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

Posted on November 22, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Business, Cartoons, College, Comedy, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Elections, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Health, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Medicare, National Interest, Networking, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Republican Candidates For President 2016, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Social Security, Success, Taxation, Taxes, U.S. Dollar, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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

Pronk Pops Show 956, August 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 955, August 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 954, August 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 953, August 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 952, August 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 951, August 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 950, August 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 949, August 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 948, August 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 947, August 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 946, August 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 945, August 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 944, August 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 943, August 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 942, August 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 941, August 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 940, August 3, 2017

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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

How the Constitution Has Been Twisted to Undermine the Free Market | Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

The Most Persistent Economic Fallacy of All Time!

Mark Thornton: Can the Fed Unwind?

Fake Economic News | Walter Block

Who Bears the Burden of Government Debt? | Robert P. Murphy

Milton Friedman: Why soaking the rich won’t work.

Milton Friedman proves why welfare can’t work

Milton Friedman: The Rise of Socialism is Absurd

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

Reagan Budget Director Stockman Thrashes GOP Tax Bill as ‘Ideological Imposter’ of ‘81 Bill

The Deep State and the Donald | David Stockman

The Curse of Economic Nationalism | Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Steve Banon “Economic Nationalism Is What Binds Us Together!”

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

Myth-Busters: The Truth About Hoover & FDR

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

Milton Friedman Explains the Cause of the Great Depression

Did FDR End the Great Depression?

The Legacy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act

The Hawley-Smoot Tariff in Under 5 Minutes – Hasty History

The Smoot Hawley Tariff Act

Hoover and the Great Depression

Hoover and Roosevelt

The 1928 Election Explained

Coolidge: The Best President You Don’t Know

Rothbard on the ‘best’ US president

The Current State of World Affairs | Murray N. Rothbard

Murray Rothbard Where Did The Free Markets Go?

Murray N. Rothbard on Milton Friedman pre1971

Murray Rothbard: The Truth About Taxes

What I Learned from Murray Rothbard | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

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

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

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

Doug Kantor | AFP | Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will Donald Trump be Herbert Hoover all over again?


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

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

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

“1928,” Rove answered.

“Incredible,” Kelly said.

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

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

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

And how did that work out for them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 981, October 11, 2017, Story 1: Major Bubble and Major Bust When Congress Fails To Pass Both Fundamental Tax Reform and Total Repeal and Replacement of Obamacare — Results Count — Trump Runs Against The Do Nothing Congress of Democrats and Republicans in 2020 –American People vs. Political Elitist Establishment — Golden Opportunity Missed and Replaced By Smoke and Mirror Postcard Propaganda For Timid Tiny Tax Cut and Fake Repeal of Obamacare — Trump Narrowly Wins Second Term — National Debt Hits $25 Trillion & Unfunded Liabilities Hit $250 Trillion By 2024 –Videos — Story 2: How Obama Destroyed The Democratic and Damaged The U.S. Economy — Will Trump Reform The Republican Party and Revive The U.S. Economy — Videos

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Story 1: Major Bubble and Major Bust When Congress Fails To Pass Both Fundamental Tax Reform and Total Repeal and Replacement of Obamacare — Good Intentions No Substitute For Results —  Golden Opportunity Missed and Replaced By Smoke and Mirror Tax Return Postcard and Spending Cuts Propaganda Spin For Timid Tiny Tax Cut and Fake Repeal of Obamacare — Trump Runs Against The Do Nothing Congress of Democrats and Republicans in 2020 –American People and Trump vs. Political Elitist Establishment —  Trump Narrowly Wins Second Term — National Debt Hits $25 Trillion & Unfunded Liabilities or Obligations Hit $250 Trillion By 2024 –Videos —

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2018 United States federal budget

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2018 Budget of the United States federal government
Submitted March 16, 2017
Submitted by Donald Trump
Submitted to 115th Congress
Total revenue $3.654 trillion
Total expenditures $4.094 trillion[1]
Deficit $440 billion
GDP $20,237 billion
Website https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget
‹ 2017

The United States federal budget for fiscal year 2018, named America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again, was the first budget proposed by newly-elected President Donald Trump, submitted to the 115th Congress on March 16, 2017. If passed, the $4.1 trillion budget will fund government operations for fiscal year 2018, which runs from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018.[2][3]

Background

Donald Trump was elected as President of the United States during the November 8, 2016 elections, campaigning for the Republican Party on a platform of tax cuts and projects like the Mexican border wall. During his campaign, Trump promised to cut federal spending and taxes for individuals and corporations.

Trump administration budget proposal

The Trump administration proposed its 2018 budget on February 27, 2017, ahead of his address to Congress, outlining $54 billion in cuts to federal agencies and an increase in defense spending.[4] On March 16, 2017, President Trump sent his budget proposal to Congress, remaining largely unchanged from the initial proposal.[5]

CBO scoring of the budget

CBO chart explaining the impact of the 2018 budget on spending, tax revenue, and deficits over the 2018–2027 periods.

The Congressional Budget Office reported its evaluation of the budget on July 13, 2017, including its effects over the 2018–2027 period.

  • Mandatory spending: The budget cuts mandatory spending by a net $2,033 billion (B) over the 2018–2027 period. This includes reduced spending of $1,891B for healthcare, mainly due to the proposed repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare); $238B in income security (“welfare”); and $100 billion in reduced subsidies for student loans. This savings would be partially offset by $200B in additional infrastructure investment.
  • Discretionary spending: The budget cuts discretionary spending by a net $1,851 billion over the 2018–2027 period. This includes reduced spending of $752 billion for overseas contingency operations (defense spending in Afghanistan and other foreign countries), which is partially offset by other increases in defense spending of $448B, for a net defense cut of $304B. Other discretionary spending (cabinet departments) would be reduced by $1,548B.
  • Revenues would be reduced by $1,000B, mainly by repealing the ACA, which had applied higher tax rates to the top 5% of income earners. Trump’s budget proposal was not sufficiently specific to score other tax proposals; these were simply described as “deficit neutral” by the Administration.
  • Deficits: CBO estimated that based on the policies in place as of the start of the Trump administration, the debt increase over the 2018–2027 period would be $10,112B. If all of President Trump’s proposals were implemented, CBO estimated that the sum of the deficits (debt increases) for the 2018–2027 period would be reduced by $3,276B, resulting in $6,836B in total debt added over the period.[6]
  • CBO estimated that the debt held by the public, the major subset of the national debt, would rise from $14,168B (77.0% GDP) in 2016 to $22,337B (79.8% GDP) in 2027 under the President’s budget.[7]

Department and program changes

The proposed 2018 budget includes $54 billion in cuts to federal departments, and a corresponding increase in defense and military spending.[8][9]

Department Budget Amount change Percent change Notes
Department of Agriculture $17.9 billion $-4.7 billion −21% Includes the elimination of food for education and water and wastewater loan programs. Decreases funding for the United States Forest Service by $118 million.[10]
Department of Commerce $7.8 billion $−1.4 billion −16% Includes cuts to coastal research programs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the elimination of the Economic Development Administration
Department of Defense $574 billion $52 billion +9% Includes an increase in the size of the Army and Marine Corps, as well as the Naval fleet
Department of Education $68.2 billion $−9.2 billion −14% Cuts programs and grants for teacher training, after-school and summer care, and aid to low-income students. Eliminates $1.2 from the 21st Century Community Learning Center program and cuts $732 million from the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Eliminates Striving Readers/Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants as well as cuts funding for Supporting Effective Instruction State grants by $2.3 billion[11].
Department of Energy $28 billion $−1.7 billion −6% Largest cuts go to the Office of ScienceARPA-E and Departmental Loan Programs eliminated. Increases spending on National Nuclear Security Administration by 11.4% while slashing high energy physics and almost all other science programs (Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics, Infrastructure and Administration, Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists) by 18%. The only science program not to receive a cut is the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program, which is to receive a small budget increase of $101 million. Money spent on the NNSA would go to the modernization and upkeep of nuclear weapons as well as $1.5 billion going to naval nuclear reactors. The budget cuts funding for energy programs by over 50% reducing the funding by $2.4 billion. Energy programs cut include: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy Research and Development.[12][13]
Department of Health and Human Services $65.1 billion $−15.1 billion −18% Cuts funding for the National Institutes of Health and training programs
Department of Homeland Security $44.1 billion $2.8 billion +7% Increases spending on border security and immigration enforcement and builds a wall on the US-Mexico border. Cuts funding for certain FEMA grant programs.
Department of Housing and Urban Development $40.7 billion $−6.2 billion −13% Eliminates grant programs for community development, investment partnerships, home-ownership, and Section 4 affordable housing
Department of the Interior $11.7 billion $−1.6 billion −12% Eliminates over 4000 jobs. Eliminates funding for 49 National Historic Sites and decreases funding for land acquisition. Decreases funding for Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund. Cuts funding by $2 million for dealing with invasive species.[14][15]
Department of Justice $27.7 billion $−1.1 billion −4% Reduces spending on prison construction and reimbursements to state and local governments for incarceration of undocumented immigrants
Department of Labor $9.6 billion $−2.6 billion −21% Eliminates funding for senior-work programs, grants for non-profits and public agencies used for health training, and closes some Job Corps centers
State Department $27.1 billion $−10.9 billion −29% Eliminates funding for United Nations programs, including peacekeeping and climate change mitigation
Department of Transportation $16.2 billion $−2.4 billion −13% Eliminates funding for the Federal Transit Administration‘s New Starts grant program, long-distance Amtrak service, cuts the TIGER grant program and eliminates funding for the Essential Air ServiceAir traffic control would be shifted to private service under the proposal.
Treasury Department $11.2 billion $−0.5 billion −4% Reduces funding for the Internal Revenue Service
Department of Veteran Affairs $78.9 billion $4.4 billion +6% Expands health services and the benefit claims system. Slashes disability benefits to 225,000 elderly veterans. The VA currently provides additional disability compensation benefits to Veterans, irrespective of age, who it deems unable to obtain or maintain gainful employment due to their service-connected disabilities through a program called Individual Unemployability (IU). The IU program is a part of VA’s disability compensation program that allows VA to pay certain Veterans disability compensation at the 100 percent rate, even though VA has not rated their service-connected disabilities at the total level. These Veterans have typically received an original disability ratings between 60 and 100 percent. Under this proposal, Veterans eligible for Social Security retirement benefits would have their IU terminated upon reaching the minimum retirement age for Social Security purposes, or upon enactment of the proposal if the Veteran is already in receipt of Social Security retirement benefits.These Veterans would continue to receive VA disability benefits based on their original disability rating, at the scheduler evaluation level. IU benefits would not be terminated for Veterans who are ineligible for Social Security retirement benefits, thus allowing them to continue to receive IU past minimum retirement age. Savings to the Compensation and Pensions account are estimated to be $3.2 billion in 2018, $17.9 billion over five years, and $40.8 billion over ten years.[16]
Environmental Protection Agency $5.7 billion $−2.5 billion −31% Eliminates more than 50 programs and 3,200 jobs
National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) $19.1 billion $-0.1 billion −1% Cuts funding for Earth science programs and missions, and eliminates the Office of Education. Cuts funding for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate by $166 million (−21%). Cuts funding for Space Technology research by $148.4 million (−18%). Cuts funding for Human Exploration Operations by $4478.9 million (−53%). Cuts funding for the Education program by $62.7 million (−62.7%).[17][18]
Small Business Administration $.8 billion $−0.1 billion −5% Eliminates technical-assistance grant programs

The $971 million budget for arts and cultural agencies, including the Corporation for Public BroadcastingNational Endowment for the Arts, and National Endowment for the Humanities, would be eliminated entirely.

Criticism

Economist Joseph Stiglitz said about the 2018 budget proposal: “Trump’s budget takes a sledgehammer to what remains of the American Dream”. Senator Bernie Sanders also criticized the proposal: “This is a budget which says that if you are a member of the Trump family, you may receive a tax break of up to $4 billion, but if you are a child of a working-class family, you could well lose the health insurance you currently have through the Children’s Health Insurance Program and massive cuts to Medicaid”.[19]

Related fiscal legislation

On September 8, 2017, Trump signed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017. The bill contained a continuing resolution and a suspension of the debt ceiling lasting until December 8, as well as additional disaster funding for FY2017.[20][21]

References

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

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

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

254,091 255,151 255,357 255,562 205

Civilian labor force

159,830 160,494 160,571 161,146 575

Participation rate

62.9 62.9 62.9 63.1 0.2

Employed

151,926 153,513 153,439 154,345 906

Employment-population ratio

59.8 60.2 60.1 60.4 0.3

Unemployed

7,904 6,981 7,132 6,801 -331

Unemployment rate

4.9 4.3 4.4 4.2 -0.2

Not in labor force

94,261 94,657 94,785 94,417 -368

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.9 4.3 4.4 4.2 -0.2

Adult men (20 years and over)

4.6 4.0 4.1 3.9 -0.2

Adult women (20 years and over)

4.4 4.0 4.0 3.9 -0.1

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

15.9 13.2 13.6 12.9 -0.7

White

4.4 3.8 3.9 3.7 -0.2

Black or African American

8.3 7.4 7.7 7.0 -0.7

Asian

3.9 3.8 4.0 3.7 -0.3

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

6.4 5.1 5.2 5.1 -0.1

Total, 25 years and over

4.1 3.6 3.8 3.5 -0.3

Less than a high school diploma

8.5 6.9 6.0 6.5 0.5

High school graduates, no college

5.2 4.5 5.1 4.3 -0.8

Some college or associate degree

4.2 3.7 3.8 3.6 -0.2

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.5 2.4 2.4 2.3 -0.1

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,930 3,378 3,523 3,359 -164

Job leavers

900 757 804 738 -66

Reentrants

2,327 2,083 2,132 2,079 -53

New entrants

802 703 656 669 13

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,584 2,133 2,222 2,226 4

5 to 14 weeks

2,220 2,017 2,015 1,874 -141

15 to 26 weeks

1,164 957 1,055 963 -92

27 weeks and over

1,963 1,785 1,740 1,733 -7

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

5,874 5,282 5,255 5,122 -133

Slack work or business conditions

3,587 3,161 3,266 3,121 -145

Could only find part-time work

1,972 1,754 1,645 1,733 88

Part time for noneconomic reasons

20,742 21,260 21,447 21,011 -436

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,844 1,629 1,548 1,569

Discouraged workers

553 536 448 421

– 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 Sept.
2016
July
2017
Aug.
2017(P)
Sept.
2017(P)

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

Total nonfarm

249 138 169 -33

Total private

223 133 164 -40

Goods-producing

11 -20 66 9

Mining and logging

0 0 6 2

Construction

23 -9 19 8

Manufacturing

-12 -11 41 -1

Durable goods(1)

-10 -18 33 4

Motor vehicles and parts

-5.2 -27.1 23.9 -3.2

Nondurable goods

-2 7 8 -5

Private service-providing

212 153 98 -49

Wholesale trade

13.3 4.3 1.8 6.7

Retail trade

27.3 -10.8 -7.3 -2.9

Transportation and warehousing

-1.7 7.7 8.0 21.8

Utilities

0.5 -0.7 -0.3 0.0

Information

8 -3 -4 -9

Financial activities

9 11 8 10

Professional and business services(1)

83 43 43 13

Temporary help services

29.5 12.9 7.5 5.9

Education and health services(1)

48 51 45 27

Health care and social assistance

23.6 38.2 20.9 13.1

Leisure and hospitality

11 50 0 -111

Other services

13 1 4 -5

Government

26 5 5 7

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

239 164 172 91

Total private

205 164 168 86

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

34.4 34.4 34.4 34.4

Average hourly earnings

$25.81 $26.39 $26.43 $26.55

Average weekly earnings

$887.86 $907.82 $909.19 $913.32

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

105.8 107.2 107.4 107.3

Over-the-month percent change

0.5 -0.2 0.2 -0.1

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

130.6 135.3 135.7 136.2

Over-the-month percent change

0.8 0.3 0.3 0.4

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

Total private (261 industries)

57.9 63.2 60.2 55.7

Manufacturing (78 industries)

39.7 60.9 66.0 50.0

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.

 

The Tax Reform Tipping Point

Breitbart’s Steve Bannon is lighting up media coverage by championing primaries, but GOP operatives are more concerned with snagging a legislative win to calm the growing strife.

By David Catanese, Senior Politics Writer |Oct. 11, 2017, at 5:32 p.m.

The Tax Reform Tipping Point

What Bannon’s Civil War on the GOP Means for Tax Reform
Bloomberg
 Republican strategists and activists increasingly fear that a failure to deliver on tax reformin the coming months will intensify primary challenges to sitting incumbents next year and imperil the party’s already precarious standing in the midterm elections.

Angry GOP donors, a restless conservative base, a standstill Congress and a uniquely impetuous president are raising the stakes for a fourth-quarter legislative agenda that will be largely defined by an attempt at revamping the tax code that has languished for months.

An outside insurrection by Breitbart News head and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon already is ominously fanning the flames of internecine warfare. But many top Republican minds believe the most powerful tipping point for the GOP is whether it can deliver on Trump’s key campaign promise of producing tax relief for Americans.

“If Congress passes the key elements of the conservative agenda, including repealing Obamacare and cutting taxes, some of the anger at the grass roots will dissipate,” says Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. “But if Congress fails to do so, I think there will be a lot of primaries in 2018 and 2020, and I think there will be a lot of vulnerable incumbents.”

Saddled by multiple failed attempts to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health care law, President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are now turning their concerted attention to pitching lower tax rates and a simplification of the filing system. But there’s a growing realization they are now up against a calendar that leaves only two and a half months until an election year – and some of the most fiery activists already have lost their patience.

President Trump To Advance Tax Reform Plan
CBS New York
 The latest evidence of intraparty unrest came Wednesday in the form of a blistering letter from leading conservative groups asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and members of his leadership team to step aside, citing their failure to act on an array of issues from illegal immigration and deficit spending to Planned Parenthood funding and a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

“Republicans were given full control of the federal government. They – you – have done nothing,” the letter reads. “Worse, it is painfully clear that you intend to do nothing because, as is most apparent, you had no intention of honoring your solemn commitments to the American people. You were not going to drain the swamp. You are the swamp.”

The searing missive was signed by Ken Cuccinelli, president of the Senate Conservatives Fund; Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots; Adam Brandon, president of FreedomWorks; David Bozell, president of ForAmerica; Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica; and conservative activist Richard Viguerie.

The cadre also questioned McConnell’s “commitment to real reform” on taxes – and a key GOP member of the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday acknowledged lawmakers will have to settle for at least some changes that won’t be permanent. “We’re not going to do as well as we had hoped in terms of permanence. It’s obvious,” said Rep. Pete Roskam of Illinois.

