Early Warning for 04 February 2019

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 04 February 2019.

 

Tchau: The Detroit News is reporting that General Motors will be laying off over 4,000 workers. This news comes at the same time that GM is reporting a possible $2.7 billion investment in Brazil from 2020 to 2024. (Analyst Comment: One of the big takeaways from Davos is that not only are blue collar jobs in the U.S. vulnerable to outsourcing, but that white collar jobs will soon be heading overseas, too.)

Early Warning: On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee will convene to look at how they can obtain President Trump’s tax returns.

 

White House

The President is scheduled to receive his intelligence briefing and then have lunch with Vice President Pence.

11: The number of days that the Trump administration and the Congress have to reach a border wall funding agreement before a potential shutdown or national emergency declaration. Some speculate that President Trump will take the opportunity during Tuesday’s State of the Union Address to announce a national emergency and begin building the wall.

Border: The Defense Department over the weekend announced a new deployment of 3,700 troops to the southern border.


 

State Department

Secretary Pompeo’s schedule was not available at the time of this report.


 

Defense Department

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has no publicly scheduled events.

 

These are the last publicly reported locations of deployed carrier groups. Conflict requiring an aircraft carrier/carrier strike group does not appear imminent.

The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) is off the coast of Virginia for pre-deployment training. The Lincoln will rejoin the Indo-Pacific Command once it re-bases to San Diego, CA.

The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as in the Indian Ocean.

The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.


 

Congress

Significant House Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report.

Significant Senate Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report.

* Only events pertinent to national security are listed. Significant reporting will appear in this week’s Strategic and National Intelligence reports


 

Economy/Finance

Democrats have a plan to fix Social Security: raise taxes on workers. In a bill promoted by 200 House Democrats, Social Security recipients would see increases in benefits while Americans would see payroll tax increases from 12.8 to 14.8 over the next two decades. It would also raise the ceiling for income which is taxable to $400,000. Right now, workers contribute to Social Security only on the first $132,900 of their earnings. The Social Security Administration says that the program will be insolvent by 2034 unless changes are made.

According to a Fox News survey, some 54 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of American voters support higher taxes on the uber rich. New taxes are unlikely to achieve “fairness”, but are certain to lead to more authority of the federal government. [source]

JPMorgan is looking at the Fed’s recent dovish behavior and questioning the timing of the next recession. Because the Federal Reserve didn’t raise interest rates (and said that they’d be flexible on monetary policy), JPMorgran strategists believe “2020 might not be a year to think about recession and so late 2019/early 2020 would be premature” to move to defensive positions. [source]


 

Far Left Daily

“It’s worth keeping all of this in mind when you hear critics (or journalists) describe the economic proposals of the Democratic presidential candidates as ‘radical.’ They’re not radical, for the most part… These wealth taxes are a classic example of policies that are less radical than their opponents claim.” – David Leonhardt, New York Times Opinion writer

“It’s open season on the wealthy… with the premise that ‘every billionaire is a policy mistake… But people should think twice before seeking to flatten every tycoon. It may seem counterintuitive, but billionaires can be good for democracy, and a bulwark against tyranny.'” – Fred Hiatt, Washington Post Editorial editor

“Surveys are showing overwhelming support for raising taxes on top earners, including a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Monday that found 76 percent of registered voters believe the wealthiest Americans should pay more in taxes.” – Reported this morning at Politico


 

What I’m Looking at this Morning

Rapid warm-up puts Midwest on high alert [Flooding]

General: Hurricane Florence was a “gut punch” to readiness

Chinese scientists improve nuclear submarine communication


 

Notable Quotable

“Mr. Cohen has relayed to the Committee his legitimate concerns for his own safety as well as that of his family, which have been fueled by improper comments made by the President and his lawyer. As I’ve previously stated with my colleagues… efforts to intimidate witnesses, scare their family members, or prevent them from testifying before Congress are tactics we expect from organized crime, not the White House.”- Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, on his upcoming Friday hearing with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen

Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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