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Manchin: Downgrade of America’s credit rating a ‘historic failure’ of political leadership on August 3, 2023 at 2:59 pm Business News | The Hill

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has railed against the nation’s record-high debt, on Thursday called Fitch Ratings’ downgrade of the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+ a “historic failure of leadership by both political parties and the executive branch.” 

Manchin, who is flirting with a presidential run as a third-party candidate backed by the group No Labels, has regularly criticized what he views as the lack of bipartisan cooperation in Washington.

He blamed the nation’s latest credit downgrade on the inability of Republicans and Democrats in Congress and President Biden to make significant progress in addressing the nation’s $32 trillion debt.  

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“The credit agency specifically cited the decline in governance, erosion of cooperation in the federal government and ballooning national debt when making the determination to lower our credit rating,” he said. “This is a stark warning that cannot be ignored. We must act now to fully fund the government and address our national debt before we wake up to a future where America’s superpower status is in jeopardy and we have lost the confidence of our allies around the world.” 

Manchin criticized Biden for showing a “deficiency of leadership” in April after he initially refused to sit down with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to negotiate a deficit reduction package in exchange for raising the debt limit.  

Biden and McCarthy eventually negotiated a deal to cap defense and non-defense discretionary spending, reform the work requirements linked to federal food assistance and claw back unspent COVID relief funds as well as money allocated to the Internal Revenue Service to improve tax compliance.  

Manchin said lawmakers and the president have an opportunity to take other steps to improve the nation’s fiscal outlook with the Sept. 1 end of the fiscal year approaching.  

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“Now, more than ever, it is time for elected leaders from both parties to work together and send a clear message to the world that we will take the necessary fiscal and budgetary steps to restore our credit rating and keep America’s economy strong for this generation and the next,” Manchin said.  

The West Virginia senator is up for re-election next year in a state that former President Trump carried with overwhelming margins in 2016 and 2020. Manchin says he will announce his decision on whether to run for another term until the end of this year or early next year.  

​Senate, Business, News, Fitch, US credit ratings Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has railed against the nation’s record-high debt, on Thursday called Fitch Ratings’ downgrade of the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+ a “historic failure of leadership by both political parties and the executive branch.”  Manchin, who is flirting with a presidential run as a third-party candidate backed by the…  

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6 Essential Productivity Hacks for Entrepreneurs

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Are you tired of feeling like your business is stuck in neutral? Well, buckle up, because we are about to share six secrets to help you shift into high gear and leave the competition in the dust.

1. Set Goals That Don’t Suck
Ditch those vague, lofty goals and get specific. What do you want to achieve? How are you going to do it? Write it down, make it happen.
  • Actionable Step: Write a goal that’s so specific, it’s almost boring. Then, create a task list that’s so detailed, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.
2. Prioritize Like a Boss
Use the Eisenhower Matrix to sort tasks into urgent vs. important. Focus on the stuff that’ll make a real impact, and delegate or eliminate the rest.
  • Actionable Step: Use a task management tool like Trello or Asana to prioritize tasks. Then, focus on the high-priority ones first, and delegate the rest to your team (or your cat, if that’s who you’re working with).
3. Leverage Tech to Your Advantage
Ditch the paper and pen, and get with the times. Use project management tools, accounting software, and marketing automation platforms to streamline processes and boost efficiency.
  • Actionable Step: Explore tools like Trello, Asana, or ClickUp. Integrate them with your accounting software (like QuickBooks) and marketing automation platforms (like Mailchimp). Then, sit back and watch your productivity soar.

