Good afternoon. Today’s points:
- Trump visits the Economic Club of New York
- Follow the plume water
- A tale of two galas
The Trump Club
The Economic Club of New York’s luncheons are known for thought-provoking conversations, market-moving revelations and opportunities to parse key questions. On Thursday, the guest speaker was Donald Trump.
So it was a different kind of meeting at the Waldorf Astoria for the hundreds of club members who attend these gatherings, from economists and business executives to professors and financial analysts. Even the meeting’s leader was different. Club chairman Terry Lundgren, chief executive of Macy’s, wasn’t in attendance; Trump and Lundgren had a falling out after Macy’s dropped Trump’s clothing line a year ago.
The crowd gave Trump a standing ovation at the start and end, and often peppered the speech with polite applause. But the loudest approval was given to his pro-business proposals, such as knocking the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.
There was one new proposal: Trump told the group he will shoot for 4 percent annual economic growth — or “substantially better” — and 25 million new jobs in the next 10 years.
In club tradition, Trump participated in a “fireside chat” (without the fire) after his speech. That’s usually when the more interesting tidbits come out, when economists can get guests to speak forthrightly and even move markets.
But Trump was in friendly territory. His questioner was billionaire John Paulson, a hedge-fund manager and member of Trump’s economic team. Paulson asked some direct questions, but direct answers were harder to come by.
Said Trump: “When you add it together, a lot of good things are going to happen.” Let's see what the market does.
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A Bethpage plume pipe plan
As the awful groundwater plume emanating from the old Northrop Grumman site in Bethpage continues to move south, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is considering a variety of options to stop the spread.
Joseph Saladino, the area’s State Assembly representative, has proposed a novel variation of one option that involves drilling a line of pumping wells along the Southern State Parkway.
Saladino suggests that the contaminated water then be pumped west along the Southern State’s right of way, then north along the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway to a treatment plant on or near the Grumman site.
After treatment, the water would be recharged back into the groundwater, with some used to irrigate the golf courses at nearby Bethpage State Park.
Saladino said he doesn’t anticipate any resistance from people living along the two highways, saying that new technology minimizes the possibility of leaks and makes uncovering them faster and easier. The DEC is moving quickly to adopt one plan or a combination of plans, and cost estimates range from $268 million to $587 million.
So what would be the toughest fight? Getting Northrop Grumman and the Navy to pay or getting the communities bordering the highways to allow the pipe system if Saladino’s proposal moves forward?
Doctor is in
Gala times with the progressive old guard and vanguard
It’s a tale of two ticket prices. The New York Working Families Party holds its 18th annual gala Thursday night at Cooper Union in Manhattan’s East Village. A full-price ticket goes for $250, though an “activist rate” is available for those who want to commit $10 a month.
A day later and 44 blocks uptown, in the exclusive Rainbow Room, Bill Clinton will be holding what is billed as his final fundraiser for the Clinton Foundation. Politico reports that tickets cost $50,000 to $250,000. Guests will get to hobnob with Wynton Marsalis, Jon Bon Jovi and Barbra Streisand.
To be fair, the WFP’s ticket website includes hopeful slots for “visionaries” who might donate $25,000. But you need only a hundredth of that to get in the door. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mayor Bill de Blasio will attend. It could be both the cheaper ticket and the better mood.