President Trump and congressional Republicans begin their drive to cut taxes with lackluster public support, according to the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The survey shows that just 25 percent call the Trump tax plan a good idea, while 35 percent call it a bad idea. The remaining 40 percent say they have no opinion. “For what is a major legislative objective of the president and his party, tax reform is in very mushy shape,” said Bill McInturff, the Republican pollster who helps produce the NBC/WSJ poll. McInturff’s Democratic counterpart Peter Hart said: “There are a lot of things the Trump administration will have to communicate to get this done.” Among them is the most basic message of all: that the GOP plan will actually cut Americans’ taxes. As the debate gets underway, the poll shows, just 14 percent of Americans believe they’ll get a tax cut, while 25 percent expect their taxes to go up. Similarly, just 19 percent of Americans say the tax legislation will significantly improve the economy. At the same time, 35 percent expect it will substantially increase the budget deficit. The proposal starts with the least favorable public opinion landscape of any major legislative initiative since President Bush’s attempt to partially privatize the Social Security system in Dec. 2004. President Obama’s economic stimulus package and the Affordable Care Act both debuted with greater public support. Concluded McInturff, the GOP pollster: “Trump and Republicans have a long way to go.”
Up to six people were killed near Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan Tuesday afternoon in a wild incident that involved a truck ramming into victims on the West Side bike path, police sources said. The mayhem happened at West Street and Chambers Street at 3:15 p.m. The suspect was shot and is in police custody, cops said. Witnesses described a scene of terror, saying a man in a truck ran over two people before plowing into a school bus. “Jesus! A car just ran over 2 people and then crashed into a school bus. I see two dead bodies and citibikes on the floor destroyed,” a Twitter user wrote. The suspect then got out of his vehicle with two guns, another witness said. “What happened was there was a car crash … he came out of one of the cars. He had two guns,” a 14-year-old Stuyvesant High School student said. “We thought it was a Halloween thing. He started running around the highway. There was another guy in a green shirt that was chasing him around.” “I heard four to six gunshots — everybody starts running,” she added. Video of the scene shows at least two people lying limp on the street. Photos show a smashed-up Home Depot rental truck and two mangled Citi Bikes. Counter-terror police were searching the truck for explosives. “Oh my god I just heard gun shots and ran with my dog. Downtown. F–k,” Josh Groban tweeted. Police shut down the FDR Drive south of 34th Street to rush victims to Bellevue Hospital.
Clinton Cash author and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer joined Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Tuesday to discuss Paul Manafort and Rick Gates surrendering to the FBI after being charged by special counsel Mueller, as well as other elements of the ongoing investigation.
He also discussed the news that the Maryland Attorney General is investigating Kushner-owned apartments and what, if anything, Jared Kushner’s business dealings could mean for Mueller’s investigation. “Jared Kushner’s father was charged and convicted on several counts, several felonies, so he went to jail. And then Jared Kushner’s uncle was similarly charged and went to jail. So, it gives one the impression that maybe this is not the most tightly run ship and that there may be other legal problems out there.” “As of yet,” he continued, “there doesn’t seem to have been any connection made so far between Mueller’s investigation and Jared Kushner but that’s the other question because of course, we know the Kushner company has done business and financing with a lot of people around the world and that includes people that have very high connections in Russia.” Schweizer added that that is not unusual in the New York real estate world and said, “the question has always been is the Mueller investigation going to cross with the financial dealings of the Kushner family. And we’re just going to have to wait and see on that.”
A TUNNEL at an underground North Korea nuclear site has collapsed with up to 200 people killed, according to reports. The collapse happened at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the north-east of the country on October 10, according to Japan’s TV Asahi.
The disaster has prompted fears of a massive radioactive leak which could spark a Chernobyl- or Fukushima-style disaster. A North Korean official said the collapse happened during the construction of an underground tunnel, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports.Some 100 people are said to have been trapped by the initial tunnel collapse, with a further 100 lost in a second collapse during a rescue operation, Asahi reported Tuesday. The accident is believed to have been caused by Kim Joing-un’s sixth nuclear test on March 3 which weakened the mountain, according to the report. It was reported earlier this year that the mountain under which the base is believed to be hidden was at risk of collapsing and leaking radiation into the region. Experts said if the peak crumbles, clouds of radioactive dust and gas would blanket the region, the South China Morning Post reported. Chinese nuclear weapons researcher and chair of the China Nuclear Society Wang Naiyan told the Morning Post a collapse could spark a major environmental disaster. He said: “We call it ‘taking the roof off’. If the mountain collapses and the hole is exposed, it will let out many bad things.
