Mnuchin: ‘I don’t know’ if individual tax cuts will extend

The following article by Brett Samuels was posted on the Hill website November 19, 2017:

Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Sunday that permanent corporate tax cuts are necessary to spur economic growth before making individual tax cuts permanent.

Host Chris Wallace challenged Mnuchin, saying he doesn’t know what factors will be at play in 2025 or whether Congress would extend the tax cuts at that point.

“I don’t know that. Maybe I’ll be working for President Pence at the time, but I don’t know that,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We’ll know by then whether this creates growth or not. If it does, we’ll have an incredible economy… if it doesn’t, Congress will deal with it at the time.” Read More

The Government Just Stomped on Science—Right When We Needed It Most

The following article by Tanya Basu was posted on the Daily Beast website November 19, 2017:


Emily Slonecker is a second year PhD student student at the University of California, Irvine studying developmental cognitive research. She currently earns about $19,000 per year after taxes. The new tax plan, however, would drop her income from her work at the lab to about $16,000 a year in one of the most expensive places to live in America, or about $1300 a month. With her fixed monthly expenses ringing in at $1680, however, Slonecker is nowhere close to making the money she needs to live—and that doesn’t even begin to cover the loans she’s accumulated from her undergraduate years. “But that’s a whole other can of worms,” she brushed off. “If this thing passes and the school is unable to find a loophole, I will have to walk away from the path I have dreamed about my entire life, as will many students. I don’t know anyone who can survive on a negative net income for six years.”

Slonecker’s dire situation worries of her living costs might be the classic story of the poor graduate student: making ends meet with a patchwork of teaching jobs, grants, and, most importantly, scholarships waiving tuition that make spending long hours in the lab a fair tradeoff. Read More

In towns and cities nationwide, fears of trickle-down effects of federal tax legislation

The following article by Renae Merle and Peter Jamison was posted on the Washington Post website November 17, 2017:

The Trump administration says its tax plan will help ordinary Americans, but some GOP figures have acknowledged big business and political donors will benefit. (Taylor Turner/The Washington Post)

It took the city of Pataskala, Ohio, nine ballot measures before its 15,000 residents agreed to a new 1 percent tax to pay for repairs to its crumbling roads and to buy new police cruisers. The mostly rural community was finally won over by a century-old hallmark of the tax code: The $5 million local levy could be deducted from their federal taxes.

“There is a severe sensitivity to more taxes here,” said James M. Nicholson, the city’s finance director. “At the end of the day, you get a tax break was the thing that convinced people.” Read More

Who Really Gets a Tax Increase if the Individual Mandate Goes Away?

The following article by Margaret Sanger-Katz was posted on the New York Times website November 17, 2017:

Senator Orrin Hatch on Tuesday at the meeting of the Senate Finance Committee to address the tax overhaul.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

If Obamacare’s requirement to have health insurance is revoked by Congress, some people will choose to go without it, and the government will save money because it won’t have to pay to subsidize their plans.

Almost everyone agrees on that. But precisely how much the individual mandate matters, and who would really be worse off without it, are trickier questions.

New estimates show that the mandate’s repeal would give low-income Americans a big tax increase. But Republicans say that’s not true. And they have a point. Meanwhile, left out of the tax tables is the fact that some higher earners, who look as if they are getting more of a tax cut, will get hit with higher insurance premiums if the mandate is repealed. Read More

Tax Reform: This is the one big problem with the Republican tax “postcard” plan

The following article by Emily C. Singer was posted on the website November 16, 2017:

House Republicans love to tout the idea that their tax reform plan will make filing your taxes so easy you can do it all on what they call a “Simple, Fair ‘postcard’” — the same postcard President Donald Trump can be seen kissing in a video from Nov. 2.

“You can file your taxes, I’m going to bring a couple props out, literally on a postcard,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said this week at a town hall, showing off the small piece of paper he says 90% of Americans will be able to use to file their taxes if Republicans have their way. Read More

House Tax Bill: 5 key ways the newly passed plan would affect your money

The following article by James Dennin was posted on the website November 16, 2017:

The House of Representatives passed its version of a tax overhaul on Thursday by a 227-205 vote. The passage represents a major hurdle cleared for the GOP, but it’s still not clear whether the bill can survive a vote in the Senate — expected soon, following approval by the Senate Finance Committee Thursday night — and become law.

The bill, rolled out two weeks ago, has been criticized for purporting to help average Americans, while eliminating many middle-class benefits. Indeed, the biggest beneficiaries of reform seem instead to be corporations, said Jacob Leibenluft, a senior adviser for the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Read More

Where’s Erik Paulsen?

Our Representative in Congress hasn’t held a public town hall since September 6, 2011. There’ve been last minute meetings announced on social media shortly before they happen, tele-town halls where questions can be vetted before being forwarded, appearances at local businesses and school, robocalls that come to you saying he’s sorry you weren’t there to take his invitation to the tele-townhalls — but no traditional town hall.

It’s been 2,269 days since Rep. Paulsen’s last public town hall.

House Republicans Vote to Raise Taxes on 36 Million Middle-Class Families

The following message from Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer was e-mailed November 17, 2017:

Yesterday, House Republicans passed their tax scam bill through the House, voting to raise taxes on 36 million middle-class families, provide massive tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and corporations, and add $1.5 trillion dollars to the deficit. House Democrats unanimously opposed this tax scam that overwhelmingly benefits the wealthy while leaving the middle class behind and triggering a$25 billion cut to Medicare next year alone. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to reject this bill and work with Democrats to reform the tax code in a bipartisan, transparent, and revenue neutral fashion. Read More

Republican Representatives Emmer, Paulsen, Lewis Vote for ‘Reverse Robin Hood’ Tax Bill

The following article was written by DFL State Chair Ken Martin:

Yesterday, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives approved their regressive tax plan. This harmful attempt to change our tax code comes at a heavy price for working families across Minnesota.

This misguided measure is reverse Robin Hood. It takes money from working Minnesotans to give to the wealthy. While huge corporations and the 1% would see a massive windfall thanks to this bill, more than one-fourth of Minnesotans would see their taxes rise. By eliminating critical deductions that help taxpayers afford college, offset medical expenses, and buy a new home, this bill would pull the rug out from under Minnesota families.

Read More

If The GOP Wants A More Popular Tax Plan, Minor Tweaks Won’t Be Enough

The following article by Harry Enten was posted on the Fivethirtyeight website November 17, 2017:


Welcome to Pollapalooza, our weekly polling roundup. Today’s theme song: “You Can Count on Me” from the television show “My Two Dads.”

Poll of the week

Quinnipiac University survey released on Wednesday found that just 25 percent of voters approved of the Republican tax plan. A majority, 52 percent, disapproved. That’s really bad and in line with prior polling.

Senate Republicans seem intent on pressing forward anyway and are now trying to include a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate in the bill. But while attaching a partial Obamacare repeal to tax legislation is probably a mistake politically, some of the GOP’s recent tweaks to the legislation suggest that they’re reading the same polling we are and trying to improve the politics of their tax push. Read More