Despite recent stock market jitters related to the coronavirus, the U.S. economy is doing well. Wages are growing, especially for lower-income workers, and unemployment is low. Yet calls are intensifying for the federal government to implement paid leave, which may unwittingly hurt those whom the program claims to help. Supporters often resort to the same misleading notions to make their case — misperceptions that must be continuously debunked, lest they lead to unnecessary harm to working families.
In his book Politics of Prudence, conservative scholar Russell Kirk said, “Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity.” Those words could be describing what happened 100 years ago, on January 17, 1920, when National Prohibition went into effect. Quite popular when it sailed through Congress, the 18th Amendment — allowing Congress to regulate the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors — was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1919, and set to take effect one year later.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce American companies have repatriated more than a trillion dollars of their overseas profits since Trump’s “tax holiday” was announced in 2017. As part of his Tax Cuts and Jobs Act corporate profits held overseas would enjoy a one-time levy of just 15.5 percent tax on profits held overseas instead of the punishing 35 percent rate that existed prior.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on November 17 that the United States and South Korea have indefinitely postponed a joint military exercise in an “act of goodwill” toward North Korea. Esper made the announcement during a joint news conference in Bangkok with Jeong Kyeong-doo, South Korea’s minister of national defense.