May 13, 2017
All things Trump-Comey. Damage to him & GOP?Damage to growth agenda? Stone advise him? WH shake-up? Esp communications? New FBI? Trump not under investigation? Healthcare bigger problem for tax cuts than Comey? If no tax cuts & growth spurt, GOP crushed in mid-terms? Ryan: we can walk & chew gum at same time. Cornyn: healthcare before yearend. But why did Ryan bungle reconciliation/regs? Payroll tax cut for workers? No wage deduction for employers? Ted Cruz major player in health compromise. Working w/ McConnell. Same working group for taxes? 3% growth baseline? Biz tax cuts lead to capita deepening, productivity & wages. Why have wages flatlined? US- China trade deal very good. Trumps turns around. Negotiation not war. Day the earth was hacked! Stocks: No gold sky-high or stock plunge on Comey. Retail store collapse? CPI & retail sales slowing. Commodities soft (no inflation).
May 6, 2017
Sen Ted Cruz: Senate outlook for healthcare & tax reform. What should be done, what will be done? Can he support? House bill moving in free market direction? Turn back on New Deal like JFK & Ronald Reagan (populist)? States rights, 10th Amendment, federalism: medicaid caps, illness prior conditions risk pools, essential benefits mandate. $900b tax repeal. Reconciliation? Filibusters? Regs? Senate parliamentarian? Opens way for tax reform/biz tax cuts. Growth pay-for? State-local tax deduction? BAT? House Freedom Caucus tax plan? How long for tax cuts? GOP as party of working men & women? Dems elites? Taxes, health, success, biz, border security, refugees, abortion, trade, MAGA, world leadership? Growth/prosperity greatest populist issue? Former Sen. Tom Coburn & Betsy McCaughey on health debate, House bill, Senate priorities. Jobs, econ outlook, Fed rate hikes? Stocks side-ways. Profits strong. But no biz investment. Saintly wife doubled sales 1st 5 months: Trump confidence? Deflation pressures? Apple $1b USA investment? Jimmy P: Hal Varian & capital deepening.
Apr 29, 2017
Trump's dramatic tax reform announcement caps off solid 1st hundred days. Gorsuch, reg rollback, border & national security. Consumer, biz, small biz, & stocks all up. Trade war fears down: China, NAFTA, 232, dumping wood & steel. Negotiation, not war? 2nd hundred days: taxes, healthcare, infrastructure, border wall, refugee visas, sanctuary cities. Can GOP govern? It looks more optimistic to me. Trump optimism: Think big, dream bigger. Foreign policy surprises: Syria, Russia, N Korea, ISIS. Endgames? Winning? Is senior staff operation coming together? Foreign? Domestic? Econ? Trade? Can GOP govern? What are polls telling us? Democrats 1st hundred days? Tax cut growth pays-for deficits! Mnuchin. Campaign plan won. WAPO & NYT. Wage-earners. Obama people carping on deficits? New Deal failed, it's our turn JFK-Reagan-Trump. Trump must sell it. Growth, jobs, wages. Rallies. Reconciliation whatever you want it to be. Stocks rally on taxes & trade. Earnings up. GDP 2%. Fed?
Apr 22, 2017
Can biz tax cuts pay for themselves? Mnuchin & Cohn say yes to dynamic growth models. So does Art Laffer Comm4Prosperity. Committee for a Responsible Budget says no. Maria Bartiromo talks about Trump interview and her financial economic outlook. Is their a Health Care deal ? Working w/ Senate? Tax Reform this week? CR extension? Gov't shutdown? Dynamic scoring? 3%=$4 tr revenue increase. Cong Dave Bratt. Is bipartisan corporate tax reform possible? Former Obama CEA chair Jason Furman. Flattening yield curve, falling bond rates, lower inflation breakevens, decline retails sales, no biz investment? Profits over exuberant? GO rose in Q4. Trump policies? Why BAT tax is wrong. Corp tax reform. Tax rate incentives matter. Is Trump wrong on trade? Can we make 3% growth? Alan Reynolds birthday week. Start w/ biz tax, then omnibus individual tax. Child tax credits? Infrastructure? What will Trump tax overhaul look like? Throw out campaign plan? 1962 Trade law section 232 national security protectionism? Tampering w/ H-1B visas? Buy America? Reagan or Bush economy?
