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  • Originally posted by BBC

    Canada has banned the export of some prescription medicines in order to prevent a shortage in the country.

    29 November 2020

    The decision is in response to a US plan that would allow for drugs to be imported from Canada to make them cheaper for Americans.

    Although prescription drug prices in Canada are higher than some nations, they are cheaper than the US.

    A number of Canada's drug suppliers had warned that the plan, implemented by President Trump, would cause shortages.

    The pandemic has already increased demands for some medicines, according to the AFP news agency.

    A statement from Canada's health ministry said the country sources 68% of its drugs from overseas and therefore it was important to avoid any disruptions to supplies.

    "Companies will now also be required to provide information to assess existing or potential shortages when requested, and within 24 hours if there is a serious or imminent health risk," the statement said.

    Mr Trump signed an executive order in July to allow for the legal importation of cheaper drugs from Canada.

    A month later, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was happy to help other nations with their supplies if possible but his priority was protecting the needs of Canadians.

    Drugmakers have faced intense criticism from US politicians - including Mr Trump - as well as insurance companies and patients' groups over the high cost of new medicines and price hikes in some older generic drugs.

    President-elect Joe Biden has previously spoken of potentially importing drugs to bring down costs.

    .
    Originally posted by Trump_White_House_Executive_Orders

    Executive Order on An America-First Healthcare Plan

    Issued on: September 24, 2020

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

    Section 1. Purpose. Since January 20, 2017, my Administration has been committed to the goal of bringing great healthcare to the American people and putting patients first. To that end, my Administration has taken monumental steps to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare in the United States.

    (a) My Administration has been committed to restoring choice and control to the American patient.

    On December 22, 2017, I signed into law the repeal of the burdensome individual-mandate penalty, liberating millions of low-income Americans from a tax that penalized them for not purchasing health-insurance coverage they did not want or could not afford. Through Executive Order 13813 of October 12, 2017 (Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States), my Administration has expanded coverage options for millions of Americans in several ways. My Administration increased the availability of renewable short-term, limited-duration healthcare plans, providing options that are up to 60 percent cheaper than the least expensive alternatives under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and are projected to cover 500,000 individuals who would otherwise be uninsured. My Administration expanded health reimbursement arrangements, which have been projected by the Department of the Treasury to reach 800,000 businesses and over 11 million employees and to expand coverage to more than 800,000 individuals who would otherwise be uninsured. My Administration also issued a rule to increase the availability of association health plans for small businesses, which, upon implementation of the rule, are projected to cover up to 400,000 previously uninsured individuals for on average 30 percent less cost.

    As set forth in the Economic Report of the President (February 2020), my Administration’s expansion of health savings accounts will further help millions of Americans pay for health expenditures by allowing them to save more of their own money free from Federal taxation, and will especially help Americans with chronic conditions who now have more flexibility to enroll in plans that fit their complicated care needs and can be paired with a tax-advantaged account.

    At the beginning of the current COVID-19 pandemic, my Administration acted to dramatically increase the accessibility and availability of telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries, enabling millions of individuals to use these services. Pursuant to Executive Order 13941 of August 3, 2020 (Improving Rural Health and Telehealth Access), the Secretary of Health and Human Services will make permanent many of the new policies that improve the accessibility and availability of telehealth services. In addition, pursuant to that order, the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Agriculture will develop and implement a strategy to improve the physical and communications healthcare infrastructure available to rural Americans.

    Through our State Relief and Empowerment Waivers, my Administration has given States additional health-insurance flexibility, which has expanded health-insurance coverage options for consumers and lowered costs for patients. These waivers allow States to move away from the ACA’s rigid structure and are estimated to have lowered premiums by approximately 11 percent in Wisconsin, 20 percent in Minnesota, and 43 percent in Maryland. Due to actions my Administration took, like the State Relief and Empowerment Waivers, after years of dwindling choices and escalating prices, plan options for consumers increased and for 2019, for the first time ever, benchmark premiums actually decreased on Healthcare.gov. For 2020, the average benchmark premium dropped by nearly 4 percent.

    After the prior Administration spent tens of billions of dollars creating electronic health records systems unable to accurately or effectively record and communicate patient data, my Administration has paved the way for a new wave of innovation to allow patients to safely send their own medical records to care providers of their choosing. My Patients over Paperwork initiative has cut red tape for doctors and nurses so they can spend more time with their patients, which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has estimated to save over 40 million hours of wasted time for providers and suppliers between 2017 and 2021.

    (b) My Administration has been ceaseless in its efforts to lower costs to make healthcare more affordable for American patients.

    Under my tenure, prescription drugs saw their largest annual price decrease in nearly half a century. For three consecutive years, we have approved a record number of generic drugs. The Council of Economic Advisers has estimated that these approvals saved patients $26 billion in the first 18 months of my Administration alone. As part of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, I signed into law the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act, which will pave the way for even more generic drugs and is projected to save taxpayers $3.3 billion from 2019 to 2029.

    CMS has acted to offer Medicare beneficiaries prescription drug plans with the option of insulin capped at $35 in out-of-pocket expenses for a 30-day supply. We are also reducing Government payments to overcharging hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program by instead paying rates that more accurately reflect the hospitals’ acquisition costs, which CMS estimated would save Medicare beneficiaries $320 million on copayments for drugs alone.

    As a result of Executive Order 13937 of July 24, 2020 (Access to Affordable Life-Saving Medications), low-income Americans who receive care from a federally qualified health center will have access to insulin and injectable epinephrine at prices lower than ever before. Under Executive Order 13938 of July 24, 2020 (Increasing Drug Importation to Lower Prices for American Patients), my Administration will be the first to complete a rulemaking to authorize the safe importation of certain lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada. Pursuant to Executive Order 13939 of July 24, 2020 (Lowering Prices for Patients by Eliminating Kickbacks to Middlemen), my Administration is taking action to eliminate wasteful payments to middlemen by passing drug discounts through to patients at the pharmacy counter without increasing premiums for beneficiaries or cost to Federal taxpayers. And my Administration is taking action to ensure that Medicare patients receive the lowest price that drug companies offer comparable foreign nations through Executive Order 13948 of September 13, 2020 (Lowering Drug Prices by Putting America First).

    As part of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, I also signed into law the repeal of the medical device tax, the annual fee on health-insurance providers, and the “Cadillac” tax on certain employer-sponsored health insurance, which threatened to dramatically increase the cost of healthcare for working families.

    My Administration is transforming the black-box hospital and insurance pricing systems to be transparent about price and quality. Regardless of health-insurance coverage, two‑thirds of adults in America still worry about the threat of unexpected medical bills. This fear is the result of a system under which individuals and employers are unable to see how insurance companies, pharmacy benefit managers, insurance brokers, and providers are or will be paid. One major culprit is the practice of “surprise billing,” in which a patient receives unexpected bills at highly inflated prices from providers who are not part of the patient’s insurance network, even if the patient was treated at a hospital that was part of the patient’s network. Patients can receive these bills despite having no opportunity to select around an out-of-network provider in advance.

