Six months after the Tax Cut and Jobs Act became law, there’s still little evidence that the average job holder is feeling the benefit.
Worker pay in the second quarter dropped nearly one percent below its first-quarter level, according to the PayScale Index, one measure of worker pay. When accounting for inflation, the drop is even steeper. Year-over-year, rising prices have eaten up still-modest pay gains for many workers, with the result that real wages fell 1.4 percent from the prior year, according to PayScale. The drop was broad, with 80 percent of industries and two-thirds of metro areas affected.
“Now, economic confidence has been good, we’re in a strong economy, GDP is growing, but the question has been, where’s the paycheck?” said Katie Bardaro, vice president of data analytics at PayScale.
The answer is, largely, in the companies’ coffers. Businesses are spending nearly $700 billion on repurchasing their own stock so far this year, according to research from TrimTabs. Corporations set a record in Q2, announcing $433 billion worth of buybacks — nearly doubling the previous record, which was set in Q1.
When a company buys back some of its outstanding shares, the effect is usually to boost the value of the rest of its stock, sometimes making the company appear more valuable on paper. Because many senior executives are paid in company shares, buybacks temporarily boost their pay (as well as other shareholders’ portfolios), sometimes at the expense of investments in infrastructure or workers.
The popularity of stock buybacks in the wake of the corporate tax cuts has drawn lawmakers’ attention. A group of senators wrote to the SEC late last month, asking the agency to review the rules around buybacks. “The explosion of stock buybacks has funneled corporate profits to wealthy shareholders and corporate executives instead of workers and long-term investments that spur sustained economic growth,” they wrote.
Monday Reads: Spy UnattendedPosted: July 16, 2018 Filed under: morning reads | Tags: Helsinki Summit, putin, Traitor 67 Comments
Good Morning Sky Dancers!
I hope your morning is going better than mine. My day has been a metaphor for our country’s ongoing demise. Rain poured onto my bed last night after a downpour and finally getting my neighbor to saw off all the trees covering my roof. Then, I woke this morning to find my front bumper and a headlight on the ground in front of my car. The TV shows nothing but the Kremlin Asset occupying the White House via a Russian and White Nationalist Coup meeting all by his ignorant ass self with his Spy Master.
Today I am borrowing pictures of other countries that have real presidents behaving like presidents. I’m also lifting a few from our past when no one was rude enough to leave in a 92 year old Queen of England waiting in the heat only to push in front of her at the earliest possible moment.
And, inflation has already hit a six year high and basically eliminated any gain in income or taxes made by the “Average American”. Plus, the Fed is worrying about stagflation now which is generally and is the worst economic set up possible. High inflation and high unemployment simultaneously. Nixon did it to us last time. It’s purely the result of bad policy which is the hall mark of the Trump/Ryan/McConnell dumpsterfire that used to be the United States. This is where all those tax dollars went: “Worker wages drop while companies spend billions to boost stocks”.
But meanwhile, The Traitor-in-Chief considers the EU to be our “foe” and China and Russia to be our “competitors”. North Korea has jump started its nuclear weapons program while Trump tweets that every thing is peachy keen. There is a glimpse of congresssional oversight appearing on that front but for the most part, Congress is enabling the destruction of the country.
President Donald Trump is “gaslighting” the planet about North Korea’s nukes, according to a well-connected analyst. So Congress is moving on multiple fronts to force the White House to come clean on its negotiations with Pyongyang.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a bill that would, in the words of an aide involved in the process, give the administration some diplomatic “training wheels” and ensure that officials don’t agree to give away more concessions before North Korea’s nuclear capabilities are fully evaluated.
Meanwhile, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee is demanding an official assessment from the nation’s top intelligence chief on whether the president’s positive outlook on the negotiations holds water.
Trump claimed after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore that the nuclear threat from North Korea is “no longer”—despite his own White House’s claims to the contrary.
Jeffrey Lewis, a nonproliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, compared the administration’s recent declarations of success regarding the negotiations to “gaslighting.”
Moscow has rolled out all the usual state propaganda for the Traitor-in-Chief as Putin gets his blowjob from his Be Best Spy.
U.S. President Donald Trump is no fan of American journalists, but he might love what the Russian media are saying about him ahead of his meeting Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A political maverick who is being unfairly targeted by his own compatriots — that’s the common portrayal of Trump on Russia’s largely Kremlin-friendly TV networks, websites and newspapers.
Newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda dismissed the U.S. investigation into Trump’s “mythical work for the Kremlin,” and praised Trump for meeting Putin “despite opposition from his own elite and the hysterics of the media.”
Panelists on popular Sunday night talk show “Vecher,” or “Evening,” said Putin goes into Monday’s summit in Helsinki as the clearly stronger figure, notably coming off his hosting of the World Cup.
