Bears and Bulls (Open Thread)

"Fearless Girl" sculpture on Wall Street

Senator Warren published a new Medium post this morning warning that we’re heading toward another economic crash. She was right about the 2008 crash — starting five years before it happened — and she was correct about the reasons we were headed toward a cliff back then, namely “shady subprime lending, rising household debt, a mortgage market where lenders didn’t bear the risk of their loans.”

In today’s post, Warren summarizes the signs that she finds troubling about the current economy, including rising household debt, leveraged corporate debt, a manufacturing sector that is already in recession according the the fed’s own numbers, and Trump’s feckless handling of the trade dispute with China as well as the idiotic way Trump “is goading the U.K. toward a no-deal Brexit.”

Warren also outlines the steps she would take to avert a crash, aligning them with her campaign pitch, which includes student debt cancellation, raising the minimum wage, eliminating the congressional debt ceiling, a green manufacturing plan, etc.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays politically, if it garners notice at all. The conventional wisdom is that low unemployment and stock market enthusiasm will be huge strengths for Trump going into 2020. He certainly thinks so — “economy” might be a shorter leg than “racism” and “xenophobia” on the Trump 2020 campaign stool, but it’s definitely being deployed daily to carry part of the load.

I don’t know squat about economics, but Warren has earned trust on the topic, IMO. From a purely political perspective, maybe it’s smart to attack Trump on one of his so-called strengths. He’s as ignorant about economics as he is on every other topic, so he’ll be unable to coherently counter any points Warren raises beyond the usual moronic name-calling and self-aggrandizement.

Warren (and other Democratic candidates) also keys in on something a lot of pols and pundits miss when she says the stock market and GDP numbers Trump is always crowing about “don’t reflect the lived experiences of most Americans.” I think that’s true, and I’m glad Warren is pushing back in a highly specific way.

What do you think?






185 replies
  1. 1
    SenyorDave says:

    The economy is definitely Warren’s strong suit. Because of that she is my preferred candidate, but I’m not sure she can fire people up like Harris can. I also think Trump would dread debating Harris, a very smart woman of color (everything Trump loathes).
    If we are going to have a recession please let it happen under Trump.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    In case you don’t understand the demographics of Prince George’s County, not only does it have a large Black population. That population is among the most educated in all the United States. Telling a room full of Black Professionals that they should be happy for a warehouse?

    “ They were not the ones.”

    Interesting dynamic at play now with Amazon in metro DC. Majority-black Prince George’s was only area applicant not named finalist for HQ2, which ended up in wealthy, majority-white Arlington. Now, Amazon is eyeing Pr George’s for a huge warehouse instead. https://t.co/ytOOmSkQzO
    — Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) July 19, 2019

    ………………………………..

    Fleming at one point said the logistics center could be a source of second jobs for Westphalia residents, or employment for their young-adult children. The suggestion sparked an uproar.
    “Oh no,” one woman shouted.
    “Second jobs?” another asked incredulously.
    Chinonye Whitley, who works at the National Science Foundation, cradled her infant son in her arms, listening.
    “I don’t want my children to work there,” she said. “We have computer scientists and engineers — we have tech capacity — and there is a real lack of minority representation in STEM fields. But the only thing Amazon is offering us is a warehouse?”

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Marvel Announces Blade Reboot With Mahershala Ali. Black Twitter Catches the Holy Ghost

    Michael Harriot
    Yesterday 10:58am

    Marvel rocked the annual gathering of people who read cartoon books and dress up in capes on Saturday, revealing that Mahershala Ali will star in the reboot of the greatest black superhero movie since Meteor Man when the Oscar-winning actor assumes the role of the iconic vampire daywalker in Blade.

    The announcement from Marvel Studios came during its panel at the San Diego Comic-Con International, Variety reports. After Marvel studio chief Kevin Feige introduced the stars and revealed the titles of the company’s upcoming slate of movies, the Disney-owned studio surprised the audience by bringing out Mahershala Ali to thunderous applause that may or may not have included a few nerd orgasms. The award-winning thespian embraced the other actors onstage, including Tom Hiddleston, who plays the role of Loki in the Thor series and serves as the Asgard ambassador to Wakanda.

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    Miss Michigan Loses Crown Because of Racist, Islamophobic Tweets

    Michael Harriot
    Yesterday 2:56pm

    MAGA Twitter is enraged at officials of the oldest international beauty pageant for dethroning a beauty queen after racist and Islamophobic tweets surfaced on the Twitter account of a Trump supporter and reigning Miss Michigan.

    Organizers of the Miss World America pageant dismissed Michigan winner Kathy Zhu for what they called “offensive, insensitive and inappropriate”social media content, according to a letter and texts from the organization posted to Twitter by Zhu, whom the Detroit Free Press called “a well-known political commentator and online figure.”

    Think Progress reports that the 20-year-old serves as the vice president of the University of Michigan chapter of the College Republicans and communications director for the Chinese Americans for Trump Movement, while Zhu’s Twitter account reports that the Zhu is kinda racist.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Aziz, light! says:

    I think that voters will not be moved an inch by warnings, no matter how astute.

  7. 7
    sdhays says:

    @Aziz, light!: I agree. But if the “lived experience” of a lot of Americans does not see a strong economy, or if the economy tanks by November 2020 (very possible), it will move the needle.

  8. 8
    Felanius Kootea says:

    I think Warren is setting the terms for the debate with Trump, even if she isn’t the nominee. I love her for it and I hope the others are paying attention.

    Please [insert deity here] don’t let the nominee be Biden.

  9. 9
    Brachiator says:

    Very interesting play on Warren’s part, but risky. A lot of economic indicators will be released this week. Unemployment, GDP, etc. If they are positive, Trump will take credit. Warren is stealing some of Trump’s thunder in advance. I like it.

    There may be severe problems down the road, but people vote based on what things are like now, not what things may be like 5 years from now. So I don’t know if this gains votes.

    Warren (and other Democratic candidates) also keys in on something a lot of pols and pundits miss when she says the stock market and GDP numbers Trump is always crowing about “don’t reflect the lived experiences of most Americans.”

    These are the numbers that everyone uses, not just Trump. The obvious question is what indices should the government use. Or what more closely tracks lived experience. Also, consumer confidence is high, based on standard measures. I get what Warren is saying here, and it may resonate with some voters, but it is also easy to rebut her on this.

    Overall, though, I applaud her for attacking a supposed Trump strong point.

    Also, Trump’s economic team is weak, bordering on Incompetent.

  10. 10
    Ohio Mom says:

    @rikyrah: I know PG County and yes, that is an incredibly tone-deaf offer. Made me chuckle/snort at how ludicrous an idea to pitch a warehouse there.

    Now on to Betty’s post. I also am no economist but I have been wondering how long until the economy starts to sputter. I really, really, really don’t want to relive 2008 again, especially since Ohio Dad still hasn’t found a job since his April layoff.

    Dear powers of the iniverse, if there has to be a down turn, at least time it to hurt Trump and the rest of those @&$(;/!!! Republicans.

  11. 11
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    I don’t understand how Trump gets good marks for the economy. The stock market isn’t the economy. It doesn’t seem that great to me and it doesn’t work for most of America. Most people can’t scrounge up $400 on short notice. That’s a problem.

    And honestly? At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I don’t trust the data coming from the Department of Labor

  12. 12
    Brachiator says:

    @rikyrah:

    Think Progress reports that the 20-year-old serves as the vice president of the University of Michigan chapter of the College Republicans and communications director for the Chinese Americans for Trump Movement

    There’s your problem right there. Might as well have a MAGA hat and Deplorable tattoo.

  13. 13
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:
    I think it’s possible the economic numbers being put out by the Trump admin could be fake. I mean, why not? He lies all the time and he corrupts everything he touches

  14. 14
    matt says:

    Being right too early isn’t rewarded in this country.

  15. 15
    Badgirl says:

    Long time lurker and reliable prognosticator of nothing. That said I believe we are actually already entering a recession. If the Fed cuts rates on the 30th look for this to be a serious one. The economy is currently the only thing keeping the shitgibbon’s approval rating above 27%.

  16. 16
    Mike in DC says:

    I do agree that we will have another recession either next year or early in the next presidential term. If it happens next year, Warren is one of the best candidates to put forward vs Trump.

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    I don’t understand how Trump gets good marks for the economy.

    He lies about it, then other people repeat his lies. Also, remember how the economy went from “sucks” to “great balls afire” within 24 hours of *trump’s inauguration*? And the rubes accepted it without question?

    I read recently that in Obama’s last 29 months more jobs were created (by 850 K) than in trump’s first 29 months. So by that metric the economy has been worse since trump took over but you couldn’t convince any Republican.

    ** in truth they were crowing about the economy improving within 24 hrs of the election, saying business had renewed confidence because trump would do what was right

  18. 18
    wmd says:

    I was at my 40 year high school reunion. One of my classmates took out a decent Republican state representative, replacing a man of conscience with a reliable Republican Party hack… because I had also run for legislature he wanted to talk (I ran as an independent ).

    I asked him what he was doing about the president . He said he just looks at his brokerage statement and is happy. I pointed out that this is just trend from 2010 and compounding… meanwhile we have crimes against humanity redefining our nation and how can he be complicit in causing innocent children’s suffering… then brought up my fathers WWII experience doing psychological testing of personnel at death camps to hammer home the evil that is acceptable to him because he’s happy with trendline growth.

    Needless to say he didn’t want to talk further.

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    And honestly? At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I don’t trust the data coming from the Department of Labor

    Let me stop you right there. The Trump administration puts spin on economic numbers, but right now, even they are not so stupid as to try to cook the books. This would be a disaster. Argentina manipulated economic statistics between 2007 and 2015 and it hurt them badly. Consumers didn’t believe the government. Investors hedged their bets big time. A cascade of problems.

    China may be fudging some numbers and this definitely affects capital investment. But China is still more of a closed economy, and control is more important than the truth.

