing

0 9 23 31

Durable goods(1)

3 6 13 27

Motor vehicles and parts

1.4 -3.1 -0.8 1.7

Nondurable goods

-3 3 10 4

Private service-providing

143 24 213 159

Wholesale trade

5.6 7.3 8.0 3.4

Retail trade

-12.9 11.7 -2.2 18.7

Transportation and warehousing

21.8 18.3 7.6 10.5

Utilities

0.3 0.6 0.1 -0.2

Information

-12 -5 -8 -4

Financial activities

12 12 7 8

Professional and business services(1)

46 30 54 46

Temporary help services

25.5 10.1 17.9 18.3

Education and health services(1)

31 23 24 54

Health care and social assistance

28.2 8.3 34.6 40.5

Leisure and hospitality

44 -75 104 14

Other services

7 1 18 9

Government

-14 -12 -3 7

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

179 128 163 170

Total private

178 122 160 173

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES(2)

Total nonfarm women employees

49.6 49.5 49.5 49.5

Total private women employees

48.2 48.1 48.1 48.1

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.3 82.4 82.4 82.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.3 34.4 34.4 34.5

Average hourly earnings

$25.91 $26.53 $26.50 $26.55

Average weekly earnings

$888.71 $912.63 $911.60 $915.98

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

105.8 107.4 107.7 108.2

Over-the-month percent change

-0.1 0.0 0.3 0.5

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

131.0 136.3 136.4 137.3

Over-the-month percent change

-0.2 0.5 0.1 0.7

DIFFUSION INDEX
(Over 1-month span)(5)

Total private (261 industries)

51.5 60.9 65.1 63.0

Manufacturing (78 industries)

48.7 59.0 62.2 59.0

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(P) Preliminary

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2016 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.

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Precision sacrificed for speed as GOP rushes ahead on taxes

5 tax issues Republicans need to resolve in conference

Now that the Senate and the House have passed two tax bills, there are some crucial differences they need to resolve in conference.

 December 10 at 6:42 PM
Republicans are moving their tax plan toward final passage at stunning speed, blowing past Democrats before they’ve had time to fully mobilize against it but leaving the measure vulnerable to the types of expensive problems popping up in their massive and complex plan.Questionable special-interest provisions have been stuffed in along the way, out of public view and in some cases literally in the dead of night. Drafting errors by exhausted staff are cropping up and need fixes, which must be tackled by congressional negotiators working to reconcile competing versions of the legislation passed separately by the House and the Senate.And the melding process underway has opened the door to another frenzy of 11th-hour lobbying as special interests, including President Trump’s rich friends, make one last dash for cash before the final bill speeds through both chambers of Congress and onto Trump’s desk. Passage is expected the week before Christmas.

Veterans of congressional tax overhauls, particularly the seminal revamp under President Ronald Reagan in 1986, have been stunned and in some cases outraged at how swiftly Republicans are moving on legislation that touches every corner of the economy and all Americans. And although GOP leaders make no apologies, some in their rank and file say that the process would have benefited from a more deliberate and open approach.

“I think it would have looked better if we had taken more time and had more transparency, had more open committee hearings,” said freshman Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.).

“Having said that, the goal that everybody had was to reduce the tax rates. . . . So at the end of the day the goal is going to be achieved, but we could have done it in a more transparent manner that probably would have given the voters that are being polled a little more confidence,” Comer said, referring to the effort’s poor showing in opinion surveys.

It has been a little more than a month since the $1.5 trillion legislation was introduced in the House, and in that short time it has cleared the two key committees in the House and Senate and won approval on the floors of both chambers, all without a single Democratic vote. If Trump signs the bill as planned before Christmas, that would mean a journey of less than two months between introduction and final passage.

The specific legislation that probably will become law, sold as a middle-class tax cut but featuring a massive corporate rate reduction at its center, is moving from release toward passage without any hearings, unusual for a bill of such magnitude. And as it tumbled along it picked up some startling new features, to the surprise of affected industries, Democrats and in some cases Republicans themselves.

Some of the most notable changes came in the hours before the Senate’s passage of its version of the plan, which happened about 1:50 a.m. Dec. 2.

The final vote was preceded by hours of inaction as Republicans fine-tuned their legislation behind closed doors, while fuming Democratic staffers ate Chinese food and pored over versions of the bill and lists of amendments that had been leaked by lobbyists on K Street before Republicans had made anything public.

As they got additional drafts of the bill, Democrats were incensed at some of what they found, including new breaks for the oil and gas industry, and a provision that appeared aimed specifically at helping Hillsdale College, a small liberal arts college in Michigan that doesn’t accept federal funding and has a large endowment funded by wealthy conservatives — including the family of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

An angry Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stood on his chamber’s floor to declare that “the federal treasury is being looted.” In their one victory of the debate, Democrats offered an amendment to strike the Hillsdale provision, and with the help of four Republicans it passed.

Democrats weren’t the only ones surprised by what was in the bill. Republicans and the business community were stunned when the final Senate version restored the alternative minimum tax for corporations. The tax, aimed at keeping companies from shirking their tax duties entirely, had been repealed in the House bill and earlier versions of the Senate measure.

