DON JONES INDEX…

 

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

  1/22/21… 13,839.03                                    11/15/21… 13,839.52                                   

  6/27/13… 15,000.00

 

                   DOW JONES INDEX:  1/22/21…31,176.01; 1/15/21…31,097.97; 6/27/13…15,000.00)

 

 

LESSON for January 22, 2021 – “JOE HAS a PLAN!”

 

 

Wednesday, January 20th.  11:48 AM, twelve minutes early… perhaps to confuse and confound a still-scheming incumbent hoping for a last-second reversal of fortune… grim men and a few women descend the steps of the Capitol where the essence (if not actual) stains of the bloody carnage of two weeks and four years ago still reposes…

The President-elect places his hand on the family Bible… a big, heavy Bible… the grimmest of all looks left and looks right as if checking to see whether angels of malice or angels of promise hover nearby.

Then, sworn in by Chief Justice Roberts (upon whose goodwill the tenor of his Administration will be tested), Joseph Robinette Biden Junior, 46th President of the United States, declares: “This is democracy’s day.”

His inaugural address… for all of its clichés and hyperbole… seemed less about the personal than the perennial: the democracy snatched back out of the claws of a failed dictator, a grim shadow, a Voldemort, Pennywhistle, Candyman – never mentioned by name.  And by a deadly disease, and by divisions as have cast Don Jones and all the Joneses of America downwards into “a dark winter.”

It was as if, by electing the ordinary Joe (who, after all, had been an other-than-ordinary three time candidate, Senator and Vice-President) America was really being polled on democracy or dictatorship… with, as 46 sealed the deal by intoning “so help me, God”, the former prevailing, at least for the moment.  The celebration, such as it was, was muted; the hallelujahs in a minor key.  The usual throng of humanity as gathers when American regimes change… whether for eventual good or ill… was missing, replaced by a platoon of flapping flags, pageantry as would have gratified Biden’s predecessor.  But there it was – for what it was worth.

“Will we rise to the occasion, is the question,” 46 asked and, for the next twelve minutes, addressed the flapping flags and the virtual Americans with Joe-isms like “sacred oath”, “more perfect union”, “hallowed ground”, “my fellow Americans” and “Unity!  Unity!”  If the next thirty six hours were the crux of the question, the answer is a qualified maybe.  Speech done, Bible closed and the principals ensconced in the White House (in perhaps a final fit of pique, the ex-President… conspicuously absent from the swearing-in as, in their hometowns and mancaves, his MAGAmob swore vile but impotent oaths… had locked the door which had to be pried open) Biden sat down at his Big Desk and set to issuing a blizzard of Executive Orders, most of which repealed the EO’s of his predecessor.  Democrats smiled behind their masks.  Republicans nervous about Mister Trump pondered their next move… and the next four years’ worth of moves.

 

More Joe-isms included…

“I now speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days…”

“We can treat each other with dignity and respect…”

“I will be a President for all Americans.  All Americans.”

“Opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honor and, yes, the truth…”

“Folks, this is a time of testing… are we going to step up?...

“… I will always level with you…”

“May God bless America and may God protect our troops…”

 

Perhaps he had the twenty thousand plus National Guardsmen, DC and Capitol police mobilized to defend Washington from another Trumtastic insurrection.  The watched and they waited, they protected and patrolled, but the mob never showed up.  The end of the day brought three… one, two, three!... arrests.  As for the much-feared IEDs and drones, paper bags blew, unmolested, through the empty streets and not even a pigeon disturbed Joe and Kamala’s Inauguration.

 

Post-storming, the mop-up progressed apace.  U.S. authorities leveled the first conspiracy charge against the alleged mastermind of an extremist group in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, arresting an alleged Oath Keeper who stands accused of plotting to disrupt the counting of electoral votes confirming Biden’s victory and proposing further assaults on state capitols.

Thomas Edward Caldwell, 66, of Clarke County, Va., was taken into custody before 7 a.m. on four federal counts, including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States in the attack on the Capitol. The conspiracy charge is reserved for offenses interfering with or obstructing the lawful operation of government.

The alleged master mastermind, on the other hand, quietly summoned moving trucks to convey his possessions (and a few souvenirs as some accounted stolen) out of the White House and down south to a warmer climate while the President took to the sky on the wings of an eagle, or buzzard, and flapped off into history.

 “Former president Trump did not declare martial law in his final minutes in office, nor reveal a secret plan to remain in power forever,” chided NPR’s Camila Domonoske (inaccurately as it turned out – see next weeks Lesson).  “President Biden and Nancy Pelosi were not sent to Guantanmo Bay. The military did not rise up and arrest Democratic leaders en masse.

“Instead, Biden took the oath of office and became the 46th president on Wednesday.”

For some supporters of QAnon this was an earth-shattering turn of events. Or rather, non-events – much to the distress of the two women thought to be the spawn of QAnonLauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who remain sitting members of Congress.  (See Attachments Four, A through D)

Selfies and videos taken by the Resistance and shared on social media did show how close Trump’s legions came to killing a lot of politicians (if not overturning the election)… some of the mob chanting “Hang Pence!  Hang Pence” passed within 100 feet of trusted ally turned traitorous turncoat Vice President Mike Pence, who was hiding with his family in an office near the Senate chamber.  See this.  There were accusations of Congressional collaboration with the mob… as a few MAGAstalwarts looked through documents on the Senate floor, one, referring to Senator Ted Cruz, said: “I think Cruz would want us to do this, so I think we’re good,”… and Attorney General BilBarr the Barbarian (who skedaddled out of the administration before the President hit the fan, leaving an actor in charge to play the patsy) was interviewed by Britain’s ITV News 

“I think that that was the thing that precipitated the riots on the Hill,” Barr told editor Rohit Kachroo. “Now, I think it’s always important to remember that most people are exercising their First Amendment rights. But there was a substantial group, obviously, that went far beyond that and broke into the Capitol and tried to interfere with the proceedings. And that’s unacceptable.”

Barr condemned the violence as “despicable” but added that he was “not surprised, in a way, to see the kind of violence” that took place on the day a joint session of Congress convened to tally the electoral votes.

He also noted that he was not a member of the Trump administration when the riot took place. “I was not attorney general.  I had already left office when that occurred,” Barr said of the riots.

(“Please don’t indict me, Merrick!” he might have added.  “You know what happens to Attorneys General in prison!”)

