News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Grim economy report Friday not helpful to democrats. Economy grew only 1.2% in 2Q 2016, less than half expected by Wall St. Even worse, 1Q 2016 was revised down to just .8%. Polls show nearly 70% of Americans say nation is on the wrong track, a figure that would normally be politically deadly for an incumbent party-Politico, 7/29/16

7/29/16, "Grim economy report plays into Trump's hands," Politico, Ben White, Philadelphia

"Hillary Clinton is counting on a strengthening economy to help convince wavering voters, especially across the industrial Midwest, that Donald Trump’s version of a crippled America in rapid decline doesn’t really exist. 
 
She got some very grim news on that front Friday morning with a new report showing the economy grew just 1.2 percent in the second quarter, a sluggish pace for an expansion that is remarkably durable but also shallow, uneven and deeply dissatisfying to most Americans. The news was even worse in the details of the report, which revised first quarter growth down to just 0.8 percent, showing an economy dangerously close to stall speed, handing Trump a handy talking point. The second quarter growth rate was less than half the 2.6 percent expected by Wall Street analysts.

Friday’s report, dragged down by business inventories and investment that swamped increases in consumer spending, could get revised higher later this summer. But it highlights a critical dilemma for the Clinton campaign and a big opening for Trump. 

How do you sell Americans on four more years of Democratic control of the White House when the economy seems stuck in the mud? 

Clinton tried to strike a delicate balance on the issue here Thursday night, praising the progress under President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden while acknowledging the frustrations of the nearly 70 percent of Americans who polls show view the nation as on the wrong track, a figure in an ordinary election year would be politically deadly for the incumbent party....

“None of us can be satisfied with the status quo. Not by a long shot,” she said. “We're still facing deep-seated problems that developed long before the recession and have stayed with us through the recovery. Some of you are frustrated – even furious. And you know what? You're right.”

The report from the Commerce Department on second quarter gross domestic product highlighted in part why Americans remain so frustrated. The economy has grown at less than 2 percent for three consecutive quarters and failed to gain the kind of strength seen in previous expansions. The pace of growth is the slowest in any recovery since the late 1940s. Perhaps ironically given the uniform scorn heaped on trade deals at both conventions, international trade added 0.23 percent to growth in the second quarter. 

Wage growth has also been glacial during the recovery, though it has shown signs of picking up in recent months....

But even the unemployment rate obscures other problems with the economy, including a labor force participation rate of just 62.7 percent, a figure that remains near 30-year lows and includes a continuing decline in the number of women in the workforce. Gains among women in the second half of the 20th century helped offset the pace of men leaving the workforce. That is no longer the case. 

And it is an issue the Clinton campaign plans to address with targeted plans to help decrease the cost of child-care, something they think could help more women stay in the labor force. Still, Clinton faces a challenging political dilemma as the campaign heads into its stretch run. Clinton faces the daunting task of both embracing the economic legacy of a popular outgoing president while presenting a compelling case for change, especially to dissatisfied white voters in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Trump, by contrast, is counting on that dissatisfaction and grievance to run a Rust Belt strategy that could deliver him the 270 electoral votes he needs to win the White House."...

[Ed. note: The "Rust Belt Strategy" used by Politico's guy Obama in his 2008 campaign was simple: lie. He promised to renegotiate if not opt out of NAFTA. One month after his inauguration in 2009, Obama backed out of his promise, dismissing the idea as protectionist. Canadian officials had said in 2008 they thought Obama's statements about NAFTA were lies to get Rust Belt and union votes. And they were right. They didn't use the word "lie," they called it "political maneuvering."]

(continuing): "The tension for the Clinton campaign was on clear display here throughout the week as Obama presented the Democratic nominee as the rightful heir to his economic legacy while former president Bill Clinton described his wife as a change-agent who could help fix what’s wrong with America....

Bill Clinton, sensing the need to attune the Democratic ticket with the mood of the nation, called Hillary Clinton “the best darn change-maker I have met in my entire life.” The former president, who along with Biden will try and improve the Democratic nominee’s performance among downscale white voters, called the picture Republicans painted of the nation “made up.” And he used some formulation of “change” to describe his wife over a dozen times. Biden ripped Trump’s appeal to disaffected working-class voters."...

Beyond the convention stage, Democrats fanned out across Philadelphia over the past week and struggled with the issue of how Clinton could embrace the gains of the last eight years without overselling a recovery that has left many Americans behind....

“The economy has changed a lot and we are never going back to the economy of 50 years ago,” said Shawn Golhar, head of public policy research at Barclays. “Acknowledging that the anxiety is real and respecting it is the first step. Then they key is communicating pragmatic policies that can actually help resolve it.”"

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Obama's 2008 "Rust Belt Strategy:" LIE. It worked.

