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“President Trump frequently touts the strong economy as one of his great achievements, and he will likely do so again in his State of the Union address Tuesday. He should take credit while he can. Sure, he inherited an economy moving solidly down the tracks, but he is set to leave one that is headed off the rails.
Nearly a year ago, Trump pushed massive deficit-financed tax cuts through the Republican Congress that temporarily juiced up the economy. But they came at a steep cost. Businesses and wealthy households received a windfall, but the Treasury had to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars from global investors to cut the checks.
Growth now, as the stimulus wears off, has slowed to where it was prior to the tax cut. Trump’s argument that the corporate tax cuts would incent businesses to invest more and support sustainably stronger long-term growth looks more and more like a pipe dream. Corporations’ effective tax rate — the taxes they pay as a percent of their profits — was cut in half to an all-time low but has yet to unleash more investment.
The president also argued that the tax cuts would pay for themselves. Not even close. Tax revenues are plunging, and the nation’s budget deficit is ballooning. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan government agency that does the bean counting, if we don’t take a U-turn on the president’s tax and spending policies, our collective finances will end in a train wreck.
Trump’s trade war is also corrosive on the economy. Higher tariffs have cut into corporate profits — General Motors warned last summer that tariffs on imported cars and parts could force the company to cut jobs. In November it announced plans to close four US plants and cut thousands of jobs.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Political leaders from all French parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined Jews and non-Jews in Paris’s Place de la Republique to condemn antisemitic acts."
"Eighty years ago tonight, thousands of Americans gathered in New York to rally behind the Nazi Party and its ideals. An Oscar-nominated short documentary retrieves footage of the event, but leaves out the context that gives it meaning."
"The PM has persuaded the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to partner with the Kahanists of Otzma Yehudit. It makes cynical political sense for his interests, but what of Israel’s?"
"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."
"Making our choices count is, however, far from straightforward, and this is the subject of Martin Hägglund’s book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom."
"Teens in the United States are coming of age at a time when digital technology is truly ubiquitous, where smartphones are all of our “constant companions.”"
"...the Smollett story, if the “trajectory” leads to evidence of fakery, would actually reveal something else modern America is about: victimhood chic."
"Cool in the humanities isn’t that different from cool in other areas of cultural life, like planking, hotdog-legs photography, mason jar rehabilitation, and novels whose main character is a city."
"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."
"Cape Town in South Africa is a foodie destination. Some people in its renowned restaurant industry are trying to spread the food wealth citywide."
"...for many “space expansionists,” escaping Earth is about much more than dodging the bullet of extinction: it’s about realizing astronomical amounts of value by exploiting the universe’s vast resources to create something resembling utopia. "
"After facing persecution in the former Soviet Union and a new wave of antisemitism in the United States, Marya Zilberberg decides to put her Jewishness on display."