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White House staff pushed to make overly positive projections for economic growth: report

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President Donald Trump made a lot of promises on the campaign trail, particularly around economic issues. “Make America Great Again,” the slogan that powered the Trump campaign, was premised around bringing blue collar work back to the US and reforming programs like the Affordable Care Act.

But now that the Trump administration is in power, reality is starting to set in. And in response, White House staff appear to be making unrealistic projections for economic growth, reports the Wall Street Journal. 

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The numbers laid out in preliminary growth forecasts depend on gross domestic product growth of 3% and 3.5% per year. But in the past decade, the economy has grown by 2%. It’s not clear how the administration derived their numbers, but sources familiar with the discussions told the Wall Street Journal that they’re far rosier than the forecasts of independent economists.

“It is awfully hard to get to 3%. I don’t know where a number like that would come from,” Dale Jorgenson, a Harvard economics professor, told the WSJ. The economist’s far more muted prediction is 1.8% annual growth. And the Congressional Budget Office has come up with similar numbers.

As Vox points out, it’s not uncommon for incoming Presidents to come out with overly optimistic projections. But what’s uncommon is the large gap between the White House forecast and the numbers generated by independent economists—as well as the fact that staffers are angry enough to leak to the Wall Street Journal.


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Netanyahu cancels UN visit over post-poll ‘political context’

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled his planned visit to the United Nations General Assembly due to the "political context" in Israel, sources in his office told AFP Wednesday.

Initial results from Tuesday's general election show Netanyahu's Likud party tied with the Blue and White alliance of his main challenger, former army chief Benny Gantz.

According to Israeli media, with more than 90 percent of ballots counted, Netanyahu's right-wing Likud had 31 seats, while Gantz's Blue and White took 32 places in Israel's 120-member parliament.

If the results hold, it will be a major setback for Netanyahu, who hoped to form a right-wing coalition similar to his current administration as he faces possible corruption charges in the weeks ahead.

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Whoopi Goldberg drops the hammer on Trump impeachment: ‘We’re a lawless country right now — open your eyes’

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"The View" host Whoopi Goldberg urged viewers to open their eyes to President Donald Trump's lawlessness -- and demand accountability.

The show's panelists discussed former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, which co-host Abby Huntsman denounced as a "total embarrassment for democracy," and Goldberg said it was even worse than that.

"Even if you start to impeach him, he's there for the next two years," said Goldberg, who was wearing a wig from her upcoming role in Stephen King's "The Stand." "It's going to take that long. Look how long it took to impeach (Bill) Clinton."

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Let me take you down: Strawberry Field opens to public

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Beatles fans can now take a trip through the childhood sanctuary of John Lennon that inspired the seminal song "Strawberry Fields Forever", with the former children's home opening its doors to the public.

Lennon used to climb over the fence from his aunt's house, where he grew up, and play with other children at the Strawberry Field orphanage.

Its importance in shaping Lennon's personality was laid bare in the classic 1967 psychedelic hit.

Around 60,000 fans flock each year to the site to have their photographs taken outside the famous red gates, but until now have never been allowed beyond.

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