Oil prices steadied on Tuesday after a week of gains as the prospect of increasing U.S. exports dampened bullish sentiment that has driven Brent to more than two-year highs above $60 per barrel.
Traders and brokers said investors were adjusting positions after price rises of around 5 percent in October.
Despite generally upbeat sentiment, some analysts also warned the market was overbought, having risen too far, too fast. “U.S. shale output could keep a lid on prices over the medium to long-term,” said Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers. U.S. light crude has been trading at a discount of around $6.70 to Brent making it attractive to refiners.
U.S. crude production has risen almost 13 percent since mid-2016 to 9.5 million barrels per day (bpd).
“The large differential has opened the door on regional arbitrage, driving a spike in U.S. crude exports over recent weeks,” BMI Research said in a note. Despite Tuesday’s price dip, sentiment remained positive, fuelled by a pledge by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other exporters to hold back about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in oil production to tighten markets.
While the actual cuts aren’t quite as high as the target, analysts say overall compliance has been strong.
“The OPEC deal compliance has been very firm, with rates averaging 86 percent since January,” according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The pact runs to March 2018, but Saudi Arabia and Russia have voiced support to extend the agreement. OPEC is scheduled to meet officially at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on Nov. 30. Nick Bit: they have been trying to “rebalance” the oil market since it plunged below $100 a barrel. this latest try will fail to. The higher oil prices go the more US oil frackers produce.
Aaron Zelinsky, a lawyer working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, told a federal judge earlier this month that the first guilty plea of the investigation is only a “small part” of a larger probe. “Your Honor, the criminal justice interest being vindicated here is there’s a large scale ongoing investigation of which this case is a small part,” Zelinsky said. Zelinksy appeared at an Oct. 5 hearing for Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos to detail his guilty plea to one count of making false statements, BuzzFeed reported:
The question arose when US District Judge Randolph Moss asked Zelinsky to explain what interests would justify the court allowing Papadopoulos to waive his rights to seek information about the government’s case against him under the Freedom of Information Act.
Papadopoulos appeared in federal court for the hearing, at which Moss detailed the provisions of the plea agreement. A transcript of the hearing details that the former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser initially was charged with one count of “deletion or destruction of records” — in addition to the “false statement” charge to which he pleaded guilty.
In resolving the FOIA issue, Zelinsky suggested just how key Papadopoulos has been to aspects of the special counsel’s investigation.
“The other important factor in this case is that in the process of his ongoing efforts to cooperate, the Government has shared substantial information with the Defendant that has provided a road map of sorts, if you will, to information that might then be sought on FOIA,” he said.
Papadopoulos’ lawyer Robert Stanley said that his client “at this time has no intention of issuing FOIA requests,” which led to the parties eventually agreeing to a provision that would limit Papadopoulos from being able to file any FOIA requests during the rest of the Mueller investigation.
Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has turned up in Brussels, under the threat of criminal charges carrying up to 30 years in prison over his involvement in the push for Catalonia’s independence from Spain. Other regional separatist leaders are also facing the prospect of charges, and were also stripped of their cabinet posts when Spain’s government took direct control of Catalonia Friday. But the first full week of Spanish control of Catalonia has some daring to hope that the country’s worst political crisis in decades may have just turned a corner — a possibility that investors cheered on Monday. Spain’s public prosector said Monday he will seek criminal charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds against Catalan leaders behind the region’s push for and declaration of independence. The charges will target 14 members of the Catalan government, including the region’s former President Puigdemont, media reports said. Another six members of the Speaker’s Committee in the now-dissolved Catalan parliament are also listed as targets, but will be tried in a separate court, The Spain Report reported. They face up to 30 years in prison if found guilty of rebellion and up to 15 years for sedition. Misuse of public funds carries a term of up to six years. The former Catalan president, along with an unspecified number of cabinet members, is now in Brussels, media reports said, amid speculation the sacked separatists would seek protection there. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sacked Puigdemont and his cabinet on Friday, and demoted the local chief of police, Josep Lluis Trapero. These dismissals and others came after Spain’s government received the all-clear to take over the region on Friday. It did that not long after the Catalan parliament declared independence, in a show of defiance by separatists that has plunged the country into the biggest political crisis in decades.
