US Politics in Trump era
America’s federal deficit will expand by about $800 billion more than previously expected over 10 years due primarily to two legislative packages approved this year, pushing the nation further into levels of debt unseen since the end of World War II, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. The CBO also said that the impact of higher trade barriers, primarily President Trump’s trade war, could hurt economic growth amid widespread fears of a recession.
President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he is considering whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut amid mounting concerns about an economic slowdown. Trump’s comments pulled back the curtain on a freewheeling policy process within the White House. Senior administration officials are both trying to assess the real weaknesses in the economy while also determining whether they should take any steps to intervene before the 2020 elections.
National conservative leaders are pushing for President Trump to take an ax to federal spending if he is reelected. This year’s ongoing Alaska budget crisis shows how politically unpopular that would be. Alaska has been spending beyond its means for years. The state levies no statewide personal income or sales tax and instead relies mainly on revenue from oil production to finance its state government.
Business leaders and their companies have profited royally off of President Donald Trump’s pro-business policies.Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her family are among the groups that have seen an income boon of millions through their own investments since Trump’s tax reform plan was signed, according to her latest annual financial disclosure report.
This tax bill was constructed on a foundation of lies. To cite one obvious example, the real U.S. corporate tax rate has never been near the oft-cited 35 percent level. As recently as 2014, the Congressional Research Service estimated that the effective rate (the net rate paid after deductions and credits) was around 27.1 percent, which was well in line with America’s international competitors.
The U.S. government could run out of money to pay all of its bills by early September if Congress doesn’t rush to raise the debt ceiling, a think tank said Monday, a time frame that could force lawmakers to act much sooner than planned. The Bipartisan Policy Center said that the Treasury Department could breach the borrowing limit in two months because the government has brought in far less tax revenue this year than was projected.
Thanks to Donald “I’m the King of Debt” Trump, our federal government’s debt is rising much faster than under President Barack Obama despite Trump’s frequent assertions that the economy is much better now that he is in the White House. And that $300 per month of added debt you owe via our Uncle Sam is scheduled to grow and grow.
After the passage of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the IRS encouraged taxpayers to update their withholdings, but few did. More than halfway through 2018, after the law took effect, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) warned that more Americans would owe money to the IRS under the new law while those receiving refunds would decrease. In the end, many Americans saw modest increases in their paychecks throughout the year, but didn’t notice.
Trump’s tax cut for corporations and the wealthy didn’t just reduce the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. It also retained a boatload of corporate tax credits and loopholes, making the actual tax rate just 7 percent – the lowest in 71 years.
The biggest effect of the Trump tax cuts is obvious: People who own businesses and other sources of concentrated wealth will have a lot more money, and the federal budget will have less. But the advocates of the tax cuts insisted it wasn’t about letting the makers keep their hard-earned money rather than handing it over to the takers. It was about incentivizing business to repatriate funds and ramp up its investments, thereby increasing growth and wages.
AT&T in November 2017 pushed for the corporate tax cut by promising to invest an additional $1 billion in 2018, with CEO Randall Stephenson saying that "every billion dollars AT&T invests is 7,000 hard-hat jobs. These are not entry-level jobs. These are 7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year."
President Donald Trump complains that large corporations, such as Amazon.com Inc., are shirking their tax responsibilities. Yet for at least a decade, Trump paid none or very little in federal income taxes by exploiting some of the same generous tax breaks that the online retail giant and others have used to reduce IRS bills.
Big companies drove Donald Trump’s tax cut law but refused to commit to any specific wage hikes for workers, despite repeated White House promises it would help employees, an investigation shows. The 2017 Tax and Jobs Act – the Trump administration’s one major piece of enacted legislation – did deliver the biggest corporate tax cut in US history, but ultimately workers benefited almost not at all.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is unveiling a new way to tax corporations: Take them at their word. Due to the vagaries of American corporate accounting, companies routinely tell investors on conference calls that they made billions in profit over the previous quarter, then turn around and tell the IRS that, actually, they made no money at all, so they don’t owe any taxes. Warren’s plan would tax those companies on the profits they claim publicly.
At least 60 companies reported that their 2018 federal tax rates amounted to effectively zero, or even less than zero, on income earned on U.S. operations, according to an analysis released today by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The number is more than twice as many as ITEP found roughly, per year, on average in an earlier, multi-year analysis before the new tax law went into effect.
