Business at the Fore

Wednesday, April 26, 2017Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 08.37.53

Good Wednesday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • Republicans are likely to embrace President Trump’s proposed 15-percent business tax rate that would apply to everything from mom-and-pop outfits to Mr. Trump’s own real estate empire. But the plan omits the border adjustment import tax proposed by House Republicans, which would have raised substantial revenue to offset the deep cuts.
  • Talk of a corporate tax cut helped fuel a stock rally, but executives say it is too soon to judge whether the president can deliver on his promises.
  • A federal judge in California temporarily halted the administration’s efforts to withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities, which limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.
  • Lawmakers from both parties said Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser, may have violated the law by not disclosing his business dealings with Russia as required.
  • The threat of a government shutdown is fading as lawmakers negotiate a spending bill that would supply no money for a border wall but would increase funding for the military and other border security measures.
  • An executive order to expand offshore drilling and roll back conservation on public lands would begin to fulfill a campaign promise to create thousands of jobs in energy.
  • Eleven current and former employees filed a class-action suit accusing Fox News of “abhorrent, intolerable, unlawful and hostile racial discrimination.”
​— The First Draft Team

Arthur Laffer’s Theory on Tax Cuts Comes to Life Once More

Arthur Laffer in 1981. His theory linking tax cutting and economic growth has been revived in President Trump’s plan.

Arthur Laffer in 1981. His theory linking tax cutting and economic growth has been revived in President Trump’s plan. Associated Press

A white cloth napkin, now displayed in the National Museum of American History, helped change the course of modern economics. On it, the economist Arthur Laffer in 1974 sketched a curve meant to illustrate his theory that cutting taxes would spur enough economic growth to generate new tax revenue.
More than 40 years after those scribblings, President Trump is reviving the so-called Laffer curve as he announces the broad outlines of a tax overhaul on Wednesday. What the first President George Bush once called “voodoo economics” is back, as Mr. Trump’s advisers argue that deep cuts in corporate taxes will ultimately pay for themselves with an explosion of new business and job creation.
The exact contours of the plan remained murky and Mr. Trump will not produce a fully realized proposal on Wednesday. But what the president has called a tax reform plan is looking more like a tax cut plan, showering taxpayers with rate reductions without offsetting the full cost by closing loopholes or raising taxes elsewhere. In the short run, such a plan would add many billions of dollars to the national deficit. Mr. Trump contends that it will be worth it in the long run.
Read more »
Allyson Boate warming up before a performance of “Hamlet” at the Matthews Opera House & Arts Center in Spearfish, S.D.

A Red State’s Arts Blues


South Dakota, which voted decisively for Donald J. Trump, is also a prime recipient of grants from the arts agencies the president wants to eliminate.

President Trump at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s National Days of Remembrance ceremony at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Trump Takes Forceful Tone at Holocaust Remembrance: ‘Never Again’


The president appears to be trying to reset his relationship with the Jewish community after a series of controversies.

Randolph D. Alles in 2013.

Randolph Alles, Retired General, Is Chosen to Lead Secret Service


Mr. Alles, who came from Customs and Border Protection, will be the first director of the agency in at least a century not to have served in its ranks.

Lumber Tariff Adds Wrinkle to Nafta Talks With Canada


The Trump administration seized on the decision to slap tariffs on the industry’s exports as a way to demonstrate the president’s tough-on-trade posture.

The far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has vowed to withdraw France from the integrated military command of NATO, an alliance that President Trump once derided but now supports.

A Marine Le Pen Victory Wouldn’t Necessarily Be a Win for Trump


The two nationalist politicians’ views have drifted apart as Mr. Trump moved to more conventional positions on NATO, the E.U. and the Middle East.

Ivanka Trump Is Jeered in Berlin After Defending Her Father


The president’s daughter, on a stage with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, said her father was a champion of families. Some in the audience groaned.

Makan Delrahim, President Trump’s nominee for assistant attorney general for antitrust. His confirmation hearing is scheduled on Wednesday.

How Trump’s Pick for Top Antitrust Cop May Shape Competition


Makan Delrahim, the choice to head antitrust matters at the Justice Department, said he did not plan to use federal laws in “a fishing expedition.”

President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin outside the Treasury building on Friday.

5 Key Questions on Trump’s Plans for ‘Maybe the Biggest Tax Cut’


The crucial issues are whether the president is aligned with House Republicans, whether he is keeping his campaign promises and whether his proposal has a chance of passing.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.From the Right
Byron York in The Washington Examiner:
“The bottom line is that Trump has been a 100 day success when it comes to exercising the executive powers of the presidency.”
The first-hundred-days metric is notoriously difficult to quantify: By which standards should a president be judged? Byron York decides to assess President Trump’s first 100 days against the promises he made in his so-called Contract With the American Voter. By this measure, Mr. York argues, the president has successfully kept half of his pledges to his voters — those enacted by executive order. Read more »
_____From the Left

• Cornel West in The Guardian:

“Even as we forge a united front against Trump’s neofascist efforts, we must admit the Democratic Party has failed us and we have to move on.”
The president isn’t the only one subject to a 100-day review. In a column for The Guardian, Cornel West offers a strong rebuke to the Democratic Party. It has failed to lead on progressive causes, Dr. West argues, and “lacks imagination, courage and gusto.” He goes on to urge progressives to abandon the party and forge a new coalition in this “time of transition.” Read more »
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