Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Winners and losers in Donald Trump’s first budget plan

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Military spending would get the biggest boost in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. Environmental programs, medical research, Amtrak and an array of international and cultural programs — from Africa to Appalachia — would take big hits, among the many parts of the government he’d put on a crash diet.
The budget proposal out Thursday is a White House wish list; it’ll be up to Congress to decide where money goes. If Trump gets his way, there will be more losers than winners among government departments and programs.
Some programs would tread water: WIC grants — money to states for health care and nutrition for low-income women, infants and children — are one example. Monday for states grants for water infrastructure projects would be held level as well.
Some others would lose everything: Trump proposes to eliminate money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the national endowments for the arts and the humanities and more than a dozen other independent agencies financed by the government.
A sampling:
WINNERS
—The Pentagon. Trump proposes a 10 percent increase in the massive defense budget, adding $52 billion in military spending in one year top expand personnel, equipment and capability. Another $2 billion would go to nuclear weapons.
—Veterans Affairs. Up 5.9 percent. That’s an additional $4.4 billion, driven by ever-growing health care costs.
—Homeland Security. Up 6.8 percent. That’s $2.8 billion more. Most of the increase, $2.6 billion, would be to help kick-start Trump’s promised border wall. The president has repeatedly said Mexico would pay for the wall; Mexican officials are adamant that they won’t. Trump also wants an extra $1.5 billion for more immigration jails and deportations, and $314 million to hire 1,500 immigration enforcement and border patrol agents.
—The National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the maintenance and safety of the nuclear arsenal and its research labs. The agency would grow

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Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau to discuss women in workforce

Monday, February 13th, 2017

President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will participate in a roundtable discussion about women in the workforce Monday, showing the rising policy influence of the first daughter who has stressed her commitment to issues like child care.
A White House official said the two countries would launch a new task force called the United States-Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders-Female Entrepreneurs. The official said Trudeau’s office reached out to discuss working on a joint effort, noting that this was seen as an area of shared interest between both leaders.
Ivanka Trump, who has been a vocal advocate for policies benefiting working women, was involved in recruiting participants and setting the agenda for the meeting and will attend, the official said. Ivanka Trump stressed the importance of maternity leave and child care on the campaign trail, and has recently been meeting with business leaders to discuss those issues.
The White House official said that Trump’s economic agenda will include a “focus on ensuring women enter and stay in the work force and addressing barriers facing female entrepreneurs.” The official requested anonymity to provide details in advance of the meeting.
Advancing women has been a clear priority for Trudeau. In late 2015, he drew attention for naming a Cabinet that was 50 percent women, saying that he chose a group that “looks like Canada.” Trump did not promise to appoint a gender-balanced Cabinet and has named a smaller number of women and minorities to top jobs.
“Our team reached out and suggested as it is an important part of the prime minister’s agenda and of our economic growth plan,” a Canadian official said. “It seemed like a natural fit given their commitments in their platform as well.” The official requested anonymity to discuss the meeting in advance.
Trump has offered a childcare

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Donald Trump takes aim at Dodd-Frank financial overhaul

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):
1:28 p.m.
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will direct the Treasury secretary to review the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.
It’s Trump’s first step at scaling back regulations on financial services.
Trump has called the law a “disaster” and said it failed to address some of the causes of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
The president has also signed a presidential memorandum related to retirement planning. The administration’s move will delay implementing an Obama-era rule that requires financial professionals who charge commissions to put their clients’ best interests first when giving advice on retirement investments.
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1 p.m.
The Trump administration says it has thawed its temporary freeze on contract and grant approvals at the Environmental Protection Agency, with all $3.9 billion in planned spending moving forward.
A media blackout at the agency also appears to have been partially lifted, as a trickle of press releases were issued by EPA this week. However, the agency still has not posted to its official Twitter feed since President Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration.
The Associated Press and other media outlets reported last week that Trump political appointees had instructed EPA staff not to issue press releases or make posts to the agency’s official social media accounts without prior approval.
Contract and grant spending at the agency was also put on hold, prompting confusion and concern among state agencies expecting funding.
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12:05 p.m.
Foreign leaders and groups are finding new ways to make known their disagreement with President Donald Trump’s policies.
An international school in Bosnia announced Friday it would extend scholarships to students affected by Trump’s travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. The United World College’s branch in Mostar said it was motivated by its belief in equal opportunities.
In Portugal, the parliament there voted to condemn the U.S. travel ban and highlighted the

