From World News

Bernie Sanders Schools Trump on Wages; Trump Switches Sides

Throughout the beginnings of the Presidential campaign, celebrity billionaire-turned Presidential hopeful asserted again and again that the minimum wage was “too high.” But after losing his working-class followers to fellow Presidential contender Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Trump has flipped his stance.


Lower- and Middle-Class Voters Turn to Sanders, Prompting Trump to Change Tactics


Following an interview in late December where Sanders told the press that Trump’s blue-collar supporters would identify with his plans to increase the minimum wage and employment rates in the U.S, Trump switched to Sanders’ side. After Sanders’ statement was released, Trump tweeted that he now thought the minimum wage was “too low;” a wholly different sentiment than his original stance.


He followed this up with a few more changes to his economic policy, saying that there were “too few” jobs in the U.S. and that people had “lost faith in our leaders.”


During his “Face the Nation” interview, Sanders stated, “Look, many of Trump’s supporters are a working-class people, and they’re angry. And they’re angry because they’re working longer hours for lower wages. They’re angry because their jobs have left this country and gone to China or other low-wage countries. They’re angry because they can’t afford to send their kids to college so they can’t retire with dignity.”


Many in the political arena have commented on how overwhelmingly positive the floundering middle class’ have received Sanders. Trump has the support of many voters in the upper-class, but Sanders still holds the support of lower-income voters with higher educations. The change in his stance on the U.S. wage is Trump’s vying for the support of this untapped demographic.


Trump Claims He Was Always in Favor of Higher Wages, Despite Evidence of Recent Statements


Trump responded to Sanders’ claims that he supported a lower minimum wage with the same response he’s used several times during the course of the preliminary debates; “Lie!”

Sanders responded by pointing out the instances where Trump has repeated his claims that the wage was too high. “This is a guy who does not want to raise minimum wage,” he said in disbelief. In fact, he has said that he thinks wages in America are too high,” Sanders said in his “Face the Nation” interview.

In a Fox Business Network debate this November, not a month before Trump switched sides, he said this in his opening statement: “Taxes too high, wages too high. We’re not going to be able to compete against the world.”

The day after that debate, he repeated the sentiment when asked about the U.S. wage. “We have to become competitive with the world. Our taxes are too high — our wages are too high. Everything is too high. We have to compete with other countries,” Trump stated.

After these quotes were pointed to following Trump’s abrupt policy switch, he called Sen. Sanders a “wacko” on Twitter.

Trump’s main platform is tax reform, but a recent analysis of his proposed tax cuts show that the strategy would give the cuts to the richest, according to tax experts. Analysts called Trump’s plan “nothing radical,” despite the plan being the largest reason why many of his supporters stand by him.


Brazil’s New Finance Chief Is In For It

Brazil's New Finance Chief Is In For It

Nelson Barbosa might be the change that Brazil’s economy needs to pull itself from the financial mire they’ve found themselves in. But that didn’t stop the office and public from ushering him into the position with skepticism and cold indifference.


Concerns Grow Over Worsening Brazilian Fiscal Deficit Crisis

The critical majority is worried that Barbos will continue the pattern of failing to deliver viable solutions for the floundering financial state of Brazil. The country’s deficit is growing to become a nearly-unmanageable problem, and it remains to be seen if Barbosa is up to the monumental task.

The Brazilian currency of the real has depreciated 1.57 per cent against the dollar this year. The overall deficit of Brazil is about 10% of the gross domestic product.

This has been the worst recession that Brazil has faced down since the 1930s, and Brazilian economists are predicting a barely better year for national economic growth in 2016. Radical economic reform is needed, and has repeatedly failed to have been delivered from the Brazilian economic officials in the past.

Public opinion on Barbosa seems to be this: he already seems less motivated in the position than his predecessor, Joaquim Levy, who couldn’t seem to completely pull Brazil’s deficit back from the brink despite fervent attempts at improvement.


Levy and Barbosa Blocked By Congressional Chaos

Levy’s proposed spending cuts and tax hikes that were aimed to stem the hemorrhaging of the fiscal deficit were repeatedly blocked by President Dilma Rousseff’s administration and within Congressional conflict. In summation, the political bickerings of higher departments within Brazil halted Levy’s attempts at fiscal progress and improvement.

Those who remain skeptical of Barbosa have expressed concerns that he isn’t as aggressive as Levy, and they worry that Barbosa won’t be able to take on the Congressional and Presidential offices in the push for a better Brazilian economy.

Levy took office in January of 2015, but resigned earlier this month after two major investment-grade credit ratings. After his resignation, economists and government officials have lost confidence in the ability of Levy or Barbosa to make any lasting improvements to the fiscal deficit.


Pension System Reforms Won’t Be Enough

The current plans of Barbosa are reforms to the pension system. But the proposed changes will have to go through Congress at some point in 2016; a process that could take months and may not pass, given Congressional history.

Even with President Rousseff backing Barbosa’s reform proposals, it’s not likely that the changes will successfully pass through Congress. Rousseff is facing threats of impeachment while members of Congress are dodging potential corruption charges linked to the state-owned oil company, Petrobras.

With Brazil’s leaders entangled in their own political problems, Barbosa may not be able to push through the chaos for fiscal reform. The lack of political support backing Barbosa’s economic changes is more a reflection of the current state of Brazilian government as a whole rather than the ineffectiveness of the finance chief, no matter who is put in office.