Policy Guide: President Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

Ever since announcing that he would run for the Presidency, Donald Trump has attempted to devise a plan that would rehab a quickly deteriorating American infrastructure.

Over a week of events focusing on America’s framework, President Donald Trump laid out his five-point plan to begin the rehabilitation of the United States’ ailing infrastructure:

Some Context – America’s Infrastructure is indeed very bad

Statistics from both the President’s administration and non-partisan committees show that America’s infrastructure is indeed very bad.

According to the President’s website, America’s infrastructure is ranked 12th in the world, something that his team finds “unacceptable.”

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, a non-partisan organization that denotes a grade for America’s infrastructure every four years, gave America’s framework a D+ grade. Translation: The United States’ infrastructure is in poor to fair condition, and is deteriorating and in need of rehabilitation.

Judging solely by those figures, the United States needs a quick plan that will rehabilitate a vulnerable American infrastructure. However, President Trump and his team have devised an intricate five-part plan to fix the nation’s poor infrastructure.

Idea #1: Lower the Average Permit Time

Most of today’s infrastructure projects may take up to ten years to get the necessary approvals and permits needed to begin the project.

However, President Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan attempts to lower that number to two years, an eight-year reduction to “spur growth and investment.”

The President’s plan will form a single federal council to deliver the first and only “yes” or “no” to a proposed project. All proposed projects will be filed on a single dashboard for the council, and agencies that fail to hit deadlines will be penalized.

In addition, President Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan includes slashing many regulations that impede the progress of projects. President Trump exemplified this point during a speech on Infrastructure by dropping a 70-page binder containing a single environmental regulation that was stopping the building of a road in Maryland.

Idea #2: Rely on the Private Sector to fund Projects

While private companies spend about 4x more on infrastructure than the government (Private: about $2 trillion, Government: about $472 billion), the federal government still funds many public projects like bridges and roads.

However, President Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan hopes to encourage the private sector to fund many of the projects that were formerly funded by government grants.

The goal is to get private companies to invest both their large amount of collective cash and knowledge into the nation’s framework to rebuild much of the at-risk infrastructure.

Idea #3: Focus on Rural Infrastructure

Although President Trump is cutting a large amount of the funding of the Department of Agriculture in his proposed budget for the fiscal year 2018, he is planning to invest a large amount of money into the areas’ infrastructure.

About $25 billion will go to rebuilding the “crumbling” infrastructure of rural areas as part of his initial $200 billion investment into America’s infrastructure. Over the span of his Presidency, Mr. Trump wants to spend at least a total of $1 trillion on rehabbing the United States’ framework.

Idea #4: Invest in “Transformative” Projects

While the President is unclear in the details of his plan, President Trump wants to invest $15 billion into “transformative projects.”

With the definition of transformative as “causing a marked change in someone or something,” it can be assumed that the projects the President is alluding to are of grand scale and will benefit a large amount of citizens.

However, neither the President nor his team have described what the projects will be.

Idea #5: Step up Number of Apprenticeships

An apprentice is a “person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages” (Source: Google Dictionary). Along the same lines, an apprenticeship is “the position of an apprentice” (again, Google Dictionary).

This system of apprenticeships is a large part of President Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan, as he wants to add 1 million apprentices in the next two years.

The goal: “make America ready for the future with a work-force training initiative focused on skill-based apprenticeship education.”

Sources

WH.gov – “President Trump’s Plan to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure”

Trump promises ‘massive permit reform’ in infrastructure bill

American Society of Civil Engineers – 2017 Infrastructure Report Card

Following President Trump’s Plans, a new Coal Mine opens in Pennsylvania

(RWB) After vowing to “Make Coal Great Again” and bring back coal jobs, a new mine opened under President Donald Trump. Here are the facts of this opening:

Following President Trump’s Plans, a new Coal Mine opens in Pennsylvania

On Thursday, June 8, 2017, a new mine run by Corsa Coal Company opened its doors.

Operating in Somerset County, PA (just outside of Pittsburgh), the mine represents a return to the roots an area that once produced a large amount of coal for the United States.

It “will be a boon to the struggling local economy”

During a video to laud the new opening, Corsa CEO George Dethlefson said that the mine “will be a boon to the struggling local economy.”

A longtime host on a Harrisburg radio station, R.J. Harris, reiterated Mr. Dethlefson’s thoughts by stating that the mine will be a “shot in the arm” for the economy.