Restoring the corporate alternative minimum tax created $40 billion in revenue for the bill, which helped Republicans come in under complex budgetary guidelines saying the legislation can’t go over the $1.5 trillion the GOP has agreed to add to the deficit over the next decade. Still, some Republicans professed not to know how the change had come about.

And under the new tax code the GOP bill would create, including the alternative minimum tax could have the unintended consequence of preventing companies from using other deductions, including the popular research and development tax credit.

“I’m guessing they just needed something quick to make the bill work,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who is one of the conferees charged with blending the two bills together.

Now, as quickly as it reappeared, the corporate alternative minimum tax probably will disappear again. Republican lawmakers widely agree that it doesn’t work and can’t be included, but it remains a mystery where they’ll find revenue to offset that change and pay for others they’re looking to include in the final package.

There has been discussion of moving the corporate rate — slashed from 35 percent to 20 percent by the House and Senate — back up to 22 percent, but the backlash against that proposal has been intense and it probably will be dropped. But revenue must be found somewhere because there are some changes that look nearly certain, including adjusting the new limit on deducting state and local taxes. Both the House and Senate legislation would allow taxpayers to deduct only up to $10,000 in property taxes. Some of Trump’s New York friends have taken exception to that provision and have lobbied the president personally against it.

It’s all part of a breakneck pace of the tax plan that contrasts with the nearly a year-and-a-half that passed between when Reagan unveiled his initial version of the 1986 tax plan and its ultimate passage into law. The less far-ranging tax cuts that President George W. Bush signed in 2001 took four months to become law after the release of Bush’s initial blueprint. And the Affordable Care Act took nearly a year to complete, including a congressional summer recess featuring angry town hall meetings that turned public sentiment sharply against the bill.

Democrats accuse Republicans of whisking the legislation along to avoid extended public scrutiny and prevent them from mounting an offensive at public hearings or over lengthy congressional breaks. The GOP bills have endured neither.

“It’s clear that we could have defeated this bill had we gone through regular order and had any expert witness from any blue state or high-tax state come in,” said Rep. John B. Larson (Conn.), who was a member of Democratic leadership during the much lengthier and more open process of passing the ACA. The provision limiting taxpayers’ ability to deduct state and local taxes hits high-tax areas such as California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut particularly hard.

“People would have said, ‘Well, wait a minute,’ ” Larson said.

Republican congressional leaders dispute such comparisons, saying that the process on taxes has been going on for years, given that the party has long been debating the idea and an early foundational bill was released by then-Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), former chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, nearly four years ago. House Republicans, led by Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), also campaigned last year on an agenda called “A Better Way,” which featured a tax plank similar in many respects to the bill the House ultimately passed, although it drew scant attention at the time.

“These are relatively small bills, 400 pages or so; they’re not hard to digest. The policy decisions, the thoughtfulness, a lot of these issues we’ve been debating together and apart for years,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.). “Bottom line is the American people have been waiting 30 years. So to paraphrase a hardware store: less talking, more doing.”

Even before the late-night Senate dramatics, the process offered surprises and sudden twists.

A provision repealing an Affordable Care Act requirement for most Americans to carry insurance or pay fines was added to the Senate bill with little warning over the course of an afternoon, a major health policy decision that is projected to leave 13 million more Americans uninsured in a decade but that would give Republicans $330 billion to pay for other things they want to do.

And the release of the House bill stunned manufacturers when they discovered it contained an “excise tax” on purchases from American companies’ foreign subsidiaries that some said could drive them out of business. The provision was watered down before passage by the Ways and Means Committee, but companies are still fighting to keep it out of the final bill, said Nancy McLernon, president of the Organization for International Investment, which represents global companies with U.S. operations. Despite the years-long focus on tax overhaul, such a provision had not been debated — even after companies beat back a different import tax, she said.

The Senate has a different provision that companies like better, but as far as the cost of going from one to the other or how it will all shake out, “It’s all a Rubik’s cube,” McLernon said.

Many lobbyists, Democrats and other observers expect to find the final version of the plan, which could be filed late this week, just as full of surprises as the various iterations that have appeared. But as they gun for a legislative win that has eluded them this year, Republicans show little interest in slowing down to take a closer look.

“The frenzy, and I would call it a frenzy, to get it done and have a Christmas present for America — number one, I think it’s unnecessary; it’s a self-imposed deadline, and number two, it makes the possibility for error much greater,” said Steve Bell, a senior adviser at the Bipartisan Policy Center who was staff director of the Senate Budget Committee during the 1986 tax effort. “This is a rush without a reason other than the political desire for a Rose Garden signing ceremony.”

Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/precision-sacrificed-for-speed-as-gop-rushes-ahead-on-taxes/2017/12/10/876ab274-dc62-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.167e53dc0cba

 

The Taxman Cometh: Senate Bill’s Marginal Rates Could Top 100% for Some

Certain high-income business owners would face backwards incentives; lawmakers work to bridge gap

House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their tax bills to get rid of the most contentious proposals.
House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their tax bills to get rid of the most contentious proposals. PHOTO: DANIEL ACKER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON—Some high-income business owners could face marginal tax rates exceeding 100% under the Senate’s tax bill, far beyond the listed rates in the Republican plan.