    On May 9, 2019, I announced four principles to guide congressional efforts to prohibit exorbitant bills resulting from patients’ accidentally or unknowingly receiving services from out-of-network physicians. Unfortunately, the Congress has failed to act, and patients remain vulnerable to surprise billing.

    In the absence of congressional action, my Administration has already taken strong and decisive action to make healthcare prices more transparent. On June 24, 2019, I signed Executive Order 13877 (Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First), directing certain agencies — for the first time ever — to make sure patients have access to meaningful price and quality information prior to the delivery of care. Beginning January 1, 2021, hospitals will be required to publish their real price for every service, and publicly display in a consumer-friendly, easy-to-understand format the prices of at least 300 different common services that are able to be shopped for in advance.

    We have also taken some concrete steps to eliminate surprise out‑of-network bills. For example, on April 10, 2020, my Administration required providers to certify, as a condition of receiving supplemental COVID-19 funding, that they would not seek to collect out-of-pocket expenses from a patient for treatment related to COVID-19 in an amount greater than what the patient would have otherwise been required to pay for care by an in-network provider. These initiatives have made important progress, although additional efforts are necessary.

    Not all hospitals allow for surprise bills. But many do. Unfortunately, surprise billing has become sufficiently pervasive that the fear of receiving a surprise bill may dissuade patients from seeking appropriate care. And research suggests a correlation between hospitals that frequently allow surprise billing and increases in hospital admissions and imaging procedures, putting patients at risk of receiving unnecessary services, which can lead to physical harm and threatens the long-term financial sustainability of Medicare.

    Efforts to limit surprise billing and increase the number of providers participating in the same insurance network as the hospital in which they work would correspondingly streamline the ability of patients to receive care and reduce time spent on billing disputes.

    On May 15, 2020, HHS released the Health Quality Roadmap to empower patients to make fully informed decisions about their healthcare by facilitating the availability of appropriate and meaningful price and quality information. These transformative actions will arm patients with the tools to be active and effective shoppers for healthcare services, enabling them to identify high-value providers and services, and ultimately place downward pressure on prices.

    My Administration has cracked down on waste, fraud, and abuse that direct valuable taxpayer resources away from those who need them most. My Administration implemented a “site neutral” payment system between hospital outpatient departments and physicians’ offices, to ensure Medicare beneficiaries are charged the same price for the same service regardless of where it takes place, which CMS estimates will save them approximately $160 million in co-payments for 2020. We also changed the rules to enable Government watchdogs to proactively identify and stop perpetrators of fraud before money goes out the door.

    (c) My Administration has been dedicated to providing better care for all Americans.

    This includes a steadfast commitment to always protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions and ensuring they have access to the high-quality healthcare they deserve. No American should have to risk going without health insurance based on a health history that he or she cannot change.

    In an attempt to justify the ACA, the previous Administration claimed that, absent action by the Congress, up to 129 million (later updated to 133 million) non-elderly people with what it described as pre-existing conditions were in danger of being denied health-insurance coverage. According to the previous Administration, however, only 2.7 percent of such individuals actually gained access to health insurance through the ACA, given existing laws and programs already in place to cover them. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 has long protected individuals with pre-existing conditions, including individuals covered by group health plans and individuals who had such coverage but lost it.

    The ACA produced multiple other failures. The average insurance premium in the individual market more than doubled from 2013 to 2017, and those who have not received generous Federal subsidies have struggled to maintain coverage. For those who have managed to maintain coverage, many have experienced a substantial rise in deductibles, limited choice of insurers, and limited provider networks that exclude their doctors and the facilities best suited to care for them.

    Additionally, approximately 30 million Americans remain uninsured, notwithstanding the previous Administration’s promises that the ACA would address this intractable problem. On top of these disappointing results, Federal taxpayers and, unfortunately, future generations of American workers, have been left with an enormous bill. The ACA’s Medicaid expansion and subsidies for the individual market are projected by the Congressional Budget Office to cost more than $1.8 trillion over the next decade.

    The ACA is neither the best nor the only way to ensure that Americans who suffer from pre-existing conditions have access to health-insurance coverage. I have agreed with the States challenging the ACA, who have won in the Federal district court and court of appeals, that the ACA, as amended, exceeds the power of the Congress. The ACA was flawed from its inception and should be struck down. However, access to health insurance despite underlying health conditions should be maintained, even if the Supreme Court invalidates the unconstitutional, and largely harmful, ACA.

    My Administration has always been committed to ensuring that patients with pre-existing conditions can obtain affordable healthcare, to lowering healthcare costs, to improving quality of care, and to enabling individuals to choose the healthcare that meets their needs. For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, my Administration implemented a program to provide any individual without health-insurance coverage access to necessary COVID‑19‑related testing and treatment.

    My commitment to improving care across our country expands vastly beyond the rules governing health insurance. On July 10, 2019, I signed Executive Order 13879 (Advancing American Kidney Health) to improve care for the hundreds of thousands of Americans suffering from end-stage renal disease. Pursuant to that order, my Administration launched a program to encourage home dialysis and promote transplants for patients, and expects to enroll approximately 120,000 Medicare beneficiaries with end‑stage renal disease in the program. We also have removed financial barriers to living organ donation by adding additional financial support for living donors, such as by reimbursing expenses for lost wages, child care, and elder care. HHS, together with the American Society of Nephrology, issued two phases of awards through KidneyX’s Redesign Dialysis Price Competition to work toward the creation of an artificial kidney.

    My Administration has taken unprecedented action to improve the quality of and access to care for individuals with HIV, as part of our goal of ending the epidemic of HIV in the United States by 2030. HHS has awarded at least $226 million to expand access to HIV care, treatment, medication, and prevention services, focused on 48 counties, Washington, D.C., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, where more than 50 percent of new HIV diagnoses occurred in 2016 and 2017, as well as seven States with a substantial rural HIV rate. We secured a historic donation of a groundbreaking HIV preventive medication that is available at no cost to eligible patients.

    My Administration has started a transformation in healthcare in rural America. This includes a new effort, pursuant to my directive in Executive Order 13941, to support small hospitals and health clinics in rural communities in transitioning from volume-based Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, which has failed rural communities that struggle with a lack of patient volume, and toward value-based payment mechanisms that are tailored to meet the needs of their communities. We updated Medicare payment policies to address a problem in the program’s payment calculation that has historically disadvantaged rural hospitals, and released a Rural Action Plan to incorporate recommendations from experts and leaders across the Federal Government. We have also dedicated a special focus on improving care offered through the Indian Health Service (IHS) within HHS, including by creating the Office of Quality, implementing an increase in annual funding for IHS by $243 million from 2019 to 2020, and expanding nationwide IHS’s successful Alaska Community Health Aide Program.

