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Economy

Department of Education Directs Student Loan Lenders to Suspend Payments for 60 Days

The American government is responding to the coronavirus crisis with a swiftness, and it could save us a whole lot of hassle in the coming weeks.

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As the nation continues to meander down the path that Covid-19 has placed us upon, Americans the nation over are coming to grips with a few frustrating realties of the next few weeks.

First, we’re going to need to take this self-isolation thing seriously.  Those of us who can stay away from crowds will need to, if we want to have any shot of getting out of this mess with minimal public health damage.

Furthermore, this isolation is going to cost us a whole lot of money as businesses are forced to suspend operations for the safety of their customers. The federal government understands that there will be ramifications for this , and are working to mitigate any financial impact that they can.

As part of this relief process, the Department of Education is now instructing federal student loan lenders to have a little patience with their customers.

Trending: U-Haul Seen Packed with Weapons Was Traced to George Soros Group

“We’ve temporarily waived all interest on federally held student loans,” Trump said during a Coronavirus Task Force press conference Friday at the White House. “They’ll be very happy to hear that and I’ve instructed them to take that action immediately.”

“Today, Betsy Devos directed federal lenders to allow borrowers to suspend their student loans and loan payments without penalty for at least the next 60 days, and if we need more we’ll extend that period of time,” Trump said.

“Borrowers should contact their lenders, but we’ve given them very strong instructions,” Trump added. “That’s a big thing, that’s going to make a lot of students very happy.”

Trump also announced Friday that there will be no enforcement of scheduled standardized testing for high school and elementary school-aged students.

“There will be no standardized testing,” Trump said. “A lot of students will be happy. Some, probably not.”

Earlier in the week, Congressional leaders began work on legislation that would cancel student loan payments for the duration of the national emergency declaration surrounding coronavirus.  If passed, this would provide some much needed relief for cash strapped Americans in this time of national need.

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Economy

U.S. Household Net Worth Hits Highest Level Ever Under Donald Trump

Despite the COVID hysteria that Democrats have been using to destroy the economy, U.S. household net worth has just hit its highest level ever recorded.

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Despite the COVID hysteria that Democrats have been using to destroy the economy, U.S. household net worth has just hit its highest level ever recorded.

The myriad government shutdowns occurring across the country was not enough to destroy to drive to greater prosperity under the Trump administration as the new numbers from the second quarter attest.

Per Breitbart News:

The net worth of American households and nonprofit organizations rose 6.8 percent in the April through June period, to $118.96 trillion, according to data released Monday by the Federal Reserve. That is around $380 billion above where it was at the end of 2019.

The wild swings in the stock market have been the biggest drivers in the quarterly changes in net worth. The S&P 500 plunged 25 percent in the first quarter then rose 20 percent in the second quarter, adding around $5.7 trillion to the balance sheets of American households. That rise accounted for about three-quarters of the total increase.

While this is fantastic news, the sad thing is, federal debt has exploded — much of it thanks to the government’s response to the COVID pandemic.

“Federal government debt rose dramatically as the government soaked up cash from investors to fund the huge relief programs authorized by the CARES Act. Federal debt grew at a 58.9 percent annualized pace in the quarter,” Breitbart added.

This info comes from the Fed’s quarterly report on the Financial Accounts of the United States, often referred to as the Flow of Funds report.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Economy

The Top Ten States Bouncing Back Fastest are Red States — Guess the Worst

According to the June unemployment statistics, the states that are bouncing back the fastest are all red states.

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According to the June unemployment statistics, the states that are bouncing back the fastest are almost all red states. Unsurprisingly, the bottom ten are nearly all blue states.

The analysis comes from jobs consultant firm WalletHub which finds that only one of the bottom ten states are Democrat-led states.

“June’s jobs report brought encouraging news for the employment market, as the economy added 4.8 million nonfarm payroll jobs. That’s nearly double the amount added in May,” the site said in its July 17 post.

“Now, the U.S. unemployment rate sits at 11.1%, which is still high but is a decline from the nearly historic high of 14.7% at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the analysis continued. “This drop can be attributed to the fact that all U.S. states have reopened at least some non-essential businesses. In addition, most people who became unemployed during this crisis have only been temporarily laid off, and expect to be rehired by their former employers once companies reopen and start to make money again. However, it will take far more time for us to reduce the unemployment rate to pre-pandemic levels than it did for the virus to reverse over a decade of job growth.”