That means a business owner’s next $100 in earnings, under certain circumstances, would require paying more than $100 in additional federal and state taxes.

As lawmakers rush to write the final tax bill over the next week, they already are looking at changes to prevent this from happening. Broadly, House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their bills, looking for ways to pay for eliminating the most contentious proposals. The formal House-Senate conference committee will meet on Wednesday, and GOP lawmakers may unveil an agreement by week’s end.

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The possible marginal tax rate of more than 100% results from the combination of tax policies designed to provide benefits to businesses and families but then deny them to the richest people. As income climbs and those breaks phase out, each dollar of income faces regular tax rates and a hidden marginal rate on top of that, in the form of vanishing tax breaks. That structure, if maintained in a final law, would create some of the disincentives to working and to earning business profit that Republicans have long complained about, while opening lucrative avenues for tax avoidance.

As a taxpayer’s income gets much higher and moves out of those phaseout ranges, the marginal tax rates would go down.

Consider, for example, a married, self-employed New Jersey lawyer with three children and earnings of about $615,000. Getting $100 more in business income would force the lawyer to pay $105.45 in federal and state taxes, according to calculations by the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation. That is more than double the marginal tax rate that household faces today.

If the New Jersey lawyer’s stay-at-home spouse wanted a job, the first $100 of the spouse’s wages would require $107.79 in taxes. And the tax rates for similarly situated residents of California and New York City would be even higher, the Tax Foundation found. Analyses by the Tax Policy Center, which is run by a former Obama administration official, find similar results, with federal marginal rates as high as 85%, and those don’t include items such as state taxes, self-employment taxes or the phase-out of child tax credits.

The bill as written would provide incentives for business owners to shift profit across calendar years, move personal expenses inside the business and engage in other economically unproductive maneuvers, said David Gamage, a tax-law professor at Indiana University.

“I would expect a huge tax-gaming response once people fully understand how it works,” said Mr. Gamage, a former Treasury Department official, who said business owners have an easier time engaging in such tax avoidance than salaried employees do. “The payoff for gaming is huge, within the set of people who both face these rates and have flexible enough business structures.”

The analyses “raise a valid concern” that lawmakers are examining, said Julia Lawless, a spokeswoman for the Senate Finance Committee.

“With any major reform, there will always be unusual hypotheticals delivering anomalous results,” she said. “The goal of Congress’s tax overhaul has been to lower taxes on the American people and by and large, according to a variety of analyses, we’re achieving that.”

Marginal tax rates are different from average tax rates. A marginal rate is the tax on the edge, or margin, of one’s earnings, and so it reflects what would be the next dollar of income. The average rate is a way of measuring a taxpayer’s total burden.

The Republican bills are trying to reduce both marginal and average tax rates, and for many taxpayers, they do. The marginal tax rates above 100% affect a small slice of households with very particular circumstances. Similar, though smaller, effects occur throughout the tax system.

“This is a big concern,” said Scott Greenberg, a Tax Foundation analyst. “It would be unfortunate if Congress passed a tax bill that had the effect of making additional work and additional income not worthwhile for any subgroup of households.”

Here’s how that New Jersey lawyer’s marginal rate adds up to more than 100%:

The household is paying the 35% marginal tax rate on their income range. Or, they are paying the alternative minimum tax, which operates at the same marginal rate in that income range.

The household is paying New Jersey’s highest income-tax rate, which is 8.97%, and now has to pay all of that because the Republican tax plan wouldn’t let such state or local taxes be deducted from federal income.

The household is also losing a deduction the Senate created for so-called pass-through businesses such as partnerships and S corporations. That 23% deduction is fully available to owners of service businesses like law firms, but only if income is below $500,000 for a married couple.

The deduction then phases out over $100,000 in income, according to a complex formula, disappearing entirely once income reaches $624,000. Up to that point, each additional dollar of business income faces progressively steeper tax rates because the deduction and its benefit are shrinking rapidly as income goes up.

The provisions also interact with each other in ways that drive up marginal rates. “The central problem here is that there is a large benefit phasing out over a short range,” Mr. Greenberg said.

The Republican bill doubles the child tax credit to $2,000 but phases it out beginning at $500,000 income for joint filers. The credit shrinks by $50 for every $1,000 in income above that, so a married couple with three children faces a higher marginal tax rate when they’re in that phase-out range.

The analysis assumes that the New Jersey lawyer is paying a 3.8% tax on self-employment income.

Pushing marginal rates lower on these households wouldn’t be easy and would require tradeoffs. Republicans could make the phaseout of the business deduction more gentle, spreading it over, say, $200,000, as opposed to $100,000, of income above $500,000. But that would make the tax cuts bigger, and Republicans are already looking for money to offset other changes they are planning.

They could lower the threshold for the child tax credit, but that would reduce tax cuts for households below $500,000.