 

(W)hen American democracy is under siege, an inauguration can have a very different feel,” opined David Leonhardt in the New York Times. “That was true in 1945, when the U.S. was fighting fascism in World War II, and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fourth inauguration was a spartan affair. It was true in 1861, when the country was on the verge of war and Abraham Lincoln was the target of an assassination plot. It was true again four years later, when smallpox was raging and the Civil War was nearing its end.”  He might also have mentioned the Spanish Flu and post World War One isolation of 1921, the War of 1812 as saw the White House and Capitol set afire and, as some of the TV historians noted, the bitter electoral debacle of 1800 when the loser, Aaron Burr, shot an opposition leader – not Thomas Jefferson but, inciting a tradition and a musical, Alexander Hamilton

On Inauguration Day in 1861, for example, cavalry members flanked Lincoln’s procession, soldiers blocked streets and roof-mounted snipers eyed the crowd. The first sentence on the front page of the next day’s New York Times: “The day to which all have looked with so much anxiety and interest has come and passed. ABRAHAM LINCOLN has been inaugurated, and ‘all’s well.’”

But four years later, it was not.  Leonhardt describes “a grim wartime city for Lincoln’s second inauguration, having endured waves of smallpox and torrential recent rains. The crowd that day stood in mud “almost knee deep.” 

Times account — by the poet Walt Whitman — noted that, as the president spoke, “a curious little white cloud, the only one in that part of the sky, appeared like a hovering bird, right over him.”

 

The actor John Wilkes Booth, soon to become Lincoln’s assassin, was in the crowd that day.

There were a few more casualties not reported among the dead, the injured and jailed.  House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving lost his job after balking when the chief of the Capitol Police suggested activating the National Guard two days before the Jan. 6 event, as he later told a friend.

“There’s a reality there — the leaders of the House and the Senate don’t want the military up there. They don’t want to show they can’t control their own turf,” said Chief Bill Pickle, who served as the Senate sergeant-at-arms from 2003 to 2007 and spoke to The Washington Post at Irving’s request.

Subsequently, hero officer Eugene Goodman was promoted to “acting deputy” Sgt. at Arms in Irving’s stead.  (And in his inaugural address, President Joe called for peace between Americans… rural and “Irving” – he self-corrected to “urban” – but there was no media mention of whether or not the celebratory post-inaugural lunch included Pickle.)

Long before Wednesday’s inauguration, President-elect Joe Biden had floated a $1.9 trillion emergency relief plan a week ago that, stated Erica Werner and Jeff Stein of the Washington Post, “will serve as an early test of his ability to steer the nation out of a pandemic disaster and rapidly deteriorating economy — and his promise to unite a divided Congress.”  His new Press secretary Jen Psaki and other top Biden officials “had told reporters on the eve of his inauguration that the first-day actions are only part of what will be a series of moves to undo Trump policies and implement Biden's campaign promises in his first weeks in office.”  (CNN)

With the strains of Lady Gaga and Garth Brooks fading into the aether (and in Brooks’ case, the lair of trolls that remains our “social” media), the 46th President said: "There's no time to start like today," as he began signing a stack of Executive Orders and memoranda. "I'm going to start by keeping the promises I made to the American people."

And then, with the stroke of a pen, many strokes as CNN reported, Biden halted funding for the construction of Trump's border wall, reversed his travel ban targeting largely Muslim countries and embraced progressive policies on the environment and diversity that Trump spent four years blocking.

Biden also reversed several of Trump's attempts to withdraw from international agreements, beginning the process of rejoining the Paris climate accord and halting the United States' departure from the World Health Organization – to which Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, will lead the US delegation.

Joe’s first actions also included a mask mandate on federal property, a break in approach to dealing with the pandemic from Trump, who repeatedly downplayed the virus. Biden also installed a coronavirus response coordinator to oversee the White House's efforts to distribute vaccines and medical supplies and, perhaps cleverly labeled the American Rescue Plan (as if after his rescue dog Major or, alternately and, probably targeting different constituencies, the Corona Relief Package), a $190 T package of  pork (so say Repubs) that would also, said Jeff Zients, the incoming White House coordinator for the coronavirus response questioned by NPR, reverse "America's withdrawal from the international arena, (which) has impeded progress on the global response and left us more vulnerable to future pandemics."

According to the WashPost’s Seung Min Kim, the President-elect plans to issue more administrative actions relating to the coronavirus today, and economic relief tomorrow.  A “Buy American” action will emerge Monday, and an order addressing racial equity issues will follow Tuesday.

Biden will announce actions on climate change next Wednesday, health care Jan. 28, immigration Jan. 29, and international affairs and national security Feb. 1.

All in all, CNN reported that President Biden took 17 executive actions on Day One; nine of which directly reverse policies imposed by former President Donald Trump.  (See Attachment Two)

 

The crown prince of the lot… Biden’s “Stim Three” proposal… is divided into three major areas: $400 billion for provisions to fight the crown plague with more vaccines and testing, while reopening schools; more than $1 trillion in direct relief to families, including through stimulus payments and increased unemployment insurance benefits; and $440 billion for aid to communities and businesses, including $350 billion in emergency funding to state, local and tribal governments.  (See more here.)

The proposal will aim to make good on Biden’s plan for a universal vaccination program, devoting $20 billion to that goal, as well as $50 billion for a “massive expansion” of testing and $130 billion to help schools reopen safely. Among the many goals laid out in the proposal, Biden hopes to deliver 100 million vaccine shots in 100 days, and reopen a majority of K-12 public schools in that time frame.

He will invoke the Defense Production Act to hasten the manufacture of vaccines and personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, but not to produce more of the critical N95 masks for the general public… a cruel and shocking oversight.  Given that forty percent of those who did not vote for Joe are going maskless to document their protest of the election and the contemptuous parent-ish scolding that the virtuous people continue to inflict upon them, knowing only that the paper or cloth masks available may prevent transmission of the coronavirus, but not protection from the plague, widespread availability of affordable N95s (other than through online scam sites) would convince perhaps half of them to mask up, further reducing transmission and boosting the floor for herd immunity up to the 80% suggested by Dr. Fauci, among others.

(As for the remaining 20% of MAGA diehards, nature will take its course – especially as the U.K. now asserts that its plague variant is not only more communicable, but more deadly.)

There was little immediate reaction to Joe’s EO’s from congressional Republicans. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) was one of the few to issue an immediate response, telling Erica Werner and Jeff Stein of the WashPost that Biden’s proposal “does nothing to save Main Street businesses, get people back to work or strengthen our economy.“

”Special interests and liberals are cheering,” he stated. “The jobless and Main Street are left shaking their heads.”

The $130 billion in K-12 funding in the proposal is aimed at paying expenses associated with mitigating the spread of virus inside schools, such as improving ventilation systems. Although Biden has said he wants to open a majority of schools, there is no federal tally of how many are open to date, and some research suggests a majority of them may be offering in-person options already.