    My Administration has additionally demonstrated an incredible dedication to protecting and improving care for those most in need, including senior citizens, those with substance use disorders, and those to whom our Nation owes the greatest debt: our veterans.

    I have protected the viability of the Medicare program. For example, on February 9, 2018, I signed into law the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which would have been a group of unelected bureaucrats created by the ACA, designed to be insulated from the will of America’s elected leaders for the purpose of cutting the spending of this important program. On October 3, 2019, I signed Executive Order 13890 (Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors), to modernize the Medicare program and continue its viability. According to CMS estimates, seniors have saved $2.65 billion in lower Medicare premiums under my Administration while benefiting from more choices. For example, the average monthly Medicare Advantage premium has declined an estimated 28 percent since 2017, and Medicare Advantage has included about 1,200 more plan options since 2018. New Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits have helped seniors stay safe in their homes, improved respite care for caregivers, and provided transportation, more in-home support services and assistance, and non-opioid pain management alternatives like therapeutic massages. Medicare Part D premiums are at their lowest level in their history, with the average basic premium declining 13.5 percent since 2016.

    My Administration has directed unprecedented attention on the substance use disorder epidemic, with a focus on reducing overdose deaths from prescription opioids and the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl. On October 24, 2018, I signed the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act, enabling the expenditure of billions of dollars of funding for important programs to support prevention and recovery. My Administration has provided approximately $22.5 billion from 2017 to 2020 to address the opioid crisis and improve access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services. We saw a 34 percent decrease in total opioids dispensed monthly by pharmacies between 2017 and 2019, an approximate increase of 64 percent in the number of Americans who receive medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder since 2016, and a 484 percent increase in naloxone prescriptions since 2017. Data show that drug overdose deaths fell nationwide for the first time in decades between 2017 and 2018, with many of the hardest-hit States leading the way.

    Improving care for our Nation’s veterans has been a priority since the beginning of my Administration. On June 6, 2018, I signed the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act of 2018, which authorized billions of dollars to improve options for veterans to receive care outside of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare providers. Since taking effect, the VA estimates that more than 2.4 million veterans have benefited from more than 6.5 million referrals to the 725,000 private healthcare providers with which the VA is now working. On June 23, 2017, I signed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 to hold our civil servants accountable for maintaining the best quality of care possible for our Nation’s veterans by giving the Secretary of Veterans Affairs more power to discipline employees and shorten an appeals process that can last years. On March 5, 2019, I signed Executive Order 13861 (National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Suicide) to ensure that the Federal Government leads a collective effort to prevent suicide among our veterans.

    I have used scientific research to focus on areas most pressing for the health of Americans. On September 19, 2019, I signed Executive Order 13887 (Modernizing Influenza Vaccines in the United States to Promote National Security and Public Health), recognizing the threat that pandemic influenza continues to represent and putting forward a plan to prepare for future influenza pandemics. To modernize influenza vaccines and promote national security and public health, HHS issued a 6‑year, $226 million contract to retain and increase capacity to produce recombinant influenza vaccine domestically, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health within HHS, initiated the Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers program.

    Investments my Administration has made in scientific research will help tackle some of our most pressing medical challenges and pay dividends for generations to come. This includes working to increase funding for Alzheimer’s disease research by billions of dollars since 2017 and a plan to invest more than $500 million over the next decade to improve pediatric cancer research. On December 18, 2018, I signed the Sickle Cell Disease and Other Heritable Blood Disorders Research, Surveillance, Prevention, and Treatment Act of 2018 to provide support for research into sickle cell disease, which disproportionately impacts African Americans and Hispanics, and to authorize programs relating to sickle cell disease surveillance, prevention, and treatment.

    On May 30, 2018, I signed the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2017, which gives terminally ill patients the right to access certain treatments without being blocked by onerous Federal regulations.

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, my Administration launched Operation Warp Speed, a groundbreaking effort of the Federal Government to engage with the private sector to quickly develop and deliver safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for COVID-19. On August 6, 2020, I signed Executive Order 13944 (Combating Public Health Emergencies and Strengthening National Security by Ensuring Essential Medicines, Medical Countermeasures, and Critical Inputs Are Made in the United States), to protect Americans through reduced dependence on foreign manufacturers for essential medicines and other items and to strengthen the Nation’s Public Health Industrial Base.

    Taken together, these extraordinary reforms constitute an ongoing effort to improve American healthcare by putting patients first and delivering continuous innovation. And this effort will continue to succeed because of my Administration’s commitment to delivering great healthcare with more choices, better care, and lower costs for all Americans.

    Sec. 2. Policy. It has been and will continue to be the policy of the United States to give Americans seeking healthcare more choice, lower costs, and better care and to ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions can obtain the insurance of their choice at affordable rates.

    Sec. 3. Giving Americans More Choice in Healthcare. The Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall maintain and build upon existing actions to expand access to and options for affordable healthcare.

    Sec. 4. Lowering Healthcare Costs for Americans. (a) The Secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, shall maintain and build upon existing actions to expand access to affordable medicines, including accelerating the approvals of new generic and biosimilar drugs and facilitating the safe importation of affordable prescription drugs from abroad.

    (b) The Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall maintain and build upon existing actions to ensure consumers have access to meaningful price and quality information prior to the delivery of care.

    (i) Recognizing that both chambers of the Congress have made substantial progress towards a solution to end surprise billing, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall work with the Congress to reach a legislative solution by December 31, 2020.

    (ii) In the event a legislative solution is not reached by December 31, 2020, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall take administrative action to prevent a patient from receiving a bill for out-of-pocket expenses that the patient could not have reasonably foreseen.

    (iii) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall update the Medicare.gov Hospital Compare website to inform beneficiaries of hospital billing quality, including:

    (A) whether the hospital is in compliance with the Hospital Price Transparency Final Rule, as amended (84 Fed. Reg. 65524), effective January 1, 2021;

    (B) whether, upon discharge, the hospital provides patients with a receipt that includes a list of itemized services received during a hospital stay; and

    (C) how often the hospital pursues legal action against patients, including to garnish wages, to place a lien on a patient’s home, or to withdraw money from a patient’s income tax refund.

    (c) The Secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Administrator of CMS, shall maintain and build upon existing actions to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in the healthcare system.

    Sec. 5. Providing Better Care to Americans. (a) The Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall maintain and build upon existing actions to improve quality in the delivery of care for veterans.

    (b) The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall continue to promote medical innovations to find novel and improved treatments for COVID-19, Alzheimer’s disease, sickle cell disease, pediatric cancer, and other conditions threatening the well-being of Americans.

    Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

    (i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

    (ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

    (b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

    (c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

    WhiteHouse.gov
    The White House

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    Last edited by JRT; 30 Nov 20,, 13:00.
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    • JRT....shot....chaser.
      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
      Mark Twain

      Comment


      • New manufacturing data indicate ‘the feared economic slowdown is starting’

        WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. manufacturing activity slowed in November, with new orders retreating from their highest level in nearly 17 years, as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases across the nation kept workers at home and factories temporarily shut down to sanitize facilities.

