February 28, 2017

Here We Go Again: Politifact Rates Trump’s Obvious Facts About the National Debt ‘Mostly False’

On Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted that “The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo.” Demonstrating that “fact checking” by the partisan press is a sick joke which has instead turned into a vehicle to make cheap political points, Politifact rated Trump’s utterly true statement “Mostly False.”

(more…)

4Q16 Gross Domestic Product, 2nd Estimate (022717): Annualized 1.9 Percent; Full Year Is 1.6 Percent, Full Obama Era is 1.5 Percent Annually

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:11 am

From the Bureau of Economic Analysis (link with tables):

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 (table 1), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.5 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 1.9 percent. With the second estimate for the fourth quarter, the general picture of economic growth remains the same; the increase in personal consumption expenditures was larger and increases in state and local government spending and in nonresidential fixed investment were smaller than previously estimated

The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, nonresidential fixed investment, and state and local government spending. These increases were partly offset by negative contributions from exports and federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The deceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected a downturn in exports, an acceleration in imports, and a downturn in federal government spending that were partly offset by an upturn in residential fixed investment, an acceleration in private inventory investment, and an upturn in state and local government spending.

2016 GDP

Real GDP increased 1.6 percent in 2016 (that is, from the 2015 annual level to the 2016 annual level), compared with an increase of 2.6 percent in 2015 (table 1). Revisions to 2016 real GDP from the advance estimate did not affect the 1.6 percent rate of increase.

Updated detail coming shortly.

HERE IT IS:

GDPcomponentsThru4Q16at022717

The entire story here is, as seen above, that health care spending increased by over 3-1/2 times as much in the second estimate compared to the first (0.66 points vs. 0.18 points). Yet health care wasn’t even mentioned in the government’s narrative, even though health care effectively crowded out most other spending on services.

Most other elements declined slightly, leaving zero net change from the first estimate.

As a result, this is an even weaker ending to the Obama era than was seen a month ago.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022817)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: This Spanish prison ministry is helping rehabilitate inmates

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Madrid, Spain:

eb 28, 2017 / 03:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The prison ministry founded by a Spanish Jesuit in the 1960s has had such fruits as a group of inmates donating their own money to help the needy at Christmas, according to the head of the foundation.

At Christmas of 2015, a group of prisoners in the Estremera prison in Madrid did their own food drive to buy non-perishable food with their own money from the prison store, Lola Navarro, president of the Father Garralda-Horizontes Abiertos Foundation, told CNA.

“All the prisoners who participated agreed to deliver the more than 220 pounds of food to the Fr. Garralda Foundation to help those they were thinking of, because they knew that there are people who needed it more than they did.”

Helping prisoners rebuild their lives, overcome addictions, and re-enter the workforce is a challenge that the Father Garralda-Horizontes Abiertos Foundation has been working toward for 40 years.

Navarro said Fr. Jaime Garralda began to work with prisoners and now serves, through his foundation, more than 200 people in prison, halfway homes for parolees, and with workshops on re-entering the workforce.

“Fr. Jaime Garralda, S.J., lived for 16 years in in a shanty town during the ’60s. Many women there wanted to visit their husbands or children who were in prison. Fr. Garralda and some volunteers began to accompany them and began a social action work in the prisons, also addressing all those realities related to the prisons,” Navarro explained.

“We also have the figure of the ‘volunteer resident’, or prisoners who are at the end of their sentence who help others in the prison achieve their goals so they can set out on an itinerary so their stay in the prison is as bearable as possible.”

She pointed out how this is “beautiful, because that person sees that you have helped them and now they’re the ones who get involved with the other prisoners to give back what was given to them, and the horizons that were opened up for them.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.