Corporate America brought $664.9 billion of offshore profits back to the U.S. last year, falling short of the $4 trillion President Donald Trump said would return as a result of the 2017 tax overhaul. Companies kept much of their overseas profit offshore because a 35 percent tax kicked in only if they brought the cash back to the U.S. But the Republican tax law set a one-time 15.5 percent tax rate on cash and 8 percent on non-cash or illiquid assets, regardless of the country where the profits sat.
The Big Cheat of 2018: Corporations Make Billions in Profits, Demand Tax Refunds from the American Public
The corporate tax rate nosedived from 35% to 21% in 2017, but the thirty companies listed here paid only 8.7% of their reported U.S. income in current federal taxes (even worse, an estimated 7.4% if U.S. income were based on a true percentage of sales). That's $30 to $35 billion—from just 30 companies—that is owed to the American public.
There’s more bad news for taxpayers. A government report has revealed that 11 million taxpayers are losing out on $323 billion worth of deductions due to a punishing change in President Donald Trump’s tax law. The hard news comes after early filers were stunned by shrinking — to vanishing — tax refunds.
The tax preparers at H&R Block had a new class before their busy season started this year: empathy training.They listened to a mock exchange between an employee and a customer whose refund would not just shrink but disappear. The ficticious client had received a $1,500 refund last year, but this year would owe $575.
America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism. In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21bn saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives.
Major U.S. banks shaved about $21 billion from their tax bills last year -- almost double the IRS’s annual budget -- as the industry benefited more than many others from the Republican tax overhaul.By year-end, most of the nation’s largest lenders met or exceeded their initial predictions for tax savings.
Whether you get a refund or owe extra to the IRS at filing time is a function not just of your total taxes owed, but also of how much tax is withheld from your paycheck by your employer on paydays. And the big story here is that as a result of the new tax law, the Treasury Department tweaked things so that on average taxpayers’ withholdings fell by more than their actual taxes owed.
Right before Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, President Trump proclaimed: “It’ll be fantastic for the middle-income people and for jobs, most of all ... I think we could go to 4%, 5% or even 6% [GDP growth], ultimately. We are back. We are really going to start to rock.” A year later, it’s very clear that the tax cuts boosted gross domestic product and jobs a bit — and just for one year.
‘Pouring Salt Into the Wound’ Amid Shutdown, Trump Signs Executive Order Freezing Pay of Nearly 2 Million Federal Workers
With hundreds of thousands of federal employees currently furloughed or working without pay due to the ongoing government shutdown, President Donald Trump delivered another blow to struggling workers on Friday by signing an executive order that will freeze the pay of around two million public employees in 2019.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio broke with his party by blasting last year’s tax overhaul for benefiting corporations rather than workers. “When corporation uses profits for stock buy back it’s deciding that returning capital to shareholders is better for business than investing in their products or workers,” Rubio said in a tweet Thursday. “Tax code encourages this. No surprise we have work life that is unstable & low paying.”
The U.S. recorded a $100.5 billion budget deficit in October, an increase of about 60 percent from a year earlier, as spending grew twice as fast as revenue. The deficit widened from $63.2 billion in the same month last year, the department said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. October marks the start of the U.S. fiscal year.
The $1.5 trillion tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law late last year has already given the American economy a jolt, at least temporarily. It has fattened the paychecks of most American workers, padded the profits of large corporations and sped economic growth.
The Treasury Department released figures on Monday showing the federal budget deficit widened by 17 percent in the 2018 fiscal year, to $779 billion. That’s an unusual jump for a year in which unemployment hit a five-decade low and the economy experienced a significant economic expansion. But the increase demonstrates that the tax cuts President Trump signed into law late last year have reduced federal revenues considerably, even against the backdrop of a booming economy.
The New York Times published a lengthy investigative report on Tuesday accusing President Donald Trump of participating in “dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud.” Despite his many 2016 campaign promises to eventually release his tax returns, he refuses to do so, and the public is still in the dark about his personal finances. Now, thanks to a vote last month by the 21 Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee, those tax returns are unlikely to come to light in the foreseeable future. Those Republicans voted to keep the president’s tax returns hidden.
With attention fixed on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new $3.1 trillion tax cut on Friday. The vote was 220 to 191, including three Democrats. The down-to-the-wire 2017 tax act passed in late December contained a mix of permanent and temporary changes that had to result in a net increased cost that fell within a structural limit of $1.5 trillion that allowed the Senate to approve the bill with a simple majority.
The federal government could soon pay more in interest on its debt than it spends on the military, Medicaid or children’s programs. The run-up in borrowing costs is a one-two punch brought on by the need to finance a fast-growing budget deficit, worsened by tax cuts and steadily rising interest rates that will make the debt more expensive.
