Image

How Trump’s Tax Plan Could Affect You

 

Jonnelle Marte

The White House unveiled a broad outline Wednesday for a dramatically simpler tax code that could lead to lower tax bills for many ordinary taxpayers but also eliminate many of the tax deductions that Americans currently claim.

President Trump’s plan, which offered few details, could cut taxes for some middle- and high-income families and for parents, and also reduce taxes for businesses large and small. The plan would also substantially increase the standard deduction, which reduces an individual’s taxable income, and would eliminate some common tax deductions such as those used to offset medical costs or state and local taxes.

Without more details, it is difficult to know exactly how some taxpayers will fare. The White House will need to work with Congress on the final plan, which could look very different if lawmakers push back against some of the proposed changes.

Here is a look at some of the major changes that could affect you:

Larger standard deduction would mean lower tax bills. The plan calls for doubling the standard deduction that people can claim on their income tax returns, which would lower tax bills for some taxpayers and lead to a much simpler tax filing process for others. Under the proposal, married couples filing jointly would not owe income taxes on the first $24,000 of income (up from $12,600).

U.S. National Economic Director Gary Cohn© L and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin unveil the Trump administration’s tax reform proposal in the… U.S. National Economic Director Gary Cohn

 

Gary Cohn, the director of Trump’s National Economic Council, told reporters Wednesday that the higher standard deduction means that fewer people will have to file itemized deductions to reduce their taxable income, which could lead to a simpler tax return.

Most tax deductions are going away. All individual tax deductions would be eliminated with the exception of deductions related to homeownership and charitable contributions, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at the briefing Wednesday.

Under that scenario, taxpayers would no longer be able to write off expenses now commonly deducted, such as state and local property taxes and medical expenses. The White House will have to work with Congress to finalize the details of the plan, and it’s not clear if lawmakers will be willing to eliminate some of the deductions that may be popular in their home states.

Fewer tax brackets. The proposal would reduce seven tax brackets to three brackets with tax rates at 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. Currently, tax brackets range from 10 percent to 39.6 percent, based on income. High-earning taxpayers could see an immediate tax break on their income taxes, while low-income families may not feel much of a change, said Alan Cole, an economist with the Tax Foundation, a conservative think tank. However, the proposal did not disclose the income ranges for the new tax brackets.

Bigger tax breaks for parents. The plan calls for increasing the tax benefits available to families paying for child and dependent-care costs, such as day care, but few details were provided. Trump is considering raising the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, a tax break that allows parents to reduce their tax bills by up to $2,100, based on how much they spend on child care.

The approach would be different from Trump’s earlier plan, which was criticized as an approach that would mostly benefit high-earning taxpayers. That plan would have allowed parents to deduct the cost of child care from their income, which would not have provided much tax savings to lower-income families that do not owe much in income taxes.

Reduced taxes on the wealthy. The plan calls for eliminating two key taxes that traditionally affect higher earners: the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax. The alternative minimum tax was enacted to ensure high income earners would pay a minimum tax even if they were claiming numerous tax breaks. But the tax now affects about 5 million middle- and high-income taxpayers, according to estimates from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

The estate tax, which is also known as the death tax, affects people who inherit wealth or businesses worth more than about $5.5 million. Some people struggle to pay tax bills owed on money and assets they inherit from family members, Cohn said.

Lower tax rate for business owners. Some small and family-run businesses are subject to individual income tax rates, which can be as high as 39.6 percent. Under the president’s plan, they would pay a lower rate of 15 percent. Mnuchin said the administration would include provisions to keep wealthy business owners of large companies from taking advantage of the lower rate, but he did not offer details.              (The Washington Post)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Federal Judge Blocks Trump Order On Santuary City DeFunding

 

By SUDHIN THANAWALA

Video by MSNBC

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Tuesday blocked any attempt by the Trump administration to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration officials, saying the president has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the preliminary injunction in two lawsuits — one brought by the city of San Francisco, the other by Santa Clara County — against an executive order targeting communities that protect immigrants from deportation.

The injunction will stay in place while the lawsuits work their way through court.

The judge rejected the administration’s argument that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money and said President Donald Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

Even if the president could do so, those conditions would have to be clearly related to the funds at issue and not coercive, as the executive order appears to be, Orrick said.

“Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves,” the judge said.

It was the third major setback for the administration on immigration policy.

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2017 file photo, Moina Shaiq holds a sign at a rally outside of City Hall in San Francisco. On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, a federal judge blocked a Trump administration order to withhold funding from communities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities, saying the president has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)© The Associated Press FILE – In this Jan. 25, 2017 file photo, Moina Shaiq holds a sign at a rally outside of City Hall in San Francisco. On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, a federal judge blocked a Trump administration order to withhold funding from…  

The Justice Department had no immediate comment.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said the president was “forced to back down.”

“This is why we have courts — to halt the overreach of a president and an attorney general who either don’t understand the Constitution or chose to ignore it,” he said in a statement.

A Justice Department attorney, Chad Readler, had defended the president’s executive order as an attempt to use his “bully pulpit” to “encourage communities and states to comply with the law.”

And he said the order applied to only three Justice Department and Homeland Security grants that would affect less than $1 million for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco.

But the judge disagreed, saying the order was written broadly to “reach all federal grants” and potentially jeopardizes hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to San Francisco and Santa Clara.

He cited comments by the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions as evidence that the order was intended to target a wide array of federal funding. And he said the president himself had called it a “weapon” to use against recalcitrant cities.

The government hasn’t cut off any money yet or declared any communities to be sanctuary cities. But the Justice Department sent letters last week warning communities to prove they are in compliance. California was informed it could lose $18.2 million.

“Sanctuary cities” is a loosely defined term for jurisdictions that don’t comply with immigration authorities.

The Trump administration argued that the executive order applied narrowly to cities that forbid officials to report people’s immigration status to federal authorities. Orrick said it could also be construed to apply to cities that refuse to hold jail inmates for immigration authorities.

The Trump administration says that sanctuary cities allow dangerous criminals back on the street and that the order is needed to keep the country safe. San Francisco and other sanctuary cities say turning local police into immigration officers erodes the trust that is needed to get people to report crime.

The order has also led to lawsuits by Seattle; two Massachusetts cities, Lawrence and Chelsea; and a third San Francisco Bay Area government, the city of Richmond. The San Francisco and Santa Clara County lawsuits were the first to get a hearing before a judge.

On Tuesday, mayors from several cities threatened with the loss of federal grants emerged from a meeting with Sessions saying they remain confused about how to prove their police are in compliance with immigration policies.

The sanctuary city order was among a flurry of immigration measures Trump has signed since taking office in January, including a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and a directive calling for a wall on the Mexican border.

A federal appeals court blocked the travel ban. The administration then revised it, but the new version also is stalled in court.                    AP

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Trump, Aides Take Hard Line On Border Wall, As Threat Of Government Shutdown Looms

 

Sean Sullivan
President Trump and his top aides applied new pressure Sunday on lawmakers to include money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in a must-pass government funding bill, raising the possibility of a federal government shutdown this week.

In a pair of tweets, Trump attacked Democrats for opposing the wall and insisted that Mexico would pay for it “at a later date,” despite his repeated campaign promises not including that qualifier. And top administration officials appeared on Sunday morning news shows to press for wall funding, including White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, who said Trump might refuse to sign a spending bill that does not include any.

Democrats said they vigorously oppose any money for the border wall in a new spending bill, setting the stage for a last-minute showdown as the White House and lawmakers scramble to pass a stopgap bill to fund the government beyond the end of Friday, when funding will run out.

Trump’s position could also put him at odds with Republican congressional leaders, some of whom have voiced skepticism about including wall funding in the most immediate spending bill. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) made clear to rank-and-file GOP lawmakers on Saturday that his top priority was to pass a bill to keep government open.

“The Democrats don’t want money from budget going to border wall despite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members,” Trump tweeted Sunday morning. In a subsequent tweet, he wrote: “Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall.”

On “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace asked Mulvaney, “Will he [Trump] sign a government funding bill that does not include funding for the border wall?”

“Yeah, and I think you saw his answer just in your little lead-in, which is: We don’t know yet,” Mulvaney said in the interview. He was referring to comments Trump recently made to the Associated Press.

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus appeared to take a slightly less rigid approach to getting money for the border wall, repeatedly talking more generally about the need for “border security.” Still, he mentioned the wall in the context of the president’s goals.