Under current law, there are some high marginal tax rates for some lower-income households. Some families just above the poverty line can see their earned income tax credits and food stamps going down as their federal and state taxes go up. That combination can create marginal tax rates of around 75%, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Appeared in the December 11, 2017, print edition as ‘Taxman Cometh: Marginal Rates Could Top 100% for Some.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-taxman-cometh-senate-bills-marginal-rates-could-top-100-for-some-1512942118

Tax Reform Under History’s Light


Senior Vice President, Economic Policy Division, and Chief Economist

Former Democratic Senator John Breaux

Former Democratic Senator John Breaux.

[This is part of an ongoing series entitled “The Case for Tax Reform,” which examines the importance of reforming the outdated tax code, and how achieving that goal will advance economic growth, jobs, and prosperity.]

Tax reform’s chances are better in this Congress than at any time in the past 30 years. Thus, comparisons come naturally to the events leading up to the 1986 Tax Reform Act (TRA86). These comparisons are useful for the similarities and the differences, both of which provide insights as to how to assure success today.

One important similarity is TRA86 brought to conclusion a long and detailed debate about tax policy. Our current efforts also rest on a lengthy debate recently brought to the fore. An important difference, however, is TRA86 was enacted as a widely accepted “should do,” whereas tax reform in 2017 is much more of a “must do.”

‘86 tax reform in 30 seconds

TRA86 culminated as a complex debate starting about 10 years prior with the release of Treasury’s “Blueprints for Basic Tax Reform” in the waning hours of the Ford administration. Treasury’s “Blueprints” laid out a coherent approach to tax policy, emphasizing simplification and a reduction in tax distortions that were sapping economic growth.

Two years later, in response to a poorly performing economy, Congress adopted the Steiger Amendment, significantly cutting the capital gains tax rate as part of the 1978 Revenue Act. While often ignored, the Steiger Amendment marked the bi-partisan recognition of tax policy’s importance for economic growth. Pro-growth tax reform was not just for tax geeks anymore.

Federal tax policy debate took on new energy in 1981 with the passage of the landmark Reagan tax cuts, dominated by substantial rate reduction. Following legislation in 1982 and 1984 to readjust tax levels, the stage was set for fundamental tax reform.

A bipartisan consensus regarding sound tax policy evolved through the years leading up to TRA86. This consensus distilled down to the simple mantra of “lower the rates, broaden the base.”  Like the 1981 legislation, TRA86 would reduce tax rates substantially and install a less punitive system of capital consumption allowances. Unlike the 1981 legislation, however, the focus would also be on simplification, on the wide range of areas of the tax code reformed, and especially on revenue neutrality.

This consensus first took concrete form in two highly-detailed proposals out the Reagan Treasury Department, commonly dubbed Treasury I and its improved version, Treasury II, and released in 1984 and 1985 respectively. With these reports laying the groundwork, Congress then took over a year to legislate, finally producing TRA86.

The years between

TRA86 was the product of an extended period of consensus building and analysis. For those new to the debate, today’s strong momentum for comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform may seem to have arisen out of thin air, but, in fact, this debate has ebbed and flowed almost without pause since 1986.

The appetite for tax reform did not die following TRA86, and so consideration naturally moved on to the “next big thing.” For a period, the big thing seemed to be some kind of European-style Value Added Tax (VAT). The VAT momentum quickly petered out, however, and soon revenue pressures shifted the focus of tax policy once again to raising income tax rates, often with distinct “soak-the-rich” overtones. The VAT episode set tax reform’s pattern of ebb and flow for the following years.

Even as the debate toward TRA86 was underway, a very different approach to tax policy appeared in the Hall-Rabushka Flat Tax. Though the Flat Tax is best known for having a single rate of tax, hence the name, what really distinguishes the Flat Tax is its simplification, the elimination of all taxes on capital income and capital gains, and the adoption of a cash-flow tax on businesses centered on allowing capital purchases to be “expensed,” or deducted immediately.

In the 1990s, as the Flat Tax gained greater acceptance, tax reform topped the national agenda with Steve Forbes leading the charge. But this effort soon deflated along with Forbes’ 1996 presidential campaign.

Tax reform again gained traction briefly after the 2004 election with the release of the superb report of the presidential commission led by former Democratic Senator John Breaux and former Republican Senator Connie Mack. However, this effort, too, led to naught, a victim of competing priorities and a lack of consensus.

Income tax reform was pushed far onto the back burners during President Barack Obama’s tenure. Despite a historically weak economic recovery, the Obama administration expressed little interest in proposals to reduce the tax code’s drag on growth. The Obama administration contented itself with modest tweaks at the edges and otherwise dedicated its efforts to defending the status quo, especially in the area of international tax where global pressures were felt most profoundly.

Tax reform today

Even as years of inaction passed, pressure to reform the federal income tax code rose steadily from all sides. In part, this pressure arose because the U.S. economy was changing rapidly, and the tax code became an ever-worse fit for a modern economy.

In part, the pressure arose because even as America stood pat, America’s major trading partners did not. They were cutting business tax rates steadily and almost all were moving toward a territorial tax system to allow their businesses to compete more effectively in a global business climate of increasing intensity.

