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Confounding and confusing events 1/30/23

Representative Stefanik announces she and Representative Tunney were sponsoring a Resolution declaring the recent NY gun legislation to be unconstitutional. I didn’t know the House has that power over the State Legislation.

A recent political cartoon in the Press Republican showed a sign saying, “Got classified Documents in your House call 1-800-whoops.” Pretty much covers it.

Comet C/2022 E3 has been identified by scientists as coming close to us this past week. This comet orbits the sun every 50,000 years so the last time it was here, if it was observed, was observed by Neanderthals. It was discovered last March by astronomers at the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomar Observatory in California. It comes out of deep space and the images taken to date show a subtle green glow that is thought to arise from the presence of diatomic carbon.

It appeared that the Republican National Committee (RNC) chairmanship vote could also be a multi-round event. The current chair, Ronna McDaniel was being challenged by Harmeet Dhillon. Ms. Dhillon was an attorney for Trump, and has accused McDaniel of religious bigotry, chronic misspending and privately claiming that she can control the former President, all of which are denied by McDaniel. Another stellar performer also in the race is, my fellow CEO, Mike Lindell, who has advanced innumerable conspiracy and otherwise crazy theories. Interestingly enough, Mr. Trump has not made an indorsement, but is reportedly privately advocating for McDaniel. McDaniel won in for elected on the first ballot saving Republicans embarrassment.

We noted last week, that there now seems to be an increase in reporting about the impact of China’s shrinking population. I focused on the economic impacts, but recent stories have focused on the impact on society and politics which are more internal, at least initially,. What the outcome will be in terms of the need for China to redirect its resources internally in order to care for its aging population with fewer workers, will certainly have economic consequences. As we all know, we are experiencing a worker shortage in the US, and it appears that China is trending in that direction, but as I noted, with 1.4 Billion people, it may not be a short-term crisis.

It appears that Mr. Pence also has classified documents in his possession at his home. This has truly become a circus and should deflate Republican comments about Mr. Biden since it is clear in my view that Mr. Pence did this inadvertently, which I believe the same is true of Mr. Biden, while not true of Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump seems to think that classified documents are some forms of a trophy that he should have possession of. Nonetheless, this will cause a continued media frenzy even though I don’t think it is worth too much time covering.

Two family’s stories have re-emerged about Canada’s trade: soft wood lumber and dairy quotes. Neither of these have material impacts on trade, but do impact vocal segments of our economy. At the same time Transborder Freight has decreased by 4.8% year over year.

Republicans are pushing a sales tax at 30% and doing away with income taxes as well as avoiding the IRS. Some interesting facts: the deficit is 1.38 trillion, IRS budget is 14.1 Billion and there is no estimate of what the sales tax would consist of. Who has the enforcement and reporting burden, you guessed it, small business. Another step into the twilight zone.

Bill Owens is a former member of Congress representing the New York 21st, a partner in Stafford, Owens, Piller, Murnane, Kelleher and Trombley in Plattsburgh, NY and a Strategic Advisor at Dentons to Washington, DC.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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