A second round of Republican tax cuts would add an additional $3.2 trillion to the federal deficit over a decade, according to a new report released by a centrist think-tank. The package was taken up by a House committee on Thursday and is expected to head to a vote on the floor later this month.
Rising prices have erased U.S. workers’ meager wage gains, the latest sign strong economic growth has not translated into greater prosperity for the middle class and working class. Cost of living was up 2.9 percent from July 2017 to July 2018, the Labor Department reported Friday, an inflation rate that outstripped a 2.7 percent increase in wages over the same period.
The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives.Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Argentina this month that his department was studying whether it could use its regulatory powers to allow Americans to account for inflation in determining capital gains tax liabilities.
Economic growth surged in the second quarter — but don’t expect the boom to last. The second-quarter acceleration was widely anticipated by economists, a result of a confluence of events unlikely to recur. Most economists expect growth to slow in the second half of the year. Still, recent data does suggest that the pace of growth has picked up this year.
The amount of corporate taxes collected by the federal government has plunged to historically low levels in the first six months of the year, pushing up the federal budget deficit much faster than economists had predicted. The reason is President Trump’s tax cuts. The law introduced a standard corporate rate of 21 percent, down from a high of 35 percent, and allowed companies to immediately deduct many new investments.
The bond market’s yield curve is perilously close to predicting a recession — something it has done with surprising accuracy — and it’s become a big topic on Wall Street. Some economists on Wall Street think the economy could be growing at around a nearly 5 percent annualized clip this quarter. But if the current economic vigor is only reflecting a short-term stimulus coming from the Trump administration’s tax cut, then some kind of slowdown is to be expected.
The Treasury Department last week reversed itself after lobbying by Nevada Republicans and agreed to let a previously ineligible county reap huge benefits from the new tax law. Treasury officials had initially deemed that Storey County’s income levels were too high to qualify, based on the metrics they had used to judge every other nomination for the special tax status. But after weeks of prodding from Nevada officials, Treasury relented and gave the designation to Storey County using new data.
The average hourly wage paid to a key group of American workers has fallen from last year when accounting for inflation, as an economy that appears strong by several measures continues to fail to create bigger paychecks, the federal government said Tuesday.
Gary Cohn, who served as Trump's director of the National Economic Council but left amid a rift over the president's trade policies, said that retaliatory tariffs between countries could drive up inflation and prompt American consumers to take on more debt, possibly pushing the country into another economic downturn.
The financial future of the part of Medicare that pays older Americans’ hospital bills has deteriorated significantly, according to an annual government report that forecasts that the trust fund will be depleted by 2026 — three years sooner than expected a year ago. According to the report, less money will be flowing into the hospital-care trust fund in part because the tax law passed this year will cause the government to collect less in income taxes.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which President Trump signed into law in December, did not directly affect state budgets. It cut federal tax rates, but also made other changes that mean more income will be subject to taxation. Because most states use federal definitions of income and have not adjusted their own rates, the federal changes will have big consequences for both state budgets and taxpayers.
Trump calls on Congress to pull back $15 billion in spending, including on Children’s Health Insurance Program
“Let’s be honest about what this is: President Trump and Republicans in Congress are looking to tear apart the bipartisan [CHIP], hurting middle-class families and low-income children, to appease the most conservative special interests and feel better about blowing up the deficit to give the wealthiest few and biggest corporations huge tax breaks,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday.
More than 50,000 Hondurans who have been allowed to live and work in the United States since 1999 will have 20 months to leave the country or face deportation, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced Friday, the latest in a series of DHS measures aimed at tightening U.S. immigration controls.
Republicans sold the 2017 tax law as “rocket fuel” for American investment and growth, saying that corporations — flush with cash from lower tax rates — would channel money back into the economy by building factories and offices and investing in equipment, which would help companies grow and provide winnings for workers. But, so far, hard evidence of such an acceleration has yet to appear in economic data, which show more of a steady investment roll than a rapid escalation.
In 2018, the lion's share of the benefit — $17.4 billion, or 44.3 percent of the total — will go to roughly 200,000 Americans making $1 million or more who claim the pass-through deduction, the committee said. Another $3.6 billion, or 8.9 percent, will go to a similar number of taxpayers who earn $500,000 to $1 million.