Though on the back burner, tax reform continued to simmer in backchannels. Then-House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) advanced a series of thoughtful tax reform proposals as part of his broader efforts to reform Federal tax policy. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) offered his variation on tax reform, differing from but along the same broad lines as the Ryan proposal. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also introduced a major, comprehensive tax reform proposal with his own interpretations, and then released subsequent iterations as comments and critiques soon followed. In these years, though President Obama continued to block tax reform’s path, the debate remained alive and well.

In 2014, former Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp (R-MI) introduced a detailed tax reform proposal. As tax reform would originate in this committee, Camp’s proposal took on greater significance than most. The Camp proposal was intended to serve as a prototype for tax legislation and so offered much more detail and, in some cases, specific options for resolving some of the nagging technical issues in adopting a territorial tax system, for example. However, in the face of President Obama’s determined disinterest, few were willing to contemplate seriously the hard choices the Camp plan laid out and so, again, tax reform was left to simmer on the back burner.

Tax reform played a limited role in the 2016 presidential campaign, with the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, largely continuing the defense of the status quo established by President Obama. Meanwhile, the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, suggested a bold change of direction; though, he accompanied it by very few details. Trump’s election, combined with the strong Republican interest in tax reform, quickly moved the issue to the front burner.

The focus on growth

Tax reform today, like its 1986 predecessor, has a long history of debate, evolution, and refinement. TRA86 and the current effort also share an intense focus on improving economic growth, but with one important difference: TRA86 largely responded to a sense borne of the previous, deep recession that the economy needed to be both stronger and more resilient, and that sound tax policy could help. Tax reform was seen as something Congress and the president could and should accomplish.

Tax reform today shares a similar motivation, but with far greater urgency. Just as no business can compete for long if its cost structure substantially exceeds those of its competitors, American businesses cannot continue to compete effectively at home or abroad facing high tax rates, an inadequate capital cost recovery system, and an international tax system long abandoned by competing companies.

American companies are managing to compete successfully today but with ever greater difficulty under the federal tax system. Failure to reform the tax system would not result overnight in significant decline in Americans’ long-run economic prospects. But it would most assuredly do so over the next few years as both financial and human capital is driven overseas.

Tax reform is one task Congress and the president simply have to get right if America is to prosper.

https://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/tax-reform-under-history-s-light

What History Teaches Us About Tax Reform


Senior Vice President, Economic Policy Division, and Chief Economist
023275_taxreform_atf_08_22_reagan_getty471341025.jpg

[This is part of an ongoing series entitled “The Case for Tax Reform,” which examines the importance of reforming the outdated tax code, and how achieving that goal will advance economic growth, jobs, and prosperity.]

An underperforming economy and mounting international competition have propelled tax reform from topic of discussion to front-burner issue. There is no change in federal policy that offers greater potential to strengthen employment and increase wages for American workers than sound, comprehensive tax reform.

Reviewing and respecting the lessons from the last major tax reform over thirty years ago illuminates the road ahead, and provides lessons for how to raise our odds of success. Time provides a dimension worth exploring for similarities and contrasts between 1986 and today. Specifically, the time leading up to the effort, and the time needed for Congress to act.

The Historical On Ramp to Tax Reform

President John F. Kennedy understood the dampening economic effects of high tax rates. Though he died before seeing his program enacted, his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the program through Congress and thus the 1964 tax bill is commonly referred to as the “Kennedy tax cuts.” The 1964 bill centered on significant tax rate reductions to achieve a substantially stronger economy.

Thereafter, budget pressures from the Vietnam War and Great Society programs reoriented tax policy once again toward ever-higher tax rates accompanied by a steady accretion of deductions and credits to blunt the effects of higher rates on politically favored constituencies. This process continued unabated into President Jimmy Carter’s administration and not surprisingly coinciding with a languishing economy.

Even as tax rates climbed and new distortions filled the tax code, a countermovement arose. In the final moments of the Ford Administration, Secretary William E. Simon released a landmark Treasury report directed by one of the era’s great economists, David Bradford, called “Blueprints for Basic Tax Reform,” guiding concepts of sound tax policy for years to come.

As the economy struggled and President Carter stood by, Congress took the initiative. With strong, bipartisan support over Carter’s objections, Congress substantially cut the capital gains tax rate as part of the 1978 Revenue Act, marking the first step in a change in tax philosophy culminating in the 1986 Tax Reform Act (TRA86).

Senator Bill Roth (R-DE) and Congressman Jack Kemp (R-NY) then picked up tax reform’s guidon, leading the charge for lower tax rates. At the same time, a second dimension in tax policy gained steam – the need for a less punitive capital cost recovery system. This debate was led largely outside Congress by the likes of Charls Walker and Ernie Christian, former Ford Administration Treasury hands, and Norman B. Ture, later Treasury undersecretary under Ronald Reagan.

Spurred by a recession wrought by a disinflationary monetary policy, the tax debate quickly came to a head in the 1981 “Reagan tax cuts.” The 1981 bill cut tax rates and instituted a vastly superior capital cost recovery system among other reforms. In the process, the bill cut revenues far more than Reagan proposed.