Meanwhile, even as Bannon’s clarion call for primary challengers to half a dozen GOP Senate incumbents has shaken the political media establishment as he intended, many GOP campaign veterans privately contend his influence has been widely overblown.

Plenty of anti-establishment candidates and would-be contenders mulling 2018 bids were stirring the pot long before Bannon came along. Alabama’s Roy Moore, for example, was beating Sen. Luther Strange ahead of Bannon’s blessing. Arizona’s Kelli Ward had run in 2016 against Sen. John McCain, and shortly after that defeat switched her focus to Sen. Jeff Flake.

 Mississippi’s Chris McDaniel, who is inching closer to a challenge of GOP Sen. Roger Wicker, gained national notoriety in 2014 for falling barely short in his bid to unseat Sen. Thad Cochran.

Bannon is also in talks with potential challengers to Sen. John Barrasso in Wyoming and Sen. Orrin Hatch in Utah, but so far neither has drawn a formal primary opponent, and Hatch hasn’t even formally decided to run again. In Nebraska, one key GOP player mocked any Bannon effort to draft a candidate to run against first-term Sen. Deb Fischer. “There’s really not any anti-Deb sentiment in Nebraska,” says Mike Kennedy, a 25-year GOP activist from Omaha. “I don’t see any traction for Bannon at all. They’re going to have to look under a lot of rocks.”

“Let’s be honest: Steve’s a drum major desperately running in front of a parade,” says a prominent conservative activist, speaking anonymously because he counts Bannon as a friend. “He’s good copy. He’s a good story. The issue is not Bannon. The issue is what these people were told for eight years: That when we got the White House, the Senate and the House, this stuff was going to happen. The grass roots feel like they’ve been played.”

“If we don’t pass the tax cut, I think all bets are off,” the activist adds, referring to the number of ferocious primaries that could multiply across the map.

Strategists working to preserve and expand the 52-member Republican Senate majority are also pinning their hopes on tax reform to hand their incumbents a tangible accomplishment that will land in voters’ pocketbooks. At the same time, they know it stands to impact their own bottom lines.

 A Senate GOP source acknowledges fundraising has begun to lag since June and that the National Republican Senatorial Committee – the entity tasked with electing GOP senators – has spent more than it’s raised over the preceding two months.

“Donors are so pissed off,” the source says. “If we don’t get tax reform, we won’t have the money to fund all our races. They just don’t understand why nothing’s been done.”

Terry Schilling, executive director of conservative think tank the American Principles Project, agrees that Republicans need an accomplishment on tax reform that they can hold in front of voters next year.

But unlike others, he doesn’t view Bannon’s efforts as necessarily counterproductive. Instead, Schilling says, Bannon’s looming threat of outside fire provides a constant incentive for even the most dependable incumbents to make good on Trump’s agenda.

“It’s probably not fair to target Barrasso, but then Barrasso gets to go to [John] McCain and [Lisa] Murkowski and [Susan] Collins and say, ‘I’m your friend and I’m getting heartburn for this.’ It’s pressure; it’s just politics,” he says. “These incumbents better be able to point to how they’ve been supportive of Trump. Otherwise, they’re going to be Luther Strange.”

https://www.usnews.com/news/the-run/articles/2017-10-11/tax-reform-key-to-republicans-fate-in-2018-midterms

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The Pronk Pops Show 962, September 12, 2017, Story 1: President Trump’s Inspiring Speech Commemorating September 11, 2001 — Videos — Story 2: U.S. Median Household Income Increased in 2016 to $59,039 — After 20 Year Declining Trend in Real Median Income — United States Ranks 17 in Economic Freedom — Videos — Story 3: Trump’s Show and Tell Tour — All Show No Tell — No Sale — Fair Tax Less Better Than Any Democratic or Republican or Trump Tax Plan: Replace All Federal Taxes With A Single Broad Based Consumption Tax With A Generous Tax Prebate of $1,000 Per Month — Videos

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Middle-class income hit highest level on record in 2016, Census Bureau reports

 September 12 at 11:10 AM

Derek Mathis, 23, of Hazelwood, Pa., works on a job site May 1 in Pittsburgh. (Jeff Swensen for The Washington Post)

America’s middle class had its highest-earning year ever in 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

Median household income in America was $59,039 last year, surpassing the previous record of $58,655 set in 1999, the Census Bureau said. The figure is adjusted for inflation and is one of the most closely watched indicators of how the middle class is faring financially, as the Census surveys nearly 100,000 homes.

The Census said the uptick in earnings occurred because so many people found full-time jobs — or better-paying jobs — last year.

America’s poverty rate fell to 12.7 percent, the lowest since 2007, the year before the financial crisis hit. The percent of Americans without health insurance for the entire year also dropped in 2016 to just 8.8 percent, the lowest ever, largely thanks to expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

“Today’s Census report is unambiguously good news: On income, on poverty and on health insurance,” said Bob Greenstein, founder and president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank.

Economists hailed the news as evidence the recovery is finally taking hold after years of frustration for the middle class, which watched the stock market soar while the average American’s income barely budged. Donald Trump tapped into this anger in the 2016 campaign, often saying people were no better off economically than they were in 2000.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/09/12/middle-class-income-hit-highest-level-on-record-in-2016-census-bureau-reports/?deferJs=true&outputType=default-article&utm_term=.e2317d2a1f1c

Country Rankings

overall score 75.1
world rank 17
RULE OF LAW

Property Rights81.3

Government Integrity78.1

Judicial Effectiveness75.1

GOVERNMENT SIZE

Government Spending 55.9

Tax Burden 65.3

Fiscal Health 53.3

REGULATORY EFFICIENCY

Business Freedom 84.4

Labor Freedom 91.0

Monetary Freedom 80.1

OPEN MARKETS

Trade Freedom 87.1

Investment Freedom 80.0

Financial Freedom 70.0

Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
1 Hong Kong 89.8 +1.2 4 Switzerland 81.5 +0.5
2 Singapore 88.6 +0.8 5 Australia 81.0 +0.7
3 New Zealand 83.7 +2.1

Mostly Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
6 Estonia 79.1 +1.9 21 Mauritius 74.7 0.0
7 Canada 78.5 +0.5 22 Iceland 74.4 +1.1
8 United Arab Emirates 76.9 +4.3 23 South Korea 74.3 +2.6
9 Ireland 76.7 -0.6 24 Finland 74.0 +1.4
10 Chile 76.5 -1.2 25 Norway 74.0 +3.2
11 Taiwan 76.5 +1.8 26 Germany 73.8 -0.6
12 United Kingdom 76.4 0.0 27 Malaysia 73.8 +2.3
13 Georgia 76.0 +3.4 28 Czech Republic 73.3 +0.1
14 Luxembourg 75.9 +2.0 29 Qatar 73.1 +2.4
15 The Netherlands 75.8 +1.2 30 Austria 72.3 +0.6
16 Lithuania 75.8 +0.6 31 Macedonia 70.7 +3.2
17 United States 75.1 -0.3 32 Macau 70.7 +0.6
18 Denmark 75.1 -0.2 33 Armenia 70.3 +3.3
19 Sweden 74.9 +2.9 34 Botswana 70.1 -1.0
20 Latvia 74.8 +4.4

Moderately Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
35 Brunei Darussalam 69.8 +2.5 64 Saudi Arabia 64.4 +2.3
36 Israel 69.7 -1.0 65 Albania 64.4 -1.5
37 Colombia 69.7 -1.1 66 El Salvador 64.1 -1.0
38 Uruguay 69.7 +0.9 67 Dominica 63.7 -3.3
39 Romania 69.7 +4.1 68 Azerbaijan 63.6 +3.4
40 Japan 69.6 -3.5 69 Spain 63.6 -4.9
41 Jamaica 69.5 +2.0 70 Mexico 63.6 -1.6
42 Kazakhstan 69.0 +5.4 71 Fiji 63.4 +4.6
43 Peru 68.9 +1.5 72 France 63.3 +1.0
44 Bahrain 68.5 -5.8 73 Tonga 63.0 +3.4
45 Poland 68.3 -1.0 74 Guatemala 63.0 +1.2
46 Kosovo 67.9 +6.5 75 Côte d’Ivoire 63.0 +3.0
47 Bulgaria 67.9 +2.0 76 Dominican Republic 62.9 +1.9
48 Cyprus 67.9 -0.8 77 Portugal 62.6 -2.5
49 Belgium 67.8 -0.6 78 Namibia 62.5 +0.6
50 Malta 67.7 +1.0 79 Italy 62.5 +1.3
51 Rwanda 67.6 +4.5 80 Paraguay 62.4 +0.9
52 Vanuatu 67.4 +6.6 81 South Africa 62.3 +0.4
53 Jordan 66.7 -1.6 82 Oman 62.1 -5.0
54 Panama 66.3 +1.5 83 Montenegro 62.0 -2.9
55 Thailand 66.2 +2.3 84 Indonesia 61.9 +2.5
56 Hungary 65.8 -0.2 85 Seychelles 61.8 -0.4
57 Slovakia 65.7 -0.9 86 Morocco 61.5 +0.2
58 Philippines 65.6 +2.5 87 Trinidad and Tobago 61.2 -1.7
59 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 65.2 -3.6 88 Swaziland 61.1 +1.4
60 Turkey 65.2 +3.1 89 Kyrgyz Republic 61.1 +1.5
61 Kuwait 65.1 +2.4 90 The Bahamas 61.1 -9.8
62 Saint Lucia 65.0 -5.0 91 Uganda 60.9 +1.6
63 Costa Rica 65.0 -2.4 92 Bosnia and Herzegovina 60.2 +1.6

Mostly Unfree

rank country overall change rank country overall change
93 Burkina Faso 59.6 +0.5 126 Solomon Islands 55.0 +8.0
94 Cambodia 59.5 +1.6 127 Greece 55.0 +1.8
95 Croatia 59.4 +0.3 128 Bangladesh 55.0 +1.7
96 Benin 59.2 -0.1 129 Mongolia 54.8 -4.6
97 Slovenia 59.2 -1.4 130 Barbados 54.5 -13.8
98 Nicaragua 59.2 +0.6 131 Mauritania 54.4 -0.4
99 Serbia 58.9 -3.2 132 Micronesia 54.1 +2.3
100 Honduras 58.8 +1.1 133 Laos 54.0 +4.2
101 Belize 58.6 +1.2 134 Lesotho 53.9 +3.3
102 Mali 58.6 +2.1 135 Kenya 53.5 -4.0
103 Gabon 58.6 -0.4 136 The Gambia 53.4 -3.7
104 Belarus 58.6 +9.8 137 Lebanon 53.3 -6.2
105 Tanzania 58.6 +0.1 138 Togo 53.2 -0.4
106 Guyana 58.5 +3.1 139 Burundi 53.2 -0.7
107 Bhutan 58.4 -1.1 140 Brazil 52.9 -3.6
108 Samoa 58.4 -5.1 141 Pakistan 52.8 -3.1
109 Tajikistan 58.2 +6.9 142 Ethiopia 52.7 +1.2
110 Moldova 58.0 +0.6 143 India 52.6 -3.6
111 China 57.4 +5.4 144 Egypt 52.6 -3.4
112 Sri Lanka 57.4 -2.5 145 Sierra Leone 52.6 +0.3
113 Madagascar 57.4 -3.7 146 Burma 52.5 +3.8
114 Russia 57.1 +6.5 147 Vietnam 52.4 -1.6
115 Nigeria 57.1 -0.4 148 Uzbekistan 52.3 +6.3
116 Cabo Verde 56.9 -9.6 149 Malawi 52.2 +0.4
117 Democratic Republic of Congo 56.4 +10.0 150 Cameroon 51.8 -2.4
118 Ghana 56.2 -6.8 151 Central African Republic 51.8 +6.6
119 Guinea-Bissau 56.1 +4.3 152 Papua New Guinea 50.9 -2.3
120 Senegal 55.9 -2.2 153 Kiribati 50.9 +4.7
121 Comoros 55.8 +3.4 154 Niger 50.8 -3.5
122 Zambia 55.8 -3.0 155 Iran 50.5 +7.0
123 Tunisia 55.7 -1.9 156 Argentina 50.4 +6.6
124 São Tomé and Príncipe 55.4 -1.3 157 Maldives 50.3 -3.6
125 Nepal 55.1 +4.2

Repressed

rank country overall change rank country overall change
158 Mozambique 49.9 -3.3 170 Turkmenistan 47.4 +5.5
159 Haiti 49.6 -1.7 171 Djibouti 46.7 -9.3
160 Ecuador 49.3 +0.7 172 Algeria 46.5 -3.6
161 Liberia 49.1 -3.1 173 Timor-Leste 46.3 +0.5
162 Chad 49.0 +2.7 174 Equatorial Guinea 45.0 +1.3
163 Afghanistan 48.9 N/A 175 Zimbabwe 44.0 +5.8
164 Sudan 48.8 N/A 176 Eritrea 42.2 -0.5
165 Angola 48.5 -0.4 177 Republic of Congo 40.0 -2.8
166 Ukraine 48.1 +1.3 178 Cuba 33.9 +4.1
167 Suriname 48.0 -5.8 179 Venezuela 27.0 -6.7
168 Bolivia 47.7 +0.3 180 North Korea 4.9 +2.6
169 Guinea 47.6 -5.7

Not Ranked

rank country overall change rank country overall change
N/A Iraq N/A N/A N/A Somalia N/A N/A
N/A Libya N/A N/A N/A Syria N/A N/A
N/A Liechtenstein N/A N/A N/A Yemen N/A N/A

http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

Story 3: Trump’s Show and Tell Tour — All Show No Tell — No Sale — Fair Tax Less Better Than Any Democratic or Republican or Trump Tax Plan: Replace All Federal Taxes With A Single Broad Based Progressive Consumption Tax With A Generous Tax Prebate of $1,000 Per Month for A Total of $12,000 — Videos

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Trump Plans Aggressive Road Show to Sell Tax Overhaul

 
  • White House retools communications operation for tax battle
  • President may visit as many as 13 states in next seven weeks

President Donald Trump plans an aggressive travel schedule, taking him to as many as 13 states over the next seven weeks, to sell the idea of a tax overhaul as the administration tries to avoid repeating the communications failures of its attempt to repeal Obamacare.

With a make-or-break legislative battle looming on taxes, the White House is moving to clean up a disorganized communications operation, said four people familiar with the effort.

The strategy was revealed by top advisers to about 40 allies during a closed-door meeting last week. It calls for the president to visit states he won where a Democratic senator is up for re-election next year, including Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, said three people who attended. The people asked not to be identified discussing internal strategy.

Follow the Trump Administration’s Every Move

In some instances, cabinet members will be deployed behind Trump in a “second wave” after the president’s speeches and town hall meetings to amplify his message.

White House officials held the private meeting on Sept. 8 to share details on its political strategy for tax legislation with allies who can deliver the message on cable news and in local media interviews. Separately, they’re prepping economists such as Arthur Laffer, Lawrence Kudlow and Stephen Moore, who served as informal advisers to Trump’s campaign.

Top communications staffers were at the meeting, including White House communications director Hope Hicks, counselor Kellyanne Conway, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Cliff Sims, a messaging strategist.

Sales Campaign

The administration plans to mount the full-bore sales campaign even though congressional Republicans and the White House haven’t yet determined key elements of the plan, including tax brackets for individuals, a corporate tax rate, what popular tax advantages will be eliminated or even whether the changes will be permanent or temporary. It’s unclear when additional details will emerge.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed one bit of the administration’s planning Tuesday at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha conference in New York, saying negotiators are considering making new provisions of tax law retroactive to the start of the year. That, he said, “would be a big boon for the economy.”

White House officials have concluded that, even without a specific tax plan, Trump can build support early by making a broad case for lower rates, a simpler tax code and more incentives for multinational corporations based in the U.S. to bring home profits stashed overseas.

Trump has already tested this strategy with trips to two states, Missouri and North Dakota, that he carried in 2016 and that are represented by a Democratic senator facing re-election in 2018. He also plans to make time for another stop next week, even though he is scheduled to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York Sept. 19 through 21.

A lack of planning and coordination hampered the White House’s effort on health care and other legislative fights, said several people tapped by the White House to serve as surrogates on tax reform.

‘Vastly Different’

“It didn’t put them on the best footing to be successful,” said James Davis, executive vice president of Freedom Partners, an advocacy group partially funded by the Koch brothers. “This is vastly different the level of engagement than what we saw in health care.”

“One of the things we can learn from the last battle was that in many cases we did not get all of our allies on board with the path forward, so therefore the Republican base was splintered,” White House legislative director Marc Short told reporters Tuesday at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

“Team of Teams,” a management book by former general-turned-business consultant Stanley McChrystal, is serving as the template for retooling the White House communications operation. The White House is trying to overcome high staff turnover and past rivalries, with a new emphasis on good communication between various administration teams and with congressional leaders’ offices.

Hicks, who has been serving as interim communications director, will now lead the communications team on a permanent basis, two White House officials said. She’s viewed by staff as a strong leader because she is one of the president’s most trusted aides and therefore secure in her standing.

Fox News analyst Mercedes Schlapp is joining the team to help with long-term planning. Treasury Department spokesman Tony Sayegh has been detailed to the White House to help coordinate “all the moving pieces,” one official said. Shahira Knight, a tax aide with the National Economic Council, is interfacing with the communications team, speechwriters and the Hill. Steven Cheung will move to the press team to do rapid response.

Target States

The White House legislative affairs and political affairs teams are choosing the target states for Trump to visit. They’ve also put Republican-leaning states with GOP senators on the schedule to help Republicans stay motivated, one of the people familiar with the plan said.

“It’s only about the votes,” said Bryan Lanza, who was a deputy communications director for the Trump campaign.

In an effort to maximize the impact with local members of Congress, the administration is planning the president’s visits with an eye toward gaining additional attention in the run-up and afterward.

Although details of the tax plan remain fluid, the White House is planning for future speeches to highlight specific components of the proposed legislation. Those addresses will be drafted with input from the president himself, as part of a joint effort between top aide Stephen Miller’s speech-writing staff, the communications team, and economic advisers.

North Dakota

The White House plans to turn to prominent corporate chief executives and members of the public to reinforce Trump’s case for a tax overhaul through media interviews.

Administration officials were pleased with a Trump speech in North Dakota that highlighted the potential impact of a tax overhaul on Julie Ellingson, a local fourth-generation rancher who feared an estate tax might encourage her heirs to sell the farm. The anecdote generated additional coverage as local media interviewed Ellingson afterward.

