Important headlines for November 21st:
Bottom Line: These are the stories you don't want to miss (but probably would if I didn't find them for you)...
Strong Economy Boosts Trump Among Skeptical Voters David Lauter, LA Times
This story spends a fair amount of time attempting to deny economic credit for the president thus far but does include a number of interviews with people of mixed political stripes and voting back grounds that describes a similar story. Plenty of questions regarding President Trump's handling of himself but high marks on the economy. This equals reality and shouldn't be surprising. More people voted for President Trump than said they liked him last year. This wasn't a popularity contest. This was about voting for a president who could improve the economy and lives of Americans.
As I've covered as recently as yesterday there's not a comparable Presidential track record as impressive as his within a first year of a Presidency since the Great Depression. We've gone from a pathetic 1.8% growth economy to one averaging 3% in the first two full quarters of his administration. The stock market's performance is the greatest year over year post-election performance since Truman and the drop-in unemployment, including the real unemployment rate has resulted in the lowest levels in 11 to nearly 17 years. If it's the economy stupid, the president's rolling back of regulations, attracting of businesses back to the US and promise to be an ally rather than adversary to businesses going forward have paved the path to where you'd have to be opposed to prosperity or reality to deny the process.
NFL Commissioner's Problems Continue to Grow - David Kiefaber - ESPN
EXCERPT: Goodell’s goal for the league to generate $25 billion in the next decade includes fan-unfriendly measures like full price pre-season games and personal seat licenses, as well as player-unfriendly measures like mid-week games and a planned NFL franchise in London.
While we're still waiting for this week's report card here's something remarkable. The year over TV NFL ratings were down 5.7% through week nine. In week ten, the first week that wasn't a year over year comp to election coverage but also coinciding with a boycott effort due to Veterans Day, ratings were down 11.4% year over year. That's holy crap territory for the league. You've probably noticed that barely half of the seats in most NFL stadiums have people in them these days as well. The league is in very real trouble and is in another universe if it thinks there's an appetite for even more of it and in London (where NFL players hate playing no less). It dawned on me how bad the NFL problem now is. Football on Thanksgiving used to be the uniting factor for many families. Now if you want to avoid politics on Thanksgiving you can't even turn a freaking game on!
Republicans Showing Backbone on Tax Reform Stephen Moore, Washington Times
Excerpt: states with the highest taxes — California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois and Minnesota — are all Democratic controlled states. There is no evidence that higher taxes in these states lead to better schools or police protection. New York spends $7,500 per person on state and local government, while New Hampshire spends less than $4,000. Yet public services are better in New Hampshire than in New York. Liberals aren’t stupid and they understand the repercussion of this policy. The big blue states either cut their taxes and costs, or the stampede of high-income residents from these states accelerates. The big losers here are the public employee unions — the mortal enemies of Republicans. This all works out nicely.
Next is the decision by Republicans to offset the cost of the tax cut by eliminating the individual mandate tax imposed mostly on moderate-income Americans. About three of four who pay the tax earn less than $50,000 a year. So this is a tax primarily on poorer people, yet Democrats hypocritically want to preserve it. The purpose of the tax is to force low income Americans to purchase insurance they either don’t want or can’t afford. The effect of eliminating the individual mandate will not be to throw people off insurance, but rather will allow poorer and younger Americans to buy less expensive coverage, such as a health savings account. This will lead to a slow death of Obamacare by giving people an opt out and far more health care choices. Smart.
Not only are we getting pro-growth tax policy, President Trump and the GOP are finally draining the swamp. It doesn’t get any better than this.
I want to believe. I'm in X-Files territory. Hopefully this notion of a GOP backbone is more real than the TV show. Until I see it I'm thinking they're as about faithful to their vows as David Duchovny.