Mr. Dethlefson also said that about 400 people applied for the 70 initial job openings, and there may be up to 100 full time jobs as production picks up.

This new Mine follows one of the President’s campaign promises

During his campaign and following presidency, President Donald Trump has promised to support coal miners and revamp a dying industry.

On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that reversed a ban on coal leasing on federal lands, end rulings curbing methane emissions from oil and gas consumption, and reduces the weight of climate change and carbon emissions in policy and infrastructure permitting decisions.

During a speech announcing his plan to pull out the Paris Climate Deal, the President alluded to the opening of the mine: “We’re having a big opening in two weeks … a big opening of a brand-new mine.”

The President originally planned to attend opening, but instead recorded a video that played during the opening.

He said: “One by one, we’re eliminating the regulations that threaten your jobs, and that’s one of the big reasons you’re opening today: Less regulation.”

He also added: “We have withdrawn the United States from the horrendous Paris climate accord, something that would have put our country back decades and decades, we would have never allowed ourselves to be great again.”

In addition to his statements on the matter, a few Trump-esque “Make Coal Great Again” items were spread throughout the event.

The Opening Contrasts the Actions of the current PA Governor

During the opening of the mine, Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said the “mine was part of an effort to bring back jobs and industry to the state.”

He also said, “We have not always capitalized on our standing as one of the world’s leaders in these resources, but we’re changing that.”

Mr. Wolf also granted about $3 million to the project, helping fund the total $15 million undertaking.

However, his words and funding for the program during the event contrast to his prior actions on the issue.

During the Presidential election campaigns, Mr. Wolf was an avid supporter of Hillary Clinton, who promised to “put a lot of coal miners out of work.”

The Pennsylvanian governor is also a firm supporter of the Paris Climate Accord, which levies regulations on industries like coal in an effort to reverse the effects of climate change.

The Coal Industry has been rapidly declining recently

In recent years, coal was been in a downturn due to a combination of cheaper natural gas and severe environmental regulations put into place by former President Barack Obama.

Many mines are closing (over a dozen are planning to close this year) and many former miners are out of jobs, but openings like this offer a glimmer of hope for both companies and workers.

Still, many experts on the subject believe that the addition of jobs is only temporary, as automation is expected to be able to replace many of the workers.

Sources

Metro (UK) – “Donald Trump flanked by coal miners as he reverses climate change policies”

Fox News Insider – “First New Coal Mine of Trump Era Opens in Pennsylvania”

The Hill – “Trump celebrates coal mine opening in Pennsylvania”

Philadelphia Inquirer – “New coal mine touted by Trump opens in Pennsylvania”

President Donald Trump’s Tax Reform: The Definitive Guide

As part of his promised “America first” political agenda, President Donald Trump has proposed a series of massive tax cuts for businesses and citizens alike.

Here are the facts of President Donald Trump’s Tax Reform:

Personal Taxes will be lower and simpler to file

As the tax plan currently stands, there are seven separate tax brackets with tax percentages peaking at a bit over 40%. In addition, the federal tax code is an overwhelming 73,954 pages (as of 2013; Source: CNN Money).

Statistics show that the current tax code is far too difficult for the average citizen to understand. According to the White House’s official website, “Taxpayers spend nearly 7 billion hours complying with the tax code each year, and nearly 90% of taxpayers need help filing their taxes.”

However, President Donald Trump’s Tax Reform aims to simplify the current mind-puzzling tax code to make filing taxes a less taxing process.

The President’s first order of business is to reduce the number of tax brackets form seven to three; instead of brackets that top out at over 40%, the President’s plan makes three simple brackets: 10%, 25%, and 35%.

His next order of business includes condensing the number of pages in the tax code and the number of forms in the IRS tax code. Instead of the nearly 200 forms in the tax code and the 211 pages in your typical 1040 form, President Trump wants to condense each case into one.

Overall, the President’s goal is simple: allows Americans to keep more of their money to spend on other important aspects of their life.

Corporate taxes will be significantly lowered

The current business tax code has rates ranging from 15% to 35% and includes many tax breaks that allows companies to engage in their own special interests.

The President wants to eliminate the range of percentages and have a simple 15% flat tax rates for all business sizes.

In addition, President Trump’s Tax Reform includes following through on a huge campaign promise: protecting American workers by emphasizing American businesses over its foreign competition.

