RECAP: 29 March 2018

President Donald Trump began his Thursday by firing off an early-morning tweet lambasting the threat that Amazon poses to small businesses, insisting that the retail giant does not pay its fair share of taxes and takes advantage of the United States Postal Service in order to boost its profits and stay ahead of the competition.

While Amazon does collect sales taxes on its own products when applicable, many third-party vendors do not. Trump’s assertion that the company takes advantage of the Postal Service, however, is false. According to the New York Times, a source who requested anonymity said it has been repeatedly explained to the president that the Postal Service actually profits from its contracts with Amazon.

The president has a well-documented disdain for Amazon, having taken to twitter to voice his displeasure over a dozen times since 2015. Trump’s criticism often goes hand in hand with negative stories ran about him in the Washington Post, which was purchased by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2013.

Trump went on to tweet out a link to a Bloomberg report titled, “U.S. Jobless Claims Decline to Lowest Level Since January 1973,” touting a 45-year low in unemployment claims nationwide.

Unemployment claims are down by 12,000 from last week at 215,000, although the actual number could be as high as 230,000. Unemployment is also near its lowest rate since the late 2000s. The report does point out, however, that unemployment claims below the 300,000 mark suggest a steady and secure labor market; claims at levels as low as this week’s are indicative of a reluctance on the behalf of employers to fire employees because of a shortage of qualified workers.

The president also tweeted out highlights from his speech in Richfield, Ohio. The speech was to be about infrastructure; while it is a bipartisan issue with public support behind it, Congress has only allocated $21 billion of Trump’s requested $1.5 trillion

The president admitted that any real progress in terms of infrastructure spending will have to wait until after after midterm elections this coming November. Legislators are, for the most part, done voting on laws for the year and focusing on campaigning for reelection.

Trump’s speech veered off topic after his infrastructure discussion, as he touched on subjects like immigration and the border wall before moving on to his accomplishments during his first year in office and in real estate.

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