Sherrod Brown Misleads in Attack on Jim Renacci

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s first TV attack ad portrays his opponent U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci as a fan of lobbyists working in government.

“The U.S. Congress. There’s 68 teachers, 15 farmers, four pilots but only one lobbyist,” says the narrator as a cash register cha-ching sound is heard in the background. “That’s right, Jim Renacci has been a lobbyist even while in Congress. And what’s he done? He voted to make it easier for lobbyists to hold key government positions and harder to investigate conflicts of interest.”

Text on the screen shows this is a reference to the 112th Congress. That timeframe refers to January 2011 to January 2013.

Democrats have long portrayed Renacci as a lobbyist. But what this ad omits is that while he was registered to lobby, there is no evidence he actually lobbied. And in fact, it wouldn’t make sense for a member of Congress to work as a lobbyist at the same time. The ad also gives viewers no context about the votes cited.

Brown is one of several Democratic incumbents defending a seat in a state that Donald Trump won in 2016. Trump endorsed Renacci during the primary.

‘Jim Renacci has been a lobbyist even while in Congress’

U.S. Back At No. 1 Competitiveness Ranking — Will Trump’s Critics Ever Admit To Being Wrong?

Have Donald Trump’s policies had a big impact on the U.S. economy and its competitiveness? The answer, we think, is an obvious yes. Now comes a new report, based mainly on “hard” data, that confirms that.

The report comes from the IMD Competitiveness Center in Switzerland. Each year it ranks countries by 256 different variables to come up with its global competitiveness rankings.

For 2018, there was a surprise: The U.S. leapt three places to take over the top spot in global competitiveness — just ahead of Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands and Switzerland. That jump was based on its “strength in economic performance and infrastructure,” ranking first in both areas.

That this is so shouldn’t shock anyone with any knowledge of what’s going on in the economy.

Sherrod Brown, Richard Cordray Oppose Bipartisan Dodd-Frank Reform as Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses Celebrate

Community banks — and those who depend on them — have plenty to celebrate. For America’s cash-strapped entrepreneurs, Dodd-Frank reform, singed Thursday by President Trump, is long overdue.

The legislation raises the level at which financial institutions are considered “systematically important” and exempts smaller banks from several Dodd-Frank mandates. Community banks would not have to go through a costly “stress test” to prove their financial sustainability.

Passed with good intentions after the Great Recession, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act has become a poster child for unintended consequences. The legislation inundated the U.S. financial sector with more than 400 new regulations — five times more than any other law passed since 2009. To enforce the legislation, the federal government hired 3,000 full-time employees.

As you might imagine, Dodd-Frank didn’t come cheap. Since its inception, the law imposed well over $36 billion in regulatory costs on the U.S. economy and flooded those affected with 73 million paperwork hours. Dodd-Frank costs roughly $112 per person and $310 a household to enforce, and it would take nearly 37,000 employees working full-time to complete the paperwork required by the law in a single year.

Dodd-Frank also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency that imposes penalties on auto lenders, short-term loan providers, and other financial institutions outside the purview of congressional oversight. To date, the CFPB has ordered more than $5 billion in total penalties, making it more difficult for creditors to provide working Americans with the capital they need to start a business, cover labor costs and provide for their families.

Community banks — some of America’s most important lenders — are perhaps the most adversely affected. Prior to the passage of Dodd-Frank, an average of over 100 banks opened annually. Since then, only a handful of local banks have opened in the United States. Moreover, community banks have seen their asset share decline by 12.4 percent.

This is a devastating blow to American entrepreneurship. Despite making up less than 20 percent of the banking industry’s assets, local banks provide nearly half of its small business loans.

Without them, many entrepreneurs struggle to find capital to invest in a storefront, new employees and other business expenses. That initial seed money is integral for job creators to grow their businesses and provide employees in their communities with career opportunities.

Female entrepreneurs are especially in need of the credit that community banks have traditionally ensured. While women own one-third of all small businesses, they receive less than five percent of total dollars in conventional small business loans made. Last year, the average funded business loan for women-owned firms came out to $57,097 — down from roughly $100,000 the year before. The average size of a business loan for male entrepreneurs, meanwhile, remained stable at $103,604.

