Monday, December 20, 2021

Last Call For Ridin' With Biden, Con't

The objective economic data proves pretty convincing when it comes to the Biden Boom in 2021. Joe Biden's comparisons to America's recent presidents finds him on top or at number 2 on all the big economic indicators, according to Bloomberg's Matt Winkler.

U.S. financial markets are outperforming the world by the biggest margin in the 21st century, and with good reason: America’s economy improved more in Joe Biden's first 12 months than any president during the past 50 years notwithstanding the contrary media narrative contributing to dour public opinion.

Exceptional returns from dollar-denominated assets, especially the S&P 500 Index in both absolute terms and relative to its global counterparts, can be attributed to record-low debt ratios enabling companies to reap the biggest profit margins since 1950. Corporate America is booming because the Biden administration's Covid-19 vaccination programs and $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan reduced the jobless rate to 4.2% in November from 6.2% in February, continuing an unprecedented rate of decline during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Consider that real, or inflation adjusted, gross domestic product surged at an average annual rate of 5.03% in each of the first three quarters of 2021, and is poised to expand 5.6% for the year based on the average estimate of more than 80 economists surveyed Bloomberg. If that forecast proves accurate, it would be more than 2.8 times the average between 2000 and 2019 and double the average since 1976.

All of which makes Biden's first year in the White House the standout among the seven previous presidents, based on 10 market and economic indicators given equal weight. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, no one comes close to matching Biden's combination of No. 1 and No. 2 rankings for each of the measures:
  • Gross domestic product (1)
  • Profit growth (1)
  • S&P 500 performance (2)
  • Consumer credit (1)
  • Non-farm payrolls (2)
  • Manufacturing jobs (2)
  • Business productivity (2)
  • Dollar appreciation (2)
  • S&P 500 relative performance (2)
Per capita disposable income, which rose 1.08% this year, is the only comparable weakness for Biden, trailing Donald Trump’s 2.17%, George W. Bush’s 2.01%, Jimmy Carter’s 1.80% and Ronald Reagan’s 1.42%.

GDP growth in every incoming administration during the past four decades never exceeded 2.74% until 2021. Biden is now positioned to surpass Carter (5.01%) as the GDP champion of presidents since 1976. Much of the credit goes to The American Rescue Plan, which poured $66 billion into 36 million households and reduced the child poverty rate by 50%, helping the U.S. recover faster from the pandemic than most other nations.
The downside to that is record corporate profits that absolutely are not being shared with workers, and in 2021 economic inequality got considerably worse, even with Biden's recovery act putting billions in the pockets of American families, and oh yeah, significant inflation, even more so than under Carter.

Biden, like Carter, now faces the political fallout of the accelerating inflation from global supply chain breakdowns associated with the pandemic even though maintaining stable inflation and interest rates are the primary responsibility of the Federal Reserve, and the Fed said it's prepared to tighten monetary policy in 2022.

Biden, unlike Carter, benefits from the $29 trillion U.S. debt market. In contrast to the 1970s and early 1980s, confidence in the Fed’s ability to get inflation back under control is unimpaired, reflected in the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fluctuating below 1.7% as inflation hovers at 4.1%. When Carter was in the White House, investors lost confidence in the Fed, evidenced by the 10-year yield rising to 12.6% with inflation reaching 9.65%.

The clear message from the market that tells all other markets what to do is that the people with the most at stake are betting on the Biden economy.
The problem is the GOP continues to put on a master class of blaming Biden for Trump's disastrous economy. For those of you keeping score on Tang The Conqueror's marks among the last 8 presidents:

  • Gross domestic product (T-3)
  • Profit growth (5)
  • S&P 500 performance (4)
  • Consumer credit (2)
  • Non-farm payrolls (5)
  • Manufacturing jobs (3)
  • Business productivity (5)
  • Dollar appreciation (8)
  • S&P 500 relative performance (5) 
And remember, this is comparing their first year in office. Trump trashed the dollar in his first year in office and coasted on Obama's economic performance, before cratering the economy entirely in his last year in office.

Biden is kicking ass and bringing the dollar back around. The downside again is the hefty inflation, but Biden can still raise rates and almost certainly needs to.
Keep that in mind. Biden's doing very well.

The Manchin On The Hill, Con't

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki scorched Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Sunday over Manchin's complete reversal on backing Biden's Build Back Better bill, and now we're getting details that indicate Manchin was never going to be on board with the bill's provisions.

