“For months, Amazon has accused the president of meddling in the process after he publicly weighed in on the contest last year.
As far back as 2016, when he was running for president, Trump pledged that Amazon was “going to have such problems” if he was elected. Last year, Trump contended he would personally look into the contract, claiming other bidders for the deal at the time — including Microsoft, IBM and Oracle — were complaining the process was unfair and favored Amazon.
“The question is whether the President of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of the DoD to pursue his own personal and political ends,” the Amazon spokesperson said.”
“the president has made it clear that those who speak out against him are at risk of losing their jobs — and that Trump knows he’s unlikely to be punished for it.”
“nervous Democrats should take two things away from this. One is that Sanders does in fact know how the American legislative process works. He has participated in it extensively for decades, knows how you can get things done and also knows how painfully difficult it is to get things done. It’s true that this is at odds with some of his “political revolution” talk, but the point is he’s been around. This is a veteran and reasonably successful member of congress, not some random guy who joined Democratic Socialists of America 18 months ago.
The other, and in some ways more important, thing is simply that he knows how to do the whole normal politics “pivot to the center” thing. Happy talk about bipartisanship isn’t just for Joe Biden. Bernie Sanders can do it too! He has Republican friends. He knows there are good Republicans out there. He’s worked with them in the past and looks forward to doing so again.
It’s 100 percent true that if Buttigieg or Amy Klobuchar started talking like this, they’d get roasted by Sanders’s Twitter fandom. The hypocrisy is very real. But the fact that Bernie’s fans let Sanders get away with this kind of thing is a strength of his. He is smart and trusted, so he has the running room to reach out the center, and — when appropriate — he does it.
There are no guarantees in politics, and it’s unquestionably true that Sanders would bring some obvious vulnerabilities to the table. But his track record over the years suggests real skill at navigating these problems, and if you watch his first performance as a real frontrunner in the race you can see those skills in action.”
“This fiscal year, 2020, the federal government will collect $3.6 trillion in tax revenues. But due to its spending addiction, the government will expend $4.6 trillion. This means that the government will have to borrow $1 trillion this year alone, in order to cover a deficit of 4.6 percent of GDP. This is the first trillion-dollar deficit not due to a global recession.”
“Thankfully, the economy is doing well for now. This good performance is masking many of the ill effects, not just of the trade war but also of our overall fiscal situation. The reality, however, is that a growing economy during a time of peace should not be accompanied by growing deficits.”
“Occupational licensing, whether it’s of contractors or hair braiders, is often much more about protecting incumbent businesses and government licensing revenue than it is about safeguarding the welfare of consumers.
Operation House Hunters is a perfect illustration of this, with cops going to great lengths to manufacture licensing law violations that either wouldn’t have happened or wouldn’t have produced unsatisfied parties.
The more effort law enforcement spends entrapping handymen, the fewer personnel and resources they have to devote to deterring other, more serious crimes. “These sting operations rake in big money in fines and court costs,” Sammis says. “Catching real criminals actually committing a crime is much harder.””
“the deficit in exports versus imports from China shrank to $345.6 billion, down about 18 percent from a record high level of $419.5 billion in 2018.
But the U.S. trade deficit in manufactured goods with all countries was relatively unchanged in 2019 at close to $1.048 trillion because importers turned to other nations after Trump hit China with tariffs ranging from 10 percent to 25 percent.
Some of the beneficiaries of that shift included Mexico, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and members of the EU.
The trade deficit with the EU hit a record $177.9 billion in 2019, while the gap with Mexico was a record $101.8 billion”
“tariffs Trump has imposed on approximately $370 billion worth of Chinese goods have increased costs for U.S. manufacturers”
“That helps explain both the slowdown in U.S. manufacturing output and slight decline in the manufactured goods trade deficit in 2019”
“The U.S. usually runs a surplus in agricultural trade. However, that surplus shrank to $23 billion in 2019, from $26.5 billion in 2018, at least partly because of the retaliation that China and other countries on American exports imposed in response to Trump’s tariffs.”
“One bright spot in the trade report is the sharp drop in the oil and gas trade deficit, which fell to $29 billion in 2019, from $69.5 billion in 2018, because of increased U.S. production and exports.
The oil and gas trade deficit reached as high as $317 billion in 2008, but has fallen steadily over the past decade because of new production techniques.”
“Trump still is mistaken to believe that the trade deficit is driven primarily by unfair foreign trade practices or bad trade deals, economists point out. Instead, other factors, such as the size of the U.S. budget deficit and the strength of the U.S. economy play a much bigger role in dictating trade flows.
“The irony is the stronger the U.S. economy is compared to our major trading partners, like the European Union and China, the more likely it is the trade deficit will go up because we will have stronger demand,” Griswold said. “The vast majority of economists would say that’s perfectly fine, but it does put this administration in an awkward spot.””