Think about this. The same congressional Republicans who over the previous eight years wanted everyone to believe they were fiscal conservatives hell-bent on balancing the budget and not increasing the national debt, sponsored, passed and then danced around the fire because of legislation that will result in a permanent $1 trillion deficit and a debt that will soar to close to 100 percent of GDP by 2028.
The national debt, which has exceeded $21 trillion, will soar to more than $33 trillion in 2028, according to the budget office. By then, debt held by the public will almost match the size of the nation’s economy, reaching 96 percent of gross domestic product, a higher level than any point since just after World War II and well past the level that economists say could court a crisis.
A detailed analysis on how the Trump tax cuts will effect the middle class and 99 percent in general. Understand how the republicans took money from the middle class to pay for tax cuts for the billionaires.
The Republican tax law passed last fall will give the richest 1 percent of Americans an average personal income tax break of about $33,000, while the poorest Americans will receive an average personal income tax break of $40, according to a new study published this week by nonpartisan analysts.
The legislative blitz that rocketed the $1.5 trillion tax cut through Congress in less than two months created a host of errors and ambiguities in the law that businesses big and small are just now discovering and scrambling to address. Companies and trade groups are pushing the Treasury Department and Congress to fix the law’s consequences, some intended and some not, including provisions that disadvantage certain farmers, hurt restaurateurs and retailers and could balloon the tax bills of large multinational corporations.
President Trump promised that his tax cut would encourage companies to invest in factories, workers and wages, setting off a spending spree that would reinvigorate the American economy. Companies have announced plans for some of those investments. But so far, companies are using much of the money for something with a more narrow benefit: buying their own shares.
President Donald Trump and the Republicans sold their slapdash effort at tax reform as a boon to the middle class. As the law goes into effect, however, new polling suggests that most Americans are struggling to see any benefit at all in their paychecks.
American companies have lavished Wall Street with $171 billion of stock buyback announcements so far this year, according to research firm Birinyi Associates. That's a record-high for this point of the year and more than double the $76 billion that Corporate America disclosed at the same point of 2017.
Last week, in a development first reported by The Washington Post, the Treasury Department quietly released data estimating its 2018 borrowing needs would check in at $955 billion, then top $1 trillion in the next two fiscal years. Those sums are considerably higher than last year's $519 billion in debt issued, and an upward revision to estimates released by the Treasury in late 2017.
A new analysis has found that political mega-donors Charles and David Koch and/or the business they operate could make between $1 billion and $1.4 billion more money each year, thanks to the tax breaks in legislation passed in December by Republican members of Congress. The two brothers are currently worth a combined $104.4 billion.
Just days after the House passed its version of the federal tax law slashing corporate tax rates, House Speaker Paul Ryan collected nearly $500,000 in campaign contributions from billionaire energy mogul Charles Koch and his wife, according to a recent campaign donor report.
The last time that Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code, in 1986, it created a tax credit meant to encourage the private sector to invest in affordable housing. It has grown into a $9 billion-a-year social program that has funded the construction of some three million apartments for low-income residents.But the Republican tax plan approved last month amounts to a vast cutback, making it much less likely that such construction will continue apace.
On Wednesday afternoon, Apple posted a press release. The primary purpose of this statement, it seems, was to tell investors exactly how much money the company would have to pay in taxes on the profits it’s now repatriating from overseas. Instead of simply reporting this information, conservative media decided to drop it in the middle of a long missive titled “Apple Accelerates U.S. Investment and Job Creation.”
After bonus announcement, Walmart fires thousands of co-managers, replaces them with cheaper workers
After Walmart’s flashy announcement of bonuses of up to $1,000 for some of its workers, the real story played out quietly.On Wednesday, as news of the bonus announcement was lauded by Trump and Fox News, Walmart abruptly closed down 63 Sam’s Clubs stores. More than 9,000 people lost their jobs. Some only learned about the decision when they showed up to work and found the doors locked.
Some of the president’s economic policies could actually harm the farm industry. New analyses of the tax law by economists at the Department of Agriculture suggest it could actually lower farm output in the years to come and effectively raise taxes on the lowest-earning farm households, while delivering large gains for the richest farmers.
At least two major companies that publicly announced large bonuses for their employees after the passage of a massive GOP-led tax overhaul — which represented a windfall for wealthy Americans and big corporations — quietly laid off hundreds of workers at the same time. Comcast laid off more than 500 sales employees right before Christmas, AT&T is also in the process of laying off thousands of employees,
President Donald Trump joined his family at their “Winter White House” for the holidays Friday night after signing the GOP tax bill into law, and reportedly told wealthy friends dining at Mar-a-Lago, “You all just got a lot richer.” When Trump signed $1.5 trillion tax overhaul into law, ultra-wealthy earners in the 95th to 99th percentile received the biggest tax cuts, even though the top 1 percent already holds about 40 percent of American wealth.
