You are here

Trump and Congress Reach Deal on Principles of Tax Overhaul

Republicans plan to heed the lessons from their health care legislation efforts and use a more conventional process to get a tax bill done. Policy staff members for the House Ways and Means Committee and for the Senate Finance Committee are expected to work through August to write the tax legislation. Mr. Trump is expected to spend time next month barnstorming the country to make the case for the tax overhaul. The statement on Thursday said Republican leaders were prioritizing permanent tax changes that reduce tax rates for all American…

Read More

Brownback nominated to serve as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom

ST. PAUL, MN – SEPTEMBER 04: U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) speaks on day four of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center on September 4, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will accept the GOP nomination for U.S. President Thursday night. Alex Wong / Getty Images President Donald Trump will nominate Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to serve as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. If confirmed by the Senate, he’ll run the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom. Brownback is a former…

Read More

Trump donates three-month salary to Department of Education

President Donald Trump is donating his second-quarter salary to the Department of Education. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump chose to give the department $100,000. His first-quarter salary donation went to the Department of Interior. “It’s that time again, as many of you have probably noticed, for us to announce where the president will be donating his quarterly salary,” Sanders said Wednesday during the daily White House press briefing. “This quarter the president will be donating his salary to the Department of Education.” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos…

Read More

GOP wants to kill a tax break beneficial to blue states

When are Republicans in favor of raising taxes? Turns out it’s when the states that benefit the most from the tax break are Democratic strongholds.  The GOP is eager to eliminate the federal deduction for state and local taxes, a break that provides the biggest bang for the buck to residents of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and California. Not a single Republican-leaning state ranks in the top 10. “Although Republicans usually recoil at any type of tax increase, cutting this tax break would almost be fun for them,” said…

Read More

Medicare funding: Problems and solutions

Medicare’s funding problems often get overlooked when the Social Security trustees issue their annual report on the funded status of the Social Security and Medicare programs. Yet together they form the twin pillars of financial security for retirees. That’s why it’s important to understand Medicare’s financial situation, so you can be an informed health care planner — and voter. According to the summary of the 2017 annual report, “Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing. Lawmakers have a broad continuum of policy…

Read More

Economic View: When the (Empty) Apartment Next Door Is Owned by an Oligarch

“We’re not talking about an asset bubble in apples, or copper or something that you could easily forgo,” said Josh Gordon, a professor in the School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. Worrisome things happen when one person’s asset is another’s shelter. New data this week from the National Association of Realtors estimates that foreigners, led by the Chinese, invested $153 billion in housing in the United States in the year that ended in March, up a remarkable 49 percent from the previous year. Nonresident foreigners…

Read More

A Drug Maker Spends Big in Washington to Make Itself Heard

Mallinckrodt also spent $610,000 lobbying Congress, triple the amount of 2015’s first quarter. The company, which makes pain-control drugs as well as H. P. Acthar, an injectable gel prescribed for multiple sclerosis and other diseases, has lobbied on issues related to opioids, patents, Medicare and other matters, regulatory filings show. Mallinckrodt is far from unique. This year, a critical and risky one for drug companies, the industry as a whole is ratcheting up campaign donations and its presence on Capitol Hill, a new database compiled by Kaiser Health News shows….

Read More

White House Scaling Back Goals for Business Tax Cuts

A White House spokeswoman, Natalie Strom, said: “Discussions between the White House and Congress are progressing in a very positive direction. We have always had more areas of agreement than disagreement, and we feel confident we will develop a unified plan that will deliver on our goals of economic growth and tax relief for hard-working middle-income families.” A corporate tax rate in the 20 percent range would put the Trump administration in line with the tax blueprint released last year by Mr. Ryan and would reflect a more realistic approach…

Read More

State GOP urges ‘civil disobedience’ over new Seattle tax, says residents should not pay

Republicans in Washington state are calling for “civil disobedience” as they openly encourage Seattle residents to refuse paying a newly passed income tax that critics claim is illegal.  The tax, passed by the Seattle City Council, targets high-income earners as part of what local lawmakers call “a new formula for fairness.”  But critics and analysts say it was passed in defiance of state law, and the state GOP has escalated its opposition by urging residents to “forcefully resist.”  “This law is unconstitutional, illegal, and against the voter’s will expressed nine times…

Read More