Trump is expected to mix up the format at some of his events, hosting town halls and other more interactive sessions.

— With assistance by Saleha Mohsin

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-12/trump-is-said-to-plan-aggressive-road-show-to-sell-tax-overhaul-j7hb4fhi

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The Pronk Pops Show 946, August 15, 2017, Story 1: Trump Takes On Government Regulation Permitting Process for Infrastructure With Executive Order — Videos Story 2: President Trump Takes On Corporate Executives Manufacturing Abroad and Big Lie Media On Charlottesville — I Need The Facts — Videos — Story 3: Will Trump Cave To Critics of Bannon? If Trump Does He Will Lose A Large Part Of His Voter Base And Some Talk Radio Supporters — Videos

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Story 1: Trump Takes On Government Regulation Permitting Process for Infrastructure With Executive Order — Videos 

President Donald Trump Full EXPLOSIVE Press Conference 8/15/17

 

Trump Says ‘Both Sides’ to Blame in Charlottesville Violence

Remarks at odds with day-earlier statement condemning white supremacists

Trump Again Blames Both Sides for Charlottesville Violence
Responding to questions at a news conference Tuesday, President Donald Trump said “both sides” are to blame for violent weekend clashes in Charlottesville, Va. Here’s the 17-minute exchange with reporters. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

NEW YORK—President Donald Trump, in a combative news conference on Tuesday, defended his response to the racially charged protests over the weekend, saying both sides were to blame for the clashes in Charlottesville, Va.

“There is blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it,” Mr. Trump said of the confrontation between white nationalist protesters holding a demonstration in the city and the counterprotesters facing off against them.

“You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent and nobody wants to say that but I’ll say it right now,” he said, adding that there were “very fine people, on both sides.”

Mr. Trump’s remarks were at odds with his statement on Monday that singled out white supremacists for blame and was issued after the president faced heavy pressure for failing to do so two days earlier. One woman was killed during the violence when a car driven by an alleged white supremacist plowed into a crowd.

Explaining Tuesday why he waited to call out white nationalist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis by name, Mr. Trump said: “Before I make a statement, I need the facts.”

The news conference was his first at Trump Tower since taking office, and was the most confrontational appearance since his last news conference at his New York skyscraper on Jan. 11, when he got into a shouting match with a CNN reporter.

Although the focus of the event was on Mr. Trump’s efforts to ease regulations and speed up infrastructure projects, the inquiries from reporters were almost exclusively about Mr. Trump’s handling of the protests, and why it took him three days to single out neo-Nazis or white nationalists, who organized the weekend rally.

Out of nearly two dozen questions aimed at the president, just one was about infrastructure. He received no questions about North Korea’s recent decision to back off its threat to fire missiles at Guam, or his first trade action aimed at China, which was announced on Monday.

An increasingly agitated president responded by calling the counterprotesters, who ranged from liberal activists, members of the clergy and students, the “alt-left”—a play on the term “alt-right” that is a catchall phrase for far-right groups that embrace tenets of white supremacy or reject mainstream conservatism.

He suggested there was a slippery slope from removing a statute of Civil War General Robert E. Lee, which sparked the demonstration, and scrubbing from history former Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” he said. “What about the fact that they came charging with their clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do.”

The president’s comments were praised by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who, on Twitter, thanked Mr. Trump for his “honor and courage to tell the truth about Charlottesville and condemn the leftist terrorists.” Mr. Duke ran for Senate as a Republican.

The tweet drew immediate rebukes from some Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, one of his party’s few black congressmen.

“I don’t think anybody should be looking at getting props from a grand dragon from the KKK as a definition of success,” Mr. Hurd said on CNN, adding that the president should “stick to the teleprompter and not go off the cuff.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis), who has often defended Mr. Trump this year, moved quickly to separate himself from the president’s remarks at Trump Tower.

“We must be clear,” Mr. Ryan posted on Twitter. “White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.”

Sen. Brian Schatz (D., Hawaii) tweeted: “As a Jew, as an American, as a human, words cannot express my disgust and disappointment. This is not my President.”

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany tweeted that the president “once again denounced hate today. The GOP stands behind his message of love and inclusiveness!”

Following days of criticism about his handling of Charlottesville, Mr. Trump came to the news conference aggrieved about his treatment, two advisers to the president said. One said he had been “stunned” by the reaction over the past few days and was feeling “overwhelming pressure.” Mr. Trump could have parried questions by referring to his statement on Monday singling out white nationalist groups by name. Instead, he gave the most extensive public comments on the episode to date.

One adviser to the president, speaking before the news conference, said Mr. Trump was facing pressure from aides, family and friends to clarify his statement on Saturday and condemn more directly the white nationalist protesters. The danger to Mr. Trump is that divisive racial rhetoric will leave him isolated, this person said.

“Congress will run from him. Any normal person will run from him,” he said.

Mr. Trump also was asked about his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and his future in the White House.

The president has been urged to fire Mr. Bannon by other top White House officials, some Republican lawmakers, as well as Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the U.S. House. But on Tuesday, the president called Mr. Bannon a “friend” and suggested he was safe, at least for now.

Mr. Bannon, who helped steer Mr. Trump’s election victory, joined the campaign from Breitbart News, which he once described as a “platform for the alt-right.” Brietbart has published such articles as “Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage.”

“We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon, but he’s a good person,” Mr. Trump said. “He is not a racist, I can tell you that.”

Some conservatives, though, said Mr. Trump is ill-served by Mr. Bannon’s presence in the West Wing, and calls for his ouster have risen since the Charlottesville violence.

Karl Rove, a former senior official in President George W. Bush’s White House and an op-ed writer for The Wall Street Journal, said Mr. Bannon’s ideology is out of step with that of Republican and conservative thought. “I personally believe that Bannon’s mind-set is unhelpful to the president,” Mr. Rove said. “The idea of blowing up the Republican Party and helping the alt-right infiltrate the conservative movement is unhelpful to my party and my cause.”

Mr. Trump said some protesters Saturday weren’t white supremacists but people there to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statute.

“I’ve condemned neo-Nazis,” he said. “I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee.”

Mr. Trump also was asked about the executives who had left White House advisory positions in the wake of his slow condemnation of white nationalists.

He said: “Because they’re not taking their jobs seriously as it pertains to this country. … They’re leaving out of embarrassment because they’re making their products outside” of the country.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-says-both-sides-to-blame-in-charlottesville-violence-reversing-mondays-stance-1502830785

 

Story 2: President Trump Takes On Corporate Executives Manufacturing Abroad and Big Lie Media On Charlottesville — I Need The Facts — Videos —

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Friday and Gannon investigate a burglary involving the theft of 400 pounds of high velocity gelatin dynamite from a consumer storage magazine. Friday and Gannon soon find out that the dynamite is used for something more sinister and deadly.

 

Story 3: Will Trump Cave To Critics of Bannion? — Videos

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Bannon could be gone ‘by the end of the week’: New claim of a Friday massacre in the cards for Trump’s chief strategist – and ally Sebastian Gorka could be next

  • Reports swirl that White House chief strategist Steve Bannon could be out of a job by week’s end
  • Trump administration is silent on the question but New York Times and CBS News paint a bleak picture for former Breitbart News executive chairman 
  • Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch has urged the president to fire Bannon
  • White House aide: Bannon ‘never expected to be here forever … but it’s not like his people are opening packages of banker’s boxes’ to collect their things
  • Another senior aide says flatly: ‘Steve’s staying’
  • Fellow nationalist Sebastian Gorka is seen as possible next domino to fall as new chief of staff tries to bring order to the West Wing 

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is a marked man, according to news reports and sources inside the West Wing who see the nationalist Trump-whisperer’s political hourglass quickly losing sand.

CBS News reported Monday night that the axe could fall as soon as Friday on the man credited with arranging the president’s marriage to millions of angry white working-class voters last year.

The former Breitbart News executive chairman was once an equal partner in a ruling triumvirate of deputies that included Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner.

But Priebus’s star ran out of fuel last month. And his successor John Kelly is a no-nonsense retired Marine Corps general seen as a walking antidote to the chaos that marked Trump’s first half-year in office.

That prescription could oust a man known more for his Machiavellian streak than for playing well with others.

Reports swirled on Tuesday that White House chief strategist Steve Bannon could be out of a job by week's end

Reports swirled on Tuesday that White House chief strategist Steve Bannon could be out of a job by week’s end

Fellow nationalist Sebastian Gorka is seen as possible next domino to fall as new chief of staff tries to bring order to the West Wing

Fellow nationalist Sebastian Gorka is seen as possible next domino to fall as new chief of staff tries to bring order to the West Wing

Also looking over his shoulder is Sebastian Gorka, a hard-charging former Brietbart writer who speaks for the White House on terrorism and national security matters despite having no role with the National Security Council.

The Hill reported Tuesday that the administration has been slow to defend Gorka, but that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster has so far been unable to sideline him.

Bannon has been accused of leveraging his relationships in the conservative media to undermine McMaster and National Economic Council chair Gary Cohn.

And he has feuded endlessly with Kushner, whose family ties with the president gave him a natural and undeniable leg up in any squabble.

President Trump has shown no public indication about whether Bannon has worn out his welcome.

Bannon himself did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

On Tuesday Bannon’s closest associates at the White House denied that he’s on the outs, even as The New York Times reported that he’s been placed in a sort of ‘internal exile’ without any precious presidential face-time.

‘He never expected to be here forever. That much is true,’ one aide told DailyMail.com on Tuesday, reacting to the Times’ description of Bannon’s fading fortunes.

‘But it’s not like his people are opening packages of banker’s boxes’ to collect their things, the source cautioned.

A second White House aide said flatly: ‘Steve’s staying’ – but wouldn’t elaborate.

The dissenting views are an indication of how warring factions in the White House can put contradictory spin on power struggles.

During an appearance on CBS' Late Show with Stephen Colbert, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Bannon should get his walking papers

During an appearance on CBS’ Late Show with Stephen Colbert, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Bannon should get his walking papers

Bannon was Trump's campaign CEO who was widely credited with arranging the president's marriage to millions of angry white working-class voters last year

Bannon was Trump’s campaign CEO who was widely credited with arranging the president’s marriage to millions of angry white working-class voters last year

North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, who chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus, cautioned to the Times that right-wing America sees Bannon as its eyes and ears at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Without the 63-year-old swashbuckler, he said, ‘there is a concern among conservatives that Washington, D.C., will influence the president in a way that moves him away from those voters that put him in the White House.’

Bannon and Gorka are the heart of the Trump administration’s intersection with the ‘alt-right,’ a conservative fringe that has become an easy target because of its uneasy mingling with white supremacist and anti-Semitic influences.

‘If he doesn’t want this to consume his presidency, he needs to purge anyone involved with the alt-right,’ former Ted Cruz campaign spokesman Rick Tyler told The Hill.

‘Breitbart has become a pejorative … You can’t allow the Oval Office to be a vehicle for the alt-right.’

The Times also reported that media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News, has urged Trump to cut Bannon loose.

Murdoch made his comments about Bannon during dinner with Trump, new White House chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner at Trump’s private golf club on August 4, according to the Times.

During the dinner, Trump vented about his frustrations with Bannon and did not push back.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch reportedly urged Trump to fire Bannon and the president offered no pushback

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch reportedly urged Trump to fire Bannon and the president offered no pushback

Bannon and Trump, pictured on the third day of the president's term in office, were once inseparable but are now estranged 

Bannon and Trump, pictured on the third day of the president’s term in office, were once inseparable but are now estranged

During an appearance on CBS’ Late Show with Stephen Colbert, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci discussed if he thought Bannon was ‘a leaker’ in the White House.

‘I said he was, and I obviously got caught on tape saying he was, so I have no problem saying that,’ Scaramucci replied.

‘If it was up to me, he would be gone,’ continued Scaramucci. ‘But it’s not up to me.’

Asked if he believed Bannon was a white supremacist, a passive-aggressive Scaramucci replied: ‘I don’t think he’s a white supremacist though I’ve never asked him.’

‘What I don’t like is the toleration of it, for me it’s something that should not be tolerated.’

This is not the first time Scaramucci expressed his feelings over Bannon, who previously called Breitbart a ‘platform for the alt-right.’

Over the weekend Scaramucci blamed Bannon’s ideology for some of the president’s recent missteps, including Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday.

The president initially condemned the Saturday incident as an ‘egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides – on many sides,’ a phrase that led some to believe he was tacitly supporting racism.

But on Monday, under pressure from critics, Trump said that ‘racism is evil’ and described members of the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who take part in violence as ‘criminals and thugs.’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for Trump to fire Bannon anyway.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4792752/Steve-Bannon-gone-end-week.html#ixzz4prpJ7eoa

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 917, June 22, 2017, Story 1: Senate Draft Bill To Repeal Obamacare Is Obamacare Lite! No Individual and Employer Mandates and Obamacare Taxes But Subsidies Remain — The Stupid Party Again Betrays Republican Voters By Not Repealing Obamacare Completely — Conservative and Libertarian Republicans Will Oppose Senate Draft Bill — Nothing For Trump To Sign Before Independence Day! — Videos — Story 2: More Republican Voters Will Be Leaving The Party and Become Independents — Waiting For A New Limited Government Party! — Obama Damaged Democratic Party and Trump Will Damage Republican Party — No Hope and No Change With Two Party Tyranny of Big Interventionist Government — BIG Parties — Videos

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Story 1: Senate Draft Bill To Repeal Obamacare Is Obamacare Lite! No Individual and Employer Mandates and Obamacare Taxes But Subsidies Remain — The Stupid Party Again Betrays Republican Voters By Not Repealing Obamacare Completely — Conservative and Libertarian Republicans Will Oppose Senate Draft Bill — Nothing For Trump To Sign Before Independence Day! — Videos

Image result for ludwig von mises on government intervention into marketsImage result for ludwig von mises on government intervention into markets

“Once the principle is admitted that it is the duty of the government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments.”

“The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.”
~ Ludwig von Mises

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Image result for four gop senators opposed to senate draft of repeal and replace

 

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Here are the details of Senate Republican Obamacare replacement bill

  • The bill would significantly change how the federal government subsidizes individual health plans and funds Medicaid
  • GOP leaders want to have a vote on the bill before the Fourth of July recess.
  • The House’s own version of a health-care bill is deeply unpopular.
Dan Mangan | Kayla Tausche

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Former Medicare administrator: Millions will still lose coverage under Senate health-care bill  6 Hours Ago | 03:20

Senate GOP leaders on Thursday finally released their secret health-care reform bill, which would repeal Obamacare taxes, restructure subsidies to insurance customers, and both phase out Medicaid’s expansion program and cap Medicaid spending.

Republicans plan to bring the controversial bill that was drafted in secret to a quick vote next week, but face potentially fatal opposition to it from several members of their own caucus.

The 142-page bill, if passed into law, would sharply reduce financial aid that currently helps millions of people obtain health coverage, while at the same time offering a tax break to primarily wealthy Americans to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. And it would loosen rules in a way that could lead to states allowing insurers to offer less-generous health plans.

The bill would repeal, retroactive to the beginning of 2016, the Obamacare rule requiring most Americans to have some form of health coverage or pay a tax penalty fine. That repeal is expected to sharply increase the number of people who don’t have insurance, which could in turn lead insurers to raise premiums.

And it would repeal, retroactively to the beginning of 2016, the “employer mandate,” which requires large employers to offer health insurance to workers or be fined.

Read the entire bill here

The bill also would continue for at least two years to offer reimbursements to health insurance companies for subsidies that reduce out-of-pocket costs for low income customers of Obamacare plans. But those subsidies would end in 2020, which would increase deductibles and other out-of-pocket health expenses for millions of customers.

The federal government’s share of funding for Medicaid, which is jointly run with individual states, would fall over the course of seven years to end up at around 57 percent of the cost of that program, which offers health coverage to the poor.

Under Obamacare, the federal government had guaranteed that its funding for adults newly eligible for Medicaid because of the Affordable Care Act would fall to no lower than 90 percent of their costs. That expansion program would begin being phased out in 2021, and fully repealed by three years later.

In another cost-cutting move, the bill would lower the maximum income level a household could have to still qualify for federal subsidies that help reduce the premiums people pay for enrollment for individual health plans. Obamacare currently bars subsidies to families that earn more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The new bill would reduce that cap to 350 percent of the poverty level.

Younger people, as a group, would end up paying less of a share of their income toward their individual health plans under the bill in comparison to what they pay now under Obamacare, while older people as a group would end up paying a larger share of their income.

Health plans that offer abortion services would not be eligible for the subsidies, according to the draft released Thursday.

The federal government also would end up spending less money subsidizing people’s insurance purchases by changing how the value of those subsidies are calculated. The bill would use a less-expensive type of individual health plan to calculate those subsidies, as opposed to the pricier plan used under Obamacare.

The bill also seeks to repeal, to the start of 2017, the 3.8 percent tax on net investment income.

The Trump administration is expected to back the bill, which most GOP senators were learning the details of during a meeting Thursday morning. The bill is named the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.”

“It’s going to be very good,” President Donald Trump said about an hour after the bill’s release. “A little negotiation, but it’s going to be very good.” Trump did not elaborate.

The House’s version of the bill, dubbed the American Health Care Act, is broadly unpopular among the public, and had been reportedly called “mean, mean, mean,” by Trump during a meeting with senators. Weeks earlier, Trump and House members who voted for the ACHA celebrated its passage in the Rose Garden of the White House.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll released Thursday found that just 16 percent of Americans thought the House bill was a good idea, with 48 percent saying it is a bad idea.

“In broad strokes, the Senate bill is just like the House: Big tax cuts, big cut in federal heath spending, big increase in the uninsured,” tweeted Larry Levitt, an Obamacare expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“Under the Senate bill, low-income people would pay higher premiums for bigger deductibles,” Levitt said.

He had noted on Twitter on Wednesday that “A 60 year-old at 351% of poverty currently gets a premium subsidy of $5,151 per year on average.” The Senate bill would eliminate all of that federal financial aid if it becomes law.

Senate GOP leaders want to have a vote on the bill by late next week, before Congress’ Fourth of July recess. They do not plan to hold any hearings on the legislation, infuriating Democrats, who were frozen out of the drafting process.

To pass, Republicans must get at least 50 GOP senators to vote for the bill, since no Democrat or independent is expected to vote for it. Vice President Mike Pence would break any tie, and would be expected to vote for the bill. There are 52 Republican senators.

On Thursday, about an hour after the bill was posted online, NBC’s Chuck Todd tweeted that a group of a conservative Republican senators were meeting, and that there are at least three GOP senators, and possibly more, who plan to announce later today that they will oppose the bill.

