George on the Soap Box this morning. Skip the first article if you just want the daily ration of press releases and market stuff. You see? Eventually, when you have enough money, principles DO MATTER.

Whether you agree with his policies, or not, president Trump is likely to call for a major revision in the Federal Budget, and will likely call for Congress to get off its duff and actually produce on the promises that have been (more or less) continuously presented to the electorate back home…forever!

Despite the anti-Trump headlines, like the Washington Post this morning running with “Trump says his budget will make government ‘lean.’ It’s really a scam” we can understand the president’s frustration.

Consider these points:

  • When the United States broke from England, we didn’t have solid borders. We still don’t.
  • When the country was founded, we paid off our national debt. Poof! Toast!
  • America of old didn’t have a world-class highway system. We still don’t.
  • The U.S.A. didn’t have best-of-class internet access for all. (We’ll skip the part about computers not being invented yet, lol). We still don’t.
  • The U.S.A. had an extremely low crime rate. We’ve blown that one, too.
  • How about education? No, not doing so well there, either. Not only are student loan debts screwing over Millennials so they can’t form new families, but to make matters worse, the government is actually making money on student loan debts.
  • Well, then, how is that Johnson-era Great Society program doing? We’ve thrown $16-trillion down that hole since 1964. Near as I can tell, we still have a welfare system that breaks up families and sends male heads of households packing so the family can qualify and the kids can eat….
  • There is also the matter of Money. When America was founded, Congress was the sole monetary authority. Blew that one out in 1913. A banker’s cabal has been running things ever since.
  • And what about Innovation? Back in the 1960’s it was the government was leading the way to the Moon. Nope, blown another one: This morning that SpaceX was planning a flight around the Moon in 2018 – a totally private affair. WTF? Why doesn’t the Greatest Country on Earth have a base there waiting for ‘em? Unless we’re not really the…..oh skip it.

Frankly, if I were a developer, rather than a cynical old fart living in the Outback of East Texas, I would be frustrated as hell.

The GOP already cobbled up a healthcare plan and presented to then-president Obama knowing full-well that it would be vetoed. Where is it?

If that plan was worth a crap, the GOP would have dusted it off, passed it in the first week of the Trump administration. Trump would have signed. By now they’d be monitoring and watching so that “tuning legislation” could be shoved through instantly.

Bupkis. Ain’t hap’nin brothers and sisters. Because both political parties in Washington D.C. don’t give a bloody (f-bomb) about actually fixing shit. All they care about is a) their staff can opt out of Obamacare, they get to fly all over hell’s half-acre first class, and Congress follows Paul Ryan around with him supporting the invasion and failing to take on Obama on critical budget points.

To me, Ryan has the markings of at worst a traitor or at best a skunk.

Ryan, who has lost touch with the Great American Middle, is headed for a clash with Trump over ideology, the way the NY Times figures it.

But I think they have it wrong (again): This ain’t about “ideology” – it’s about getting shit done.

That’s what the damn “Fools on the Hill” can’t seem to grok. Their jobs haven’t been done for years. No, make that DECADES.

They would have been put on probation and been out the door years ago if given an honest job review by a heads-up impartial H.R. department at any top-notch company.

Since the two parties are effectively colluding to commit fraud on voters, we are not even interested in how the radicals of the left plan to “troll” the Trump speech today.

Bet me the Clinton News Network and others will give far more than equal time to Trump critics – even though under the old “equal time rules” there’d be no requirement for anyone to mouth-off afterwards. Trump’s an officeholder now, not a seeker.

So fellow citizen, Ure’s eyeing the ViseGrips again. ‘Bout to give myself a big-old pinch on the forearm. Because this clown posse in Washington has already provided a wide range of “pains in the ass” that need to be counter-balanced.

Next time an incumbent asks for your vote don’t ask ‘em “What phony-ass promise are you peddling to the stupid people this time around?

Instead, ask the question that kept Hillary from becoming president: “Name 10-things you got done that were good for America.”