Though the 1981 bill was championed by a Republican president, it enjoyed widespread Democratic support. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means introduced and pushed the legislation to passage, joined by almost half the House Democrats and almost a third of Senate Democrats.

The magnitude of the 1981 tax cuts proved politically unsustainable and were quickly followed by a series of tax hikes reversing some of the 1981 revenue reductions. Having settled the issue of how much to tax, the stage was now set for the 1986 reform and deciding who and how to tax.

Building Toward the 1986 Tax Reform Act

At about this time a fundamentally different approach to tax policy appeared: the Hall-Rabushka Flat Tax. The Flat Tax’s popularity often associates with the simplicity of imposing a single tax rate. However, the real revolution it offered was not the single tax rate,but  what is subject to tax. Despite appearing as a traditional income tax, the Flat Tax was something quite new as it explicitly eliminated tax on investment income and imposed a simple cash flow tax on all businesses, thus adopting the principle of expensing, or allowing a full and immediate deduction for capital purchases.

The Flat Tax was too radical to gain wide acceptance in the early 1980s, but a vigorous bipartisan debate harkening back to Bradford’s 1976 “Blueprints” continued nonetheless. The 1981 tax cuts worked as intended to launch a powerful economic recovery, but memories of poor economic performance under Carter still lingered. A broad, bipartisan consensus championed faster economic growth by reforming the tax code to reduce the distortions to economic decision making it caused and the resulting misallocation of basic resources.

The basic strategy was to lower rates as in the 1981 Act, only further, and to implement a sound cost recovery system as in the 1981 Act. In contrast to 1981, however, the new strategy included a determined effort to “broaden the tax base” by eliminating distorting loopholes and tax credits, thereby intending the overall bill to be revenue neutral. .

The Treasury Department under Secretary Don Regan took the first big step in 1984 with the release of a densely packed 275 page proposal for comprehensive tax reform, dubbed “Treasury I”. While many aspects were well-received, as with most prototypes, Treasury I contained flaws, some of which Treasury addressed in 1985 with “Treasury II”.

Tax reform was off and running in Congress with the release of Treasury II, but the road  was by no means easy. Time and again Reagan had to give Congress another not-always-gentle push. The greatest peril demanding Reagan’s firm hand came when Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bob Packwood (R-OR) realized he couldn’t pass tax reform on the path it was on. Ironically, the man who had repeatedly saved tax reform, President Reagan, was also now tax reform’s biggest obstacle.

The Price for Overcoming the Greatest Hurdle

Reagan was forced into pushing for the most rate reduction possible. Initially he drew the line at 25 percent for individuals and he held firm for much of the debate. Like most policy, tax reform involves trade-offs and Packwood just couldn’t find enough obvious base broadeners he could economically or politically trade off to hit a 25 percent rate.

Something had to give. At first the rate crept up to 26 and then to 28 percent. But at 28 percent, Reagan would go no further.

As Reagan urged Packwood to press on, Packwood had to get creative. He took fairly innocuous existing individual and corporate minimum taxes and expanded them into full-fledged parallel tax systems; voila, massive back-door base broadening. Packwood’s new Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), while a superb example of terrible tax policy, had as its one redeeming feature: it raised enough money in a sufficiently confusing manner to hit the 28 percent rate without creating too many political problems, at least not for the duration of the debate. Three months later, the final bill passed the Senate.

Packwood’s AMT offers an important lesson for tax reform today. As important as low tax rates are for economic growth, policy makers and the public need to be honest about the tradeoffs involved. The broadest possible tax base capable of garnering sufficient political support can only raise so much revenue at a targeted tax rate. Demand an even lower tax rate and something (or someone) else will have to give and very likely pro-growth tax policy will suffer as a consequence.

Back to the Present

With respect to time, the current tax reform debate parallels that of 1986 closely. TRA86 concluded a lengthy, evolutionary process regarding accepted beliefs about sound, pro-growth tax policy. That process distilled to the lowest possible rates and applied to a simple, broad tax base, while allowing for a depreciation system for capital costs minimizing the anti-investment aspects of an income tax.

Tax reform today shares these traits, both with respect to the substance of reform – low rates, broad base, and today, expensing – and with respect to time. Like the 1986 episode, tax reform today reflects the product of many years of debate regarding the design of pro-growth tax policy, an evolution that began in 1986.

In one other critical respect regarding time, TRA86 and the current effort offer stark contrasts. Where the legislative starting gun on TRA86 went off in 1984 and the effort then proceeded for over two years, Congress in 2017 will have only a handful of months from introduction to tax reform’s final passage. This difference in time will have significant implications for how Congress defines “comprehensive” as they work toward pro-growth tax reform.

Read Part 2: Tax Reform Under History’s Light

https://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/what-history-teaches-us-about-tax-reform

 

Story 3: Defeating The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria By Bombing Them To Death — ISIS Free? — Videos

ISIS defeated in Iraq, officials say

Eric Shawn reports: ISIS defeated, but will it last?