If that number proves to be accurate, it could be a death blow to the bill.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told NBC that he and several other members of the GOP caucus would be making a statement on the bill later Thursday.

“It looks like we’re keeping Obamacare, not repealing it,” said Paul, who declined to say whether that meant he would vote against the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, followed by Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, leaves a Republican meeting on healthcare, Thursday, June 22, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Jacquelyn Martin | AP
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, followed by Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, leaves a Republican meeting on healthcare, Thursday, June 22, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday, “There will be ample time to analyze” and discuss the bill before the legislation is put to a vote.

While McConnell praised the bill on the floor of the Senate, many of his Republican caucus members avoided speaking with reporters staking them out in Congress, who wanted to ask about the legislation.

Democrats promptly blasted the bill, and castigated Republicans for planning to call a vote on it just a week after its details were released.

“The Republicans want to give a tax break to the wealthiest Americans,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, on the floor of the Senate after release of the bill. “Simply put this bill will result in higher costs, less care, and millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.”

“It’s every bit as bad as the House bill. In many ways it’s even worse,” Schumer said. “The Senate bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but this wolf has even sharper teeth than the House bill.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., during a press conference said, “From what I understand, their bill tracks along lines of House bill … [I] think that’s very good.”

Leslie Dach, director of the Obamacare-supporting group Protect Our Care Campaign, tore into the Senate’s bill, which, like Ryan, he compared to the House’s earlier bill.

“Senate Republicans promised to start over and write a plan that improves people’s health care,” Dach said. “Instead they doubled down on the failed House repeal approach that puts everyone’s health care last, and tax breaks for the wealthy first.”

“The heartless Senate health care repeal bill makes health care worse for everyone — it raises costs, cuts coverage, weakens protections and cuts even more from Medicaid than the mean House bill,” said Dach, who had served as senior counselor at the Department of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration.

“They wrote their plan in secret and are rushing forward with a vote next week because they know how much harm their bill does to millions of people.”

But Seema Verma, administrator for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, praised the Senate’s bill as she criticized Obamacare, a program that CMS oversees.

“I appreciate the work of the Senate as they continue to make progress fixing the crisis in health care that has resulted from Obamacare,” Verma said. “Skyrocketing premiums, rising costs and fewer choices have caused too many Americans to drop their insurance coverage.”

“Today, Obamacare is in a death spiral and millions ofAmericans are being negatively impacted as a result. They are trapped by mandates that force them to purchase insurance they don’t want and can’t afford,” she said. “The Senate proposal is built on putting patients first and in charge of their health-care decisions, bringing down the cost of coverage and expanding choices. Congress must act now to achieve the President’s goal to make sure all Americans have access to quality, affordable coverage.”

The Congressional Budget Office said it expects to release an analysis of the bill early next week Monday. The analysis will estimate how many people are likely to become uninsured in the next decade if the bill becomes law, as well as how premiums for individual health plans would be affected.

CBO aims to release estimate for Senate health care plan early next week https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52843 

CBO aims to release estimate for Senate health care plan early next week

CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation are in the process of preparing an estimate for the Senate health care plan and aim to release it early next week.

cbo.gov

The CBO “score” would also include projections on the bill’s impact on federal spending.

The release of the draft comes more than six weeks after GOP leaders in the House barely managed to win passage for their own health-care legislation.

The House bill, the American Health Care Act, is widely unpopular, multiple polls have shown.

The nonpartisan CBO, in analyzing that bill, found that 23 million more Americans would become uninsured by 2026 if it became law than if Obamacare remained in place.

While many of those people would voluntarily cease buying insurance plans because of the elimination requirement that they have some form of health coverage or pay a fine, millions more would find their plans unaffordable because of either rising prices, the loss of government subsidies or both factors.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/22/senate-republicans-finally-unveil-their-big-obamacare-replacement-bill.html

Track the Key Changes in the GOP’s Health Plan

By Hannah Recht, Zachary Tracer and Mira Rojanasakul

Published: March 22, 2017 | Last updated: June 22, 2017
Seven years after the Affordable Care Act was enacted, Republicans are trying to follow through on their promises to repeal and replace Obamacare. On March 6, Republican House leaders introduced their health plan, and Senate Republicans followed with their own bill on June 22. Congress will need to reconcile differences in the two proposals before a bill can reach President Donald Trump’s desk. We’ll track major policy changes and their impacts as Congress drafts and revises legislation to repeal Obamacare.
House bill introduced [March 6] ⟶ First House amendments [March 20] ⟶ First House vote canceled [March 24] ⟶ Passes House [May 4] ⟶ Senate bill introduced [June 22] ⟶ Passes Senate ⟶ House and Senate negotiate and revise bill ⟶ House and Senate pass final bill ⟶ President signs, becomes law
Medicaid Financing
House billCHANGE
House bill introduced  |  March 6, 2017

Currently, the federal government generally reimburses states for a fixed percentage of Medicaid expenditures, regardless of total spending or number of enrollees. The GOP bill would limit Medicaid reimbursement by a per-enrollee cost, based on 2016 average costs.

House amendment  |  March 20, 2017

Allows states to choose from two formulas for how they get federal Medicaid funding, and boosts the funding for elderly and disabled Medicaid enrollees, relative to the initial bill.

Senate billCHANGE
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

Like the House bill, the Senate bill would allow states to choose between two formulas for federal Medicaid funding. But starting in 2025, the Senate bill would set a lower funding growth rate than the House bill would, meaning states would receive less money. Certain Medicaid enrollees would not be subject to these limits, including people with disabilities and children.

Budget impact: In the House bill, Federal Medicaid spending would decrease by $834 billion, from 2017 to 2026, relative to current law.

Decrease in Medicaid spending from current law, House bill
Source: Congressional Budget Office
Medicaid Expansion
House billREPEAL
House bill introduced  |  March 6, 2017

The ACA allowed states to expand Medicaid to individuals making as much as 138 percent of the federal poverty level, with federal funding. The GOP bill winds down Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion starting in 2020.

House amendment  |  March 20, 2017

Won’t provide extra funding to states that newly expand Medicaid.

Senate billREPEAL
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

Medicaid expansion funding would be phased out between 2021 and 2024.

Human impact: In the House bill, Medicaid enrollment would decrease by 14 million people by 2026, about 17 percent.

Decrease in Medicaid enrollment from current law, House bill

0M

–3

–6

–9

–12

–15

Source: Congressional Budget Office
Premium Subsidies
House billCHANGE
House bill introduced  |  March 6, 2017

The ACA introduced subsidies based on income and the cost of health insurance, with some help available to people making up to 400 percent of the poverty level, or about $47,000 for an individual. The House bill would base subsidies mainly on age, phasing out funding beginning at an income of $75,000 for an individual.

Senate billCHANGE
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

The Senate bill would maintain the ACA’s subsidies through 2019, but change how subsidies are allocated starting in 2020. The ACA calculates subsidies based on a mid-level coverage plan, while the Senate bill would use a cheaper type of plan. Subsidies would no longer be available to those above 350 percent of the poverty level, or about $42,000 for an individual.

Human impact: Many low-income subsidy recipients would lose thousands in premium subsidies, particularly older enrollees in higher-cost areas. In the House bill, some people who currently earn too much to qualify for subsidies would receive new assistance. The Senate bill does not offer similar assistance. Instead, it would place additional limits on who qualifies for subsidy assistance, making some middle-class recipients who currently receive subsidies ineligible.

Source: Congressional Budget Office
Essential Health Benefits
House billCHANGE
House amendment  |  March 23, 2017

The ACA requires health insurance plans to cover 10 broad categories of essential health benefits, as well as to provide preventive services at no cost. The bill initially left the requirement intact, but an amendment that would repeal that requirement was added. Instead, states will define their own list of benefits that are required for plans receiving premium subsidies beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

House amendment  |  May 3, 2017

An amendment was added that would leave essential health benefits intact—reinstating the federal standard. Instead, states could opt out of the requirement and apply for a waiver to define their own list of benefits that are required for plans receiving premium subsidies beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

Senate billCHANGE
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

Senate bill adopts changes in House bill.

Human impact: The Congressional Budget Office expects that half of the U.S. population live in states that would waive some required benefits. Plans in these states would likely have lower premiums, but they would cover less. For instance, maternity care premiums could cost an additional $1,000 per month or more. Customers seeking comprehensive coverage could face premiums and out-of-pocket charges that are significantly higher than under current law.

Budget impact: Insurers in some states could offer plans with such limited coverage that CBO does not consider them health insurance. Those plans would still be eligible for millions of dollars in federal subsidies.

Source: Congressional Budget Office
Pre-existing Conditions
House billCHANGE
House amendment  |  May 3, 2017

The ACA requires health insurers to sell plans to individuals who are sick with so-called pre-existing conditions and not charge them more than healthy customers. An amendment would allow states to apply for a waiver that would let insurers charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions that had a gap in coverage of at least 63 days in the prior year. To do so, states would have to establish some method (a special “high-risk” insurance pool, or subsidies) to help sick people.

Senate billNO CHANGE
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

Insurance companies would not be allowed to charge customers with pre-existing conditions more than healthy customers.

Human impact: In states that allow insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions more than healthy people, those less healthy individuals would face increasingly prohibitive premiums under the House bill. Eventually, the CBO predicts, less-healthy people may not be able to afford any coverage.

Source: Congressional Budget Office
Age Rating
House billCHANGE
House bill introduced  |  March 6, 2017

Obamacare lets health insurers charge their oldest customers no more than three times as much as their youngest ones. The GOP bill introduced widens the ratio to 5 to 1.

House amendment  |  March 20, 2017

Adds a provision that would let the Senate decide whether to increase subsidies that go to older Americans.

House amendment  |  May 3, 2017

Adds a provision that would allow states to apply for a waiver to give insurers permission to charge older customers even more than the 5 to 1 ratio.

Senate billCHANGE
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

Senate bill adopts changes in House bill.

Human impact: Premiums would significantly rise for older people and decrease for younger people. Low-income older adults would face much higher premiums than under current law, even with federal subsidies.

Source: Congressional Budget Office
State Grants
House billNEW
House bill introduced  |  March 6, 2017

Includes a new $100 billion fund designed to help states stabilize their individual health insurance markets or help low-income people get health care.

House amendment  |  March 23, 2017

Adds $15 billion to the fund to be used for maternity, newborn, mental health and substance abuse coverage.

House amendment  |  April 6, 2017

Adds $15 billion for the Federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program, designed to help insurers cover the costs of sick and expensive patients.

House amendment  |  May 3, 2017

Adds $8 billion in funding from 2018 through 2023 to help individuals afford higher premiums in states that let insurers charge sick people more.

Senate billNEW
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

The Senate bill would include $112 billion in state grant funds, primarily to stabilize state insurance markets and cover expensive patients. It would also allocate $2 billion in 2018 for substance abuse treatment.

Human impact: The grants would lead to slightly lower premiums in the individual market and encourage insurer participation. The new funding would not be enough to significantly lower costs for people with pre-existing conditions.

Budget impact: Both bills would require more than $100 billion in additional federal spending.

Source: Congressional Budget Office
Medicaid Work Requirements
House billNEW
House amendment  |  March 20, 2017

Gives states the option of requiring some Medicaid recipients to work or pursue job training.

Senate billNEW
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

Senate bill adopts changes in House bill.

Human impact: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 10 million non-elderly adult Medicaid recipients who don’t receive Social Security are not working. Some of these adults would be excluded from work requirements due to disability, pregnancy or caretaker status, but many would be expected to complete job training or find employment in order to keep their insurance.

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation
Insurance Mandates
House billREPEAL
House bill introduced  |  March 6, 2017

The House bill ends Obamacare’s requirement that individuals have health coverage and that most employers offer it. Instead, when people who’ve gone uninsured decide to buy health insurance, they’ll have to pay a 30 percent surcharge on their premiums for one year.

Senate billREPEAL
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

The Senate bill ends Obamacare’s requirement that individuals have health coverage and that most employers offer it.

Human impact: Though about 1 million people are expected to buy insurance in 2018 in order to avoid future surcharges, twice as many would choose not to purchase insurance long-term because of the House bill surcharge or insurance documentation requirements.

Budget impact: Revenue loss of $210 billion from 2017 to 2026 from repealing insurance penalties. The new premium surcharge would go to insurers directly, not the government.

Source: Congressional Budget Office
Planned Parenthood and Abortion Care
House billNEW
House bill introduced  |  March 6, 2017

Ends all federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. The bill also prohibits federal funds from going to insurance plans that cover abortions, other than those necessary to save the life of the woman, or in cases of rape or incest.

House amendment  |  March 20, 2017

Adds additional safeguards to prevent government funds from being used for some abortions.

Senate billNEW
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

Senate bill adopts changes in House bill.

Human impact: Several thousand Medicaid-covered births would occur because of the loss of Planned Parenthood contraceptive and abortion care, particularly among women in areas without other providers that serve low-income patients.

Budget impact: Direct spending would decrease by $234 million between 2017 and 2026, but new births due to the Planned Parenthood provision would increase Medicaid spending by $77 million over the same period.

Source: Congressional Budget Office
Individual Taxes
House billREPEAL
House bill introduced  |  March 6, 2017

Repeals a 0.9 percent Medicare payroll surtax and a 3.8 percent investment-income tax on wealthy individuals that were introduced in the ACA, effective 2018.

House amendment  |  March 20, 2017

Ends the taxes in 2017, rather than 2018.

House amendment  |  March 23, 2017

Postpones repeal of the additional Medicare tax to 2023.

Senate billREPEAL
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

Senate bill adopts changes in House bill.

Human impact: Wealthy individuals would get a tax break. In counties that backed Trump, taxpayers would save $6.6 billion, while taxpayers in Clinton counties would save $21.6 billion.

Budget impact: From 2017 to 2026, the repeal would lose $172 billion in Net Investment Tax revenue and about $64 billion in Medicare tax revenue from 2023 to 2026. Repealing the Medicare tax in 2017 would have resulted in an additional $63 billion loss.

Source: Congressional Budget Office
Industry Taxes
House billREPEAL
House bill introduced  |  March 6, 2017

Repeals ACA taxes imposed on health insurers, pharmaceutical companies, medical-device companies and tanning salons, effective 2018.

House amendment  |  March 20, 2017

Ends the taxes in 2017, rather than 2018.

Senate billREPEAL
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

Repeals most taxes immediately. A tax on providers would be phased out in 2025.

Budget impact: Loss of $199 billion in tax revenue from 2017 to 2026.

Tax revenue lost, 2017–2026
Source: Congressional Budget Office
Cadillac Tax
House billCHANGE
House bill introduced  |  March 6, 2017

Obamacare imposes a tax on very generous health insurance benefits, which was delayed to 2020. The bill introduced further pushes the tax back to 2025.

House amendment  |  March 20, 2017

Delays the tax to 2026.

Senate billCHANGE
Senate bill introduced  |  June 22, 2017

Senate bill adopts changes in House bill.

Budget impact: Loss of $66 billion in tax revenue through 2026.

Tax revenue lost

$0B

–3

–6

–9

–12

–15

Source: Congressional Budget Office
Dependent Coverage
No proposed change to current law

The ACA requires health insurers to allow children to remain on their parents’ plans, up to age 26.

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-healthcare-bill-changes/

The C, D, and F Rollover Republicans Want To Keep Obamacare Subsidies

This Is Not Repeal But Extending Obamacare

 

Conservative Review Scorecard of Senators

https://www.conservativereview.com/scorecard?chamber=senate&state=&party=R

 

 

Story 2: More Republican Voters Will Be Leaving The Party and Become Independents — Waiting For A New Limited Government Party! — Obama Damaged Democratic Party and Trump Will Damage Republican Party — No Hope and No Change With Two Party Tyranny of BIG Interventionist Government Parties — Videos

 

How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to Trump

From white supremacy to Barack Obama: The history of the Democratic Party

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The Pronk Pops Show 803, November 29, 2016, Story 1: Breaking: Trump Greasing The Skids For A Massive Budget Busting $1,000 Billion Stimulus Bill For infrastructure Government Spending and/or Sells Bonds (Treasury Securities) For Private Investment in Infrastructure– Can You Say Toll Roads (82% of Profits Tax Free) or Privatize All Roads and Highways? — Trump Selects Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation (Wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) — Videos — Story 2: Trump Selects Campaign Finance Chair Steve Mnuchin to serve as Treasury Secretary — Videos — Story 3: Trump Selects Leading Critic of Obamacare Representative and Dr. Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services — Videos — Three Great Choices!

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Pronk Pops Show 800: November 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 799: November 18, 2016

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Story 1: Breaking: Trump Greasing The Skids For A Massive Budget Busting $1,000 Billion Stimulus Bill For infrastructure Government Spending and/or Sells Bonds (Treasury Securities) For Private Investment in Infrastructure– Can You Say Toll Roads (82% of Profits Tax Free) or Privatize All Roads and Highways? — Trump Selects Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation (Wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) — Videos

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Trump’s Select Conservative Politicans For Cabinet

Is “Elaine Chao” part of the “swamp”?

Does she fit Trump’s description !?

Breaking: Trump picks Elaine Chao for Transportation secretary

Trump Cabinet – Donald Trump Picks Elaine Chao as Transportation Secretary

Published on Nov 29, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump is transitioning to the presidency and selecting members of his cabinet.
Trump Cabinet – Donald Trump Picks Elaine Chao as Transportation Secretary
Wife of Senate Majority Leader McConnell earlier served as secretary of labor under President George W. Bush
President-elect Donald Trump has selected Elaine Chao to be his transportation secretary, according to two transition officials.

Ms. Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, would join South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, tapped for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
Elaine Chao, who Donald Trump has nominated for Transportation Secretary, is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The two have been married since 1993 and have no children.

Chao previously served as the director of the Peace Corps during President George H.W. Bush’s administration and was the Secretary of Labor for all eight years of the George W. Bush administration. The 63-year-old Chao was born in Taipei, Taiwan and has lived in the U.S. since she was eight years old.

As for McConnell, he has been the Senate Majority Leader since 2015, when Republicans took control of the Senate after the 2014 mid-term election. He was first elected to the Senate in 1985 and was named Senate Minority Leader in 2007. McConnell was previously married to Sherrill Redmon and the two have three daughters together.

Trump to Select Elaine Chao as Transportation Secretary

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Donald Trump’s billion-dollar infrastructure plan calls for private investment to fund improvements. How would that work? And in what ways does it evoke Ayn Rand’s vision of a privatized nation? WSJ’s Jason Bellini has #TheShortAnswer. Photo: AP.

