Monday Edition



Ahead of the 2024 election, President Biden and former President Trump have both touted their records on bringing manufacturing back to America.

Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act provided more than $200 billion in tax incentives for investment in clean energy, and his CHIPS Act set aside $52 billion for companies in the domestic semiconductor manufacturing industry.

Starting in 2018, Trump imposed a series of tariffs on imports from China, Europe, Canada and Mexico.

The results? Trump’s tariffs led to a 5% bump in manufacturing investment. Manufacturing spending is up 279% under Biden.

According to economist Karl Smith, “evidence is mounting that tax incentives are better than tariffs as a way to protect and spur US industrial investment.”

  • President George W. Bush’s steel tariffs, which were higher than Trump’s, boosted production by only 15% from 2002 to 2005.

  • A Federal Reserve study of Trump tariffs enacted between 2018 and 2019 found they led to fewer jobs in the manufacturing sector.

  • A Tax Foundation analysis of Trump’s proposed 10% universal tariff estimated it would shrink the U.S. economy by 1.1% and result in 825,000 lost jobs.

Smith on why Biden’s tax incentives have been more effective than tariffs: “[Investing] in the development of a new factory entails significant risk. Large amounts of capital must be sunk into investments today with no guarantee of what the demand for the factory’s output will be over its lifetime. Tariffs help boost demand for as long as they are in place, but they can be removed in the future… Biden’s incentives, on the other hand, directly offset that risk by providing grants and credits for the actual construction, reducing the risks for manufacturers.”


A spate of murders involving migrants allegedly killing young girls has thrust the issue of illegal immigrant crime into the spotlight. (AllSides)

Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student, was allegedly killed by a Venezuelan migrant earlier this month while she was out on a run. The family of Kayla Hamilton, a 20-year-old autistic woman who was allegedly raped and murdered by an El Salvadoran migrant in 2022, filed a $100 million lawsuit last month against the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services. Texas high school cheerleader Lizbeth Medina was allegedly murdered in December by an illegal immigrant.

So are these tragic but isolated incidents or symptoms of a broader problem?

  • A 2021 Department of Justice report found 64% of federal arrests in 2018 involved non-citizens, despite them being only 7% of the U.S. population.

  • But this figure doesn’t differentiate between immigration crimes (such as illegally crossing the border) and more serious non-immigration crimes.

  • In 2018, non-U.S. citizens accounted for 15% of federal arrests for all non-immigration crimes and 8.8% of arrests for violent crimes.

  • A 2020 study found illegal immigrants in Texas “had substantially lower crime rates than native-born citizens and legal immigrants across a range of felony offenses” and “U.S.-born citizens are over 2 times more likely to be arrested for violent crimes, 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes, and over 4 times more likely to be arrested for property crimes.”

Accurately gauging the illegal immigrant crime rate has proven difficult. Some studies have found illegal immigrant crimes are understated because many offenders are initially misclassified as native-born. A 2018 study which found illegal immigrants in Arizona are 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime mistakenly lumped together legal and illegal immigrants, according to the Cato Institute.

AllSides reporter Isaiah Anthony: “Further research and better data collection is needed to accurately understand and contextualize the link between crime rates and illegal immigration. … Existing research does not completely dismiss the notion that non-citizens commit crimes at a higher rate than citizens, nor does it concretely support it.”

The conservative boycott of Bud Light over the brand’s use of transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney has been remarkably effective. (Barron’s)

Chart: The Wall Street Journal

It’s been one year since the boycott started and sales continue to decline. Beer industry mega-conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev reported organic growth in profit and revenue in Q4, but a 17.3% decline in U.S. revenue and a 12% drop in sales to retailers, mainly due to reduced Bud Light sales. Bud Light's share of the U.S. beer market dropped to 7% this year, down from 10% during the same period in 2023. By some estimates, the Mulvaney debacle has cost Anheuser-Bush $1 billion in lost sales.

The Bud Light boycott is just the latest instance of conservatives getting fed up with institutions they feel no longer represent them or their values. From coffee to social media platforms to kids entertainment content, right-leaning Americans are increasingly looking for alternatives to mainstream products.


Mandatory spending (spending that is automatically obligated by law, rather than approved annually by Congress) has increased significantly after remaining mostly flat over the past year. (Hotline)

Chart: Committee to Unleash Prosperity

Also known as entitlements, mandatory spending mostly includes social welfare programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The government spent $100 billion on entitlements in January, according to the latest Bureau of Economic Analysis data. The last time it spent that much was July 2021.

So what? Mandatory spending already makes up the lion’s share of the total budget each year. Increased entitlement spending gives the U.S. even less wiggle room to reduce skyrocketing deficits and record-high national debt.


As Republicans push for stricter voting laws in the name of election integrity, a new report by a left-leaning think tank finds racial disparities in voter turnout are widening. (NBC News)

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, the racial turnout gap was higher in the 2022 midterms than any midterm since 2006.

  • Between white and nonwhite voters, the gap increased by 5 percentage points from the 2018 to the 2022 midterms.

  • The white and black voter turnout gap jumped 8 points.

Racial turnout gaps also increased between the 2008 and 2020 presidential elections. If the racial turnout gap had not existed in the 2020 presidential election, 9 million more ballots could have been cast, the Brennan Center estimated.

The Brennan Center found that the voting gap is widening the most in places that were once safeguarded by Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. A 2013 Supreme Court decision severely weakened the protections, which required certain areas with a history of discrimination to get approval for voting law changes.

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