Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We Have A Winner!

After each debate, the "Politico Caucus," which Politico describes as a "bipartisan survey of the top activists, strategists and operatives in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada," declares "winners" and "losers."

On the whole, Rubio, Bush, Paul, Cruz, and Fiorina are perceived to have done well in Milwaukee and only Dr. Carson and, especially, John Kasich, to have laid an egg.  That's not surprising because of the ample time given the candidates to give their stump speech. Occasionally, a moderator would tell the candidate he or she went over the time allotted, after which the candidate would continue because, hey, no one wants to be Kellyed

Politico wrote

several respondents from both sides of the aisle who said Rubio had a good night also argued that while they saw him as the winner, it wasn’t a blow-out performance — other candidates also had solid showings.

“Several candidates had a good night, but Rubio had strong substance and presentation,” a South Carolina Republican said. “Jeb was probably good enough to stop some of his bleeding.”

Added a Nevada Democrat who selected Rubio, “Rubio, Trump, Bush, Paul and Cruz all seem to have held their own, but I wouldn't say there was a clear winner.”

The runner-ups for best performance, according to the survey, were Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina with 12 percent each, followed by Rand Paul with 8 percent and Ted Cruz and Ben Carson at 6 percent, according to Republican insiders.

“Jeb was most in need of a strong performance, and he was much improved,” a New Hampshire Republican said. “At a minimum, he has bought himself more time to reset and start advancing.”

Cruz was the favorite of several non-partisan participants, one of whom, from New Hampshire, called him the “most articulate” of all the candidates, and another, from Nevada, called him “always focused, on message.”

Really,  now, let's be objective. The real winner was Maria Bartiromo, who stayed on message throughout.In an interview with Politico sometime prior to the debate, the Fox Business Channel host stated

After that [CNBC] debate, I realized, I knew my marching orders. It was clearer than ever what my marching orders are, and that is to help the viewer, help the voter better understand what each candidate’s plan is; is it a realistic plan, can it work and how is it different from the next guy or gal, and that’s what I plan to focus on.

Marching orders? After she let the cat out of the bag, Bartiromo cleaned it up a bit- but.marching orders?  Some of the conservative talking points (in asterisks; comments beneath) she added to her questions:

Today the national debt is at record highs and growing unsustainably. Interest will be the fastest-growing part of the federal budget, tripling over the next 10 years. Social Security, the lifeline of millions of American seniors, is rushing toward insolvency...

The national debt is not growing unsustainably and the deficit has declined by two-thirds since Barack Obama took office (chart below by OMB via Politico).  Social Security, with its dedicated source of funding, has nothing to do with the national debt (or deficit) Inasmuch as (according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, its chart below, from OECD statistics) "After 2034, even if policymakers took no further action, Social Security could still pay three-fourths of scheduled benefits, relying on Social Security taxes as they are collected," Social Security is not "rushing toward insolvency."

Senator Cruz, the International Monetary Fund recently cut its expectations for economic growth. Many economists expect a recession to hit the U.S. within the next year due to the weakening of manufacturing. The next president will have to deal with it.

No doubt many of the thousands of economists in the USA believe a recession will hit within a year. However, this past summer, The New York Times

asked leading forecasters from economic consultancies, financial firms and universities for their predictions on where key economic variables will stand on Nov. 8, 2016 — Election Day. The 17 who participated replied with a relatively strong consensus.

They said they believed that unemployment would be the lowest it has been during an election since George W. Bush and Al Gore faced off in 2000, when it stood at 3.9 percent. The median forecast for the unemployment rate when voters go to the polls in November 2016 was 4.8 percent (which would be down from 5.3 percent last month). They saw only a 15 percent chance of a recession starting by next Election Day. Interest rates, inflation and gasoline prices should all be a bit higher than they are now, they said, while staying quite low by historical standards.

Moreover, early in the year, the chief economist of the National Association of Manufacturers explained (NAM's chart, below)

Respondents to the latest National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)/IndustryWeek survey continued to be mostly upbeat in their assessments of the economy, but the challenges discussed above have dampened some of that enthusiasm. In this report, 88.5% of manufacturers said that they were either somewhat or very optimistic about their own company's outlook.

Almost 40 percent of Americans are without a job and are not looking. Many have given up. That’s what the participation rate tells us....

Uh, no, Maria, The unemployment rate is down to 5.1% and approximately 40% of those individuals have given up looking for work. That would total around 7%, slightly less than 40%.

Mr. Trump, a federal appeals court just dealt a blow to the Obama administration’s plan to prevent the deportation of 5 million people living in this country illegally. The White House is appealing to the Supreme Court....

Ms. Bartiromo refers to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which pertains to young people who were under the age of 16 when they arrived, generally with their parents.  Such specificity, however, would have conflicted with the meme. People, even some Republicans, sympathize with children.

We go back to Facebook. Dewayne Wesley Cato asks on Facebook, how do we get rid of regulations choking our businesses? Ms. Fiorina?

Those "regulations choking our businesses" somehow have not prevented unprecedented corporate growth under the Obama Administration. Fourteen months ago- when the economy was a little weaker than it is today-  this Forbes contributor argued that the nation under Obama has enjoyed the highest private sector job growth in its history and "economically, President Obama’s administration has outperformed President Reagan’s in all commonly watched categories."

Specifically, under the president’s Affordable Care Act, employers with 50 or more employees are required to offer health insurance, or be fined. Many are opting to pay the fine. Others are cutting back employee hours to duck the law altogether. What specific ways will you alleviate the pressure on small business?

Early this year, Ben Casselman of five thirty eight reviewed the Current Population Survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistica and found

the share of part-timers working just below 30 hours a week has been rising for roughly the past two years, while the share working just over 30 hours has been falling. (The share working exactly 30 hours has risen a bit too, but that’s harder to interpret since people who work 29 or 31 hours might round to 30 when they answer the survey.)

,,,,even focusing just on the most affected workers, the impact has been small. In 2009, before the Affordable Care Act was passed, 9.7 percent of part-timers worked between 25 hours and 29 hours and 7.7 percent worked between 31 and 34. In 2013, those numbers were 11.1 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.

Further, as the chart below from the BLS reflects

The Congressional Budget Office, in a report before the law had fully taken effect, estimated that millions of Americans would voluntarily shift to part-time status once they no longer needed to work full-time to qualify for health benefits.9 It’s hard to know exactly how many have already done so. But there has been a marked increase in recent months in the number of people reporting they are working part-time by choice. It’s possible, a sliberal economist Dean Baker has suggested, that this rise reflects the effect of the health law.

The GOP candidates are so concerned about the American worker that three of them definitively came out against any increase in the minimum wage while one, John Kasich, noted that he had signed into a law a "modest increase.""  

Kasich did not address the idea of increasing the national minimum wage, recognizing that was too hot for the audience to handle. Later, he allowed that he would consider the plight of individual investors if a bank were to fail.  He was, of course, booed and was considered the big loser of the night. In a debate in which one of the moderators told us beforehand that she would hew to the Fox/GOP party line, that only made sense.

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1 comment:

matt30 said...

"Uh, no, Maria, The unemployment rate is down to 5.1% and approximately 40% of those individuals have given up looking for work. That would total around 7%, slightly less than 40%."

This isn't right. The participation rate is a measure of the entire potential workforce age 16 and older. The unemployment rate is a survey of those seeking work who have not found it. So a college student or a retiree wouldn't be counted in the unemployment rate but they would be counted as not working in the participation rate.

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