Congress over the next Two Years

This is what our newly elected Congress needs to do over the next two years.

  • Re-pass the 40 jobs bills which Senator Harry Reid (D, NV) suppressed, without changing a word. Do it with a roll call vote, forcing the Democrats onto the Congressional voting record. President Barack Obama will veto or sign them.
  • Repeal the ACA and Dodd-Frank. Do these with roll call votes, forcing the Democrats onto the Congressional voting record. Obama will veto or sign them.
  • Repeal various parts of ACA, Dodd-Frank, one by one. Do each with a roll call vote, forcing the Democrats onto the Congressional voting record. Obama will veto or sign them.

Another Installment of the Obama Recovery

The number of part-time workers who’d rather work full time remains heavily depressed. Here are some numbers, via Nick Timiraos in The Wall Street Journal.

  • 3 million full-time workers hired just this year, but the number of full-time workers is still around 2 million shy of the level before the recession began in 2007
  • number of workers who are part time for economic reasons is 4.5% of the civilian workforce, down from a high of 5.9% in 2010 but well above the 2.7% average in the decade preceding the recession

Yeah, we’re doing wonderfully well. Sure.

Heads Up

Politico is reporting

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has canceled its advertising reservations for Sen Mary Landrieu ahead of the December runoff in Louisiana.

The committee canceled all broadcast buys planned from Monday through Dec 6 in the state’s five major media markets, three sources tracking the air war told POLITICO. That’s about $1.6 million worth of time. The DSCC is in the process of canceling an additional $275,000 in cable placements….

This race is not a done deal. That’s a lot of money for running out a ground game, something at which the Democrats are very good, last week’s election results notwithstanding.

Teachers Union Misbehavior

In a case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ten teachers say the California Teachers Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association, forces them to participate in collective bargaining, whether they’re union members or not; pressures teachers to campaign for selected political candidates, whether the teachers actually support the candidate or not; and collects union dues, whether the collectee is a union member or not.

Another Federal Judge Gets It Right

Disparate theory is the idea that racial discrimination occurs, even when there is no intent to discriminate. This “theory” eliminates the “discrimination” part of the behavior actually prohibited by the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and it is the justification for a HUD rule written to allow a legal finding of discrimination if there is merely a statistical showing of disparity. This “theory” also disregards the fact that there are many factors in play with such disparity besides actual discrimination, things like financial qualifications, criminal history, and so on.

Outcomes

Tuesday’s mid-term elections have the potential to be a sea change in the governance of our country and in the direction we take as a nation. The elections have resulted in a sharp change of control of the Senate to the Republicans, giving them both houses of Congress for the last two years of President Barack Obama’s term; an expansion of House control by 13 seats; a net gain of three (so far) governorships; and an increase in Republican control, depending on how too-close-to-call local races come out, to between 67 and 69 out of 99 of State legislatures. The governorships are especially telling given some particular victories: Scott Walker in Wisconsin, John Kasich in Ohio, Rick Scott in Florida, Bruce Rauner in Illinois, and Larry Hogan in Maryland, among others.

Another Case for Tax Reform

British Prime Minister had this to say Thursday (if that link doesn’t work, the Daily Mail has a good summary and paraphrase):

We know the economic case for cutting taxes: in a competitive world we cannot afford to carry on as a bloated, high-taxing, welfare-heavy nation.

We have to direct our resources to incentivising work through tax cuts and not incentivising welfare through extra benefit entitlements.

We have to fight the notion that you can endlessly suck more taxes out of businesses and bite the hand that feeds…. For me, the simplest way to help with living standards is this: allow people to take home more of their own money.

Economic Improvement?

Our GDP grew at 3.5% last quarter compared to the prior year’s 3rd quarter, against economists’ expectations of a 3.0% growth rate. That’s good, right?

Why did it grow?

Part of the growth came from trade: imports fell sharply. Net trade is a definitional component of our GDP, and net trade consists of Exports less Imports. A reduction in imports, then, by definition elevates GDP.

This particular reduction, though, reflects a reduction in buying goods and services from overseas, which is entirely consistent with another trend: Americans aren’t buying stuff at any high rate, still.

European Taxes

…and, by extension, the goal of this administration’s Europe-wannabe tax schema.

Matthew Karnitschnig and Robin van Daalen, in The Wall Street Journal, interviewed the newly retired Marius Kohl, who was for 22 years the Attendant—head—of Luxembourg’s Sociétés 6, or Companies 6, the Luxembourg government agency that, among other things, determines the annual tax owed by each of roughly 50,000 Luxembourg-registered holding companies.

It’s a wide-ranging interview and well worth the read, but I want to focus on one small bit of it.

Jobs Numbers

The headline numbers are in, and they seem favorable enough: unemployment has dropped to 5.9%, and 248,000 new jobs were created in September.

However.

Counting the 142,000 new jobs created in August, new jobs were created at a monthly average of 195,000 jobs per month over the total interval. Using, instead, Labor’s revised August number of 180,000 new jobs (I’d be curious to learn how President Barack Obama’s Labor Department could make such a large estimation error—a 20% error), that still works out to a pretty anemic 214,000 new jobs per month over the period.