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Donald Trump has signaled that infrastructure will be a major issue in his administration. He has also promised to create 25 million jobs through infrastructure spending, tax reduction, trade deal reform and lifting restrictions on American energy development. Laura Bliss of CityLab and Binyamin Appelbaum, a correspondent for The New York Times, join Alison Stewart.

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Elaine Chao

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Elaine Chao
Elaine Chao large.jpg
24th United States Secretary of Labor
In office
January 29, 2001 – January 20, 2009
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Alexis Herman
Succeeded by Hilda Solis
Director of the Peace Corps
In office
1991–1992
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Paul Coverdell
Succeeded by Carol Bellamy
Deputy Secretary of Transportation
In office
1989–1991
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Mary Ann Dawson
Succeeded by Mortimer L. Downey
Personal details
Born Elaine Lan Chao
March 26, 1953 (age 63)
Taipei, Taiwan
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mitch McConnell
Alma mater Mount Holyoke College (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)
Elaine L. Chao
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Hanyu Pinyin Zhào Xiǎolán

Elaine Lan Chao (born March 26, 1953)[1] is an American politician who served as the 24th U.S. Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009, and Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President George H. W. Bush. She was announced as the planned nominee for United States Secretary of Transportation by President-elect Donald Trump on November 29, 2016 [2]. Born in Taiwan to mainland Chinese parents, she was the first Asian American woman and the first Taiwanese American in U.S. history to be appointed to a U.S. president’s cabinet.[3] She is married to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.[4]

Early life and education

Elaine Chao was born in Taipei, Taiwan. The eldest of six daughters, Chao was born to Ruth Mulan Chu Chao (趙朱木蘭 Zhào Zhū Mùlán), an historian, and Dr. James S.C. Chao (趙錫成 Zhào Xīchéng), who began his career as a merchant mariner and later founded a successful shipping company in New York City called Foremost Shipping.[5] Chao’s parents had fled to Taiwan from Shanghai on mainland China after the Chinese Communists took over after the Chinese Civil War in 1949. When she was 8 years old, in 1961, Chao came to the United States on a freight ship with her mother and two younger sisters. Her father had arrived in New York three years earlier after receiving a scholarship.[6]

Chao attended private school Tsai Hsing Elementary School in Taipei, for kindergarten and first grade,[citation needed] and attended Syosset High School in Syosset, New York, on Long Island.[7] She received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Mount Holyoke College in 1975 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1979. At Mount Holyoke, she played field hockey and was a member of the horseback riding club; she also edited the yearbook, served as the student representative for the economics department, and worked as a Mount Holyoke recruiter.[8]

Chao has received 36 honorary doctorates,[9] most recently a Doctor of Humane Letters from Georgetown University.[10]

Career

Early career

Before entering politics, Chao was vice president for syndications at Bank of America Capital Markets Group in San Francisco, and an international banker at Citicorp in New York for four years.[11]

Chao was granted a White House Fellowship in 1983 during the Reagan administration. In October 2013, Chao told a game show audience that the fellowship was part of a special program with Citicorp. “They selected outstanding performers within the bank and gave them an opportunity to support them for a stint in the government,” Chao said.[12]

In 1986, Chao became deputy administrator of the Maritime Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation. From 1988 to 1989, she served as chairwoman of the Federal Maritime Commission.[13] In 1989, President George H. W. Bush nominated Chao to be Deputy Secretary of Transportation. From 1991 to 1992, Chao was Director of the Peace Corps.[13] She was the first Asian Pacific American to serve in any of these positions. She expanded the Peace Corps’s presence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia by establishing the first Peace Corps programs in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, and other newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.[14]

Before a 1999 House panel during the 1996 United States campaign finance controversy, John Huang testified that Chao had asked him to give money to her husband, Mitch McConnell, and that his Indonesian employer illegally reimbursed him for $2,000 he ultimately gave to McConnell’s 1990 campaign. Huang later repeated the assertion in testimony in a federal suit, in which he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws in funneling $100,000 in illegal donations to President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign.[15]

United Way and Heritage Foundation

Following her service in the government, Chao worked for four years as President and CEO of United Way of America. She is credited with returning credibility and public trust in the organization after a financial mismanagement scandal involving former president William Aramony. From 1996 until her appointment as Secretary of Labor, Chao was a Distinguished Fellow with the Heritage Foundation, aconservative think tank in Washington, D.C. She was also a board member of the Independent Women’s Forum.[16] She returned to the Heritage Foundation after leaving the government in January 2009.

U.S. Secretary of Labor (2001–2009)

Portrait of Elaine Chao by Chen Yanning in the Great Hall of the U.S. Department of Labor’sFrances Perkins Building. It features the American flag, theKentucky state flag, the U.S. Capitol, and photos of her husband, Mitch McConnell, and her parents, James and Ruth Chao.[17]

Chao was the only cabinet member in the George W. Bush administration to serve for the entirety of his eight years.[18] She was also the longest-serving Secretary of Labor since Frances Perkins, who served from 1933 to 1945, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[19]

Under her leadership, the U.S. Department of Labor undertook regulatory and legislative reforms in “protecting the health, safety, wages, and retirement security” of U.S. workers by “recovering record levels of back wages and monetary recoveries for pension plans, and obtaining record financial settlements for discrimination by federal contractors.” She also restructured departmental programs and modernized regulations.[20]

In 2002, a major west coast ports dispute costing the U.S. economy nearly $1 billion daily was resolved when the Bush administration obtained a national emergency injunction against both the employers and the union under the Taft–Hartley Act for the first time since 1971.[21] In 2003, for the first time in more than 40 years, the Department updated the labor union financial disclosure regulations under the Landrum–Griffin Act of 1959 to provide union members with more information on union finances. In 2004, the Department issued revisions of the white-collar overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.[22]

In July and August 2003, Chao and her colleagues, Treasury Secretary John W. Snow and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, took a bus across the country on their “Jobs and Growth Tour” aimed at promoting the benefits of the Bush administration’s tax cuts.[23]

Criticism

After analyzing 70,000 closed case files from 2005 to 2007, the Government Accountability Office reported that the Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) inadequately investigated complaints from low- and minimum-wage workers alleging that employers failed to pay the federal minimum wage, required overtime, and failed to issue a last paycheck.[24]

Chao’s tenure as Labor Secretary saw two mine disasters for which she was criticized. Twelve miners were killed in the Sago Mine disaster on January 2, 2006, and three rescue workers died in the Crandall Canyon Mine disaster on August 6, 2007. Before the mines collapsed, Chao had cut more than a hundred coal mine safety inspections.[25] According to the Christian Science Monitor, “Nearly half of the 208 safety citations levied in 2005 against the Sago coal mine where 12 men died this week were ‘serious and substantial.'”[26] On December 10, 2008, Chao announced that the Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) had, in the first year of the agency’s 100 Percent Plan, achieved its goal of completing every mandated regular inspection for the year, a first in the agency’s 31-year history.[27]

A 2008 report by the department’s inspector general found that despite implementation of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, mine safety regulators did not conduct federally required inspections at more than 14% of the country’s 731 underground coal mines, and that the number of worker deaths in mining accidents more than doubled to 47.[28] A 2009 internal audit appraising an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) initiative focusing on problematic workplaces revealed that employees had failed to gather needed data, conducted uneven inspections and enforcement, and failed to discern repeat fatalities because records misspelled the companies’ names or failed to notice when two subsidiaries with the same owner were involved.[29] However, OSHA statistics for 2007 and 2008 revealed that overall workplace fatality rates and workplace injury and illness rates were “both at all-time lows.”[30][31]

A 2008 Government Accountability Office report noted that the Labor Department gave Congress inaccurate numbers that understated the expense of contracting out its employees’ work to private firms during Chao’s tenure.[32][33]

A report by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, under the Chairmanship of Henry A. Waxman (D–Calif.), alleged that Chao and other White House officials campaigned for Republican candidates at taxpayer expense.[34] The report described this as a violation of the Hatch Act of 1939, which restricts the use of public funds for partisan gain,[35] but no action was taken by any entity with responsibility for enforcing the Hatch Act.

Life after Bush administration (2009–2016)

In 2009 Chao resumed her previous role as a Distinguished Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and she contributes to Fox News and other media outlets.

She also serves as a director on a number of corporate and non-profit boards,[11][36] including the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Wells Fargo,[37] NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital, News Corp,[38] Dole Food Company,[39] and Protective Life Corporation.[40][41][42] In June 2011, she was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service.[43]

In January 2015 she resigned from the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which she had joined in 2012,[44] because of its plans to significantly increase support for the Sierra Club‘s “Beyond Coal” initiative.[45]

In 2011 and 2013, Chao attended Shanghai signing ceremonies for Capesize bulkers launched by the Foremost Group, her father’s company, where she spoke publicly about U.S.–China relations.[46] At the 2013 ceremony, Chao stated, “The U.S.-China relations[hip] is among the most important bilateral relationships in the world. And as such, there is no other alternative but to have a harmonious and a cooperative relationship. As with any relationship, there are bound to be ups, downs, disagreements, but in the overall scheme of things, in the overall direction, for the benefit of the world, [the] U.S. and China must get along, and must find a way to do so.”[47]

In 2013, Chao recorded a motivational video to inspire Asian-American children.[48]

She also organized the “orientation for the spouses of Republican senators” in Washington, D.C.[4]

U.S. Secretary of Transportation (2017–present)

As of November 29th, 2016 she was nominated by President-Elect Donald Trump to become his Secretary of Transportation.[49]

Personal life

In 1993, Chao married Mitch McConnell, the senior U.S. Senator from Kentucky and the Senate Majority Leader. They were introduced by Stuart Bloch, an early friend of McConnell’s, and his wife Julia Chang Bloch, a Chinese American and a future U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, the first Asian American to serve as US Ambassador, who mentored Elaine Chao. Bloch described Chao as a “tiger wife,” a reference to Amy Chua‘s 2011 book about her disciplinarian parenting style. Previously, she had dated C. Boyden Gray, the White House Counsel to President George H. W. Bush.[4]

The University of Louisville‘s Ekstrom Library opened the “McConnell-Chao Archives” in November 2009. It is a major component of the university’s McConnell Center.[50][51]

Husband’s campaigning

In the two years leading up to the 2014 U.S. Senate elections, she “headlined fifty of her own events and attended hundreds more with and on behalf of” her husband and was seen as “a driving force of his reelection campaign” and eventual victory over Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, who had portrayed McConnell as “anti-woman.”[52] After winning the election, McConnell said, “The biggest asset I have by far is the only Kentucky woman who served in a president’s cabinet, my wife, Elaine Chao.”[53]

Additionally, she adds “a softer touch” to McConnell’s style by speaking of him “in a feminine, wifely way,” as Jan Karzen, a longtime friend of McConnell’s, put it.[4] She has been described as “the campaign hugger”[52] and is also known for bipartisan socializing. For example, in 2014 she hosted a dinner with philanthropist Catherine B. Reynolds to welcome Penny Pritzker as Secretary of Commerce, where she spent the evening socializing with Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s top advisor.[4]

The New York Times has described her as “an unapologetically ambitious operator with an expansive network, a short fuse, and a seemingly inexhaustible drive to get to the top and stay there.” It reported that as labor secretary, she “had gold-colored coins minted with her name in bas-relief and employed a “Veep“-like staff member who carried around her bag.”[4]

Family

Chao is the oldest of six sisters, the others being Jeannette, May, Christine, Grace, and Angela.[54][55] The New York Times reported that “several of her five younger sisters married Wall Street titans, including Bruce Wasserstein, the late owner of New York Magazine.”

Her father, James S.C. Chao, is a shipping magnate who founded the Foremost Group. In April 2008, Chao’s father gave Chao and McConnell between $5 million and $25 million, which “boosted McConnell’s personal worth from a minimum of $3 million in 2007 to more than $7 million”[56] and “helped the McConnells after their stock portfolio dipped in the wake of the financial crisis that year.”[57]

In 2012 the family donated $40 million to Harvard Business School for scholarships for students of Chinese heritage and the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center, an executive education building named for Chao’s late mother.[58][59]Her mother Ruth Mulan Chu Chao returned to school at age 51 to earn a master’s degree in Asian literature and history from St. John’s University in the Queens borough of New York City.[54]

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

Mitch McConnell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mitch McConnell
Sen Mitch McConnell official.jpg
Senate Majority Leader
Assumed office
January 6, 2015
Deputy John Cornyn
Preceded by Harry Reid
United States Senator
from Kentucky
Assumed office
January 3, 1985
Serving with Rand Paul
Preceded by Walter Huddleston
Senate Minority Leader
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2015
Deputy Trent Lott
Jon Kyl
John Cornyn
Preceded by Harry Reid
Succeeded by Harry Reid
Senate Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Leader Bill Frist
Preceded by Harry Reid
Succeeded by Dick Durbin
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
In office
January 3, 1999 – June 6, 2001
Preceded by John Warner
Succeeded by Chris Dodd
Jefferson County Judge/Executive
In office
1977–1984
Preceded by Todd Hollenbach III
Succeeded by Bremer Ehrler
United States Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs
Acting
In office
1975
President Gerald Ford
Preceded by W. Vincent Rakestraw
Succeeded by Michael Uhlmann
Personal details
Born Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr.
February 20, 1942 (age 74)
Sheffield, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sherrill Redmon (1968–1980)
Elaine Chao(1993–present)
Children 3
Alma mater University of Louisville
University of Kentucky
Religion Southern Baptist
Signature
Website Senate website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1967
Unit United States Army Reserve

Addison MitchellMitchMcConnell, Jr. (born February 20, 1942) is the senior United States Senator from Kentucky. A member of the Republican Party, he has been the Majority Leader of the Senate since January 3, 2015. He is the 15th Republican and the second Kentuckian to lead his party in the Senate.[1] Despite having the lowest approval rating in the Senate,[2] McConnell is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history.[3]

Early life and education

Mitch McConnell was born on February 20, 1942, in a hospital in Sheffield, Alabama, which is now called the Helen Keller Hospital, and raised as a young child in nearby Athens.[4]McConnell is the son of Addison Mitchell McConnell, and his wife, Julia (née Shockley). As a youth, he overcame polio.[5] His family moved to Georgia when he was eight.[6]

When he was a teenager, his family arrived in Louisville where he attended duPont Manual High School. He graduated with honors from the University of Louisville with a B.A. inhistory in 1966. McConnell was president of the Student Council of the College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. He has maintained strong ties to his alma mater and “remains a rabid fan of its sports teams.”[7] Three years later, McConnell graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was president of the Student Bar Association. McConnell is of Irish and English descent.[8]

McConnell enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve at Louisville, Kentucky during his last year of law school. He received an Honorable Discharge for medical reasons (optic neuritis) after five weeks at Fort Knox.[9][10]

Early career

McConnell began interning for Senator John Sherman Cooper (R-KY) in 1964, and his time with Cooper inspired him to run for the Senate eventually himself.[11] Later, McConnell was an assistant to Senator Marlow Cook (R-KY) and was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General under PresidentGerald R. Ford, where he worked alongside future Justice Antonin Scalia.[12] In 1977, McConnell was elected the Jefferson County Judge/Executive, the former top political office in Jefferson County, Kentucky. He was re-elected in 1981.[11]

U.S. Senate

Elections

1984

In 1984, McConnell ran for the U.S. Senate against two-term Democratic incumbent Walter Dee Huddleston. The election race wasn’t decided until the last returns came in, and McConnell won by a thin margin—only 5,200 votes out of more than 1.8 million votes cast, just over 0.4%.[13] McConnell was the only Republican Senate challenger to win that year, despite Ronald Reagan‘s landslide victory in the presidential election. Part of McConnell’s success came from a series of television campaign spots called “Where’s Dee”, which featured a group of bloodhounds trying to find Huddleston,[14][15] implying that Huddleston’s attendance record in the Senate was less than stellar. His campaign bumper stickers and television ads asked voters to “Switch to Mitch”.[16]

1990

In 1990, McConnell faced a tough re-election contest against former Louisville Mayor Harvey I. Sloane, winning by 4.4%.

1996

In 1996, he defeated Steve Beshear by 12.6%, even as Bill Clintonnarrowly carried the state. In keeping with a tradition of humorous and effective television ads in his campaigns, McConnell’s campaign ran television ads that warned voters to not “Get BeSheared” and included images of sheep being sheared.[16]

2002

In 2002, he was re-elected against Lois Combs Weinberg by 29.4%, the largest majority by a statewide Republican candidate in Kentucky history.

2008

In 2008, McConnell faced his closest contest since 1990. He defeated Bruce Lunsford by 6%.[17]

2014

In 2014, McConnell faced Louisville businessman Matt Bevin in the Republican primary.[18] The 60.2% won by McConnell was the lowest voter support for a Kentucky U.S. Senator in a primary by either party since 1938.[19] He faced Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general election. Although polls showed the race was very close, ultimately McConnell defeated Grimes by 56.2%–40.7%, 15.5 percentage points – one of his largest margins of victory, second only to his 2002 margin.

Leadership

During the 1998 and 2000 election cycles, McConnell was chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Republicans maintained control of the Senate in both. He was first elected as Majority Whip in the 108th Congress and unanimously re-elected on November 17, 2004. Senator Bill Frist, the Majority Leader, did not seek re-election in the 2006 elections. In November 2006, after Republicans lost control of the Senate, they elected McConnell to replace Frist as Minority Leader. After Republicans took control of the Senate following the 2014 Senate elections, McConnell became the Senate Majority Leader.

Tenure

Reputation

According to The New York Times, in his early years as a politician in Kentucky, McConnell was “something of a centrist”. In recent years, however, McConnell has veered sharply to the right. He now opposed collective-bargaining rights and minimum-wage increases that he previously supported, and abandoned pork barrel projects he once delivered to the state of Kentucky. He believed that Reagan’s popularity made conservatism much more appealing.[11]

According to a profile in Politico, “While most politicians desperately want to be liked, McConnell has relished—and cultivated—his reputation as a villain.” The Politico profile also noted “For most of Obama‘s presidency, McConnell has been the face of Republican obstructionism.”[20] According to Salon, “Despite McConnell’s reputation as the man who said his No. 1 goal was to stop President Obama from winning a second term, it’s been McConnell at the table when the big deals—be they over threatened government shutdowns, debt defaults or fiscal cliffs—have been finalized.”[21]

With a 49% disapproval rate, he has the highest disapproval rate out of all senators.[22]

Foreign policy

After winning election to the U.S. Senate in 1984, McConnell backed anti-apartheid legislation with Chris Dodd.[23] McConnell went on to engineer new IMF funding to “faithfully protect aid to Egypt and Israel,” and “promote free elections and better treatment of Muslim refugees” in Myanmar, Cambodia and Macedonia. According to a March 2014 article in Politico, “McConnell was a ‘go-to guy’ for presidents of both parties seeking foreign aid,” but he has lost some of his idealism and has evolved to be more wary of foreign assistance.[24]

McConnell stands in front and directly to the right of President Obama as he signs tax cuts and unemployment insurance legislation on December 17, 2010.