Biden is aiming to get GOP support for Stim Three, although at nearly $2 trillion the price tag is likely to be too high for many Republicans to swallow. But, claim Stein and Werner, “…after campaigning as a bipartisan dealmaker, Biden wants to at least give Republicans the opportunity to get behind his first legislative effort as president.”

 

With the Senate deadlocked and dependant on a Vice Presidential tiebreaker and even the House only narrowly theirs, holding enough Democrats together to pass legislation along party lines could prove a challenge. The most conservative Senate Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), has already expressed skepticism about the need for a new round of stimulus checks, while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that Biden isn’t going far enough by proposing $1,400 checks, even though Biden’s approach means most people will end up with $2,000 given the earlier batch of $600 checks. “$2,000 means $2,000. $2,000 does not mean $1,400,″ Ocasio-Cortez said.

Aside from overturning Trump’s more noxious Executive Orders and… of course… the plague, Joe’s (hopefully not merely aspirational) aspiration for the short term is to get his cabinet and key administrative posts… to which, most already have nominees… passed by the Senate.  (See Attachment Five)

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has already blocked the Senate from giving Biden’s choice for homeland security secretary a quick confirmation, forcing him to go through the full committee vetting process, because of Hawley’s objections to Biden’s immigration policies.  Democrats (and nervous Joneses) want Alejandro N. Mayorkas in place quickly because of the importance of the post.

Hawley — who joined Ted Cruz (R-Tx) in the effort to challenge the electoral college results earlier this month before a mob attacked the Capitol — said he held up Mayorkas’s nomination because he opposed Biden’s proposal to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws.  A more moderate voice, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, also detailed criticism of Mayorkas’s management style and joining other Republicans in voting against Mayorkas’s nomination for deputy homeland security secretary in 2013 and citing a 2015 inspector general report that found that Mayorkas had improperly intervened in a visa program at the behest of well-connected Democrats when he ran the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services while Mitt Romney questioned his cybersecurity credentials and pressed the nominee on the tidal wave of Hondurans fleeing a corrupt and brutal dictatorship of narcopresident Juan Orlando Hernandez. 

The nominee, for his part, was asked by the vetting panel whether he thought the U.S.-Mexico border needed more barriers, and told Senators border enforcement is “not a monolithic challenge,” quoting the late Sen. John McCain, whom he called “an American hero.” 

“The border is varied,” he said, and enforcement should be determined by “geography, the venue and conduct of individuals around it.”  So scat, you undocumented, monolith-erecting aliens – be you Hondurans or E.T.s.

 

Another problematical (but ultimately easier) confirmation was that of Lloyd T. Austin, a retired black General who commanded American forces in Iraq and had worked closely with Biden in the past during Obama’s presidency.

Austin, CNN reported, needed a congressional waiver to be confirmed for this civilian post because the National Security Act of 1947 requires seven years of retirement from active duty before taking on civilian employment, and he retired from active-duty service only four years ago. He has worked closely with Biden in the past.  Thursday’s 326-78 vote granted a waiver that would exempt Austin from the seven-year rule. All signs pointed to quick action in the Senate after that, putting Austin on track to be confirmed by the Senate today, duly accomplished 93-2  (KTLA – Los Angeles)  

Among the other key occupants and residents of high office…

Antony Blinken, nominated for Secretary of State, is already being greased through the Senate, although procedural matters will delay confirmation until next week. 

The incoming Biden administration will tap Monty Wilkinson, a Justice Department human resources official, to lead the department on an acting basis before Merrick Garland’s confirmation, as officials zero in on other temporary leaders, people familiar with the matter said.  The pick reflects the administration’s desire to install an apolitical stopgap while its slate of Justice Department nominees are confirmed. The Biden administration also plans to install John Carlin, the former head of the Justice Department’s national security division, as the principal associate deputy attorney general — a key top management post advising the No. 2 official, the familiar people said.  And it plans to install Matt Klapper, who most recently served as the chief of staff for Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), as Garland’s chief of staff, the people also said, speaking to the media on a condition of anonymity to describe private deliberations.

And then there is Intelligence Czarina Avril Haines… “liberal activists have voiced opposition to Haines, alleging that she has “covered up” the intelligence community’s record on torture,” the WashPost noted.  One of five potential cabineteers who faced a pre-Inaugural Senate confirmation panel, Haines walked back the cover-up and came out strongly against torture, and, in particular, waterboarding — the most controversial interrogation tactic used against foreign terrorism suspects detained during the George W. Bush administration.

“I believe that waterboarding is, in fact, torture — constitutes torture under the law,” said Haines, a lawyer and deputy CIA director during the Obama administration. “And all those techniques that use cruel and inhuman treatment are unlawful.”

She gave a more “measured answer” to Incoming Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) inquiry as to whether China, under Communist Party rule, was an adversary of the United States. “China is adversarial and an adversary on some issues,” she said, “and on other issues, we try to cooperate with them.”

More on the players, the nayers and stayers and maybe even Tom Steyer (the liberal megadonor shortlisted for Commerce but now presumably cast aside in favor of Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo!) in next week’s DJI!

 

Stage left, Congressional liberals may push the President past his bending, if not breaking, point with a sparkling new agenda of their own - announced Tuesday that the first legislation they plan to push will be a sweeping package of ethics, voting and campaign finance reforms dubbed the “For the People Act.”  

Further complicating the transition, there is Impeachment Two… which Speaker Pelosi (her podium restored, her laptop saved from an unscheduled mission to Moscow) has hinted that she will pursue as early as Monday morning.

Her cohort in the Senate – newly coronated Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) – has told the WashPost that there should be a vote on barring President Trump from holding public office. The day before inauguration, he vowed to press forward with an impeachment of Djonald after he leaves office with the aim of barring him from seeking the presidency again.

Stating that “his demagoguery whipped (the mob) into a frenzy,” he demanded a precedent “that the severest offense ever committed by a president will be met by the severest remedy provided by the Constitution: impeachment and conviction by this chamber as well as disbarment from future office,” Schumer said. 

“President Trump is a threat to our constitutional order, whether he is in or out of office,” the minority leader warned.

Biden, for his part, has expressed the hope that the Senate can simultaneously move forward on his agenda while weighing impeachment, although, the WashPost admitted, “it’s unclear how well that might work in practice.”  Some of the longer term items of said agenda include…

·         Providing health insurance coverage for 97% of Americans in 10 years.

·         Raising an additional $4 trillion in tax revenue by increasing top tax rate to 39.6%, taxing capital gains at ordinary rates and raising the corporate tax rate to 28%.

·         Forgiving student loan debt and make college free for those making up to $125,000.