  20. 20
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @Brachiator:

    There’s your problem right there. Might as well have a MAGA hat and Deplorable tattoo.

    How do you know she doesn’t?

  21. 21
    Another Scott says:

    Relatedly, Susan Collins is disappointed..

    Brilliant.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  22. 22
    MattF says:

    Honestly, predicting a recession is like predicting that when you let go of a rock, it will fall. The unanswered and unanswerable questions are ‘How soon?’ and ‘How bad will it be?’– in particular, how far will the stock market fall? Given that Trump and his cronies have weakened the various systemic safety measures that were introduced as a result of the 2008 crash– I’d guess ‘Sooner than you’d expect’ and ‘Worse than you’d expect’ will be the answers. But these are guesses.

  23. 23
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:

    but right now, even they are not so stupid as to try to cook the books.

    Facts not in evidence.

    Argentina manipulated economic statistics between 2007 and 2015 and it hurt them badly. Consumers didn’t believe the government. Investors hedged their bets big time. A cascade of problems.

    That could still be the end result of all of Trump’s corruption and constant lying even if they’re not cooking the books

  24. 24
    trollhattan says:

    @SenyorDave:
    Confess I cringe at the thought of Trump’s adoring hordes chanting “Send her home” in a Trump v. Harris election. Tempered considerably by the thought of her handing him his ginormous ass in the debates. Can you just picture her response to his wandering over to loom behind her?

  25. 25
    TomatoQueen says:

    @rikyrah: Particularly when Amazon has made all kinds of promises to both local and state entities in VA to gain approval for this boondoggle that require creation of advanced STEM education facilities connected to Virginia Tech, which is already a functioning higher ed presence in both Northern VA and well South. The neighborhood that will be most adversely affected by Amazon landing in Arlington with a thud is not, however, wealthy white Arlington, but rather the Hispanic/Central American neighborhood of Arlandria, which is well established and on the edge of Arlington/Alexandria, so it draws and contributes to both, especially in terms of affordable housing. The loss of affordable housing since 9/11 in the NoVa area has been particularly acute but all areas have suffered, and prices are already spiraling. This has always been a crazy property market–was absolutely nuts in the 70s when I was just starting out–and it still is. And PG county, on the other side of the river and with lack of direct road access, is always coming in 3rd in any competition of this kind. So a warehouse? Fuck off Bezos…again.

  26. 26
    sherparick says:

    @Brachiator: I think she does. She definitely has an instinct for the right-wing grift.

  27. 27
    BR says:

    Time to hit the phones everyone — the Dem leadership is putting forward a bad debt ceiling deal that is the opposite of what Warren is writing about, one where the GOP gets what they want now and can use this as a threat to a Dem president in the future:

    Wait, Dems are going to clear the decks on government funding and debt ceiling for the remainder of Trump's term, forfeiting all leverage, but set up a major crisis point for Republicans in the first summer of a potential Dem presidents' term? This seems like a very bad idea. https://t.co/dKwFKilPyT— Adam Jentleson 🎈🐢 (@AJentleson) July 22, 2019

    (I accidentally posted this in the old thread.)

  28. 28

    @rikyrah: I used to live in PG county. My aerobics class was run by the CoS of the the Maryland senator, was majority black and many of those women, were Congressional staff or worked for the Federal government lobbying/defense contractor firms.

  29. 29
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I know. I just look around, and my impression is that a significant chunk of the country, somewhere between a third and a half, are in poverty or just barely holding on.

    Last year I was in Cedar Point and I looked around and wondered how something like this would be possible without a broad, prosperous middle class; how capitalism as we know it would be possible without the middle class.

    With the shrinking of the middle class I could see amusements parks like Cedar Point, for example, close down. The financial base just wouldn’t be there any longer. Same with car manufacturers, although they would have better odds of staying in business

  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    but right now, even they are not so stupid as to try to cook the books.

    Facts not in evidence.

    No, you don’t understand the evidence. There are standards in place to verify the reliability of government data. You would have to have a big ass operation to screw with the numbers and it could be discovered fairly easily. The Argentina crap was detected fairly easily.

    This is why it is ridiculously easy to rebut Trump administration spin on economic data.

    That could still be the end result of all of Trump’s corruption and constant lying even if their not cooking the books

    A lot of shit “could be,” but ain’t.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Trump gets credit for the economy mainly in corporate media, where they crow about the stock market and length of the expansion. I’ve seen polls that say and plurality of voters give Obama administration credit for the economy more than Trump. Which makes sense even for low info voters, because Trump made a lot of populist promises about what he would do to reduce economic hardship for people (reduce drug prices for example, and eliminate losses in manufacturing employment since 2001 recession, and boost wages). But people see nothing in the news (edit: except pundit babble about the stock market), and nothing in their real lives because the Trumpsters have done absolutely nothing except the rich man’s tax cut. The GOP made huge promises for the tax cut to ordinary wage earners, but the tax cut was so poorly designed, the rationale so absurd, that nothing has happened.

  32. 32
    Barbara says:

    @Another Scott: That ad just so perfectly embodies who Collins is. What possible case does she have to keep being a senator in a party that consistently screws over her constituents?

  33. 33
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @MattF: I’ve been told by two friends who are bank analysts that the recession been going for a year now. I think we aren’t noticing it because of massive skilled labor shortage, all the low end jobs that get hit the worst are off shored now and 2007 was pretty extreme because of Bubbles Greenspan 37 years of debt games so we’re all used to something worse. .

  34. 34
    sherparick says:

    @TomatoQueen: Also, no matter where you put this think in the National Capital Region (NoVA, DC and the Maryland counties that surround D.C and extend to Baltimore and Annapolis), it will had to an already nightmarish traffic situation. If they have to do it, I would suggest the City of Baltimore itself, still a terrific port and with terrific railroad as well as highways that are less traffic bound then roads around D.C.and Prince Georges County.

  35. 35
    Citizen Alan says:

    @wmd:

    You should have asked him if he considered himself a Christian and, if yes, then asked him about why he chose Mammon over God.

  36. 36
    James E Powell says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    I don’t understand how Trump gets good marks for the economy.

    The public information about the economy and especially the way that information is reported is completely dominated by right-wing, pro-corporate, pro-ruling class people. Just look at how reporting on the debt & deficit works. When Clinton became president, it was a matter of national survival. Then when he balances the budget, a balanced budget was no longer important, maybe even a bad thing. Bush gets elected, no more stories about debt/deficit as a problem. Obama gets elected, once again a matter of national survival. Republican gets elected, nobody talks about it.

  37. 37
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Some of “how do people feel about the economy” stuff comes from tribalism but also just propaganda. Despite the fact that more and more people are falling underwater, there’s also a great deal of “Well, the GDP is doing well! Or my stocks are good! Unemployment is low!” without any further consideration. It helps that Fox and the right have a huge propaganda network to push this idea.

    But really, if you’re not paying attention that you can think “the economy” is in good shape. And there’s a lot of people who are invested in the idea that the economy must be doing great under Republican presidents and after things like the tax cuts.

  38. 38
    mad citizen says:

    I just hope the recession holds off a few weeks. I’m meeting with a retirement advisor Wed and look to let them manage my stuff (offered thru my work). I met in Jan but the market was down then so didn’t want to go from stocks to bonds. Want to readjust now before the crash.

    Regardless of a crash, to change the 1992 mantra: It’s not the economy stupid. Economy is doing well yet T is underwater as he always has been. Just a matter of getting people to vote.

  39. 39
    mad citizen says:

    @James E Powell: Truth! Well said.

  40. 40
    Brachiator says:

    OT, Tom Hanks as Mr Rogers is coming November 19

    https://youtu.be/oWWCqes85gQ

    Fred Rogers Emmy Award speech, 1997, Lifetime Achievement Award

    https://youtu.be/3jMeby5ZIJs

    More beautiful days are coming

  41. 41
    BR says:

    @jl:

    There’s definitely going to be a recession in the next ~2 years, and it’s just a question of whether it happens now or later. If the house is allowed to go forward with the bad debt ceiling deal they are making, then the debt ceiling can be used by the GOP to crash the economy under the potential Dem president in 2021. We need to make them permanently eliminate the debt ceiling (by making automatic) as part of this deal and need to call our reps to make that happen.

  42. 42
    laura says:

    I’ve trusted Warren on the economy since she published The Two Income Trap in 2004, and it was in line with Molly Ivins’ Doug Jones Index. We need a virtuous cycle of dollars turning over in every community, not just silicon valley and NYC.

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @BR:

    are going to clear the decks on government funding and debt ceiling for the remainder of Trump’s term, forfeiting all leverage

    This sounds good to me. Prevents Trump from taking America hostage between now and his departure.

  44. 44
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @jl:
    All of that’s true. I’ve seen those polls and it makes a ton of sense that a majority of voters would credit Obama over Trump. All the guy is good at is grifting and being a cruel SOB.

    I think Trump’s core support comes from culture war bullshit and a cult of personality surrounding him. It disturbs me that so many people care more about “owning the libs” and hurting people than about the actual economy and how it might affect them

    I suppose that tracks with election results in Europe. Social democratic parties in Europe have lost tons of power while Green parties have gained more ground.

  45. 45
    BR says:

    @mad citizen:

    Sell everything now. It’s not guaranteed that it will crash tomorrow, but most metrics show it’s way overstretched to a point not seen outside of 1929 and 2007:

    https://www.hussmanfunds.com/comment/observations/obs190714/

  46. 46

    @Brachiator:

    These are the numbers that everyone uses, not just Trump.

    These are the numbers everyone in the news media uses, but many voters go by their lived experience rather than the government’s numbers. If, as Warren and many other Democrats believe, the economy isn’t working for a lot of people, those people for whom it isn’t working well are likely to vote on that rather than the headline unemployment numbers.

