Paul Ryan News Signals More Trouble Ahead For GOP….

The Paul Ryan news is further down below, so first I’ll begin with some economic commentary.  As we hear the rhetoric coming from the left & the right, I’m convinced neither side has a clue.  Sure, we can take sides on each of the hotly-contested pet issues like immigration, health care, abortion, gun laws, taxes/deficits & the like, but as far as sound doctrine for bringing on needed economic reform, there’s nothing being proposed that even approaches what we need.  If liberals keep proposing more benefits programs that enable a dependency mentality, that’s not an answer.  If conservatives keep proposing an unfettered reliance on free markets where the rich keep getting richer & suppress the working class, that’s not an answer either.

We hardly ever hear any bold innovative ideas from the Dems or the GOP.  Our leadership is way off base & failing us.  We really need to flip our economic model around, so people aren’t looking for government handouts & they can regain a sense hard work would get them ahead.  Somehow we’ve lost that, largely stemming from jobs not paying a livable wage.  And both parties have become more a part of the problem.  But we should take it one step at a time.  Having an unhinged president with obvious authoritarian tendencies, each party’s agendas are hardly as relevant at this point in time compared to the immediate threat we face.  First we must save our constitutional democracy from a reckless demagogue before we can start fixing the uneven economy.  This Trump era could turn out to be a catastrophe.  Or if we look at it as our glass half-filled, maybe Trump’s burning the whole thing to the ground can pave the way for something better in DC, so out of the ashes in the post-Trump era we can start over with a clean slate.

As this article I’ve posted here in finance/economy/richest-wealth-global-one-percent clearly shows, we have a current economic system that cannot stand in the way it’s trending.  I think we can all agree there must be a better way.  We need economic growth spurring more shared prosperity, upward mobility, opportunity & livable wages for the working class.  It won’t be easy to correct this current malaise & would require bucking some very powerful interests, but we can eventually succeed working together with enough commitment, smarts, open-mindedness, courage & determination.  But first we all must recognize the problem:


The richest 1 percent reportedly are on track to control two-thirds of the world’s wealth by 2030. World leaders are urged to act as anger over inequality reaches a “tipping point,” according to a report by the U.K.-based House of Commons Library. The “continued accumulation of wealth at the top will fuel growing distrust and anger over the coming decade unless action is taken to restore the balance,” the UK Guardian reported. Based on 6 percent annual growth in wealth, the world’s richest one percent would hold assets worth approximately $305 trillion, up from $140 trillion today, and control nearly 66% of world’s money by 2030, the UK Guardian reported.

The lastest UK report falls in line with a similar report issued earlier this year. The world’s richest one percent raked in 82 percent of the wealth created last year while the poorest half of the population received none, Oxfam said earlier this year, AFP reported. A new report from the charity also found that the wealth of billionaires has grown six times faster than that of ordinary workers since 2010, with another billionaire minted every two days between March 2016 and March 2017. Oxfam used its findings to paint a picture of a global economy in which the wealthy few amass ever-greater fortunes while hundreds of millions of people are “struggling to survive on poverty pay”. “The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima said in a statement.

A similar theme can be seen in an-economy-that-works-for-everyone which includes the following:

For decades, the American dream has embodied the idea that with hard work, Americans could buy a home, educate their children, have access to quality health care, and enjoy a financially secure retirement. That dream is increasingly at odds with the reality of an economy that is both global and automated. Our economy is in the midst of a dramatic transition that is every bit as consequential and transformative as the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s or the digital revolution of the late 20th Century. This transformation will be disruptive, but it can also be enormously beneficial if we are prepared for it. Yet, at the very time that the federal government should be taking steps to make sure we can prosper in the new economy and that prosperity is shared, the Trump administration is doing little or nothing to lay the groundwork for a new century of growth. America has met every economic challenge and found a way to prosper and we can do it again, but it will require a new vision that is sorely lacking in this administration. We must think anew and act anew if we are to save the American dream.

Other links in the Related Articles below deal with college, infrastructure, labor shortages, pensions, bankruptcies, housing, welfare, health care, tariffs, immigration & other topics.  In the Trump tax cuts group, Bob Corker now admits the CBO scores showing exploding deficits could make his vote for the tax bill his biggest mistake, as here is the beginning to the article corker-tax-cuts-could-be-one-of-worst-votes-ive-made:

Retiring Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker (R) said his vote on the GOP tax law could be one of the worst of his career if estimates that it will add $1.9 trillion to deficits over a decade prove correct. “If it ends up costing what has been laid out here, it could well be one of the worst votes I’ve made,” he said at a Senate Budget Committee hearing on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate that produced the figure.