        The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Tuesday warned that absenteeism at factories and their suppliers as well as difficulties in returning and hiring workers would continue to "dampen" manufacturing until the coronavirus crisis ended.

        The softening in factory activity supports expectations for a sharp deceleration in economic growth in the fourth quarter amid the raging pandemic and end of fiscal stimulus.

        Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday urged Congress to provide more help for small businesses. A bipartisan group of lawmakers proposed a new $908 billion emergency relief package for small businesses and millions of unemployed Americans.

        "The feared economic slowdown is starting, but it is pretty slow off the blocks," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economics in Holland, Pennsylvania.

        The ISM's index of national factory activity dropped to a reading of 57.5 last month from 59.3 in October, which had been the highest since November 2018. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing, which accounts for 11.3% of the U.S. economy. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index would slip to 58 in November.

        Sixteen manufacturing industries, including wood products, machinery and transportation equipment, reported growth last month. Petroleum and coal products, as well as printing and related support activities industries, contracted.

        The United States is in the grip of a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections, with 4.2 million new cases and over 35,000 coronavirus-related deaths reported in November, according to a Reuters tally of official data. The virus is likely to disrupt production at factories. Manufacturing output is still about 5% below its pre-pandemic level, according to the Fed.

        More than $3 trillion in government COVID-19 relief has run out. The fiscal stimulus helped millions of unemployed Americans cover daily expenses and companies keep workers on payrolls, leading to record economic growth in the third quarter.

        Slowing manufacturing activity followed on the heels of data last week showing consumer spending cooling in October.

        The economy grew at a historic 33.1% annualized rate in the third quarter after shrinking at a 31.4% rate in the April-June period, the deepest since the government started keeping records in 1947. Growth estimates for the fourth quarter are mostly below a 5% rate. Exploding COVID-19 infections and lack of additional stimulus have left some economists anticipating a contraction in the first quarter of 2021.

        A second report from the Commerce Department on Tuesday showed a solid increase in construction spending in October, but outlays in September actually declined instead of rising modestly as was previously estimated.

        Stocks on Wall Street rose, with the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq hitting record highs on hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine would be available soon. The dollar fell to a 2-1/2-year low against a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury prices were lower.

        Mixed views
        Manufacturers last month offered mixed assessments of business conditions. Transportation equipment makers said the flare-up in COVID-19 cases was straining suppliers, with labor the main issue, impacting production.

        In the food industry, factories were "sending employees home for 14 days to quarantine," and "had to shut down production lines due to lack of staffing." This led to "much higher than normal" production costs, suggesting consumers could soon be paying more at the supermarket at a time when about 13.6 million Americans are due to lose government-funded unemployment benefits a day after Christmas.

        But fabricated metal producers reported strong business and said they expected demand to continue growing in 2021. Machinery manufacturers were also upbeat, though they said the coronavirus remained a concern.

        ISM's forward-looking new orders sub-index fell to a reading of 65.1 in November from 67.9 in October, which was the highest reading since January 2004. Manufacturing employment contracted after expanding in October for the first time since July 2019.

        ISM's manufacturing employment gauge dropped to a reading of 48.4 from 53.2 in October. That likely reflects the absenteeism due to the coronavirus as well as layoffs as demand softens. It fits in with economists' expectations that job growth slowed further in November. Manufacturing accounts for more than 10% of private payroll employment.

        "Today's news of layoffs in the sector, either planned or unplanned, is a worrisome sign that shows there is not a clear path to winning here for the economic outlook as 2021 approaches," Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York.

        According to an early Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 495,000 jobs last month after rising by 638,000 in October. Employment growth has cooled from a record 4.781 million new jobs in June.

        About 12.1 million of the 22.2 million jobs lost in March and April have been recovered. The government is scheduled to publish November's employment report on Friday.
        ________

        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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          • Originally posted by JRT View Post



            “Record number” … 6,000 … red herring.

            Increase the population living abroad (a key criteria not mentioned), and the number goes up.

            The only valid measure would be passport changes divided by expat population, but since there is no real understanding of how many Americans live abroad (estimates are 5-15 million), there's no answer.




            Trust me?
            I'm an economist!

            Comment


            • Elon Musk is not (yet) moving out of the USA, but does seem to be moving from California to Texas to avoid California's high income taxes.

              Originally posted by CNBC

              Tesla CEO Elon Musk has told friends and associates he plans to move to Texas

              04 December 2020
              by Ari Levy and Lora Kolodny

              Musk said in May that he was selling all his houses and then proceeded to list his California properties. Friends and associates say he's told them he's moving, although there's no record of a change in residence yet.

              Elon Musk's pay package from 2018 means [B[he's getting significant stock awards based on Tesla's market cap increases and hitting financial targets.
              Texas has no state income tax, while California's is the highest in the country.[/B]

              Tesla CEO Elon Musk put his California houses on the market this year while he was sparring with state lawmakers over Covid-19 restrictions. He's simultaneously been expanding operations in Texas and cozying up to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

              Now, several of his close friends and associates say that Musk has told them he's planning to move to the Lone Star State. The people with knowledge of his plans asked not to be named because their conversations were private.

              Musk, the world's second-wealthiest person behind Amazon's Jeff Bezos, is in Texas frequently already. He spends most of his time between Austin, where Tesla and his tunnel start-up Boring Company have operations, and a coastal village called Boca Chica, home to a SpaceX facility. SpaceX started operating in Texas in 2003.

              You need only follow Musk on Twitter to see his presence in the state, as he often posts photos and videos from SpaceX's test and launch site known as the Starship Production Complex.

              California, often condemned by the super rich for its high tax rates and stiff regulations, has seen an exodus of notable tech names during the pandemic as companies look to cut costs and prepare for a future of distributed work. Musk has been among the loudest critics this year, comparing the state to a championship sports team that's become complacent and developed a "winning-for-too-long problem."

              In May, as businesses across California were forced to remain closed because of the pandemic, Musk tweeted that he was moving Tesla's headquarters and future development from California to Texas and Nevada.

              Getting out of California, with the highest income tax in the country, and into Texas, which has no state income tax, could save Musk billions of dollars based on his compensation package awarded in 2018. Musk was granted 101.3 million options (adjusted after a 5-for-1 stock split this year) that vest over time as the company hits certain milestones, including market cap numbers.

              Tesla's stock has surged 782% in the past year. As of October, Musk had earned awards currently worth about $20 billion before taxes, based on Thursday's close, a portion of the potential total.

              Nailing down where Musk lives at any given time is a challenge because he claims to be selling all "physical possessions" and tweeted in May that he "will own no house." Shortly after that, he put several of his California homes up for sale. CNBC was unable to find any public records that suggest he's officially changed his residence, and the White Pages online database still lists his primary address as Los Angeles.

