Trump’s Tax Returns

Wednesday, March 15, 2017Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 09.21.05

Good Wednesday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • In a rare glimpse into the president’s finances, the White House said that President Trump paid an effective rate of 25 percent in federal taxes on $150 million in 2005. The statement pre-empted a reveal by Rachel Maddow, who said earlier that she would publicly release the form on her show on MSNBC.
  • A day after the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the health bill’s impact, the House Republican plan faced criticism from both the party’s conservative and moderate factions, and nervous Senate Republicans suggested changes to the bill.
  • Neil M. Gorsuch, Mr. Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, represented the mogul Philip F. Anschutz as an outside counsel and has links to other executives at his companies.
  • A $400 million deal to sell a stake in a New York skyscraper to a Chinese company would be highly lucrative for the family of Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, but it also presents the possibility of glaring conflicts of interest.
  • Every president brings along a coterie of friends with minimal government experience, but with loyalty prized over experience, few have arrived with a contingent more colorful than that of Mr. Trump.
— The First Draft Team

No Magic in How G.O.P. Plan Lowers Premiums: It Pushes Out Older People

By MARGOT SANGER-KATZ
Speaker Paul D. Ryan at a news conference on the American Health Care Act last week. He has said that increased choice and competition will lead to lower prices.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan at a news conference on the American Health Care Act last week. He has said that increased choice and competition will lead to lower prices. Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

There are a lot of unpleasant numbers for Republicans in the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of their health care bill. But the congressional leadership found one to cheer: The report says that the bill will eventually cut the average insurance premiums for people who buy their own insurance by 10 percent.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan pressed that point in a series of appearances Monday night, suggesting that the budget office had found that the House bill would increase choice and competition and lead to lower prices. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, issued a statement saying, “The Congressional Budget Office agrees that the American Health Care Act will ultimately lower premiums and increase access to care.”
But the way the bill achieves those lower average premiums has little to do with increased choice and competition. It depends, rather, on penalizing older patients and rewarding younger ones. According to the C.B.O. report, the bill would make health insurance so unaffordable for many older Americans that they would simply leave the market and join the ranks of the uninsured.
Read more »

G.O.P. Senators Suggest Changes for Health Care Bill Offered by House

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER AND THOMAS KAPLAN

Speaker Paul D. Ryan cited the Congressional Budget Office’s forecast for a $337 billion cut in the deficit to try to gain the backing of G.O.P. conservatives.

Trump Wrote Off $100 Million in Business Losses in 2005

By PETER BAKER

The MSNBC host Rachel Maddow disclosed information from President Trump’s 2005 tax return, which was leaked to the reporter David Cay Johnston, on Tuesday night.

Neil Gorsuch Has Web of Ties to Secretive Billionaire

By CHARLIE SAVAGE AND JULIE TURKEWITZ

Mr. Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, represented the mogul Philip F. Anschutz as an outside counsel and has links to other executives at his companies.

Trump Spokesman Is ‘Very Confident’ Wiretapping Evidence Will Emerge

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said he was confident the Justice Department would bolster Mr. Trump’s unproven accusation about his predecessor.

Kushners, Trump In-Laws, Weigh $400 Million Deal With Chinese Firm

By CHARLES V. BAGLI AND MICHAEL FORSYTHE

A potential agreement to sell a stake in a New York skyscraper would be extremely lucrative for the family of Jared Kushner and could protect the Chinese buyers from scrutiny.

Prerequisite for Key White House Posts: Loyalty, Not Experience

By SHARON LAFRANIERE, NICHOLAS CONFESSORE AND JESSE DRUCKER

Numerous top aides to President Trump don’t bring the typical expertise to their positions. They do bring fidelity to Mr. Trump.

ECONOMIC SCENE

Fed’s Challenge, After Raising Rates, May Be Existential

By EDUARDO PORTER

In a time of populist policy making and popular anger, the central bank faces a renewed struggle over its independence.

Trump Meets Saudi Prince as U.S. and Kingdom Seek Warmer Relations

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS

The president hosted Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia for lunch at the White House, moving to forge a closer relationship with the kingdom.

A Thorny Agenda for Trump’s Meeting With Xi Jinping of China

By MARK LANDLER

The list of issues that could open a new rift between Mr. Trump and the Chinese leader is long, including the deployment of American antimissile batteries in South Korea and trade tensions.

Trump Picks a Regulator Who Could Help Reshape Dodd-Frank Act

By BEN PROTESS

J. Christopher Giancarlo was selected to run the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates the sort of derivatives trading that spread panic on Wall Street in 2008.

Why the Fed Has Historically Changed Interest Rates

By PRADNYA JOSHI

The Federal Reserve has a history of changing interest rates to better steer the changing dynamic of the American economy. Here are several pivotal moments.

Trump’s Envoy to Mideast Meets With Mahmoud Abbas in West Bank

By IAN FISHER

No breakthroughs were reported or expected in the Trump administration’s first on-the-ground diplomatic effort in the region by the envoy, Jason Greenblatt.

Left or Right? Two Congressmen Take Debate to the Highway

By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON

One rental car; two Texas lawmakers, a Democrat and a Republican. Would they survive a 24-hour road trip to Washington?

Mothers Seeking Office Face More Voter Doubts Than Fathers

By SUSAN CHIRA

Offering new evidence of a familiar double standard in politics, researchers say it’s harder to reassure voters that women can balance work and family.

What We’re Reading
From Elle:
“Before women can strike effectively, we need to redefine what female labor consists of.”
One writer argues that previous demonstrations, like the Women’s Strike for Equality in 1970, were successful because they shed light on specific kinds of labor defined as “women’s work.” However, as feminism progresses, and women do more kinds of work, what does a general strike in the name of gender truly mean?
From The Baffler:
“He was an authoritarian, and proud of it.”
If you loved “Hamilton” the musical, you still might not have loved Hamilton, the politician. That’s at least according to one Baffler writer who sees this newly lionized founding father enjoying a reputation he doesn’t deserve.
More great reads from around the web »