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
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.
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.
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!