              Even the people who know him well and are aware of his general plans to move to Texas say they don't know where exactly he stays when he's there and that he tries to keep those details private.

              The state's top lawmaker, Gov. Abbott, certainly seems to think Musk is making the move.

              In July, Abbott said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that Musk told him he'd gotten a Texas driver's license and is a "bona fide Texan now." Abbott also said Musk was building his next Tesla factory in the state because it would give him the freedom to "expand the way he wanted to expand." When contacted for this story, a spokesperson for Abbott declined further comment on Musk's plans.

              To help lure Tesla's new factory, local officials granted the company tens of millions of dollars in property tax breaks. Musk confirmed on the company's second-quarter earnings call in July that the plant would occupy about 2,000 acres 15 minutes from downtown, and would be used to build the Cybertruck, its Semi, Model 3 and Model Y. Musk said the factory will start delivering cars next year.

              In addition to SpaceX and Tesla, Musk's Boring Company has an office in Texas. Seven of the nascent company's 17 job openings on its website are for positions in Austin, and Musk has hinted at building a tunnel there. Boring Company investor Joe Lonsdale, a co-founder of Palantir and friend of Musk's, recently relocated to the Austin area from Silicon Valley.

              For now, Tesla's headquarters is still in Palo Alto, California, and the company continues to build cars in nearby Fremont. SpaceX's main address is in Los Angeles County at 1 Rocket Road in Hawthorne.

              But Musk's personal financial reasons for leaving California are significant. Under his 10-year compensation package approved in 2018, Musk could earn well over $50 billion in stock and awards in 12 tranches — he's already reached the fourth. He would have to pay income taxes on the profits when he exercises the options. The top state income tax rate in California is 13.3%. In Texas, it's zero.

              Musk's awards started kicking in after the company reached $100 billion in market cap along with specific metrics for revenue or adjusted earnings. Each $50 billion increase in market cap, up to $650 billion in total market value, leads to another payout if met with a revenue or profitability target. The company is already worth over $550 billion, after starting the year well below $100 billion.

              During the third quarter, the second and third tranches vested, and the fourth was achieved in October, the company said in its latest quarterly report. That equals roughly 33.8 million of the 101.3 million shares. For the package to stay intact, Musk must remain either CEO or executive chairman and chief product officer.

              Musk and spokespeople for Tesla and SpaceX did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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              • More of Trump's economy...

                Originally posted by AP_News

                Millions of hungry Americans turn to food banks

                by Sharon Cohen
                07 December 2020

                The deadly pandemic that tore through the nation’s heartland struck just as Aaron Crawford was in a moment of crisis. He was looking for work, his wife needed surgery, then the virus began eating away at her work hours and her paycheck.

                The Crawfords had no savings, mounting bills and a growing dread: What if they ran out of food? The couple had two boys, 5 and 10, and boxes of macaroni and cheese from the dollar store could go only so far.

                A 37-year-old Navy vet, Crawford saw himself as self-reliant. Asking for food made him uncomfortable. “I felt like I was a failure,” he says. “It’s this whole stigma ... this mindset that you’re this guy who can’t provide for his family, that you’re a deadbeat.”

                Hunger is a harsh reality in the richest country in the world. Even during times of prosperity, schools hand out millions of hot meals a day to children, and desperate elderly Americans are sometimes forced to choose between medicine and food.

                Now, in the pandemic of 2020, with illness, job loss and business closures, millions more Americans are worried about empty refrigerators and barren cupboards. Food banks are doling out meals at a rapid pace and an Associated Press data analysis found a sharp rise in the amount of food distributed compared with last year. Meanwhile, some folks are skipping meals so their children can eat and others are depending on cheap food that lacks nutrition.

                Those fighting hunger say they’ve never seen anything like this in America, even during the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

                The first place many Americans are finding relief is a neighborhood food pantry, most connected to vast networks of nonprofits. Tons of food move each day from grocery store discards and government handouts to warehouse distribution centers, and then to the neighborhood charity.

                The Crawfords turned to the Family Resource Centers and Food Shelf, part of 360 Communities, a nonprofit 15 minutes from their apartment in Apple Valley, Minnesota. When needed, they receive monthly boxes of fresh produce, dairy, deli, meat and other basics — enough food to fill two grocery carts. If that runs out, they can get an emergency package to tide them over for the rest of the month.

                Crawford’s wife, Sheyla, had insisted they seek help; her hours had been cut at the day care center where she worked. At first, Crawford was embarrassed to go the food shelf; he worried he’d bump into someone he knew. He now sees it differently.

                “It didn’t make me a bad man or a terrible husband or father,” he says. “On the contrary, I was actually doing something to make sure that my wife and kids had something thing to eat.”

                ___

                The history books are filled with iconic images of America’s struggles against hunger. Among the most memorable are the Depression-era photos of men standing in breadlines, huddled in long coats and fedoras, their eyes large with fear. An overhead sign reads: “Free Soup. Coffee and a Doughnut for the Unemployed.”

                This year’s portrait of hunger has a distinctively bird’s eye view: Enormous traffic jams captured from drone-carrying cameras. Cars inching along, each driver waiting hours for a box or bag of food. From Anaheim, California to San Antonio, Texas to Toledo, Ohio and Orlando, Florida and points in-between, thousands of vehicles carrying hungry people queued up for miles across the horizon. In New York, and other large cities, people stand, waiting for blocks on end.

                The newly hungry have similar stories: Their industry collapsed, they lost a job, their hours were cut, an opportunity fell through because of illness.

                Handwritten “closed” signs appeared on the windows of stores and restaurants soon after the pandemic arrived. Paychecks shrank or disappeared altogether as unemployment skyrocketed to 14.7 percent, a rate not seen in almost a century.

                Food banks felt the pressure almost immediately.

                Feeding America, the nation’s largest anti-hunger organization, scrambled to keep up as states locked down and schools — many providing free breakfasts and lunches — closed. In late March, 20 percent of the organization’s 200 food banks were in danger of running out of food.

                The problem with supply subsided, but demand has not. Feeding America has never handed out so much food so fast — 4.2 billion meals from March through October. The organization has seen a 60 percent average increase in food bank users during the pandemic: about 4 in 10 are first-timers.

                An AP analysis of Feeding America data from 181 food banks in its network found the organization has distributed nearly 57 percent more food in the third quarter of the year, compared with the same period in 2019.

                There will be no quick decline as the pandemic rages on, having already claimed more than 280,000 lives and infecting 14.7 million people across the nation.

                Feeding America estimates those facing hunger will swell to 1 in 6 people, from 35 million in 2019 to more than 50 million by this year’s end. The consequences are even more dire for children — 1 in 4, according to the group.

                Some states have been hit especially hard: Nevada, a tourist mecca whose hotel, casino and restaurant industries were battered by the pandemic, is projected to vault from 20th place in 2018 to 5th place this year in food insecurity, according to a report from Feeding America.