Women launch an average of 850 new businesses per day, but the decline of community banks makes it more difficult for them to stay afloat. Lawmakers can help female entrepreneurs by cutting the red tape strangling their lenders — and, by extension, their businesses.

This is a bipartisan priority. While Republicans have long sought to reform Dodd-Frank, Democrats also recognized the importance of protecting community banks from government overreach. In 2016, 70 senators signed a letter urging then-CFPB Director Richard Cordray to exempt local banks from many of the agency’s mandates. Led by Sens. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, and Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, the Senate coalition described community banks as “essential to spurring economic growth and prosperity at a local level” and called for the CFPB to “prevent any unintended consequences that negatively impact” them.

They’re right. Now we can usher in a new era of American entrepreneurism — for men and women alike.

Originally posted on InsideSources 

Optimism About Availability of Good Jobs Hits New Heights

Gallup

  • 67% say now is a good time to find a quality job
  • Optimism has been climbing throughout Trump presidency
  • Republicans driving drastic turnaround in outlook

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sixty-seven percent of Americans believe that now is a good time to find a quality job in the U.S., the highest percentage in 17 years of Gallup polling. Optimism about the availability of good jobs has grown by 25 percentage points since Donald Trump was elected president.

Ohio Jobless Rate Hits 17-Year-Low Under Republicans

News broke last week that Ohio’s jobless rate hit a 17-year-low in April, reminding us of how far we’ve come since the dark days of Ted Strickland and Richard Cordray.

Here are some highlights from the April jobs report:

  • Ohio’s jobless rate hit a fresh 17-year-low
  • 7,000 people joined the labor force and 11,000 found jobs in April
  • 42,400 jobs have been created in Ohio since December

During the Strickland-Cordray era, Ohio lost more than 360,000 jobs and ranked 48th among all states in job creation.

Since then, Republican leadership has turned our economy around. Pro-growth policies have led to the creation of more than 500,000 jobs, including 42,400 since December 2017. Ohio’s private-sector GDP and average wage growth have outpaced both U.S. and regional growth under Republicans. Between 2011 and 2017, Ohio’s private-sector employment growth approached 500,000 new jobs, which far outpaced the regional average of 305,300.

Additionally, with a Republican-controlled White House and Congress, Ohio’s future is even brighter. Thanks to tax cuts, common sense regulatory reform and reciprocal trade negotiations, Ohio workers and businesses are in a better position now than they have been in decades.

Small business and consumer confidence are at record highs. Unemployment is at record lows. The average Ohio family will save more than $2,000 dollars per year thanks to tax cuts and Ohio businesses are giving out bonuses left and right

Republicans are building a stronger future for Ohio families. On November 6, Ohio voters will not allow Richard Cordray and the Democrats to take us backward. 

Ohio Jobless Rate Hits New 17-Year-Low in April

By Mark Williams, Columbus Dispatch

Ohio’s jobless rate hit a fresh 17-year-low in April as more people joined the state’s labor force and all of them found work, the state said Friday.

The unemployment rate was 4.3 percent last month, down from 4.4 percent in March 2018 and the lowest since July 2001 when the rate was 4.2 percent, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The rate remains above the U.S. of 3.9 percent.

Last month, 7,000 people joined the labor force and 11,000 found jobs, the state data show. The number of jobless workers dropped to 249,000 last month.

The lower rate came even as employers cut 1,000 jobs in the state last month.

The monthly jobless report is made up of two surveys: one of households and a second one of employers, and they don’t always move in the same direction.

Gains of 2,500 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sectors and 2,300 in professional and business services were offset by job losses in several categories: 2,900 jobs in leisure and hospitality; 1,800 jobs in manufacturing; 1,700 jobs in finance; and 1,400 jobs in government.

The loss in jobs last month comes after a good start in 2018 with the state adding 42,400 jobs since December.

Ohio jobless rate hits new 17-year-low in April

Columbus Dispatch

Ohio’s jobless rate hit a fresh 17-year-low in April as more people joined the state’s labor force and all of them found work, the state said Friday.

The unemployment rate was 4.3 percent last month, down from 4.4 percent in March 2018 and the lowest since July 2001 when the rate was 4.2 percent, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The rate remains above the U.S. of 3.9 percent.