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New Florida Chamber poll finds jobs remain top concern for Florida voters

Monday, December 19th, 2016

The No. 1 issue facing Florida continues to be jobs, according to a new Florida Chamber of Commerce survey.
The Florida Chamber Political Institute released a new statewide survey Monday aimed at “checking the political pulse of Floridians on how they feel about elected officials as well as the issue impacting them.”
Jobs and the economy remain a big issue for Floridians, with 19 percent of respondents saying it was a top concern. The survey found 10 percent of Floridians said healthcare and the Affordable Care Act were a top concern, while 9 percent said education was a big issue facing Florida.
About 20 percent of men said jobs and the economy were the most important issue, compared to 17 percent of women polled. Ten percent of men said education was important, compared to 9 percent of women. About 11 percent of women said healthcare was a top issue, compared to 8 percent of men.
Floridians continue to be concerned about global warming and immigration, with 8 percent choosing global warming. Seven percent picked immigration, according to an analysis by Marian Johnson, the executive director of the Florida Chamber Political Institute.
More than half (52 percent) of Floridians said they believe the state is heading in the right direction, while 27 percent believe things are heading in the wrong direction.
“Voters are more optimistic than they have been,” wrote Johnson. “In fact, for the first time since the Great Recession began in 2007, the Florida Chamber Political Institute poll shows more than 50 percent of Floridians are more optimistic about Florida’s direction.”
And that appears to bode well for Gov. Rick Scott. According to the Chamber analysis, Scott’s favorability ratings “are more positive than negative as voters have a positive outlook on the state.” The survey found 44 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Scott,

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Cuba’s Fidel Castro, who defied U.S. for 50 years, dies at 90

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

Fidel Castro, who led a rebel army to improbable victory, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half century rule of Cuba, has died at age 90.
With a shaking voice, President Raul Castro said on state television that his older brother died at 10:29 p.m. Friday. He ended the announcement by shouting the revolutionary slogan: “Toward victory, always!”
Castro’s reign over the island-nation 90 miles (145 kilometers) from Florida was marked by the U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. The bearded revolutionary, who survived a crippling U.S. trade embargo as well as dozens, possibly hundreds, of assassination plots, died 10 years after ill health forced him to hand power over to Raul.
Castro overcame imprisonment at the hands of dictator Fulgencio Batista, exile in Mexico and a disastrous start to his rebellion before triumphantly riding into Havana in January 1959 to become, at age 32, the youngest leader in Latin America. For decades, he served as an inspiration and source of support to revolutionaries from Latin America to Africa.
His commitment to socialism was unwavering, though his power finally began to fade in mid-2006 when a gastrointestinal ailment forced him to hand over the presidency to Raul in 2008, provisionally at first and then permanently. His defiant image lingered long after he gave up his trademark Cohiba cigars for health reasons and his tall frame grew stooped.
“Socialism or death” remained Castro’s rallying cry even as Western-style democracy swept the globe and other communist regimes in China and Vietnam embraced capitalism, leaving this island of 11 million people an economically crippled Marxist curiosity.
He survived long enough to see Raul Castro negotiate an opening with U.S. President Barack Obama on

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At second day of Republican Governors Conference, innovation and free-market are the key words

