There’s a new label for Trumpcare: Job-killer

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It seems like Republicans are determined to make every single lie they said about the Affordable Care Act become a truth for Trumpcare—that it was shoved down Americans’ throats before anybody had a chance to see it, that it would make health insurance unaffordable, that it would kill old people, and now, that it was a job-killer.

The Commonwealth Fund took a look at Trumpcare (at least, the House version, since Mitch McConnell continues to refuse to make any Senate language public) and found some pretty devastating economic news.

The AHCA would raise employment and economic activity at first, but lower them in the long run. It initially raises the federal deficit when taxes are repealed, leading to 864,000 more jobs in 2018. In later years, reductions in support for health insurance cause negative economic effects. By 2026, 924,000 jobs would be lost, gross state products would be

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The minute they graduate from college, women can expect to earn $3 an hour less than men

At the liberal Economic Policy Institute, analysts Elise Gould and Teresa Kroeger report that significant gender gap above:

Right out of college, young men are paid more than their women peers—which is surprising given that these recent graduates have the same amount of education and a limited amount of time to gain differential experience. While young men (age 21–24) with a college degree are paid an average hourly wage of $20.87 early in their careers, their female counterparts are paid an average hourly wage of just $17.88, or $2.99 less than men. This gap of $2.99 per hour is particularly striking as young women have higher rates of bachelor’s degree attainment (20.4 percent) than young men (14.9 percent). This difference would translate to an annual wage gap of more than $6,000 for full-time workers.

While the gender wage gap for young college

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Gov’t reports weak job gains in May, just 138,000, and revises March and April gains downward

In the weakest overall jobs report of 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ said Friday that the economy added 147,000 private-sector jobs in May, but the public sector shed 9,000, for a net gain of 138,000 new jobs.

A consensus of experts surveyed by Bloomberg in advance of the report had forecast that gains would be around 180,000. This was the 80th consecutive month of overall job growth. The headline unemployment rate—which the BLS labels U3—fell slightly to 4.3 percent. The last time the unemployment rate was at this level was 16 years ago, in May 2001. 

Between February 2008 and December 2009, the economy had a net loss of 8.8 million jobs. Since then, it has gained 11.9 million.

The BLS job count covers both full-time and part-time positions. Anyone who has worked even a single hour a week during the survey period is counted as employed. The survey period ends around

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International tourism to America collapsing, thanks to Donald Trump

Now that Donald Trump and his various advisers have had a few more months to make asses of themselves and generally terrify the planet, let’s check back in with the U.S. tourism industry. Yep, it’s still collapsing.

America’s share of international tourism has dropped 16% in March, compared to the same month in 2016, according to Foursquare data released Wednesday.
The decline began in October 2016, the month before the presidential election. From October to March, tourism-related traffic has fallen an average of 11% in the US, compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, tourism in the rest of the world has increased 6% year-over-year during the same period.

It turns out that government-backed hostility toward the rest of the planet makes the rest of the planet not want to visit here. Everyone has heard the stories of visitors being detained for hours or days at our airports; everyone has heard

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Trump team didn’t make a $2 trillion mistake on the budget—it engaged in massive accounting fraud

A couple trillion here, a couple trillion there. No matter how many times Trump’s budget team tries to reuse the same fake money, that doesn’t make it real.

President Donald Trump’s newly unveiled budget contains a massive accounting error that uses the same money twice for two different purposes. Based on its supersized projections of 3 percent GDP, the president’s budget forecasts about $2 trillion in extra federal revenue growth over the next 10 years, which it then uses to pay for Trump’s “biggest tax cut in history.”

Actually, since the whole idea that Trump’s currently unformulated tax cut is going to generate an extra $2 trillion is complete hokum, why not let Trump use it twice? Why not use it four times? Why not 10? Why … Donald Trump’s budget eliminates the national debt in six weeks, plus it will help you drop 20 pounds and eliminate crepey elbow skin!

The whole

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Why many are willing to ignore Trump-Russia

Russian influence on our presidential election needs to be pursued for the sake of our democracy.