Many U.S. charities are worried the tax overhaul bill signed by President Trump on Friday could spur a landmark shift in philanthropy, speeding along the decline of middle-class donors and transforming charitable gift-giving into a pursuit largely left to the wealthy.
The middle class, which Pew defines as two-thirds to two times the national median income for a given household size, began to grow after World War II due to a surge in economic growth and because President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal gave workers more power. Before that, most Americans were poor or nearly so.
Now Democrats have clips of the president talking about how this tax bill was really more about the corporate tax cuts all along and saying he just undid Obamacare — both of which weren't part of the argument for the bill. They also happen to be pretty good talking points, with the latter being something Democrats can credibly use to force Republicans into ownership of whatever happens with the American health-care system from now on.
U.S. corporations are already beginning the process of pocketing the winnings from the tax bill jackpot they expect to hit any day now, undercutting, in a remarkably public fashion, the pretense that the corporate tax cut will lead to greater investment in job creation. Since the Senate passed its version of the tax bill on December 2, 29 companies have announced $70.2 billion in stock buybacks, a maneuver that uses company cash to buy its own shares, which then drives up the price of those shares, rewarding major investors and executives whose compensation is directly tied to the company’s stock price.
The tax bill soaks some of rich Americans — but it does not soak the richest.It is the “pretty rich” right below that level that may get hit: the W2 employee making several hundred thousand dollars to millions of dollars a year with high state and local taxes that will not be fully deductible may see a higher tax bill. So will the chief executives of many large publicly traded companies who often itemize large, unreimbursed business expenses, which will no longer be allowed. Some executives are already calculating that they will be paying additional seven-figure sums in taxes.
Corker, the lone hold out on the Republican Tax policy, changes his vote last minute. Corker made his announcement two hours before the text of the tax bill was made public. In the 503-page text was a new provision that was not in the House or Senate legislation. It would specifically benefit real estate investors who operate “pass-through” businesses. This group includes President Trump — and also Bob Corker, who “has millions of dollars of ownership stakes in real-estate related LLCs that could also benefit” from the new provision.
After a failed economic experiment meant to boost economic growth blew a hole in the Kansas budget as big as a prairie sky (a $350m deficit in the current fiscal year and nearly $600m in the next) state jobs and services have been slashed. To make ends meet, money that was earmarked for roads has been diverted to the general fund. A state that used to maintain 1,200 miles of road a year is now repairing 200 miles a year. Even in the capital, Topeka, potholes are everywhere.
Republicans in Congress are openly admitting they plan to use their tax reform bill to justify slashing funding for essential social programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps. The bill — which is expected to balloon the national deficit by at least $1 trillion, and which only benefits the country’s wealthiest in the long-term — has not yet been reconciled or signed.
House and Senate Republicans, in their divergent bills, both offered steeply reduced rates to corporate giants, partnerships and family-owned firms across the board. But when it came time to eliminate special breaks or impose tighter standards, real estate was generally excused from the room.
GOP’s List of Economists Backing Tax Cut Includes Ghosts, Office Assistants, Ex-Felons, and a Sprinkling of Real Economists
Touting support for their tax cut legislation, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, released a letter this week signed by 137 economists who say they strongly endorse the Republican legislation before Congress. But a review of the economists listed on the letter reveals a number of discrepancies, including economists that are supposedly still academics but are actually retired, and others who have never been employed as economists. One might not even exist.
In 2015, Republicans changed the budget rules in Congress so that official scorekeepers would be required to analyze the potential economic impact of major legislation when determining how it would affect federal revenues. But on Thursday, hours before they were set to vote on the largest tax cut Congress has considered in years, Senate Republicans opened an assault on that scorekeeper, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and its analysis, which showed the Senate plan would not, as lawmakers contended, pay for itself but would add $1 trillion to the federal budget deficit.
Here in the Detroit suburbs and across the country, many voters say they view the Republican tax plan as simply a giveaway for the rich that will benefit only a small number of people in the long run. Trump and prominent members of his party promise that the cuts will spur economic growth — leading to more jobs and better pay — but many voters say they are skeptical that will actually happen.
