Job Growth and the Economy 7-25-19

President Obama, the last six months of 2016, job growth, 209,000 per month. Trump job growth first six months of 2018, job growth 196,000 per month. This year, the first six months, 172,000 per month, down 13% from 2018.

WASHINGTON—Gross domestic product, a broad measure of goods and services produced across the economy, rose at a 2.1% annual rate in the second quarter, adjusted for seasonality and inflation, the Commerce Department said Friday.

As I recall Trump derided president Obama’s recovery effort, but, let us look at the past ten quarters of the Trump Economic Miracle! Where is the promised 4-6% growth rate? I ask?

Revised official figures shows that GDP expanded by 2.5% during 2018. The figures also revealed that growth slowed during the second quarter as exports declined and companies invested less in their businesses.

GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.1% between April and June, ahead of expectations but below 3.1% recorded in the first three months of the year. Growth in the second quarter was better than the 1.8% expansion forecast, and was supported by stronger consumer spending and a jump in government spending. However, the pace fell short of the first quarter as both foreign trade and business investment shrank as the US continued its trade war with China.

Revised official figures shows that GDP expanded by 2.5% during 2018. The figures also revealed that growth slowed during the second quarter as exports declined and companies invested less in their businesses.

The Trump growth rate peaked because of the effects of the tax cut when it reached the 2018 peak of 4.2% (second quarter), which has been the highest level achieved during President Trump’s administration. This is, however, less than the 5.1% achieved in the second quarter of 2014, during the Obama presidency.

Speaking of Donald Trump and his troubled and disastrous two years in office, the question is what has been really accomplished. Well, he was able to appoint two Justices to the Supreme Court who will probably sustain his anti-environment, misogynist, anti-Choice, and anti-union policies. The other triumph of his first term was his tax cut, which was economically skewed to the top income brackets, the corporations and away from the Blue States which contribute the largest amount of money into the US Treasury. In 2016, American corporations paid the lowest percentage of revenue to the US Treasury in the 105 year history of the graduated income tax, enabled by the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. Within a year of the Trump tax cut, corporate contributions, already at their lowest level in that 105 year period, dropped another 40%.

What then was the result of the tax cut?  Yes, there were jobs created, but interestingly, there were fewer jobs created in 2017 and 2018 than in 2015 and 2016. In the first six months of 2018, there were 1,175,000 jobs created or 195,000 per month. The average amount of jobs created in the first six months of this year, was 155,000, a drop of 21%. In the last six months of 2016 (July-December) the job creation averaged 209,000 per month!

By the way, during the Obama years, unemployment which hit 10.6% as a result of the Great Recession, authored by his predecessor, declined to 4.7%. Thus during the Obama eight years, there were over 15 million jobs clawed back, a net gain of 11 million and the DJIA, which bottomed in June of 2009 at 6600, reached 20,000.

The promised growth rate, of anywhere from 4 to 6%, and let me repeat, the GNP grew this quarter at 2.1% and the annual deficit went from $585 billion in 2016 to an estimated $984 in 2019. How did those deficits effect the National Debt? It soared $2.4 trillion! The U.S. federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2020 is $1.10 trillion. FY 2020 covers October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The deficit occurs because the U.S. government spending of $4.75 trillion is higher than its revenue of $3.65 trillion.

The deficit is 1% greater than last year. The FY 2019 budget created a $1.09 trillion deficit. Spending of $4.53 trillion was more than the estimated $3.44 trillion in revenue, according to Table S-4 of the FY 2020 budget.

Along with the growing deficits, where was the repatriation of trillions of US Dollars parked overseas? What happened to those “tax-sheltered” monies? Meanwhile, the Treasury Department said that the U.S. government’s deficit for the first four months of this budget year rose to $310.3 billion — a full $134.6 billion dollars more than the deficit during the same period last year. This is in spite of the government reporting a budget surplus amounting to $8.7 billion in January. As, as of May, 2019,  the U.S. merchandise-trade deficit widened to a five-month high amid a surge in imports following President Donald Trump’s decision to increase levies on $200 billion of items from China. The gap increased to $74.5 billion from $70.9 billion in the prior month, according to a Commerce Department report Wednesday. That compared with the median estimate for a shortfall of $71.8 billion. Imports rose 3.7%, the biggest jump in four years, while exports advanced 3%, the most since early 2018.