                In four states — Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana — more than 1 in 5 residents are expected to be food insecure by year’s end, meaning they won’t have money or resources to put food on the table, the report said.

                In New Orleans one recent Saturday morning, Donna Duerr was waiting to pick up food in a drive-through donation — something that has become part of her routine since COVID-19 swept in last spring.

                Her husband was laid off from his job as a pipefitter and she’s unable to work, having undergone two surgeries — one on her spine, the other on her arm — in the last two months. She also has two grown children who’ve moved home since the pandemic began.

                “This is a hard thing to accept that you have to do this,” says a weary-sounding Duerr, her throat covered with bandages as the result of a recent operation. Every morning she monitors the local news for announcements of the next food donation; she tries to attend as many as she can, sometimes sharing the food with less-mobile neighbors.

                Duerr, 56, faces painful choices. “I either pay bills or get food,” she says, though these donations have brought some relief.

                Norman Butler is another first-timer. Shortly before Thanksgiving, he and his girlfriend, Cheryl, arrived at 3 a.m. at a drive-through food bank in a suburban New Orleans sports stadium. They joined a pre-dawn procession of mothers with their kids, the elderly and folks like him — unemployed workers.

                “You can see the look of uncertainty on their faces,” he says. “Everybody’s just worried about their next meal.”

                Before the pandemic, Butler, 53, flourished in the tourism-dominated city, working as an airport shuttle and limousine driver, a valet and hotel doorman. Since March, when the bustling streets turned silent, jobs in the city have been scarce.

                “A lot of people are in limbo,” he says. “The main thing we need is to get back to work.”

                ___

                Low-wage employees, many in the service industry, have borne the brunt of economic hardship. But the misery has reached deeper into the workforce.

                A September report commissioned by the Food Research & Action Center, an anti-hunger organization, found 1 in 4 of those reporting they didn’t have enough to eat typically had incomes above $50,000 a year before the outbreak.

                In Anchorage, Alaska, Brian and Airis Messick were coasting along in full-time jobs for companies that support the state’s oil industry. They were moving toward buying a house.

                When March arrived, everything unraveled.

                Brian, 28, the newest hire at an electrical wiring company, was laid off. Within a week, Airis, an office worker at an oil well testing firm, lost her job, too.

                Then it became a monthly game of deciding who gets paid first with their unemployment checks — the landlord or one of the many bills. They kept their car filled with gas in case they had to move.

                The Messicks and their 9-year-old son, Jayden, tried to survive on $50 to $75 a week because, she says, “that’s all we could squeeze.” They turned to a food bank for only the second time — they’d sought help after Hurricane Irma hit Florida in 2017.

                After that devastation, the Messicks, who’d met in Florida, decided to get a fresh start and move to Alaska, where Airis had grown up.

                Airis, who just turned 30, found work in August, ironically, at the state unemployment office. “I hear people’s stories all day,” she says. “I listen to moms cry about not having money to take care of their kids. My heart aches for the people who get denied.”

                Brian stays home with Jayden, who is autistic, helping him with school and driving him to appointments. Also part of the family are Cleo, a pit bull-lab mix, and Daisy, a bearded dragon.

                Airis earns too much for the family to receive state financial aid. Anchorage’s high cost-of-living, partly fueled by the expense of shipping goods to the nation’s most northern state, makes it harder to economize even with coupons and careful shopping.

                She says the family will continue to go to the food bank until the economy improves, which she expects won’t be soon.

                There should be better systems in place, she says, to help families.

                “I feel great knowing that we’re not alone, that we’re, you know, not out here being the only one suffering but,” she says, “it makes me mad to know my government failed us.”

                ___

                For communities of color, the pandemic has been a compound disaster with Blacks and Latinos reeling from disproportionately high rates of deaths, infections — and joblessness.

                Unemployment surged among Latinos to 18.9 percent this spring, higher than any other racial and ethnic group, according to federal statistics. Though it has since fallen, many are still struggling.

                More than 1 in 5 Black and Latino adults with children said as of July 2020 they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat, according to the commissioned report. That was double the rate of white and Asian households. It also found that women, households with children and people of color are at greatest risk of hunger.

                Abigail Leocadio, 34, first approached the nonprofit Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix, Arizona, during hard times about a decade ago. Her family rebounded and she completed training to become a phlebotomist, landing a job drawing blood specimens for a local lab.

                Leocadio was just 7 when her family brought her to the U.S. from their native Cuernavaca, Mexico. She currently is protected from deportation and has a work permit through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

                When her husband, a restaurant cook, was laid off earlier in the pandemic, her income — barely more than the $11 state minimum wage — wasn’t enough to cover their expenses.

                Though they own a two-bedroom trailer, they pay $500 a month to rent the lot. Add to that as much as $450 in monthly electric bills and internet service so their four kids, 9 to 15, can attend class remotely. Before schools closed, the kids received free breakfasts and lunches on campus.

                “It has been hard feeding all the kiddos daily,” Leocadio said outside the trailer after a recent delivery from the charity of two boxes including canned tomatoes, dried beans, rice, breakfast cereal and the kids’ undisputed favorite: specialty Oreo cookies.

                The food, she says, provides less than half of what her family eats in four weeks, but significantly reduces their monthly bill to about $250. Before the pandemic, the family was saving to buy a house, but that money has been wiped out. Her husband, though, is back at work.

                “We always figure out things one way or another,” Leocadio says, though she’s worried about the surge in coronavirus cases and what lies ahead. “We really don’t know what’s going to happen.”

                Briana Dominguez had been depending on food pantries in the Chicago area since last fall to supplement her groceries. With two sons, ages 3 and 14, it was hard to keep up, even though she and her boyfriend both worked full-time.

                “I never thought it would be me,” she says of her visits to the Hillside Food Pantry in Evanston, Illinois. “But you do what you gotta do to survive.”

                A series of misfortunes brought them to a turning point.

                Dominguez had a miscarriage, and her father lost his job, due to the pandemic. So did her boyfriend, a trucker. In November her company, which sells ceiling tiles for hospitals and other business, eliminated her job with little notice.

                Dominguez, 34, who has a small severance, has decided to move to Georgia, where she has family and living costs are lower. Her boyfriend has found work as a customer service representative that he can do from anywhere, though it’s only $13 an hour. She traveled there in early December to scout job possibilities.

                “If I don’t do it now,” she says, “I’ll never do it.”

                ___

                While food banks have become critical during the pandemic, they’re just one path for combating hunger. For every meal from a food bank, a federal program called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, provides nine.

                Anti-hunger groups have lobbied Congress for a 15 percent increase in maximum food stamp benefits, A similar measure went a long way in digging the nation out of the Great Recession. A stimulus bill passed by the House this spring includes such a provision, but it has been bogged down in partisan squabbling.

