A Socialist New York Staggers Toward Default

By Christopher Whalen

Financial markets recoiled in horror in July when the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the US economy had dropped by a third. Gross domestic product shrank at an annualized rate of 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020 vs the same period in 2019. GDP was down 9.5 percent compared to the first quarter of this year.

The good news is that U.S. economic activity is already showing signs of recovery in some sectors. Estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation, were $524.3 billion, an increase of 7.5 percent (± 0.5 percent) from the previous month, and 1.1 percent (± 0.7 percent) above June 2019.

But the bad news is that unemployment remains in double-digits. Sectors such as commercial real estate and the fiscal affairs of states and major cities, are in growing distress. While the states tend to focus on sales and income taxes for the bulk of their revenue, the cities and localities depend upon property taxes and local levies to support their budgets. But today the largest U.S. cities remain locked down.

Consider the case of New York State and New York City (NYC). For New York State, income tax collections are running nearly 50 percent below last year while all categories of revenue for the state are down 42 percent vs last year. Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo has so far refused to take any significant action to cut back state expenses in front of the November 2020 general election. Suffice to say that no state better exemplifies the corrupt relationship between public sector unions and elected officials who set their salaries than does New York.

Ironically, Governor Cuomo is in a political battle with NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who wants to borrow in the short-term debt markets to cover the city’s $9 billion budget shortfall. Falling such a venture, de Blasio will need to layoff tens of thousands of unionized teachers, police and public sector workers before the end of the year. But such short-term expedients will not last, nor will they reverse the long-term damage being done to the NYC by its leftward political lurch.

“Ever since 1975 New York City has been haunted by the fiscal crisis that beset it beginning that year,” writes Kim Phillips-Fein in The New York Review of Books. “Images of battered, graffiti-decked subways and the Daily News cover photo of President Gerald Ford, appearing to tell the Big Apple to ‘drop dead,’ are familiar parts of its political iconography. After Andrew Cuomo was first elected governor in 2010, he gave out copies of a biography of Hugh Carey (New York’s governor at the time of the crisis) to his staffers and labor leaders – as though to signal his willingness to stand up to the interest groups often blamed for the near-bankruptcy.”

NYC had a fiscal problem last year, before COVID-19 exploded onto the scene. The business community stopped going to Albany to lobby members of the legislature long ago, leaving the fiscal discussion …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Hannity accuses Biden of ‘adopting the radical left’s war on police’ by ‘bowing’ to Sanders

By Charles Creitz Joe Biden is “bowing” to far-left extremists who hate law enforcement, as well as normalizing socialist policies by borrowing from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign platform, according to Sean Hannity. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Tucker rips lack of coverage of DC mass shooting, claims media silent to help Biden campaign

By Yael Halon The single biggest U.S. mass shooting of 2020 occurred over the weekend in Washington, but because the story didn’t “help the Biden campaign,” it went largely unreported on, Tucker Carlson said Monday. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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David Bossie: Biden’s already failing miserably — Just look at dithering over VP pick

By David Bossie Joe Biden’s clumsy delays in announcing his pick suggest that he’s not satisfied with his choices. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Michael Levin: Tom Brady’s now 43 – Here’s the one question we all must ask ourselves

By Michael Levin Tom Brady’s example forces each of us to consider what in our own lives we might have once believed impossible. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Barton Swaim: Young radicals are right that liberal orthodoxy on race has failed

By Barton Swaim Today’s youthful radicals appear to despise precisely the consensus liberalism their education system was designed to advance. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Churchill’s Annus Mirabilis

By John Rossi

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, by Erik Larson, Crown, February 2020, 546 pages.

Books on Winston Churchill appear with amazing regularity. Two years ago, Andrew Roberts produced a superb and exhaustive 1100-page biography, Walking With Destiny. One would think that there is nothing more to say about Churchill after that monument. Erik Larson would take exception.

Author of the highly regarded, The Devil in the White City, Larson turned his attention to the first year of Churchill’s premiership, May 1940 to May 1941, the year when Great Britain came close to losing the war. As it turns out, 1940 would prove to be the supreme year of Churchill’s life when he led the nation in the greatest challenge in its history. Her only ally, France, was defeated in a matter of weeks in May-June 1940 and Britain faced the dangerous summer of 1940 expecting a German invasion.

Beating back the German air attack in the July-September 1940—what is known as the Battle of Britain where the Royal Air Force fought to keep control of the sky over England—the threat of invasion faded. But Britain was alone. For eight months, October 1940 to May 1941, she was exposed to the first sustained bombing campaign of the Second World War what the British called “The Blitz.”

In The Splendid and the Vile, Larson brings home the terrible destruction that Britain suffered during the German bombing campaign. London was the main target for the Luftwaffe including the East End docks and the Houses of Parliament which were destroyed in a targeted raid on May 10, 1941. Bombs even fell on Buckingham Palace where the King and Queen were in residence.

Larson points out that contrary to popular belief, the London Underground was not extensively used as a bomb shelter. Five percent of Londoners slept in the tube stations while 71 percent stayed in their homes. Despite the intensity of the bombing, according to Mass Observation, the government agency that monitored public opinion, the number one complaint of the public wasn’t the bombing as much as the enforcement of the blackout that inconvenienced every aspect of life especially in London.

According to Larson during the year of the Blitz the British experienced 100,000 casualties including 45,000 deaths. Those figures were grim for their time but do not compare the retribution the Germans would receive at the hands of Allied bombing. In an attack on Hamburg in July-August 1943, Allied bombing destroyed 6000 acres of the city, 300,000 homes and killed 44,600 people.

Larson concentrates on Churchill’s role during the year after he became Prime Minister in May 1940 because it proved crucial for Britain’s survival. But Larson’s approach is different. His isn’t your traditional military history of 1940, although there is considerable discussion of the conflict, especially the air war. Instead Larson weaves together personal thoughts and actions of some significant figures in the war—some not so significant—to paint a portrait of a nation struggling …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Michael Goodwin: Bill de Blasio doesn’t care about New York City — look at his record

By Michael Goodwin With dizzying speed, more than two decades of prosperity and public safety are crashing to a halt. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Sally Pipes: Another coronavirus lockdown would hurt these patients and providers

By Sally Pipes As they try to get the coronavirus’ spread under control, states must resist the urge to impose blanket stay-at-home orders. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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