There is a long-running, almost metaphysical, argument about the GOP’s deficit hawkery. One school of thought holds that it has always been pure cynicism. Republicans passed the Bush tax cuts without offsets and paid for neither Medicare Part D nor the Iraq War. When they began decrying the deficit and debt during President Obama’s administration, under this theory, it was nothing but opportunistic political attacks, and it was obvious they would be abandoned as soon as Republicans regained power.
Even hours after the Senate vote, tax experts were scratching their heads over precisely what had made it into the final version of the bill and the impact of some significant provisions. Still, it was clear that many changes expanded tax benefits for the wealthiest taxpayers, while other attempts to close loopholes fell by the wayside. The bill would add $1 trillion to deficits over the coming decade.
Speaking on the Senate floor ahead of the vote, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, called the Republican approach “a process and a product that no one can be proud of and everyone should be ashamed of.” He went on to warn that changes made to the bill “under the cover of darkness” would “stuff even more money into the pockets of the wealthy and the biggest corporations while raising taxes on millions in the middle class.”
The US government spends more than twice as much subsidizing the tax break for affluent homeowners, who would most likely be able to afford their homes anyway, as it does on helping the poorest families pay rent and avoid homelessness – $60.1bn versus $29.9bn in 2015. As Congress tackles tax reform, advocates and economists of all political stripes are appealing for the tax break to be addressed, but the chances of that are uncertain.
The Senate tax bill is really a health care bill with major implications for more than 100 million Americans who rely on the federal government for their health insurance. The bill reaches into every major American health care program: Medicaid, Medicare, and the Obamacare marketplaces.
The Senate Republican tax plan gives substantial tax cuts and benefits to Americans earning more than $100,000 a year, while the nation’s poorest would be worse off, according to a report released Sunday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Democrats have repeatedly slammed the bill as a giveaway to the rich at the expense of the poor. In addition to lowering taxes for businesses and many individuals, the Senate bill also makes a major change to health insurance that the CBO projects would have a harsh impact on lower-income families.Office.
For years, a coalition of well-funded groups on the religious right have waged an uphill battle to repeal a 1954 law that bans churches and other nonprofit groups from engaging in political activity. Now, those groups are edging toward a once-improbable victory as Republican lawmakers, with the enthusiastic backing of President Trump, prepare to rewrite large swaths of the United States tax code as part of the $1.5 trillion tax package moving through Congress.
The Republican tax overhaul bill introduced in the House last week would eliminate that deduction, which allows people who itemize their federal income taxes to deduct medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of their total income. The change is part of a broad effort to rewrite the tax code in a way that Republicans say will be simpler and fairer. But while the party has framed its tax plan as a boon for the middle class, eliminating the medical-expense deduction would hit the middle class squarely, eliminating a source of relief that has helped millions of people cope with steep medical costs in a country without comprehensive, universal health coverage.
Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) got points for honesty Tuesday while advocating for Republicans’ tax bill to slash the corporate tax rate and eliminate the estate tax, among other things. “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again,’” Collins said. According to the Hill, Collins made the comment while speaking to reporters after a House GOP conference meeting.
Republican tax bill targets their opponents and rewards their supporters. It favors rich investors, who mostly vote Republican. It punishes big, urban states that mostly vote Democratic. It hurts universities, which are also filled with Democrats. And it specifically harms students, who mostly wouldn’t be caught dead ever voting for a Republican. Has a big tax bill ever been this carefully constructed to reward and punish voters who support the right or wrong party?
The most recent version of the Republican tax plan unveiled Thursday leaves Republicans representing blue states in a tough spot, threatening to derail the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act train just as it’s leaving the station. Subsidizing tax cuts for the wealthy by making middle-class people in Democratic-leaning states pay more might make for satisfying politics for House Republicans, but the math will be difficult for them.
“Contrary to their assertions, the Republicans are picking winners and losers,” Jerry Howard, chief executive of the National Association of Homebuilders, said in an interview. “They are picking rich Americans and corporations over small businesses and the middle class.”
President Donald Trump on Thursday named former Ernst & Young LLP executive David Kautter to serve as the interim head of the Internal Revenue Service after the current chief, John Koskinen, finishes his term on November 12. During his three decades of work at Ernst & Young, Kautter served as the director of national tax practices at a time when his firm was engaged in a massive effort to assist wealthy clients with tax avoidance schemes.
The Senate approved the Republican-backed budget Thursday night, a major step forward for the GOP effort to enact tax cuts. The budget’s passage will allow the GOP to use a procedural maneuver to pass tax legislation through the Senate with 50 or more votes, removing the need for support from Democratic senators.
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