Saturday, October 13, 2018

Last Call For It's The Trumpconomy, Stupid

The NY Times notes that while college-educated suburban white women are bailing on the Republicans in huge numbers, college-educated white suburban men are sticking with Trump, and the reason is Trump's tax cuts have been very, very good for them.

White men without a college degree were Mr. Trump’s most reliable supporters, but they made up only 33 percent of his total vote. College-educated white men were also essential to putting him over the top.

One reason for their continued support now: White college-educated men have benefited unequally in the Trump economy. While the president’s favorite barometer of success, the stock market, is up 26 percent since he took office, individual stock ownership is concentrated among people in the upper income brackets, who are far more likely to be white. The Republican tax cut also delivered higher benefits to whites than to blacks or Latinos, according to a recent study.

These men, largely Trump voters whose support for him has solidified since his election, are business owners and sales executives, veterinarians and lawyers — men who largely wouldn’t be caught dead at a Trump rally chanting “Lock her up!”

They may cringe at a president who humiliates cabinet secretaries and foreign allies, and who utters a stream of easily disproved falsehoods.

But many have quietly struck a bargain with Mr. Trump: They will overlook his trampling of presidential norms because he is delivering just what they want on the economy, deregulation, immigration and foreign affairs.

“He’s tough, he’s a bully, but boy things are getting done,” said JD Kaplan, who runs a graphics business from his home on a neatly landscaped block in Dublin, an affluent suburb of Columbus. Mr. Kaplan, 63, who is a Republican activist, moved years ago from northeast Ohio’s struggling Rust Belt, where a younger brother still runs Kaplan Furniture, a store their grandfather founded.

“Whether it was Obama who started it or not, the economy’s better,” he said. “I see my brother’s businesses are doing better, my graphics business is doing better, my wife’s got a better job.’’

Dublin is in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, where Troy Balderson, a Republican, squeaked out a 1-point victory in a special election in August.

Mr. Balderson is on the ballot again on Nov. 6 against the same Democratic opponent, Danny O’Connor. The race has dropped out of the national spotlight it held during the summer, but the same dynamics are at work: whether Mr. O’Connor, an official in Franklin County, which includes most of Dublin, can attract enough votes in the suburbs to offset rural conservatives who favor Mr. Balderson.

Here, as elsewhere around the country, the vote has become largely a referendum on the president.

Interviews in August and on a recent return visit showed that while Mr. Trump is losing droves of white women with college degrees, many of their male counterparts now strongly support him.

They are country-club Republicans who long voted for business-friendly politicians like Gov. John Kasich, who represented the 12th District in the House and is the national face of never-Trump Republicans.

Trump has given country-club male Republicans basically everything they could have wanted from a GOP government, especially economically, and no matter how much of an autocrat he is, they will never vote for Democrats as long as the economy remains in the non "crashing and on fire" state it was in 2008. 

That's the big reason why Obama won, because the economy was so bad, even the country-club Republicans didn't think the GOP could fix it.  Once the bleeding stopped and Obama tried to regulate Wall Street even a little, these same Republicans turned on him, and Democrats got repeatedly crushed.

Like it or not, white Republican men still run the country and have since forever, and that's not going to change anytime soon.

It doesn't mean however that we can't vote their proxies out.

Just don't depend on them to look out for anything more than their own interests.

The Real Housing Crisis

The availability of affordable housing in America's cities is only getting worse.  It's easy to blame NIMBY gentrification in a country where 90% of your wealth is tied up in your home (and the rest of us are just stuck being 10% as wealthy at max) and while local zoning regulations and homeowners voting to make housing as expensive as possible in order to raise home prices are both serious issues, let's not forget landlords and homebuilders looking to make as much money as possible on rents and scarcity.

One morning last year, Michele Carter woke up to find an eviction notice slipped under her apartment door. She had to move, she was later told, to make way for the renovation of her high-rise and the higher-paying tenants it would bring.

Ms. Carter, 66, an Air Force veteran who lives on a small monthly disability check, did not panic, at least not at first. She considered herself one of the lucky handful of her building’s tenants who had what they called a “golden lottery ticket” — a voucher from the federal government’s Section 8 housing program that would allow them to move anywhere in Philadelphia with a guaranteed subsidy paying 70 percent of the rent.

But she quickly discovered that her Section 8 voucher, for decades an essential way of providing low-income people with affordable housing, had diminishing value.

“I saw this flier for an apartment up on the wall in the building. It looked perfect. Then I get to the bottom, and in big black letters was written, ‘No Vouchers,’” said Ms. Carter, who ended up moving in with relatives for 13 months before being placed in a senior supportive living complex earlier this year. “That kind of thing happened over and over. I wore my eyes out looking at ads.”