·         Raising minimum wage to $15 an hour and repeal "right to work" laws.

Biden alluded only in passing to the political challenges his proposal will confront, remarking of his proposal to raise the minimum wage: “People tell me that’s going to be hard to do,” he said, but noted that it just happened in Florida where statewide living costs are somewhat less than some, but more than others.

·         Expanding "Buy American" policies through government purchasing, while using subsidies, federal matching, and incentives to make American products more competitive.

·         Investing $1.3 trillion in infrastructure over 10 years.

·         Spending $2 trillion on clean energy during first term as president.

 

Two days into the Biden Administration, Joe and his Presidential Pen remained busy signing documents, most of which overturned policies precious to Team Trump.  While most MAGAmen ended the week angry and confused, most liberals merely relieved, there were a few unchallenged winners going into Week One of Year One of the 46th President’s reign.

Youth poet Amanda Gorman, who wowed the inaugural crowd… er, flags… with her recitation of  The Hill We Climb” (See Attachment Fourteen).

Officer Eugene Goodman, whose quick thinking in luring a large group of rabid hyenas away from the Senate chamber was  recognized at the inauguration, granted the privilege of escorting Vice President Harris to the gallows… uh, rather to the Inaugural Podium… and has been promoted to acting Deputy Sergeant at Arms.

An unknown gambler in Maryland who captured the lesser of the two bloated Lotto jackpots… a mere 750 million as opposed to the billion plus Mega (not Maga) Millions wager.

The inability of the Viking King (aka Q-Anon Shaman, aka Jacob Angeli, aka Jacob Anthony Chansle, aka Organic-only Otto… “human infant flesh is not organic!”… aka Butt on the Veep’s Deskman), the Confederate Flagman, the Feet on the Speaker’s Deskman, Camp Auschwitzman, Laptop-to-Russia Woman and the myriad of militia myrmidons from old hands like the Proud Boys and Boogaloo Boys to new faces like Cowboys for Trump to overthrow the government reminds us, once again, of the ubiquitous Per Ubu (who at least managed to become King of Poland for awhile – see below).

And the querulous quacks of QAnon?  Now that Trump has left office, some of its supporters are baffled — “or even giving up!” alleges NPR.

New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose tweeted out screenshots from groups on Telegram — a popular messaging service for QAnon supporters — on Wednesday, after the transfer of power was officially complete. "Been played like fools," one wrote.

Roose noted that one particularly prominent QAnon figure publicly announced that supporters need to "go back to our lives as best we are able," rather than continue trying to overthrow Biden's presidency.

Will Sommer, who tracks conservative media and is working on a book about QAnon, wrote in the Daily Beast that even late on Wednesday morning, QAnon groups were still hopeful that the mass arrests would materialize. But after noon, "the mood changed quickly," Sommer wrote, with supporters saying they felt fooled by Trump and felt sick.

Feeling fooled may not lead to a return to normalcy. One researcher told NBC News that frustrated, disappointed Q followers could be prime targets for radicalization by other extremist groups, like neo-Nazis.

And, of course, not every Q follower is giving up the faith. (An appropriate word — some cited in The Atlantic argue Q is best understood as a religious movement.)   (See Attachment 4 D)

In business news, (Attachments Eight B, C, D), My Pillow chief executive Mike Lindell — an avid Trump backer who has repeatedly pressed debunked claims the 2020 election was rigged — said Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Wayfair and other retailers are dropping his products.  Corporate donors to Team Trump are ditching their one time political paramour and some social butterflies and Demodonors are bemoaning the lack of inaugural pageantry and the cutting off of post-inaugural balls.  And, despite President Trump’s guarantee that replacing him would cause Wall Street to tremble and totter, the deposition and inauguration actually inspired the stock markets onwards to newer and record-er heights.  (Attachment 8 E)

 

And so, with Trumpu Roi presumably headed out the door, down the red carpet and over the sea (in Air Force One, no less) to Mar-A-Lago… the Sea to Lake) let us revisit the closing scene of Alfred Jarry’sUbu Roi” to punctuate the sending off of Djonald Unhors’d with the festivities he so richly deserves and append said small morsels of mayhem to the notable events of the week.

Deposed from the throne of Poland (a term for “nowhere” at the play’s staging in 1896, inasmuch as that unfortunate country was partitioned between Russia and Germany) by his enemies, betrayed by his underlings and by the Russians, Pere and Mere Ubu and his surviving palatins including Pile and Cotice are sailing off in search of new frontiers to conquer…

 

 

JANUARY 15 – JANUARY 21

 Friday, January 15, 2021

     

         Infected: 23,520,561

                 Dead:  387,986

                    Dow:  30,874.26

                  

POTUS-E Joe unveils his Plan (See Attachment One) including one hundred million shot (vaxxed) in his first 100 days, $1,400 stim handouts, mandatory masking and possession of a rescue dog.  (Well, 2 of 3.) 

   Unnamed Congresspersons accused of collaboration – Speaker Pelosi, after getting her podium back, promises swift impeachment action.  FBI announces 140,000 tips leading to 100 arrests (most of whom petition Trump for pardons) and 200 new suspects.  And then they warn of… Baghdadi IUDs on American highways (don’t run over that paper bag!).  Departing MAGAmobs mob airlines, some prohibit alcohol and guns.  Back in DC, Trump turncoating Rep. Peter Meijer  (R-Mi) shows off his new bulletproof vest while the ubiquitous Adam Kinzinger (R-Il) shows off his death threats – though experts say the most dangerous assassins are those who strike without warning.

   Giant testing sites like Dodger Stadium converted to dodgy vaccine sites (like Giants’ stadium) as online trolls post fake vax availability notices and states with max vax supplies (like Florida) outlaw “vaccine tourism”.  Octogenarians still wait overnight in the cold only to get told to go away in the morning.

Act the last, Scene the last: The bridge of a ship sailing close to the wind on the Baltic, bound for France… or Spain… or Germany… or Sea-by-Lake.  On the bridge, Pére Ubu and all his gang…

Captain:  Oh, what a lovely breeze!

Pére Ubu:  It’s a fact that we’re moving with a rapidity that savours of the marvelous.  We must be doing a million knots an hour, and these knots have this to recommend them, that once done they don’t come undone.  It’s true we have a fair wind.

Pile:  What a sorry imbecile! 

 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

 

        Infected:  23,859,035

                 Dead:  392,128

 

 

Inaugural rehearsals postponed due to rumours.  President Trump likely to leave DC without congratulating Joe or attending inauguration; he will command a 21 gun salute to Himself (perhaps dangerous) and greenlights three executions, which NBC calls a “killing spree”.

