7 months ago

Trump: good, bad for the economy - The Seattle Times

Merry Christmas to those 800 or so workers in Indiana who are keeping their jobs because our bold and different president-elect, Donald Trump, did some jawboning and more with an air- conditioning plant.

Stay here, he said as he growled about outsourcing work to Mexico, and the plant mostly did. It also happened to get about $7 million in tax breaks from the state government and still sent some 600 jobs to Mexico. It is no doubt hoping earlier bad publicity has been superseded by more recent and positive front-page impressions.

So unhappy New Year to those who lost out and to millions more who are going to get cheated out of jobs if reckless, intervening Trump should stick to punitive plans about other companies moving jobs across borders.

He wants to stick them with a 35 percent tariff on the products they ship back to America, and, of course, it is consumers who will pay that tax.

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To compensate for that tariff, the companies would have to raise prices, but it doesnt end there. A company outsourcing manufacturing work does so to stay profitable and maybe even expand. If it keeps those jobs here or takes them abroad and pays the tariff, the business could maybe struggle mightily, it might have to lay off more people, and it could be forced out of business.

If, on the other hand, Trump and Congress leave them alone, they may do well with their offshoring, create other jobs here that go to Americans and help the economy boom.

Trade in general serves us. The NAFTA agreement with Mexico and Canada, which has cost jobs, as Trump has said, has produced far more jobs, as he hasnt said. Our manufacturing sector is actually doing very well. The thing that has mostly caused fewer jobs is technology replacing humans.

Free markets work. They need rule of law to make them work, and some regulations are obviously necessary to keep the worst temptations in tow.

But too much governmental intervention through overregulation, high corporate taxes and wild and woolly trade interference keep the best from happening. Innovation is thwarted. Entrepreneurship is defeated. The economy gets hit with more costs.

Trump is on to this, at least in some ways. His plan is to deregulate where regulations smash enterprises. He wants to lower the corporate tax from the highest in the world 35 percent federal to 15 percent. That should unleash a vigorous new competitiveness that would spur job growth. Through such actions, Trump could lower the need for offshoring and provide his promised job growth.

What he must avoid is trade protectionism, which would raise prices and cost jobs and maybe even initiate a disastrous trade war. Trade would never happen if there were not mutual advantages.

We get something we want for our money thats the point of money and the dollars come back to us as purchases of Treasury bonds or investments, which also create jobs.

Imports, it ought to be remembered, keep products cheap. Because of cheap, Chinese-imported goods at Wal-Marts, consumers save literally billions of dollars, and prices, it ought to be kept in mind, are as important to purchasing power as wages. Wal-Mart is also the biggest private employer in the country, offering some 1.3 million jobs.

Those are jobs, of course, that do not pay much because they do not require intricate skills. Partly because of trade, there is nowhere near the demand for unskilled labor as there used to be, but the answer to that is not to eliminate jobs through coercive government pay demands, but to have more vocational training in high schools and to take advantage of community colleges.

Trumps bravado has its virtues but it should be focused on what works.

9 months ago

Donald Trump Vows to Create 25 Million Jobs Over Next Decade - New York Times

He partly rolled back his earlier proposals to reduce corporate taxation: Mr. Trump still proposes a 15 percent tax rate on corporate income, but it would no longer apply to business income reported on personal taxes, generally limiting the lower rate to the largest corporations. He also reduced a tax break that generated backlash because it would particularly benefit real estate developers.

Mr. Trump also now proposes to cut federal taxes by $4.4 trillion, not $10 trillion; he insists the plan would ultimately cost the government only $2.6 trillion in revenue, with the difference made up in economic growth.

Mr. Trump spoke loosely and plainly enjoyed himself, repeatedly teasin

12 months ago

Essential Politics: Obama and Clinton hit the campaign trail - Los Angeles Times

Im Christina Bellantoni, and after a quiet holiday weekend, Essential Politics is back with a jam-packed day ahead.

Thanks to John Myers for keeping the newsletter lively while I was on vacation in Europe. And as much as I attempted to escape politics for a few days, I quickly found that wouldnt be possible.

