Posts by Rick Newman

  • Trump might be coming for your weed

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 1 day ago

    Donald Trump says he has never smoked pot — and apparently he’s not a fan of people who do.

    Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, suggested on Thursday that the Trump administration could crack down on the 8 states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Spicer said the Justice Dept. would be “further looking into” the question of whether to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws more aggressively, and went on to say, “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it.”

    That would be an abrupt change from the federal policies of the last several years, and a big setback for the burgeoning legal marijuana industry. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which means federal law prohibits its use. But after Colorado and Washington declared recreational pot legal in 2012, President Obama famously said, “we’ve got bigger fish to fry,” indicating that his administration would look the other way instead of enforcing the federal law, which preempts state law.

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  • 5 Trump myths about illegal immigration

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 1 day ago

    The deportation force is being mustered.

    President Donald Trump is making good on his campaign promise to round up and deport undocumented immigrants more aggressively than prior presidents. He recently told business leaders at the White House that a “military operation” is underway to roust people who are in the country illegally, and John Kelly, the Director of Homeland Security, recently outlined plans to hire 15,000 new immigration agents to help with the work. That will take time—and require Congressional funding—but the Trump administration already seems to be ramping up enforcement of existing immigration laws.

    [Related: Trump wants to block immigrant workers companies need.]

  • Trump's plan to declare victory on the economy

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    The alternative-fact alerts are blaring.

    President Donald Trump is reportedly preparing forecasts for economic growth that considerably exceed those published by most mainstream economists. So what, you may say. It’s just a forecast. There’s no harm in being more optimistic than the rest.

    But fudging the numbers can cause plenty of harm. Trump, as becomes more apparent every day, creates his own data when the facts don’t suit him. (See: greatest electoral victory since Reagan, widespread voter fraud, highest murder rate in 45 years, unreported terrorist attacks, etc.) And economic policy is highly dependent on the best possible understanding of what’s going on. Bogus economic data can be used to justify new policies that might appeal to Trump personally—and appease his populist supporters—while failing to address real economic problems and even damaging the economy.

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  • Two dudes test drive: The Honda CR-V

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 7 days ago

    Here’s a head-turner for those who follow automotive trends: Kelley Blue Book just published its annual list of the 10 best family vehicles, and for the first time not a single sedan made the cut.

    The staid old family sedan has been losing ground to crossovers, for good reason. These mini SUVs are more practical, with a rear tailgate instead of a trunk, for bulky items and awkward piles of gear. They’re a bit taller, offering a more commanding view of the road. Mandatory electronic stability control makes them safer than the rollover-prone SUVs of yore. And perhaps above all, they’re cooler, conveying the go-anywhere mindset of an adventurer, even if they never depart from pavement.

    Rick Newman is the author of four books, including  Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success . Follow him on Twitter:  @rickjnewman

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    5 hot cars for 2017 (and a couple disappointments)

  • Alternative energy doesn’t need help from President Trump

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 7 days ago

    When President Barack Obama took office in 2009, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power relied on tax credits and other government subsidies to get traction in the marketplace. These days, however, alternatives to carbon energy are becoming cost-effective on their own, without government aid.

    “It’s a very attractive dynamic for businesses trying to isolate themselves from the cost variability of a carbon-based energy complex,” alternative-energy investor Matthew Weatherley-White, managing director of the investment firm Caprock Group, tells Yahoo Finance in the video above. Alternative energy, he says, is “here to stay”—with or without subsidies from the new Trump administration.

    But the costs of wind- and solar-energy production have been falling as well, similar to the way electronic components get smaller, cheaper and more capable over time. In areas where sun and wind are plentiful and electrical grids are modernized, energy from non-carbon sources can be cheaper than that produced by burning coal or gas.

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  • Let's give Trump credit for this

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 8 days ago

    President Trump left official Washington flabbergasted with his latest press conference, a rambling sparring match with reporters that was the political equivalent of a professional wrestling smackdown.

    Trump mostly fulminated on leaks that have undermined his Cabinet nominees and other aides. But Trump made a passing reference to one important economic issue—jobs—while taking credit for jawboning a handful of companies to invest more in the United States.

    There’s some debate about that. The automakers, to some extent, repackaged prior news to make it seem like they were making new investments in US plants that probably would have happened anyway. Intel and Walmart may or may not have ramped up US hiring without Trump.

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    Trump wants to block immigrant workers companies need

  • Trump wants to block immigrant workers companies need

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 8 days ago

    Immigrants are an underappreciated force in the US economy: They help boost economic growth, even though many Americans think they steal jobs and sap economic vitality.

    President Trump wants to reduce immigration to the United States, starting with his attempted ban on immigrants from 7 predominantly Muslim countries—Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia. That ban has been temporarily blocked, as courts debate whether it’s legal. But Trump says a revised immigration order is coming soon–and reduced immigration is one part of Trump’s agenda economists worry about. “We already see a fairly subdued outlook for the pace of measured potential growth,” Goldman Sachs said in a recent note to clients. “Immigration restrictions could reduce the economy’s ‘speed limit’ still further.”

    Overall, workers from the Targeted 7 hold more bachelor’s and advanced degrees than US workers as a whole, as this chart shows:

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  • Trump now owns Obamacare

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 9 days ago

    President Trump seems gleeful every time the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, encounters some new difficulty. But these are now becoming Trump’s problems, not his predecessor’s, and he’s likely to get most of the blame if some 20 million Americans who get health coverage under the ACA suffer from the program’s demise.

    Health insurer Humana (HUM) recently said it would pull out of the ACA in 2018, a development Trump reveled in. Here’s the tweet:

    Obamacare continues to fail. Humana to pull out in 2018. Will repeal, replace & save healthcare for ALL Americans.

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2017

    Uncertainty for insurers

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    A better way to spend Trump’s border wall money

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  • A better way to spend Trump's border wall money

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 11 days ago

    When he officially announced his plan to build a wall on the southwest border in late January, President Trump read the names of five parents in attendance whose children had been killed by people in the United States illegally. The border wall, Trump said, would “save thousands of lives.”

    The wall Trump wants to build to cut down on such crimes will cost at least $21.6 billion, according to government estimates obtained by Reuters. Trump insists Mexico will pay for the wall, but any taxes imposed on Mexico are likely to be borne mostly by American companies and consumers. So here’s the question: If Trump spends $22 billion on his wall, will American taxpayers get a good return on their money?

    So it’s reasonable to ask if there might be better ways to spend $22 billion. And if the goal is to save and protect American lives, the answer is possibly yes.

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  • Why Trump deserves extreme vetting—from the press

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance 15 days ago

    With President Trump now in the White House, I’ve written several pieces criticizing his economic plan, predicting key proposals such as a huge infrastructure plan may never materialize, and asking skeptically when Trump will get around to helping the “forgotten men and women” he championed while campaigning.

    Many Trump supporters have attacked those articles, deriding me as a liberal hack criticizing their man in Washington prematurely, for purely ideological reasons. “Did you really expect immediate progress, especially with the pouting Democrats not yet over the election?” one reader emailed. “Your article is the exact reason there is so much hysteria in today’s America. Too many ignorant ‘journalists’ writing BS articles.”

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