Driving the Day: 4/13/12

Apr 13, 2012

Need to know…

  • Krauthammer Does the Math on Buffet Rule. In his column today, Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post writes: “Let’s do the math.  The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates this new tax would yield between $4 billion and $5 billion a year. If we collect the Buffett tax for the next 250 years — a span longer than the life of this republic — it would not cover the Obama deficit for 2011 alone.”
  • U.S. Trade Deficit Fell in February. The U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest point in four months to $46 billion, down from $52.5 billion in January. According to the Commerce Department, exports edged up 0.1% to a record $181.2 billion as U.S. businesses sold more goods in Europe, China, and other parts of the world. "February's U.S. trade data are better than expected and suggest that net trade wasn't as large a drag on growth in the first quarter as previously looked likely," said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.
  • Unemployment Claims Rise to Two-Month High. Reinforcing concern among Federal Reserve policy makers that the labor market recovery will be slow to develop, more Americans than forecast filed applications for jobless benefits last week. Unemployment claims increased to 380,000 in the week ending April 7, the highest it’s been since the end of January. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for 355,000 claims.
  • Visa Fee Hikes Depress Job Creation for the U.S. The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal writes, “Protectionists always argue they’re protecting domestic jobs. In reality, they’re killing jobs for everyone. ... India said this week it will file a complaint at the WTO against a 2010 U.S. law that, in a thinly veiled form of protectionism, hiked visa fees for foreign skilled workers in the U.S.”  The Journal concludes that “Keeping talented Indians out of the U.S. will only slow down all hiring in America, and encourage companies—not just Infosys—to consolidate back-office operations outside the U.S.”

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