Tag: Associated Press

Trump’s State of the Union: A deep dive into the stats
Unemployment

Trump’s State of the Union: A deep dive into the stats

More people are dying of drug overdoses.
As of Monday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 45 percent since Trump was elected and 34 percent since he took office.
Early statistics released by the FBI last week show declines in some violent crimes and increases in one category for the first six months of 2017, compared with the same period in 2016.
The unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in January 2017, the month Trump was sworn into office, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The economy added slightly more than 2 million jobs in Trump’s first year, a figure that is close to the 2.2 million jobs created during Obama’s final year in office.
In Trump’s first year in office, the national debt grew by $546.4 billion.
Within days of taking office in 2017, Trump pulled the U.S. out of a sweeping trade pact with 11 Pacific Rim nations.
That’s 11.6 percent higher than the $460.2 billion deficit recorded for the same period in 2016, the final year of Obama’s term.
The deficit in goods with China was $116.7 billion for the first 11 months of 2017, up 12.3 percent from the same period in 2016.
Drug overdose deaths have continued to climb.

Trump turns farmers into a sacrifice
Welfare

Trump turns farmers into a sacrifice

US President Donald Trump is hailing the Republican tax overhaul law during a pitch to rural America at a meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Incomes there are headed for their lowest level since 2006.
And farmers are going deep into debt to keep their heads above water.
President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint would only make things worse for U.S. agriculture.
The budget would do several things that would further hurt the farm economy.
One would cut what used to be called the food stamp program by 30 percent.
The more numerous urban reps would see little value in passing expensive bills serving farm country were it not for the food stamps that help their poor constituents.
The urban Congress won’t support a crop program without food stamps.” Side note to liberals: Please ignore the stupid food box idea cooked up by Trump’s Agriculture Department.
Flinchbaugh considered TPP the most lucrative deal for farmers in his lifetime.
“I’ve been predicting ag policy for 50 years,” Flinchbaugh noted.

The Trump budget’s crushing cruelty
Social Security Disability

The Trump budget’s crushing cruelty

House Democrats are slamming President Donald Trump’s proposed FY 2019 Budget, as well as his infrastructure proposal, with one Democrat saying “the American people got a pretty nasty valentine.”
(Feb. 14) AP On Monday, President Donald Trump released his proposed budget for 2019.
And the American people understand it,” Vermont’s independent senator, Bernie Sanders, said, railing against Charles and David Koch, the two billionaire industrialist brothers who have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into U.S. elections in order to promote their far-right agenda.
This is not a budget, as candidate Donald Trump talked about, that takes on the political establishment.
She explained on the “Democracy Now!” news hour: “Strike one was to actually transfer $1.3 trillion in wealth from working people and the poor to the wealthiest through the GOP tax scam.
To their credit, they are finally saying, in this budget, that those GOP tax cuts don’t pay for themselves, because they’re projecting these enormous deficits as a result of the tax cuts.
Strike two is that they’re essentially going to balloon the deficit, $7 trillion over 10 years, a trillion dollars next year alone.
A spending bill, passed with bipartisan support Feb. 9 in order to avoid a government shutdown, increased military spending, a Trump priority, as well as spending in domestic programs, which the Democrats wanted.
It also raised federal borrowing limits and spending caps.
Of course, these are the same people who said Trump had no chance of being elected.

SNAP cuts could hurt Montanans, groups say
Welfare

SNAP cuts could hurt Montanans, groups say

And, it serves more than 56,000 households in Montana.
She said decreasing funds given for food would mean people would have to use money from elsewhere, such as housing. “Sometimes people have a view of how many people it will affect and it’s not accurate.” Opportunities Inc., a private nonprofit help agency, helped 3,941 people in 2017 with food, Seaman said.
That’s a tremendous cost savings.” Kottel criticized that proposal as well.
“I support putting the ‘nutrition’ back into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, by emphasizing healthy foods like the Trump administration proposed for the healthy boxes program,” he said via email Thursday.
He said over the past few years, he has asked scores of grocery and convenience store clerks if they think Red Bull belongs in the food stamp program.
She said the proposal would require a government system to source and purchase foods, pack food boxes on a monthly basis, and then distribute those boxes to millions of American homes.
“SNAP allows participants to shop at their local grocery store and choose the foods that meet their family’s needs,” she said.
“Did they notice the other 10 people who bought hamburger to feed their family?
“I am closely reviewing the president’s budget proposal, but at the end of the day, the appropriate place to address SNAP and other important nutrition programs is through the Farm Bill,” he said.