Yet this issue makes me uneasy. Why? 

Because it’s not at all certain that it helps us. My favorite comment this week was from a woman who I spoke to who felt that Trump was terrible, a religious Pence would be even worse—and yet she felt her only hope was that libertarians could somehow run a decent candidate.

Egberto wrote a great diary the other day on this topic that stuck with me. Although this topic needs to be pursued, let’s talk about how and why we need to keep working on promoting what we stand for—and why.

Trump’s tax plan is a Laffer

Long before it mastered the mass production of “fake news,” the Republican Party propagated its Ur-lie that “tax cuts pay for themselves.” Almost from the moment that Arthur Laffer first sketched his now-famous curve on a napkin in 1974, right-wing pundits, politicians, and propagandists have declared as an article of faith the belief that tax cuts incentivize so much economic growth that revenues to Uncle Sam will be at least as high as they would have been without the reduction in rates.

Unfortunately for the American people, four decades of supply-side snake oil have produced only mushrooming national debt and record-high income inequality. Far from paying for themselves, the Reagan and Bush tax cuts delivered a windfall only for the wealthy while unleashing oceans of red ink from the United States Treasury. (Of course, the other objective of draining Washington’s coffers in order to add to the bulging bank

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Government funding deadline likely to creep forward one week, escape Trump’s first 100 days

Donald Trump doesn’t want a government shutdown in the list of things that happened in his first 100 days, and it looks like he’s going to get his wish. Because the House seems set to produce a bill that would provide funding for just long enough to push any possible shutdown past that deadline.

House Republicans on Wednesday night introduced a stopgap funding measure to keep the government open through May 5 while lawmakers work on a final agreement for legislation to fund the government through September.

At the moment, Trump and his Republicans have agreed to a funding bill that would not include funding on for Trump’s wall. But the bill is still laden with poison pills.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday evening that the funding bill under negotiation still has “70 poison pills” that the Democratic Party can’t live with.

Pelosi has asked Mitch McConnell to

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Two Goldman Sachs bankers introduce the Trump Tax Plan … but won’t say how it affects Trump

A pair of former Goldman Sachs executives, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, stepped on stage Wednesday to introduce a tax plan that promises everything to everyone: Lower taxes for individuals, much lower taxes for corporations, and taxes so simple you can do them in your head. 

At first glance, two things stand out. One, this plan seems identical to previous Trump proposals that would explode the deficit while rewarding corporations that are already sitting on enormous stacks of cash. And two, this is just an outline. There’s nothing to this “plan” except the 20,000 foot view of a scheme utterly lacking in detail. There’s no numbers on its simplified tax brackets. No hint about how it affects any number of areas. Certainly no projection of what it would cost.

But in a plan that’s all talking points, there’s one point no one wants to talk

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As Bannon falls, Trump’s positions change—but that doesn’t mean an improvement

Sean Spicer may try to sneer away the media’s interest in “palace intrigue,” but what’s happening within the Trump regime is more than just a change of favor among courtiers. In a White House as devoid of soul as the one that Donald Trump visits for a couple of days each week, the people whose spaces cluster around the Oval Office are far more important than they would be if the president held firm beliefs.

And Steve Bannon isn’t just another adviser. His very position—chief strategist—was created especially for Bannon. It marks the special level of influence he’s held both before and after the inauguration. He’s not just another guy in the White House: he’s the ambassador to the alt-right. His office is the embassy of the white nationalist movement that’s gnawing at the heart of Europe and driving noxious hate in America. Bannon isn’t a celebration of the banality of evil. He’s

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Trump’s tax plan is in the trash, but the replacement may be much worse

Donald Trump is declaring a do over.

President Donald Trump has scrapped the tax plan he campaigned on and is going back to the drawing board in a search for Republican consensus behind legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax system.

Trump’s tax plan was the only part of his campaign that included something that looked like a genuine policy. His plan to replace the Affordable Care Act was nothing but the word “beautiful.” His plan to defeat ISIS was only a plan to make a plan. But the tax plan seemed real. It had numbers. Though these days you’ll need to use the wayback machine to see them.

