Remember the freakout over China holding U.S. debt?

Turns out it was another scam by the GOP to blast Obama (from Paul Krugman):

Many prominent politicians made warnings about the dangers posed by U.S. debt, especially debt owned by China, a central part of their political image. Paul Ryan, when he was chairman of the House Budget Committee, portrayed himself as a heroic crusader against deficits. Mitt Romney made denunciations of borrowing from China a centerpiece of his campaign for president. And by and large, commentators treated this posturing as if it were serious. But it wasn’t.

I don’t mean that it was bad economics, although it was. Remember all the dire warnings about what would happen if China stopped buying our debt, or worse yet, started selling it? Remember how interest rates would soar and America would find itself in crisis?

Well, don’t tell anyone, but the much feared event has happened: China is no longer buying our debt, and is in fact selling tens of billions of dollars in U.S. debt every month as it tries to support its troubled currency. And what has happened is what serious economic analysis always told us would happen: nothing. It was always a false alarm.

Beyond that, however, it was a fake alarm. …

Debt, it seems, only matters when there’s a Democrat in the White House. Or more accurately, all the talk about debt wasn’t about fiscal prudence; it was about trying to inflict political damage on President Obama, and it stopped when the tactic lost effectiveness.

The GOP breakup


This pretty much captures the conflict Republicans are now going through. Look at it from an economic standpoint (via the Washington Post):

We have now seen tax plans from the GOP candidates, and despite their “populist” packaging, it turns out, as Ramesh Ponnuru puts it, that “all of them would also ensure that the top one percent comes out way ahead.” The Rubio and Bush plans contain middle class tax relief, but when viewed in the larger context of who would benefit most from them, it has the feel of political window dressing, as Ponnuru concludes: “Republicans would probably be better off in the general election next year if their plans weren’t quite so favorable to the rich.”

The GOP candidates apparently think they can cite their plans’ middle class tax relief — combined with soothing supply-side sweet-nothings — to make the cuts for the rich more palatable in a general election. Bush’s campaign has road-tested the argument that his plan would result in top earners paying a larger share of the overall tax burden, which is a diversion. Rubio has gamely suggested that his plan’s elimination of taxes on capital gains and dividends would help create jobs for bartenders like his father.

But Trump’s suggestion that his rivals will “let” Wall Streeters get away with paying too little in taxes threatens to let Republican voters in on the joke. Ross Douthat has suggested that as a billionaire, Trump could actually be more credible in this regard, since he is letting you in on the secret, from the inside, that “high finance can afford higher taxes.” And guess what, Trump seems to be saying, it won’t destroy the economy or cost your bartender father his job. Trump has been in on the joke for a long time, and the joke’s on you. But the joke is over.

We’ll see how this pans out in the coming months. But one thing’s for sure. Trump is not going away.

Here are the most common jobs for immigrants, by state


According to Business Insider:

We worked with individual-level responses from 2013, assembled and processed by the Minnesota Population Center’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series program. We found the most commonly held occupation among people who responded that they were born in a country other than the US.

Now a lot of these jobs are kind of expected: farm workers along the West Coast, housekeepers throughout the South. But what’s up in Missouri, Ohio, Michigan and Maine? College professors are pretty prestigious jobs. Are American-born academics not interested in those states. And can people in Vermont, Kentucky and West Virginia not count? Why the influx of cashiers there?

The map raises a few questions but provides a lot of answers.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic presidential race

Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent, seeking the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. Is drawing large crowds, and we haven’t been hearing about it because everyone thinks Hillary Clinton has her party’s nomination locked up, and folks like Donald Trump have given the GOP process the appeal of a car wreck on a highway (You can’t help but watch).

But Sanders drew about 10,000 at a rally in Madison, Wis.

That’s probably the largest crowd at any rally so far this campaign season:

There’s definitely a clear message coming from the Sanders campaign, and it fired up the cheeseheads. Let’s see how it resonates across the country.