Spending ‘that shows no end in sight..with negative free cash flow will result in significantly more debt issuance,’ says fund manager
The bonds were last trading at 98.875 cents on the dollar to yield 5.015%, according to MarketAxess. On Thursday, they were quoted at above 99 cents on the dollar. Netflix NFLX, -0.93% sold $1.6 billion of 10.5-year bonds earlier this week at a yield of 4.875% to mark its biggest bond deal to date. The deal exceeded its May issuance of €1.3 billion ($1.53 billion) of euro-denominated bonds that mature in May 2027. Moody’s rates Netflix at B1, while S&P rates it at B-plus, both four notches into speculative, or “junk,” status. The proceeds of the sale will be used to finance the company’s aggressive spending plans. The company said last week it is planning to spend $7 billion to $8 billion on content next year, up from $6 billion in 2017. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said plans include the release of 80 films in 2018, a particularly startling number when compared with the 106 films the six major Hollywood studios combined released last year.Netflix has $4.8 billion in long-term debt, and expects to generate negative free cash flow of $2 billion to $2.5 billion in 2017, indicating a cash burn of $750 million in the fourth quarter at the midpoint, according to CreditSight analysts. The company’s next maturity is in 2021, when its 5.375% notes will come due.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As a self-imposed mid-week deadline for unveiling a tax-cut bill loomed, Republicans in the U.S. Congress were still grappling with key provisions and some lobbyists expressed concern that a bill might not be ready as expected on Wednesday.Asked by reporters if Republicans would release a bill or a detailed summary, House of Representatives tax committee Chairman Kevin Brady said: “Our plan right now is the bill.” He added that the number of issues still unresolved was “very, very few,” but the Texas Republican did not elaborate. But other lawmakers and lobbyists said major elements were up in the air.
Any significant delay in unveiling a bill could jeopardize the Republicans’ goal of getting it through Congress and onto President Donald Trump’s desk before January 2018. In an effort to fulfill 2016 campaign promises and score their first significant legislative achievement since winning the White House and majorities in Congress, Trump and the Republicans have vowed to enact the first comprehensive tax reform since 1986. But their plan for up to $6 trillion in tax cuts for businesses and individuals over a decade faces challenges, not only from Democrats, but from rank-and-file House Republicans. One example is whether to keep the popular tax deduction for state and local tax (SALT) payments. Over the weekend, Brady said he would preserve the deductibility of property taxes under a potential deal with lawmakers from high-tax states such as New York and New Jersey who oppose ending the SALT deduction. Analysts say eliminating the SALT deduction would disproportionately hit upper middle-class families in high-income tax states. Republicans from those states alone are numerous enough to derail tax legislation.
About 40 percent of Americans saw the posts
WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller has sent a warning to individuals in President Donald Trump’s orbit: If they lie about contacts between the president’s campaign and Russians, they’ll end up on the wrong end of federal criminal charges.
Leaked documents listing hundreds of EU parliament members that the George Soros network considers “reliable allies” should raise alarm bells across Europe, says Hungary.
The list, which includes 226 MEPs including former President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, seven vice-presidents, and a number of committee heads, coordinators, and quaestors, was circulated within the billionaire open borders campaigner’s Open Society Foundations group, and revealed by DCLeaks. “If this report threatened only Hungary, it wouldn’t be a problem. The Hungarian government has grown accustomed to countering the groundless accusations and false information used by the proponents of this radical open society agenda. But this time it’s not just Hungary. It endangers the future of Europe as a whole,” warned Dr. Zoltán Kovács, Hungary’s secretary of state for Public Diplomacy. The government spokesman questioned how Soros was able to meet with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker with “no transparent agenda for their closed-door meeting”, and pointed out how EU proposals to redistribute quotas of migrants across the EU are eerily familiar to Soros’s own self-published plan for dealing with the crisis.