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

At the second day of the Republican Governors Association Annual Conference in Orlando, a slew of governors from across the nation talked in detail about the policies that had led their states to prosperity – among them free market entrepreneurship, education in practical fields, innovation and more.
The panel included Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia, Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas and Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah.
According to them, their states were all doing very well and that was because of less regulation and less burdensome rules from the federal government – both of which they hoped would happen even more under a Donald Trump administration.
Ducey, who served as CEO of Cold Stone Creamery before becoming governor, said they had expanded it to multiple other states and even other countries – and that couldn’t have been done with government overreach that “criminalized risk-taking,” as he put it.
Martinez said as a prosecutor, she based her decisions off reason, science and evidence – and, then, if regulations were only hurting businesses, why have them?
“What do you get from it?” she asked. “If it makes things more expensive, and is harder to apply for – get rid of it. We’ve done that. We’ve been very successful in getting rid of a lot of them.”
Deal talked about Georgia’s booming infrastructure and prosperous airport, and Abbott said Texas was fast-becoming a hub for naked technological innovation. Innovation was touched on by many of the speakers, usually in the context of “releasing the power” of the American entrepreneur, unleashing him from proverbial shackles of regulation from government.
They also talked about the “clouds on the horizon” that America still faced even with the Trump administration they hoped could fix all their woes of

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At second day of Republican Governors Conference, innovation and free-market are the key words

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

At the second day of the Republican Governors Association Annual Conference in Orlando, a slew of governors from across the nation talked in detail about the policies that had led their states to prosperity – among them free market entrepreneurship, education in practical fields, innovation and more.
The panel included Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia, Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas and Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah.
According to them, their states were all doing very well and that was because of less regulation and less burdensome rules from the federal government – both of which they hoped would happen even more under a Donald Trump administration.
Ducey, who served as CEO of Cold Stone Creamery before becoming governor, said they had expanded it to multiple other states and even other countries – and that couldn’t have been done with government overreach that “criminalized risk-taking,” as he put it.
Martinez said as a prosecutor, she based her decisions off reason, science and evidence – and, then, if regulations were only hurting businesses, why have them?
“What do you get from it?” she asked. “If it makes things more expensive, and is harder to apply for – get rid of it. We’ve done that. We’ve been very successful in getting rid of a lot of them.”
Deal talked about Georgia’s booming infrastructure and prosperous airport, and Abbott said Texas was fast-becoming a hub for naked technological innovation. Innovation was touched on by many of the speakers, usually in the context of “releasing the power” of the American entrepreneur, unleashing him from proverbial shackles of regulation from government.
They also talked about the “clouds on the horizon” that America still faced even with the Trump administration they hoped could fix all their woes of

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Marco Rubio, Patrick Murphy spar over policy, fall back on old attacks

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Patrick Murphy tried to to focus largely on policy during a televised debate Wednesday, but neither man could escape from attacks that have dogged them for months.
Rubio was blasted for his attendance record, one of the worst in the Senate, while Murphy was criticized his limited record congressional accomplishments. And while neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump were anywhere near the Broward College stage, both presidential hopefuls loomed large over the debate.
The debate — hosted by Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association — was the second, and likely final, time the two men shared a stage this election cycle. And it comes as Rubio continues to lead in the polls.
RealClearPolitics, a polling aggregation website, has Rubio ahead by an average of 3.6 percentage points, while Bloomberg Politics poll released earlier Wednesday showed the Miami Republican leading by 10 points.
“Here’s the choice in this election, because elections are at their best when they’re about clear choices, and this election is a clear choice,” said Rubio. “I have real, concrete achievements I can point to, things I’ve been able to do for the state of Florida. He’s been there for four years, and no one’s even noticed. This is a clear … difference.”
More than 2 million ballots have already been cast ahead of the Nov. 8 general election, and millions more people are expected to vote during the early voting period.
“Florida deserves a senator that’s going to show up to work, somebody who is going to roll up their sleeves and get things done for Florida,” said Murphy. “There’s way too much at stake to have a missing senator. We have to do more.”
Both men tried to use the debate to draw clear differences from their opponent on a variety of issues, including Cuba and the Supreme

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Libertarian’s Gary Johnson has never been the typical politician