4. Delegate Like a Pro
Don’t be a control freak (unless that’s your thing, in which case, carry on). Delegate tasks to your team, or outsource them to freelancers or agencies.
  • Actionable Step: Identify tasks that can be delegated or outsourced. Then, assign them to your team, or hire a freelancer/agency to do them for you. Voila! More free time for you.
5. Optimize Processes, Eliminate Waste
Analyze your processes, eliminate the waste, and implement efficient systems for tasks like customer service, inventory management, and marketing.
  • Actionable Step: Identify inefficient processes. Optimize them, and implement new systems to enhance productivity. Then, sit back and watch your business thrive.
6. Prioritize Self-Care (Because You’re Not a Robot)
Don’t neglect your physical and mental well-being. Schedule time for exercise, meditation, and self-care to maintain peak performance.
  • Actionable Step: Schedule a daily self-care session. Use it for exercise, meditation, or reading. Then, wonder how you ever managed without it.
So, there you have it – six strategies to help you boost productivity and efficiency in your small business. We hope you find this helpful!

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Saudi Arabia Says ‘Thank You, Next’ to the US Dollar

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Saudi Arabia is reportedly considering abandoning the US dollar for oil trade settlements, a move that could shake the foundations of the global financial system. For decades, the petrodollar system has propped up the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency, with Saudi Arabia insisting on dollar payments for its vast oil exports.

However, recent comments from Saudi officials hint at exploring alternatives to the dollar amid growing tensions with the US over various geopolitical issues and the rise of economic powerhouses like China.

Implications of a Petrodollar Shift

If Saudi Arabia abandons the petrodollar, the implications could be significant:

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1. Dollar Dominance Eroded: The dollar’s reserve currency status could weaken, potentially leading to a decline in its value.
2. Global Financial Instability: A sudden shift could trigger volatility in global markets as investors adjust portfolios.
3. Geopolitical Realignment: The move could signal Saudi alignment with China and challenge US economic hegemony.

Challenges and Uncertainties

While the prospect is significant, challenges remain:

1. Finding a suitable alternative currency with the dollar’s liquidity and stability.
2. Potential economic disruption for Saudi Arabia and trading partners.
3. Political backlash and strained relations with the US and allies.

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As the world watches, it remains uncertain whether Saudi Arabia’s comments signal a negotiating tactic or a profound shift in the global financial order.

 

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Are Babies the New Luxury Item?

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The declining birth rate is a global phenomenon, but Gen Z’s approach to parenthood is particularly striking. This generation, born between 1997 and 2012, appears to be grappling with the decision to have children in unprecedented ways, raising concerns about a potential “extinction by choice.”

One of the primary factors influencing Gen Z’s hesitancy towards reproduction is the escalating cost of living and financial burdens associated with raising children. According to a Newsweek survey, 53% of Gen Zers aged 18-24 expressed that they would consider having children if the financial burden were lessened. The staggering costs of childcare, education, and basic necessities have made the prospect of parenthood daunting for many young adults.

Like previous generations, Gen Zers are delaying parenthood, with many prioritizing education, career development, and financial stability before starting families. The average age of first-time mothers has risen from 24.9 years in 2000 to 27.1 years in 2020, reflecting this trend. Additionally, changing societal norms and a focus on personal freedom have contributed to a shift in priorities, with some Gen Zers opting for a childfree lifestyle.

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Gen Z’s heightened social awareness and concerns about global issues, such as climate change, political instability, and economic uncertainty, have also played a role in their decision-making process regarding parenthood. Many Gen Zers have expressed reservations about bringing children into an unstable world, further contributing to the declining birth rate.[2]

The lack of comprehensive family-friendly policies, such as affordable childcare, paid family leave, and workplace flexibility, has made it challenging for Gen Z mothers to balance work and family life. According to reports, Gen Z mothers are 2.5 times less likely than Millennial moms to have job flexibility and half as likely to have paid maternity leave.

While the declining birth rate among Gen Z is a complex issue with multiple contributing factors, addressing financial concerns, promoting work-life balance, and implementing family-friendly policies may help encourage sustainable population growth in the future. However, if the current trends persist, Gen Z’s hesitancy towards reproduction could have far-reaching implications for the future of societies and economies worldwide.

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