Through a combination of a Territorial tax system and a one-time tax on overseas dollars, the President is looking to make the American homeland the #1 spot for businesses to build their new factories.

Lastly, the President wants to eliminate the tax loop holes that allow companies to pay lower than their “fair share” of taxes. Ironically, the company that has been bashing Trump about paying no taxes, the New York Times, used corporate loopholes to pay zero taxes in 2014.

Eliminates taxes and tax breaks that hurt the average citizen

The wealthy in the United States are notorious for hiring an army of lawyers to find every single loophole to get out of paying for their taxes.

As one who has been able to chop off chunks of his taxes during his time as a business owner, President Trump knows these loopholes and is now planning to use his newfound power to close them off.

All loopholes will not be sealed off, however, as “Home ownership, charitable giving, and retirement savings will be protected.”

In addition, President Trump wants to eliminate a series of taxes that he believes are either duplicative or plain theft of the citizens’ money.

First is the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), a two-part system that requires each taxpayer to do their taxes twice to determine the higher amount. The President’s team thinks this makes “no sense” and wants to enact “one simple tax code.”

Second is the death tax, a tax that takes a portion out of one’s estate after he or she dies. President Trump is looking to eliminate this tax to assure “their children aren’t hit with a huge tax when they die.”

Third is perhaps the lowest tax, but a highly impactful one for President Trump: the Obamacare tax. Although the tax is a measly 3.8%, Mr. Trump wants to destroy this “direct hit on investment income and small business owners.”

What is and is not included in the reform

In addition to all of the aforementioned parts of President Donald Trump’s Tax Reform, there are a few notable exceptions from the plan.

For one, President Trump is leaving his ambitious Infrastructure plan, which includes investing $1 trillion in American Infrastructure, out of his tax reform plan.

However, some of the parts he included in his plan are highly impactful as well.

The most prominent example is the President’s plan to double the standard deduction, meaning married couples will have to pay zero dollars in taxes on their first $24,000 of income.

Experts say the reform will lower the federal revenue and heighten the deficit

With the lowering of taxes comes a shortfall in government revenue.

Economists are saying that the drastic tax cuts the President is planning to pass would “significantly reduce federal revenue” and “balloon the federal debt.”

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bi-partisan organization, estimates that the cuts would cause a loss of approximately $3-7 trillion in federal revenue over the next decade.

However, President Trump already has a plan to combat this situation. In addition to cutting taxes, the President is looking to cut a large portion of federal spending over the next decade to balance the budget and reduce the debt.

With this year’s budget and future budget plans, President Trump is looking to cut about $3.6 trillion in federal spending over the next decade.

While the numbers are not exact, they show that a combination of tax cuts and government spending cuts will balance each other out and not increase already monumental federal debt.

Sources

“ABC – What we know (and don’t) about Trump’s tax reform plan”

CNN – “The 1-page White House handout on Trump’s tax proposal”

WH.gov – “President Trump Proposed a Massive Tax Cut. Here’s What You Need to Know.”

The Hill – “Trump to leave infrastructure out of tax reform”

ABC – “What’s in the Trump tax plan that promises ‘massive’ cuts”

The Hill – “Five tax reform issues dividing Republicans”

Chicago Tribune – “Trump budget cuts spending by $3.6 trillion over 10 years, with deep cuts to safety net”

The Definitive Guide: President Donald Trump’s Border Wall

President Donald Trump wants to build a Wall to Keep Illegal Immigrants – and the Problems associated with them – out

During his campaign, President Donald Trump promised to build a wall along the American-Mexican border to keep illegal immigrants out of the country.

However, included in his plan to halt the flow of people is to also stop many of the problems associated with the illegals, many of which are negative for the United States.

Some facts on illegal immigration and illegal immigrants.

  1. Illegal Immigrants cost a collective $113 Billion per year
  2. Illegal Immigrants Cost Each Native, Tax-Paying Household About $1,117
  3. Illegal Immigrants are 3X More Likely to Commit a Crime
  4. Illegal Immigrants Reduces Wages in a Field in an Area
  5. ¾ of people on ‘Most Wanted List’ are Illegal Immigrants

A main argument against the wall is that it will not actually deter illegal immigrants from entering the country. However, the President has attempted to assure everyone that it will: “Walls work. Just ask Israel.”