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Ronald Reagan won a historic landslide victory in the 1984 election, taking 49 of 50 states. But he failed to win the vote of a young Republican businessman in New Mexico whose willingness to go against the political grain has made him this presidential campaign’s X-factor.
Outraged at the GOP president’s budget deficits, Gary Johnson for the first time voted for the Libertarian candidate. Ten years later, Johnson became New Mexico’s governor, and was known for vetoing bill after bill before he became a national curiosity for advocating legalized marijuana.
Now, at age 63, he’s the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, a marijuana-promoting fitness aficionado who summited Mount Everest and now climbs a political mountain with tough odds of reaching the top.
Though Johnson has grabbed more attention for his stance on drugs and difficulty answering foreign-policy questions, fiscal conservatism remains his animating force.
“I always pushed the envelope,” said Johnson, who’s proposed deep cuts to military and other government spending as well as elimination of the federal departments of Homeland Security, Commerce, Education, and Housing and Urban Development. “I wasn’t a wallflower when I was governor and I do think government spends too much money in areas that don’t make a big difference in people’s lives.”
Before he came out for legalizing marijuana shortly after his re-election as New Mexico governor in 1998, Johnson was nicknamed “Governor Veto.” He piled up a record 700-plus vetoes during his two terms in Santa Fe. Admirers liked his dedication to limiting the size of government. Detractors considered him narrow-minded and incurious about the outside world.
“He just does not believe government should be involved in dealing with social problems,” said state Sen. Jerry Pino y Ortiz, who ran two social service agencies during Johnson’s administration and feels the former governor let down his achingly poor state. “It’s like the

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New survey shows the economy, jobs remain top concerns for Floridians

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The most important issue facing Florida in 2016? The economy.
The 2016 USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey found the economy remains one of the most important issues facing Florida. The report, released Thursday, found two-thirds of Floridians feel financial stress in their own household.
“The notion that the economy has not fully recovered is evident with the economy/jobs cited as the most important issue facing Florida and the lack of well-paying jobs as the greatest threat to the state’s economy,” said Susan MacManus, a professor at the University of South Florida.
The survey, conducted by The Nielsen Company, polled 1,248 Florida adults from Sept. 1-19. The survey found 24 percent of Floridians said economy was the biggest issue in the state.
Nearly two-thirds of Floridians said they are feeling financial stress in their household. That is most felt among households with children under 18, with 76 percent of those respondents saying they were feeling financial stress.
When it comes to the biggest threat to the economy, 28 percent of Floridians said they were concerned about a lack of well-paying jobs; while 24 percent said government waste, taxes, and regulations.
The survey also found 18 percent of Floridians said illegal immigration was a significant threat to Florida’s economy, while 12 percent said an inadequate education system.

The post New survey shows the economy, jobs remain top concerns for Floridians appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Barack Obama signs short-term bill to fund government past election

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

President Barack Obama has signed a short-term funding bill to keep the government from shutting down at the end of the week.
Lawmakers eager to leave town to campaign for re-election gave themselves breathing room by voting to continue existing spending levels for another 10 weeks, beyond the Nov. 8 election.
Members of Congress will have to reach agreement on funding for the rest of the budget year when they meet in a lame-duck session after the election.
The bill Obama signed Thursday also provides $1.1 billion to address the Zika crisis. And it has $500 million to help Louisiana flood victims.
Republished with permission of the Associated Press.
The post Barack Obama signs short-term bill to fund government past election appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Analysis: In debate, Hillary Clinton was prepared, Donald Trump was Trump

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

She was at her best. He was not at his worst.
Weeks of Super Bowl-style hype aside, Monday night’s 90 minutes of heated clashes between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump probably didn’t shove many undecided voters off the fence.
If Clinton aimed to push her famously unpredictable opponent into a made-for-sharing disqualifying moment, she didn’t quite get there. If Trump set out to show America — particularly women — he’s completed the transformation from cartoonish pop culture staple to leader worthy of the Oval Office, he still has a way to go.
But in a debate full of feisty exchanges and a personal scuffle or two, the candidates demonstrated clearly how they’ve gotten this far. Clinton was polished, prepared and proud of it —a Hermione Granger at a podium. She came with sharp and practiced answers, most notably a newly direct one for the questions about her private email server that has dogged her candidacy for months. She grinned broadly and calmly, even when under fire, and she mocked but only gently the man she called “Donald.”
“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And, yes, I did,” Clinton said. “And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that’s a good thing.”
Trump addressed his opponent as “Secretary Clinton” — even asking for her approval for the term — but by the end he called her “Hillary.”
The care he took with her title was a reminder of the voters he was aiming to win over. Women, particularly college-educated white women, are the key to Trump turning his current burst of momentum into a sustained surge that lasts until Election Day. The 70-year-old businessman has struggled to persuade women, even those with doubts about the first woman president, to get behind his bid, thanks