  Governors activate what National Guardsmen are left to them, in fear that MAGAmobs dissuaded from DC will attack state capitols, while participants are being fired and sanctioned, even if peaceful.

A squall arrives.  The ship heels over and the spray flies.

Pére Ubu:  Oh!  Ah God!  We’re capsizing!  We’re going all askew, your boat, it’s going to fall over!

 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

 

      Infected:  22,404,481

               Dead:  374,324

                 

 

POTUS-E Joe’s German shepherd “Major” becomes first “indogurated” rescue critter into the White House, succeeding dogless Djonald (who should have gotten one, given his lack of friends).  More Inaug fax: a “We the People” concert (aka Geezerfest, featuring Cher, Barbra Streisand and James Taylor) the Daily Beast called “weird” took play today, a “Celebrate America” bash Wednesday will have some slightly younger talent. 

   States shutting down government buildings and warning Americans to stay home and watch television.  Authorities get busy rounding up alt-right bloggers and radio talk show DJs.  President Trump hides in the White House, raging and… as it turned out, conspiring with an acting, acting, deputy, acting DOJ palatin to overturn the election at the last moment and emerge to be sworn in again.

   Covid death rate said to be “stabilizing” at 1.5% of infectees.  Los Angeles County is first to top one million cases. 

Captain: Everyone to leeward, set the foresail!

Pére Ubu: Oh hell no! don’t go over to the same side.  That’s very unwise.  And supposing the wind changes: we’ll all go down to the bottom of the sea and the fishes will eat us!

 

Monday, January 18, 2021

 

      Infected:  23,951,960

               Dead:  397,600

                  Dow:  31,068.39   

 

It’s Martin Luther King Day.  “The time is always right for us to do the right thing,” he said.  Dr. Fauci says President-Elect Joe’s 100K/100 day promise is the right thing… “absolutely doable.”  President Trump remains reviled for his campaign ads showing King’s portrait over “a fearmongering montage of vandalism, looting and American flags burning” (Hollywood Reporter).

   Authorities are now checking and vetting their troops to weed out suspected MAGAcollaborators.  FBI says rioters stole Congressional papers and Pelosi’s laptop to sell to the Russians… pundit Gayle King asks: “how does (America) protect itself from itself.”  Group dragnets haul in “Cowboys for Trump” while ordinary, nonviolent, nongroup mobsters stammer that they went to the Capitol “because Trump told us to.”  The New Yorker reports one knucklehead saying, when they arrived: “While we’re here, we might as well set up a government.”

   As deaths near 400K, CDC predicts half a million by this time, next month.  TV’s Dr. Jah says two doses much more effective than one… up to 95% effective (which still makes visiting elderly relatives risky).  Seventy-two 2021 Australian Open tennis players get it – quarantines may mean cancellation.

Captain:  Fall off!

Pére Ubu: What do you mean, fall off!  I don’t want to fall off, I want to get there.  I’m in a hurry.  Don’t fall off, do you hear?  It’s all your fault, brute of a Captain, if we don’t get there.  We ought to be there already.  Oh oh! But I’m going to take command!  Ready about!  About ship!  Let go the anchor, go about in stays, wear ship, hoist the sails, haul down the sails, helm up, helm down, helm sideways.  You see, it’s going a treat.  Bring the ship athwart the saves and that’ll be perfect!

(All are convulsed with laughter.  The breeze freshens.)

 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

 

          Infected: 24,246,250

                  Dead:  401,174

                     Dow:  30,930.52  

Frenzied fumigation freshens the White House to purge its viral, flatulent and moral evils.  National Guard vetting results in purging of at least a dozen suspected Trump collaborators.  Some 200,000 American flags replace inauguration spectators.  On his last day in power, Djonald Unhinged invokes Himself.  Pence, unhanged, deserts appearance at Trump farewell speech to join Biden. 

   FBI calls one Thomas Caldwell the 1/6 mastermind, not counting the obvious. (See references to the obvious, above.)  Pelosi laptop thief captured, making America safe from Russians.

   Vax distribution still chaotic and beset by scams.  Costco enlisted to help distribute vaxxes as a third of all new Cal. cases are UK variant.  Multi-Inflammatory Systems (MIS-C) now striking children too – over 200K kids get sick in one week. 

Captain:  Haul down the mainsails, veet the topsail. 

Pére Ubu:  That’s not bad, that’s even good. Do you hear, Monsieur the Crew?  Haul down the main bib and reach for your tonsils.”

(Several die laughing.  A wave is shipped.)

Pére Ubu: Oh – what a deluge!  That’s a result of the maneuvres (sic) we ordered.

Pile and Mere Ubu: What a delicious thing navigation is!

(Second wave shipped.)

Pile (drenched): Beware of Satan and his pumps and vanities!

Pére Ubu: Sire steward, bring us something to drink!

 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

 

         Infected:  24,432,829

                  Dead:  405,400

                     Dow:  31,062.47

It’s Inauguration Day. Joe is sworn in 12 minutes early, Kamala too, then the 3 new Senators. See his Speech (Attachment Twelve); pundits call it “forward looking” and Deborah Norville (Inside Edition) wonders what the late night comedians will do now?  Festivities include Youth Poet Amanda Gorman (Attachment Fourteen), Lady Gaga and Tom Hanks hosting online artists (see above); Joe unveils his Presidential theme song, Laura Brannigan’s Gloria. 

   Terry Moran (ABC) calls the ceremonies “less entertaining, more serious”. Security now says the most dangerous danger will be “drones”.  Rioters said to have wanted to “turn on the gas” on politicians.

   Trump scampers from the White House to the familiar strains of “My Way” and “YMCA” after spending his last hours issuing 73 pardons and 143 clemencies.  (Steve Bannon gets one but Trump chooses not to self-pardon, family-pardon or Rudy-pardon… see Attachment Ten.)  When only 200 cultists show up at Andrews Air Force Base, Ivanka cries.  Then, vowing to form a Patriot Party of his own, Djonald Unfriended waves from Air Force One preparatory to flying south, like a blue footed booby.  (See Attachment Thirteen)  “I go from this majestic place with a loyal and joyful heart, an optimistic spirit, and a supreme confidence that for our country and for our children, the best is yet to come.”

   Melania also voices her farewell to America, adding “Being your first lady was my greatest honor.”

   “What we've done,” replies Djonald UnPresidented, “that's true honey, great job, what we've done has been amazing, by any standard.”  Citing his tax cuts for the rich, his three new SCOTUSoids and, of course, Space Force, he informs America: “We were not a regular administration.

   “I hope they don't raise your taxes. But if they do, I told you so.”

   And the plague, though ignored for the day, soldiers on.

