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Alternative Visions -US Economy’s ‘Triple Witching’ Hour: Budget bill, Fed Rate Hikes, China Trade War -03.23.18

Dr. Rasmus looks at three major economic events of the past week: the Trump $1.3 trillion budget bill, the Fed’s latest rate hike (with 6 more coming 2018-19), and the Trade War he launched last week which (as I predicted on this show last week) was really an opening salvo in trade negotiations with China (not Europe,  Mexico-Canada, Latin America, rest of Asia). On the trade war, Trump is already exempting the rest and targeting China. But even the China ‘war’ is hardly that. Trump’s opening ‘attack’ amounts to 12% tariffs on $50 billion of more than $700 billion China goods only exports to the US. Rasmus explains how this is all in the long tradition of US restructuring of trade relations with its capitalist competitors. (Nixon did it in 1971-73 and Reagan in 1986). Rasmus deconstructs the budget bill $1.3 trillion, as just the first in a series of war spending hikes totaling more than $1T a year. Along with $3T net tax cuts, it will mean $1T annual budget deficits for the next decade. The opening attack on social security, medicare, food stamps, education and other cuts to pay for it has already begun. Rasmus concludes with his analysis of the Power Fed’s latest rate hikes, and predicts when and at what level further hikes will precipitate another liquidity crisis and recession, as in 2008. (Read his blog, jackrasmus.com, for further written analyses of Fed, Budget, and Trade policies under Trump. Or join his twitter feed @drjackrasmus).

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