Last month, 7,000 people joined the labor force and 11,000 found jobs, the state data show. The number of jobless workers dropped to 249,000 last month.

The lower rate came even as employers cut 1,000 jobs in the state last month.

The monthly jobless report is made up of two surveys: one of households and a second one of employers, and they don’t always move in the same direction.

Gains of 2,500 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sectors and 2,300 in professional and business services were offset by job losses in several categories: 2,900 jobs in leisure and hospitality; 1,800 jobs in manufacturing; 1,700 jobs in finance; and 1,400 jobs in government.

The loss in jobs last month comes after a good start in 2018 with the state adding 42,400 jobs since December.

Ohio’s Jobless Rate Hits 17-Year-Low Under Republican Leadership

News broke today that Ohio’s jobless rate hit a 17-year-low in April, reminding us of how far we’ve come since the dark days of Ted Strickland and Richard Cordray.

Here are some highlights from today’s jobs report:

  • Ohio’s jobless rate hit a fresh 17-year-low
  • 7,000 people joined the labor force and 11,000 found jobs in April
  • 42,400 jobs have been created in Ohio since December

Under the Strickland-Cordray era, Ohio lost more than 360,000 jobs and ranked 48th among all states in job creation.

Since then, Republican leadership has turned our economy around. Pro-growth policies have led to the creation of more than 500,000 jobs, including 42,400 since December 2017. Ohio’s private-sector GDP and average wage growth have outpaced both U.S. and regional growth under Republicans. Between 2011 and 2017, Ohio’s private-sector employment growth approached 500,000 new jobs, which far outpaced the regional average of 305,300.

Additionally, with a Republican-controlled White House and Congress, Ohio’s future is even brighter. Thanks to tax cuts, common sense regulatory reform and reciprocal trade negotiations, Ohio workers and businesses are in a better position now than they have been in decades.

Small business and consumer confidence are at record highs. Unemployment is at record lows. The average Ohio family will save more than $2,000 dollars per year thanks to tax cuts and Ohio businesses are giving out bonuses left and right

Republicans are building a stronger future for Ohio families. On November 6, Ohio voters will not allow Richard Cordray and the Democrats to take us backward. 

Democrat Sherrod Brown’s appearance at forum begs question: Is he running for president?

Dayton Daily News

Sen. Sherrod Brown said his appearance at a progressive forum along with a number of potential Democratic presidential candidates does not signal he plans to seek the presidency in 2020.

Brown, D-Ohio, spoke Tuesday at the Center for American Progress in Washington, an event whose speakers included Democratic Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — all of whom who are talking about running for president.

Shoppers Spent at Healthy Pace in April

AP

WASHINGTON — U.S. retail sales rose at a solid pace last month, a sign that consumers may be rebounding from weak spending in the first three months of the year and driving better economic growth.

Retail sales increased 0.3 percent in April, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, down from a 0.8 percent gain in March, which was revised higher. The spending gains were spread across most retail categories, with big gains at furniture and clothing stores.

Spending is likely to remain healthy in the months ahead, buoyed by a strong job market that is showing early signs of lifting Americans’ incomes. The unemployment rate has fallen to a 17-year low of 3.9 percent. And measures of consumer confidence remain healthy, despite rising gas prices and a rocky stock market.

Clothing-store sales, fueled by price cuts, jumped 1.4 percent, while sales at home and garden stores rose 0.4 percent. A category that includes online and catalog sales rose 0.6 percent.

Consumer spending climbed 4 percent in the final three months of last year, the strongest increase in three years. Americans then cut back in January and February, but then spending rebounded in March.

Gas station sales rose 0.8 percent in April, less than some analysts forecast, largely reflecting price increases. Prices at the pump have risen steadily in the past year, driven higher mostly by oil price gains. Tuesday’s figures suggest that the price increases haven’t yet dragged down other spending, but that could change. Analysts expect gas prices to keep rising as the summer driving season gets underway.

The average price for a gallon of gas nationwide reached $2.88 Tuesday, up 17 cents from a month earlier and 54 cents from a year ago.

Retail sales are closely watched by economists because they provide an early read on consumer spending, the principal driver of the U.S. economy. Store purchases account for about one-third of U.S. consumer spending, while spending on services such as haircuts and mobile phones plans makes up the other two-thirds.