Mere Ubu: Ah, what a delight it will be to see our sweet France again, our old friends and our castle of Mondragon!  (Mar-a-Lago)

Pére Ubu: Mmm, we will soon be there.  We are just below the castle of Elsinore at the moment.

Pile:  I feel quite cheered up at the idea of seeing my dear Spain again.

Cotice:  Yes, and we’ll dazzle our compatriots with tales of our marvelous adventures!

Pére Ubu:  Hm! I should think so.  And I’ll get myself nominated Master of Finances in Paris.

 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

 

         Infected:  23,077,247

                  Dead:  384,764

                     Dow:  30,991.52

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe gets to work issuing Executive Orders, mending fences with foreign agents (like Paris Climate and W.H.O) that Trump terminated, promising 100 million vaxxes in 100 days, ordering mask mandates and DPA speedups, and bargaining with Minority Leader Mitchy to confirm a cabinet temporarily crowded with “actors” (Attachment Five).  New Press Secretary Jen Psaki promises a more open relationship with the media, even the fake newsies, and Biden tells his staff (such as it is) not to disrespect anybody, even Republicans.  Lindsey Graham, however, snarls: “If you want to erase Trump from the Republican party, you will be erased.” (Cue Aaron Burr)

   Plague fighters rejoice – Dr. F calls the new Administration’s support of science “liberating”, Dr. Jah predicts a new normal by summer, but no more big, indoor concerts… never!  Trump holdovers Redfield (CDC) and Jerome Adams (Surgeon General) are thanked for their service and escorted out, back into the private sector.  Vax tourism in Florida now blamed on wealthy foreigners from India and Argentina and Dubai is selling shots for $30,000 (while Mr. Lori Loughlin slowly goes insane in prison).  Amazon says it will compete with Costco in vax marketing. 

   Speaking of which, youth poet Gorman’s books hit #1 and #2 on Amazon and she hits the book circuit, promising to run for President in 2036 and declaring: “Quiet isn’t peace!”

   But a shroud of calm is descending over DC. The Steel Wall around Washington’s hotspots starts coming down, although violent protests continue in Portland and, of course, Seattle… as on the way to another place, Trump, himself, heaps more praises on his administration and promises a triumphant return.   

From a great hall of Muslim leaders in Riyadh,” the Ex-President rambles onwards, “to a great square of Polish people in Warsaw; from the floor of the Korean Assembly to the podium at the United Nations General Assembly; and from the Forbidden City in Beijing to the shadow of Mount Rushmore, I fought for you… I will always fight for you.  I will be watching, I will be listening…” he exhorts, “…We will be back in some form.”

Pére Ubu:  Fierce and inhospitable sea that loves the country called Germania, thus named because all its inhabitants are cousins . German(e).

Mere Ubu:  That’s what I call erudition. They say it’s a very beautiful country.

Pére Ubu: Ah gentlemen!  However beautiful it can never equal Poland.  If there weren’t any Poland, there wouldn’t be any Poles!

 

 

 

The biggest surprise of the Biden inauguration… no surprises!

Don Jones more or less broke even… if a Democrat, he celebrated, if a Republican, he seethed.  As the plague has no politics and kept escalating, the economy… buoyant for a while… began backsliding again, both in terms of the Misery Index (especially last week’s gasoline inflation plus unemployment) as well as a spike in Americansd dropping out of the workforce (which, to be fair, could also be blamed on the end of the holiday spending season).  On the other hand, the stock market… which Mister Trump vowed would collapse under President Joe, soared to new heights.

 

THE DON JONES INDEX

 

 

                CHART of CATEGORIES w/VALUE ADDED to EQUAL BASELINE of 15,000

 

                                (REFLECTING… approximately… DOW JONES INDEX of June 27, 2013)

 

                                                          See a further explanation of categories here                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                 ECONOMIC INDICES (60%)

 

 

DON JONES’ PERSONAL ECONOMIC INDEX (45% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

CATEGORY

VALUE

BASE

 

RESULTS

 

SCORE

SCORE

      OUR SOURCE(S) and COMMENTS

 

  INCOME

(24%)

6/27/13

LAST

CHANGE

NEXT

1/15/21

 1/15/21

                             SOURCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wages (hourly, per capita)

9%

1350 pts.

1/15/21

+0.88%

1/29/21

1,423.50

1,423.50

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages  25.09

 

Median Income (yearly)

4%

600

1/15/21

+0.03%

1/29/21

666.99

667.18

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    35,306

 

Unempl. (BLS – in millions

4%

600

12/1/20

nc

1/29/21

299.34

299.34

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000   6.7% nc

 

Official (DC – in millions)

2%

300

1/15/21

-0.14%

1/29/21

365.96

366.48

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    10,614

 

Total. (DC – in millions)

2%

300

1/15/21

+1.43%

1/29/21

315.54

311.03

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    18,363 629

 

Workforce Participation

Number (in millions)

Percentage (DC)

2%

300

1/15/21

 

-0.05%

-0.05%

 

1/29/21

311.60

311.45

In 149,933 Out 100,619  Total: 250,552

http://www.usdebtclock.org/  59.84

 

WP Percentage (ycharts)*

1%

150

12/1/20

nc

1/29/21

151.99

151.99

http://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate  61.50 nc

 

 

OUTGO

 

(15%)

 

 

 

 

 

Total Inflation

7%

1050

1/15/21

+0.4%

1/29/21

1,021.38

1,021.38

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.4

 

Food

2%

300

1/15/21

+0.4%

1/29/21

284.12

284.12

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.4

 

Gasoline

2%

300

1/15/21

+8.4%

1/29/21

342.69

342.69

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +8.4

 

Medical Costs

2%

300

1/15/21

+0.1%

1/29/21

289.95

289.95

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.1

 

Shelter

2%

300

1/15/21

+0.1%

1/29/21

295.21

295.21

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEALTH

(6%)

 

 

Dow Jones Index

2%

300

1/15/21

  +0.60%

1/29/21

337.89

339.90

https://www.wsj.com/market-data/quotes/index/DJIA  31,176.01

 

Sales (homes)

Valuation (homes)

1%

1%

150

150

12/23/20

+ 20.72%

+ 3.76%

1/29/21

196.44

169.35                

196.44

169.35                

https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics

     Sales (M):  6.69 Valuations (K):  310.8

 

Debt (Personal)

2%

300

1/15/21

+0.07%

1/29/21

280.88

280.69

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    62,661

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             AMERICAN ECONOMIC INDEX (15% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

 

NATIONAL

(10%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues (in trillions)

2%

300

1/15/21

 +0.09%

1/29/21

295.60          

295.86          

debtclock.org/       3,456

 

Expenditures (in tr.)

