Daily Bread for 1.30.20

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of thirty-two.  Sunrise is 7:10 AM and sunset 5:05 PM, for 9h 54m 46s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 26.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand one hundred seventy-eighth day.

On this day in 1703, the Forty-Seven Ronin, under the command of Oishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master, by killing Kira Yoshinaka.

Recommended for reading in full —

Peter Cary reports Republicans passed tax cuts — then profited (‘The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a case study of how lawmakers can make themselves richer with the bills they pass’):

When the price of Apple stock hit a then-record high in October 2018, among the shareholders counting their gains were 43 Republicans in Congress, who collectively owned as much as $1.5 million worth of the tech giant’s shares. Apple’s stock jumped 37 percent in its run-up to that record. Several variables were behind the climb, including higher-than-expected earnings.

But congressional Republicans themselves had a hand in the spike, stock analysts say. Legislation they championed — the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — doled out nearly $150 billion in corporate tax savings in 2018 alone. One effect: a big boost in stock prices.

Cutting tax rates for companies like Apple and hundreds of other stocks they own was one of many ways Republican lawmakers enriched themselves after they passed the tax law, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of the 186-page law and members’ financial disclosure forms. Democrats also stood to gain from the tax bill, though not one voted for it; all but 12 Republicans voted for the tax bill.

As part of the bill, Republicans approved tax breaks in 2017 for seven classes of assets many of the wealthier members of Congress held at the time, including partnerships, small corporations, real estate, and several esoteric investment vehicles. While they sold the bill as a package of business and middle-class tax cuts that would not help the wealthy, the cuts likely saved members of Congress hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes collectively, while the corporate tax cut hiked the value of their holdings.


Contrary to Republican claims, the law is not paying for itself and is likely to burden the nation with an additional $1.9 trillion in debt over 11 years beginning in 2018, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Steven Pearlstein writes Our current economic boom is a mirage, and our politics are going to break it:

In reality, our current economic boom is a Keynesian mirage. The only reason our economy is growing at all is that because of extravagant tax cuts and undisciplined spending, the federal government last year spent $1 trillion more than it brought in in revenue, even as the Federal Reserve injects an additional $60 billion a month into the financial system. As the International Monetary Fund warned in its annual economic outlook last fall, such a level of fiscal and monetary stimulus is not sustainable, creating risks of inflation, a spike in interest rates or a sharp decline in the value of the dollar, any of which in turn could lead to a recession or financial crisis. In the longer run, this addiction to living beyond our means will also have the effect of making us ever more beholden to the foreign lenders and investors who make it possible.

Closed Caption Glasses: A New Way to Watch Theater:

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