In these excerpts from donald-trump-gop-tax-cuts-wont-deliver-big-raise-column, it does a good job of revealing a big lie from Trump (yes, yet another one).  On the tax cuts, trickle down is a total lie & promising a $4000 raise was a ridiculous lie:

Free tip from a successful businessman: Always get paid. In selling you their trickle-down tax plan, President Trump and congressional Republicans promised you a $4,000 pay raise. “This change, along with a lower business tax rate, would likely give the typical American household around a $4,000 pay raise,” Trump said in October. “At least $4,000,” House Speaker Paul Ryan emphasized in a post on his official website. So now that rich people like me have gotten our billions of dollars in tax cuts, you might be wondering where your $4,000 raise is. Spoiler alert: You’re not getting one.

Take it from someone who has helped run three dozen companies: Businesses don’t give raises because they can. Businesses give raises when they have to. They give raises when they fear losing employees to a competitor, or when the government requires them to through minimum wage laws. But businesses don’t give raises just because they got a tax cut. Businesses pay you what you can negotiate. And few employees in today’s economy have the leverage to negotiate. So that $4,000 raise Republicans talked about to sell their tax cuts? It was just a trickle-down lie. For decades, trickle-downers have relentlessly promised that if the government cut taxes on corporations and rich people like me, our windfall profits would eventually trickle down to everyday Americans in the form of higher incomes and more jobs. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” they tell you. But the truth is, these trickle-down policies do nothing but make the rich richer.

Over the past 40 years, corporate profits’ share of the economy has doubled, while wages’ share has fallen by about the same amount. That’s almost a trillion dollars a year that used to go to wages for people like you that now goes to corporate profits — and into the pockets of rich people like me. Even before these tax cuts, rich executives could have easily afforded to pay workers more. They just chose not to. In fact, on the very same day that Walmart made headlines by doling out $1,000 one-time bonuses to a whopping 7% of its workforce, it used its tax savings to offset the expense of closing 63 Sam’s Club stores, costing nearly 11,000 workers their jobs. Two weeks later, Kimberly-Clark, the maker of iconic brands such as Kleenex, Scott and Huggies, told investors it would use its tax savings to help pay for a restructuring plan that would close or sell 10 manufacturing facilities, eliminating as many as 5,500 jobs.

Meanwhile, shareholders continue to rake in the profits. Walmart plans more than $32 billion in stock buybacks and dividends over the next two years. Kimberly-Clark, which returned $2.3 billion to shareholders in 2017, reassured investors that the “ongoing annual cash-flow benefits from tax reform … provides us flexibility to continue to allocate significant capital to shareholders.” According to the Academic-Industry Research Network, S&P 500 companies announced $158 billion in stock buybacks in the weeks following the tax cuts, compared with $3.7 billion in one-time bonuses and only $1.5 billion in annual wage increases. So much for that rising tide.


Rubin reiterates that same point in no-tax-cuts-do-not-pay-for-themselves, which starts off with this:

Much of what the White House said about the president’s tax bill was not true. It was not aimed at the middle class; the majority of the tax savings went to corporations. The lion’s share of the corporate tax breaks were not going to boost workers’ pay; they were used for things like tax buy-back schemes. No misrepresentation was more pervasive or departed further from economic reality, however, than the assertion that the tax cuts would pay for themselves. It was nonsense when Republicans said it, and now the fantasy is plain for all to see. The Post reports: America’s deficit is growing sharply and will surpass $1 trillion per year by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday.

There are several articles below on Paul Ryan news & his announcement he won’t be running again.  As much as I bash Trump & the GOP, I haven’t been critical of Ryan.  He had a nearly impossible job.  From the start he never really wanted to be Speaker in the first place, plus had to deal with Trump & the radicals on his right flank in the Freedom Caucus.  The echo often used him as one of their whipping boys.  With the prospect of the GOP losing the House, he decided to prioritize his family & get to know his kids better back in Wisconsin next year, instead of dealing with the dysfunction of DC politics.  And his star had really fallen within this new rabid/nihilistic GOP.