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Updates from the 1st presidential debate

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

The Latest on the first of three presidential debates between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump (all times EDT):
10:45 p.m.
Both candidates concluded the first presidential debate by saying they will accept the outcome if the other wins.
Hillary Clinton spoke directly to viewers and said, “It’s not about us, it’s about you.”
Donald Trump initially dodged the same question, saying he would make a “seriously troubled” America “great again.” He added: “I’m going to be able to do it. I don’t believe Hillary Clinton will.”
But Trump finished his answer by saying that if Clinton wins, “I will absolutely support her.”
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10:43 p.m.
Hillary Clinton is punching back at Donald Trump’s assertions that she doesn’t have the “stamina” to be president.
Trump has questioned whether Clinton has the physical fitness to be president and he repeated the criticism to her directly during the debate. Clinton’s response? Trump shouldn’t talk about stamina until he’s tried out the busy schedule she kept up as secretary of state.
Trump didn’t answer moderator Lester Holt’s original question about his past comments that Clinton doesn’t have the “presidential look.”
Clinton suggested the remarks were about gender, and she reminded the crowd of Trump’s past comments calling women “pigs” and other derogatory names.
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10:42 p.m.
Donald Trump says NATO needs to “go into the Middle East with us” to combat the Islamic State group. And he is taking credit for NATO focusing resources on combating terrorism.
In fact, the alliance agreed in July to contribute aircraft and conduct training in Iraq and has increased intelligence coordination there. And NATO set up an anti-terrorism program in 2004 — years before Trump criticized them as a presidential candidate.
Earlier this year, Trump criticized NATO for not focusing on terrorism. He said that afterward, he saw an article reporting that NATO was opening a new, major anti-terrorism division.
He said Tuesday

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Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump battle fiercely over taxes, race, terror

Monday, September 26th, 2016

In a combative opening debate, Hillary Clinton emphatically denounced Donald Trump Monday night for keeping his personal tax returns and business dealings secret from voters and peddling a “racist lie” about President Barack Obama. Businessman Trump repeatedly cast Clinton as a “typical politician” as he sought to capitalize on Americans’ frustration with Washington.
Locked in an exceedingly close White House race, the presidential rivals tangled for 90-minutes over their vastly different visions for the nation’s future. Clinton called for lowering taxes for the middle class, while Trump focused more on renegotiating trade deals that he said have caused companies to move jobs out of the U.S. The Republican backed the controversial “stop-and-frisk policing” tactic as a way to bring down crime, while the Democrat said the policy was unconstitutional and ineffective.
The debate was heated from the start, with Trump frequently trying to interrupt Clinton and speaking over her answers. Clinton was more measured and restrained, but also needled the sometimes-thin-skinned Trump over his business record and wealth.
“There’s something he’s hiding,” she declared, scoffing at his repeated contention that he won’t release his tax returns because he is being audited.
Trump aggressively tried to turn the transparency questions around on Clinton, who has struggled to overcome voters’ concerns about her honestly and trustworthiness. He said he would release his tax information when she produces more than 30,000 emails that were deleted from the personal internet server she used as secretary of state.
Tax experts have said there is no reason the businessman cannot make his records public during an audit.
Clinton was contrite in addressing her controversial email use, saying simply that it was a “mistake”. She notably did not fall back on many of the excuses she has often used for failing to use a government email during her four years as secretary of

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