Friday, August 12, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: The Economic Debate and the Failed Consensus


Robert Borosage
The Economic Debate and the Failed Consensus
Amid the insults ... the two presidential candidates traveled to Michigan to lay out contrasting plans for the economy ... the two speeches ... did give an indication of how the establishment economic consensus is beginning to crack, and where the two candidates truly divide ... Most of the commentary focused on the traditional contrast between the candidates ... But what is more interesting is how the two candidates are moving to challenge the old, failed, bipartisan “Washington consensus.”


“Clinton gives liberals nothing to worry about” in economic speech, says W. Post’s Dave Weigel: “Nothing in the speech nodded at Republicans, or the center-right goals Democrats have conceded since the Reagan era. Not only was there no mention of tacking back Social Security, there was no mention of the national debt.”
But light on specifics. The Atlantic: “Perhaps the most interesting part of her speech was her strong and certain affirmation that she would reject the Trans Pacific Partnership deal if elected … [But] Clinton didn’t introduce any new policy points on Thursday … She also didn’t have much to say about how her policies would diverge from the problematic trade deals that she has supported in the past.”


Trump to meet with RNC today. Politico:Donald Trump’s campaign and top Republican Party officials plan what one person called a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting on Friday … It comes at a time of mounting tension between the campaign and the Republican National Committee, which is facing pressure to pull the plug on Trump’s campaign and redirect party funds down ballot …”
W. Post adds: “More than 75 Republicans have signed a letter urging Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus to spend the party’s money on helping secure the Republican majority in the Senate, not on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.”
Donors already shift to down ballot. W. Post: “Keen donor interest in down-ballot races this year has helped drive nearly $1 billion into super PACs … That haul exceeds the totals amassed by super PACs in every previous cycle since they came on the scene in 2010…”
Trump collapse could impact state legislative races. The Atlantic: “[Democrats] are now aiming to flip at least 10 and as many as 13 legislative chambers. Those victories could give Democrats complete control of the governments in Colorado, Minnesota, and Washington state while breaking the GOP’s one-party rule in Michigan, Maine, and even Florida—all places where Republicans had made gains during the Obama era.”
Commitment to low taxes on wealthy keeps Republican establishment behind Trump, argues NYT’s Paul Krugman: “… if ‘populist’ Donald Trump wins, taxes on the wealthy will go way down; in particular, Mr. Trump is calling for elimination of the inheritance tax … they have decided that lower tax rates on the rich are sufficient payment for betraying American ideals and putting the republic as we know it in danger.”
Republicans inch away from attacking Obamacare. Politico: “A handful of moderate House Republicans in tight reelection contests … say they oppose the health law but are reluctant to tear it up completely … Donald Trump spends far more time bashing Mexicans, Muslims and ‘job-killing’ free trade than talking about repealing the Affordable Care Act. The Republican Senate candidates — with the exception of Sen. John McCain in Arizona — haven’t made the health law an overarching theme this year…”


Trump may have paid no taxes, legally. NYT: “That’s because Mr. Trump, as a prominent and active developer, can take advantage of some of the most generous tax breaks in the federal tax code to reduce his reported income to near zero, or even report a loss.”
Trump has “long sent most of his businesses overseas” reports Time: “He outsourced the production of his shirts to Bangladesh and elsewhere in Asia. Trump vodka was made by a distillery in the Netherlands. Trump suits are made in Mexico and tie clips are made in China. He brought barware in from Slovenia and imported glass and building materials from China. He has stocked his hotels with products made abroad, including elevator parts imported from Japan, Trump-branded shampoo imported from Hong Kong and beach furniture from China…”

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