Ripple Effects of the Fed’s Anti-Inflation Actions
Plus, in defense of pregnancy.
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: The Madness (and Danger) of the Texas GOP.
AMANDA CARPENTER: Trump Proves the Jan. 6th Committee’s Point
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JAMES C. CAPRETTA: Ripple Effects of the Fed’s Anti-Inflation Actions.
The Federal Reserve’s belated campaign to curb surging inflation is aimed at reducing the excess of demand over achievable supply, and thereby ease price pressures. The end of the easy-money era, if in fact that is what is now afoot, will have big effects not only on the economy but also on the policy environment. Among other things, the government’s already adverse fiscal position will get worse—possibly much worse.
For the moment, the coming turn in fortunes for the government’s coffers is not yet in view, and may not be for a year or two. The current data point in the opposite direction, toward a rather remarkable improvement in the government’s borrowing needs in recent months, which is something the Biden administration has been touting to no discernible political effect. Through May (seven months into the fiscal year), the federal government has run a cumulative budget deficit for 2022 of $0.426 trillion. That’s a fall of over $1.6 trillion compared to the first seven months of fiscal year 2021.
THEODORE R. JOHNSON: A Nation of Promise.
There are few things Americans want to be true more than the vision outlined by a young black preacher in 1963 at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. With a melodic cadence etching divinely inspired prose into the nation’s conscience, he told us of his dream for a country that judges people based on the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.
Today, most Americans want his dream to be true because it aligns with the nation’s founding principles, which assert that we are all created equal with rights to life, liberty, and opportunity. We want to realize his vision because it would mean that we have finally managed to put the nation’s less-than-admirable record on race behind us. We want his words to become reality so that we no longer have to talk about racism and its effects on the United States and the Promise. If only we could skip forward to King’s dream, our democracy would be more complete—it would finally become closer to the vision of what it means to be truly American.
Yet while we want the dream badly, we do not agree on exactly what it is. Some of us believe the dream depicts a colorblind meritocratic society full of citizens who no longer see race. Others of us think it describes a nation where racial diversity is embraced as an invaluable feature of American culture without being determinative of our American experience.
The QAnon election conspiracy runs deep and wide, and the Jan 6 committee will succeed if it can wrest a small percentage of voters from Trump’s grasp. Plus, the rising threat of domestic terrorism, and Ginni Thomas bragging about her access. Former Rep. Denver Riggleman joins Charlie today.
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SHAY KHATIRI: Biden’s Trip to Jeddah Is an Admission That His Saudi Policy Has Failed.
President Joe Biden is officially going to Saudi Arabia, one of the few American partners with whom he wanted more distance, to ask for help. As a candidate, Biden declared Saudi Arabia a “pariah state,” and upon taking office, one of his first major foreign policy decisions was to change the U.S. government’s tone and policy toward Saudi Arabia, which for decades had gotten away with murder—literally—because of its influence on global oil market. But the administration decided to make up for all the mistakes of the past decades at once. The campaign won the president some positive coverage, but it created a standoff between the two sides, and now the president has to embarrass himself by asking Riyadh to pump more oil and bring down global gas prices.
Overall, Biden was right to want some daylight between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has described the world as caught in a struggle between democracy and autocracy, and Saudi Arabia is an autocratic regime. He has identified corruption as a major national security threat, and the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), shook down most of the country’s elite in a five-star hotel to consolidate his power while making a $2 billion dollar corrupt deal with Jared Kushner. The Saudi campaign in Yemen has been no more humane than Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. It includes the targeted attacks against hospitals using American weapons. Within Saudi Arabia, as civil liberties are marginally expanding under MBS, political rights are contracting. The crown prince likes to brag about ending the compulsory hijab law, allowing women to drive, and ending the reign of the religious police on the streets, but he is simultaneously torturing the very women who championed those rights.
MONA CHAREN: In Defense of Pregnancy.
With the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade expected any day now, the press has been full of accounts of how difficult pregnancy is for women. In addition to stories about the dangers of ectopic pregnancies (which can be life threatening), hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme nausea and vomiting that can put women in the hospital), perineal trauma, preeclampsia (pathological high blood pressure that is a leading cause of childbirth-related death), and gestational diabetes (which also sometimes persists post-pregnancy), we’ve been reminded that for a share of women who’ve given birth multiple times, some side effects are permanent. About one-third of women who have three or more children, for example, experience pelvic floor disorders.
Supporters of abortion rights have been at pains to stress that abortion is far safer medically than carrying a baby to term. These stories are clearly intended to rebut arguments that adoption is a reasonable alternative to abortion because of the burden on the mother’s body.
Happy Summer! Enjoy the longest day of the year. Do something fun and productive if the weather’s nice. If it’s not… Watch Speaker Rusty Bowers’s testimony before the January 6th Committee. Here’s a taste from our pal Andrew Egger.
Confession time. I didn’t vote today in the primary where I live because every Republican is crazy. (They’ll face Abigail Spanberger in the fall.)
Who is the disinformation beat actually for? “Disinformation is real. The public discourse over it, however, has reached the arguing-with-a-child point.”
Supply side capacity and the pandemic… An interesting example explaining why, in part, some of the shortages happened.
They took our jerbs! The robots are coming for magazine artists.
Chernobyl, the lost tapes… Premiering tomorrow night on HBO.
RIP. Hong Kong’s Jumbo Floating Restaurant is no more, capsized at sea.
#NeverPence. I’m glad he did his job on 1/6, but… his grip on reality is tenuous, that or his memories of the last few years have been repressed, or he’s not telling the truth. Take your pick!
Profiles in courage…
The worst person you know… Meet a guy in Spain who, thanks to The Onion, became a worldwide meme.
Are the kids alright? A look at how one high school spiraled out of control.
RIP Brett Tuggle. The Fleetwood Mac and David Lee Roth keyboardist is dead at 70 of cancer. Play us out.
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