In August 2007, McConnell introduced the Protect America Act of 2007, which allowed the National Security Agency to monitor telephone and electronic communications of suspected terrorists outside the United States without obtaining a warrant.[25] McConnell was the only party leader in Congress to oppose the resolution that would authorize military strikes againstSyria in September 2013, citing a lack of national security risk.[26]

On March 27, 2014, McConnell introduced the United States International Programming to Ukraine and Neighboring Regions bill, which would provide additional funding and instructions toRadio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in response to the 2014 Crimea crisis.[27][28]

Campaign finance

McConnell argues that campaign finance regulations reduce participation in political campaigns and protect incumbents from competition.[29] He spearheaded the movement against theBipartisan Campaign Reform Act (known since 1995 as the “McCain–Feingold bill” and from 1989–1994 as the “Boren–Mitchell bill”), calling it “neither fair, nor balanced, nor constitutional.”[30] His opposition to the bill culminated in the 2003 Supreme Court case McConnell v. Federal Election Commission and the 2009 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. McConnell has been an advocate for free speech at least as far back as the early 1970s when he was teaching night courses at the University of Louisville. “No issue has shaped his career more than the intersection of campaign financing and free speech,” political reporter Robert Costa wrote in 2012.[31] In a recording of a 2014 fundraiser McConnell expressed his disapproval of the McCain-Feingold law, saying, “The worst day of my political life was when President George W. Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law in the early part of his first Administration.”[32]

On January 2, 2013, the Public Campaign Action Fund, a liberal nonprofit group that backs stronger campaign finance regulation, released a report highlighting eight instances from McConnell’s political career in which a vote or a blocked vote (filibuster), coincided with an influx of campaign contributions to McConnell’s campaign.[33][34]Progress Kentucky, a SuperPAC focused on defeating McConnell in 2014, hosted a press conference in front of the Senator’s Louisville office to highlight the report’s findings.[35][36]

Flag Desecration Amendment

McConnell opposed the Flag Desecration Amendment in 2000. According to McConnell: “We must curb this reflexive practice of attempting to cure each and every political and social ill of our nation by tampering with the Constitution. The Constitution of this country was not a rough draft. It was not a rough draft and we should not treat it as such.” McConnell offered an amendment to the measure that would have made flag desecration a statutory crime, illegal without amending the Constitution.[37]

Health policy

In August 2001, McConnell introduced the Common Sense Medical Malpractice Reform Act of 2001. The bill would require that a health care liability action must be initiated within two years, non-economic damages may not exceed $250,000, and punitive damages may only be awarded in specified situations.[38]

McConnell voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act) in December 2009,[39] and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[40] In 2014, McConnell repeated his call for the full repeal of Obamacare and said that Kentucky should be allowed to keep the state’s health insurance exchange website, Kynect, or set up a similar system.[41]

McConnell received the Kentucky Life Science Champion Awards for his work in promoting innovation in the life science sector.[42]

Economy

In July 2003, McConnell sponsored the Small Business Liability Reform Act of 2003. The bill would protect small businesses from litigation excesses and limit the liability of non-manufacturer product sellers.[43][44]

McConnell was the sponsor of the Gas Price Reduction Act of 2008. The bill, which did not pass, would have allowed states to engage in increased offshore and domestic oil exploration in an effort to curb rising gas prices.[45]

In June 2008, McConnell introduced the Alternative Minimum Tax and Extenders Tax Relief Act of 2008. The bill was intended to limit the impact of the Alternative Minimum Tax.[46][better source needed]

McConnell with President Barack Obama, August 2010.

In an interview with National Journal magazine published October 23, 2010, McConnell explained that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Asked whether this meant “endless, or at least frequent, confrontation with the president,” McConnell clarified that “if [Obama is] willing to meet us halfway on some of the biggest issues, it’s not inappropriate for us to do business with him.”[47]

In September 2010, McConnell sponsored the Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010. The bill would have permanently extended the tax relief provisions of 2001 and 2003 and provided permanent Alternative Minimum Tax and estate tax relief.[48][better source needed]

In 2010, McConnell requested earmarks for the defense contractor BAE Systems while the company was under investigation by the Department of Justice for alleged bribery of foreign officials.[49][unreliable source?]

In June 2011, McConnell introduced a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment. The amendment would require two-thirds votes in Congress to increase taxes or for federal spending to exceed the current year’s tax receipts or 18% of the prior year’s GDP. The amendment specifies situations when these requirements would be waived.[50][51]

In December 2012, McConnell called for a vote on giving the president unilateral authority to raise the federal debt ceiling. When Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) called for an up or down vote, McConnell objected to the vote and ended up filibustering it himself.[52] In 2014, McConnell voted to help break Ted Cruz‘s filibuster attempt against a debt limit increase and then against the bill itself.[53]

After two intersessions to get federal grants for Alltech, whose president T. Pearse Lyons made subsequent campaign contributions to McConnell, to build a plant in Kentucky for producing ethanol from algae, corncobs, and switchgrass, McConnell criticized President Obama in 2012 for twice mentioning biofuel production from algae in a speech touting his “all-of-the-above” energy policy.[54][55]

In April 2014, the United States Senate debated the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199; 113th Congress). It was a bill that “punishes employers for retaliating against workers who share wage information, puts the justification burden on employers as to why someone is paid less and allows workers to sue for punitive damages of wage discrimination.”[56] McConnell said that he opposed the legislation because it would “line the pockets of trial lawyers” not help women.[56]

In July 2014, McConnell expressed opposition to a U.S. Senate bill that would limit the practice of corporate inversion by U.S. corporations seeking to limit U.S. tax liability.[57]

McConnell expressed skepticism that climate change is a problem, telling the Cincinnati Enquirer editorial board in 2014, “I’m not a scientist, I am interested in protecting Kentucky’s economy, I’m interested in having low cost electricity.” [58][59][60]

Gun rights

On the weekend of January 19–21, 2013, the McConnell for Senate campaign emailed and robo-called gun-rights supporters telling them that “President Obama and his team are doing everything in their power to restrict your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.” McConnell also said, “I’m doing everything in my power to protect your 2nd Amendment rights.”[61] On April 17, 2013, McConnell voted against expanding background checks for gun purchases.[62]

Iraq War

In October 2002, McConnell voted for the Iraq Resolution, which authorized military action against Iraq.[63] McConnell supported the Iraq War troop surge of 2007.[64] In 2010, McConnell “accused the White House of being more concerned about a messaging strategy than prosecuting a war against terrorism.”[65]

In 2006, McConnell publicly criticized Senate Democrats for urging that troops be brought back from Iraq.[66] According to Bush’s Decision Points memoir, however, McConnell was privately urging the then President to “bring some troops home from Iraq” to lessen the political risks. McConnell’s hometown paper, the Louisville Courier-Journal, in an editorial titled “McConnell’s True Colors”, criticized McConnell for his actions and asked him to “explain why the fortunes of the Republican Party are of greater importance than the safety of the United States.”[67]

Regarding the failure of the Iraqi government to make reforms, McConnell said the following on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer: “The Iraqi government is a huge disappointment. Republicans overwhelmingly feel disappointed about the Iraqi government. I read just this week that a significant number of the Iraqi parliament want to vote to ask us to leave. I want to assure you, Wolf, if they vote to ask us to leave, we’ll be glad to comply with their request.”[68]

On April 21, 2009, McConnell delivered a speech to the Senate criticizing President Obama’s plans to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, and questioned the additional 81 million dollar White House request for funds to transfer prisoners to the United States.[69][70]

Fundraising

From 2003 to 2008, the list of McConnell’s top 20 donors included five financial/investment firms: UBS, FMR Corporation (Fidelity Investments), Citigroup, Bank of New York and Merrill Lynch.[71][better source needed]

In April 2010, while Congress was considering financial reform legislation, a reporter asked McConnell if he was “doing the bidding of the large banks.” McConnell has received more money in donations from the “Finance, Insurance and Real Estate” sector than any other sector according to the Center for Responsive Politics.[71][72] McConnell responded “I’d say that that’s inaccurate. You could talk to the community bankers in Kentucky.” The Democratic Party’s plan for financial reform is actually a way to institute “endless taxpayer funded bailouts for big Wall Street banks”, said McConnell. He expressed concern that the proposed $50 billion, bank-funded fund that would be used to liquidate financial firms that could collapse “would of course immediately signal to everyone that the government is ready to bail out large banks”.[71][72] In McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, the Lexington Herald-Leader ran an editorial saying: “We have read that the Republicans have a plan for financial reform, but McConnell isn’t talking up any solutions, just trashing the other side’s ideas with no respect for the truth.”[73]According to one tally, McConnell’s largest donor from the period from Jan. 1, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2015 was Bob McNair, contributing $1,502,500.[74]

2016 Supreme Court vacancy

In an August 2016 speech in Kentucky, Senator McConnell, speaking of President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court (to fill the vacancy caused by Antonin Scalia‘s death in February 2016) said, “One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, ‘Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.'”[75][76][77]

2016 Presidential Election

Senator McConnell initially endorsed fellow Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Following Paul’s withdrawal, McConnell stayed neutral for the remainder of the primary. On May 4, 2016, McConnell endorsed then presumptive nominee Donald J. Trump. “I have committed to supporting the nominee chosen by Republican voters, and Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee, is now on the verge of clinching the nomination.”

On multiple occasions, McConnell criticized Trump but continued to endorse Trump’s candidacy. On May 27, 2016 after Trump suggested that a Federal Judge, Gonzalo P. Curiel, was biased against Trump because of his Mexican heritage, McConnell responded, “I don’t agree with what he (Trump) had to say. This is a man who was born in Indiana. All of us came here from somewhere else.” On July 31, 2016 after Trump had criticized the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim soldier who was killed in Iraq, McConnell stated, “Captain Khan was an American hero, and like all Americans, I’m grateful for the sacrifices that selfless young men like Captain Khan and their families have made in the war on terror. All Americans should value the patriotic service of the patriots who volunteer to selflessly defend us in the armed services.” On October 7, 2016, following the Donald TrumpAccess Hollywood controversy, McConnell stated: “As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape.”[78]

Committee assignments

Electoral history

Elections are shown with a map depicting county-by-county information. McConnell is shown in red and Democratic opponents shown in blue.

Year  % McConnell Opponent(s) Party affiliation  % of vote County-by-county map
1984 49.9% Walter Huddleston (incumbent)Dave Welters DemocraticSocialist Workers 49.5% KY-USA 1984 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg
1990 52.2% Harvey I. Sloane Democratic 47.8% KY-USA 1990 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg
1996 55.5% Steve BeshearDennis Lacy

Patricia Jo Metten

Mac Elroy

DemocraticLibertarian

Natural Law

U.S. Taxpayers

42.8% KY-USA 1996 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg
2002 64.7% Lois Combs Weinberg Democratic 35.3% KY-USA 2002 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg
2008 53.0% Bruce Lunsford Democratic 47.0% KY-USA 2008 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg
2014 56.2% Alison Lundergan GrimesDavid Patterson DemocraticLibertarian 40.7% KY-USA 2014 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg
U.S. Senate Republican Primary election in Kentucky, 1984
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Mitch McConnell 39,465 79.2%
Republican Roger Harker 3,798 7.6%
Republican Tommy Klein 3,352 6.7%
Republican Thurman Jerome Hamlin 3,202 6.4%
U.S. Senate Republican Primary election in Kentucky, 1990
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Mitch McConnell (inc.) 64,063 88.5%
Republican Tommy Klein 8,310 11.5%
U.S. Senate Republican Primary election in Kentucky, 1996
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Mitch McConnell (inc.) 88,620 88.6%
Republican Tommy Klein 11,410 11.4%
U.S. Senate Republican Primary election in Kentucky, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Mitch McConnell (inc.) 168,127 86.1%
Republican Daniel Essek 27,170 13.9%
U.S. Senate Republican Primary election in Kentucky, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican Mitch McConnell (inc.) 213,753 60.2%
Republican Matt Bevin 125,787 35.4%
Republican Shawna Sterling 7,214 2.0%
Republican Chris Payne 5,338 1.5%
Republican Brad Copas 3,024 0.9%

Personal life

McConnell is a Southern Baptist. John E. Kleber, Kentucky Bicentennial Commission, His first wife was Sherrill Redmon,[79] who later divorced him; they have three daughters.

His second wife, who married him in 1993, is Elaine Chao, the former Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush.

McConnell is on the Board of Selectors of Jefferson Awards for Public Service.[80]

In 1997, he founded the James Madison Center for Free Speech, a Washington, D.C.-based legal defense organization.[81][82] McConnell was inducted as a member of the Sons of the American Revolution on March 1, 2013.[83]

In 2010, the OpenSecrets website ranked McConnell, because of net household worth, one of the wealthiest members of the U.S. Senate at the time,[84] because of gifts given to him and his wife in 2008 from his father-in-lawJames S.C. Chao after the death of his mother-in-law.[85][86]

In popular culture

McConnell appears in the title sequence of seasons 1 and 2 of Alpha House making a speech with Matt Malloy‘s Senator Louis Laffer apparently standing just behind him.

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

Story 2: Trump Selects Campaign Finance Chair Steve Mnuchin to serve as Treasury Secretary

Steve Mnuchin in 90 seconds

Gasparino: Sources say Trump wants Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary

Trump down to two choices for Treasury secretary

Trump Wants Goldman Sachs For Treasury Secretary

Steven Mnuchin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Steven Mnuchin
Born Steven Terner Mnuchin
December 21, 1962 (age 53)[1]
Alma mater Yale University(BA)
Net worth $40 million+
Spouse(s) Heather deForest Crosby (1999–2014)
Partner(s) Louise Linton(engaged)
Children 3
Parent(s) Robert E. Mnuchin
Elaine Terner

Steven Terner Mnuchin (born December 21, 1962) is an American banker, film producer and political fundraiser.

Early life

Steven Mnuchin was born to a Jewish family, circa 1963.[2][3] He is the son of Elaine Terner Cooper, of New York, and Robert E. Mnuchin, of Washington, Connecticut.[2] His father was a banker, a partner at Goldman Sachs, in charge of equity trading and a member of the management committee, and the founder of the Mnuchin Gallery at 45 East 78th Street, New York.[2][4] He graduated from Yale University.[2]

Career

Mnuchin amassed a fortune estimated at over $40 million while working for Goldman Sachs for 17 years, where his father had worked for three decades and had also made a fortune.[5][6]

In 2002, Mnuchin left Goldman and worked briefly for his Yale roommate Edward Lampert, chief executive of Sears. He also briefly worked for Soros Fund Management in their private equity division during the “Goldman” period with Jacob Goldfield and Mark Schwartz.

After this stint, he founded RatPac-Dune Entertainment, which produced a number of notable films, including the X-Men film franchise and Avatar.[6] Dune bought the failed housing lender IndyMac in 2009, buying it out of bankruptcy from the FDIC and renaming it OneWest with Mnuchin as chair. According to The New York Times, OneWest “was involved in a string of lawsuits over questionable foreclosures, and settled several cases for millions of dollars.” OneWest was sold to CIT Group in 2015.[5]

In November 2016, two nonprofits filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, alleging redlining by OneWest Bank.[7]

The California Reinvestment Coalition, which opposed CIT Group’s acquisition of OneWest, helped to highlight a number of issues about the bank, using Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. First, the “shared loss agreements” that Mnuchin and his group of investors secured from the FDIC when buying IndyMac and La Jolla banks proved to be quite lucrative. According to data obtained from the FDIC, as of December 2014, it had already paid out over $1 billion to OneWest for the costs of failed loans (foreclosures). The FDIC estimated it would have to pay out another $1.4 billion to OneWest before 2019.[8]

CRC also submitted a FOIA request to United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to learn more about OneWest’s reverse mortgage subsidiary, Financial Freedom. According to the data that HUD provided in its FOIA response, Financial Freedom foreclosed on 16,220 federally insured reverse mortgages from April 2009 to April 2016. This represents about 39% of all federally insured reverse mortgage foreclosures during that time frame. The 39% figure was criticized by CRC, who estimated that Financial Freedom only serviced about 17% of the market. In other words, Financial Freedom was foreclosing at twice the amount that one would expect, given its share of the market.[9]

CIT Group, which purchased OneWest, disclosed to investors that it had received subpoenas from HUD’s Office of the Inspector General in the third and fourth quarters of 2015.[10]

Because Mnuchin received stock in CIT Group when it purchased OneWest, it’s possible he could sell it tax free if he were confirmed to be Treasury Secretary and if he reinvested the proceeds in Treasuries or government approved funds, according to Bloomberg, which suggests Mnuchin has $97 million in CIT stock.[11]

In Hollywood, Mnuchin, along with film producer Brett Ratner and financier James Packer, working with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, produced American Sniper and Mad Max: Fury Road. Mnuchin was co-chairman of the trio’s movie company, Relativity Media, but left before it went bankrupt.[5] A source close to the company said that he had resigned because of the potential for a conflict of interest between his duties at Relativity and OneWest, which had been sold days ago; weeks prior to Relativity’s insolvency filling, OneWest was allowed to drain $50 million from it.[6]

Political activity

Mnuchin supported Mitt Romney during the 2012 U.S. presidential election.[5] In May 2016, he was named finance chair of the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign.[5]

Personal life

In 1999, he married Heather deForest Crosby,[2] who was his second wife,[12] and they had three children together.[13] They divorced in 2014. He is engaged to the actress Louise Linton, and they live in a $26.5 million house that he owns in Bel Air, California.[12][13]

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

Story 3: Trump Selects Leading Critic of Obamacare Representative and Dr. Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services — Videos

Tom Price, Obamacare Critic, Chosen For Health And Human Services Secretary | Morning Joe | MSNBC

President-elect Trump to name Rep. Tom Price as HHS secretary

Trump Nominates Tom Price For HHS SECY – America’s Newsroom

Tom Price Will Be The Secretary Of Health & Human Services

Tom Price: Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services

Trump Chooses Tom Price as Health Secretary

Donald Trump selects Rep. Price for HHS secretary

Congressman Tom Price on Repealing Obamcare and Reforming Our Healthcare System

Price Discusses Obamacare Repeal on Fox News

Tom Price (U.S. politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tom Price
Tom Price.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia‘s 6th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2005
Preceded by Johnny Isakson
Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Paul Ryan
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 56th district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Sallie Newbill
Succeeded by Dan Moody
Personal details
Born Thomas Edmunds Price
October 8, 1954 (age 62)
Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Betty Clark
Children Robert
Residence Roswell, Georgia, U.S.
Alma mater University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (BA, MD)
Religion Presbyterianism

Thomas Edmunds “Tom” Price (born October 8, 1954) is an American physician, and the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 6th congressional district, serving since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district is based in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. He previously served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee and the Republican Policy Committee.[1][2] Price currently serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee.[3]

On November 29, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced his plans to nominate Price to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, after Trump becomes inauguratedpresident.[4] Price’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Early life, education, and medical career

Price was born in the Michigan capital, Lansing. He grew up in Dearborn, where he attended Adams Jr. High and Dearborn High School.