2%

300

1/15/21

 - 0.09%

1/29/21

223.45

223.25

debtclock.org/       6,654

 

National Debt (tr.)

3%

450

1/15/21

+0.10%

1/29/21

333.10

332.78

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    27,819

 

Aggregate Debt (tr.)

3%

450

1/15/21

+0.10%

1/29/21

384.44

384.04

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    82,246

 

 

GLOBAL

 

(5%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Debt (tr.)

2%

300

1/15/21

 +0.01%

1/29/21

291.83              

291.80              

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   7,096

 

Exports (in billions – bl.)

1%

150

1/1/21

- 4.42%

1/29/21

153.23

153.23

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/index.html 184.2

 

Imports (bl.)

1%

150

1/1/21

 -0.80%

1/29/21

139.15

139.15

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/index.html 252.3

 

Trade Deficit (bl.)

1%

150

1/1/21

 - 9.52%

1/29/21

106.29            

106.29            

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/index.html  68.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL INDICES (40%)  

 

 

ACTS of MAN

(12%)

 

 

  World Peace

3%

450

1/15/21

-0.5%

1/29/21

405.12

403.09

NoKo parades “world’s most powerful ballistic missile”; Kim nears recouping of his “world’s craziest dictator” crown.  Poisoned politician Navalny rockets back to Russia to fight on, is arrested upon touchdown.  Billionaire Jack Ma emerges from Chinese seclusion, remains silent.  Masses of migrants surge north from Honduras (see “Justice” below) into Guatemala, destination Mexico, then the U.S.  Armin Laschet elected Premier of Germany.  President Yow of Uganda wins 6th term, defeating Bobby Wine.  Surprise: corruption alleged.

 

Terrorism

2%

300

1/15/21

+1.0%

1/29/21

247.06

249.53

Inauguration proceeds peacefully.  Liberal media gush over strange stories emerging from Capitol occupation.  Suicide bomber kills 28 in Baghdad.  Soursports vandalize Democratic headwuarters in Portland, OR (too little, too late).

 

Politics

3%

450

1/15/21

+0.8%

1/29/21

430.48       

433.82      

Trump goes bye bye… his bipartisan legacy: Rep. Strategist calls him “Frankenstein; Dem. Strategist Tara Narula  says “Democracy wins, today.”  Authorities are interrogating Trumper Michael Cohen over his taxes (or lack thereof).  MAGAfans in low places troll Garth Brooks for receiving hair transplants and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.  “We can play cancel culture, too.”  Lone soldier seen holding vigil over the grave of Beau Biden.

 

Economics

3%

450

1/15/21

+0.2%

1/29/21

400.73     

401.53     

Trader Joe’s joins Dollar General in paying workers to vaxx up.  Google buying out FitBit (and all its users’ metadata).  Bill Gates becomes America’s biggest landowner (he prefers “farmer”) with 250,000 acres.

 

Crime

1%

150

1/15/21

+0.6%

1/29/21

264.33

262.74

Angry black muggers rob, then execute (white) Philadelphia dogwalker.  Down on the heels of Ft. Hood, Killeen, TX, cop shoots another unarmed blackman; Toledo killer shoots cop.  Leader of Baltimore’s “safe streets” program shot and killed.  Man/Wife team of Alabama church burglars argue over the take – she murders him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACTS of GOD

(6%)

(with, in some cases, a little… or lots of… help from men, and a few women)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environment/Weather

3%

450

1/15/21

  -0.4%

1/29/21

426.60

424.89

West Coast gets triple dose of wind, rain and heat… winter’s coldest day Jan. 15th finds temperatures at LAX in the 90s.  100 mph winds whip some areas.  Midwestern blizzards travel east, blanketing Tennessee to Maine.  Monarch butterflies said to be nearing extinction as ecologists cross fingers over Joe’s rejoining Paris climate accords.

 

Natural/Unnatural Disaster

3%

450

1/15/21

 +0.7%

1/29/21

415.64

418.55

Hard times in Indonesia, over 70 die in plane crash, 34 in unrelated earthquake.  The inaugural disaster in DC… no disaster.

 

 

LIFESTYLE/JUSTICE INDEX   (15%) 0.83

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science, Tech, Education

4%

600

1/15/21

-0.1%

1/29/21

651.56

650.91

Virgin Orbit launches ten more satellites.  Educators profess to see the usual “light at the end of the tunnel” re in-person school reopening.  College debt soars to 1.7T (($80K per degree issued) and inspires artists to create sarcastic “DaVinci of Debt” sculpture.

 

Equality (econ./social)

4%

600

1/15/21

-0.1%

1/29/21

574.51

573.94

Plague said to have wiped out women’s economic gains – shut from school childcare a particular factor.

 

Health

 

4%

600

1/15/21

nc

1/29/21

507.86

 

 

507.86

 

 

Health fanatics ask: Can Biden take his Peloton with him to the White House? Yes, NYT cybersecurity experts say, but the bike may need some adjustments.

 

Plague

+0.3%

- 200.61

- 200.01

Bells rung 400 times for the plague dead as toll tops 400,000.  Rochelle Walensky takes over at CDC.  First anniversary of first Covid case in USA.  Happy fuckin’ birthday!  Media call Biden plague plan “maddeningly obvious”… but at least it’s a plan.

 

Freedom and Justice

3%

450

1/15/21

+0.2%

1/29/21

448.84

449.74

Honduran President to be tried as narcopolitician.  Samsung scion convicted of corruption.  A court in Bangkok sentenced a woman to more than 43 years in prison for criticizing Thailand’s monarchy. National Rifle Assn. declares bankruptcy; moves headquarters from sissy New York to macho (but uncomfortably Mexicanizing) Texas.  Bed, Bath & Boycott cancels Trumpish “My Pillow”.

 

MISCELLANEOUS and TRANSIENT INDEX   (7%)

 

 

Cultural incidents

3%

450

1/15/21

-0.1%

1/29/21

489.82

489.33

Betty White turns 99, chows down on hotdogs and fries; youngster James Earl Jones (only 90) prefers strawberry shortcake. Dolly Parton celebrates 75th, no food listed, but she does call for “small acts of kindness”.  Actor Armie Hammer accused of cannibalism (gloats Q-Anon: See?  See!)  Mets GM fired for sex crimes.  RIP Joanna (Mrs.) Rogers at 92, record producer (and killer) Phil Spector of plague at 81, Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton, home run king Hank Aaron.

 

 

Miscellaneous incidents

4%

450

1/15/21

+0.1%

1/29/21

468.82           

469.29           

AKC dog show opens.  Homeless man squats Chicago O’Hare airport for three months.  Whiny SSpreader teen Skyler Mack released early from Cayman Is. prison, hits the TV circuit.  Lucky lotto winner takes 750M prize but the other billion-plus jackpot still active.

 

             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Don Jones Index for the week of January 15th through January 21st, 2021 was DOWN 0.49 points.

 

The Don Jones Index is sponsored by the Coalition for a New Consensus: retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate Jack “Catfish” Parnell, Chairman; Brian Doohan, Administrator/Editor.  The CNC denies, emphatically, allegations that the organization, as well as any of its officers (including former Congressman Parnell, environmentalist/America-Firster Austin Tillerman and cosmetics CEO Rayna Finch) and references to Parnell’s works, “Entropy and Renaissance” and “The Coming Kill-Off” are fictitious or, at best, mere pawns in the web-serial “Black Helicopters” – and promise swift, effective legal action against parties promulgating this and/or other such slanders.

Comments, complaints, donations (especially SUPERPAC donations) always welcome at feedme@generisis.com or: speak@donjonesindex.com

 

 

 

 

BACK

 

See further indicators at Economist https://www.economist.com/economic-and inancialndicators/2019/02/02/economic-data-commodities-and-markets

 

ATTACHMENT ONE – from President Joe via Investopedia

 

Joe Biden's Economic Plan

By DEBORAH D'SOUZA

 Updated Jan 15, 2021

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

·         The American Rescue Plan

·         Healthcare

·         Taxes

·         Student Debt

·         Workers' Rights

·         Made in All of America

·         Infrastructure and Climate Change

·         Rural America

·         The American Middle Class

President-elect Joe Biden campaigned on an economic platform to shore up the middle class, extend healthcare, raise taxes on the wealthy, and invest trillions of dollars in green energy infrastructure, among other issues. He'll also have to deal with the rising costs of battling the coronavirus pandemic, and the economic damage it has caused. Here are the details on his COVID-19 stimulus plan and larger policy goals.

Watch for further developments once Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20 and the 117th Congress, which opened on Jan. 3, gets down to work—especially when newly elected Vice President Kamala Harris becomes president of the Senate and the election of two Georgia Democratic senators means the party gains control of both houses of Congress.  (See Attachment Six)

JOE BIDEN'S ECONOMIC POLICY: TOP LINE AGENDA

·         Provide health insurance coverage for 97% of Americans in 10 years.

·         Raise an additional $4 trillion in tax revenue by increasing top tax rate to 39.6%, taxing capital gains at ordinary rates and raising the corporate tax rate to 28%.

·         Forgive student loan debt and make college free for those making up to $125,000.

·         Raise minimum wage to $15 an hour and repeal "right to work" laws.

·         Expand "Buy American" policies through government purchasing, while using subsidies, federal matching, and incentives to make American products more competitive.

·         Invest $1.3 trillion in infrastructure over 10 years.

·         Spend $2 trillion on clean energy during first term as president.

The American Rescue Plan

President-elect Joe Biden formally announced his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus plan on January 15. "There is real pain overwhelming the real economy.....You won’t see this pain if your score card is how things are going on Wall Street," he said in his speech in Wilmington, Delaware. He referred to what many economists are calling a K-shaped recovery, adding that "the wealth of the top 1% has grown by roughly $1.5 trillion since the end of last year — four times the amount for the entire bottom 50%."

Funding the assault on the virus, strengthening the social safety net for those pushed to the brink and helping state and local governments are the main goals of the American Rescue Plan. In the first 100 days of his administration, he wants to reopen most schools and have 100 million vaccine doses administered.

In the coming weeks, he will announce a separate economic recovery plan, which will include investments in infrastructure, manufacturing and other spending unrelated to COVID-19 to "create millions of additional good-paying jobs, combat the climate crisis, and build back better than before." 

The American Rescue Plan doesn't mention tax increases, which means the federal government will pay for it with debt. The president-elect has spoken strongly against deficit worries during the pandemic, earning praise from progressives in his party like Bernie Sanders. 

The main elements of the American Rescue Plan are as follows:

·         Direct aid ($1 trillion): $1,400 per-person checks to supplement the $600 checks going out now. Extending emergency unemployment insurance and eviction moratoriums through September 2021 and raising the former to $400/week. Notably, he is asking Congress for automatic economic triggers so that people don't bear the brunt of legislative delays. $25 billion in rental assistance and $5 billion to cover home energy and water costs. $5 billion in emergency assistance for homeless. Child care and food program funding. Expanding child care tax credit for one year. Raising the federal minimum wage, which has been at $7.25 an hour since 2009, to $15 an hour.

·         Public health effort and reopening schools ($400 billion): A $20 billion national vaccination program, $50 billion "massive" expansion of testing, hiring 100,000 more public health workers, $30 billion into the Disaster Relief Fund for PPE etc. $130 billion to open most schools by spring. He also wants OSHA to issue rules that protect all workers.

·         Support local communities ($440 billion): Help for governments dealing with revenue shortfall to keep front line public workers on the job. Small business grants and loans. $20 billion for public transit agencies.

·         Beefing up cybersecurity ($10 billion): In the wake of the SolarWinds hack which affected federal agencies, Biden wants to modernize and secure federal information technology.

Healthcare

Official data from the United States Census Bureau indicates that the uninsured rate at time of interview in 2019 was 9.2% vs. an uninsured rate of 8.9% in 2018. Between 2018 and 2019, the number of people without health coverage decreased in one state, but increased in 19 states. Overall, the number of people with no health insurance for the entire year was lower at 8% in 2019, compared to 8.5% in 2018. 1

Biden has railed against the Trump administration's countless attacks on the Affordable Care Act. As president he has promised to protect and build on the ACA. Although he wants to ensure healthcare as a right and not a privilege, he does not support Medicare-for-all or eliminating private insurance because it would mean getting rid of Obamacare and starting over on political negotiations. He also argued during the Sept. 12, 2020 debate that Medicare-for-all would cost more than $30 trillion over 10 years.2

Biden says his healthcare proposal will expand Obamacare so that 97% of Americans are insured and will cost $750 billion over 10 years. He wants to introduce a public health insurance option like Medicare that will be available premium-free to individuals in states that haven't expanded Medicaid and to people making below 138% of the federal poverty level.2

He also wants to eliminate the 400% federal poverty level income cap for tax credit eligibility and lower employees' maximum contribution for coverage to 8.5%. In addition to this, he promises to bar healthcare providers from “surprise billing” patients with out-of-network rates, address market concentration in the industry, allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers, establish an independent review board that will recommend a reasonable price for drugs with no competition, penalize drug price increases over the inflation rate, end the tax deducti