The Border Wall will be a Costly Venture

During the campaign trail, President Donald Trump estimated the border wall would cost about $12 billion to build. Republicans Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell put the figure a little higher at $15 billion.

Democrats, on the contrary, have been saying the cost would be much higher than what the Republicans estimated, putting the number at $70 billion and above.

However, a Department of Homeland Security report seen by Reuters put the cost at about $21.6 billion, a figure higher than the Republicans estimated and much lower than the Dems hypothesized.

In addition, the same report also showed that the wall would take up to 3.5 years to be fully constructed.

Sources: Reuters – “Exclusive – Trump border ‘wall’ to cost $21.6 billion, take 3.5 years to build: internal report,” NBC – “Donald Trump’s Border Wall: A ‘Progress’ Report”

The Source of Funding is Unknown at this point

During his campaign, now-President Donald Trump promised to make Mexico pay for the wall. As expected, Mexican President Enrique Nieto forcefully told Trump that his country would not.

Of course, Mr. Nieto was mistakenly thinking that he would have to send a check to Capitol Hill, but there are varieties of other options:

  1. The Border Wall Funding Act of 2017: Proposed by Mike Rogers (R-Ala), the bill puts a 2% tax on the approximately 24.3 billion sent to Mexico in remittances each year. Source: NPR – “A Proposed New Tax, Mainly On Latinos, To Pay For Trump’s Border Wall”
  2. Taxing Imports from Mexico: By levying taxes on imports from Mexico, the United States would gain a large portion of new tax revenue that would eventually pay off the full price of the wall. Source: Washington Post – “Yes, Trump can make Mexico pay for the border wall. Here’s how.”

The current plan is to have taxpayer dollars cover some of the early costs, and enact a later plan to cover the costs. However, most believe that taxpayers will end up footing the bill for the entire project.

Other Pertinent Information on the Wall

  1. The Mexican-American Border is approximately 2,000 miles in length, with about 694 miles of that length already blocked off by a fence or a wall.
  2. One of the biggest challenges of building the wall is acquiring the land along the border, much of which is owned by private businesses or private citizens.
  3. President Trump wants the wall to be physically imposing, proposing a plan to build the wall up to 30 feet in some areas.
  4. Construction for the wall has not started yet, and a start date is unknown at this point.
  5. Contrary to what the President has said before, much of the border will be guarded by a fence as opposed to a full-fledged wall.

President Trump wants to make the Wall environmentally friendly

In addition to attempting to keep illegal immigrants from entering the United States, President Donald Trump proposed a plan that would help the environment, too.

In a meeting with congressional leaders, the President proposed covering his border wall with solar panels, a move that he believes would help pay for the wall.

This proposal came shortly after President Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate deal, a pact between hundreds of nations in an effort to reduce pollution and reverse global warming.

The President stated that he would like Congress to discuss the matter, but only if the credit was given to him for concocting the idea.

In response to the news (which was first reported on Axios), that there are already at least two proposals to help with this plan.

Thomas Gleason, founder of solar energy company Gleason Partners LLC, submitted a formal proposal in April, long before the President proposed the idea. He said the project would pay itself back in about five years.

Sources: AOL – “Trump floats idea of a ‘solar’ border wall — and proposals are already on the table,” CNN – “Trump suggests border wall with solar panels”

5 Facts: President Donald Trump’s Travel Ban

After the terror threats that have occurred in first-world countries in the past few years, mainly due to the spreading influence of radical Islam and a large flow of migrants, have caused President Donald Trump to concoct a deal that prevents future terror attacks on American Soil. Here are the facts of the so-called Travel Ban:

The Travel Ban affects Residents of Six Majority Muslim Countries

President Donald Trump’s so-called Travel Ban bars residents of Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen from entering the country without a valid visa.

These six countries, which are populated mostly by Muslims, were specifically chosen due to the residents’ exposure to terrorism from the many terror groups operating in those regions.

Iran, Syria, and Sudan were chosen because “designated by the Secretary of State as a state sponsor of terrorism,” according to the official Executive order.

Iraq, which was present on the “banned list” on the first Travel Ban, was taken off in order to further a diplomatic relationship between the two nations.

Decreases the Number of Refugees significantly for FY 2017

The executive order includes a section that lowers the number of refugees allowed to enter into the United States at 50,000 for the fiscal year 2017.

The reason, from the official Executive Order: “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any entries in excess of that number until such time as I determine that additional entries would be in the national interest.”