“I think that as long as the president’s priorities are adequately reflected … and there’s enough as far as flexibility for the border wall and border security, I think we’ll be okay with that,” he said.

President Donald Trump poses for a portrait in the Oval Office in Washington, Friday, April 21, 2017.© AP Photo/Andrew Harnik President Donald Trump poses for a portrait in the Oval Office in Washington, Friday, April 21, 2017.  

Democrats took a hard stance against the wall.

“The wall is, in my view, immoral, expensive, unwise, and when the president says, ‘Well, I promised a wall during my campaign,’ I don’t think he said he was going to pass billions of dollars of cost of the wall on to the taxpayer,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on “Meet the Press.”

Trump campaigned heavily on the promise of building a wall, which he said would curb illegal immigration and the flow of drugs into the United States. Mexico’s president has said his country will not pay for the wall.

“I don’t think anybody is trying to get to a shutdown,” Mulvaney said. “A shutdown is not a desired end. It’s not a tool. It’s not something we want to have. We want our priorities funded. And one of the biggest priorities during the campaign was border security — keeping Americans safe. And part of that was a border wall.”

Asked recently by the Associated Press whether he would sign a bill without border funding, Trump replied: “I don’t know yet. People want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall. My base really wants it.”

Trump administration officials have steadily advocated for funding the wall in recent days.

“I think it goes without saying that the president has been pretty straightforward about his desire and the need for a border wall,” Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” that aired Sunday. “So I would suspect, he’ll do the right thing for sure, but I would suspect he will be insistent on the funding.”

Mulvaney has said that the administration is willing to negotiate with Democrats — funding insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in exchange for support for wall funding.

But Democratic leaders say they are not open to that.

“The White House gambit to hold hostage health care for millions of Americans, in order to force American taxpayers to foot the bill for a wall that the President said would be paid for by Mexico is a complete non-starter,” Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), said in a statement Friday. House said Sunday that statement still stands.

“ObamaCare is in serious trouble. The Dems need big money to keep it going — otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought,” Trump tweeted Sunday. It was unclear whether his tweet was meant to bolster Mulvaney’s negotiating position.

Republicans hold a 52-to-48 advantage over the Democratic caucus in the Senate. But Senate rules protecting the minority give Democrats some leverage. Senate Republicans must get 60 votes to pass legislation, meaning it is impossible to do so without some Democratic support.

Further complicating matters for the White House, some Republicans in Congress say they don’t view wall funding as a must-have item in a short term spending bill.

“We’re just trying to finish out the current cycle, the current budget year,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” “And so I think that’s a fight worth having and a conversation and a debate worth having for 2018. And if we can do some of that now, that would be great. But we cannot shut down the government right now.”

The spending showdown comes as Congress prepares to return from a two-week recess with a busy to-do list. Trump and some other Republicans have been pressing to revive work on health-care legislation, which stalled last month because Republicans could not agree on a strategy for repealing and replacing the ACA.

On Sunday, Republicans from Congress and the administration sounded less than confident lawmakers would pass a revamped health-care bill this week.

“Health care may happen next week. It may not. We’re hopeful it will,” said Priebus.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration plans to release a very general sketch of its tax reform plan this week, Mulvaney said.

“I think what are you going to see Wednesday is some specific governing principles, some guidance,” he said, explaining that the White House will not release specific legislative text. “Also some indications of what the rates are going to be.”

Asked whether the plan will be revenue-neutral, Mulvaney replied, “I don’t think we’ve decided that part yet.”    (The Washington Post)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Trump To Release Plan For Major Tax Cuts Next Week |The Republican News

 

By JULIE PACE
Related video: Tax plan with massive tax cut to be unveiled next week (Provided by CNBC)

President Donald Trump says businesses and individuals will receive a “massive tax cut” under a tax reform package he plans to unveil next week.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Trump says the plan will result in tax cuts for both individuals and businesses. He would not provide details of the plan, saying only that the tax cuts will be “bigger I believe than any tax cut ever.”

The president says the package will be released on “Wednesday or shortly thereafter” — just before his 100-day mark in office.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin initially set a goal of getting tax reform passed by August, but that deadline has slipped. Mnuchin now says the administration still hoped to get a bill passed well before the end of the year.