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A lifelong New Yorker, who now lives full-time in Palm Beach County, Richard was raised in Mount Vernon, New York and he was educated in the Mount Vernon public schools He graduated from Boston University with a BA in American History. After spending a year on Wall Street as a research analyst with Bache & Co., he joined a manufacturing and importing firm, where over the next twenty-five years he rose to the position of chief operating officer. After the sale of that business, Richard entered into the financial services field with Metropolitan Life and is a Registered Representative, who has been associated with Acorn Financial Services which is affiliated with John Hancock Life Insurance Company of Boston, Ma. Today, he is a retired broker who had specialized in long-term care insurance and financial planning. One of Richard’s recent activities was to advise and encourage communities to seek ways to incorporate “sustainability and resiliency” into their future infrastructure planning. After a lifetime in politics, with many years working as a district leader, which involved party organizational work, campaign chair activity and numerous other political tasks, Richard has been involved with numerous civic and social causes. In recent years, Richard served in 2005 as the campaign coordinator of the Re-Elect Paul Feiner Campaign in Greenburgh, NY and he again chaired Supervisor Feiner’s successful landslide victory in 2007. Over the next few years, he advised a number of political candidates. He has served as an appointed Deputy Supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh, with responsibilities regarding the town’s “liaison program.” He was a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board of the Town of Greenburgh, NY. Richard has lectured on FDR, The New Deal and 20th century American history in the Mount Vernon schools, at the Westchester Council of Social Studies annual conference in White Plains, and at many senior citizen groups, which include appearances at the Old Guard of White Plains, the Rotary Clubs of Elmsford and White Plains, and various synagogue groups around Westchester. In the winter of 2006 Richard was the leader of the VOCAL forum, sponsored by the Westchester County Office of Aging, which addresses the concerns of Westchester County’s Intergenerational Advocacy Educational Speak-out forums for senior citizens. Richard has given lectures for the Active Retirement Project, which is co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Center on the Hudson, the Greenburgh Hebrew Center, and other groups around Westchester County. Richard also is the founder and Chairperson of the Jon Breen Memorial Fund, that judges and grants annual prizes to students at Mount Vernon High School who submit essays on public policy themes. He also sponsors the Henry M. Littlefield History Prize for the leading MVHS history student. Richard serves on the Student College Scholarship Committee of Mount Vernon High School. In past years Richard chaired and moderated the Jon Breen Fund Award’s cablecast program with the Mayor and local and school officials. Richard has been a member of Blythedale Children’s Hospital’s Planned Giving Professional Advisory Board, and was a founding member of the committee to re-new the FDR Birthday Balls of the 1930’s and 1940’s with the March of Dimes’ effort to eliminate birth defects. Their renewal dinner was held at Hyde Park on January 30, 2003. Richard is currently an active contributor to the Roosevelt Institute, which is involved in many pursuits which included the opening of the Henry A. Wallace Center at Hyde Park, and the Eleanor Roosevelt – Val-Kill Foundation. In 2007, he proposed to the City of Mount Vernon an effort to develop an arts, educational, and cultural center as part of a downtown re-development effort. Richard was a team partner with the Infrastructure & Energy Solutions Group. IEFG which has developed innovative strategies for the 21st Century. Richard hosted a weekly program on WVOX-1460 AM radio, called “The Advocates,” which was concerned with “public policy” issues. The show, which was aired from 2007 until May 15, 2013, has had amongst its guests; Representative Charles Rangel, Chairperson of the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, along with hundreds of others. All the 300 shows are archived at Richard currently gives lectures on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR and the Jewish Community, The New Deal, FDR and Douglas MacArthur, 20th Century American Foreign Policy Resulting in Conflict, and Israel’s Right to Exist. Richard lives in Boynton Beach, Fl, with his wife Linda of 44 years. They have two married children. Their daughter Dana is a Rutgers College graduate, with a MS from Boston University, and is the Assistant Director of Recruitment at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Their son Jon is an electrical engineering graduate of Princeton University and a senior software architect at NY/Mellon Bank in NYC. Richard J. Garfunkel Recent Appearances: KTI Synagogue, Rye Brook, NY- Long Term Care & Estate Conservation- Anshe Shalom Synagogue, New Rochelle, NY- Long Term Care- American Legion Post, Valhalla, NY- Long Term Care and Asset Protection- Doyle Senior Ctr, New Rochelle, NY-Long Term Care and Asset Protection- AME Methodist Ministers, New Rochelle, NY, LTC and Charitable Giving- Profession Women in Construction, Elmsford, NY, LTC and Business Benefits- Kol Ami Synagogue- White Plains, NY, Long Term Care and Disability - Beth El Men's Club-New Rochelle, NY-Long Term Care-Is it Necessary- Greater NY Dental Meeting Javits Ctr, NY, NY- LTC and Disability- IBEW Local #3 , White Plains, NY, Long Term Care and Asset Protection, Health Fair -Bethel Synagogue, New Rochelle, NY-LTC and Disability, Heath Fair- Riverdale Mens Club CSAIR- Riverdale, NY- LTC- Life Weight Watchers of Westchester and the Bronx-LTC and Tax Implications Sunrise Assisted Living of Fleetwood, Mount Vernon, NY-LTC Sprain Brook Manor of Scarsdale-LTC- November 15, 2001 Sunrise Assisted Living of Stamford, Connecticut, February 2002 Kol Ami Synagogue, White Plains, NY, February, 2002 The Old Guard Society of White Plains, NY, April, 2002 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY August, 2002 Kol Ami Synagogue, White Plains, NY, October, 2002 JCC of Scarsdale, Scarsdale, NY, November, 2002 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY, January, 2003 The Rotary Club of White Plains, NY January, 2003 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY April, 2003 Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, NY January, 2004 Mount Vernon High School, Mount Vernon, NY March 2004 Kol Ami/JCC of White Plains, NY November, 2004 The Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, January 2005 The Sunrise of Fleetwood, Mount Vernon, April, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, November, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, December, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, January, 2005 Rotary Club of Elmsford, April, 2006 Kiwanis Club of Yonkers, June, 2006 Greenburgh Jewish Center, November, 2006 Temple Kol Ami, White Plains, February, 2007 Hebrew Institute, White Plains, March, 2007 Temple Kol Ami, White Plains, NY, April, 2007 Westchester Meadows. Valhalla, November, 2007 Hebrew Institute. White Plains, November, 2007 Art Zuckerman Radio Show- January, 2008 JCC of the Hudson, Tarrytown, February, 2008 Matt O’Shaughnessy Radio Show, March, 2008 WVOX –Election Night Coverage, November, 2008 WVOX – Inaugural Coverage, January 20, 2009 The Advocates-host of the WVOX Radio Show, 2007- 2010 Rotary Club of Pleasantville, February, 2009 Hebrew Institute of White Plains, May, 2009 JCC Hudson, Tarrytown, December, 2009-10-11-12 Brandeis Club, Yonkers, March 25, 2010