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) February 13, 2017
For the Hungarian government, claims about Soros’s influence on EU migration policy which once sounded “like a conspiracy theory” should be seen in a new light with the emergence of the Open Society documents, which “list key players in European institutions that can be counted on as trustworthy allies of the financial speculator’s goals”.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O), Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google head before U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday for two days of grueling hearings on how Russia allegedly used their services to try to sway the 2016 U.S. election. At stake for the Silicon Valley companies are their public images and the threat of tougher advertising regulations in the United States, where the technology sector has grown accustomed to light treatment from the government. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, added fuel to the debate on Monday when it told Congress in written testimony that 126 million Americans may have seen politically divisive posts that originated in Russia under fake names.That is in addition to 3,000 U.S. political ads that Facebook says Russians bought on its platform. Google and Twitter have also said that people in Russia used their services to spread messages in the run-up to last year’s U.S. presidential election.The Russian government has denied it intended to influence the election, in which President Donald Trump, a Republican, defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton. U.S. lawmakers have responded angrily to the idea of foreign meddling, introducing legislation to require online platforms to say who is running election ads and what audiences are targeted. “The companies need to get ahead of the curve here,” said James Lewis, senior vice president of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. If they can, he added, they might avoid regulation.
Facebook and Twitter are dispatching their general counsels, Colin Stretch and Sean Edgett, to appear before the subcommittee, while Google is sending its director of law enforcement and information security, Richard Salgado.
In July, President Trump wrote on Twitter that “all agree the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon.”
But for Paul J. Manafort, who surrendered to the F.B.I. on Monday after being indicted on federal criminal charges, Mr. Trump’s power has a limitation of potential significance: a presidential pardon does not apply to charges from state and local authorities. Although it is not known whether Mr. Manafort will receive or even request a presidential pardon, he also faces scrutiny from authorities in New York whose prosecutions would not be subject to one. Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, and Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York state attorney general, have been pursuing their own investigations into Mr. Manafort, a former campaign chairman to Mr. Trump. Although those investigations are unfolding separately from the federal case that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, filed against Mr. Manafort, the New York authorities are examining some of the same activity highlighted in the federal indictment, underscoring the relevance of their exemption from a potential pardon.
The two New York prosecutors, both Democrats, have issued subpoenas and sought financial records about Mr. Manafort’s real estate and business activities in New York, according to three people briefed on the investigations who were not authorized to discuss law enforcement matters that were continuing.
Possible violations being pursued by Mr. Vance could carry prison sentences of up to four years for Mr. Manafort, who has denied any wrongdoing. The two New York prosecutors, both Democrats, have issued subpoenas and sought financial records about Mr. Manafort’s real estate and business activities in New York, according to three people briefed on the investigations who were not authorized to discuss law enforcement matters that were continuing. Possible violations being pursued by Mr. Vance could carry prison sentences of up to four years for Mr. Manafort, who has denied any wrongdoing.
Move reflects worry about company’s free cash flow, margins and weak demand in the power segment
Fitch has an AA-minus issuer default rating on the industrial company GE, +0.15% The negative outlook means the agency could downgrade the rating in the medium term. The move “reflects larger concerns following GE’s third quarter earnings around the scope of actions needed to build stronger margins and free cash flow (FCF), recent high working capital usage, an increase in Fitch’s estimate of negative FCF in 2017, and weak demand in the power segment that appears likely to carry into 2018,” the ratings agency wrote in a report. Adding to the gloom are GE’s large net pension liabilities and the risk it will be pushed by activist shareholder Trian Fund Management, now on its board, to take on more debt. “Following third quarter results and GE’s revised outlook, Fitch now believes GE’s profitability and cash flow may take longer to improve than originally expected, depending on the outcome of the company review and how quickly GE can address its operating performance,” said the agency. “Concerns about GE’s performance are reduced by results in the other businesses which collectively realized a margin improvement of 250 bps in the third quarter. “
Donald Trump can’t tweet his way out of this one.