  47. 47
    BR says:

    @Baud:

    I’m not sure I understand. Why not agree to raise the debt ceiling now but also forever? That has the same short term effect plus helps in the long term for a future Dem president. (This is exactly what Warren is advocating.)

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @BR:

    There’s only so much you can squeeze out of Republicans. And my guess it would become a talking point for the GOP to blame Dems for the debt.

  49. 49
    jl says:

    I support Warren, I think she believes this, but I don’t see a crash. Economic forecasting is hard, and no one has a record much better than a coin flip. I think there is a high probability of an economic slowdown, or a growth recession, before 2020, more than 50-50 of a recession, but I don’t know how much higher.

    I don’t believe the corporate debt issue is important. Household debt and manufacturing slowdown may become a problem. Warren doesn’t mention slow down in global economic growth outside the US, lack of demand (related to household debt), residential construction and maintenance sector that has been dysfunctional since the recession, and the increasingly dysfunctional and counter product Trump rich person’s tax cut.

    We certainly have signs of coming slowdown Two months of inversion in 10-year 3 month bond yields, big slow down in manufacturing investment (which was supposed to explode with Trump tax cut), stalling prime age employment population ratio, increasing thinness in stock market performance (Just four tech companies accounted for 20 percent of stock market returns this year), and expected disappointing quarterly corporate earning reports (we’ll see how that turns out). Also, troubling signs that the Trump tax cut is noticeably reducing National Income (as opposed to Gross Domestic Product), due to its complete failure to increase investment in goods and services industry, and the fact that it cause a big flow of revenue to foreign investors.

    So, that is quite a list for an upcoming economic slowdown. If a slowdown or recession occurs, I think it will be felt more than in the past. Trumpster executive policies have damaged historical functioning of automatic stabilizers. Policy efforts to cushion the blow may depend solely on Fed monetary policy, but they have less ammunition in terms of nominal rate cuts than in previous postwar recessions (and will have even less if they do a rate cut, which many forecasters don’t see doing much). Trumpsters may have some plan to funnel fiscal stimulus to areas where their base is strong, but I doubt it, they’ve done nothing but screw them so far. Trumpsters probably have no fiscal plan for a slowdown other than to desperately try to shovel more money to very rich people, which won’d do much.

  50. 50
    Mandalay says:

    @Betty Cracker

    The conventional wisdom is that low unemployment and stock market enthusiasm will be huge strengths for Trump going into 2020.

    I don’t know about low unemployment, but the stock market is possibly the biggest single factor influencing swing voters because it is directly tied to the value of their 401k, and other investments.

    Russian influence, caged immigrants, racism and corruption count for nothing to those who check their 401k every day.

    If you could wave a magic wand and do just one thing (where nobody gets physically hurt) to cause Trump to lose the next election, get the stock market to drop steadily for the next 15 months. (Adding a dollar to the price of a gallon of gas would be the cherry on the ice cream sundae.)

  51. 51
    L85NJGT says:

    Some sectors are already in recession. Transport volume has been planing down for awhile now. As I said below, It’s a broad leading indicator, and just a matter of time till it catches up to your sector and region.

    The coal industry, and coal mining regions never recovered from the last recession, and are looking at end times.

  52. 52
    BR says:

    @Baud:

    They’re going to blame Dems for the debt the first day the next Dem is president. I was surprised to see Mayor Pete of all people make a similar point yesterday — they’re going to say the next Dem is socialist (and blame them for the debt) regardless of the policies or reality.

  53. 53

    @jl: What do you think of Raj Chetty’s work?

  54. 54
    Brachiator says:

    @James E Powell:

    The public information about the economy and especially the way that information is reported is completely dominated by right-wing, pro-corporate, pro-ruling class people.

    There have been a lot of excellent analyses showing that the tax cuts have been a big did. These reports use non partisan government data. Are these also pro-corporate, pro-ruling class lies?

    But I get what you say when the GOP lies or changes their story and that some of the media stupidly regurgitate GOP lies.

  55. 55
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @MisterForkbeard:
    Truth

    But really, if you’re not paying attention that you can think “the economy” is in good shape. And there’s a lot of people who are invested in the idea that the economy must be doing great under Republican presidents and after things like the tax cuts.

    Yeah. Still, I’m not sure that idea will survive Trump. The latest tax cut was extremely unpopular

  56. 56
    West of the Rockies says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The only thing Trump should get credit for is the vague odor of fried eggs in any room he enters. Oh, and he should get credit for making racism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, and toxic masculinity popular.

    Warren or Harris. Harris or Warren.

  57. 57
    jl says:

    @BR: Thanks. I forgot about the GOP’s insane plan to cut spending in return for increase in debt ceiling. That would be the worst possible policy to avoid an economic slowdown. Completely insane. The Trumpsters and the GOP are insane and completely incompetent, in addition to be malicious.

  58. 58
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:
    Fair enough

  59. 59
    artem1s says:

    Trump gets high marks for the rising S&P and Dow averages. Forget that this administration is using the same tools to keep the stock prices going up that W’s administration used. Artificially plugging new money into the market to keep the buyers above the sellers can only last so long. Corporations made no secret that they were going to take their tax break and use it to buy up their own stock. Most people I know who have 401K’s are assuming that they will never see that money but they are still using the tax break and contributing. Those who are living off their 401K’s have to divest a certain percent every year. Pretty soon the baby boomers are going to be selling more than those of us who are still buying. The short term bond market is looking like a better bet than investing in stocks too. The correction is coming and that right soon. If the Fed has already lowered the interest rates back to zero when it comes we are all f**ked. If Dolt45 tries to default on the debt it will mean a world wide economic melt down and possibly the nuclear apocalypse Dense and Mother would so like to see.

  60. 60
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Warren is laying down a marker that she can use if she turns out to be right but is unlikely to be used against her if she is wrong. If events go badly, they will go badly and/or go from bad to worse along the lines she laid out for the reasons she laid out. If events do not go badly, there will be some intervening cause, such as the Fed approving a negative interest rate.
    Unless things go badly and she’s the nominee, this will be ignored. However, under that one scenario, she’ll have documented what she needs to.

  61. 61
    Brachiator says:

    @L85NJGT:

    The coal industry, and coal mining regions never recovered from the last recession, and are looking at end times.

    The coal industry has been declining since the 1940s.

  62. 62
    Another Scott says:

    @Badgirl: Donnie has clearly been worried about a recession for a long time – he’s been pounding on them since May and started talking about firing Jerome Powell as Fed Chair in June.

    President Donald Trump tweeted May 5 that he could slap China with new tariffs, and that Beijing was attempting to renegotiate. That sudden escalation of the trade war surprised markets and business leaders, who were looking forward to a negotiated deal between the White House and China that would end the trade conflict and roll back tariffs, instead of increasing them

    The Sunday tweet was just four days after the Fed’s May meeting, where it had kept rates steady while reaffirming that it was still paused in its policy to raise interest rates. In fact, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that day that weak inflation was just viewed as transitory by the central bank, basically suggesting it was not reason enough to cut interest rates.

    But since then, economic data, particularly in manufacturing, got softer, trade tensions escalated, China’s economy continued to be weak and inflation has remained subpar. Now the Fed has officially signaled it is ready and willing to cut interest rates.

    “The only thing that’s really changed materially is the shot heard around the world that Sunday afternoon when Trump threatened to raise tariffs from 10% to 25% on that second tranche of Chinese imports. That’s what really started the ball rolling. The market was looking for rate cuts for awhile and it really went into overdrive after the Trump trade war escalated against China,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.

    Trouble is, one can’t know if Mnuchin and his Mnunchins are keeping two sets of books and giving Donnie better numbers, or if they see something else on the horizon that they don’t talk about.

    The tales of a “booming economy” have always been vastly overstated, of course. The economy remains fragile.

    CalculatedRisk doesn’t see signs of a recession yet. Krugman, IIRC, says the trade issues (as bad as they are) are too small to cause a recession. But Donnie or Pompeo-Bolton blowing up the world by starting a shooting war with Iran certainly might. :-/

    Warren is right to be worried. We shouldn’t be running $1T deficits while unemployment is so low. Taxes are out of whack, incentives are out of whack, anti-trust enforcement is out of whack, and too many people are still working 2-3 jobs or have no hope of ever retiring. It’s bad. But when the next recession comes is still anyone’s guess.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  63. 63
    jl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: He’s a good economist. Has he done any work in macroeconomic forecasting? He’s mostly inequality and educational policy, isn’t he?

  64. 64
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brachiator: The point isn’t that no one should cite the stock market and/or GDP but rather to suggest that those metrics aren’t necessarily great indicators of how people feel about their personal financial security. I’d put the consumer confidence index in the same box, TBH — if all you hear about is how great the stock market is doing, you’re probably bullish on the economy overall. That doesn’t mean you can pay your bills though. Gallup did a poll on personal financial security recently and found that 40% said they’re taking on debt or barely making ends meet. Only a quarter said they’re saving enough for retirement, and nearly 20% said they’ve saved nothing at all. Lots of folks are living paycheck to paycheck.

  65. 65
    RepubAnon says:

    @sdhays: Agreed. The “Main Street, not Wall Street” meme could be strong. I’ll bet there’s some old Depression-era evil banker cartoons that could be repurposed to show private equity firms gutting businesses and throwing people out of work, then sipping champagne from one of their many yachts.

  66. 66

    @jl: His work is being pimped by the likes of glibertarian Atlantic and other protectors of CW, hence my suspicions. BTW he is being attacked by nativists like Steven Sailer on social media.

    ETA: Yes his work is mostly on mapping inequality. I don’t think he speaks of raising taxes, to address the said inequality. May be that’s why they like him at PBS and the Atlantic.

  67. 67
    Baud says:

    @BR:

    Sure, but they shouldn’t be right in blaming Dems. We want people not to believe them. I’d rather they use their bargaining position to keep up funding of important things, than try to eliminate the debt ceiling altogether.