                “Food banks and food pantries are doing great work,” says Luis Guardia, president of thee Food Research & Action Center. “But they simply cannot do enough to be something of the order of magnitude that we’re seeing right now. ”

                Many going to food pantries also are receiving food stamps, though eligibility varies among states.

                Aaron Crawford says the addition of $550 in food stamps the family started receiving last summer has made a significant difference in their lives.

                Others have discovered they couldn’t make it without food help, even with Social Security or other benefits.

                Phyllis Marder, 66, had both Social Security and unemployment when she arrived at the Hillside Food Pantry in Evanston, Illinois, where she’s lived in the same bungalow for 20 years.

                She’d been supplementing her benefits as an Uber drive, and when the pandemic hit, she helped workers bring home their computers and office gear. After that, she ferried medical and other front-line workers, but that came to an abrupt end with a COVID-19 scare.

                At first, Marder, didn’t tell anyone about visiting food pantries. Then she had a change of heart. “Keeping a secret makes things get worse,” she says, “… and makes me feel worse about myself, and so I decided that it was more important to talk about it.”

                Marder sometimes shared her food with neighbors and a panhandler on a freeway ramp. But she expects her food bank visits will end soon.

                In a few days, she starts a job — courtesy of the pandemic.

                She’ll be a coronavirus contract tracer, working remotely for a nearby county.

                ___

                As the year nears its end, Crawford is more confident.

                The months have been filled with setbacks and successes. Both Crawfords developed mild cases of COVID-19. Sheyla had hysterectomy surgery and was out work without pay for six weeks.

                But they’ve rebounded, too.

                Crawford has two part-time jobs, one at United Parcel Service, the second as a maintenance worker at a home for the elderly. His wife is back at work at the day care center. And their boys are receiving breakfast and lunch at their school that provides day care.

                The financial troubles that brought them to the food bank haven’t disappeared. They still have overdue bills and a car that needs repairs.

                But after many dark months, there have been moments of relief. This fall when the couple contracted COVID-19, their sons’ school sent meals and milk to help,

                And a friend had an 18-pound turkey delivered for a Thanksgiving feast. It was so big the Crawfords had to figure out how to find room for the leftovers in the refrigerator now stocked with food.

                A full fridge, Crawford says, is a welcome sight.

                “It just kind of puts you at ease,” he says. “There’s a sense of peace.”

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                Comment


                • File this one under "fixing the mess"

                  Options for Reducing the Deficit, 2021 to 2030

                  Congressional Budget Office December 2020




                  Introduction
                  The Congress faces an array of policy choices as it con-fronts a daunting budgetary situation. At 14.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the deficit in 2020 was the largest it has been since the end of World War II. Much of that deficit stemmed from the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and the government’s actions in response—but the projected deficit was large by historical standards ($1.1 trillion, or 4.9 percent of GDP) even before the disruption caused by the pandemic. In the Congressional Budget Office’s projections, deficits as a percent of GDP fall between 2021 and 2027 (from 8.6 percent of GDP to 4.0 percent), and then increase to 5.3 percent of GDP by 2030—more than one-and-a-half times the average over the past 50 years.

                  This document presents options in the following categories:
                  Mandatory spending (or direct spending), which includes outlays for some federal benefit programs and for certain other payments to people, businesses, and state and local governments. Such outlays are generally governed by statutory criteria and are not normally constrained by the annual appropriation process.
                  Discretionary spending, which is controlled by appropriation acts in which policymakers specify how much money will be provided for certain government programs and activities in specific years.
                  Revenues.


                  Items worth more than $500 billion

                  Establish Caps on Federal Spending for Medicaid ($353-959 bn)
                  Reduce Federal Medicaid Matching Rates ($57-529 bn)
                  Reduce the Department of Defense's Budget 5-10% ($317-607 bn)
                  Increase Individual Income Tax Rates ($114-884 bn)
                  Eliminate Itemized Deductions ($1,718 bn)
                  Increase the Payroll Tax Rate for Medicare Hospital Insurance ($878-1,736 bn)
                  Increase the Payroll Tax Rate for Social Security ($712-1,406 bn)
                  Increase the Maximum Taxable Earnings for the Social Security Payroll Tax ($647-1,024 bn)
                  Increases Excise Taxes on Motor Fuels and Index for Inflation ($237-512 bn)
                  Impose a 5 Percent Value-Added Tax (Narrow / Broad base) ($1,820-2,830 bn)
                  Impose a Tax on Emissions of Greenhouse Gases ($25/ metric ton) ($1,033 bn)
                  Impose a Tax on Financial Transactions (0.1% on currency, stocks, bonds, derivatives, etc) ($752 bn)


                  Sum: $7,886 to $13,238 billion
                  Projected 2021-30 deficit: $12,987 billion



                  https://www.cbo.gov/publication/56783
                  Trust me?
                  I'm an economist!

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by CNBC_News

                    Last week's initial jobless claims increase to 853,000 and stimulus bill stalls with no deal



                    10 December 2020

                    Despite urgency to pass a second coronavirus stimulus bill, Republican Senate leaders rejected the $908 billion bipartisan proposal. The House will adjourn until at least Tuesday pending an agreement on pandemic aid and full-year government funding.

                    ...
                    Last edited by JRT; 11 Dec 20,, 05:04.
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                    Comment


                    • January, in the middle of winter, is going to be a bad month for many...

                      Comment


                      • Trump will leave office with a historically bad economic record

                        (CNN)President Donald Trump still can't accept the numbers measuring his loss to Joe Biden: more than 7 million popular votes and 74 electoral votes.

                        But another set of numbers adds insult to his psychological injury. They show that -- notwithstanding lies as promiscuous as the ones he tells about election fraud -- Trump will leave office in January with a historically bad record on the economy.

                        That sounds discordant since many Americans believe the economic fable that Trump has repeated relentlessly throughout his term. But placing his bottom-line results alongside those of his predecessors paints a deeply unflattering portrait.

                        Alone among the 13 presidents since World War Two, Trump will exit the White House with fewer Americans employed than when he started. He will have overseen punier growth in economic output than any of the previous 12 presidents. His throwback "America First" agenda has failed to restore the old economic engine that powered an earlier era's prosperity. On Trump's watch, industrial production has fallen. The Federal Reserve says the manufacturing sector fell into recession in 2019 even before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

                        Last week was the 38th in a row in which at least 700,000 Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits.

                        Holiday-season lines at food banks dramatize the scale of human suffering. More abstract measures, such as the US trade deficit and ratio of government debt to the size of the economy, have also worsened during Trump's term.

                        "Trump's economic record ranks near or at the bottom compared with other presidents," concludes Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi, who compared the economic results of all presidents from the last 70 years. "The economy under his watch has performed very poorly."

                        To be sure, the deadliest public health pandemic in a century has devastated economic activity during this last year of the President's term. But responding to unexpected catastrophe -- from hurricanes to terrorist attacks to civil unrest to financial crises -- represents a big part of the job. And, as Zandi notes, Trump's bungled coronavirus response has exacerbated and extended damage to jobs and output.