Iraq celebrates ISIS defeat, US claims fight isn’t over

 

Total victory over ISIS in Syria

ISIS Breaking news: No Islamic State has been defeated- BBC news Nov 2017

Iraqi military take part in spectacular parade celebrating victory over ISIS

Report: ISIS militants moving to remote deserts

Ralph Peters on the fight against ISIS and Iran’s influence

Trump WH announces shift in strategy to defeat ISIS

ISIS Surrounded: Trump’s Plan to ‘Annihilate’ the Islamic Caliphate

This Iran-backed militia helped save Iraq from ISIS. Now Washington wants them to disband

Iraqi Christian on life after ISIS destroyed his church

Trump WH announces shift in strategy to defeat ISIS

Peters: Fall of ISIS in Iraq is imminent, but what’s next?

Tillerson: ISIS will be defeated

Trump, Mattis turn military loose on ISIS, leaving terror caliphate in tatters

Hundreds of ISIS fighters had just been chased out of a northern Syrian city and were fleeing through the desert in long convoys, presenting an easy target to U.S. A-10 “warthogs.”

But the orders to bomb the black-clad jihadists never came, and the terrorists melted into their caliphate — living to fight another day. The events came in August 2016, even as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was vowing on the campaign trail to let generals in his administration crush the organization that, under President Obama, had grown from the “jayvee team” to the world’s most feared terrorist organization.

OIR_CROFT

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft said the Trump administration has put a strong leadership team in place  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Tracy McKithern)

“I will…quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS,” Trump, who would name legendary Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense, promised. “We will not have to listen to the politicians who are losing the war on terrorism.”

ISIS CURSED, MOCKED IN MOSUL, WHERE OLD CITY REMAINS A HAUNTED WASTELAND

Just over a year later, ISIS has been routed from Iraq and Syria with an ease and speed that’s surprised even the men and women who carried out the mission. Experts say it’s a prime example of a campaign promise kept. President Trump scrapped his predecessor’s rules of engagement, which critics say hamstrung the military, and let battlefield decisions be made by the generals in the theater, and not bureaucrats in Washington.

“I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”

– U.S. Marine Col. Seth Folsom

At its peak, ISIS held land in Iraq and Syria that equaled the size of West Virginia, ruled over as many as 8 million people, controlled oilfields and refineries, agriculture, smuggling routes and vast arsenals. It ran a brutal, oppressive government, even printing its own currency.

OIR_FOLSOM

Lt. Col. Seth Folsom credits the cooperation between Iraqi Security Forces and the U.S-led coalition for the military defeat of ISIS in Iraq.  (Courtesy U.S Army)

The terror organization now controls just 3 percent of Iraq and less than 5 percent of Syria. Its self-styled “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is believed to be injured and holed up somewhere along the lawless border of Syria and Iraq.

ISIS remains a danger, as members who once ruled cities and villages like a quasi-government now live secretly among civilian populations in the region, in Europe and possibly in the U.S. These cells will likely present a terrorist threat for years. In addition, the terrorist organization is attempting to regroup in places such as the Philippines, Libya and the Sinai Peninsula.

But the military’s job — to take back the land ISIS claimed as its caliphate and liberate cities like Mosul, in Iraq, and Raqqa, in Syria, as well as countless smaller cities and villages, is largely done. And it has taken less than a year.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis waits to greet Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, upon his arrival at the Pentagon, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Mattis, a US Marine Corps general, said there would be no White House micromanaging on his watch  (Associated Press)

“The leadership team that is in place right now has certainly enabled us to succeed,” Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft, the ranking U.S. Air Force officer in Iraq, told Fox News. “I couldn’t ask for a better leadership team to work for, to enable the military to do what it does best.”

President Trump gave a free hand to Mattis, who in May stressed military commanders were no longer being slowed by Washington “decision cycles,” or by the White House micromanaging that existed President Obama. As a result of the new approach, the fall of ISIS in Iraq came even more swiftly than hardened U.S. military leaders expected.

“It moved more quickly than at least I had anticipated,” Croft said. “We and the Iraqi Security Forces were able to hunt down and target ISIS leadership, target their command and control.”

OIR_SOFGE1

U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Robert Sofge said the military now has a clear mandate  (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cole Erickson)

IRAQI KURDS STILL LOVE US DESPITE ITS OPPOSITION TO KURDISH INDEPENDENCE, SAYS KURDISH LEADER

After the battle to liberate Mosul – ISIS’ Iraqi headquarters – was completed in July — the U.S.-led coalition retook Tel Afar in August, Hawija in early October and Rawa in Anbar province in November.

Marine Col. Seth Folsom, who oversaw fighting in Al Qaim near the Syrian border, agreed. He wasn’t expecting his part of the campaign against ISIS to get going until next spring and figured even then, it would then “take six months or more.”