(Associated Press)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

LATEST: Trump Says Iran Not Living Up To Nuclear Deal |The Republican News

 

 

WASHINGTON — The Latest on Thursday’s press conference with President Donald Trump and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (all times EDT):

4:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Iran is not living up to the “spirit” of the nuclear agreement.

Trump says Iran is doing “a tremendous disservice” to the agreement brokered by the Obama administration.

The 2015 agreement by Iran and six other world powers ended some of the sanctions that had punished and isolated Iran for its nuclear program but maintained others dealing with ballistic missile research, terrorism, human rights violations and money laundering.

Trump spoke during a joint press conference Thursday with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni,

Trump says the agreement was “a terrible agreement. It shouldn’t have been signed.”

He says his administration will have “something to say about” the Iran nuclear deal “in the not too distant future.” He didn’t elaborate.

___

4:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Thursday’s fatal shooting in Paris “looks like another terrorist attack.”

Paris police say a gunman has killed a police officer and wounded another before being killed himself in an attack on the Champs-Elysees shopping district.

It was unclear how Trump concluded that terrorism may have been a factor. Paris police have yet to announce a motive,

Trump is also offering condolences from the U.S. to the people of France.

He calls the attack a “terrible thing” and says “it never ends.” He says people must be strong and vigilant.

The attack came three days before the first round of balloting in France’s presidential election.

AP

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

President Trump To Sign ‘Hire American’ Executive Order

 

Gregory Korte
This file photo taken on December 13, 2016 shows then President-elect Donald Trump speaking at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center in West Allis, Wisconsin.© DON EMMERT, AFP/Getty Images This file photo taken on December 13, 2016 shows then President-elect Donald Trump speaking at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center in West Allis, Wisconsin.  

WASHINGTON — President Trump will sign a double-barreled executive order Tuesday that will clamp down on guest worker visas and require agencies to buy more goods and services from U.S. companies and workers.

Trump will sign the so-called “Buy American, Hire American” executive order during a visit to Snap-On Tools in Kenosha, Wis., Tuesday, said two senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the order Monday. The officials spoke on condition they not be identified because the cabinet-level officials who could discuss the matter on the record were unavailable.

By combining aspects of immigration policy with federal procurement regulations, Trump is using executive action to advance his philosophy of economic nationalism without waiting for action from Congress.  But like many of his previous executive orders, the order will largely call on cabinet secretaries to fill in the details with reports and recommendations about what the administration can legally do.

Specifically targeted: The H-1B visa program, which allows 85,000 foreign workers into the United States each year to take specific high-skilled jobs with U.S. companies. The program is popular with the information technology industry, which Trump has accused of “importing low-wage workers on H-1B visas to take jobs from young college-trained Americans.”

The executive order will stop short of the one- to two-year moratorium on new skilled worker visas that Trump called for during the campaign. And it comes too late to have a direct effect on this year’s visa season, which opened April 3.

Instead, the executive order will look for administrative changes, including an overhaul of the lottery system used to determine which companies can sponsor the visas, one official said. Other visa programs, like the H-2B seasonal worker visa that Trump himself uses to staff his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., will be largely unaffected.

The “Buy American” portion of the order will tighten the waivers and exemptions that agencies use to get around procurement laws that favor American-made goods, and require agency heads to sign off on those waivers. It will require agencies to consider whether foreign governments are using unfair trade practices when considering the lowest responsible bidder. And it includes language requiring transportation projects to use steel “melted and poured” in the United States.

Trump will sign the order in Wisconsin, a state he won last November with an appeal to blue-collar workers and a promise to revive manufacturing jobs.    (USA TODAY)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Trump Reverses Views On Russia, Sees China As Partner, Agreeing To Obama’s Views

By JOSH LEDERMAN

WASHINGTON — Once soft on Russia and hard on China, President Donald Trump rapidly reversed course in the last weeks, concluding there’s more business to be done with Beijing than with Moscow.Trump’s evolving views on those two world powers have brought the U.S. back into alignment with former President Barack Obama’s pattern of “great power” politics. Though Russia critics welcomed Trump’s newly hardened tone, there’s less enthusiasm from America’s allies in Asia, who fear the U.S. could overlook China’s more aggressive posture toward its neighbors.

