Donald Trump’s two biggest during his election were a border wall which Mexico would pay for and the immediate repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. And while Trump has pushed for both, neither seems likely to happen anytime soon. The wall hasn’t been approved by lawmakers, but Trump and Customs and Border Patrol have started accepting bids to build it. Trumpcare, on the other hand, isn’t looking nearly as healthy and the health care bill vote was postponed. Is Trump losing his already tenuous grip on the majority party?
How Does the Planned Health Care Bill Vote Affect Trump’s Administration?
With such a big rift existing between Democrats and Republicans under the Trump administration, it’s been critical for Trump to hold the majority in both House and Senate to get anything accomplished. But even that majority has at times not been enough to get some things accomplished. Vice President Mike Pence had to cast a historic tie-breaking vote to get confirmation for Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Trump’s original pick for Labor Secretary, Andy Puzder, withdrew from consideration just 24 hours before his confirmation hearings on the news that Republicans publicly stated they would not support him. And then there are still many key positions in the administration waiting to be filled.
With such a seemingly shaky grip on things at the moment, Trump needed a big win — and his repeal and replace plan was supposed to be exactly that. Trump promised that Obamacare would be swept out the door on day one, but that’s most definitely not the case. Trump publicly stated “who knew health care would be so complicated”, which foreshadowed the trouble the administration would encounter with its American Health Care Act (AHCA).
The AHCA has come under fire from not only Democrats, but House Republicans, as well. Conservatives and Moderates are fighting over small changes within the plan, and Democrats are seizing the opportunity to keep the ACA running. And while President Trump and Vice President Pence lobbied aggressively to add changes to jockey support, it was too little too late.
The planned vote was postponed.
President Trump praised the House Republicans' plan to alter the Affordable Care Act, March 7, at the White Hous… https://t.co/IuyLN3WEhY
— Thus Spake (@thus_spake) March 7, 2017
The vote was pushed just 24 hours, but it was still postponed. And that’s a huge sign of weakness and fracture within the controlling party. The delay puts the AHCA in doubt as a whole and hints that the Republican party may waste the advantage they have with their majority.
Watch the news clip from NBC News regarding the delayed health care bill vote:
Expect Republicans to push hard for repeal, but don’t expect a victory for AHCA anytime soon. Until the AHCA issue is resolved, traders should avoid health and hospital stocks altogether.
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Even The Stock Market Doesn’t Want “Sleepy Joe” Biden As President
Add “bad for the stock market” to the long list of reasons why nobody wants “Sleepy Joe” Biden to win the election in November.
Biden has said he would partially reverse the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act put into place by President Trump. He would also enact other measures like higher taxes on capital gains and dividends for high earners and changes in non-tax regulatory policies.
In 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowered the US corporate tax rate. It went from the highest in the world, at 35 percent, down to 21 percent. Analysis by the Tax Foundation shows that Biden’s plan would increase the corporate tax rate to 28 percent.
According to David Kostin, chief U.S. equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has reduced the effective tax rate of S&P 500 companies by 8 percentage points to 19 percent while also boosting S&P 500 earnings by 10 percent.
Biden’s plan to raise the corporate tax rate will act as a bucket of cold water on the stock market. It would do so by dragging down corporate earnings.
Michael Wilson, the chief US equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, says “Extrapolating current multiples on that kind of earnings decline makes 100-150 points on the S&P 500 a baseline for the impact of a tax cut rollback, all else equal.”
“Of course, any impact on investor confidence that drags the multiple lower, or business investment, that drags economic growth lower could compound this effect,” Wilson added.
Higher corporate taxes also further burden companies that are still struggling to recover from the economic lockdowns due to COVID-19.
Expectations are for our country’s output to fall as much as 50% in the second quarter due to the restrictions. This comes with a 20-30% rebound in the third quarter and a modest 5-10% rebound in the fourth quarter. All this assumes that we don’t experience a second outbreak this fall.
“Although the coronavirus has caused the sharpest decline in economic activity on record, in some ways tax policy represents a larger risk to earnings and consequently to equity prices,” added Kostin.
Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist at Ontario, Canada-based AGF Investments, shared a warning. He says that if that Biden wins the November election, he shouldn’t be in a rush to raise taxes. He deems this idea bad, given the uncertainty of our economic recovery.
Valliere says Biden “needs to be careful in talking about a big tax increase early next year. I’m not sure a tax increase is a good idea in early 2021 as the jury will still be out on the extent of the recovery.”
Matt Gertken, a geopolitical strategist for BCA Research, says you can watch the market over the next month or two. Doing so will let you have an idea of who Wall Street thinks will win the election.
“Either the market sells off in the short run to register the currently likely victory of Joe Biden, who will hike taxes, wages, and regulation, or the market rallies all the way till the election, increasing the chances of President Trump’s reelection, which would revolutionize the global system, especially on trade, and would require a selloff around December.”
Trump Changes Course, Shows Support For More Stimulus Checks
There’s some positive news for the tens of millions Americans who are still struggling to make ends meet as the coronavirus pandemic lingers for the third month.