Feb. 2009 article

2/19/2009, "NAFTA Renegotiation Must Wait, Obama Says," Washington Post, Michael D. Shear

"President Obama warned on Thursday against a "strong impulse" toward protectionism while the world suffers a global economic recession and said his election-year promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement on behalf of unions and environmentalists will have to wait.  

Obama made the comments as he stood with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his first trip abroad as president. The two pledged cooperation on efforts to stimulate the economy, fight terrorism in Afghanistan and develop clean energy technology.

  
In a joint news conference, Obama said he wants to find a way to keep his campaign pledge to toughen labor and environmental standards -- and told Harper so -- but stressed that nothing should disrupt the free flow of trade between neighbors. [NAFTA includes the US, Canada and Mexico].  
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"Now is a time where we've got to be very careful about any signals of protectionism," the president said. "Because, as the economy of the world contracts, I think there's going to be a strong impulse on the part of constituencies in all countries to see if we -- they can engage in beggar-thy-neighbor policies."  
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The president's message served as a reminder of last year's private assessment by Canadian officials that then-candidate Obama's frequent criticism of NAFTA was nothing more than campaign speeches aimed at chasing support among Rust Belt union workers.

"Much of the rhetoric that may be perceived to be protectionist is more reflective of political maneuvering than policy," the Canadians concluded in a memo after meeting with Austan Goolsbee, a senior campaign aide and now a member of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.
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When the memo became public, Obama advisers rejected the idea as absurd and insisted that he was serious about changing NAFTA. Obama even suggested that the United States might opt out of NAFTA if the standards could not be improved to the nation's satisfaction. 
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But some longtime observers of the U.S.-Canada relationship said Obama's current position appears to confirm the impression that Canadian officials got from the meeting with Goolsbee. 
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"It sounds like [Goolsbee] was right," said former Massachusetts governor Paul Cellucci (R), who served as U.S. ambassador to Canada during George W. Bush's first term. "It looks like [President Obama has] softened that quite a bit, to put it mildly."
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That could anger some of Obama's staunchest labor supporters, who blame NAFTA for sending American jobs overseas by not requiring a level playing field in the areas of labor and the environment. 
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But some of those allies said Thursday that they are giving the president more time to make good on his promise and praised Obama for finding a sophisticated way to express support for trade and changes to NAFTA.  

"I am happy for him to frame his way of positioning the issue any way he wants, as long as he actually delivers on the issue," said Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division. "If down the road Obama doesn't deliver on the policy, there will be a whole lot of really upset people.""...

[Ed. note: He blew you off, Ms. Wallach, scolded you with globalist cliches on the global stage. He knew he could pass ten NAFTA's, causing immense human suffering in the US as well as  Mexico, and people like you would never leave him. There isn't the slightest chance any globalist would trim a free trade deal. This is just common sense.] 
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(continuing): "(p. 2) The trade discussion came as Canadians have expressed concern in recent days about the "Buy American" provision that Congress added to the $787 billion stimulus package that Obama signed into law this week.
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Harper said he has "every expectation" that the United States will abide by trade rules that forbid such preferences. But he used strong language to indicate how seriously the country takes that issue.
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"If we pursue stimulus packages, the goal of which is only to benefit ourselves, or to benefit ourselves, worse, at the expense of others, we will deepen the world recession, not solve it," he said. Obama and Harper also pledged to work together to battle terrorism, especially in Afghanistan, where Canadian soldiers have been fighting and dying for years. 
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In his first public comments since sending an additional 17,000 troops to the war-torn country earlier this week, Obama said that "it was necessary to stabilize the situation there in advance of the elections that are coming up."
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The president declined to say how long the troops will remain there, citing a 60-day review he has ordered. Harper also declined to say whether his country's troops will remain beyond 2011, but said the long-term goal of the war should be constrained. 
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"We are not in the long term, through our own efforts, going to establish peace and security in Afghanistan. That, that job, ultimately, can be done only by the Afghans themselves," he said.
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The president's trip to Canada was a traditional visit early in his term. The snow may have subtly reminded him of campaigning in the Midwest, as he said he was pleased "to be here in Iowa -- Ottawa." 
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He disappointed many Canadians who had hoped to see him at a public event. Instead, he waved briefly to a crowd of about 2,000 waiting in the snow as he walked to his meetings. 
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He did surprise reporters with a brief stop at a converted indoor farmers market in a historic stretch of Ottawa afterward. He bought a keychain with Canadian currency, telling reporters that he was continuing a tradition of buying knickknacks when he travels. 
Obama and Harper also pledged cooperation to revive North America's closely linked economy and signed an agreement to work toward developing clean energy technology. 
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"It will advance carbon reduction technologies. And it will support the development of an electric grid that can help deliver the clean and renewable energy of the future to homes and businesses, both in Canada and the United States," Obama said."


 



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