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Outside the massive Milwaukee theater, venue of Tuesday’s 4th Republican presidential debate, were the noisy protesters marching for a hike in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. They held up signs chanting “Fight for $15.”
Well, if CNBC got an F then Fox Business News gets an A. The winners of Tuesday night's GOP debate in Milwaukee were the audience and the Republican party. This wasn't just a debate. It was a tutorial on growth, taxes, health care, trade, regulation, and the Fed.
Overshadowed by the other night’s brawl pitting CNBC against the Republican presidential candidates was the release of Ted Cruz’s flat tax plan. The Texas senator and White House hopeful would impose a 10 percent tax rate on wage earners and a 16 percent business tax and no deductions.
Now that Hillary Clinton has by default sewn up the Democratic nomination, expect Democrats to play the gender card for all it’s worth. Hillary recently lashed out at the Republican field for holding “extreme views about women, we expect from some of the terrorist groups but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States.”
It hasn’t gotten much attention, but two big budget showdowns are looming in Washington in the weeks ahead. The first is what to do about raising the $18 trillion debt ceiling. And the second is whether to retain the spending caps/sequester cuts in the 2016 budget. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced last week that Congress will bump up against the debt ceiling in November.
Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. That might as well be the new theme for the American economy. Washington, the White House, Congress, housing agencies, and the Fed, none of them have learned from the housing bubble of 2007-08.
My 13-year-old son told me at the dinner table the other day that Franklin Roosevelt was one of America’s “greatest presidents” because “he ended the Great Depression.” He’s usually a good student, so I checked where he got this tripe and sure enough the fairy tale was right there in his American history book.