Universally sympathetic to Trump, they described him as hobbled by domestic political challenges — a problem Putin doesn’t face after 18 years of stifling political opposition — and by special investigator Robert Mueller’s probe of alleged Russian election interference.
All those indictments against Russians in the Federation’s Spy Agency just haven’t made it to Russian State News. From CBS: ‘Trump predicts “extraordinary relationship” with Russia at summit — live updates.’
Following slight delays in schedule,- Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have begun their day of meetings in Helsinki, Finland amid increasing tensions between the two nations.
“The world wants to see us get along,” Mr. Trump remarked during the leaders’ first formal meeting, adding, “I think we’ll end up having an extraordinary relationship.”
Following their first appearance together, the two leaders sat down for a private one-on-one discussion that lasted over 2 hours long. Mr. Trump told reporters at a working lunch afterwards that the meeting was “a very good start for everybody.”
Mr. Trump kicked off his day by tweeting that U.S.-Russia relations were being soured by U.S. “foolishness” including the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Russian Asset-in Chief tweeted out that the Mueller investigation was a “rigged witch hunt”. Oh and THIS:
Trump holds call with Turkey’s Erdogan prior to summit
Amid news of the summit, the national security council confirms that Mr. Trump held a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to a Turkish readout of the call held on Monday, the leaders discussed topics raised at last week’s NATO summit, including developments Syria. President Erdogan also extended his wishes of success for the summit between Putin and Mr. Trump.
The Tangerine Wank Maggot loves fellating DickTators.
The big picture: At today’s Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, you have an American president huddling alone with an enemy of the United States who infiltrated our election system.
- They’ll do it on the first weekday after the president’s own government indicted a dozen Russian intelligence agents for carrying out the cyberattack. Also Friday, Trump’s top intel official declared that the current danger of more Russian cyberattacks is akin to warning signs before 9/11, when 3,000 were killed and terrorism reshaped the core of our country and lives.
- You have an American president who publicly shrugs at the threat, and claims most of the coverage is fake — even as it echoes the precise warnings and conclusions of his own government officials.
- When the meeting concludes, Vladimir Putin will postgame with a Fox News interview (Chris Wallace), while Trump will hit two Fox News shows (Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson) to give his own spin.
- Trump will surely amplify his take on Twitter. This morning, he began Summit Day by tweeting: “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!”
- The post-summit sit-downs will be with the same Fox News many expected would be tempered — or even fade — after Roger Ailes was ousted. Instead, it’s now the most powerful White House visual stage in history, thanks to Trump.
- And the same Twitter that was the playground for reporters and news junkies is now the most powerful presidential messaging system in history, thanks to Trump.
Be smart: Sitting silently back in D.C. will be the one man who can pull all these strings together, sort through the fact and fiction, and tell a tale no one will ever forget — Robert Mueller.
The tete-a Dick lasted more than 2 hours this morning. WTF did he surrender to Putin and when will we ever know?
And while U.S. officials say they will maintain sanctions against Russia for seizing Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, Trump himself hasn’t ruled out recognizing that annexation of territory that Putin believes is rightfully his.
“We’re going to have to see,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One late last month.
Anna-Liisa Heusala, a Russian Studies professor at the University of Helsinki, said Putin wants “actual recognition or de facto acceptance” of his military action in Ukraine, Syria and other regional hotspots and affirmation of his view of Russia as a “superpower, above international norms and law.”
“From Russia’s perspective, its actions in Ukraine and the Crimea, which it partially justified with humanitarian causes, were a demonstration of its strengthened role and ability to set boundaries for the actions of other parties when these are deemed to seriously threaten Russian national interests,” she said.
May all the Wisdom Being save the Queen and rescue the USA from the Orange Plague!
Putin was late. Lumpy Dumpy Trumpkins had to wait for his prince to come.
Putin Keeps Trump Waiting, Arrives Late for Meeting
Any real man and American president would’ve just stood up and walked the fuck out of there.
I wonder if he uses a cone to get the spray tan on his face but not his neck. They should put eye makeup to match where the goggles were, too.
Trump, Treasonous Traitor
The president fails to protect the country from an ongoing attack.
“HE CHOOSES THE HAMMER EVERY TIME”: NATO LEFT FUMING AS TRUMP TURNS TOWARD PUTIN
The president’s three-country European tour has been NATO’s worst nightmare, weakening the alliance and empowering Russia. “This meeting confirmed that Trump barely knows the politics, if even the geography, of Europe,” one foreign diplomat said. “Diplomacy has become a sadly hilarious affair with him.”
More on Brennan’s outrage here:
Calls the meeting treasonous. Thinks Pompeo, Kelly and Bolton should resign.