This contrasts to the approximately 85,000 refugees admitted to the country in fiscal year 2016, a number that includes about 40,000 Muslim refugees and approximately the same number of Christians, according to Pew Research.

Despite various reports, this is not a Muslim Ban

Multiple news sites and channels have called President Trump’s Travel Ban a Muslim ban, but in reality, it is not in any shape a ban on Muslims.

The Executive Order officially states that the Travel Ban does “not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion.”

Yes, the countries targeted in the Ban are majority Muslim, but a Christian looking to enter the U.S. from those areas would also be barred from entering the United States.

Various Courts have shot down the Travel Ban thus far

When President Donald Trump signed the first Travel Ban into law, the Ninth Circuit Court, a historically left-leaning panel of judges, quickly shot it down.

The court claimed that the Ban discriminated against Syrian refugees, as the Immigration and Nationality Act claims that discrimination based on nationality is illegal. This court also claimed that there was no evidence that any former residents of the countries on the list had actually committed a terrorist attack.

On the second go-around, President Trump’s Travel ban was once again blocked, but this time by a judge in Hawaii who claimed that the Ban discriminated on religion.

In addition, various officials in the states of Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and California have shot down the order due to reasons ranging from that it’s a hidden Muslim ban to it hurts the local economy.

The President has used Recent Terror Attacks to promote his Ban

After recent attacks across European cities, President Donald Trump has taken to his Twitter account to promote his Travel Ban as the solution to the terror problem.

For these actions, he has drawn much criticism both from Twitter trolls and from major news networks for using recent deaths as a reasoning for his “xenophobic” Travel ban.

However, all of the recent European terrorist attacks have been carried out in the name of Allah (the god of Islam) and all of the perpetrators are of Middle Eastern origin.

In addition, to add more fuel to the fire, many of the terrorists in those attacks had recently traveled to the nations outlined in the Ban and returned to either Britain, Germany, or other European nations plagued by the new terror threats.

Sources

Pew Research – “U.S. admits record number of Muslim refugees in 2016”

WH.gov – “Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States”

BBC – “Trump travel ban: Five questions about the revised executive order”

RWB Politics = “Trump’s New and Revised Travel Ban 2.0”

5 Facts: President Trump’s Proposed Budget Requires Work for Food Stamps

In his newly proposed budget for the fiscal year 2018, President Donald Trump is forcing able-bodied Food Stamps recipients to work for their benefits. Here are the facts of this move:

President Trump’s new Budget requires one to Work to Get Welfare

To receive a SNAP check (Food Stamps), which amounts to an average of $125.50 per enrollee, an able-bodied person must either currently work or receive job counseling.

Included in the job counseling is “supervised job searching, training, and community service,” according to the Daily Signal, which will either put the person in the workforce or force them to do a sort of community service.

Despite some calls that this plan is unfair to the poor, there is widespread, bipartisan support for this measure. According to the Daily Signal, 90% of the general public support this measure, with about 87% of Democrats and 94% of Republicans agreeing with this work-for-benefits idea.

Some of the Funding Responsibility is shifted to the States

It is a fact that the federal government pays for the majority of welfare programs.

The states, however, are not paying nearly enough of their share of many social welfare programs, including the Food Stamps program. In fact, the Food Stamps program is 92% funded by the national government.

In most cases, the state governments are paying anywhere from 10%-25% of the true cost of social programs, while the rest of the burden is heaped on the federal government. The only program that many states pay the majority of the bill on is Medicaid.

With the President’s new budget, some more of the funding responsibility is shifted to the states, but any exact number is unavailable at this point.

The Welfare System has been growing, despite the dropping Unemployment rate and Robust Economy

When the recession, the worst financial crisis in the 21st century, first started, there were approximately 26 million enrollees in the Food Stamp program, costing a collective $33 billion.

However, from 2013 to 2016, when the Recession was far over and the economy was picking up once again, there were more enrollees in the program: about 47 million people in 2013 and 44 million people in 2016, and respective costs of $80 billion and $71 billion.

During the 2013-2016 era, the economy was as robust as it had ever been in the 21st century and the unemployment rate was at the lowest it had been in a decade, yet the number of enrollees was higher than during the Recession.