He graduated with an M.D. from the University of Michigan. He completed his residency at Emory University in Atlanta, and decided to settle in the suburb of Roswell, where he still lives. He is a past President of the Roswell Rotary Club and has served on the Boards of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.[5]

He ran an orthopedic clinic in Atlanta for 20 years before returning to Emory as assistant professor of orthopedic surgery. Price also was the director of the orthopedic clinic at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital.

Georgia Senate (1996–2005)

Elections

In 1996, State Senator Sallie Newbill (R) decided not to run for re-election. Price was the Republican nominee for Georgia’s 56th senate district. In the November general election, he defeated Democrat Ellen Milholland 71%–29%.[6] In 1998, he won re-election to a second term by defeating her in a rematch, 75%–25%.[7] In 2000 and 2002, he won re-election to a third and fourth term unopposed.[8][9]

Committee assignments

  • Administrative Affairs
  • Appropriations
  • Economic Development and Tourism (Vice Chair)
  • Education[10]
  • Ethics
  • Insurance and Labor
  • Health and Human Services
  • Reapportionment
  • Reapportionment and Redistricting (Chair)
  • Rules (Secretary)
  • Veterans and Consumer Affairs[11]

U.S. House of Representatives (2005–present)[edit]

Elections

2004

In 2004, U.S. Congressman Johnny Isakson of Georgia’s 6th congressional district decided not to run for re-election in order to run for the U.S. Senate. No Democrat even filed, meaning that whoever won the Republican primary would be virtually assured of being the district’s next congressman. The 6th district was so heavily Republican that any Democratic candidate would have faced nearly impossible odds in any event. Six other Republican candidates filed to run, most notably state senators Robert Lamutt and Chuck Clay. Price was the only major candidate from Fulton County, while Lamutt and Clay were both from Cobb County. On July 20, 2004, Price ranked first with 35% of the vote, but failed to reach the 50% threshold needed to win the Republican nomination. Lamutt qualified for the run-off, ranking second with 28% of the vote. Price won two of the district’s three counties: Fultonwith 63% and Cherokee with 35%. Lamutt carried Cobb with 31% of the vote.[12] In the August 10 run-off election, Price defeated Lamutt 54%–46%. They split the vote in Cherokee, but Price carried Fulton by a landslide of 79% of the vote. Lamutt couldn’t eliminate that deficit as he won Cobb with just 59% of the vote.[13] Price won the general election unopposed.[14]

2006

In 2006, Price drew one primary challenger, John Konop, who he easily defeated 82%–18%.[15] In November, he won re-election to a second term with 72% of the vote.[16]

2008–2014

Price won re-election in 2008 (68%),[17] 2010 (99.9%),[18] and 2012 (65%).[19]

2016

Tom Price won the election in 2016 against Rodney Stooksbury (Democratic). Price received 61.6% of the votes.

Tenure

Congressman Price speaking at the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)

Congressman Price speaking at Freedomworks New Fair Deal Rally outside the US Capitol

In 2011, Price voted to prohibit funding of NPR,[20] to terminate the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program,[21] to extend the PATRIOT act,[22][23] to repeal portions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 on multiple occasions,[24][25] to reduce non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels [26] [27][28](and subsequently voted against several amendments offered via motions to recommit with instructions)[29]),to reduce Federal spending and the deficit by terminating taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns and party conventions,[30] to provide funding for government agencies, including the Department of Defense, through September 30, 2011,[31] to cut the Federal Housing Authority’s refinancing program,[32] and against a resolution which would force the president to withdraw American forces from Iraq.[33] In 2013, he was the main sponsor of the Require A PLAN Act;[34][35] he voted for the No Budget, No Pay Act[36][37] and a resolution establishing a budget for the United States Government for FY 2014 that passed the House of Representatives.[38]

Tom Price opposes abortion and supported the proposed Protect Life Act, which would have denied Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) funding to health care plans that offered abortion (the PPACA already prevented public funding covering abortions) and allowed hospitals to decline to provide emergency abortion care.[39][40] He was rated at 100 by the National Right to Life Center. He was rated at 0 by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.[41][42] He participated in the 2011 March for Life.[43]

Tom Price opposes gun control. He praised the Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller, which found that the absolute prohibition of handguns in the District of Columbiawas unconstitutional, and McDonald v. Chicago, which stated that the Second Amendment applied to the states.[44] He was given an “A” grade by the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, a 92% approval rating overall from the National Rifle Association and an 83% approval rating[45] from the Gun Owners of America, and a 0% approval rating from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.[42][46]

Tom Price voted against a bill prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation (Nov 2007). He voted in favor of constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman (Jul 2006). Representative Price voted against H.R. 2965, which would have ended Don’t ask, don’t tell. He receives a 0% rating by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization.[47]

Tom Price does not support federal regulation of farming. He has voted against regulating and restricting farmers, earning him a 70% from the American Farm Bureau Federation. However, due to this belief, the National Farmers Union gave him a 0% approval rate.[48] He supported the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, stating that it would keep theEnvironmental Protection Agency from applying too many regulations to farming and ranching.[49] He also voted for the Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012 which, had it become law, would have made supplemental agricultural disaster assistance available, if needed.[50][51]

In 2008 Price signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[52]

Legislation

Price speaking on a panel about healthcare at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference.

Price is the sponsor of the Empowering Patients First Act (EPFA), which he first introduced in the 111th Congress and has reintroduced in each Congress since then. Originally intended to be a Republican alternative to Democratic efforts to reform the health care system, it has since been positioned by Price and other Republicans as a potential replacement to the PPACA. The bill, among other things, creates and expands tax credits for purchasing health insurance, allows for some interstate health insurance markets, and reforms medical malpractice lawsuits.

Price introduced the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act of 2013 (H.R. 1874; 113th Congress) on May 8, 2013.[53] The bill would require the Congressional Budget Office to provide a macroeconomic impact analysis for bills that are estimated to have a large budgetary effect.[54] Price said it was necessary because the Congressional Budget Office’s current method of reviewing bills just to see what they would cost. Price said “that is a model that has proven to be incapable of providing the type of macroeconomic diagnosis folks need to make sure we are pursuing policies that will help generate economic opportunity and bring down the nation’s debt.”[55] H.R. 1874 has passed the House but has yet to become law.

In total, Price has sponsored 55 bills, including:[56]

109th Congress (2005–2006)

  • H.R. 3693, a bill to prevent all illegal border crossings after a certain date, introduced September 7, 2005
  • H.R. 3860, a bill to require each state and U.S. territory to maintain a sex offender registry, to increase punishments for sexual and violent crimes against children and minors, and to require background checks of individuals before approval of adoptive or foster services, introduced September 22, 2005
  • H.R. 3941, a bill to reduce foreign oil consumption to less than 25% of total oil consumption by no later than 2015, introduced September 29, 2005, reintroduced in the 110th Congress as H.R. 817
  • H.R. 6133, a bill to create national standards for work in laboratories that includes requiring proficiency in cytology, introduced September 21, 2006. H.R. 6133’s companion bill was S. 4056.

110th Congress (2007–2008)

  • H.R. 1685, a bill to require holders of personal financial data to increase security of such data, introduced March 26, 2007
  • H.R. 1761, a bill to create a competitive grant program to reward such grants to educational institutions and systems to develop and implement performance-based compensation systems for teachers to encourage teachers to improve educational outcomes, introduced March 29, 2007, reintroduced in the 111th Congress as H.R. 3683
  • H.R. 2626, a bill to allow for tax credits and deductions for purchasing health insurance, to revise government employer contribution amounts, to reform malpractice lawsuits, to provide financial aid to introduce health information technology, to allow for a tax credit for emergency room physicians to offset costs incurred because of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, and to promote interstate health insurance markets, introduced June 7, 2007. This bill served as the precursor to EPFA, and most of H.R. 2626’s provisions are included in EPFA.
  • H.R. 4464, a bill to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to clarify that it is not unlawful for any employer to require proficiency in English as a condition of employment, introduced December 12, 2007, reintroduced in the 111th Congress as H.R. 1588
  • H.R. 6910, a bill to expand oil and natural gas drilling and use revenue generated from such drilling to fund monetary rewards for advancing the research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of alternative fuel vehicles, introduced September 18, 2008

111th Congress (2009–2010)

  • H.R. 464, a bill to require states to cover 90% of eligible children for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in the program for households with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL), with special rules above 200% of the FPL, to prohibit SCHIP from funding child health care for children in households above 250% of the FPL, and to require more than one health plan to be offered in SCHIP, introduced January 13, 2009. Modified versions of this bill’s provisions make up Title IV of EPFA.
  • H.R. 3140, a bill to repeal all unpaid provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to terminate the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and to allocate TARP repayments to reducing the federal government’s public debt, introduced July 9, 2009
  • H.R. 3372, a bill to develop best practice guidelines for treating medical conditions and to reform malpractice lawsuits, introduced July 29, 2009, reintroduced in the 112th Congress as H.R. 2363. Modified versions of this bill’s provisions make up Title V of EPFA.
  • H.R. 6170, a bill to prevent the Secretary of Health and Human Services from precluding an enrollee, participant, or beneficiary in a health benefits plan from entering into any contract or arrangement for health care with any health care provider, excluding Medicaid and TRICARE, introduced September 22, 2010. This bill’s provisions are included in Title X of EPFA.
  • H.R. 6171, a bill to prevent the Secretary of Health and Human Services or any state from requiring any health care provider to participate in any health plan as a condition of licensure of the provider in any state, introduced September 22, 2010, reintroduced in the 112th and 113th Congresses as H.R. 969. This bill’s provisions are included in Title X of EPFA.

112th Congress (2011–2012)

  • H.R. 1700, a bill to allow for Medicare beneficiaries to contract with any health care professionals that provide care covered under the Medicare program, with special circumstances, introduced March 3, 2011, reintroduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 1310. This bill’s provisions are included in Title X of EPFA.
  • H.R. 2077, a bill to repeal the medical loss ratio provision of the PPACA, introduced June 1, 2011
  • H.R. 4066, a bill to exclude pathologists from Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments and penalties relating to electronic health records, introduced February 6, 2012, reintroduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 1309
  • H.R. 6616, a bill to exempt U.S. securities transactions from financial taxes and penalties imposed by other nations, introduced November 19, 2012, reintroduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 2546

113th Congress (2013–2014)

  • H.R. 1990 and H.R. 2009, bills to prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury, or any delegate of the Secretary, from implementing or enforcing any provisions of or amendments made by the PPACA or the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, introduced May 15 and 16, 2013. H.R. 2009 has passed the House but has yet to become law.

Committee assignments

Personal life

Price and his wife Betty reside in Roswell, and have one child, Robert Price.[57] Betty served on the Roswell City Council and was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in a 2015 special election to succeed the lateHarry Geisinger.[58] Price is a Presbyterian.

See also

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The Pronk Pops Show 781, October 21, 2016, Part 2 of 2: Story 1: Who Won The Third 2016 Presidential Debate? Trump — Who Will Be Elected President of The United States? — Who Do You Trust The Most? — Trump — Verdict On Hillary Clinton’s Criminal Activities Given By American People on Election Day, November 8 — Videos — Story 2: Hillary Clinton Is Nurse Ratched! — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 781: October 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 780: October 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 779: October 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 778: October 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 777: October 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 776: October 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 775: October 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 774: October 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 773: October 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 772: October 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 771: October 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 770: October 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 769: October 5, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 768: October 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 767: September 30, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 765: September 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 764: September 27, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 762: September 23, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 714: July 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 713: July 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 712: July 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 711: July 1, 2016

Story 1: Who Won The Third 2016 Presidential Debate? Trump — Who Will Be Elected President of The United States? — Who Do You Trust The Most? — Trump — Verdict On Hillary Clinton’s Criminal Activities Given By American People on Election Day, November 8 —  Videos

 

Electoral College Projections as of October 19th

October 19, 2016

As we head into the final presidential debate, and with just under three weeks to go until the 2016 presidential election, here’s the state of the race from the viewpoint of 14 forecasters. You can find all the associated maps, as well as a few others, on our2016 Presidential Election Forecasts page.

Since our last update on October 13th, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s average total electoral votes are little changed. Clinton is at 300, Trump 187. Within Trump’s average, however, we are beginning to see an erosion in states where the Republican nominee is favored vs. those that are leaning in his direction. For example, a couple forecasters have moved Texas from favored to leaning.

Note that the statistical projections (shaded in gray) in the table may change several times a day as new input data (e.g., polls released that day) are processed by the models. This will lead to more variability vs. the other forecasters.

http://www.270towin.com/news/2016/10/19/electoral-college-projections-october-19th_398.html#.WAgvH-iAOko

Latest Polls

Wednesday, October 19
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Quinnipiac Clinton 47, Trump 40, Johnson 7, Stein 1 Clinton +7
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton Quinnipiac Clinton 50, Trump 44 Clinton +6
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein IBD/TIPP Clinton 40, Trump 41, Johnson 8, Stein 6 Trump +1
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton IBD/TIPP Clinton 44, Trump 41 Clinton +3
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Bloomberg Clinton 47, Trump 38, Johnson 8, Stein 3 Clinton +9
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Economist/YouGov Clinton 42, Trump 38, Johnson 6, Stein 1 Clinton +4
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Reuters/Ipsos Clinton 42, Trump 38, Johnson 6, Stein 2 Clinton +4
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Rasmussen Reports Clinton 42, Trump 42, Johnson 7, Stein 1 Tie
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton LA Times/USC Tracking Clinton 44, Trump 44 Tie
North Carolina: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson SurveyUSA Clinton 46, Trump 44, Johnson 6 Clinton +2
North Carolina: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson Civitas (R) Clinton 45, Trump 43, Johnson 5 Clinton +2
Pennsylvania: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Emerson Clinton 45, Trump 41, Johnson 4, Stein 4 Clinton +4
New Hampshire: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Emerson Clinton 44, Trump 36, Johnson 10, Stein 6 Clinton +8
New Hampshire: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein WMUR/UNH Clinton 49, Trump 34, Johnson 8, Stein 2 Clinton +15
Missouri: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Emerson Trump 47, Clinton 39, Johnson 5, Stein 2 Trump +8
Arizona: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Arizona Republic Clinton 43, Trump 38, Johnson 7, Stein 4 Clinton +5
Wisconsin: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Monmouth Clinton 47, Trump 40, Johnson 6, Stein 1 Clinton +7
New York: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Siena Clinton 54, Trump 30, Johnson 5, Stein 4 Clinton +24
Kansas: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein KSN News/SurveyUSA Trump 47, Clinton 36, Johnson 7, Stein 2 Trump +11
Utah: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein vs. McMullin Emerson Trump 27, Clinton 24, McMullin 31, Johnson 5, Stein 0 McMullin +4
Vermont: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Vermont Public Radio Clinton 45, Trump 17, Johnson 4, Stein 3 Clinton +28

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Presidential Debate – October 19, 2016

Full. Third Presidential Debate. Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton. October 19, 2016

LIVE: Third Presidential Debate (C-SPAN)

Social media mocks Hillary Clinton’s ‘creepy grandma’ grin

Hillary Clinton ~~ Pure Evil Devil Laugh (Remix)

Trump: Clinton such a nasty woman

Donald Trump: We need to get out ‘bad hombres’

Trump: Justice Ginsburg apologized to me

TRUMP RESPONDS! Project Veritas Action – Clinton Campaign and DNC Incite Violence at Trump Rallies

UPDATE , A MUST WATCH Project Veritas #3

Fox & Friends 10/15/16 NEW Wikileaks Bombshell Hillary Clinton Open Border

WikiLeaks Doc Dump on Hillary! Calls for Open Borders in Leaked Emails! – 10/7/16

WikiLeaks Hits Hillary Clinton with a 9.0 Magnitude Earthquake | 08 Oct 2016

Michael Savage – If Trumps Wins Elite Will Blame Russia And Cancel Elections

RUSH: What In The World Happened To All The Trump Voters?

LIMBAUGH: Woman Who Claims Trump ‘OCTOPUSED’ Her Is MAKING IT UP!

Wikileaks Blows To Pieces Rigged Media, Project Veritas Destroys Democratic Party Operatives

Rigging the Election – Video I: Clinton Campaign and DNC Incite Violence at Trump Rallies

Rigging the Election – Video II: Mass Voter Fraud

FOX NEWS ALERT 10/18/16 Trump On Clinton Email Scandal This Is Big Stuff. This Is Watergate.

Hillary Clinton The Movie Banned by the Courts in 2008

3 Reasons Not To Sweat The “Citizens United” SCOTUS Ruling

What You Probably Haven’t Heard About Citizens United

Justice Scalia on Citizens United (C-SPAN)

Crooked Hillary Threatens to Ban Gun Ownership With Supreme Court Nominations

Hillary Clinton Outlines Plan to Abolish the Second Amendment

The Heller Ruling, Five Years On (Robert Levy)

Dem Operative Who Oversaw Trump Rally Agitators Visited White House 342 Times

PETER HASSON

Reporter, Associate Editor

A key operative in a Democratic scheme to send agitators to cause unrest at Donald Trump’s rallies has visited the White House 342 times since 2009, White House records show.

Robert Creamer, who acted as a middle man between the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and “protesters” who tried — and succeeded — to provoke violence at Trump rallies met with President Obama during 47 of those 342 visits, according to White House records. Creamer’s last visit was in June 2016.

