The CHIPS Act Is Popular, Bipartisan, and a Bad Idea
Plus, Republicans Explain Why They’re Cooling on Trump.
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SHAY KHATIRI: The CHIPS Act Is Popular, Bipartisan, and a Bad Idea.
With large, bipartisan majorities in both chambers, Congress just passed the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act, more commonly known as the CHIPS Act, which now awaits President Biden’s signature. The bill, which allocates $54 billion in subsidies to the American semiconductor industry, is a product of a concern that world’s semiconductor production is over-reliant on Taiwanese and Chinese firms, which could mean Chinese market domination if the People’s Republic decides to annex Taiwan. Those fears are based in reality, and the CHIPS Act makes them likelier to become reality.
Taiwan is the world’s largest producer of semiconductors. Its companies account for 66 percent of the market, produce almost half of the world’s semiconductors, and dominate the market for high-end semiconductors even more. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is one of only two companies capable of producing cutting-edge 5-nanometer chips and is scheduled to produce 3-nanometer chips later this year. Given that the next two largest producers of semiconductors are South Korea, a country subject to Chinese bullying and intimidation and North Korean threats, and China itself, it makes sense that Congress would worry about where we (and the rest of the world) are getting our key high-tech components. But the solution is to double down on Taiwan, not to decouple from it.
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RICH THAU AND JILL DITOMMASO: Republicans Explain Why They’re Cooling on Trump.
Sarah Longwell, a master at detecting emerging trends from focus groups, has recently been alerting audiences that Republican voters are losing their enthusiasm for a third Trump presidential run.
Curious to hear what declining GOP support for Trump actually sounds like—and to get a sense of what’s animating it—we took the opportunity on July 26 to probe that topic, and various others, in two focus groups. The respondents were not our usual Trump-to-Biden swing voters, but rather thirteen Missouri Republicans who, even at this late date, remain undecided in the state’s August 2 GOP Senate primary. (Disclosure: The research was sponsored by Arnold Ventures.)
While these Republican respondents expressed mixed emotions, they were by and large either opposed to or underwhelmed by the possibility of a Trump 2024 presidential run.
ADDISON DEL MASTRO: Housing, Homelessness, and the Elephant in the NIMBY Room.
I had an interesting conversation with my best friend as we floated in his backyard pool on a recent New Jersey evening, behind what was practically my second childhood house.
He was telling me about a road trip to California, which was supposed to involve a few days in L.A. When he and his girlfriend got to the city, he wanted to see if Skid Row was really real. This was at the height of the pandemic, and, as my friend discovered, it was realer than ever.
Every city has homeless people, he said; that didn’t bother him. But this was “tents as far as the eye could see,” a phrase he used twice to emphasize the extent of the desperation—which he saw expressed there in homelessness, of course, but also in petty crime and prostitution.
Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday. Get ready for tomorrow’s crazy primaries and stay tuned to The Bulwark for your coverage of how crazy the right is willing to go. If you’d like a preview of Missouri, I’ve got you covered. Don’t sleep on Arizona, either.
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