After months of haggling with President Joe Biden and other Democrats, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) dashed his party’s hopes on Sunday by announcing he wouldn’t vote for the Build Back Better legislation.

Publicly, his biggest gripes are about the cost of the bill. But privately, Manchin has told his colleagues that he essentially doesn’t trust low-income people to spend government money wisely.

In recent months, Manchin has told several of his fellow Democrats that he thought parents would waste monthly child tax credit payments on drugs instead of providing for their children, according to two sources familiar with the senator’s comments.

Continuing the child tax credit for another year is a core part of the Build Back Better legislation that Democrats had hoped to pass by the end of the year. The policy has already cut child poverty by nearly 30%.

Manchin’s private comments shocked several senators, who saw it as an unfair assault on his own constituents and those struggling to raise children in poverty.

Manchin has also told colleagues he believes that Americans would fraudulently use the proposed paid sick leave policy, specifically saying people would feign being sick and go on hunting trips, a source familiar with his comments told HuffPost.

Manchin’s office declined to comment for this story.

In a statement on Sunday, he said he opposed the Build Back Better agenda largely because of its cost.
West Virginia is in nearly every category the poorest state in the nation, and Manchin apparently thinks that the massive number of impoverished in the state are all drug addicts for not being as rich as he is in a country of "endless opportunity" like America. 

Manchin's pretty terrible, but the Republican who will eventually replace him will be far worse. There are several bad Democrats, but there are no good Republicans. Keep that in mind.

So where do Dems go from here? For his part, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Dems will be taking several "early 2022" votes on the Biden agenda.

The U.S. Senate will vote early next year on President Joe Biden's sweeping $1.75 trillion policy bill as well as on voting rights, the chamber's top Democrat said on Monday, despite conservative Democratic Senator Joe Manchin's opposition.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled plans for both votes on Monday, the day after Manchin -- who has stood as a roadblock to many Biden policies in the evenly divided chamber -- said in a television interview that he would not vote for the "Build Back Better" bill, dealing it a potentially fatal blow.

"The Senate will, in fact, consider the Build Back Better Act, very early in the new year so that every Member of this body has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television," Schumer wrote in a letter to colleagues.

Democrats need all of their members on board to pass legislation in the Senate. Biden and party leaders negotiated with Manchin for months to satisfy his concerns, but the West Virginia senator said on Monday that those talks were doomed to fail.
Schumer isn't playing here. That Dear Colleague letter named Manchin specifically.  But the fact remains as long as Manchin is a no, and that there remains unified resistance from the Senate GOP, nothing gets passed at all.

Something has to change or the vote fails. The question is what, if anything, will change at all.

The Airing Of The Grievances

House Republicans aren't just counting their 2022 midterm chickens before they hatch, they're loudly and openly telling anyone in earshot exactly how they will spend 100% of their time in 2023 and 2024 with constant petty vengeance investigations, televised circus hearings, government shutdown hostage taking, and putting as many Biden administration officials in jail with House contempt votes as they can get away with should they win the House back.
House Republicans have begun mapping aggressive probes of the Biden administration if they win back the majority — including inquiries into the origins of COVID, a leak of IRS data about billionaires, and accusations the NSA spied on Tucker Carlson.

Why it matters: The plans, obtained exclusively by Axios, show House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy would make muscular use of majority powers for the last two years of President Biden's term if, as expected, the GOP wins the majority in next year's midterms.
McCarthy plans to send a spate of "preservation notices" to departments throughout Biden's Cabinet, ordering them to retain documents that might be needed for future GOP oversight hearings.

Between the lines: Republicans want to deflect attention from the 1/6 commission, a real-time probe of real violence, death and looting in the Capitol. 
As a prelude, House Republicans in August sent Biden a request to "preserve all records related to your Administration’s withdrawal ... from Afghanistan."

Investigations planned by House Republicans — in parallel with their legislative agenda — show they hope to use congressional power to stoke culture wars for 2024.
They are vowing to investigate Biden over everything Democrats hit Trump on: COVID, foreign policy, immigration, the IRS, and everything from Tucker Carlson's email to Critical Race Theory.
And we're not even counting the inevitable impeachment investigations. 

If you're considering stayng home and not voting in November because Biden or Manchin or whoever disappointed you, wait until Republicans get power back and take vengeance upon all of us.


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