This Paul Ryan news seems part of a trend that doesn’t bode well for the GOP.  He’s frustrated like a lot of us his party & the bipartisan governing process is basically broken.  My main disappointment with Ryan if he’s known for awhile he wouldn’t run for reelection, he should be more like Jeff Flake or Charlie Dent, being aggressive to push back against Trump’s repeated abuses of democratic norms: paul-ryans-legacy-will-be-his-enabling-of-donald-trump.  We’ll see if Ryan speaks out more in his remaining time, as ultimately saving the party will necessitate taking it out of the hands of Trump & the hardcore extremists.  Us center-right conservatives may be unpopular within the party for now, since the base is still largely in Trump’s corner, but that can change as more people come to understand the real Trump.  This excerpt from paul-ryans-retirement-marks-the-end-of-the-sunny-conservative traces the recent transition of the mindset of pragmatic/compassionate conservatives over to something much darker & more sinister:

Boehner, the former GOP speaker from Ohio, Cantor, the former Majority Leader from Virginia, and now Ryan: each of these men, to varying degrees, were in the political vanguard of intellectual conservatism, the movement that captured the House in 1994 and changed the face of Washington forever. I have been acquainted with all three of them personally; I do not believe either one of them cynically believed the movement was a ruse to deliver goods to owners of capital while torquing up the white working class with more viscerally satisfying campaigns of ethnic resentment of religious revanchism. Yet that it is what the Republican Party has become. Donald Trump did not “hijack” it. He is the culmination of the very darkest elements of a pragmatic bargain that began in the campaigns of Barry Goldwater and, later, Richard Nixon. The Tea Party, so-called liberty conservatism” or “constitutional conservatism,” the alt-right — these splinter movements within the Republican firmament joined fantastical fiscal radicalism to the ethnic, racial, religious, and class resentments that bind the Republican coalition.

More Paul Ryan news comes from links like these: fiscal-hawk-ryan-leaves-behind-growing-deficits-and-a-changed-gop & also donald-trump-takes-out-paul-ryan-and-its-going-to-be-a-civil-war & also paul-ryan-personifies-the-devils-bargain-the-gop-struck-with-trump & finally this one schiff-ryan-leaving-because-washington-is-in-complete-shambles.  It’s another sign the GOP is in big trouble for the midterms & beyond.  Always remember Trump corrupts all those around him.  He’s also toxic.  The prez is driving out White House staff & GOP congresspeople in droves.

And beyond his cultish base, he’s also driving away voters.  Whether it’s millennials, women, minorities & the college educated, certain demographic groups are shifting in large numbers to the Dems all because of Trump!  That’s also the case with yours truly, author of, unless strong centrist independent candidates come along.  In her article this-is-why-the-future-of-the-gop-is-dim, Rubin concludes with this post & points out it’s the up & coming younger generation that may save us from this irrational/scorched-earth brand of pseudo-conservatism, the kind the echo promotes but most Americans are repelled by:

There are several points worth noting here. First, for these voters, “conservatism” is being defined by the Trump GOP. They may have no memory or knowledge of President Ronald Reagan’s brand of optimistic, open conservatism, or of Presidents George H.W. Bush’s and George W. Bush’s kinder-gentler or compassionate conservatism, respectively. This right-wing populist incarnation of the GOP is the only GOP that they know — one they intensely dislike. Second, we’ve yet to see if this generation of young voters will turn out in numbers much greater than the preceding generations. If their excitement fades, Democrats won’t be able to rely on these voters, especially in non-presidential election years. Finally, appeals framed as “trust us” or “party loyalty” are likely to fall on deaf ears with these voters. Similarly, this generation is not likely to place blind faith in the federal government. However, messages based on values (e.g. environmentalism, racial tolerance) and rooted in science or other verifiable evidence may be persuasive. The bad news is that the degree of distrust is sky-high among millennials. Functional democracy relies on some degree of trust in its institutions and leaders. The good news, however, is that this is not a generation that is likely to be attracted to right-wing populism rooted in xenophobia and know-nothingism.

Take another little piece of my heart….
Trump is feeling lots of anger, desperation & is lashing out over the way the investigation is closing in on him.  It’s the same kind of raw emotions seen in this song & is probably how he feels about Mueller (taking & breaking a piece of his heart).  These lyrics could also be interpreted how James Comey thinks of Trump.  It’s even how Paul Ryan likely feels about Trump, his far-right GOP colleagues & the angry echo-fed base….
Take it
Take another little piece of my heart now baby
Take another little piece of my heart
I know you will
And break it
Break another little piece of my heart now baby
‘Cause you know you got it, if it makes you feel good, so good 
paul ryan news with janis joplin
(Click on image for full video)