In the month of October alone, the US national debt has soared by nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars.
This is pretty astonishing given that October is supposed to be a ‘good’ month for the US Treasury Department. The tax extension deadline means that October is usually quite strong for federal tax receipts.
And it has been– taxpayers have written checks totaling $190 billion to Uncle Sam so far this month. Yet despite being flush with tax revenue, the US government still managed to pile almost a quarter of a trillion dollars more on top of its already enormous mountain of debt.It’s always surprising to me how a story this monumental never receives any coverage.
The government of the largest, most important economy in the world is completely, woefully bankrupt. And its rate of decline is accelerating.
You’d think this would be on the front page of every major newspaper in the world. But it’s not. It’s shrugged off as par for the course, as if accumulating historic levels of debt is somehow consequence-free.
And this complacency is what I find the MOST bizarre.
Consider the following: the US government spends nearly the ENTIRETY of its tax revenue on Social Security, Medicare, and Interest on the Debt.
Throw in national defense spending and the budget deficit is already hundreds of billions of dollars. And that’s before they pay for anything else within the federal government: The Internal Revenue Service. National Parks. Highways. The guys who graze your genitals with the backs of their hands at the airport.Congress could literally cut almost everything we think of as ‘government’ and they’d still lose hundreds of billions of dollars each year.
Oh, and raising taxes doesn’t solve this problem.
Over the past eight decades since the end of World War II, tax rates in the United States have been all over the board. The highest marginal tax rate on individual income has been as high as 92% (in 1952-1953) and as low as 28% (1988-1990). The corporate tax rate has gyrated between 53% and 34%. Capital gains rates have been as high as 35% and as low as 15%. Yet throughout it all, overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP has barely budged. This is how governments measure tax revenue– as a percentage of the overall economy. It’s like measuring how big a slice of the economic pie ends up in the government’s pocket.
The detailed disclosures, sent to Congress on Monday by two companies whose products are the most widely used on the internet, came before a series of congressional hearings this week into how third parties used social networks and online services to influence millions of Americans before the 2016 presidential election. The new information goes far beyond what Facebook and Google have revealed in the past and illustrate how Facebook, in particular, was used by agents linked to Russia. Multiple investigations of Russian meddling have loomed over the first 10 months of Mr. Trump’s presidency, resulting this week in the indictments of Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chief, and others. In prepared remarks sent to Congress, Facebook said the Internet Research Agency, a shadowy Russian company linked to the Kremlin, posted roughly 80,000 pieces of divisive content that was shown to about 29 million people between January 2015 and August 2017. Those posts were then liked, shared and followed by others, spreading the messages to tens of millions more people. Facebook also said it had found and deleted more than 170 accounts on its photo-sharing app Instagram; those accounts had posted about 120,000 pieces of Russia-linked content. Previously, Facebook had said it identified more than $100,000 in advertisements paid for by the Internet Research Agency. The Russia-linked posts were “an insidious attempt to drive people apart,” Colin Stretch, the general counsel for Facebook who will appear at the hearings, said in his prepared remarks. He called the posts “deeply disturbing,” and noted they focused on race, religion, gun rights, and gay and transgender issues, in attempts to spread discord among Americans. The new information also illuminated when Facebook knew that there had been Russian interference on its platform. Several times before the election last Nov. 8, Facebook said its security team discovered threats targeted at employees of the major American political parties from a group called APT28, an agency that United States law enforcement officials have previously linked to Russian military intelligence operations.
As political uncertainty continues to mount, some strategists fear intensifying D.C. drama could further push out a tax reform package and roil markets. Following Monday’s disclosure that two former Trump campaign officials were indicted as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, continued political turmoil could have a potential “long-term and very negative impact on capital markets,” said strategist Boris Schlossberg. “The critical question going forward is whether this is just a one-and-done, or whether it’s just the beginning of a very long and perhaps a very, very tedious judicial process that could really weigh both on Washington and Wall Street as we go forward,” Schlossberg, managing director of foreign exchange strategy at BK Asset Management, said Monday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” These questions come as economic data have been “superb,” Schlossberg said. Specifically, he pointed to the latest consumer spending data, which reflected the largest monthly gain since 2009 (likely affected by spending related to recent hurricane devastation), and personal income, which also rose month-over-month.