My god. This press conference is a disgrace. This is so much worse than I even expected. Trump repeating his lies about the DNC server and Hillary’s “missing emails.” There is absolutely no doubt that Trump is a Russian asset. We’re watching it acted out in public.
This last question at the Presser should leave no doubts in anyone’s mind that the Orange Wank Maggot is afraid of Russia, in the Service of Russia, and cannot be trusted and should be barred from re-entering our country.
A reporter asks Putin if he has compromising material on Trump. Both Trump and Putin laugh.
Putin claims he never even knew when Trump was in Moscow. Trump said Putin sent him a nice letter and a present when he was there in 2013.
Someone who violates his allegiance and betrays his/her country; someone guilty of treason; one who, in breach of trust, delivers his country to an enemy,
See also: Donald Trump; Republicans.
Regarding 2016 Election intervention: “Putin told me it wasn’t Russia, and I don’t see any reason why it would be.” —Trump (literal quote) #SurrenderSummit
This is so-unfucking-believable. The USA turned into a petty territory of Russia. The Republicans are cowed when they’re not gaslighting the whole country, most of the Dems are talking strongly but not making trouble, and the elections will probably be hacked. Again.
I want to stand in front of them and scream DO something! Making statements is not doing something. Take action!
A Russian newspaper editor explains how Putin made Trump his puppet
“They consider him a stupid, unstrategic politician.”
John Brennan knows what he’s talking about; I agree with his assessment: “treasonous.”
ummmmmmmm – you are working for an imbecile who does not know how to plan. You don’t make “plans” with a three-year-old.
And they knew already that Trump screws up every meeting, especially meetings with dictators. They knew that Trump fawns over Putin.
Trump commits treason in full view of the world. Congress do your goddamn JOB! You all swore to protect our country from enemies both foreign and domestic. DO YOUR JOB.
Senator, why didn’t you do anything before this? Call your Republican colleagues and stop him.
Article II Section 4
Here’s the indictment:
The NRA leadership needs to lawyer up quickly.
This one might be too hot for Ghouliani.
And that other American person was on Trump’s campaign, or is a Trump relative.
Yeah. This is huge.
BREAKING: Maria Butina, deputy of Russian Senator Alexander Torshin, and woman who asked Trump question about sanctions in late 2015 has just been arrested in Washington DC and charged with being an agent of Russia. PLEASE LOOK AT LAST HYPHEN!
-Butina set up mysterious shell company in 2016 with Paul Erickson
-In April, I exclusively reported that the Kremlin discussed support for Maria Butina as she visited NRA headquarters in 2014. Today, the DOJ confirms she is a Russian government spy.
-Butina has relationships with all of the following: David Keene, Sheriff Clarke, NRA President Pete Brownell, and others. She is a Russian spy.
-Maria Butina (Russian spy) paid for @SheriffClarke’s 2015 trip to Moscow, the same week as the Flynn/Stein RT dinner.
-The affidavit is absolutely stunning and surreal. A Russian spy penetrated US conservative circles.
-Butina to US PERSON 1 in March 2015: a major political party (POLITICAL PARTY 1) “would likely obtain control over the U.S. government after the 2016 elections.”
This thread with links supporting the points above: https://twitter.com/scottmstedm…/status/1018931900432277505…
The affidavit: https://www.justice.gov/…/russian-national-charged-conspira…
I found some one who put out all of the Stedman thread so we can see it all… that’s such a BFD!!!!!! and it’s getting noticed too!!
I know this is very, very petty and I’m ashamed of myself – but this family just brings out the WORST in me:
Get a load of Melanie’s Disney-esque ballgown. Yikes.
And I’m not a Royal Watcher and not a fan of royals just as a matter of democratic ideology – but QE11 gained a lot in my estimation by giving that shitstain couple the bum’s rush like she did. 😀
None of the princes would show up even. They usually come. May made her do something ad it was minimalist.
Chris Wallace tried to give Putin a copy of the Mueller indictments of GRU agents. He refused ot accept it.
pootin and drump just essentially committed an act of war on the U.S. equal to the bombing of Pearl Harbor in WWII. They have joined together to destroy our government and economy.
With the complicity of Congress.
Headline on WaPo now:
He AGREED with Putin! This kind of shit “journalism” is what brought us Trump.
Also these examples of excuse-making and stretching to call treason and collusion anything but what it is:
“strength” = “Putin has kompromat”
A small but delightful bit of news:
She knew long before this.
Yup … he’s the puppet!!!
“constitutionally wrong”? He’s a traitor.
Not the same as treason, but this is one more thing to be outraged about.
Why do they talk about collusion in the past tense. Trump is colluding right now in real time.
He is obstructing Justice right now in front of our eyes!
He is committing treason now! 2016 was just a warm up.