The Brexit vote was announced the first day of the trip, and I saw reverberations everywhere I went. In three countries and talking to dozens of people, I met just one person who supported the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, while the others were devastated and still a little shell-shocked.

Sure, there were jokes the trip would be more affordable gi

1 year ago

Gulf of Mexico a short-term bright spot for oil

WASHINGTON, April 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Gulf of Mexico may return as the primary source of additions to crude oil production as onshore production fades, a federal report finds.

A short-term market report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration finds production will decline in most of the Lower 48 states and Alaska because of the pressure from lower crude oil prices, which the report said should stay below $40 per barrel through the first half of 2017.

Onshore declines, the report said, should be offset by gains in the Gulf of Mexico in part because the offshore areas are less sensitive to short-term volatility in crude oil prices.

"Several projects in the Gulf of Mexico that began operations or that will begin operations in 2014-16 will increase [regional] production from an average of 1.5 million barrels per day in 2015 to 1.9 million bpd in the fourth quarter of 2017," the report said.

EIA estimates output from the Gulf of Mexico will account for about 20 percent of total U.S. crude oil production by next year. Total U.S. crude oil production, meanwhile, declines from the 9.1 million bpd expected during the first quarter of the year to an average 7.9 million bpd by third quarter 2017.

Eight fields started production in the Gulf of Mexico last year. Four are expected to enter into operations in 2016, with the Heidelberg field already producing as of January.

The short-term market report said pressure from lower crude oil prices means companies are scaling back their investment programs, which should hurt output from onshore basins. Production since April 2015 has declined by about 700,000 barrels per day.

"The entire production decline came from Lower 48 onshore," the report said.

The Gulf of Mexico, however, is not immune from the pressure from lower crude oil prices. Few bidders emerged during a March auction for new acreage in the region, with no bids received for eastern parts of the area. Federal authorities said weak market conditions had "obviously" affected the industry's short-term investment decisions.

Overall, the EIA said it expects some level of recovery by late 2017 as oil prices are expected to hold above the $40 per barrel mark.

2 years ago

Dick Cheney Marble Bust Unveiled at Capitol - Daily Beast

A marble bust of former Vice President Dick Cheney was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday morning. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and former President George W. Bush turned out to honor Cheney as he was enshrined at the Capitol Visitor Centers Emancipation Hall. Vice President Joe Biden introduced Cheney, who gave prepared remarks on his tenure as the 46th vice president.

2 years ago

Historic climate deal is expected in Paris - Sacramento Bee

The international conference on climate change that opens here Monday is widely expected to produce a historic agreement among nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say cause global warming.

Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, said Saturday that 183 countries accounting for nearly 95 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions have submitted plans for how they would reduce emissions.

"This," said Fabius, speaking to reporters at the tightly secured summit venue, "is radically new."

Yet for all the potential for Paris to deliver a transformative and unifying moment - with diverse leaders gathering in a city shaken by recent terrorist attacks i

2 years ago

Before The Pope Met With Kim Davis, He Met With A Gay Couple

Pope Francis waves to schoolchildren after arriving at the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican's diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24. Cliff Owen/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Cliff Owen/AP Pope Francis waves to schoolchildren after arriving at the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican's diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24. Pope Francis waves to schoolchildren after arriving at the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican's diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24.

Cliff Owen/AP

Pope Francis had a private meeting in Washington, D.C., with a gay couple a day before he met with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who spent time in jail last month for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Yayo Grassi, Francis' longtime friend from Argentina, spoke about the meeting during an interview with CNN. Grassi says that he and his partner, Iwan Bagus, and several others met with the pontiff at the Vatican Embassy on Sept. 23.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports:

"Grassi was a student of the pope when Francis taught in Argentina in the 1960s. He came with his partner. He says the pope has long known that he's gay but has never condemned him.

"Grassi says he believes the pope was misled into meeting Kim Davis, who has hailed her encounter as an endorsement of her defiance of US laws and refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses."

As we reported Friday morning, the Vatican has issued a statement on the meeting with Davis, saying it "should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects." It said the pontiff met with dozens of people at the embassy, but that "the only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family."

Bagus created a video of the encounter that shows Francis hugging and chatting with Grassi and the others.