For most of its existence, the main shortcoming of the Section 8 program, created in 1974 as an alternative to ghettoizing public housing projects, was its inability to keep up with demand. But the recent economic boom in Philadelphia, long one of the most affordable big cities in the Washington-to-Boston corridor, has led to rent increases even in poor and working-class neighborhoods, and many landlords are now refusing to accept the vouchers when they can get higher rents, without the bureaucratic red tape that plagues the program, on the open market.

A survey by the nonpartisan Urban Institute, commissioned by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and released in August, documented the problem in stark terms. It found that 67 percent of Philadelphia’s landlords refused to even consider voucher holders, some candidly citing the low subsidies and their desire to cash in on a hot market. The rejection rates were even higher in Fort Worth and Los Angeles, where three-quarters of landlords turned away Section 8 tenants.

Put at risk by these market forces is the future of a core federal housing program that now serves 2.2 million low-income families and was started with a simple goal: to enable those families to escape neighborhoods increasingly segregated along racial and economic lines for a place with decent housing and better schools, stores and transportation.

“It is a crisis,” said Rasheedah Phillips, managing attorney at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia’s housing unit, which defends tenants in court. “It used to be that Section 8 was basically a guarantee of shelter for families, for the elderly, for disabled people, but now it’s becoming much harder for tenants to get landlords to take the vouchers. And it’s only getting worse as the market heats up.”

Remember, under the Trump regime and HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Section 8 housing has already taken a big funding hit.  With the coming economic recession caused by Trump's trade war, we're going to see homelessness explode exponentially across the country.  It's going to be bad.

Remember the reasons why.

I'm At WTRUMP In Cincinnati

Tang the Conqueror did a victory lap here in the Cincinnati area last night, up at the Warren County Fairgrounds, once again snarling Friday traffic as he stumped for several Ohio candidates who have been quietly trying to run away from the orange albatross around their necks.

"We are more energized as Republicans than ever before," Trump told the crowd bundled against the chill on the outskirts of the Cincinnati region. "Did he get treated badly or unfairly or what? Horrible."

Returning to a recent incendiary talking point, Trump deemed the Democrats who opposed Kavanaugh "a mob," but said they would not stop him from potentially, he guessed, appointing up to four more justices to the court throughout his time in office -- for a total of six, or two-thirds of the court's nine justices.

"Republicans believe in the rule of law, not the rule of the mob," Trump said. "These are bad people. We can't let his happen to our country."

And he invoked Thursday's bizarre Oval Office appearance by hip hop megastar Kanye West, who held court across from Trump to call for prison reform, reveal his own struggles with mental illness, tout the need for an improved Air Force One and become likely the first person to utter the phrase "crazy motherf---er" -- at least in front of the press -- in that storied room.

"It was pretty amazing, wasn't it?" Trump asked with a smile before highlighting low minority unemployment numbers as a reason for black voters to switch to the GOP.

"We are asking all African-American voters to honor us with their support," Trump said. "Get away from the Democrats!

Following along the teleprompter, Trump spent a few minutes extolling a slate of Republican candidates, including Rep. Jim Renacci, who is challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, as well as Rep. Steve Chabot, who is in a hotly contested fight with Aftab Pureval.

"A vote for a Republican Congress is a vote for more jobs, more wealth, more products made right here in the USA, which is what we're all about," Trump said. "And a vote for a Republican is a vote to reject the Democratic politics of hatred, anger and division. You've seen that."

But most of the night resembled a greatest hits show, as Trump touted the growing economy, stressed the need for his proposed Space Force to defend the heavens, suggested the nation needed to build "bigger arenas" to hold his rally crowds and danced along the edge of offending two ethnic groups by exaggerating the threat posed by Latino MS-13 gang members by suggesting they be hauled off in "paddy wagons."

He also deemed many of his predecessors as "normal" before going on a rambling recollection of historical Ohioans, which included a salute to Ulysses S. Grant for overcoming Robert E. Lee if not his own alcoholism and suggesting that President William McKinley was a wildly underrated president.

Trump also managed to tie the controversy over NFL players kneeling for the national anthem to the moon landing, recalling Neil Armstrong's first moments on the lunar surface.

"There was no kneeling, there was no nothing," Trump said. "There was no games. BOOM. BOOM. Right, fellas?"

To recap, Trump spent an hour last night taking credit for the 1969 moon landing, for winning a national war against gangs that isn't national, the entire civil rights era (because Democrats did nothing for black folk) and for all of Ohio's presidents.

Oh, and something about Jim Renacci and Steve Chabot.  Mike DeWine was there, but he cut out early, literally running away from Trump in a state he won by eight points in 2016.  They all know the guy's poison, but they are stuck with him.

Good luck, Ohio Republicans...
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