Americans are proud to pay taxes — except when they think others are cheating.

The following article by Vanessa Williamson was posted on the Washington Post website April 18, 2017:

People think Americans hate taxes. They don’t, as I found while researching my new book; they see it as an important civic duty. What makes them angry is the idea that some people don’t pay their fair share.

Many Americans wrongly believe that while they are dutifully paying taxes, a lot of other people — especially lower-income people and immigrants — are not taxpayers.

And with tax reform back on the national agenda, those misperceptions matter. (more…)

Read More

British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia

The following article by Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Nick Hopkins was posted on the Guaradian website April 13, 2017:

Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.

GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added. (more…)

Read More

Explaining the Health Payments That Trump Is Threatening to End

The following article by Reed Abelson and Margot Sanger-Katz was posted on the New York Times April 14, 2017:

Protesters at a “March for Health” in New York this month demanded equitable and affordable access to health care. Credit Kena Betancur/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Cost-sharing reductions seem like an arcane aspect of the Affordable Care Act, but they could now make or break the Obamacare insurance marketplaces. Even President Trump is talking about them, as a possible bargaining chip for a new health bill.

Mr. Trump this week repeatedly threatened to cut off the federal funding that makes the cost-sharing reductions work for insurers and patients. The idea, he told The Wall Street Journal, is that Democrats would be forced to negotiate with him over a replacement for the Affordable Care Act if they did not want the individual insurance market to collapse. The administration has been anything but clear about whether it wants that market to thrive or fail. (more…)

Read More

AP FACT CHECK: Trump forgets tense time in US-Russia history

The following article by Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press was posted on the Boston Globe website April 13, 2017:

n a news conference and a pair of interviews, President Trump gave skewed accounts of US relations over time with Russia, and of health care under his watch.He also flatly contradicted himself on how long he’s known his right-hand strategist, Steve Bannon.A look at some of his statements:

TRUMP: ‘‘We may be at an all-time low in terms of relationship with Russia.’’ — Press conference Wednesday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (more…)

Read More

They Marched, Now They’re Running

The following article by Susan Milligan was posted on the US News and World Report website April 14, 2017:

Democratic women across the country mobilize to take on President Donald Trump.

Brett Ziegler for USN&WR)

They got mad when Donald Trump was elected president, turning out in the millions worldwide to protest the ascension of a man who bragged about being able to use his fame to sexually assault women without consequence. They got madder when they saw Trump name cabinet officials opposed to some of the legal protections women’s groups fought for many years to achieve. They got madder still when they saw Trump – without the fanfare and camera flashes associated with his other regulatory changes – roll back protections for women in the workplace.

Now, female activists are trying to get even – or at least get to an America where opportunities and power-sharing between men and women is closer to even. After the shock of Trump’s election and the buoyant call-to-arms of the Women’s March on Washington, the women and girls who participated in the marches are mounting what Noreen Farrell, executive director of Equal Rights Advocates, defines as an epic and historic battle.

(more…)

Read More

Why Americans Vote ‘Against Their Interest’: Partisanship

The following article by Amanda Taub was posted on the New York Times website April 12, 2017:

Kyle Lloyd, 40, wore a painted “Dump Trump” message at a protest in Philadelphia in January. Credit Mark Makela/Getty Images

Working-class Americans who voted for Donald J. Trump continue to approve of him as president, even though he supported a health care bill that would disproportionately hurt them.

Highly educated professionals tend to lean Democratic, even though Republican tax policies would probably leave more money in their pockets.

Why do people vote against their economic interests?

The answer, experts say, is partisanship. Party affiliation has become an all-encompassing identity that outweighs the details of specific policies.