A married couple earning $50,000 per year with two children and $8,000 in child care expenses will save 35% from their current tax bill. …

The plan lowers the business tax rate to 15%. …

The plan also allows U.S.

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Hiring slows sharply. Gov’t says only 98,000 new jobs created in March. Unemployment falls to 4.5%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday in its regular monthly employment situation report that the U.S. economy generated 98,000 new jobs in March, 89,000 in the private sector, 9,000 in the public sector. It was the lowest gain since March 2015 and one of the lowest of the 8-year-old recovery, but the seasonally adjusted net gain still marked the 78th consecutive month of overall job growth. The headline unemployment rate—which the BLS labels U3—fell slightly to 4.5 percent, the lowest level since December 2007, the first month of what came to be known as the Great Recession.

The consensus of experts surveyed by Bloomberg in advance of the report had forecast a gain of 178,000 jobs.

The BLS count always includes both full-time and part-time positions. A person who has worked even one hour a week during the survey period is counted as employed.

In addition to the surprisingly low

Continue reading “Hiring slows sharply. Gov’t says only 98,000 new jobs created in March. Unemployment falls to 4.5%”

Hiring slows sharply. Gov’t says only 98,000 new jobs created in March. Unemployment falls to 4.5%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday in its regular monthly employment situation report that the U.S. economy generated 98,000 new jobs in March, 89,000 in the private sector, 9,000 in the public sector. It was the lowest gain since March 2015 and one of the lowest of the 8-year-old recovery, but the seasonally adjusted net gain still marked the 78th consecutive month of overall job growth. The headline unemployment rate—which the BLS labels U3—fell slightly to 4.5 percent, the lowest level since December 2007, the first month of what came to be known as the Great Recession.

The consensus of experts surveyed by Bloomberg in advance of the report had forecast a gain of 178,000 jobs.

The BLS count always includes both full-time and part-time positions. A person who has worked even one hour a week during the survey period is counted as employed.

In addition to the surprisingly low

Continue reading “Hiring slows sharply. Gov’t says only 98,000 new jobs created in March. Unemployment falls to 4.5%”

AP: Transphobic HB2 law to cost North Carolina $3.76 billion with a ‘B’—at least

North Carolina Republicans rammed through the disastrous HB2 “bathroom bill” in less than 24 hours last year and have since piddled away multiple opportunities to repeal the law, which is projected to cost the state upward of $3.76 billion over a dozen years, according to a new Associated Press analysis:

Over the past year, North Carolina has suffered financial hits ranging from scuttled plans for a PayPal facility that would have added an estimated $2.66 billion to the state’s economy to a canceled Ringo Starr concert that deprived a town’s amphitheater of about $33,000 in revenue. The blows have landed in the state’s biggest cities as well as towns surrounding its flagship university, and from the mountains to the coast.

North Carolina could lose hundreds of millions more because the NCAA is avoiding the state, usually a favored host. The group is set to announce sites for various championships through

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When Paul Ryan gave the game away on health care rationing

House Speaker Paul Ryan has just experienced two weeks from hell.

On Monday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), led by his hand-picked director, mauled Ryan’s so-called “replacement” for the Affordable Care Act. CBO forecast that over the next decade the “American Health Care Act” will cost 24 million Americans their insurance. The bill, which slashes $880 billion in Medicaid funding even as it delivers a massive tax cut windfall of the same size to the richest Americans, only lowers projected deficits because it continues Obamacare’s $1.1 trillion in Medicare savings, something Ryan for years decried as a “raid on Medicare.” Even the claim that Ryancare eventually “lowers premiums” is only made possible by forcing the older, sicker, and less wealthy from the ranks of the insured altogether. Topping it all off, Congress’ budget scorekeeper eviscerated Ryan’s go-to talking point that Obamacare is “collapsing.”