  68. 68
    Kattails says:

    Christ almighty, I can’t handle another recession. I’m hanging on but can’t clear my old debt at any reasonable rate, am working hard to use my creativity to create new income, am too old to work 60-hour weeks on my feet for crap wages, and don’t know how I’m going to buy firewood for the winter right now. I hate these people. But I like Warren a great deal and am so thankful for her highlighting these things. If only the media weren’t useless hacks.
    On a slightly lighter note, there is a fawn in my garden, been around for a couple of days tasting anything I haven’t sprayed with deer repellant. It’s not too young, losing its spots. So adorable. I’m hoping that Mom is just gone for the day & will be back tonight to move it again, but it was here yesterday late afternoon. I’m in touch with a local wildlife rehab person and just monitoring for now. Somewhat worried because of that large cat that cruised through a few weeks back.

  69. 69
    Baud says:

    I don’t think it’s that helpful to say what the wrong metrics are, if you don’t know what the right metrics are. And I haven’t heard any consensus on that.

  70. 70

    @Baud: Social media is all aflutter blaming Nancy Pelosi for caving in on the debt ceiling.

  71. 71
    RepubAnon says:

    @Betty Cracker: Very true. Remember when the Bush Administration saved the bankers and let the rest of America lose everything? We just have to push back when some stockbroker claims it’s wrong for folks tricked into making poor decisions get angry at the con artists getting all their money.

  72. 72
    rikyrah says:

    No good can come from this:

    Trump Administration Announces Changes to Citizenship Test

    Michael Harriot
    Yesterday 1:06pm

    Because the white nationalists immigration hardliners in the executive branch just can’t help themselves from showing their true colors, Trump administration officials announced major changes to the mandatory test required to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S.

    In a statement Friday, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Friday that it will revise the agency’s ten-question civics test that our “stable genius” president probably couldn’t pass even if a family-size bucket of original recipe KFC was riding on it.

    “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is revising the current naturalization test with improvements to ensure it continues to serve as an accurate measure of a naturalization applicant’s civics knowledge and that it reflects best practices in adult education assessments,” the statement read. “The goal is to create a meaningful, uniform, and efficient test that will assess applicants’ knowledge and understanding of U.S. history, government and values.”

  73. 73
    Spanky says:

    @Brachiator:

    even they are not so stupid as to try to cook the books. This would be a disaster.

    I’m’a stop you right there. There is literally (LITERALLY!) NOTHING that indicates they aren’t that stupid or venal. Period.

    Yeah, I know I’m not the first to point this out. probably not the last. However, I certainly hope I can be proven wrong. But so far, nuh-uh.

  74. 74
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    What else are they going to do? Something productive?

  75. 75
    jonas says:

    @jl:

    The GOP made huge promises for the tax cut to ordinary wage earners, but the tax cut was so poorly designed, the rationale so absurd, that nothing has happened.

    Yup. Virtually the entire thing went into stock buy-backs and bonuses for the corner-office guys. Hourly workers got bupkiss. Oh, and we and our kids and grandkids get to enjoy paying off the hundreds of billions in additional government debt every year as a result. Do any of Trump’s supporters stop to ask how the fuck we’re running a $750 billion budget deficit during supposedly the greatest economic expansion in galactic history? (Yes, yes, I know…young bucks on welfare in Cadillacs buying steaks and all that. Same as it ever was…)

  76. 76
    Spanky says:

    @trollhattan:

    Can you just picture her response to his wandering over to loom behind her?

    Something similar to the Wall Street picture up top.

  77. 77
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Baud:
    @schrodingers_cat:

    What did Pelosi do now that’s pissed off the rose handle set?

  78. 78
    jl says:

    @Another Scott: In retrospect there was no Trump stock market boom. It was a temporary rebound from the growth recession of 2015-2016. Stock market growth has slowed down substantially from then. There has been zero Trump economic policy, except the rich person’s tax cut during the Trump administration, and all indicators show that. There is zero Trump economy. Due to complete reliance on monetary policy to keep expansion going, and that has been run on Obama administration (Yellen) principles under Powell, we are stilling running on Obama admin economic policy. Rich person’s tax cut changed that, as has Trump chaotic tariff nonsense, but that is all.

  79. 79
    lumpkin says:

    I hate to say it but probably this will get a bit of traction if trump takes the bait and challenges Warren. Then it will get press attention and perhaps prompt a semi meaningful discussion about the actual state of the economy. Warren can demonstrate she knows what she’s talking about while the idiot name calls and mocks.

  80. 80
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    even they are not so stupid as to try to cook the books. This would be a disaster.

    Look at what you’re saying. This is TRUMP we’re talking about here. OF COURSE he’s that stupid and his minions are even worse.

  81. 81
    West of the Rockies says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    You know, this horse shit about “owning the libs”… The only damn things these vile people are owning (without even knowing it) are their idiotic minds and toxic hearts.

    History will not be forgiving.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    These are the numbers everyone in the news media uses,

    These are also the numbers that economists use. You got some others?

    Obviously, these indices are not carved onto stone tablets. GDP began to be used in 1934 to try to provide a useful measure of the failing economy. The financial press used to report on the money supply, M1 and M2, until people decided that this really didn’t tell you much.

    but many voters go by their lived experience rather than the government’s numbers.

    True. But there are measures of consumer confidence. And you need some way of transforming anecdote into something that can be measured. Also remember that Trump rose on the back of lies and fomenting discontent even though the Democrats had rescued the economy.

    If, as Warren and many other Democrats believe, the economy isn’t working for a lot of people, those people for whom it isn’t working well are likely to vote on that rather than the headline unemployment numbers.

    People will vote for the person they trust to make their lives better. Warren may be good with this.

    But also consider how successful Trump’s grift is. He imposes stupid, damaging tariffs and his supporters go on record as accepting short term pain because they believe that Trump will bring factory jobs back. And in the UK, dopes are saying that they will accept BREXIT pain because the Tories are promising a brighter tomorrow.

    Voter sentiment is tricky to understand.

  84. 84
    jl says:

    @jonas: I saw a news piece with pretty good charts that showed the corporate bonus boom for ordinary workers that was touted in the news fizzled out as soon as opportunities for PR and tax gaming ran out. Bonuses for most workers have been lower over last year than before the tax cut.

  85. 85
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @jl:
    Could that growth recession in 2015-2016 have had any impact on the 2016 primaries and general election?

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    There are standards in place to verify the reliability of government data. You would have to have a big ass operation to screw with the numbers and it could be discovered fairly easily.

    Well, not that easily. Nobody expects 100% accuracy from the initial numbers, which is why they’re revised later as better information surfaces. But the trend to date since Trump’s people arrived has been in a direction that would not inspire confidence if I were an economist of some repute.

  87. 87
    A Ghost To Most says:

    ARGO

  88. 88
    L85NJGT says:

    @Brachiator:

    Employment has been in decline since then. Now domestic production and consumption for power generation are in a death spiral. Utilities are dropping coal fired units as fast as possible. There will be some residual metallurgical demand, but otherwise, the outlook is grim.

  89. 89
    Another Scott says:

    @jl: CR has a nice graph about that:

    […]

    For fun, here is a graph comparing S&P500 returns (ex-dividends) under Presidents Trump and Obama:

    Blue is for Mr. Obama, Orange is for Mr. Trump.

    At this point, the S&P500 is up 31% under Mr. Trump – compared to up 63% under Mr. Obama for the same number of market days.

    There was only a very short period of time, early on, when Orange beat Blue.

    Donnie lies about everything. Including his “booming stock market”.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  90. 90

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    I don’t understand how Trump gets good marks for the economy. The stock market isn’t the economy.

    The unemployment (U3 and U6) is very low, and there have started to be some actual wage gains. The prime age employment rate has been trending up, too. Of course most of that isn’t because of Trump- he inherited an improving economy from Obama- but the employment numbers are objectively good.

  91. 91
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    This sounds good to me.

    Then you weren’t paying attention to the Nazi hard enough. Its a bad thing.

  92. 92
    jl says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: I think it had a big impact. Krugman, DeLong and others say the Fed (then under Yellen), started rate increases too soon. Fed policy has been vary cautious, with more gradual rate increases in an expansion than seen since 1960s, but they may have started them too soon. By some internationally used definitions of a recession (for example the one the OECD uses) the US as in a short recession during (I’ll have to look up the exact dates) in 2015 and 2016.

    But, I don’t see it mentioned much in the news. I think DeLong has talked about it. Krugman hasn’t, but he can be a little inconsistent when he puts the big picture together and has some hobby horses that he rides from time to time. Anyway, I think it had an impact, but maybe that is just me.

  93. 93
    The Moar You Know says:

    Warren is not wrong.

    This one will arrive right on time as planned. Recession will hit right as a Dem is sworn into office after another disastrous Republican president. It’s like the GOP has this down to a goddamn science.

    Carter and Obama had to do pretty much nothing but cleanup on the GOP aisle for their entire terms and got all the blame and none of the kudos.

    Clinton had some cleanup duties as well, but Bush the Elder had to eat most of that one which is why he lost. I think the GOP had every intention of letting the Dems get caught with that downturn as well, but we nominated someone unelectable.

  94. 94
    TenguPhule says:

    Trump accuses four minority congresswomen of being ‘very Racist’ and ‘not very smart’

    Irony is truly dead.

  95. 95
    SFAW says:

    From a purely political perspective, maybe it’s smart to attack Trump on one of his so-called strengths.

    That was one of Rove’s go-to tactics. So if we do that, we’re no better than Karl Rove, and therefore both parties are the same, and it would force me to vote for a candidate who would not compromise my purity. I’m thinking Harold Stassen might just be that candidate.

  96. 96
    Another Scott says:

    Wendy Davis is running for Congress in Texas 21.