                        Trump's pre-pandemic record
                        Trump's record offered little legitimate grounds for boasting before the pandemic. The persistent growth in output and decline in the unemployment rate during his first three years extended trends in the recovery from the Great Recession that he inherited from President Barack Obama.

                        Growth accelerated in early 2018 following Trump's sole major legislative achievement, the tax cuts he and Congressional Republicans enacted. But that didn't last long with the economy already near full employment, and the budget deficit swelled. A temporary surge in investment resulted mainly from higher energy prices.
                        "It provided no long-term benefit," Zandi says.

                        The counter-productive tariff wars Trump initiated quickly offset any short-term benefit from the tax-cuts and the administration's deregulation push. That's why Trump, to avoid further damaging the economy in his re-election year, called a truce with China in January without obtaining the structural reforms he had demanded from Beijing. Trump earlier threw away leverage by abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership with allies that the Obama administration had negotiated.

                        Among Trump's "very serious policy mistakes," Zandi said, were his attacks on international and domestic institutions. They include "actively trying to undermine" the Fed's independence.

                        Financial markets vs. the real world
                        Trump can accurately point to above-average financial market gains. Through November the S&P 500 had risen by an average of 14.34% per year during his term, slightly more than the 12.43% under Obama.

                        But those gains have largely been driven by rock-bottom interest rates, which drive investors into stocks in search of higher returns. And the benefits of those gains accrue largely to the most affluent Americans who own most of the stocks.

                        The President can also cite a higher-than-average 3.32% annual gain in real per capita disposable income. But that average conceals the extent of those gains that flowed to the affluent, who benefited disproportionately from his tax cuts.

                        As a candidate in 2016, Trump championed the beleaguered blue-collar workers he called "the forgotten Americans." His policies have not closed the gap between them and economic elites.Through the third quarter of 2020, Zandi says, the least wealthy 50% of Americans own just 1.9% of the nation's net worth, while the top 1% own 30.5%. The surging pandemic promises make that disparity worse before Trump leaves office.

                        When the Labor Department issues the final monthly jobs report of his presidency in early January, Zandi expects it to show a renewed decline in employment. In the first quarter of 2021, as Trump yields power to Biden, the Wall Street firm JPMorgan predicts that economic output will shrink.
                        ____________
                        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                        Comment


                        • Doesn't really hive with the relevant time series data of the Trump years. Unemployment hit levels not seen since the 1990s, median household income grew substantially, poverty fell, and GDP growth was pretty much in-line. I believe it was the back-half of the largest economic expansion in US history.

                          Probably a good chance we were going to hit a recession, since a lot of data was softening as 2019 dragged on, but the Leading Index never dropped into recession territory.

                          This not as much an endorsement for Trump as it is an endorsement for aggressive unemployment targets. Through monetary policy. And a general criticism of the idea that Trump was going to doom us all. The economy hit full-heat and tight labor markets lifted all boats until COVID smacked us.
                          "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
                            Doesn't really hive with the relevant time series data of the Trump years. Unemployment hit levels not seen since the 1990s, median household income grew substantially, poverty fell, and GDP growth was pretty much in-line. I believe it was the back-half of the largest economic expansion in US history.

                            Probably a good chance we were going to hit a recession, since a lot of data was softening as 2019 dragged on, but the Leading Index never dropped into recession territory.

                            This not as much an endorsement for Trump as it is an endorsement for aggressive unemployment targets. Through monetary policy. And a general criticism of the idea that Trump was going to doom us all. The economy hit full-heat and tight labor markets lifted all boats until COVID smacked us.
                            Uh, did you miss all of....this?

                            His throwback "America First" agenda has failed to restore the old economic engine that powered an earlier era's prosperity. On Trump's watch, industrial production has fallen. The Federal Reserve says the manufacturing sector fell into recession in 2019 even before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

                            "Trump's economic record ranks near or at the bottom compared with other presidents," concludes Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi, who compared the economic results of all presidents from the last 70 years. "The economy under his watch has performed very poorly."

                            To be sure, the deadliest public health pandemic in a century has devastated economic activity during this last year of the President's term. But responding to unexpected catastrophe -- from hurricanes to terrorist attacks to civil unrest to financial crises -- represents a big part of the job. And, as Zandi notes, Trump's bungled coronavirus response has exacerbated and extended damage to jobs and output.

                            Trump's pre-pandemic record
                            Trump's record offered little legitimate grounds for boasting before the pandemic. The persistent growth in output and decline in the unemployment rate during his first three years extended trends in the recovery from the Great Recession that he inherited from President Barack Obama.

                            Growth accelerated in early 2018 following Trump's sole major legislative achievement, the tax cuts he and Congressional Republicans enacted. But that didn't last long with the economy already near full employment, and the budget deficit swelled. A temporary surge in investment resulted mainly from higher energy prices.
                            "It provided no long-term benefit," Zandi says.

                            The counter-productive tariff wars Trump initiated quickly offset any short-term benefit from the tax-cuts and the administration's deregulation push. That's why Trump, to avoid further damaging the economy in his re-election year, called a truce with China in January without obtaining the structural reforms he had demanded from Beijing. Trump earlier threw away leverage by abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership with allies that the Obama administration had negotiated.

                            Among Trump's "very serious policy mistakes," Zandi said, were his attacks on international and domestic institutions. They include "actively trying to undermine" the Fed's independence.
                            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                            Comment


                            • I didn't miss it, there are just other metrics we use to judge economic performance. There were less poor people, people had more money, and we were producing more stuff. Localized weakness in some sectors does not offset that, and COVID is an indictment of pandemic strategy, not economic strategy.

                              WRT trade war, future generations might thank us more if we learn to break ourselves of our addiction to cheap Chinese credit and cheap Chinese goods.
                              "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
                                I didn't miss it, there are just other metrics we use to judge economic performance. There were less poor people, people had more money, and we were producing more stuff. Localized weakness in some sectors does not offset that, and COVID is an indictment of pandemic strategy, not economic strategy.

                                WRT trade war, future generations might thank us more if we learn to break ourselves of our addiction to cheap Chinese credit and cheap Chinese goods.


                                It's less of a matter of what metrics are used, and more about what actually happened under his watch.


                                Prior to Q-1 2020, federal spending was rising at twice the pace of revenues (6% YoY, vs. 3%); in Obama's second term, they paced even. One key reason was the reduction in tax revenue from corporations from 15% of the take from individuals, to just 10%.

                                Increase in the federal debt held by the public – pre- COVID-19 – was twice as fast as in the previous three years.

                                Slower GDP growth (again, pre-COVID-19) and faster inflation.

                                Pre-COVID-19, weekly unemployment claims – new or continuing – were falling at only two-thirds the pace they fell in Obama's second term.


                                https://fred.stlouisfed.org/
                                Trust me?
                                I'm an economist!

                                Comment

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