Trump’s bipartisan spending deal took a step closer to reality last week when the US House passed a budget bill by a 284-149 vote.
The bill increases discretionary spending from $1.32 trillion in the current fiscal year to $1.37 trillion in fiscal 2020 and then raises it again to $1.375 trillion the year after that. The deal will allow for an increase in both domestic and military spending.
In a recent article, Peter Schiff called the ongoing trade war Pres. Trump’s last stand, saying, “it looks to me that Donald Trump … is charging into an economic version of the Little Bighorn.” Proponents of the trade war argue that we need to give Trump’s strategy time to work. They say the tariffs will force the Chinese to bend, and in the end, America will find itself in a much better economic position than it was before.
We can debate whether Trump’s tariffs are a brilliant negotiating tool or an economic disaster, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that they are causing significant pain. And not just for the Chinese. Ultimately, American consumers are paying the price.
Last November, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said interest rates were “just below the broad range of estimates of the level that would be neutral for the economy.” This was the excuse for the central bank’s monetary policy 180 and set the stage for the “Powell Pause.”
Central bankers are perpetually on a quest to find the elusive neutral interest rate, but in fact, it’s an impossible goal, as economist Frank Shostak explained in an article published on the Mises Wire.
Basically, the Fed is chasing unicorns.