The GOP-passed tax legislation passed in late 2017, remains a centerpiece of the 2018 mid-term elections. One side will be praising it, the other attacking it. USA Today only seems to care about who backs one side of that battle.
Advertisements celebrating or attacking the tax bill were the focus of an April 17, USA Today front-page exclusive. It reported that “GOP groups and candidates have run nearly 17,800 spots this year that tout tax reform ... the barrage has forced Democrats to retaliate with commercials that slam the tax cuts as helping the wealthy — and endangering Medicare and Social Security in the years ahead.”
When World War II ended, Washington, D.C.'s population was about 900,000; today it's about 700,000. In 1950, Baltimore's population was almost 950,000; today it's around 614,000. Detroit's 1950 population was close to 1.85 million; today it's down to 673,000. Camden, New Jersey's 1950 population was nearly 125,000; today it has fallen to 77,000. St. Louis' 1950 population was more than 856,000; today it's less than 309,000.
Larry Kudlow on Tuesday made his first network TV appearance as a member of the Trump administration and fought back against selective polling when it comes to the Republican tax bill. CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King demanded: “Mr. Kudlow, the latest poll shows that only 27 percent of Americans think that this tax bill is a good idea. Is that a good enough number for you?”
On Tuesday, David Roberts at the hopelessly left-biased Vox.com promoted a decidedly negative form of supply-side economics, namely "policies that choke off fossil fuels at their origin." He, and the authors of a paper he referenced which advocates "restrictive supply-side climate policies," act as if this is something new, when governments and sometimes violent envirozealots have long engaged in these activities.
Democrat representative and DNC vice chairman Keith Ellison could be forgiven if he thought he would be tossed softball questions by MSNBC's Steve Kornacki on Sunday night. However, even on MSNBC liberals will occasionally (but rarely) be hit with hardballs. Such was the case when Kornacki kept asking Ellison over and over if the Democrats would support the repeal of middle class tax cuts in the current law passed by Congress last December. Ellison kept trying to dodge the question by attempting to only talk about repealing the tax cuts for the rich but, unfortunately for him, Kornacki kept repeating the question he didn't want to hear.
The New York Times on Thursday dismissed Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s pick to head the National Economic Council (replacing Gary Cohn) in “President Picks TV Commentator as His Economic Adviser.” The conservative economist and associate director for economics and planning in President Reagan’s Office of Management and Budget was reduced to someone who Trump picked for his loyalty and Trump-style audacity.
There are a couple of important economic lessons that the American people should learn. I'm going to title one "the seen and unseen" and the other "narrow well-defined large benefits versus widely dispersed small costs." These lessons are applicable to a wide range of government behavior, but let's look at just two examples.
In November, I noted that the national press, after extensively covering Philadelphia's deceptively named 1.5 cents per ounce "soda tax" when it passed in mid-2016, has ignored its negative fallout, including layoffs at distributors and grocers along with a significant collections shortfall. The non-coverage continues, even though it's clear that the jobs lost aren't coming back, additional jobs have been lost, and collections will never reach original projections.
Friday, California's High-Speed Rail Authority published its draft 2018 Business Plan. Its 800-mile bullet-train project's estimated cost is now $77.3 billion, up from $64 billion two years ago, and its final completion has been pushed out another four years to 2033. The current estimate is now more than 70 percent above the $45 billion presented to voters in 2008. The related Associated Press story failed to disclose that original cost estimate, as did three leading California newspapers.
As the popularity of the Republican tax reform legislation has surged, on Wednesday, NBC’s Today show found a new line of attack against the policy – it’s “cruel for families” who have children with rare diseases. That harsh conclusion was drawn based on the assumption that the reduction of a tax credit for pharmaceutical companies in the bill would automatically cause a shortage in medication and decline in research for such illnesses.
A majority of Americans now support the tax reform package passed by Congress and signed into law by Donald Trump just over two months ago. Just don’t expect the media to tell you about it.
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, a guilt-ridden rich liberal who had an ill-fated run as owner of the liberal magazine The New Republic, was graced on Saturday with a front-page Business Day profile in the New York Times whose very headline mocks the idea of individual achievement: “Inequality: A Secret To His Success.” The subhead: “The Facebook co-founder’s rise was meteoric. He argues that the same forces that helped him succeed have made it harder for others. In a new book, ‘Fair Shot,’ he proposes a bold solution.” Hughes, who was the tech adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign, now spends his time doing penance for his own hard-earned success, as de Leon lovingly laid out.