Sunday, November 13, 2016

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Today's quote: "Clinton’s electoral defeat is bound up with the nature of the Democratic Party, an alliance of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus with privileged sections of the upper-middle class based on the politics of race, gender and sexual orientation. Over the course of the last forty years, the Democratic Party has abandoned all pretenses of social reform, a process escalated under Obama. Working with the Republican Party and the trade unions, it is responsible for enacting social policies that have impoverished vast sections of the working class, regardless of race or gender." WSWS

1--The U.S./Turkey Plan for “Seizing, Holding, and Occupying” Syrian Territory In Raqqa

As CNN reports,
But DoD News reported that Sunday’s meeting reinforced a longstanding agreement that the US-led coalition would not move ahead with the seizure of Raqqa, “without incorporating the Turks and their perspective into our plans,” according to Dunford.
The Turkish army said in a statement that the military heads had discussed “the methods of a common struggle” against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, “especially in Al Bab and Raqqa in coming days.”
Addressing the sensitivities around the ethnic makeup of the forces involved in the operation, Dunford said: “We always knew the SDF wasn’t the solution for holding and governing Raqqa.
“What we are working on right now is to find the right mix of forces for the operation.”
He said the US would work with Turkey to determine the composition of the forces that would seize and govern the territory, he said.
He said the right approach was for locals to lead the mission to retake the city and run it after ISIS was driven out.
“[The operation needs] a predominantly Arab and Sunni Arab force,” he said, according to DoD News. “And there are forces like that. There is the moderate Syrian opposition, the vetted Syrian forces and the Free Syrian Army forces, and there is some initial outreach to forces in Raqqa proper.”
Dunford said the SDF were moving south to isolate ISIS positions in Raqqa and the surrounding areas — a phase that would take months.

2--The election was rigged, Lendmen

3--43.2 percent of eligible voters  chose neither candidate

The most significant statistic from 2016’s election is the massive drop in support for both the Democratic and Republican candidates. While uncounted votes from California may slightly alter these figures, Hillary Clinton received about ten million fewer votes than Barack Obama did eight years ago. Trump, who lost the popular vote while winning the electoral vote, received the least votes of any candidate from either party since 2000. These figures are even more striking because of a drastic increase in the population of eligible voters: 18 million since 2008.

Far larger in number than the vote for either candidate are the 99 million eligible voters who abstained from the 2016 election or voted for a third party. This is a measure of social discontent and not of apathy. In other words, while Clinton and Trump received the vote of 26.6 and 25.9 percent of eligible voters, 43.2 percent chose neither.

Among those who did vote, Trump received the votes of just over 27 million white men, about equal to the 27.2 million white men who voted for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012. As for women, 35.5 million voted for Clinton in 2016, a significant drop from the 37.6 million who voted for Obama in 2012. Remarkably, just 30 percent of women eligible to vote cast ballots for Clinton in 2016, compared to 47 percent who did not vote...

As a percentage of votes cast, all racial groups swung toward the Republican candidate in 2016 compared to 2012. However, white voters showed the lowest swing to the Republicans (1 percentage point), compared with African-Americans (7 percentage points), Latinos (8 percentage points), and Asian-Americans (11 percentage points).
These shifts, which occurred within the broader framework of abstention, were driven largely by economic issues. Fifty-two percent of voters said that the economy was the most important issue in the election, far above the second most important issue at 18 percent. Racial and gender issues did not register, while sixty-eight percent of voters said their financial situation was the same or worse than it was four years ago. Thirty-nine percent said they were looking for a candidate who “can bring change,” and of these, 83 percent voted for Trump. This equals roughly 40 million votes, or two thirds of Trump’s total.

The share of votes for the Republicans amongst the most impoverished section of workers, those with family incomes under $30,000, increased by 10 percentage points from 2012. In several key Midwestern states, the swing of the poorest voters toward Trump was even larger: Wisconsin (17-point swing), Iowa (20 points), Indiana (19 points) and Pennsylvania (18 points).

4--Dow Industrials Hit Fresh Record in Best Week Since 2011

5--Donald Trump’s Point Man on Financial Regulation: A Former Regulator Who Favors a Light Touch-- As an SEC commissioner, Paul Atkins protested large fines against companies and sweeping stock-trading requirements

6--Global Markets: Talking ‘bout a Fiscal Revolution--Bond markets are pricing reflation. But fiscal and monetary policy settings globally could diverge

7--At Long Last: The Earnings Recession Is Finally Over -- Stocks are near records just as corporate earnings are finally picking

The earnings recession is finally over, but that might not be enough to push the market higher from here.
With more than 90% of S&P 500 companies having reported results for the latest quarter, earnings for the biggest U.S. companies are finally growing again. Third-quarter adjusted earnings are projected to increase 2.9% from the same period a year ago, according to FactSet. That marks the first year-over-year growth rate after five consecutive quarters of contractions.

8--Trump’s Economic Prescription. First: Do Harm.

The centerpiece of Mr. Trump’s plan is a huge $5.8 trillion tax cut unaccompanied by specificity around what expenses would be cut to pay for it. (Indeed, the president-elect has proposed more spending on defense and infrastructure.)

As soon as Mr. Trump’s ascendancy became clear on Tuesday night, interest rates on Treasuries began to rise. Usually, an unexpected event causes a flight to the safety of government debt, pushing yields down. That the opposite occurred reflects fears that the deficit might balloon out of control.
Mr. Trump has promised to keep Medicare and Social Security benefits unchanged, a commitment at odds with Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s own economic proposals. As a fiscal conservative, Mr. Ryan is unlikely to accept large tax cuts unaccompanied by major spending reductions. That could lead to the evisceration of many of the discretionary federal programs — think education or research and development — critical to putting our economy on a stronger footing.

To be sure, a tax cut on its own would give Americans more cash to spend. But according to the Tax Policy Center, by 2025, 51 percent of Mr. Trump’s reductions would go to the top 1 percent, who both least need it and would be least likely to spend it.

Then there’s the regulatory arena, where Mr. Trump also has a free hand to act unilaterally. And act he has promised to do, starting with a moratorium on new rules not required by Congress and a reversal of many executive orders.
If Mr. Trump sticks to his pledge, it will be open season on regulations, as businesses go after their most disliked provisions and agencies. Industrial companies will take aim at the Environmental Protection Agency. Financial institutions, including the big banks, will push to repeal Dodd-Frank. That’s just for starters.

9--Can Trump make 'trickle-down' economics work?

The theory: Lowering taxes for businesses and wealthy individuals leaves more cash in their pockets, spurring more investment and hiring, and the faster growth generates enough new tax income to pay for the cuts. The top tax rate under Reagan was slashed to 28% from 70%, and business deductions became more generous. About 16 million jobs were created during his two terms, and the economy grew as much as 7.3% in 1984.
Trump proposes chopping the top individual marginal rate to 33% from 40%  — as well as more modest cuts for those with low and moderate incomes — and the corporate rate to 15% from 35%. The many small-business owners taxed at the individual rate also would pay 15%....

That’s going to be a job creator like we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan,” Trump said in his first debate with Hillary Clinton. “It’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch...

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, says tax cuts do lead to stronger investment and job growth, but those benefits “are generally overstated.” He says they “do not pay for themselves” through additional tax revenue, citing the ballooning national debt during Reagan's term.

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