These astonishing figures point to one conclusion: the current Food Stamps program is not functioning as well as it should be. This is where President Trump’s new Food Stamps plan comes into play, requiring beneficiaries to work in some way to pay off the graciousness of the government.

The President’s Plan has been proven to work – and in the United States

A common case against the President’s plan is that getting people to work for their benefits will simply not cut a portion of those who rely on Food Stamps.

However, a similar program in Maine proves that President Trump’s plan will be effective in slashing the number of Food Stamps recipients.

In 2014, Maine implemented a more rigorous “Food Supplemental Employment and Training Program” that would require able-bodied people to meet a set hourly employment requirement. If working was not an option (because they did not have a job), one would have to perform community service for about 6 hours a week.

The result: the caseload dropped a significant amount (from approximately 12,000 to 2,000, according to the Heritage Foundation), mostly due to a wide majority of prior beneficiaries refusing to comply with the work requirements.

Although the drop-off may not be as significant as seen in Maine, a federal implementation of the program used in that state (which is very similar to President Trump’s plan) may result in a large amount of saved money and more people in the workforce.

The Goal: Cut $3.6 Trillion from the National Debt

All in all, President Trump is looking to cut about $193 billion from the SNAP program in a ten-year period and get more people off welfare and into the workforce.

These cuts to the SNAP program (the official name for the Food Stamps program) funding is part of an overall goal to slash approximately $3.6 trillion from the national debt and balance the budget in ten years.

Sources

The Daily Signal – “Trump’s Food Stamp Reform Would Close the Trap of Dependency”

New York Post – “Trump wants to impose work requirement for food stamp users”

Heritage Foundation – “Maine Food Stamp Work Requirement Cuts Non-Parent Caseload by 80 Percent”

Job Growth under President Donald Trump – Breakdowns of Monthly Job Reports

In his candidacy announcement in 2015, now-President Donald J Trump promised to “be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”

But how well is he living up to the promise he made two years later?

Here are the monthly jobs reports since President Trump took office:

June 2017 Jobs Report – 158,000 Jobs Created


      ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 158,000 Jobs in June

May 2017 Jobs Report – 253,000 Jobs Created


      ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 253,000 Jobs in May

Economists expected a creation of approximately 185,000 jobs during the month of May, but the actual number of jobs exceeded that mark by a wide margin.

Approximately 253,000 jobs were created during the month of May in these sectors, among others:

Mining 3,000
Manufacturing 8,000
Construction 37,000
Professional and Business 88,000
Education and Health 54,000
Leisure and Hospitality -11,000
Financial Services 7,000
Trade, Transportation, etc. 58,000

 

In addition to the creation of said number of jobs, the unemployment rate fell from the 4.4% measured at the end of April to 4.3% at the end of May.

Sources: ADP and CNBC

April 2017 Jobs Report – 177,000 Jobs Created


      ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 177,000 Jobs in April

After crunching the numbers, several Economists believed there would be a growth of about 185,000 jobs during the month of April. However, their estimations were much lower than the total number of jobs actually created during April.

The 211,000 jobs created can be divided into these sectors:

Mining 3,000
Manufacturing 11,000
Construction -2,000
Professional and Business 72,000
Education and Health 41,000
Leisure and Hospitality 35,000
Financial Services 2,000

 

The unemployment rate also dropped one-tenth of a percent due to the said job creation, from the measured 4.5% at the end of March to a lower 4.4% at the end of April.

Sources: ADP and CNBC

March 2017 Jobs Report– 263,000 Jobs Created


      ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 263,000 Jobs in March

Economists believed approximately 180,000 jobs would be created during the month of March, but the actual number was much larger than the projection.

The 263,000-job growth can be divided into these sectors:

 

Mining 4,000
Manufacturing 30,000
Construction 49,000
Professional and Business 57,000
Education and Health 13,000
Leisure and Hospitality 55,000
Financial Services 25,000
Trade, Transportation, etc. 34,000

 

The rather large job growth number dropped the unemployment percentage to a ten-year low of 4.5%.

Sources: ADP and CNBC

February 2017 Jobs Report – 298,000 Jobs Created


      ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 298,000 Jobs in February

Expectations for February job growth were at about 190,000, but the actual number of jobs created during this month far surpassed that estimation.