WalletHub took a look at the economic data from all fifty states and the District of Columbia to see where the recovery was at its best. The site compared the unemployment numbers in these states from June 2019 to June 2020.

So, which states made it into the top ten most recovered states? Who could be surprised to find they are all GOP-led, red states?

The top ten with current unemployment rate:

    • Kentucky – 4.8%
    • Idaho – 5.3%
    • Utah – 5.5%
    • Montana – 7.0%
    • Maine – 6.4%
    • Oklahoma – 6.8%
    • Wyoming – 7.6%
    • North Dakota – 6.3%
    • Missouri – 7.9%
    • Nebraska – 6.9%

You’ll notice that nearly every state above is solidly controlled by the GOP. Only Maine is a bastion of blue. Kentucky, of course, is mixed, but much of it is controlled by the GOP.

Here are the worst ten:

    • Florida – 10.7%
    • Illinois – 14.6%
    • California – 15.1%
    • Michigan – 14.9%
    • New Hampshire – 11.7%
    • Nevada – 15.2%
    • New York – 15.6%
    • Hawaii – 14.4%
    • New Jersey – 16.4%
    • Massachusetts – 17.5%

Of the worst ten, you’ll notice that all but one is in thrall to the Democrat Party. Indeed, most have almost no Republican Party at all.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Economy

Retail Sales Collapse 16.4% with April’s Disastrous Coronavirus Lockdowns

Retail sales plunged even worse than analysts were expecting in April as the nation-wide coronavirus lockdown orders took effect.

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Retail sales plunged even worse than analysts were expecting in April as the nation-wide coronavirus lockdown orders took effect.

What a surprise… another prediction the “experts” got wrong.

According to CNBC, consumer spending collapsed in April. With so many government agencies joining the hysteria and shutting down everyone’s livelihoods, how can anyone be surprised?

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected the advanced retail sales number to fall 12.3% after March’s reported 8.3% dive already had set a record for data going back to 1992. The March numbers were revised to be not as bad as the 8.7% initially reported.

Some 68% of the nation’s $21.5 trillion economy comes from personal consumption expenditures, which tumbled 7.6% in the first quarter just as social distancing measures aimed at containing the coronavirus began to take effect.

The graph that CNBC posted is startling:

“Net, net, consumers couldn’t get out to shop last month as the pandemic virus fight kept them at home, and the result is an economy that has simply collapsed,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank, according to CNBC. “We have never seen economic data like this before in history.”

clothing merchants took the worst loss, down a whopping 78.8 percent over March. Naturally, clothing stores and malls were shuttered as “non-essential” businesses during that time.

This is simply untenable.

We must end these hysterical lockdowns are re-open out economy before the damage is practically irreversible.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Economy

Grubhub Shamed for Extorting Restaurants During Virus Crisis

This is simply atrocious.

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Of all of the industries that have been effected by the COVID-19 crisis, perhaps none has taken the sort of hit that our food service workers have.

Around the nation, a vast majority of our restaurants are either shuttered or operating as curbside pickup and delivery-only establishments, hoping to just keep the lights on and a tiny fraction of their staff paid.

You would think, in this time of ultra-convenient rideshare and courier options, that this would be a seamless way keep the service industry’s velocity of cash moving.

But you’d be wrong, and that’s on account of a greedy bottleneck within the gig-worker economy.

As empty restaurants around the country struggle against an uncertain future and perhaps unrealistic guidelines for reopening during the coronavirus pandemic, takeout-ordering company Grubhub reported record revenues of $363 million from January through March, up 12% from the same quarter a year ago.

Restaurant owners have long complained that fees charged by ordering platforms like Grubhub, often ranging from 15% to 30%, make orders less profitable, and sometimes unprofitable — but businesses have no choice but to use them if they want to retain customers. They also discovered Grubhub was secretly buying up thousands of restaurant domain names and using them to build shadow websites that competed with pages operated by restaurants. Now, with dining rooms closed and lockdowns still in effect, takeout orders facilitated by platforms like Gruhub have become a crucial source of business.

Just how bad is it?

While some cities have been able to limit the commission cap that apps like Grubhub receive during this national emergency, this sort of niche and temporary legislation is far from a top priority for many.

Americans can help their local restaurants stay profitable during this time by choosing curbside pickup instead of delivery, or by buying gift cards to restaurants that can be used at a later date, perhaps when the dining rooms open again.

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Economy

Here It Comes: $2 Trillion Relief Bill Headed to Trump’s Desk After Late Drama

It’s about time.

