Republican infighting while the economy starts to hum
REALLY? The Republican Party is increasingly choosing sides over Donald Trump with an election on the horizon, and it’s leasing to a major war within the fascists. With members like Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert, one wonders how anyone could reasonably call themselves a Republican.
According to a report from NPR’s Ron Elving, while the mainstream media has been busy focusing on over-inflating the “Dems in disarray” narrative, they are ignoring a coming apart of the Republican Party that is increasingly choosing sides over Donald Trump with an election on the horizon.
As Elving notes, it has always been an article of faith the Republicans are in a continual state of lockstep, offering up an image of party comity and unity, but recent developments show there is a power struggle within the party tied to allegiance to Trump.
“Heightened tensions within the GOP have been increasingly visible in recent weeks, driven by the still-divisive personality of former President Donald Trump — but also by issues such as vaccines and mandates and by the prospect of big Republican gains in the elections of 2022 and 2024,” adding that Republican governors are increasingly turning their backs on not only Trump but GOP lawmakers in Washington, D.C. who are mired in petty squabbles inspired by the former president.
Sununu was especially disturbed at the so-called ‘MAGA Squad,’ the hardcore Trump acolytes who have tried to ostracize their in-party House colleagues who voted for the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill earlier this month — or who voted to impeach Trump earlier this year,” Elving wrote before adding that Sununu is not alone in keeping his distance from Trump and his enablers and balking at running for the U.S. Senate despite the pleadings of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Sununu’s approval in New Hampshire is 67%, [Maryland’s Larry] Hogan’s at home is 70%, but both have declined to run for the Senate next year, depriving the GOP of their best chance at a pick-up in both states,” the NPR report states.
Beyond that, Elving wrote that Republicans are growing increasingly wary of Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen from him — and are now looking out for themselves and their political future as prospects of taking over the Senate and the House look promising.
Under Trump, the richer got richer
Donald Trump’s presidency and the Covid pandemic combined to make 2020 a remarkably enriching year for the highest-paid workers in America. Meanwhile, the numbers for the bottom 99.9% are, in a word, awful. Just one in 900 workers makes $1 million or more, a new Social Security report on wages shows. My annual analysis of this data shows that this thin and rich group made 14% more money in 2020 than in 2019.
On average, the pretax pay of the $1 million-and-up workers increased by $305,600. That’s after adjusting for inflation.
The other 99.9% of American workers got an average raise of just $76 each. But even that overstates how badly most workers did. That’s because most of this minuscule pay increase went to the 1/10th of workers making $100,000 to $1 million. The bottom 88%, those making less than $100,000, got next to nothing.
The standard measure for worker pay is the median. It illustrates the typical pay situation because, at the median, half of workers make more while half make less. Median pay in 2020 rose by a mere $26.
Meanwhile, the economy is booming again
Economists saw good news in the latest data on the economy. Weekly filings for unemployment benefits slid to the lowest level since 1969. Inflation surged higher, but not as high as economists expected. Americans’ spending throughout October was stronger than forecasted.
Taken together, the reports signal the recovery is charging forward faster than expected. It was enough for Wall Street to lift their forecasts for fourth-quarter growth. Morgan Stanley economists boosted their estimate for current-quarter growth to 8.7% from 3% on Wednesday, citing “the wealth of data” that showed fresh strength throughout the economy.
And what about inflation? Well the WSJ reported that a lot of companies are reporting record profits due to price increases. It seems they know that consumers are flush with money and want some of that cash. Will consumers punish brands that raised prices and their expense to please shareholders and CEOs? That remains to be seen.
Originally published at https://commonsenseandpolitics.com on November 28, 2021.