It may be that Trump, the businessman-turned-world leader, is discovering China’s transactional approach to foreign relations is better suited to achieving his own goals. Chinese leaders have sought a U.S. relationship based on the two powers respecting each other’s spheres of influence and not intervening in one another’s internal affairs.

Such a balance-of-powers approach had been Russia’s traditional stance. Moscow still wants Washington out of its backyard, but Russia’s alleged campaigns to influence the U.S. presidential election and upcoming votes in the heart of Western Europe have made it harder for American officials to take the offer seriously. Russia’s support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and Trump’s newfound commitment to militarily countering any chemical weapons attacks also is proving hard to square.

Also, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s shared tendency toward nationalist, “don’t-mess-with-us” rhetoric may be putting the pair on a collision course.

FILE - In this April 12, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump pauses during a news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington. Once soft on Russia and hard on China, President Donald Trump rapidly reversed course in the last weeks, concluding there’s more business to be done with Beijing than with Moscow. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)© The Associated Press FILE – In this April 12, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump pauses during a news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington. Once soft on Russia and hard on China, President Donald Trump rapidly reversed course in the last weeks, concluding there’s more business to be done with Beijing than with Moscow. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The sudden U-turn has been head-snapping for people around the world, despite Trump’s self-professed penchant for unpredictability and willingness to adapt to changing circumstances.

As the Republican presidential nominee, Trump praised Putin repeatedly as a strong, “very smart” leader. Trump dismissed America’s Russia hawks as “stupid people or fools” and predicted under his leadership that the Cold War foes would “work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the world.”

Trump’s gestures to Moscow even fueled perceptions that his campaign and Russia were colluding to help him get elected — a possibility the FBI is now investigating.

“Frankly, if we got along with Russia and knocked out ISIS, that would be a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump told a radio host in October, citing his still unrealized goal to have both countries cooperate to defeat the Islamic State group.

This past week, it was the opposite message, as the U.S. and Russia feuded about Syria.

“We’re not getting along with Russia at all,” Trump said. “We may be at an all-time low.”

Trump’s declaration came at a joint news conference with the leader of NATO, an alliance established as a Cold War bulwark against the Soviet Union. Trump had dismissed NATO as “obsolete,” but now says it is “no longer obsolete.”

As he shifts away from Russia, Trump is offering an outstretched hand to China. Trump recently hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump’s Florida resort, and on Thursday hailed Xi as a “terrific person” and a “very special man.”

For years Trump said that China was “eating our lunch,” and he peppered his campaign rallies with promises to label China a currency manipulator as one of his first acts. He even threatened to start a trade war, arguing that China’s trade surplus was the reason for America’s economic woes.

Trump’s growing focus on the North Korean threat, heightened by signs the North might soon conduct another nuclear test, has changed Trump’s thinking. Now he is looking for help from China, North Korea’s dominant trade partner, and easing up on his rhetoric. “I think China has really been working very hard” on North Korea, he said.

Coinciding with this new assessment was Trump’s announcement that he won’t declare China a currency manipulator. It was Trump’s second major concession to Xi, after backing away from a threat to abandon America’s “One China” policy that sees Taiwan as part of China.

So what did Trump, the self-declared deal-maker, get in return?

“The U.S. hasn’t gotten anything from China yet,” said Evan Medeiros, who was Obama’s top Asia adviser in the White House. “The question becomes, if they don’t give him what he wants, what happens next?”

Trump and White House aides have pointed to Beijing’s move to restrict coal imports from North Korea as a sign it’s listening to Trump. But the restriction merely put in place U.N. sanctions passed last year with China’s support — before Trump took office.

Although U.S. allies Japan and South Korea are heartened by Trump’s North Korea focus, his softer tack toward Beijing is causing concern. China’s other designs for Asia include staking sovereignty to maritime territories, sometimes far from its coast, that others countries claim as well.

Despite Trump’s argument that China is taking North Korea seriously, China remains adamantly opposed to U.S. deployment of an advanced missile defense system in South Korea. Trump, like Obama before him, insists the system’s sole purpose is to protect against the North. Beijing isn’t so sure, and doesn’t like such sophisticated radar being able to peer into Chinese territory.

AP

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: