U.S. deficit to eclipse $1 trillion in 2020, CBO says, as fiscal imbalance continues to widen

Stephan:  The American economy has moved into a level of indebtedness so vast it exceeds the annual GNP of several dozen countries combined.  Much of this, of course, is due to the Trumper tax cuts, and trade manipulations which have grossly enriched the already rich. And yet the Trumpers blithely go on touting what they see as economic success. Look forward to further cuts in services for the poor and middle class, as Republicans try to reduce a deficit projected to reach $31 trillion in 10 years.

The U.S. Capitol seen through window with reflections Jan. 27, 2020.
Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP

The U.S. government’s budget deficit is projected to reach $1.02 trillion in 2020, according to a report released Tuesday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, as the federal government continues to spend much more than it collects in tax revenue.

A combination of the 2017 tax cuts and a surge in new spending has pushed the deficit wider. This year would mark the first time since 2012 that the deficit breached $1 trillion, a threshold that has alarmed some budget experts because deficits typically contract — not expand — during periods of sustained economic growth.

Overall, the CBO projected that the federal government will spend $4.6 trillion in the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30 and bring in $3.6 trillion in tax revenue.

And some of the costliest government programs are projected to experience expansions in […]

Read the Full Article

No Comments

Trump Administration Moves to Relax Rules Against Killing Birds

Stephan:  The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970. According to a research paper published in Science,  there are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago. Does that matter to you? It does to me. It does to the scientists who study birds. It does to the ecosystems of North America, particularly to mosquitoes and other insects. But, no, it doesn't matter to criminal Trump and the oil and gas companies. When it comes to birds or profits, greed wins every time.

Since 1918, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which covers more than 1,000 species, has helped restore populations of birds like the great egret.
Credit: Brandon Thibodeaux/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday moved to drop the threat of punishment to oil and gas companies, construction crews and other organizations that kill birds “incidentally,” arguing that businesses that accidentally kill birds ought to be able to operate without fear of prosecution.

Conservation groups said the proposed new regulation from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, which operates under the Department of Interior, would substantially weaken the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and put millions of birds in danger. The threat of fines and prosecution has, for decades, helped prod industries to take steps to protect birds, like affixing red lights on communication towers, they say.

Read the Full Article

No Comments

Trump’s legal team gave thousands in contributions to Republican senators ahead of impeachment trial

Stephan:  Could the corruption get any clearer? The only thing I can think of would be if the Trumpers just came out of the Senate floor and handed out little brown paper bags filled with hundred dollar bills.

Credit: MarkWilson/Getty

President Trump’s legal team made numerous campaign contributions to Republican senators overseeing the impeachment trial.

Former independent counsels Ken Starr and Robert Ray, who both investigated former President Bill Clinton ahead of his impeachment, contributed thousands of dollars to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last year before they joined the president’s team, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics (CFPR).

Starr, who lamented that “we are living in … the age of impeachment” during the trial on Monday and accused Democrats of waging a “domestic war,” gave $2,800 to McConnell in July 2019, according to CFPR.

Ray, who wanted to indict Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair but now claims Trump has been vindicated by the transcript of his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, contributed the maximum $5,600 to McConnell in September 2019, according to the report.

The contributions came months before McConnell bragged to Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would be in “total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people who are representing the president in the […]

Read the Full Article

1 Comment

A woman who says Trump raped her is trying to get a sample of his DNA

Stephan:  Remember Monica Lewinsky's blue dress; well, here we go again, only this time the dress is black. I hope the court rules that Trump has to give up the DNA sample. Clinton lied about his affair, and Trump may have lied, I suspect he did, about his affair. Is that another cause of impeachment?

E. Jean Carroll, seen at her home in Warwick, N.Y., in June 2019.
Credit: Eva Deitch/The Washington Post

NEW YORK (AP) — Lawyers for a woman who accuses President Donald Trump of raping her in the 1990s are asking for a DNA sample, seeking to determine whether his genetic material is on a dress she says she wore during the encounter.

Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll’s lawyers served notice to a Trump attorney Thursday for Trump to submit a sample on March 2 in Washington for “analysis and comparison against unidentified male DNA present on the dress.”

Carroll filed a defamation suit against Trump in November after the president denied her allegation. Her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, then had the black wool coat-style dress tested. A lab report with the legal notice says DNA found on the sleeves was a mix of at least four people, at least one of them male.

Several other people were tested and eliminated as possible contributors to the mix, according to the lab report, which was obtained by […]

Read the Full Article

No Comments

Trump boasts the US economy is the best it’s ever been under his watch. Here are 9 charts showing how it compares to the Obama and Bush presidencies

Stephan:  The favorite mantra of Trumpers is how well the economy is doing under Trump. They always cite the stock market and the Dow, and carefully ignore what I have documented in SR over and over; for instance, that 40% of the American population could not write a $400 check in an emergency. But here is a broader assessment, comparing Trump to Obama and even Bush 43 (who was himself a disaster as president but out of ignorance and incompetence not open criminality).
  • President Donald Trump has repeatedly pointed to the nation’s steady economic health as the strongest indicator of his success, calling it “terrific” and “the greatest in the history of the country.”
  • But how does his handling of the economy compare to his immediate predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush?
  • Presidents receive a lot of credit when the economy is performing well and a barrage of criticism when it doesn’t, despite the fact they don’t exactly wield direct power over it.
  • A closer look at the Trump economy reveals a mixed picture.
  • Here are 9 charts tracking the highs and lows of the Trump, Obama, and Bush economies on key indicators like gross domestic product, unemployment, wages, and the federal debt.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly pointed to the nation’s steady economic health as the strongest indicator of his success throughout his time in the White House, calling it “terrific” and “the greatest in the history of the country.”

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Trump credited his […]

Read the Full Article

No Comments