04/18/2017

Coal’s Colossal Comeback

Stephen Moore, American Spectator

Buried in an otherwise humdrum jobs report for March was the jaw-dropping pronouncement by the Labor Department that mining jobs in America were up by 11,000 in March. Since the low point in October 2016 and following years of painful layoffs in the mining industry, the mining sector has added 35,000 jobs.

What a turnaround. ‎It comes at a time when liberals have been saying that Donald Trump has been lying to the American people when he has said that he can bring coal jobs back. Well, so far he has brought them back.

There’s more good news for the coal industry. Earlier this month, Peabody Coal — America’s largest coal producer — moved out of bankruptcy, and its stock is actively trading again. Its market cap had sunk by almost 90 percent, during the Obama years. Arch Coal is also out of bankruptcy.

It turns out that elections do have consequences, after all. Regime change in Washington has brought King Coal back to life since late 2016 when coal production had fallen by almost half from its peak. The Obama administration and its allies like the Sierra Club tried to kill coal, because of their hyper-obsession with global warming. The Trump administration pledged to coal miners in small towns across America in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming that he would be a friend to American coal and fossil fuels.

As promised, Trump has lifted the so-called Clean Power Plant regulations and several other EPA rules that were intentionally designed to kill coal jobs (and thousands more in related industries like trucking and steel) and shutter coal plants, which they accomplished with ruthless precision. Hillary had promised her green allies that she would finish off every last coal mining job in America.

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The Reagan Tax Cuts Worked

Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).

 

-- Daniel J. Mitchell,

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