2 thoughts on “Job Growth and the Economy 7-25-19

  1. Mount Vernon, NY Wrestling Program 60s-70s
    I just read your piece on Coach Littlefield.
    I well remember you and your assistance and support to the program.
    My older brother was fortunate enough to be coached by Coach Littlefield.
    I was coached by Brookes, Forrest and Lee, from elementary though MVHS.
    I coached Coach Forrest for a day at SUNY Brockport, where I was a student, when he came up to the Olympic trials. I did meet Dan Gable there.
    I was the weakest link in the MVHS program. I weighed 168 pounds; I could beat the 180 pounder but not the 169 pounder!
    You said things I have remember my entire life.
    Coaches Forrest and Lee gave me a basis which inspired a 40 plus year martial arts journey.
    Thanks for the memories.
    Robert Lasorsa

    • Thanks for you for your kind comments. Henry was one of those rare breed of men (humans) who transcended the norm, even for the greats. Over the decades I knew him and the 21 years since his untimely death, I have realized he was extremely unique and beatific in his time on this Earth. He had a way with people that was quite remarkable. Over the years, many people have come up to me and said the following, “You are Richard Garfunkel, a friend of Henry Littlefield!” What a way to be linked. In the most simplistic sense, just being close to him, working with him or being his friends was some kind of lifetime pass. He had that way with people; a great teacher, a great coach and a great man. One day I asked his late wife Madeline, who I knew well and since I was 16, “who were his other friends, like students when he was in high school?” She said, “he had none but you!” I was shocked and asked her, “how come!” She said that “every one else was intimidated and basically afraid of him! But you weren’t!” We met after I was cut from the Varsity Basketball team by Vinnie Olson. I was told by my neighbor Tony Taddey that he was the greatest. I went to a wrestling meeting and he mentioned the Petersen Roll. Later, I asked him if that move was named after the Horace Mann trainer, Gus Petersen. He asked me how I knew. I told him that I was at Horace Mann in 9th grade and left. He invited me to help him if I was interested. He told me that the team was going to a scrimmage at Cheshire Academy in the middle of Connecticut and would I like to go! It was on a Saturday, an all day affair and I said “yes!” We road the 100 miles in the school bus and we sat in the front and talked. Henry was a history teacher, and was not aware that I was generally an expert on WWII by the age of 16, and had read every book in the MV Public Library ( the 6th largest in the state of NY) on WWII. I also was well read on FDR, and today I have over 500 books on the late president and over 5000 pieces of Rooseveltia. We never talked wrestling, and he treated me as a friend and a contemporary from that day on. He asked my opinion, let me have carte blanche running the wrestle-offs, ordering equipment and when I was in college, he asked my to run the Section I Wrestling tournament at MV for three years running. No college kid ever did that, before or after. In the Division Tournament one year, he had thought we had lost by a point and I discovered the other 2 points that insured our win. In reality, we were fast friends. I would visit his homes in MV during the summer with my friends and I enjoy a so-called “special relationship!” I had a habit of never asking personal questions of anyone I have known, and that is of countless people. I never put anyone on the spot. But, in talking frankly about politics, our country, government, public policy issues, I could determine a lot. I knew a bit about him and more from Madeline. But, all in all, he was a remarkable personage, unequaled in my life. I have known thousands, interviewed over 300 on my radio show, and was involved in countless activities. But, thanks again for the nice remarks.

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