    Good, good.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  97. 97
    germy says:

    This anti Susan Collins ad is excellent:

    Give whoever made this ad a raise, @American_Bridge. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/lMk2xETFNJ— Matt Rogers 🎙 (@Politidope) July 22, 2019

  98. 98

    One thing that is needed (and that Warren doesn’t mention) is unreform of the bankruptcy laws. We need to return to the time when bankruptcy allowed most insolvent people a fresh start. In particular, we ought to allow student loan debt to be dissolved in bankruptcy.

    Notice, also, that in all the radical proposals we hear about, these modest steps are seldom advocated. If even these modest steps have no chance, how much chance do more radical proposals have?

    Many of the worse changes to bankruptcy law were made by Sen Grassley’s (R-IA) 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. It was passed with bipartisan support. Reportedly (Wikipedia) Democratic Senators Biden, Dodd, and Hillary Clinton were instrumental in assembling Democratic support for the bill in the Senate, though only Biden voted for it.

  99. 99
    SFAW says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Carter and Obama had to do pretty much nothing but cleanup on the GOP aisle for their entire terms and got all the blame and none of the kudos.

    My brother once opined that Nassau County [NY] would elect a Rethug County Executive, who would then fuck over the county royally — enough so that they’d throw him out in the next election. The newly-elected Demon-rat would look at what the Rethug had done, realized that drastic action was needed — usually tax increases, I think — and would implement recovery plans. Then, by the next election, things would have returned approximately to normal, although it was painful to get there, and to the voters would throw out the Dem (because of the pain). Then the Rethug would start tre cycle all over again.

  100. 100
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    even they are not so stupid as to try to cook the books. This would be a disaster.

    Look at what you’re saying. This is TRUMP we’re talking about here. OF COURSE he’s that stupid and his minions are even worse.

    I know exactly what I am saying. I understand all the boiler plate cynicism. When Trump did his tax cut voodoo, the best stories in the business section said it was bullshit. Every freaking accounting industry story nailed who the winners and losers would be.

    Not surprisingly, right wing media shut up or lied their asses off, and dumb business reporters just reprinted whatever the administration said.

    Trump is stupid enough and vile enough to think he can get away with major bullshit. But he will have to get rid of more people in the administration who work to keep him honest.

    BTW, Trump has tried to pressure the Fed into doing stupid shit with respect to Interest rates. So far, they have been able to shut Trump down.

    So, this is the line. If Trump can get more fools into the administration, especially if he wins re-election, then all bets are off, and I would not trust anything coming from the administration. Trump would view a 2020 victory as a license to steal.

  101. 101
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Yup. Tribalism (and racism) is probably why right wingers try to credit Trump with the economy. I do think that the economic recovery has been uneven and incomes unequal tho, despite the positive numbers

  102. 102
    rikyrah says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    Many of the worse changes to bankruptcy law were made by Sen Grassley’s (R-IA) 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. It was passed with bipartisan support. Reportedly (Wikipedia) Democratic Senators Biden, Dodd, and Hillary Clinton were instrumental in assembling Democratic support for the bill in the Senate, though only Biden voted for it.

    And, Biden should be held accountable for it.

  103. 103
    Brachiator says:

    @SFAW:

    That was one of Rove’s go-to tactics. So if we do that, we’re no better than Karl Rove, and therefore both parties are the same, and it would force me to vote for a candidate who would not compromise my purity. I’m thinking Harold Stassen might just be that candidate.

    Now that’s some snark.

  104. 104
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    BTW, Trump has tried to pressure the Fed into doing stupid shit with respect to Interest rates. So far, they have been able to shut Trump down.

    Which is why he’s now replacing them with his nominees who will bend the knee and kiss his prick.

    But he will have to get rid of more people in the administration who work to keep him honest.

    His nominees have been doing that since day 1. And I suspect during the last government shutdown, his nominees used the opportunity to subvert many people who were vulnerable financially.

  105. 105
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Raven Onthill: It’s true Warren didn’t mention bankruptcy reform in the linked Medium piece, but she’s definitely a reform advocate as both a senator and a candidate. (Maybe you know that, just clarifying on that point for general purposes.)

  106. 106
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Trump accuses four minority congresswomen of being ‘very Racist’ and ‘not very smart’

    WTF??

    Trump can’t help himself. Even when the GOP leadership tried to get him to tone it down.

    And I am fucking tired of the attacks on women, and the denigration of women of color. He always sinks to this. Always.

    Also not looking forward to the inevitable parade of Fox News blonde white women who will defend Trump.

  107. 107
    MomSense says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    To be fair to Clinton, when she knew it was going to pass she worked to make sure it protected child support – so you couldn’t dissolve child support arrearage.

  108. 108

    @Betty Cracker: Bankruptcy was the thing that radicalized Warren, so that is likely enough. Again according to the Wikipedia article (perhaps edited by a Warren supporter) “Professor Elizabeth Warren, a member of the National Bankruptcy Review Commission at that time, briefed First Lady Clinton on negative effects of the bill; according to Warren, after the briefing: President Clinton had been showing that this is another way that he could be helpful to business. It wasn’t a very high visibility bill. And when Mrs. Clinton came back with a little better understanding of how it all worked, they reversed course, and they reversed course fast. And indeed, the proof is in the pudding. The last bill that came before President Clinton was that bankruptcy bill that was passed by the House and the Senate in 2000 and he vetoed it. And in her autobiography, Mrs. Clinton took credit for that veto and she rightly should. She turned around a whole administration on the subject of bankruptcy. She got it.”

    I support Warren for President.

  109. 109
    L85NJGT says:

    The conspiracy stuff is a bit much. Industry trade groups collect and release their own data sets.

    To Warren’s credit, she sees the US economy as it is, in the here and now, as opposed to a 20th century industrial economy.

  110. 110
    Brachiator says:

    BTW. Analysis of 2018 tax data is coming in. The middle class and lower income households got tax cuts, as was predicted. Fewer people even had to bother with filing a tax return, because of the higher standard deduction.

    And bottom line, people will be happy with their tax cuts even if you tell them that the rich got bigger, massive tax cuts.

    And undocumented people who file tax returns, or people who have undocumented children had tax breaks stripped from them, making the second class tax citizens.

    But everyone in the financial and accounting world knows that these tax cuts will be smaller in the future. Except for the rich. The CBO analysis has been clear on this.

    Trump panicked once and promised an additional 10 percent cut for middle income people. He’s dropped this idea for now, but he can always bring it back.

  111. 111
    OGLiberal says:

    Most people don’t have significant investments in the stock market. Obviously, there are 401k and 529 plans but unless you are near the point of using those, an up or down market means nothing. My 401k took a huge hit in 2001 and 2008 but I’m still at least 18-20-years from retiring so doesn’t really matter – long-term investing assumes ups and downs. (now, if there is a huge crash between 2045-2050 I’ll be in big trouble but most voters won’t be) An up or down market only really matters to those with a bunch of cash invested outside of tax-advantaged savings vehicles. And if you have that kind of cash invested you are probably quite wealthy, to the extent that a good market makes you richer and you can brag about your cap gains at the club but a down market is a rounding error in your annual income…or even if it’s a lot it’s cash you didn’t need and weren’t going to use on anything meaningful anyway.

    The market does matter as an easy measure for the media to use. And it matters to those rich investors mentioned above in that they when it goes down, they demand that the companies they hold stock in do whatever it takes to make them money again, and for CEOs the easiest, quickest thing to do and the most painless to them personally is to fire people. (and in most cases, that really doesn’t save a lot of money – just assures investors that they are doing “something”) So it matters – but I don’t think most voters who are giving Trump – or anybody – credit for a thriving stock market are doing much better at all with the personal financial situation. The challenge is to convince them that the DJIA really means shit to most peoples’ day-to-day lives.

  112. 112
    gene108 says:

    The suicidal part of me just wants to say “fuck it” and let Republicans take over everything.

    I just want to see how long it takes before become a fascist herronvolk apartheid(-ish?) kleptocracy, and how long it will take for us to default on the debt and become a fringe nation rocketing towards the abyss.

  113. 113
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    BTW, Trump has tried to pressure the Fed into doing stupid shit with respect to Interest rates. So far, they have been able to shut Trump down.

    Which is why he’s now replacing them with his nominees who will bend the knee and kiss his prick.

    The Fed chief is still telling Trump to kiss his ass.

  114. 114
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brachiator:

    And bottom line, people will be happy with their tax cuts even if you tell them that the rich got bigger, massive tax cuts.

    That used to be true. Now, maybe not so much. I’m not sure if it’s because people saw through the scam at long last or if it’s because Trump ran his big fat mouth so much about it that the mostly small cuts folks received didn’t live up to the hype. Or maybe it was because they bungled the roll-out with regard to withholding such that lots of folks ended up owing when they expected a refund. They paid less in taxes, but owing was an unpleasant surprise.

  115. 115
    Brachiator says:

    @jl:

    Bonuses for most workers have been lower over last year than before the tax cut.

    Bonuses were always one-time bullshit. Wages have started to improve, which is much more meaningful.

  116. 116
    mad citizen says:

    @BR: thank you for the advice!

  117. 117
    bemused says:

    @Brachiator:

    His conscious mind is blabbing everything festering in his unconscious mind. Projectile projection.

  118. 118
    Ben Cisco says:

    @gene108: Well, as one of those who would be targeted by such a regime, let me be the first to give you a heartfelt FUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK THAAATTTTTTTT!

    With all due respect.

  119. 119

    Another day, another threat of nuclear war.

    Carry on.

  120. 120
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Spanky: I’d like to see her go all “Buzz Aldrin vs Moon landing denier” on him

  121. 121
    OGLiberal says:

    @Betty Cracker: Agree. I ended up pretty much flat – pretty much the same refund – for 2018 v. 2017 but I think my employer always over withholds pretty significantly. A saw plenty of folks on FB (during the few times I dared to tread there) complaining about how much they had to pay at tax time v. previous years when they go refunds – not sure if it’s related but many were my teacher friends. Like the Griswold’s Christmas bonus, people came to expect that check. The extra few bucks a week, per economists, is supposed to be the better approach v. the Bush II “here’s a $300 one-time check” approach but it’s a culture change and people weren’t ready for it.