The 298,000 jobs created can be broken down into these sectors, among others:

 

Mining 8,000
Manufacturing 32,000
Construction 66,000
Professional and Business 66,000
Education and Health 40,000
Leisure and Hospitality 40,000
Financial Services 4,000
Information 25,000

 

Many economists believe the rapid job growth can be attributed to the confidence newly elected President Donald Trump has infused into the markets, from his promises to rebuild critical infrastructure or his America-first plan to bring back jobs to the United States.

Source: ADP

5 Facts: President Trump Signs Waiver that Keeps U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv

Today, President Donald Trump signed a waiver that would keep the U.S. embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv, pushing his campaign promise to the side in hopes of peace between Israel and Palestine. Here are the facts of the signing:

President Trump Signed a Waiver to Keep the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv

Earlier today, President Donald Trump signed a waiver that would keep the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, the location the embassy is currently at.

The waiver, which has to be signed biannually, guarantees that the embassy will remain in Tel Aviv for at least six months, when the waiver will need to be signed again.

Had the Waiver not been signed, half of the State Department’s funding would have been cut

Today was the deadline for President Trump to either verify that a new U.S. embassy had been opened in Jerusalem or affirm that the embassy would stay in Tel Aviv.

Had he not signed the waiver stating the location of the embassy, the State Department would lose about half of its funding for overseas buildings, which does include the embassy.

The President made it a Campaign Promise to move the Embassy back to Jerusalem

During his campaign for the Presidency, Mr. Trump repeatedly promised to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from its current location of Tel Aviv to the capital city of Jerusalem.

Due to this promise, Israelis and United States-based Israel supporters hoped that President Trump would support Israel’s interests better than the former President, Barack Obama, had (Mr. Obama had been notably anti-Israel and anti-two-state solution).

The Move comes as President Trump is trying to restore Peace between Israel and Palestine

Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem could set any peace talks between the two nations back, even possibly ending all current discussion. Palestinian officials have already stated that this action would discredit the United States’ role as a mediator between the two countries.

With talks seemingly going well between the three nations (both Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas have shown confidence in their conversations with the President), acting quickly on his campaign promise may not be the best answer to creating a lasting peace treaty that would set a two-state solution.

However, the President is not backing off his Promise to move the Embassy to Jerusalem

Despite the claims that President Trump is backing off his promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem, White House officials have stated that Mr. Trump is not backing off his pledge at all.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer commented on the issue, saying “the question is not if that move happens, but only when.” He also noted that President Trump was delaying the move in an attempt to achieve a solid peace deal.

5 Facts: CIA, FBI, NSA Subpoenaed by House Intelligence Committee

On Wednesday afternoon, the House Intelligence Committee issued seven subpoenas – including three to the intelligence agencies – in an effort to secure more information regarding any Trump/Russia ties. Here are five facts of the panel’s actions.

The CIA, FBI, and NSA all received Subpoenas

On Wednesday afternoon, the nation’s three prominent intelligence agencies – the National Security agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations – received subpoenas from the House Intelligence Committee.

The Documents in question relate to the Unmasking of three Obama Officials

California Republican Representative Devin Nunes filed the subpoenas to gain access to a number of documents relating to three Obama officials: Susan Rice, National Security Advisor, CIA director John Brennan, and U.N. ambassador Samantha Power.

All three of the subpoenas deal with the unmasking – that is, exposing the true character or hidden truth about one – of these three former officials, showing the panel is investigating allegations that Obama officials had wrongfully demanded the unmasking of a few Trump officials.

Fox News reports that the names of the Trump officials appeared in code in classified intelligence reports and were later leaked out to several media agencies, purportedly by Obama-era officials.

The Democrats were upset about this move (That was when they found out)

Congressman Nunes, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, signed off on the subpoenas for the three agencies without the knowledge of his Democrat colleagues.

A source told Reuters that Mr. Nunes’ actions were well within his limits, saying, “Subpoenas related to the ‘unmasking’ issue would have been sent by Chairman Nunes acting separately from the committee’s Russia investigation. This action would have been taken without the minority’s (Democrats’) agreement.”

Another source for Reuters said that the Democrats did have knowledge of the subpoenas, having been “informed and consulted” of the measures before they were taken.

Four more Subpoenas were issued to various Trump campaign members

Adam Schiff (D-CA), the highest-ranking Democrat in the committee, issued four subpoenas that focus in on the alleged ties between members in Donald Trump’s administration and Russia.