Instead, ISIS was routed in Al Qaim in just a few days.

mosul

Mosul, and several other cities liberated by ISIS, were largely destroyed in the fighting.  (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

“We really had one mandate and that was enable the Iraqi Security Forces to defeat ISIS militarily here in Anbar. I feel that we have achieved that mission,” Folsom said. “I never felt constrained. In a lot of ways, I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”

Brig. Gen. Robert “G-Man” Sofge, the top U.S. Marine in Iraq, told Fox News his commanders have “enjoyed not having to deal with too many distractions and there was no question about what the mission here in Iraq was.”

OIR_

Iraqi Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool was skeptical of Trump at first, but says success on the ground has been swift  (Fox News/Hollie McKay )

“We were able to focus on what our job was without distraction and I think that goes a long way in what we are trying to accomplish here,” he said.

Sofge said criticism that loosening rules of engagement put civilians at risk is “absolutely not true.”

OIR_dillon

Col. Ryan Dillon. Combined Joint Task Force – Inherent Resolve Spokesman  (Photo by CJTFOIR)

“We used precision strikes, and completely in accordance with international standards,” he said. “We didn’t lower that standard, not one little bit. But we were able to exercise that precision capability without distraction and I think the results speak for themselves.”

The U.S.-led coalition said this week the Coalition Civilian Casualty Assessment Team has added 30 new staffers to travel throughout the region. It said military leaders continue to “hold themselves accountable for actions that may have caused unintentional injury or death to civilians.”

The coalition also said dozens of reports of civilian casualties have been determined to be “non-credible,” and just .35 percent of the almost 57,000 separate engagement carried out between August 2014 and October 2017 resulted in a credible report of a civilian casualty.

In addition to air support, the U.S.-led strategy also includes training and equipping Iraqi troops on the ground.

While the Trump administration’s success is often underplayed in the U.S. media, it is obvious on the ground in Iraq, according to a spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Defense, Yahya Rasool.

“I was not optimistic when Trump first came to the office,” Rasool said. “But after a while I started to see a new approach, the way the U.S. was dealing with arming and training. I saw how the coalition forces were all moving faster to help the Iraq side more than before. There seemed to be a lot of support, under Obama we did not get this.”

FILE - This file image made from video posted on a militant website July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq during his first public appearance. Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears to be still alive, a top U.S. military commander said Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, contradicting Russia’s claims that it probably killed the top counterterror target months ago.(Militant video via AP, File)

Al-Baghdadi, who once ruled a caliphate the size of California, is now inn hiding and likely badly injured

Despite the victories on the battlefield, U.S. officials cautioned much work remains to be done.

“ISIS is very adaptive,” noted Col. Ryan Dillon, the U.S.-led coalition spokesman. “We are already seeing smaller cells and pockets that take more of an insurgent guerrilla type approach as opposed to an Islamic army or conventional type force. So we have got to be prepared for that.”

He said as a result the coalition is “adjusting some training efforts” so the Iraqi forces — upwards of 150,000 have already undergone training — are equipped to address such threats and ensure long-term stability.

Folsom said “the worst thing we could do” is not finish the job.

“If a country becomes a failed state, if it becomes a lawless region, you begin to set the conditions for what happened in the years before 9/11,” he said. “In those ungoverned spaces where we don’t know what is going on, that is where those seeds of extremism begin to blossom.”

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1005, Story 1: The Fed’s Great Unwind or Rolling Over Into 21st Century Greatest Depression — Videos — Story 2: Will President Trump Be The Next President Hoover? — Videos

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 Story 1: The Fed’s Great Unwind or Rolling Over Into 21st Century Greatest Depression — Videos

U.S. Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

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What’s the Truth About the First Thanksgiving?

Ben Shapiro: The Truth About Thanksgiving

Monetary and Fiscal Policy: Crash Course Government and Politics #48

Fiscal Policy and Stimulus: Crash Course Economics #8

What’s all the Yellen About? Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Crash Course Economics #10

Recession, Hyperinflation, and Stagflation: Crash Course Econ #13

Yellen resigns as Fed chair

Who Is Janet Yellen? In Two and a Half Minutes

BREAKING NEWS]Yellen, denied second term as fed chair, announces resignation

[BREAKING NEWS]Yellen, denied second term as fed chair, announces resignation Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen said Monday she will leave the central bank once her term as chair ends in February, wrapping up a pivotal tenure in which the Fed began to reverse its extraordinary, decadelong…

Fed expected to wind down $4.2 trillion balance sheet

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The Great Unwind: What Happens to the Markets When the Economy Stumbles Again

Published on Jul 21, 2015

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.

How Will the Fed Reduce Its Balance Sheet?

Whiteboard Economics: The Fed’s Balance Sheet Unwind

Rothbard on Mises & Friedman at Mont Pèlerin

Ayn Rand meets Ludwig von Mises – Milton Friedman

Rothbard on Ayn Rand

Milton Friedman on Money / Monetary Policy (Federal Reserve) Part 1

Milton Friedman on Money / Monetary Policy (Federal Reserve) Part 2

Milton Friedman – Monetary Revolutions

Milton Friedman – Is tax reform possible?

Milton Friedman – The role of government in a free society

 

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

 

Story 2: Will President Trump Be The Next President Hoover? — Videos

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Milton Friedman on the Great Depression, Bank Runs & the Federal Reserve

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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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