It appears President Trump has changed his mind, and is now in favor of sending out an additional round of stimulus checks to help Americans get through the economic uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.
When asked about the likelihood of additional checks, the President replied, “I think we will. I think we’re going to be helping people out. We’re gonna be getting some money for them during the artificial — cause it really is it’s an artificial closure — and now we’re gonna be able to open it up,” Trump told reporters while he was in Michigan touring a Ford factory.
“I would say there could be one more nice shot. One more nice dose,” Trump said about a potential stimulus bill as the country struggles to recover from historic job losses and businesses are faced with an uncertain future.
Trump’s comments were echoed by White House staff, including economic advisor Kevin Hassett, who said during a CNN interview that another round of checks is “pretty likely,” and says “it’s coming sooner rather than later” before adding that if there are indications the economy is recovering quickly as more states reopen, the White House may look at other relief options.
Also supporting Trump’s outlook is Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said Thursday that there’s a “strong likelihood” the U.S. will send out another round of stimulus checks.
“I think there is a strong likelihood we will need another bill,” he said during an online event hosted by The Hill newspaper, but added that the stimulus may not be needed immediately.
“We’re going to step back for a few weeks and think very carefully if we need to spend more money and how we’re going to do that,” Mnuchin said.
The change in course comes after Republican lawmakers were originally hesitant to continue adding to the deficit while attempting to generate an economic recovery. But with job losses continuing to climb every week and estimates for the second quarter GDP to plunge as much as 40%, the Senate GOP leaders are warming to the idea of an additional stimulus package.
While Democrats have pushed a $3 trillion plan through the House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly told President Trump last week any stimulus bill should not cost more than $1 trillion.
McConnell has also openly opposed the Democratic plan to extend the $600 per week additional unemployment benefit by six months when it expires in July.
Republicans have also shown little interest in the Democrat’s proposal of nearly $1 trillion in aid for state and local governments to offset increased costs and lower revenues due to the pandemic, mainly citing that the budget issues the cities and states are facing pre-date the pandemic and relief funds shouldn’t be used to fix old problems.
The White House and Republican leaders would also like to pass liability protection for businesses that reopen, shielding owners from lawsuits should an employee claim they contracted the virus while on the job. Democrats, however, have opposed the idea.
Trump Advisor: Pelosi’s ‘Bodacious Plan’ Only Helps Her Left-Wing Interest Groups
As we mentioned Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled the Democrats’ latest stimulus plan, and it carried a hefty $3 trillion price tag.
According to Stephen Moore, the bill seems to be nothing more than a way for Pelosi to bail out her favorite special interest groups.
Pelosi had mentioned to reporters last week that one of her motivations for being in politics is to make sure children are fed, saying “One in five mothers report that their children are not getting enough food. Three times the rate during the Great Depression.”
She added, “So in addition to putting money in people’s pockets – direct payments, unemployment insurance, some other tax credits, etc. – we really also have to put food on the table.”
Moore says Pelosi seems more interested in putting food on the tables of the wealthy than the poor she says she is motivated to protect.
Putting Food On The Wrong Table
Moore’s spending plan is a “goodie bag” that “pays off nearly every imaginable left-wing interest group,” she says. This includes teacher unions, trial lawyers, arts groups, environmental activists, postal employees and even super-rich Democratic donors.
He added, “This is a bodacious plan, preposterous in its financial irresponsibility, but the speaker and her colleagues see in this terrible disease the opportunity for a fiscal sweepstakes. She seized the moment.”
Amazingly, even a $3 trillion price tag isn’t enough for some of the more liberal Senators in Washington.
Bernie Sanders says the bill should be revised to “adequately” help Americans get through the crisis.
“[T]he Senate must improve this legislation if we are to adequately address the two most urgent needs facing working families right now: health care and economic security,” Sanders said in a statement.
Moore takes particular offense to certain items in the bill. He says none of them have anything to do with the coronavirus. He also believes that they don’t have anything to do with providing relief from the effects of the ongoing pandemic.
The list includes:
- Some $1 trillion for blue state budget repairs and pension bailouts.
- $50 million for “environmental justice grants to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.”
- Restoration of the state and local (SALT) tax deduction for blue state millionaires and billionaires. This would be the biggest tax cut in history for the top 1 percent in income.
- $20 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities
- Extension of the $600 unemployment insurance supplement (on top of 100 percent replacement of wages through direct UI benefits. This is the scandal-ridden program that in some 30 states pays people more money to stay unemployed than to get back to work.
- $100 million for OSHA funding — we should be deregulating not increasing regulation
- Extending unemployment benefits and financial aid to illegal immigrants
- A postal service bailout.
Congressional Republicans and President Trump should “unanimously and loudly denounce this New New Deal scam,” Moore also says. He adds that these “would pad the wallets of those who are funded by programs that have zero to do with the virus itself. Coronavirus didn’t create the $100 billion Illinois and New Jersey pension deficits.”
What would help this country recover isn’t a massive payment to special interest groups. Instead, the country needs to come up with a solution for the working man, according to Moore. This includes “a payroll tax holiday that will most benefit low-income workers, deregulation, and lawsuit shields for workers and employers.”
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