Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Wednesday, 27 March 2019.
Politics & Governance
In a tweet yesterday, President Trump exclaimed: “The Republican Party will become ‘The Party of Healthcare!'” as he asked an appeals court to take up the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. According to several polls I’ve seen, a majority of Americans support single-payer healthcare, also referred to as “Medicare-for-all.” As President Trump looks to 2020, he’ll be campaigning against socialism, so his healthcare reform proposals may become the exact opposite — something that may not be popular if recent polling is accurate.
Yesterday, the House failed to override President Trump’s veto of the national emergency, ensuring that the fight over the border wall now goes to the court system.
Far Left Daily
“It’s an English jurisprudential culture, a white man’s culture. It’s got to change.” – Joe Biden, presidential candidate?
“You can judge a society by the way it treats its children. And one of the greatest expressions of love that a society can give its children is educating those children with the resources they need.” – Sen. Kamala Harris, speaking about her plan to boost teacher pay with federal funding
“We didn’t run on impeachment. We didn’t win the House of Representatives on impeachment. We’re not focused on impeachment.” … “House Democrats are focused on kitchen-table, pocketbook issues.” – Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
“What’s tough is impeachment in principle is something that I openly support, but it’s also just the reality of having votes in the Senate to pursue that.” – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)
“Be calm. Take a deep breath. Don’t become like them. We have to handle this professionally, officially, patriotically, strategically.” – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), speaking about the Mueller report
According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 29 percent of Americans 55 and older had nothing saved in a 401(k) or an IRA. And 23 percent of those had a defined benefits plan but zero retirement savings. [source] This is a demographic that will be increasingly trying to retire during what I believe will be a period of low growth, higher taxes, and intermittent financial instability. Inflation and rising costs, especially in healthcare, are going to pinch many older Americans who aren’t prepared to face this reality. The future will likely demand more socialist or progressive solutions to citizens’ financial needs.
Stephen Moore, Trump’s next pick to sit on the Federal Reserve Board, suggested yesterday that the Fed should cut interest rates by a half percentage point to spur economic growth. It’s the latest salvo coming from the Trump administration aimed at the Federal Reserve’s plan to continue hiking interest rates to prevent inflation and temper economic growth.
Strategic/Defense Situational Awareness
According to the South China Morning Post, the Chinese government expects further trade troubles aside from the current trade war. The Chinese raised the possibility that the Trump administration will push a new organization for world trade that excludes China at the upcoming G20 summit. (China has famously exploited the existing World Trade Organization for its exclusive benefit.) “If this happens, China will not apply to join. China is now the world’s largest exporter and importer, even if the US economy is larger in size. China can set up its own WTO,” said a former Chinese central bank official. [source] (AC: The Trump administration is dedicated to maintaining the balance of power towards the West and away from China. But for all the talk of positive trade relations between two economic giants, the world will not have it both ways. Either the United States will continue to enforce the global rules-based order, or China will disrupt that order in a multi-polar world. If proposing an alternative to the WTO is on President Trump’s agenda, he’s going to have a hard battle, especially in Europe, where Chinese President Xi Jinping just wrapped up six days of meetings with European leaders. The Trump administration may get more aggressive in its economic fight against China — that’s certainly what the Chinese seem to expect — and so all the bridges Trump has burned in Europe will put him at a disadvantage.)
We’ll be providing coverage of the following House and Senate hearings today:
House Armed Services Committee: “National Security Challenges and U.S. Military Activities in the Indo-Pacific”
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: “Hearings to examine the Colorado River drought contingency plan”
“I don’t think they’re talking about impeachment. We have the greatest economy we’ve ever had. Our country is in incredible shape. They and others created a fraud on our country with this ridiculous witch hunt, where it was proven very strongly, no collusion, no obstruction, no nothing.” – President Trump