  122. 122
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    And bottom line, people will be happy with their tax cuts even if you tell them that the rich got bigger, massive tax cuts.

    That used to be true. Now, maybe not so much.

    Still true. One thing that Trump has done, which I agree with, is to insist that withholding tables be revised so that people keep more during the year. By definition, this results in smaller refunds.

    I enjoyed the grief Trump had to endure because people were unhappy with smaller refunds. But the absolute bottom line is that middle income and lower income people had more money in hand. And the amounts were not small across the board.

    The increase in the standard deduction was a smart move. It’s a shame the Democrats didn’t think of it. Fortunately they have some other good ideas.

  123. 123
    Another Scott says:

    @Brachiator:

    Trump panicked once and promised an additional 10 percent cut for middle income people. He’s dropped this idea for now, but he can always bring it back.

    He talked about it in October before the 2018 election. It didn’t help him much. (IIRC, Mitch said it wasn’t going to happen anyway.)

    Agreed, He’ll probably talk about it again before the 2020 election. He’s a brain damaged one-trick pony.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  124. 124
    Brachiator says:

    @OGLiberal:

    I ended up pretty much flat – pretty much the same refund – for 2018 v. 2017

    What was your tax liability for 2018 compared to 2017?

  125. 125
    OGLiberal says:

    @Brachiator: In my industry, bonuses are – in good times – about 20% of your salary. But they are, as you noted, BS because in 2009 my salary was slightly higher than when I started at my company in 2002 but my bonus was almost 50% less. When that bonus is 20% of your salary, that 50% cut hurts a lot. (and leaving wasn’t an option because I was lucky enough to have a job – the industry was shedding people just like bonus cash) I choose to work in this industry but that bonus cash is never guaranteed. I’d rather a salary increase but they are more likely to increase the bonus than the salary – at least anywhere higher than 3% on the salary front. Because bonus cuts are much easier than salary cuts.

  126. 126
    Spanky says:

    Trump Fed pick Judy Shelton calls for 50-basis-point cut to interest rates in July

  127. 127
    Kay says:

    My clients are working and middle class and they have too much debt. Almost all of them. There was a lot of pent up demand for new cars and lenders reduced the qualifications for large auto loans and these loans are junk. They can barely afford them now- they go a month with reduced income and they’re in trouble. There are a shit ton of automobiles that are going to be repo’ed if there’s even a bump in the economy.
    I do think there will be a crash, but I’m risk-averse and 2009 rattled me, permanently. I don’t believe finance people as far as I can throw them. Sorry. I’d like to believe them, I’m no expert, and I wish I had experts I could rely upon, but I think they discredited themselves in a profound way with the 2009 crash and they can’t recover as far as I’m concerned.

  128. 128
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t think it’s that helpful to say what the wrong metrics are, if you don’t know what the right metrics are.

    This is America! We don’t use metrics, we use American things like miles and pounds.

  129. 129
    Kay says:

    Warren has an impressive campaign, and I think that matters a lot in our new normal. They are going to have to be perfect and so far – since her official launch- they pretty much have been.

  130. 130
    catclub says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I don’t trust the data coming from the Department of Labor

    and you do. The last guy to complain about that data was Trump during 2016 when reported unemployment was falling.

  131. 131
    SFAW says:

    @Brachiator:

    Now that’s some snark.

    Why, whatever do you mean? I meant every word. Well, almost.

    I considered adding a “heighten the contradictions” line, but it didn’t really fit.

  132. 132
    OGLiberal says:

    @Brachiator: Pretty much the same. I did cash out an old rollover IRA in 2017 but withheld the tax upfront on that withdrawal so my reported income was a bit higher in 2017 than 2018 but not by much. Basically, for the last 5 or so years the refund I’ve received has been pretty much the same….but the same is pretty much true of my income – up a bit each year but only just enough to keep place with inflation.

  133. 133
    Matt McIrvin says:

    What gets me is that the stock market isn’t doing that great! It went into a massive boom when Trump was elected that lasted for one year. It was then stagnant all through 2018, had an alarming drop right at the end of the year, and spent the first half of 2019 making back that drop. I don’t know where people are seeing this as an amazing bull market

  134. 134
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brachiator: Do you disbelieve the polling on the Trump tax cuts for some reason? Because they really, truly appear to be unpopular, and that’s not how it usually works.

  135. 135
    catclub says:

    @Kay:

    I do think there will be a crash, but I’m risk-averse and 2009 rattled me, permanently.

    I think that is unfortunate. The 2008 crash was probably a ‘once in 50 years’ type thing. Not an every 9 years thing. (the 2000 stock market crash was not really the same – main street was not hammered by stock market (paper) losses.).

    I think Warren saying a crash is coming is overhyping. I still see it as a once in 50 years thing, so the next drop in the economy will likely
    be a recession – not a crash.
    The slow recovery has kept the likelihood of a recession down – no over enthusiasm to deflate. We are probably getting closed to recession
    but even the inverted yield curve could mean a recession is still 18 months away. And things might be different this time, with unusually low interest rates overall.

  136. 136
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator:

    What was your tax liability for 2018 compared to 2017?

    Much lower. The Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction is huge for self employed people.

  137. 137
    Brachiator says:

    @OGLiberal:

    Basically, for the last 5 or so years the refund I’ve received has been pretty much the same….but the same is pretty much true of my income

    Okay. Makes sense.

    But this was a common tax season conversation.

    — My refund is smaller. Fuck Trump

    — Yes, but you actually earned more money this year. And your tax liability is smaller than last year

    — Yeah, but my refund is smaller. Fuck Trump

  138. 138
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @catclub:

    and you do.

    Thanks for that slap in the face. I admitted I was wrong earlier in the thread, but I guess you couldn’t have been bothered to awknowledge that, could you?

  139. 139
    catclub says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Democrats will make charts comparing Obama and Trump that start on Inauguration day,
    and by that standard, the Obama stock market is still doing substantially better than the Trump stock market.

    Republicans will date the charts from election day the year before. I am not sure how they match up then, Trump will
    certainly look much better with this starting date. Can anybody find that chart?

  140. 140
    Brachiator says:

    @catclub:

    The Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction is huge for self employed people.

    Yep. But on a macro level, here’s the problem.

    Investment income, especially capital gains, is given preference over other types of income.

    Self employment income is given preference over wage income

    Wage earners get a small tax cut and a kick in the ass.

    Poor people get nothing and are supposed to get nothing. The rich get tax credits and other incentives on top of tax cuts because they deserve the best of everything.

  141. 141
    catclub says:

    @Kay:

    My clients are working and middle class and they have too much debt. Almost all of them.

    reading the article at the top link, the finding that 71M adults in the US have had accounts in collections seems really scary to me.
    32% of the population.

  142. 142
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator: I agree on all that.
    I am convinced the QBI deduction was just there since Trump gets it for his real estate businesses. If they could find a way to give him the tax break without giving it to people like me, they would have. But if it is there, I will take it.

  143. 143
    jl says:

    @Brachiator: ‘ ‘Wages have started to improve, which is much more meaningful.’
    The good analysis that I read say that, for this expansion, as in the last, the lack of sustained increases in real wages is a continuing mystery. Data I see back this up. Measures of real hourly compensation have been flat over whole Trump first term up to now. Same with real average weekly compensation.

    @Brachiator: @Betty Cracker: For > 90 percent of the population, the tax cuts were too small to notice. Even GOPer leadership noticed and tried to pushback with weak sauce. I remember Paul Ryan trying to talk up 10 and 20 dollar a month tax savings for the struggling ‘lesser people’, Fox News talked about how cave men 40,000 years ago would have loved such a tax cut. A lot of upper middle class home owners pissed about paying more this year because of changes in state tax deductions. Brachiator needs to give more details about what the tax return data show.

  144. 144
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Do you disbelieve the polling on the Trump tax cuts for some reason? Because they really, truly appear to be unpopular, and that’s not how it usually works.

    This is my business. I have to teach tax professionals on tax law. I also get to listen to them talk about their tax clients. And they talk.

    I look at polling and also actual tax returns. I’ve read most of the stories about both the impact of the tax cuts and the perception of the tax cuts.

    The average person has no idea of the degree to which the wealthy have benefited from the tax cuts. Many think it proportional to increase in wealth. Others don’t care as long as they get theirs.

    The tax cuts may be “unpopular,” but I have never talked to a person who wants to give them back. Hell, in my entire working life, I have never heard a middle income earner say, “I want to be taxed more.”

    I don’t disbelieve the polling. I just put it into a larger context.

  145. 145
    Another Scott says:

    @OGLiberal: As I said earlier, we went from a normal-year ~ $500 refund to sending a check for $4000+. It was an unexpected, unpleasant surprise. I don’t think we were unique by any means, and no, we’re not anywhere near the 1%.

    I don’t think that “most people” felt they got a tax cut from Donnie’s bill.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  146. 146
    Kay says:

    @catclub:

    The car loans are insane. It isn’t complicated- it’s addition and subtraction. They know these are bad loans when they make them. They’re going to be getting a lot of those cars back if overtime keeps dropping. They do these negative equity swaps, where the person is underwater on the original car loan so just rolls it into a new one, but they’re just putting off the inevitable and it’s worse than it was because then there’s additional negative equity. They’re not actually ever “buying” these cars. There’s no real “buying” transaction going on. It’s not real.

  147. 147
    jl says:

    @Brachiator: i’m interested in whether the data you look at show the most workers are getting more than dinky 7, 10, 20 dollar month tax savings from the tax cut. Policy-wise, giving back the tax cuts for the majority of workers is different than the question of whether they disappointed in the size of the tax cut going to them.

  148. 148
    Brachiator says:

    @jl:

    For > 90 percent of the population, the tax cuts were too small to notice.

    Just not true.

    Brachiator needs to give more details about what the tax return data show.

