Monday 17th of May 2021

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no entry please

Biden team searches for new ways to slow border surge

The administration is sending sterner warnings to would-be migrants and devising alternate pathways for legal entry. But it’s unclear whether it will be enough.


By Sean Sullivan and Seung Min Kim


Read more at the WaPo...

a socialist budget in the USA...

WASHINGTON — President Biden’s economic advisers are preparing to recommend spending as much as $3 trillion on a sweeping set of efforts aimed at boosting the economy, reducing carbon emissions and narrowing economic inequality, beginning with a giant infrastructure plan that may be financed in part through tax increases on corporations and the rich.

After months of internal debate, Mr. Biden’s advisers are expected to present a proposal to the president this week that recommends carving his economic agenda into separate legislative pieces, rather than trying to push a mammoth package through Congress, according to people familiar with the plans and documents obtained by The New York Times.

The total new spending in the plans would likely be $3 trillion, a person familiar with them said. That figure does not include the cost of extending new temporary tax cuts meant to fight poverty, which could reach hundreds of billions of dollars, according to estimates prepared by administration officials. Officials have not yet determined the exact breakdown in cost between the two packages.

Mr. Biden supports all of the individual spending and tax cut proposals under consideration, but it is unclear whether he will back splitting his agenda into pieces, or what legislative strategy he and Democratic leaders will pursue to maximize the chances of pushing the new programs through Congress given their narrow majorities in both chambers.

Administration officials caution that details of the spending programs remain in flux. But the scope of the proposal under consideration highlights the aggressive approach the Biden administration wants to take as it tries to harness the power of the federal government to narrow economic inequality, reduce the carbon emissions that drive climate change and improve American manufacturing and high-technology industries in an escalating battle with China and other foreign competitors.

While the $1.9 trillion economic aid package that Mr. Biden signed into law earlier this month includes money to help vulnerable people and businesses survive until the pandemic ends, it does little to advance the longer-term economic agenda that Mr. Biden campaigned on.

The package under consideration would begin that effort in earnest. The first legislative piece under discussion, which some Biden officials consider more appealing to Republicans, business leaders and many moderate Senate Democrats, would combine investments in manufacturing and advanced industries with what would be the most aggressive spending yet by the United States to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change.

It would spend heavily on infrastructure improvements, clean energy deployment and the development of other “high-growth industries of the future” like 5G telecommunications. It includes money for rural broadband, advanced training for millions of workers and 1 million affordable and energy-efficient housing units. Documents suggest it will include nearly $1 trillion in spending alone on the construction of roads, bridges, rail lines, ports, electric vehicle charging stations and improvements to the electric grid and other parts of the power sector.

Whether it can muster Republican support will depend in large part on how the bill is paid for.

Officials have discussed offsetting some or all of the infrastructure spending by raising taxes on corporations, including increasing the corporate income tax rate above the current 21 percent rate and a variety of measures to force multinational corporations to pay more tax in the United States on income they earn abroad. That strategy is unlikely to garner Republican votes.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any enthusiasm on our side for a tax increase,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, told reporters last week. He predicted the administration’s infrastructure plan would be a “Trojan horse” for tax increases.

Mr. Biden’s team has debated the merits of aggressively pursuing compromise with Republicans and business leaders on an infrastructure package, which would most likely require dropping or scaling back plans to raise taxes on corporations, or preparing to move another sweeping bill through a special parliamentary process that would require only Democratic votes. Mr. Biden’s advisers plan to present the proposal to congressional leaders this week.

“President Biden and his team are considering a range of potential options for how to invest in working families and reform our tax code so it rewards work, not wealth,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said. “Those conversations are ongoing, so any speculation about future economic proposals is premature and not a reflection of the White House’s thinking.”

Mr. Biden said in January that his relief bill would be followed by a “Build Back Better Recovery Plan,” echoing the language of his campaign agenda. He said that plan would “make historic investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, innovation, research and development, and clean energy. Investments in the caregiving economy and in skills and training needed by our workers to compete and win the global economy of the future.”

The timing of that proposal — which Mr. Biden initially had said would come in February — slipped as administration officials focused on completing the relief package. In the interim, administration officials have concluded their best chance to advance Mr. Biden’s larger agenda in Congress will be to split “Build Back Better” into component proposals.

The first plan, centered on infrastructure, includes large portions of the plan Mr. Biden offered in the 2020 election. His campaign predicted that Mr. Biden’s investments would create 5 million new jobs in manufacturing and advanced industries, on top of restoring all the jobs lost last year in the Covid-19 crisis.

The second plan under discussion is focused on what many progressives call the nation’s human infrastructure — students, workers and people left on the sidelines of the job market — according to documents and people familiar with the discussions. It would spend heavily on education and on programs meant to increase the participation of women in the labor force, by helping them balance work and caregiving. It includes free community college, universal pre-K education, a national paid leave program and efforts to reduce child care costs.


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Why would you want to go to the USA and be shot at?






an epic laughing matter...

not funny

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US Vice President Kamala Harris has come under fire for laughing out loud when she was asked whether she planned to visit the southern border, after photos of people sleeping on the ground in crammed clear pens emerged online.

Harris spoke to reporters on the tarmac at a Florida airport before going on the "Help is Here" tour of the nation on Monday. She responded to a question about whether she would go south with "Not today!" before laughing loudly. "But I have before, and I'm sure I will again", she added.

March 23, 2021

​Republican lawmakers ripped into the former attorney general over her inappropriate reaction to the growing migrant crisis, which escalated after immigration restrictions imposed under Donald Trump were eased. At the same time, media access to border detention centres was curbed significantly.

Sen. Ted Cruz has written to President Joe Biden to criticise him for denying that what was happening at the border was a crisis. He said the Biden administration's refusal to let the press tour the holding facilities was "outrageous and hypocritical".

Steve Guest, a special adviser for communications for Sen. Cruz, tweeted that "apparently, the border crisis is now a laughing matter for the Biden administration", while House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, said that Harris was laughing off a "humanitarian crisis of epic proportions".


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FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a covid vaccine diplomacy...

Ex-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has offered unsolicited leadership advice to President Joe Biden, bemoaning the fact he allowed Russia and China to get ahead in "vaccine diplomacy" – giving Covid-19 jabs to poor nations.

"This is the kind of leadership that the United States has historically been known for, which frankly, we should be lifting up and doing more of," Clinton said on Monday in an interview with Foreign Affairs magazine. "And what I'm intrigued by, and a little saddened by, is the way both China and Russia are pushing their vaccines."

Clinton noted that Russia and China are using "vaccine diplomacy" – building goodwill with poor countries by helping them inoculate their populations against Covid-19. "They are going into countries and saying, 'We'll take care of you,'" she said. "And that leaves the United States playing catch-up."

The former first lady, senator and secretary of state acknowledged that the Biden administration must balance foreign-affairs concerns with the need to vaccinate the US population. It appears that the country will have more than enough supplies to do that, she said, but Covid-19 variants could complicate matters.

The Biden administration has already met its goal of delivering 100 million vaccine doses in the president's first 100 days in office, with more than a month to spare.

 "We're not at the end of this," Clinton said. "I mean, when the vast majority of the world is not yet vaccinated, that is like a petri dish for more variants to develop. We are, you know, walking a fine line here. Let's vaccinate us. But at the same time, let's do everything we can to try to provide as much vaccination support to the rest of the world as possible."

Russia has signed deals to supply its Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine to more than 40 countries at a time when poor nations have struggled to access the inoculations developed by Western companies. After early international skepticism because of its record-fast development and approval, Sputnik V is in high demand after being found by the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet to be safe and highly effective against the virus.


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