When incumbents wave patriotic flags around and talk about our shared future, ask instead “What did you get done?” Voting to piss away more money is not “GETTING IT DONE.”

New Yorkers can see president Trump’s accomplishments littering their skyline.

They could also see the demise of America littering the Federal Budget Deficit, if they’d consider the rest of the country for a change.

Ah, but why bother. Thanks to the liberal education establishment, Americans can’t ask hard questions – since when they do, they’ll swallow any bullshit answer offered and say “Yum! This tastes great! Can I have seconds?”

FMTT.

Sick ‘em Don-O.

[I will take a 1-minute blood pressure reduction break here…]

Housing Data

Picture first…”The following chart shows the index levels for the U.S. National, 10-City and 20-City Composite Indices. As of December 2016, average home prices for the MSAs within the 10-City and 20-City Composites are back to their winter 2007 levels….”

image

Now the details…

“NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 28, 2017 – S&P Dow Jones Indices today released the latest results for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices. Data released today for December 2016 shows that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. More than 27 years of history for these data series is available, and can be accessed in full by going to www.homeprice.spdji.com.

YEAR-OVER-YEAR 
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 5.8% annual gain in December, up from 5.6% last month and setting a 30-month high. The 10-City Composite posted a 4.9% annual increase, up from 4.4% the previous month. The 20-City Composite reported a year-over-year gain of 5.6%, up from 5.2% in November. 

Seattle, Portland, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities over the 11 months leading up to December. Seattle led the way with a 10.8% year-over-year price increase in December, followed by Portland with 10.0%, and Denver with an 8.9% increase. Twelve cities reported greater price increases in the year ending December 2016 versus the year ending November 2016.

Gross Domestic Product

Picture time:

imageAlways fun to compare this to the National Debt. From the Bureau of Economic Analysis:

“Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 (table 1), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.5 percent. The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 1.9 percent.

With the second estimate for the fourth quarter, the general picture of economic growth remains the same; the increase in personal consumption expenditures was larger and increases in state and local government spending and in nonresidential fixed investment were smaller than previously estimated.”

These are typically laden with “percent this” and “percent that” gobbledygook. The one number that matters is present run rate. That is:

$18.8855 TRILLION Q4, $18.5656 for all 2016.

Compare that to the National Debt:

$19.930147 TRILLION.

Take a chill pill. It’ll all be over too soon, anyway, at this rate.

International Trade Plus…

This one comes from the Census Bureau:

Advance International Trade in Goods The international trade deficit was $69.2 billion in January, up $4.9 billion from $64.4 billion in December. 

Exports of goods for January were $126.2 billion, $0.4 billion less than December exports.

Imports of goods for January were $195.4 billion, $4.4 billion more than December imports. 

Advance Wholesale Inventories Wholesale inventories for January, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $599.9 billion, down 0.1 percent (±0.2 percent)* from December 2016, and were up 2.2 percent (±0.7 percent) from January 2016.  The November 2016 to December 2016 percentage change was revised from up 1.0 percent (±0.4 percent) to up 0.9 percent (±0.4 percent). 

Advance Retail Inventories Retail inventories for January, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $613.4 billion, up 0.8 percent (±0.2 percent) from December 2016, and were up 4.0 percent (±0.5 percent) from January 2016.  The November 2016 to December 2016 percentage change was revised from up 0.1 percent (±0.2 percent)* to virtually unchanged (±0.2 percent)*.

Note the 4% YoY Inventory build…mean softness to you?

Later this morning, the Chicago PMI and the Consider CONfidence numbers.

For now, the Dow futures point to a fractionally lower opening.

Tomorrow we get Personal Income and Fairytale numbers, but that’ll be only for our www.peoplenomics.com subscribers.

Also: Thursday don’t forget our Coping section will feature another chapter of our ebook “The Millenials Missing Manual…”

I have to go wrestle the ViseGrips off now.

Topology of Market Mindsets Ahead of Fed Meetings
Coping: Mastering Your “Do Ratios”