Obama-Biden’s economy was a parched garden, Trumponomics made it bloom: Deroy Murdock

At their rambunctious debate on September 29, former Vice President Joe Biden said this about President Donald J. Trump: “We handed him a booming economy. He blew it.”

Not so fast, Sleepy Joe.

In fact, rather than “booming,” Biden and Obama bequeathed President Trump an economy that resembled a dehydrated garden. It was alive, but drooping. Obama-Biden’s recovery from the Great Recession was the most parched since the Great Depression.

The president treated the garden with Trumponomics: He irrigated it with the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (which every congressional Democrat opposed). He fertilized it with robust deregulation that junked eight old rules for every new one imposed. And he serenaded it with a pro-enterprise tone.

PELOSI FACES BACKLASH AFTER REJECTING TRUMP’S LATEST STIMULUS OFFER

Job creators welcomed Trump’s words of gratitude and encouragement rather than the threats, class-warfare hectoring, and success shaming of Barack “You didn’t build that!” Obama.

The result?

President Trump’s garden flourished. Companies budded, entrepreneurs bloomed, and workers blossomed – often reaching unprecedented heights. As late as February, the U.S. economy in winter recalled an arboretum in April.

  • In terms of household finances, Trumponomics parted Obama’s gray skies and let the sun shine. Census Bureau data released September 15 show that inflation-adjusted median household income increased from $64,324 in 2018 to a record $68,703 in 2019, up 6.8 percent. This extra $4,379 in the typical American home is the largest one-year hike in this key barometer of well-being.

During Trump’s first three years, this metric advanced from $59,039 in 2016 to $68,703 in 2019. This $9,664 represents a 16.4 percent income boost (5.5 percent per annum on average) for everyday Americans.

Obama’s final three years featured an analogous income increase from $51,939 in 2013 to $59,039 in 2016. This $7,100 lifted marginal incomes by 13.7 percent (4.6 percent annually).

Across Obama’s eight years including the recovery from the Great Recession, median household incomes rose from $50,303 in 2008 to $59,039 in 2016. This additional $8,736 buoyed incomes 17.4 percent (2.2 percent yearly).

  • The contrasts between Obama-Biden’s dusty yard and Trump’s lush grounds are starkest among those whom Leftists claim to champion most fervently: the young, the less educated, and people of color.

  • Under Obama-Biden, in the six years between 2010 and 2016, those under age 35 saw their median incomes rise 5.8 percent. Under Trump, in the three years between 2016 and 2019, incomes for under 35s expanded 13.4 percent — more than double Obama-Biden’s performance.
  • Those six years of Obama-Biden saw incomes for Americans without high-school degrees tick up 1.7 percent. Trump’s three years delivered high-school non-graduates a 9 percent income enhancement — more than quintuple Obama-Biden’s benefit, in half the time.
  • Real median income accelerated last year by 7.1 percent for Hispanics, 7.9 percent for blacks, and 10.6 percent for those of Asian descent. Among black Americans, such monies grew from $39,490 in 2016, under Obama-Biden, to $45,438 in
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Economy, COVID dominate state House debate in Greenwich

GREENWICH — With a crowded slate of six candidates — who all practiced social distancing — the three races for the state House of Representatives in Greenwich were all combined into one debate Thursday night.

The League of Women Voters of Greenwich hosted the debate at Town Hall and streamed it via Zoom.

The match-ups saw Republican Kimberly Fiorello and Democrat Kathleen Stowe face off in the 149th District, which includes part of Stamford; incumbent Democrat Stephen Meskers and Republican challenger Joe Kelly in the 150th District; and incumbent Republican Harry Arora and Democratic challenger Hector Arzeno in the 151st District.

Under the format, the six candidates were part of the same debate. Issues like the economy, transportation and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic dominated as they were asked the same questions.

All had time for reply but the format did not allow for much back and forth dialogue between the opponents. But on the topic of small business in the state, the candidates were in big agreement.

Stowe, vice chair of the Greenwich Board of Education, said she could speak personally about the opportunity for Connecticut as New Yorkers relocate here during the pandemic. She said the goal should be to persuade the new residents to stay — and to get businesses to move to Connecticut, too. Stowe, who has a background in investment banking and private equity, runs a financial technology company with her father. She said they were planning on leaving New York and possibly relocating their business to Connecticut.

“Once people see how wonderful Connecticut is they’ll want to stay here,” she said. “Businesses always come and they stay where they’re welcomed. … As a state, we should be recruiting companies just like mine. We have the key ingredients, but we need to enhance it with an economic development effort and streamlining bureaucracy and red tape. And we need to expand our state venture capital effort.”

Fiorello, a member of Greenwich’s Representative Town Meeting, said not enough is done to grow businesses in the state and said that Connecticut is one of the most business-unfriendly states in the country due to laws and taxes.

“This needs to change and the change really comes from not doing more of the same,” Fiorello said. “I pledge to be a voice for the small businesses.”

Doing that, Fiorello said, would convince renters in Connecticut to become home buyers.

Kelly, who is also a member of the Board of Education, said that in the more than 20 years he has owned small businesses in Connecticut, the state has never reached out to him about how it could help.

“I pay my taxes, I pay my fees,” he said. “I think last month I employed about 35 or 40 people. Basically, I got no help from the state at all. I love Connecticut. I love Greenwich. I want to stay here. I could take my businesses anywhere, but I love it here. We have to change that it’s not comfortable for

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White House prioritizes Supreme Court pick over economy, jobs

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were scheduled to have an important meeting yesterday afternoon on a possible economic aid package. Before they could connect, however, Donald Trump rendered their meeting moot: the negotiations, the president, were over.

Americans with economic concerns, Trump added, will have to wait “until after the election.” In the meantime, the Republican demanded that his team and its allies “focus full time” on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Not surprisingly, this has quickly become the official White House line.

White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told CNBC on Wednesday that there was a “low probability” of approving additional legislation in time for the election … “We’ve only got four weeks to the election, and we have a justice of the Supreme Court to get passed. It’s too close to the election — not enough time to get stuff done at this stage in the game,” Kudlow said.

Right off the bat, we know this is politically unwise: polls show the American mainstream is far more concerned about the struggling economy than filling the vacancy on the high court. For Team Trump to ignore these attitudes during the election season is to take an unnecessary risk.

But more important is the fact that we know Kudlow’s wrong, and not just in the abstract. In the spring, when policymakers were focused on a hearty response to the coronavirus crisis, the CARES Act came together rather quickly. It didn’t take four weeks; it barely took one.

What’s more, it’s not like officials would need to start from scratch to craft a plan between now and Election Day: the House has already passed two ambitious aid packages, and bipartisan negotiations have been ongoing for weeks. A concerted effort to reach an agreement — led, for example, by a president who claims to be a world-class deal-makers — could seal a deal.

As for the Barrett confirmation process, there’s no reason lawmakers couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time: D.C. is capable of focusing on more than one task at a time.

All it would take is a White House capable of prioritizing the economy and jobs. The president and Kudlow are effectively telling millions of unemployed Americans that their plight just isn’t that important to Team Trump: the Supreme Court needs yet another far-right jurist more than these struggling families need an economic lifeline.

I can think of smarter closing messages for an incumbent president already struggling in the polls.

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‘Rebuild the greatest economy in American history’

House Republicans announced plans for governing with lower taxes and support for law enforcement if they are able to retake the House in the Nov. 3 election.

The GOP agenda included few details but a strong pledge from Republicans to steer clear of the far-left agenda they say House Democrats and their presidential nominee, Joe Biden, plan to follow.

Republicans called their agenda “Our Commitment to America,” and they said the plan’s objectives include restoring America to life before the pandemic, rebuilding the economy, and renewing the American dream.

They provided few details, although Rep. Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican and ranking member on the Ways and Means Committee, said the GOP would make the 2017 tax cuts permanent.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the GOP would work to create 10 million good-paying jobs.

“And we will ensure the safety and security of all communities and uphold the constitutional liberties of every single American,” the California Republican said. “Republicans will rebuild the greatest economy in history. We’ve done it once, and we’ll do it again.”

McCarthy said Republicans would work to ensure manufacturing shifts from China back to America, invest in school science and technology programs, and ensure that families have options for educating their children outside of the public system.

To win back the majority, House Republicans would need to pick up more than 20 seats now held by Democrats while winning all of their own competitive races.

Race analysts project House Republicans will not make any significant gains in November, however.

Republicans are working to distinguish themselves from Democrats in a bid to win over more moderate voters who may be turned off by the leftward swing of the Democratic Party.

Democrats, GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming said, “would defund our police, dismantle our freedom, destroy our history and abandon our founding values and every day.”

She added, “We are committing today to the United States of America that if you give us the chance, we will change that.”

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2020 Toyota Highlander features new look, improved interior, better fuel economy

With the redesign of the exterior the overall dimensions of the interior improve with a cabin that feels roomier in the first and second rows. As is the case with most SUVs in the segment, the third row is cramped and should be reserved for children.

Cargo room, however, is much improved with 16 cubic feet behind the third row and 84.3 cubic feet of overall space.

There are five trims available for the Highlander including L, LE, XLE, Limited and Platinum. My tester was the top-of-the-line Platinum trim. It had an MSRP of $48,800. With a few optional equipment packages, my tester had a final price tag of $51,654.

Fuel economy for the 2020 Toyota Highlander sees a slight improvement from last year. Even my AWD tester saw a one MPG gain year over year. Overall, the AWD V6 Highlander has an EPA rating of 20 mpg/city and 27 mpg/highway (compared to 20/26 last year). In a week’s worth of suburban driving, I averaged 23 mpg.

In a bland segment full of vanilla SUVs that all remain oh-so-popular, it was wise for Toyota to re-engage with an updated Highlander. As the pack was starting to catch up and surpass it, Toyota manages to gain interest with a viable, attractive seven-passenger SUV.

Jimmy Dinsmore is a freelance automotive journalist.

2020 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER PLATINUM

  • Price/As-tested price………………………………………… $48,800/$51,654
  • Mileage…………………………………… 20 mpg/city; 27 mpg/hwy
  • Engine……………………………………… 3.5-Liter V6
  • Horsepower…………………………… 295 hp/263 lbs.-ft.
  • Transmission…………………………… 8-speed automatic
  • Drive wheels……………. All-wheel drive
  • Final assembly point……………. Princeton, Indiana

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