Apr 15, 2017
Easter: We have all found ourselves at the foot of the Cross. Stay a while on Good Friday, before rushing to the great Vigil of Resurrection on Sunday. Stay a while to ponder the awful Crucifixion. He died for our sins. What were/are those sins? What must we do to atone? Fr. Richard John Neuhaus: Death on a Friday Afternoon. Passover supper is Last Supper. Trump reversals & Trump strengths. Ex-Im (Scott Garrett), Yellen, rates, dollar, tax & health reform, reciprocity, Syria, Russia, no China currency manipulation, easier trade w/ China re N. Korea. Trump promises kept: tax, repeal & replace (tho total confusion; NEC-Cohn haven't done their job), pipeline, EPA, border security, refugees. Drain swamp-- overturn establishment elites. Problems gone unfixed for 20 years. Give him a chance. Tax plan scrapped? W/ cheap dollar? Reversal of JFK-Reagan. Drain CBO swamp. Growth is mother of all pay-fors. GOP hardball on reconciliation. Stocks slip. Retail sales fall 2nd straight month. Syria impact? Oil recession over? Profits? Mixed signals. The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher. Bannon down? More centrist Trump?
Apr 1, 2017
Want to raise wages? Cut biz tax rates first. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney on budget, taxes, healthcare. Team Trump not ready for tax reform? Mnuchin v. Cohn? Carbon tax? Gen Jack Keane on Mosul, Raqqa, Sunnis, defense budget. Nothing wrong w/ trade deficit-- flip side of capital inflows. Team Trump never mentions that. Kill border tax before it kills us. BTW, dollar will fall, not rise. Foreign imports subject to US state & local sales taxes. 6.5% average Big states up to 8-10%. Why is POTUS attacking conservative Freedom Caucus? He's gonna need them down the road. Reagan Rising: 1976-1980 wilderness years. Craig Shirley. Are core profits slumping? Problem for stocks? Trump trade faltering?
Mar 25, 2017
GOP missed great opportunity to repeal & replace OB-Care. Limit gov't. end entitlement. Reagan 70% rule? Get to Senate, then conference, then reconciliation. Plenty of blame to spread around. Ryan never worked w/ Freedom Caucus for changes. Done by Trump-- yeoman's work. How could Ryan not understand reconciliation rules stretched to regs? No one talked to parliamentarian until Sen Mike Lee! Essential benefits? Guaranteed issue for sick. Tax credits? Freedom Caucus could have made Reagan-type deal. Missed opportunity for tax repeal. Especially capgains = 1000-1500 on Dow. Help econ & stocks. Is it dead? Or just a battle to win long war? Ryan revolt? Meadows, Jordan, Blackburn? Shake-up in WH? Has Ryan changed? Supply-side to root canal? But, now tax reform could come 4-5 months earlier. Get rid of BAT. Work reconciliation. Include Freedom Caucus. Corp tax cut helps middle class wage-earners the most. Should have been done first. Retroactive Jan 2017? Stocks worst week since October. Trump worries about tax reform & reg rollback? Worldwide mfging getting better? Profits? !% RGDP Q1? Low revenues & NGDP? Change strategy? Trade protectionism hurts consumers most. Insourcing creates good-paying jobs. Infrastructure? Security: wall, refugees, destroy ISIS. People want peace & prosperity.
Mar 18, 2017
AHCA: will it make it? Deals? Amendments? Reagan would have made deal for 70%. Trump needs W. Why couldn't he do taxes first? Budget savings? Parliamentarian? Still technically graft on to health reconciliation. AHCA: Is medicaid answer for uninsured? How do risk pools work? Tax credits? Insurance rules? 30%? Insurance mandates? Guarantee issue? Essential benefits? 2nd & 3rd buckets? But mandates end, taxes repealed, gov't smaller, pro-growth, pro-healthcare. CBO scorecard? Trump budget dead on arrival? Programs don't work. Meals on wheels. Community Development Block Grants. EPA. Foreign aid. Big defense $54b. Offsets for 2018, start in 2017. Art Laffer: How's Trump outlook & performance? Protection, BAT, Taxes, Regs, energy etc. Econ outlook for 2017-18? Rates? Stocks? Assistant OMB director! Trump optimism? Animal spirits? Fed? Michael Savage: Trump's War: His Battle for America. Populism? Globalism? Protectionism? Wire-tapping? Merkel-Trump meeting? Mnuchin tell Schauble no trade war & strong dollar. Stocks flat. Fed rate hike. Jamie Dimon touts repatriation. Q4 profits fell. Atlanta Fed GDPNow 0.9% Q1. Commodities & inflation.
Mar 11, 2017
Tax reform should come first. Moore, Laffer, Forbes, me. Don't need revenue neutral. Shift tax credits & std deduction. Potus needs W's. Higher capgains, lower revenues. Graft on to reconciliation. Pro-growth. AHCA: more to low end, less to hi end. Pay sick directly w/ vouchers.Huge tax cut. Good shouldn't be enemy of perfect. GOP always has tax credits. Level biz & indiv. Get rid of mandates. How can conservatives fix 1st draft. Good but not great jobs. Fed rate hike. For inflation, non-wage commodities, mkt price indicators. '85-2000. Wayne Angell. Steve Forbes on trade, BAT, tax reform, econ, interest rates. White House civil war on trade. Stocks over-valued? Q4 domestic profits fell. Delayed tax reform.