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As far as COVID-19 is concerned, there are still plenty of variable out there that we just don’t know.

That’s not for a lack of effort, however.  This is a novel strain of coronavirus that we haven’t yet experienced, thus making it difficult for the human race to find a worthwhile avenue of attack.  All we know right know is that we must practice social distancing in order to prevent the spread of the virus, and that we’re still several days or weeks away from the peak of the problem.

The federal government has been assessing and reassessing what they can do for those people within America who will be effected by the economic downturn that the pandemic will cause.  Today, they passed a major milestone in their efforts.

The legislation costs roughly $2 trillion and is approximately 8,800-pages long.

The House vote follows as the Senate unanimously passed the legislation on Wednesday night, with 96 votes in favor of the bill and no senators opposed to the bill.

The House became enflamed in controversy after Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) threatened to force a recorded vote on the coronavirus package. The backlash engendered frustration from lawmakers as well as President Donald Trump, who demanded that Republicans throw the Kentucky congressman out of office.

“WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

When Massie tried to force a recorded vote on the legislation, the House overwhelmed the congressman and passed the coronavirus package.

And, in a move that speaks to the threat of COVID-19…

House lawmakers took up spots in the House public gallery to create more space between members of Congress while maintaining a quorum to prevent Massie from placing a recorded vote on the measure.

The bill would not only bolster the existing unemployment programs here in the U.S., but would also allow for adult American taxpayers to receive lump sum payments in order to offset some of the hardship they could face as businesses struggle to attract customers.

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Economy

Miller-Coors Steps Up in a Big Way for Restaurant Workers with $1 Million Donation

United we stand, with Big Beer at our backs.

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While the medical fallout of the COVID-19 virus is set to hit our nation heavily in the coming days, the economic impact of the global pandemic is still weeks, or perhaps months away from being fully realized.

In order to starve this beast of an illness we will need to be diligent in our social distancing practices.  This means the widespread closure of places like schools, churches, stadiums, bars, and restaurants – putting a great many American workers out of a job.

Perhaps hardest hit will be the restaurant industry, where employees are largely living a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle but at a far more dynamic “shift-to-shift” pace.  These are the folks who work almost solely for tips, earning only a few dollars per hour otherwise.  With no customers, there are no tips, and these workers are being drained of what little savings they may have had in just a few weeks of quasi-quarantine.

Miller-Coors understands that there is trouble brewing for this point-of-sale staff, (no pun intended), and are moving forward with a massive donation aimed at easing the economic pain.

Taps are off, but tips are needed. That’s the message from Miller officials — donating $1 million to support bartenders out of work due to the coronavirus.

The announcement was made on the Miller Lite Twitter page on March 20.

The donation was made to the USBG (United States Bartenders Guild) National Charity Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance program. The organization set up a “Virtual Tip Jar” to help bartenders not working after Governor Tony Evers ordered bars and restaurants to close except for carryout or delivery in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The declaration came complete with an all-too realistic depiction of a shuttered establishment.

To make a donation yourself, follow the link in the tweet above.

You or someone you know is a displaced service industry worker, the application for the USBG assistance can be found here.

 

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Economy

Treas. Sec. Mnuchin: Cash Payments to be Upped to $3,000 per Family to Cope with Coronavirus

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the cash payments sent to Americans to cope with the coronavirus is set to jump to $3,000 per family

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that the cash payments sent to Americans to cope with the coronavirus is set to jump to $3,000 per family.

Mnuchin was confident on Sunday morning that the $4 trillion stimulus package would pass the U.S. Senate on Sunday, but it wasn’t to be. Democrats held back their support because the bill did not include unnecessary spending on abortion.

Still, it is likely the bill will eventually pass.

Included in the current version is $110 billion for the healthcare industry as well as $350 billion in aid to small businesses.

“Those are broad-based lending programs,” Mnuchin told Fox News Sunday.

“Now that we’ve shut down major parts of the economy … we can lever up to $4 trillion to help everything from small businesses to big businesses get through the next 90 to 120 days,” he added.

The $3K per family is even higher than the $2,400 that was being proposed only as far back as Thursday.

A three grand windfall and the recent decision of the IRS to put off the deadline to pay federal taxes until July 15, the feds are really helping the American people… if only the Democrats can put aside their lust for dead babies aside long enough to get it all passed!

Regardless, as each state puts severe limitations on travel and more people lose their weekly salaries — or even lose jobs altogether — the American people are hungry for some support.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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