    Working on it. You can offer insights as well The preliminary data is just starting to come in.

  149. 149
    James E Powell says:

    @Brachiator:

    There have been a lot of excellent analyses showing that the tax cuts have been a big did. These reports use non partisan government data. Are these also pro-corporate, pro-ruling class lies?

    Where were these reports? Who heard or read them? Do you think a poll would show that Americans agree that “Trump’s tax cut was a big dud.” How many would agree that “Tax cuts are good for the economy”?

    Do you believe the tax cuts will be an issue in this campaign? Are any leading Democrats promising to repeal them?

    Nobody is going to mention the debt or deficit unless and until a Democrat is elected at which point it will be deemed a matter of national survival.

  150. 150
    Amir Khalid says:

    @rikyrah:
    The irony in this is that so many Americans couldn’t pass the civics portion of a citizenship test.

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Clearly, your Stable Genius leader has decided that the problem with Afghanistan is that it exists.

  151. 151
    Kay says:

    @catclub:

    I saw one the other day where an (unmarried) couple turned in cars that were underwater and just loaded the old debt onto a newer more expensive car. Cars. They traded in 2 and bought 2 the same day. It’s insane. They couldn’t afford the old payments. How will they afford the new higher payment? They’re actually increasing the debt with each swap. It’s magical thinking.

    The excess debt past the value can be discharged in bankruptcy so it’s not even secured by the car. It’s essentially a personal loan.

  152. 152
    James E Powell says:

    @jl:

    The GOP made huge promises for the tax cut to ordinary wage earners, but the tax cut was so poorly designed, the rationale so absurd, that nothing has happened.

    The GOP has been making huge promises to ordinary (white) wage earners since Reagan but has done nothing to improve their lives and plenty that made them worse. Nevertheless, ordinary (white) wage earners remain steadfast in their loyalty because the GOP also promises to make the people they hate miserable.

  153. 153
    catclub says:

    @catclub: I found raw numbers for the election day comparison:

    For the S&P 500:
    Obama: Nov7, 2008 930.99 Jul 15, 2011 1316.02 ratio is 1.41 so 41% better at this point after his election
    Trump : Nov, 4, 2016 2085.18 Jul 16, 2019 3004 ratio is 1.44 so 44% better
    this is the best possible comparison for Trump.

    Inauguration day
    Obama: Jan 20, 2009 825 ratio is 1.59 so 59% up from Inauguration
    Trump: Jan 20, 2017 2271 ratio now is 1.32 32% up from inauguration

  154. 154
    Brachiator says:

    @jl:

    Some 2018 tax filing data

    The first tax-filing season under the new law jostled the upper-middle class, as people making between $100,000 and $250,000 became less likely to receive refunds and more likely to owe money with their returns.

    In the aggregate, the tax-filing season looked the same as it did the year before, with 79% of taxpayers getting refunds averaging $2,879, down only slightly from 80% and $2,908. But those totals mask some significant variation by income, according to newly released IRS statistics from tax returns filed through May 23. These preliminary tallies provide the first hard data from the government about the actual refunds, deductions and taxes reported at different income levels in the new system.

    Tax refunds just reconcile what you owe with what you paid throughout the year. Refunds affect how people perceive the tax system and spend money, but they aren’t the same thing as tax cuts. About two-thirds of households received tax cuts under the law Congress passed in December 2017, and about 6% paid more, according to an estimate from the Tax Policy Center. The tax cut showed up in take-home pay—not just in refunds—because the IRS changed the paycheck-withholding tables in early 2018.

    Plenty of people with smaller refunds paid less in taxes overall because of the new law.

    Still, the tax law has remained mostly underwater in public polls, partly because of opposition to President Trump and the policy changes in the law and, perhaps, partly because people are confused about the effects. An April Gallup poll found that just 14% of Americans thought their taxes went down. 

    The fresh data shows that while refund statistics barely budged for lower- and middle-income workers, real movement occurred toward the upper end of the income distribution. Average refunds for taxpayers making between $100,000 and $250,000 dropped 10%, while average refunds for those between $250,000 and $500,000 rose by 11%.

    Links

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/you-filed-returns-the-irs-compiled-the-data-heres-how-the-new-tax-law-is-working-11562059803

  155. 155
    James E Powell says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I believe the polling, but I don’t believe that voters feelings about the tax cuts will motivate Rs to switch to Ds, nor do I think it will cause non-voters to get off their asses and vote. It’s like abortion rights. The polls say one thing, the voting behavior says another.

  156. 156
    jl says:

    @Brachiator: Thanks for the link.

  157. 157
    catclub says:

    @Kay: I was talking to someone and said that I was rich. Which mainly means I have no debts.
    And income is much greater than outflow.

  158. 158
    SFAW says:

    @Brachiator:

    The tax cuts may be “unpopular,” but I have never talked to a person who wants to give them back. Hell, in my entire working life, I have never heard a middle income earner say, “I want to be taxed more.”

    Few persons in this world volunteer to give things up, just for shits-and-grins. But if they’re asked “If you had to choose between either getting a modest tax cut, or [for instance] getting bridges and roads completely rehabbed?” there would probably be a significant portion willing to forgo the tax cut.
    A majority? No idea. But I’d bet a six-pack of good beer that it would be upwards of 30 percent.

    ETA: TO be clear, the bridges/roads thing is a placeholder for the benefit of one’s choice.

  159. 159
    Brachiator says:

    @James E Powell:

    Do you believe the tax cuts will be an issue in this campaign? Are any leading Democrats promising to repeal them?

    The Democrats will have to simplify things because people fear or get bored by economic stuff. They just want to hear tax cuts and more jobs.

    The Democratic Party proposals moving closer to universal basic income are interesting.

    But the Democrats will need to rewrite the tax code. Everything, from individual to corporate to estates and trusts, was written by the GOP to benefit the wealthy. And the Democrats were entirely excluded from the tax writing process. Worse, there are errors in the law that need to be addressed, but the GOP won’t even talk to the Democrats on this.

    In all the years I have worked in the industry, I have never seen this degree of non cooperation.

    The Democrats will have to fix this. But this may be too inside baseball to be a debate topic.

  160. 160
    frosty says:

    @sherparick: Baltimore’s already got an Amazon warehouse on Broening Hwy where the GM plant used to be. Just a mile or so from Dundalk and Seagirt Marine Terminals close to 95 and the railroads. I don’t know why they think they need one in DC.

  161. 161
    OGLiberal says:

    @Another Scott: I fully agree. I was lucky in that the results for us were pretty much flat. A lot of folks I know ended up on the shit end of the stick when it came to refunds. And the additional amount they saw in their weekly/bi-weekly paychecks was not enough to make up for that shock. As I noted, my company seems to over-withhold, resulting in a decent refund (I have never not taken the standard deduction and I live in a high tax state/town and work in another high tax state). Had my salary been less, so would my refund.

  162. 162
    Brachiator says:

    @SFAW:

    Few persons in this world volunteer to give things up, just for shits-and-grins. But if they’re asked “If you had to choose between either getting a modest tax cut, or [for instance] getting bridges and roads completely rehabbed?” there would probably be a significant portion willing to forgo the tax cut.

    A majority? No idea. But I’d bet a six-pack of good beer that it would be upwards of 30 percent.

    Hmmm. I’d take that bet. People care about jobs and wages first. Then lower taxes.

    Originally, people like Krugman talked about infrastructure spending as a way to stimulate the economy and to get more wages into people’s hands even if it temporarily increased the deficit. Now, some want to pay for this with tax increases. This would be political suicide. It would be too easy to hang the “tax and spend” sign around Democrats.

  163. 163
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brachiator: Okay, but what you said was: “bottom line, people will be happy with their tax cuts even if you tell them that the rich got bigger, massive tax cuts.” If you meant most people would rather pay less in taxes than more, okay, no one would dispute that. But you seemed to be saying people are happy with the Trump tax cuts, which doesn’t appear to be the case, even if they don’t proactively volunteer to return the money.

  164. 164
    Brachiator says:

    @James E Powell:

    Where were these reports? Who heard or read them? Do you think a poll would show that Americans agree that “Trump’s tax cut was a big dud.” How many would agree that “Tax cuts are good for the economy”?

    The Democrats need to be smart enough to make this Trump administration failure an issue.

    Tax cuts were a bust stories

    February, 2019

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-official-the-trump-tax-cuts-were-a-bust-2019-01-30

    June 2019

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-07/trump-s-tax-cuts-failed-to-deliver-the-promised-boom

    Two days ago

    https://www.salon.com/2019/07/20/the-numbers-are-in-trumps-tax-cuts-were-a-dud_partner/

  165. 165
    Ruckus says:

    @catclub:
    I think that part of the problem is several fold.
    First, most people are leveraged, some not too bad, some so far in they can never get out short of bankruptcy or just walking away and waiting it out.
    Second, for people in the middle of their earning lives the GWB recession was probably the most severe economic event they have ever experienced and possibly the worst their parents had seen. If you are a bit older your parents probably lived through the depression, mine sure did. And one grandfather worked every day during the depression, the other died and all his kids had to go to work to support mom, which they were all able to do. The depression was bad, they noticed but it wasn’t as bad economically for them as for many others. I’ve seen several recessions in my working life and the 80-81 was not good, the 08-12 was far worse. If you look at it in that context you might be asking “What will the next one be like?”

  166. 166
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    But you seemed to be saying people are happy with the Trump tax cuts, which doesn’t appear to be the case

    I tried to make clear in other posts here that people were not happy with their refunds. And previously I noted that the withholding screwups not only caused some people to owe, but also exposed them to penalties.

    Trump clumsiness spoiled even the good part about the tax cuts, confused people and made them angry.

    People still don’t understand the tax cuts and you see this confusion reflected in the polling. But some people are unhappy even though they objectively did well with the tax cuts.

  167. 167
    SFAW says:

    @Brachiator:

    People care about jobs and wages first. Then lower taxes.