Creamer, whose White House visits were first pointed out by conservative blog Weasel Zippers, is stepping back from his role within the Clinton campaign. (RELATED: Second O’Keefe Video Shows Dem Operative Boasting About Voter Fraud)

Hidden camera video from activist James O’Keefe showed Creamer bragging that his role within the Clinton campaign was to oversee the work of Americans United for Change, a non-profit organization that sent activists to Trump rallies. (RELATED: Activist Who Took Credit For Violent Chicago Protests Was On Hillary’s Payroll)

Scott Foval, the national field director for Americans United for Change, explained how the scheme works.
“The [Clinton] campaign pays DNC, DNC pays Democracy Partners, Democracy Partners pays the Foval Group, The Foval Group goes and executes the shit,” Foval told an undercover journalist.
One example of the “shit” Foval executes was an instance in which a 69-year-old woman garnered headlines after claiming to be assaulted at a Trump rally.

“She was one of our activists,” Foval said.

Creamer’s job was to “manage” the work carried out by Foval.

“And the Democratic Party apparatus and the people from the campaign, the Clinton campaign and my role with the campaign, is to manage all that,” Creamer told an undercover journalist.

“Wherever Trump and Pence are gonna be we have events,” he said.

http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/18/exposed-dem-operative-who-oversaw-trump-rally-agitators-visited-white-house-342-times/#ixzz4Naebnlzy

 

 

Citizens United v. FEC

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Citizens United” redirects here. For the political organization, see Citizens United (organization). For other uses, see Citizens United (disambiguation).
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg

Argued March 24, 2009
Reargued September 9, 2009
Decided January 21, 2010
Full case name Citizens United, Appellant v. Federal Election Commission
Docket nos. 08-205
Citations 558 U.S. 310 (more)

130 S.Ct. 876
Argument Oral argument
Reargument Reargument
Opinion announcement Opinion announcement
Prior history denied appellants motion for a preliminary injunction 530 F. Supp. 2d 274 (D.D.C. 2008)[1]probable jurisdiction noted128 S. Ct. 1471 (2008).
Holding
The Freedom of the Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. And the provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act prohibiting unions, corporations and not-for-profit organizations from broadcasting electioneering communications within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary election violates the clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. United States District Court for the District of Columbia reversed.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Kennedy, joined by Roberts, Scalia, Alito; Thomas (all but Part IV); Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor (only as to Part IV)
Concurrence Roberts, joined by Alito
Concurrence Scalia, joined by Alito; Thomas (in part)
Concur/dissent Stevens, joined by Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor
Concur/dissent Thomas
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. I, Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
This case overturned a previous ruling or rulings
McConnell v. FEC (in part)

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205, 558U.S.310 (2010), is a U.S. constitutional law and corporate law case dealing with the regulation of campaign spending by organizations. The United States Supreme Court held (5–4) that freedom of speech prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations.[2][3]

In the case, the conservativenon-profit organizationCitizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts, which was a violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or “BCRA”.[4] Section 203 of BCRA defined an “electioneering communication” as a broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that mentioned a candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary, and prohibited such expenditures by corporations and unions. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia held that §203 of BCRA applied and prohibited Citizens United from advertising the film Hillary: The Movie in broadcasts or paying to have it shown on television within 30 days of the 2008 Democratic primaries.[1][5] The Supreme Court reversed this decision, striking down those provisions of BCRA that prohibited corporations (including nonprofit corporations) and unions from making independent expenditures and “electioneering communications”.[4] The majority decision overruled Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce (1990) and partially overruled McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003).[6] The Court, however, upheld requirements for public disclosure by sponsors of advertisements (BCRA §201 and §311). The case did not involve the federal ban on direct contributions from corporations or unions to candidate campaigns or political parties, which remain illegal in races for federal office.[7]

Background

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (known as BCRA or McCain–Feingold Act) – specifically §203, which modified the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, 2 U.S.C.§ 441b – prohibited corporations and unions from using their general treasury to fund “electioneering communications” (broadcast advertisements mentioning a candidate) within 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election. During the 2004 presidential campaign, a conservative nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization named Citizens United filed a complaint before the Federal Election Commission (FEC) charging that advertisements for Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11, a docudrama critical of the Bush administration’s response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, constituted political advertising and thus could not be aired within the 30 days before a primary election or 60 days before a general election. The FEC dismissed the complaint after finding no evidence that broadcast advertisements for the film and featuring a candidate within the proscribed time limits had actually been made.[8] The FEC later dismissed a second complaint which argued that the movie itself constituted illegal corporate spending advocating the election or defeat of a candidate, which was illegal under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 and the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1974. In dismissing that complaint, the FEC found that:

The complainant alleged that the release and distribution of FAHRENHEIT 9/11 constituted an independent expenditure because the film expressly advocated the defeat of President Bush and that by being fully or partially responsible for the film’s release, Michael Moore and other entities associated with the film made excessive and/or prohibited contributions to unidentified candidates. The Commission found no reason to believe the respondents violated the Act because the film, associated trailers and website represented bona fide commercial activity, not “contributions” or “expenditures” as defined by the Federal Election Campaign Act.[9]

In the wake of these decisions, Citizens United sought to establish itself as a bona fide commercial film maker, producing several documentary films between 2005 and 2007. By early 2008, it sought to run television commercials to promote its political documentary Hillary: The Movie and to air the movie on DirecTV.[10]

In the District Court

In December 2007 Citizens United filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the constitutionality of several statutory provisions governing “electioneering communications”.[11] It asked the court to declare that the corporate and union funding restrictions were unconstitutional both on its face and as applied to Hillary: The Movie, and to enjoin the Federal Election Commission from enforcing its regulations. Citizens United also argued that the Commission’s disclosure and disclaimer requirements were unconstitutional as applied to the movie pursuant to the Supreme Court decision in Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc.. It also sought to enjoin the funding, disclosure, and disclaimer requirements as applied to Citizens United’s intended ads for the movie.

In accordance with special rules in section 403 of the BCRA, a three-judge court was convened to hear the case. On January 15, 2008, the court denied Citizens United’s motion for a preliminary injunction, finding that the suit had little chance of success because the movie had no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote against Senator Clinton, that it was therefore express advocacy, not entitled to exemption from the ban on corporate funding of electioneering communications, and that television advertisements for the movie within 30 days of a primary violated the BCRA restrictions on “electioneering communications”.[12] The court held that the Supreme Court in McConnell v. FEC (2003) had found the disclosure requirements constitutional as to all electioneering communications, and Wisconsin RTL did not disturb this holding because the only issue of that case was whether speech that did not constitute the functional equivalent of express advocacy could be banned during the relevant pre-election period.

On July 18, 2008, the District Court granted summary judgement to the Federal Election Commission. In accordance with the special rules in the BCRA, Citizens United appealed to the Supreme Court which docketed the case on August 18, 2008 and granted certiorari on November 14, 2008.[13]

The Supreme Court heard oral argument on March 24, 2009[10][14][15] and then asked for further briefs on June 29; the re-argument was heard on September 9, 2009.[13]

Before the Supreme Court

During the original oral argument, Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm L. Stewart (representing the FEC) argued that under Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the government would have the power to ban books if those books contained even one sentence expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate and were published or distributed by a corporation or labor union.[16] In response to this line of questioning, Stewart further argued that under Austin the government could ban the digital distribution of political books over the Amazon Kindle or prevent a union from hiring a writer to author a political book.[17]

According to a 2012 article in The New Yorker by Jeffrey Toobin, the Court expected after oral argument to rule on the narrow question that had originally been presented: could Citizens United show the film? At the subsequent conference among the justices after oral argument, the vote was 5–4 in favor of Citizens United being allowed to show the film. The justices voted the same as they had in Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc., a similar 2007 case, with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito in the majority.[18]

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the initial opinion of the Court, holding that the BCRA allowed the showing of the film. A draft concurring opinion by Justice Kennedy argued that the court could and should have gone much further. The other justices in the majority began agreeing with Kennedy, and convinced Roberts to reassign the writing and allow Kennedy’s concurrence to become the majority opinion.[18]

On the other side, John Paul Stevens, the most senior justice in the minority, assigned the dissent to David Souter, who announced his retirement from the Court while he was working on it. The final draft went beyond critiquing the majority. Toobin described it as “air[ing] some of the Court’s dirty laundry,” writing that Souter’s dissent accused Roberts of having manipulated Court procedures to reach his desired result – an expansive decision that, Souter claimed, changed decades of election law and ruled on issues neither party to the litigation had presented.[18]

According to Toobin, Roberts was concerned that Souter’s dissent, likely to be his last opinion for the Court, could “damage the Court’s credibility.” He agreed with the minority to withdraw the opinion and schedule the case for reargument. However, when he did, the “Questions Presented” to the parties were more expansive, touching on the issues Kennedy had identified. According to Toobin, the eventual result was therefore a foregone conclusion from that point on.[18] Toobin’s account has been criticized for drawing conclusions unsupported by the evidence in his article.[19]

On June 29, 2009, the last day of the term, the Court issued an order directing the parties to re-argue the case on September 9 after briefing whether it might be necessary to overrule Austin and/or McConnell v. Federal Election Commission to decide the case.[20] Justice Stevens noted in his dissent that in its prior motion for summary judgment Citizens United had abandoned its facial challenge of BCRA §203, with the parties agreeing to the dismissal of the claim.[21]

Justice Sotomayor sat on the bench for the first time during the second round of oral arguments. This was the first case argued by then-Solicitor General and future Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. Former Bush Solicitor General Ted Olson and First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams argued for Citizens United, and former Clinton Solicitor General Seth Waxman defended the statute on behalf of various supporters.[22] Legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky called it “one of the most important First Amendment cases in years”.[23]

Opinions of the Court

Majority opinion

Justice Kennedy, the author of the Court’s opinion.

Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion[24] found that the BCRA §203 prohibition of all independent expenditures by corporations and unions violated the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. The majority wrote, “If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.”[25]

Justice Kennedy’s opinion also noted that because the First Amendment does not distinguish between media and other corporations, the BCRA restrictions improperly allowed Congress to suppress political speech in newspapers, books, television, and blogs.[4] The Court overruled Austin, which had held that a state law that prohibited corporations from using treasury money to support or oppose candidates in elections did not violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court also overruled that portion of McConnell that upheld BCRA’s restriction of corporate spending on “electioneering communications”. The Court’s ruling effectively freed corporations and unions to spend money both on “electioneering communications” and to directly advocate for the election or defeat of candidates (although not to contribute directly to candidates or political parties).

The majority ruled that the Freedom of the Press clause of the First Amendment protects associations of individuals in addition to individual speakers, and further that the First Amendment does not allow prohibitions of speech based on the identity of the speaker. Corporations, as associations of individuals therefore, have free speech rights under the First Amendment. Because spending money is essential to disseminating speech, as established in Buckley v. Valeo, limiting a corporation’s ability to spend money is unconstitutional because it limits the ability of its members to associate effectively and to speak on political issues.

The decision overruled Austin because that decision allowed different restrictions on speech-related spending based on corporate identity. Additionally, the decision said that Austinwas based on an “equality” rationale – trying to equalize speech between different speakers – that the Court had previously rejected as illegitimate under the First Amendment in Buckley. The Michigan statute at issue in Austin had distinguished between corporate and union spending, prohibiting the former while allowing the latter. The Austin Court, over the dissent by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and O’Connor, had held that such distinctions were within the legislature’s prerogative. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, however, the majority argued that the First Amendment purposefully keeps the government from interfering in the “marketplace of ideas” and “rationing” speech, and it is not up to the legislatures or the courts to create a sense of “fairness” by restricting speech.[24]

The majority also criticized Austin’s reasoning that the “distorting effect” of large corporate expenditures constituted a risk of corruption or the appearance of corruption. Rather, the majority argued that the government had no place in determining whether large expenditures distorted an audience’s perceptions, and that the type of “corruption” that might justify government controls on spending for speech had to relate to some form of “quid pro quo” transaction: “There is no such thing as too much speech.”[24] The public has a right to have access to all information and to determine the reliability and importance of the information. Additionally, the majority did not believe that reliable evidence substantiated the risk of corruption or the appearance of corruption, and so this rationale did not satisfy strict scrutiny.

The Court’s opinion relied heavily on the reasoning and principles of the landmark campaign finance case of Buckley and First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, in which the Court struck down a broad prohibition against independent expenditures by corporations in ballot initiatives and referenda.[24] Specifically, the Court echoed Bellotti’s rejection of categories based on a corporation’s purpose. The majority argued that to grant Freedom of the Press protections to media corporations, but not others, presented a host of problems; and so all corporations should be equally protected from expenditure restrictions.

The Court found that BCRA §§201 and 311, provisions requiring disclosure of the funder, were valid as applied to the movie advertisements and to the movie itself.[24] The majority ruled for the disclosure of the sources of campaign contributions, saying that

…prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters. Shareholders can determine whether their corporation’s political speech advances the corporation’s interest in making profits, and citizens can see whether elected officials are “in the pocket” of so-called moneyed interests…This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.[26][27]

Concurrences

Chief Justice Roberts, with whom Justice Alito joined, wrote separately “to address the important principles of judicial restraint and stare decisis implicated in this case”.[28]

Roberts wrote to further explain and defend the Court’s statement that “there is a difference between judicial restraint and judicial abdication.” Roberts explained why the Court must sometimes overrule prior decisions. Had prior Courts never gone against stare decisis, for example, “segregation would be legal, minimum wage laws would be unconstitutional, and the Government could wiretap ordinary criminal suspects without first obtaining warrants”. Roberts’ concurrence recited a plethora of case law in which the court had ruled against precedent. Ultimately, Roberts argued that “stare decisis…counsels deference to past mistakes, but provides no justification for making new ones”.[28]

Justice Scalia joined the opinion of the Court, and wrote a concurring opinion joined by Justice Alito in full and by Justice Thomas in part. Scalia addressed Justice Stevens‘ dissent, specifically with regard to theoriginal understanding of the First Amendment. Scalia said Stevens’ dissent was “in splendid isolation from the text of the First Amendment…It never shows why ‘the freedom of speech’ that was the right of Englishmen did not include the freedom to speak in association with other individuals, including association in the corporate form.” He further considered the dissent’s exploration of the Framers’ views about the “role of corporations in society” to be misleading, and even if valid, irrelevant to the text. Scalia principally argued that the First Amendment was written in “terms of speech, not speakers” and that “Its text offers no foothold for excluding any category of speaker.”[29] Scalia argued that the Free Press clause was originally intended to protect the distribution of written materials and did not only apply to the media specifically. This understanding supported the majority’s contention that the Constitution does not allow the Court to separate corporations into media and non-media categories.[24]

Justice Thomas wrote a separate opinion concurring in all but the upholding of the disclosure provisions. In order to protect the anonymity of contributors to organizations exercising free speech, Thomas would have struck down the reporting requirements of BCRA §201 and §311 as well, rather than allowing them to be challenged only on a case-specific basis. Thomas’s primary argument was that anonymous free speech is protected and that making contributor lists public makes the contributors vulnerable to retaliation, citing instances of retaliation against contributors to both sides of a then recent California voter initiative. Thomas also expressed concern that such retaliation could extend to retaliation by elected officials. Thomas did not consider “as-applied challenges” to be sufficient to protect against the threat of retaliation.[30]

Dissent

Justice Stevens, the author of the dissenting opinion.

A dissenting opinion by Justice Stevens[31] was joined by Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, and Justice Sotomayor. To emphasize his unhappiness with the majority, Stevens read part of his 90-page dissent from the bench.[32] Stevens concurred in the Court’s decision to sustain BCRA’s disclosure provisions, but dissented from the principal holding of the Court. He argued that the Court’s ruling “threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution.” He added: “A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.”[33]

Stevens also argued that the Court addressed a question not raised by the litigants when it found BCRA §203 to be facially unconstitutional, and that the majority “changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law”.[24] He argued that the majority had expanded the scope beyond the questions presented by the appellant and that therefore a sufficient record for judging the case did not exist. Stevens argued that at a minimum the Court should have remanded the case for a fact-finding hearing, and that the majority did not consider other compilations of data, such as the Congressional record for justifying BCRA §203.

Stevens referenced a number of major cases to argue that the Court had long recognized that to deny Congress the power to safeguard against “the improper use of money to influence the result [of an election] is to deny to the nation in a vital particular the power of self protection”.[34] After recognizing that in Buckley v. Valeo the Court had struck down portions of a broad prohibition of independent expenditures from any sources, Stevens argued that nevertheless Buckley recognized the legitimacy of “prophylactic” measures for limiting campaign spending and found the prevention of “corruption” to be a reasonable goal for legislation. Consequently, Stevens argued that Buckley left the door open for carefully tailored future regulation.[24] Although the majority echoed many of the arguments in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Stevens argued that the majority opinion contradicted the reasoning of other campaign finance cases – in particular, Austin v. Michigan State Chamber of Commerce and McConnell v. Federal Election Commission – and found it telling that the majority, when citing such cases, referenced mainly dissenting opinions.

Stevens’ dissent specifically sought to address a number of the majority’s central arguments:

First, Stevens argued that the majority failed to recognize the possibility for corruption outside strict quid pro quo exchanges. He referenced facts from a previous BCRA challenge to argue that, even if the exchange of votes for expenditures could not be shown, contributors gain favorable political access from such expenditures.[24] The majority considered access to be insufficient justification for limiting speech rights.

Stevens, however, argued that in the past, even when striking down a ban on corporate independent expenditures, the Court “never suggested that such quid pro quo debts must take the form of outright vote buying or bribes” (Bellotti). Buckley, he said, also acknowledged that large independent expenditures present the same dangers as quid pro quo arrangements, although Buckley struck down limits on such independent expenditures. Using the record from a previous BCRA §203 challenge, he argued that independent expenditures were sometimes a factor in gaining political access and concluded that large independent expenditures generate more influence than direct campaign contributions.[24] Furthermore, Stevens argued that corporations could threaten Representatives and Senators with negative advertising to gain unprecedented leverage. Stevens supported his argument by citing Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co.,[35] where the Court held that $3 million in independent expenditures in a judicial race raised sufficient questions about a judge’s impartiality to require the judge to recuse himself in a future case involving the spender. Stevens argued that it was contradictory for the majority to ignore the same risks in legislative and executive elections, and argued that the majority opinion would exacerbate the problem presented in Caperton because of the number of states with judicial elections and increased spending in judicial races.

Second, Stevens argued that the majority did not place enough emphasis on the need to prevent the “appearance of corruption” in elections. Earlier cases, including Buckley and Bellotti, recognized the importance of public confidence in democracy. Stevens cited recent data indicating that 80% of the public view corporate independent expenditures as a method used to gain unfair legislative access.[24] Stevens predicted that if the public believes that corporations dominate elections, disaffected voters will stop participating.

Third, Stevens argued that the majority’s decision failed to recognize the dangers of the corporate form. Austin held that the prevention of corruption, including the distorting influence of a dominant funding sourc