But it wasn’t just

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Autoworkers paid to attend as Trump vows to make cars dirtier, less competitive, and more costly

During the campaign, coal mine operators offered up miners as props for Donald Trump. Now auto companies are doing the same, giving workers paid time to attend a Trump speech that promises to make American cars dirtier, less efficient, and less competitive.

And, for all those Trump surrogates who were desperate to find evidence of a conspiracy, these supporters were literally bused in.

Many of the autoworkers on site told WWJ’s Jeff Gilbert they were given time off with pay to attend the event, some of them brought on buses to the American Center for Mobility — the site of the old Willow Run bomber plant, west of Detroit.

The speech, which was a relatively toned down prompter-driven affair rather than a full-on Trump rant, centered around the idea that Trump was ending an Obama executive order that pushed forward fuel efficiency standards. As with most regulations, Republicans (including those in

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Donald Trump called the economy ‘a mess’ and the unemployment rate ‘a hoax’—then a miracle occurred

According to Donald Trump, what President Obama handed over to him was … 

“As you know, our administration inherited many problems across government and across the economy,” he told the assembled reporters. “To be honest, I inherited a mess. It’s a mess.” 

Yes. A record 75 consecutive months of job growth leading to a 4.7 percent unemployment rate, a stock market up 150 percent and still rising. Corporate profits at an all time high. And for the first time in almost forty years, middle-class incomes actually on the rise. A mess. The funny thing is, now that his name on on the mailbox, Trump has discovered that this “mess” is just beautiful.

While Donald Trump accuses his predecessor of wiretapping his office and prods Congress to eviscerate his signature domestic achievement, he also demands credit for Obama administration victories that he had nothing or little to do

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Calling Republicans hypocrites for assessment of job reports is redundant. But check this out anyway

Thanks to Sam Stein at the Huffington Post for pointing out another example of how vile the Republican leadership can be. First, here’s a glowing press release about today’s report on last month’s job gains from the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Kevin Brady:

Screen_Shot_2017-03-10_at_6.43.21_AM.png

And here’s Brady’s release last year when the job gains were nearly the same:

Screen_Shot_2017-03-10_at_6.42.57_AM.png

Note: Later revisions brought the February 2016 number down from 242,000 to 237,000.

As explained in my coverage of today’s job report, during his campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump claimed the actual unemployment rate was 42 percent last year, and called the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers a “hoax.” He adopted that bogus percentage from David Stockman, the supply side charlatan who served as Ronald Reagan’s budget director. The percentage was arrived at by counting as “unemployed” people who were retired, disabled, in school, or taking care of young children,

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Donald Trump’s magic formula for creating jobs is the same as it is for everything else—lie

During the election, Donald Trump spoke as if he had a secret method for creating new jobs. As it turns out, he does. That formula: just lie about it.

On Tuesday, Exxon announced that it will spend $20 billion over the course of a decade at 11 proposed and existing refining and chemical manufacturing sites. In the process, the company anticipates adding more than 45,000 jobs.

Trump not only took credit for the jobs, he even stole Exxon’s press release for his own.

Donald Trump’s White House runs like a well-oiled machine, and they’re not going to spend extra effort coming up with these things themselves when they can outsource the corporate praise to the corporation they’re praising.

Like the press release, the jobs aren’t new. Exxon first announced them in 2012. Then again in 2014. Then in 2016. If they announce them a few more times, just think how many

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Trump still getting credit for money he didn’t save, jobs he didn’t create

Donald Trump likes to claim credit for jobs he didn’t create, and for money he didn’t save. When it comes to the F-35 fighter, Donald Trump has claimed credit for chopping the price of the expensive jets and for bolstering the number of people working to build them.

“I have already saved more than $700 million when I got involved in the negotiation on the F-35,” Trump said Monday during remarks to U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.

The media has rushed to reprint those claims despite the fact that last week, Sen. Jack Reed made it clear that Trump didn’t deserve credit for savings on the F-35.

 “This is simply taking credit for what’s been in the works for many months,” Reed told CNBC in a telephone interview. “These are savings that would have happened anyway.”

Trump had nothing to do with

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