    Yes, and people care about Mom and apple pie, but that doesn’t really address the point. I agree that there are some persons for whom tax cuts are wicked-important, for a variety of reasons, including that’s what their “betters” in the RNC (et al.) have told them. But there are plenty of persons for whom tax cuts are nice-to-have, but are able to do a trade-off analysis, and decide that maybe the tax cut is less important than some benefit which would be funded by that same money. Not everyone is as innumerate, nor as brainwashed (for lack of a better term) as the stereotypical Rethug voter.

  168. 168
    JimV says:

    We need change, led by someone with ideas, experience, guts, and intelligence: Elizabeth Warren. Biden is a status quo ante candidate, who just wants a return to the good old days, when a Senate with a majority of Democrats would put a Thomas on the Supreme Court in the name of comity. I used to see him and Orrin Hatch smiling at each other and exchanging compliments on TV and wonder, did he not see that Hatch was playing him?

    He had one job as Obama’s VP running-mate: beat Sarah Palin in their debate. I’m not sure he even cleared that low bar.

  169. 169
    Yog-Sothoth says:

    The stats aren’t being cooked at the moment, they are telling us what’s going on. If they were being cooked that wouldn’t happen. The Republicans will need several more years purging the government of competent/honest people before they can reliably cook the books. It will happen, but by that time things will already have crashed.

    The big pre-crash Republican agenda items have been accomplished:
    – huge tax cuts for the rich and businesses (looting)
    – elimination of as many regulations as possible (more looting)
    – packing the judicial branch with cranks and crazies so nothing can be fixed
    – legalizing voter suppression, unlimited corporate money in politics, and gerrymandering

    The only remaining big-ticket item was destroying Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. That didn’t happen, but it didn’t need to: after the next crash, there will be no money for SS/Medicare/Medicaid, so those programs will have to be hugely reduced. This is inevitable.

    The timing is hard to predict. It could happen next year before the elections, or it could happen later. Trump could win in 2020 or he could not. The playbook remains the same:

    – Republicans sabotage the stimulus, citing the debt
    – Keynesian worldwide downward spiral, much worse than in 2008 because of the reasons Warren mentions
    – Republicans blame Democrats for the Greater Depression
    – Democrats may try to fix things, but can’t because of the Senate and the courts
    – Printing money to keep the system going
    – Inflation
    – Indexing consumer debt to inflation
    – Hyperinflation (more looting, the rich get the money first before it decays and use it to buy real wealth, essentially short-selling the currency)
    – New currency
    – Austerity programs for everyone! (except the rich)

  170. 170
    Ruckus says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    I’d ask how many people do their own taxes and how many have someone do them.
    If you talk to a preparer are they doing taxes for people who are more inclined to have theirs done because they think they might miss something? I used to have my business taxes done, it just made more sense. But my personal tax was easy, I don’t have things to complicate it. And yes my tax guy was very good and taught tax law at UCLA as well as having his own business. He possibly knew tax law better than the IRS. He once told me that my business didn’t have to pay any tax. But I would be audited and every deduction would be upheld. But the cost to me for that would be more than the tax I owe, so pay your damn taxes. And he is right. But if you had enough money you could afford that and today fewer large returns are audited because of the time it takes. It’s easier to audit the commoners, faster and cheaper. So we have people like the guy that owes, what is it 6 billion in back taxes? You want to bet he’s taking that as far as he can?

  171. 171
    Brachiator says:

    @SFAW:

    But there are plenty of persons for whom tax cuts are nice-to-have, but are able to do a trade-off analysis, and decide that maybe the tax cut is less important than some benefit which would be funded by that same money.

    Nope. Just don’t agree. This is one of the reasons that Democrats always talk about middle class tax cuts. This is also why Bernie Sanders will hit a wall.

    This is not about a rational trade off analysis. It’s insane to propose tax increases when wages are stagnant and when cost of living increases reduce buying power. This is something that some supposed progressives never understand. They get fixated with all the wonderful shit they want to do with captured tax dollars and lose sight of real people.

    Not everyone is as innumerate, nor as brainwashed (for lack of a better term) as the stereotypical Rethug voter.

    Your categories are too narrow, wrong and reductive.

    But as I noted, Sanders, so far, is the only candidate openly talking about tax increases to find his progressive Nirvana. And he is fairly innumerate.

  172. 172
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:
    I did better with the tax cut.
    But yes the instructions that were rushed out to make them simpler were crap. And wrong. I may be old but I’ve been able to read comprehensively for decades. My math and logic skills are still pretty dam good. And I followed the instructions. I did this twice because they was so obviously wrong. But what else was I to do, not follow the instructions? So I sent off my return. The letter I got back said I owed but as long as I paid in some ridiculously long time frame there would be no penalty. They knew what was up, a proper tax preparer would probably have as well. But the tax law and the concept of making a complex system so simple was beyond the skills of republicans. They fucked it up. They rushed it to get the numbers for their benefactors and fuck everyone else.
    And yes I still paid a slight bit less, BFD. My government is still fucked up because of it.

  173. 173

    Austerity in government budgeting is popular, until ones own street has potholes.

    The TCJA raised the taxes of many middle-income people, because so many deductions were taken away. I note in particular that teachers were hit.

    We could not go to the moon again – paying for it would be too unpopular.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-tax-plan-raise-taxes-middle-income-families-2017-9

  174. 174
    Brachiator says:

    @Ruckus:

    He once told me that my business didn’t have to pay any tax. But I would be audited and every deduction would be upheld. But the cost to me for that would be more than the tax I owe, so pay your damn taxes

    If he told you this, he was dead wrong. Also, that’s not how audits work.

    I stopped doing a lot of returns personally years ago, but I never lost an audit challenge. Sometimes I pointed out an IRS mistake. Most issues related to tax return issues never even rose to the level of an audit and only required a couple of letters. For some customers, I would have an “audit folder,” backup and documentation if the IRS or the state raised a fuss. And pound for pound, the California Franchise Tax Board was more a pain than the IRS.

  175. 175
    Brachiator says:

    @Ruckus:

    But the tax law and the concept of making a complex system so simple was beyond the skills of republicans. They fucked it up. They rushed it to get the numbers for their benefactors and fuck everyone else.

    Yep. Lots of tax pros passed around pages of the new tax law with handwritten scrawls by GOP legislators. The first “clarification” to the new business deduction rules was 138 pages.

    This was insane. And GOP arrogance as they deliberately excluded Democrats was breathtaking and callous. And didn’t get enough notice from lazy and stupid reporters. To be fair a lot of business page coverage was fair, but this was too boring for general news.

  176. 176
    Xavier Onassis says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Simple response to Trump’s boasting about the economy: “When was the last time you got a raise?”

  177. 177
    SFAW says:

    @Brachiator:

    I can’t tell you how surprised I am that your argument boils down to “it’s the way I say it is because it just is.”

  178. 178
    Citizen Alan says:

    @JimV:

    He had one job as Obama’s VP running-mate: beat Sarah Palin in their debate. I’m not sure he even cleared that low bar.

    My recollection was that he beat Palin and later Ryan pretty decisively. For whatever that’s worth.

  179. 179
    Brachiator says:

    @SFAW:

    I can’t tell you how surprised I am that your argument boils down to “it’s the way I say it is because it just is.”

    Nope. Sorry. That’s how you want to read it.

    And again, I am very happy to put things to a test. Let’s see how many candidates not named Bernie Sanders propose a tax increase to pay for infrastructure investment.

    As for anything else, in this thread, I supplied links for every major issue I raised.

    What you got?

  180. 180
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay: Crash was in 2007.

  181. 181
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:
    I have simplified for the discussion and this was decades ago. On my corp business return we took normal deductions and never got audited or even a letter. The deductions he was talking about were way out there and would have had to be defended. A big corp with a big accounting firm would have used them, my guy didn’t think these were appropriate, and he knew the IRS would have seen them the same way and he would have to fight for them. He would win, he was within the law but they would have triggered an audit for any firm. My cost to pay him to defend this would have cost me more than I’d save. In a big corp that cost wouldn’t have come close to the savings. The laws were written with big corps or very wealthy persons in mind. Laws and their enforcement always have been on the side of the wealthy. That’s why BS is such a hypocrite, he has more money than a large percentage of this country, he rattles on about how money is the root of all evil, but he’s no different than anyone else with some about having some.

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    SFAW says:

    @Brachiator:

    Oh, so now it’s a tax increase that we’re talking about? Damn, I used to be able to kick a 47-yarder, but a 66-yard FG is too far for me.

    The articles to which you linked — at least, that weren’t behind a paywall — address macro (more-or-less) effects. Which is great, but I didn’t spot anything that talked about whether taxpayers would be willing to trade a tax cut for things such as infrastructure improvement — which is what I addressed originally. You provided your (apparently seat-of-the-pants) belief that no one would choose to forgo a tax cut in exchange for various improvements in the human condition. I disagreed, because (A) I’m not particularly well-off, but I’d be more than happy to make that trade, assuming it actually provides benefit(s) to persons outside the top X percent, (B) I know others who feel the same way, and (C) I believe — but am not sure, so maybe my memory is faulty — that the question has been asked in the past, and a not-insignificant portion of taxpayers responded similarly.

    So, feel free to post more Salon and Bloomberg links, if it makes you happy. Your contention was that people wouldn’t give up their tax cut(s), my contention is that some percentage — I picked 30, but any not-insignificant number works — would be willing to do so under various non-magical conditions.

    As Cole says: we’ll agree to disagree, but I’m right.

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    Brachiator says:

    @Ruckus:

    He would win, he was within the law but they would have triggered an audit for any firm.

    This may be a dead thread, and (seriously) with all due respect, I think your guy was exaggerating, to be gracious.

    And obviously I don’t know what the business was or the nature of the deductions, but doesn’t quite sound right. But if overall it worked out for you, then the peace of mind was probably worth it.

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