Two of the subpoenas were focused on Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security advisor and guinea pig for the Trump/Russia scandal. One of the subpoenas was for Mr. Flynn himself, while the other one was issued for Mr. Flynn’s firm: Flynn Intel Llc.

The other two subpoenas were focused on President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, with one subpoena issued to Mr. Cohen himself and the other to his business, Michael D. Cohen and Associates PC.

The Subpoenas are Duplicates, but show the House Intelligence Committee is still focusing on Trump/Russia

The subpoenas issued by Mr. Schiff to Mr. Flynn and his company and Mr. Cohen and his company are duplicates, reports say. The subpoenas issued to the three Obama-era officials are not duplicates, however, and figure to provide some insightful information into the leaks that have placed extra pressure and scrutiny on some members of the Trump administration.

One more takeaway of this latest set of subpoenas is that the Committee is still laser-focused on the Trump/Russia scandal, despite a lack of wrongdoing by the Trump campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denial of any collusion.

Sources:

WSJ – House Intelligence Panel Issues Seven Subpoenas as Russia Probe Ramps Up

Fox News – House Intelligence Committee sends subpoenas to intel agencies

Reuters – Dispute erupts over House panel subpoenas for CIA, FBI

5 Facts: President Trump to pull out of Paris Climate Deal, Multiple Reports Say

The Treaty was Signed just Last Year

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a treaty to combat the effects of humans on nature, was signed just last year on April 22, 2016.

More than 170 countries signed the measure, and world leaders like Barack Obama of the United States and Angela Merkel of Germany praised the deal for the positive effect it would have on the environment.

The Paris Deal is a Globalist Deal that hurts the American economy

The goal of the Paris Climate deal was to “combat climate change and adapt to its effect,” which would means shifting their energy sources from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of fuel like wind and solar power.

However, the deal is actually only a globalist deal that hurts Americans and the American economy by costing the U.S. a large amount of money, taking away American jobs, and reducing the efficiency of industry.

A study by Heritage Foundation economists shows the negative effects of the climate deal for Americans: a loss of approximately 400,000 jobs (half of those in the manufacturing sector), an income loss of about $20,000 per family of four, a GDP loss of over $2.5 trillion, and a 13-20% increase in electricity bills for the average family.

In addition, the proposed effects the implemented measures are not going to come to fruition, either. Instead of the proposed 2-degree drop in global temperatures, there would be only a .2-degree drop in global temperatures if the U.S. eliminated all carbon emissions or approximately a .4-degree drop if all of the countries in the Industrial world eliminated their carbon emissions.

President Trump Promised to get out the Deal on the Campaign Trail

On his campaign trail, now-President Donald Trump pledged to withdraw from the deal immediately after taking office.

In addition, President Trump has said multiple times that climate change is a “hoax” created by the Chinese to hurt the American economy, angering many scientists and world leaders alike.

However, some of his Officials Mulled over his Promise

Despite Mr. Trump’s assertion to leave the agreement, it seems like President Trump’s administration were skeptical on pulling out on the deal, while some mulled over leaving the deal, or at the very least, revising the deal.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon Mobil (a company that drills and sells fuel), favored remaining in the pact, while Chief Strategist Steve Bannon opposed the measure and wants to immediately leave the pact.

However, Mr. Trump’s daughter and son-in-law (who are both advisors to the President) are split over what action the President should take on the agreement. Ivanka Trump, his daughter and heavily relied-upon advisor, wanted to stay in the agreement, while Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and Senior Advisor, thought the deal was bad and needed revision.

New Reports show that the President will pull out of the Measure

First reported by Axios news outlet, President Trump will indeed pull out of the Paris Climate Deal, despite calls by foreign leaders, scientists, and even the pope, to stay in the pact.

The move will also erase another part of former President Barack Obama’s legacy, as Mr. Obama has been adamant on the deal and recently praised it in a wave of expensive speeches in Europe.

Mr. Trump was unwilling to commit to either side of the argument during the recent G7 summit, tweeting multiple times that he will announce his decision in the upcoming days.

Although no official announcement has been made, it is all but certain the President will pull out of the Paris Climate Deal in the next couple of days.

Read More on Mr. Trump’s Plan to Exit the Paris Deal

AP – Trump Resisting Pressure from Europe, Pope on Climate Deal

Reuters – Trump planning to pull U.S. out of Paris climate deal: source

The Daily Signal – Why Trump Can and Should Pull Out of Paris Climate Change Agreement