“Partisan identification is bigger than anything the party does,” said Frances Lee, a professor at the University of Maryland who wrote a book on partisan polarization. Rather, it stems from something much more fundamental: people’s idea of who they are. (more…)

Read More

Suburban G.O.P. Voters Sour on Party, Raising Republican Fears for 2018

The following article by Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin was posted on the New York Times website April 12, 2017:

Democrat James Thompson hugs a supporter, Djuan Wash, at the Murdock Theater in Wichita, Kan., on Tuesday after losing to Republican Ron Estes in a special congressional election. Credit Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle, via Associated Press

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A gray mood has settled over conservative-leaning voters in some of the country’s most reliably Republican congressional districts, as the party’s stumbles in Washington demoralize them and leave lawmakers scrambling to energize would-be supporters in a series of off-year elections.

While the next nationwide elections are not until 2018, Republicans have grown fearful that these voters are recoiling from what they see as lamentable conditions in Washington: a government entirely in Republican hands that has failed to deliver on fundamental goals like overhauling the health care system.

Early missteps by President Trump and congressional leaders have weighed heavily on voters from the party’s more affluent wing, anchored in right-of-center suburbs around major cities in the South and Midwest. Never beloved in these precincts, Mr. Trump appears to be struggling to maintain support from certain voters who backed him last year mainly as a way of defeating Hillary Clinton. (more…)

Read More

New Poll Suggests Donald Trump’s Brand Is Going Right Down The Tubes

The following article was posted on the Trumpaccountable website April 11, 2017:

Photo Credit: FlickR/Gage Skidmore

President Trump this morning, while speaking to a gathering of CEOs, falsely claimed responsibility for the creation of 600,000 jobs in his first 100 days:

“You see what’s going on,” Trump asserted. “You see the numbers. We’ve created over 600,000 jobs already in a very short period of time, and it’s gonna really start catching on now because some of the things that we’ve done are big league, and they are catching on. Already, we’ve created more than almost 600,000 jobs.” (more…)

Read More

Stop Cutting Taxes for Corporations and the Wealthy

The following article by Harry Stein was posted on the Center for American Progress website April 10, 2017:

Cartoon by Carol Simpson

President Donald Trump and House Republicans have championed massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.1 They will likely try to enact these giveaways into law as part of what they call tax reform, as well as through other measures such as repeal of the Affordable Care Act and infrastructure legislation. While tax policy offers many complicated questions, one thing should be clear: The wealthiest Americans and big corporations do not need any more tax cuts.

Anyone can clearly see whether proposed legislation would cut taxes for the wealthy or corporations, thanks to high-quality, nonpartisan analysis from the independent Tax Policy Center and the legislative branch’s Joint Committee on Taxation. Trickle-down tax cuts have repeatedly failed to produce broad-based economic growth. A significant majority of Americans not only oppose such tax cuts but would support higher taxes on the wealthy and big corporations. (more…)

Read More

Trump ditches tax reform plan he campaigned on and considers series of new options – including payroll tax cut in bid to woo Democrats

The following article was posted on the Daily Mail website April 10, 2017:

  • Trump had campaigned on rapid tax reform and a so-called border adjustment tax, which would effectively levy a duty on imports 
  • Now all options are back on the table as he tries to have a reform plan which will get Republican support 
  • There are signs the president will be willing to work with Democrats too as White House officials hold ‘listening sessions’ with the opposition 
  • One plan being considered is a cut in the payroll tax, which would benefit middle-earners and could garner Democratic support 
Tough deadline: Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary who was at the table when Trump was briefed on the Syria missile strikes, had set an the August deadline for tax reform SEAN SPICER

President Donald Trump has scrapped the tax plan he campaigned on and is going back to the drawing board in a search for Republican consensus behind legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax system.

The administration’s first attempt to write legislation is in its early stages and the White House has kept much of it under wraps. But it has already sprouted the consideration of a series of unorthodox proposals including a drastic cut to the payroll tax, aimed at appealing to Democrats.

Some view the search for new options as a result of Trump’s refusal to set clear parameters for his plan and his exceedingly challenging endgame: reducing tax rates enough to spur faster growth without blowing up the budget deficit. (more…)

Read More