One reason Democrats seem so fixated on importing illegal immigrants and allowing their children to stay and become citizens may be the exodus from high-tax and traditionally Democratic states. Anecdotal evidence is usually not helpful in determining trends, but when stories begin to accumulate and sound the same attention must be paid. Two friends of mine, who are longtime California residents, recently decided to move from that highly taxed state to states with lower taxes.



The White House on Wednesday released the outline for the President’s proposed tax plan that would drastically cut taxes and simplify the filing process, among other things. CBS’s resident Trump critic and anchor, Scott Pelley kicked off the show smearing it. “Today the Trump administration rushed out a plan for historic tax cuts high on hyperbole, but with only a dollop of detail,” he declared at the top of CBS Evening News. His critique was loaded with snide attacks at the President and at one point divorced itself from reality, something Pelley once chastised Trump for. 



At the Washington Post, Catherine Rampell, alarmed by an alleged "police state" on Fifth Avenue in New York City and alleged "costs to commerce and property values," wants to have the city to "use eminent domain to seize Trump Tower." Unfortunately, the President-Elect does have a blind spot when it comes to the government taking someone's property and conveying it to someone else for supposed "economic development," but Rampell's arguments for the move are ridiculous, and betray an immature, deep-seated desire for some form of vengeance.



In six seasons, Downton Abbey — the English drama that takes place from 1912 to 1925 — has captured millions of American viewers and won an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.

It’s a show about the seismic shifts of society (war, economic changes, politics) that led to declining aristocratic lifestyles in Great Britain. If focuses on the story of one aristocratic family, the Crawleys, as well as the servants working in their estate at Downton Abbey. Money was a common focus of the show, since an enormous estate takes a lot of money to run and was in many ways a local economic engine.



Washingtonian magazine hyped how "the Catholic Church is selling Northeast DC to developers" in a story in its February 2016 issue. Jeffrey Anderson played up how "Church organizations have been profiting by developing or selling their properties" in the area near the Catholic University of America over the past several years. However, Anderson failed to give any background regarding the Church buildings that are being redeveloped, and oddly included a property that hasn't been owned by a Catholic organization since 1984.



Here's what should be an easy question: With data which has already been seasonally adjusted, what's more important — a) the fact that an index is a) up by 3 percent in the past year or b) the fact that it has fallen 5 percent in the past four months?

The correct answer is obviously b) — unless you're a writer for the Associated Press whose mission is to convince readers that the housing market, despite clear evidence to the contrary, is just fine. Therefore, the AP's Josh Boak chose a):



On Wednesday night, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC refused to cover the Obama administration’s official unveiling of new regulations that aim to force neighborhoods to diversification or risk losing annual federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As they often do when the networks fail to cover a story, the Fox News Channel (FNC) program Special Report was there to pick up the pieces and provided a full report from White House correspondent Kevin Corke on the plans that HUD says will “reduc[e] disparities in housing choice and access.”



Both ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News failed to mention a new, troubling report from the Census Bureau on Thursday night that sales of new homes decreased by 8.1% in June and that May’s originally reported double-digit increase was revised lower, from almost 19% to only 8%. 

The CBS Evening News did cover this story, but it only was in the form of a 12-second news brief from anchor Scott Pelley. Pelley grimly reported that: “Today's report on the housing market is raising concerns about the economic recovery. Sales of new homes dropped sharply last month, more than 8%, and that's the largest decline in nearly a year.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]



On Wednesday, June 17 Bloomberg reported that Bill and Hillary Clinton are taking advantage of financial planning strategies to avoid paying a hefty estate tax, even though the Clintons are prominent supports of the tax. 

Despite the report, ABC, CBS, and NBC have all ignored the story on both their morning and evening newscasts. According to Bloomberg: “The Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now top out at 40 percent of assets upon death.” 



At the Associated Press today, economics writer Christopher Rugaber was a bit subdued, even when presented with nominally favorable news. He wrote that the March rise in the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index of 3.4 percent, the first gain in nine months, was "a sign that the housing market might pick up after a sluggish start to the year."

Rugaber's relative ruefulness, which after being fed through the media translator actually means "Things really stink," is understandable once one looks at how pathetic that gain is in the circumstances, and at a key paragraph in the NAR's press release which he chose to ignore.



March was going to be the month when new home sales in the U.S. would finally break out after several months of horrible weather. After all, everyone knew that this winter's snow, ice, and low temperatures were the only things holding the new home market back. Consensus predictions ahead of today's related report from the Census Bureau were in the range of 450,000 to 455,000 annualized sales.

Oops. New home sales dove to a seasonally adjusted annualized 384,000, a 14.5 percent decline from February, a slightly larger miss compared to expectations, and a whopping 13.3 percent lower than March 2013. Press reports on this result predictably brought on appearances of the U-word ("unexpectedly"), with at least one interesting twist.



Associated Press stories today on the quarterly earnings releases of Wells Fargo (unbylined) and JPMorgan Chase (by Steve Rothwell) essentially mocked the nearly continuous monthly stream of reports the wire service's economics writers, particularly Martin Crutsinger and Chris Rugaber, have generated about the "housing recovery" during at least the past year.

The Wells Fargo story disclosed that the nation's largest mortgage lender "funded $36 billion worth of mortgages in the first quarter, down sharply from $109 billion a year earlier." The following graphic from the bank's detailed financial report tells the full story: