In its April 2018 Monthly Treasury Statement, the federal government reported that it ran an all-time single-month record $214 billion surplus, primarily because it took in a record $510 billion in receipts. The Associated Press's Josh Boak ignored the collections record, even though the AP noted the previous record when it occurred in 2015. Instead, Boak presented a different and far smaller out-of-context collections figure, and falsely claimed that the Republican Congress's tax cuts are responsible for the increase in fiscal 2018's seven-month budget deficit compared to last year. This negligence irresponsibly enables leftist pundits to continue to scream that the tax cuts aren't working, despite growing evidence that they really are.
CBS’s left-leaning The Good Fight surprisingly questioned the validity of the #MeToo movement and the Black Lives Matter movement in its latest episode. Sunday's episode, “Day 478,” referred to both movements as starting out with good causes, but eventually turning into mobs. The episode also accused President Trump’s tax cuts of being bad for the poor.
The Federal Reserve and the Conference Board both issued positive progress reports about the U.S. economy last week. Neither got a peep from the broadcast networks on those days. In fact, on April 18 and 19, the evening news broadcasts on ABC, CBS and NBC included just one economic story — and it wasn’t about either of those positive economic updates
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.