Trump’s high-spending budget reverses longtime GOP dogma
Social Security Disability

Trump’s high-spending budget reverses longtime GOP dogma

The president’s spending outline for the first time acknowledges that the Republican tax overhaul passed last year would add billions to the deficit and not “pay for itself” as Trump and his Republican allies asserted.
If enacted as proposed, though no presidential budget ever is, the plan would establish an era of $1 trillion-plus yearly deficits.
That deal, which includes large increases for domestic programs, rendered Monday’s Trump plan for 10-year, $1.7 trillion cuts to domestic agencies such as the departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development even more unrealistic.
The White House used Monday’s event to promote its long-awaited plan to increase funding for infrastructure.
Trump also is proposing work requirements for several federal programs, including housing subsidies, food stamps and Medicaid. “The Trump budget proposal makes clear his desire to enact massive cuts to health care, anti-poverty programs and investments in economic growth to blunt the deficit-exploding impact of his tax cuts for millionaires and corporations,” said Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.
And that’s assuming Trump’s rosy economic predictions come true and Congress follows through — in an election year — with politically toxic cuts to social programs, farm subsidies and Medicare providers.
Last year Trump’s budget promised such ideas could generate a small budget surplus by 2027; now, his best-case scenario is for a $450 billion deficit that year, more than $300 billion of which can be traced to his December tax cut. “Not only will this tax plan pay for itself, but it will pay down debt,” Mnuchin declared in September.
They went nowhere last year.

Trump’s budget balloons deficits, cuts social safety net
Social Security Disability

Trump’s budget balloons deficits, cuts social safety net

The president’s spending outline for the first time acknowledges that the Republican tax overhaul passed last year would add billions to the deficit and not “pay for itself” as Trump and his Republican allies asserted.
If enacted as proposed, though no presidential budget ever is, the plan would establish an era of $1 trillion-plus yearly deficits.
That deal, which includes large increases for domestic programs, rendered Monday’s Trump plan for 10-year, $1.7 trillion cuts to domestic agencies such as the departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development even more unrealistic.
The White House used Monday’s event to promote its long-awaited plan to increase funding for infrastructure.
Trump also is proposing work requirements for several federal programs, including housing subsidies, food stamps and Medicaid. “The Trump budget proposal makes clear his desire to enact massive cuts to health care, anti-poverty programs and investments in economic growth to blunt the deficit-exploding impact of his tax cuts for millionaires and corporations,” said Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.
And that’s assuming Trump’s rosy economic predictions come true and Congress follows through — in an election year — with politically toxic cuts to social programs, farm subsidies and Medicare providers.
Last year Trump’s budget promised such ideas could generate a small budget surplus by 2027; now, his best-case scenario is for a $450 billion deficit that year, more than $300 billion of which can be traced to his December tax cut. “Not only will this tax plan pay for itself, but it will pay down debt,” Mnuchin declared in September.
They went nowhere last year.

Progress has stalled for African-Americans since the civil rights era
Unemployment

Progress has stalled for African-Americans since the civil rights era

AP Photo/Christian K. Lee 50 years since Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, many of the same problems are still plaguing African-American communities, despite meaningful change that has been made.
22% of black people are still in poverty — only down from 32% since 1968.
Martin Luther King though was ahead of his time in 1968 when he called for an end to unemployment, which is a controversial idea to this day.
The US is a very different place than it was 50 years ago.
In 1968, just 10% of whites lived below the poverty level, while nearly 34% of African-Americans did.
On May 28, 1968, one month after King’s assassination, the mass anti-poverty march took place.
Poverty is still too common in the US In 1968, 25 million Americans — roughly 13% of the population — lived below poverty level.
Today’s black poverty rate of 22% is almost three times that of whites.
And for every $100 in white family wealth, black families hold just $5.04.
Today, far more African-Americans graduate from college — 38% — than they did 50 years ago.

To Get Medicaid in Kentucky, Many Will Have to Work. Advocates for the Poor Say They Will Sue.
Welfare

To Get Medicaid in Kentucky, Many Will Have to Work. Advocates for the Poor Say They Will Sue.

WASHINGTON — Kentucky will be the first state to require many of its Medicaid recipients to work or face losing their benefits after the Trump administration approved its plan on Friday.
In addition to paid jobs, they could meet the requirement through volunteer work, job training, searching for a job, taking classes or caring for someone elderly or disabled.
According to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, 60 percent of working-age Medicaid recipients who aren’t disabled already have full- or part-time jobs.
Under its plan, Kentucky will also require many adults who aren’t elderly or disabled to pay premiums of $1 to $15 a month, depending on their income.
The Bevin administration has estimated that the plan will result in 100,000 fewer Medicaid recipients after five years and save $2.4 billion, mostly in federal Medicaid funds.
But Mr. Bevin couched the policy change as a moral rather than a fiscal decision, saying he did not care about the savings and saw it as an opportunity for Kentucky’s poor “not to be put into a dead-end entitlement trap but rather to be given a path forward and upward so they can do for themselves.” Advocates for Medicaid beneficiaries said they disagreed with the Trump administration’s assertion, in approving Kentucky’s plan, that work requirements were consistent with the goals of Medicaid because work could improve people’s health.
“They’ll be looking to advocates and enrollment assisters and their providers for answers, and at this point we don’t have any.” She added, “The idea that we are encouraging work and independence, then taking away the health care that makes people more employable and better able to function — none of this adds up to something that’s going to be good for Kentuckians or our economy.” But Hal Heiner, Kentucky’s Education and Workforce Development secretary, said during Mr. Bevin’s news conference that there was “an abundance of jobs” available to Medicaid recipients, as well as resources to prepare them.
“We have the jobs, we have the tuition resources, we have the job coaches in our career centers all across the state,” he said, “and now we’ll be able to connect the dots.” Other state officials said the state was building an IT system to track people’s compliance with the work and premium requirements and participation in activities, like taking the financial literacy course, that would earn them points toward dental and vision care.
Kentucky’s uninsured population has dropped more than almost any other state’s under the Affordable Care Act, and several studies have found significantly increased access to primary care, preventive screenings and care for chronic conditions there since the Medicaid expansion.
So I’m afraid the administration is not only going backward, but doing it for completely the wrong reasons.” Such opposing views were evident in comments people posted on Mr. Bevin’s Facebook page during his news conference, which was livestreamed there.

U.S. GDP rises 2.6% in 4Q
Unemployment

U.S. GDP rises 2.6% in 4Q

() U.S. economic growth unexpectedly slowed in the fourth quarter as the strongest pace of consumer spending in three years resulted in a surge in imports.
The economy grew at a 3.2 percent pace in the third quarter.
Strong domestic demand is part of a synchronized global rebound that includes the euro zone and Asia.
Economists expect annual GDP growth will hit the government’s 3 percent target this year, spurred in part by a weak dollar, rising oil prices and strengthening global economy.
That was the quickest pace in three years and followed a 2.2 percent rate of growth in the July-September quarter.
The saving rate dropped to 2.6 percent from 3.3 percent in the prior period.
The burst in consumer spending was satiated with imports, which grew at a 13.9 percent pace in the fourth quarter, the fastest since the third quarter of 2010, offsetting a rise in exports, which is being driven by dollar weakness.
The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding food and energy, rose at a 1.9 percent rate.
That was the quickest pace in more than a year and followed a 1.3 percent pace of increase in the third quarter.
Spending on equipment is likely to be underpinned in 2018 by the corporate income tax cuts and recent gains in crude oil prices.

Trump’s economy looks just like Obama’s, except for one important thing
Unemployment

Trump’s economy looks just like Obama’s, except for one important thing

Jobs, stocks and GDP are rising under Trump, just as they did under Obama.
In fact, by almost every measure, the performance of the economy under Trump is indistinguishable from Obama’s second term—save for one important metric that was disappointingly weak under Obama: business investment.
With that said, let’s take a look at several key measures of America’s economic performance under Obama and Trump, using the most recent available data.
Here’s how the Trump and Obama economies stack up: “I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created” – Donald Trump, Jan. 11, 2017 Jobs might have been the dominant plank in Trump’s election campaign, but employment was growing at a slightly quicker pace by this point in Obama’s second term.
In fact, those who report they “do not want a job” make up 95 per cent of Americans not in the labour force, leaving just five million who want a job but for whatever reason are not looking.
“I see no reason why we don’t go to 4, 5, even 6 percent (GDP)” – Donald Trump, Dec. 6, 2017 Trump likes to claim that growth under his presidency will skyrocket to levels not seen in decades.
The thing is, it’s difficult to know which measure of growth Trump will gauge his performance by—annual growth or quarterly growth at an annual rate.
He’s used them interchangeably as it suits him, either criticizing Obama for his slow growth by one measure (“On a yearly basis, as you know, the last administration, during an eight year period, never hit three percent” he said in August) or praising himself for growth by another (“Very little reporting about the GREAT GDP numbers announced yesterday… Best consecutive Q’s in years!” he tweeted in October).
Business investment matters because it’s a direct line from that to job growth and higher wages.
And throughout Obama’s second term, business investment as measured by manufacturers’ new orders declined.