Still, “markets are very concerned, because the big catalyst going forward is tax reform. That’s what the market is looking for as the next jump-start to get the economy going to the next level,” he said. Should the administration’s agenda stall further, “that could weigh very badly on the market,” he said.
According to a Bloomberg News report on Monday, Republicans are considering “gradually” lowering the corporate tax rate, and markets had a relatively muted response. Furthermore, the market is also ripe for some kind of pullback, Schlossberg said, which gives him an overall cautious view heading into the rest of the year.
An advisor to President Donald Trump’s campaign pleaded guilty on Oct. 5 to lying to FBI agents about when he met with Russian nationals to get “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, according to court filings released Monday. The documents revealed that George Papadopoulos was arrested on July 27 upon arrival at Dulles International Airport from an undisclosed location. According to the documents, shortly after Papadopoulos learned he would become a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, he met in March 2016 with a Russian professor who claimed to have “dirt” on Clinton. Investigators say Papadopoulos had told them he met with the professor before he learned of his role in the campaign. Ten days later, Papadopoulos met with a female Russian national who was introduced to him as a niece of Russian President Vladimir Putin with ties to senior Kremlin officials, investigators said. He told investigators that his correspondence with the woman was superficial when in fact the purpose of the contacts was to set up a meeting between Russian leaders and the Trump campaign, the court filings said. The filings say Papadopoulos is cooperating with the U.S. government in its ongoing investigation of Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.
News of Papadopoulos’ plea deal came on the heels of a separate indictment unsealed Monday of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime business partner Rick Gates. Earlier Monday, Manafort and Gates surrenderedafter being charged on 12 counts related to concealing foreign payments, including one count of “conspiracy against the United States.” The two men had been the first people charged in the Russia investigation led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Trump responded to the news on Twitter, saying that the alleged crimes occurred well before Manafort joined the Trump campaign in 2016.
An early advisor to President Donald Trump’s campaign has pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents, according to court filings released Monday. The U.S. alleges that George Papadopoulos made contact with foreign nationals tied to the Russian government and subsequently lied to federal agents about those meetings. Papadopoulos was arrested on July 27 and entered a plea deal on Oct. 5. According to the documents, Papadopoulos met with a female Russian national in March 2016. This woman was allegedly introduced to Papadopoulos, then foreign policy advisor for the Trump campaign, as a relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin with ties to senior Kremlin officials. The filings also say that Papadopoulos is cooperating with the U.S. government in its ongoing investigation of Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election. Papadopoulos’ attorneys declined to comment on the case.
Trump responded to the news on Twitter, saying that the alleged crimes occurred well before Manafort joined the Trump campaign in 2016.
Nick Bit:The Hell their is not Collusion. Papadopoulos is singing his heart out. And yes he is providing evidence of Russian collusion. It goes so far that he met as Trumps campaign foreign policy advisor with a close relative to Putin!
WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates were told to surrender to federal authorities Monday morning, the first charges in a special counsel investigation, according to a person involved in the case. The charges against Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, and Mr. Gates, a business associate of Mr. Manafort, were not immediately clear but represent a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over the president’s first year in office. Mr. Gates is a longtime protégé and junior partner of Mr. Manafort. His name appears on documents linked to companies that Mr. Manafort’s firm set up in Cyprus to receive payments from politicians and business people in Eastern Europe, records reviewed by The New York Times show. Mr. Manafort had been under investigation for violations of federal tax law, money laundering and whether he appropriately disclosed his foreign activities. Many of these events occurred while he was Trumps campaign manager. Nick Note: This is the day that the end of Donald Trumps presidency has begun. Please note Illegal money was used to buy a palace in Trump tower. And to provide Russian “help” through Manafort and Flynn that got Trump elected.
President Trump and Congress are following the formula in some ways. Their plan would deliver an average tax cut of $700,000 to the nation’s richest families. That’s enough for each to buy a new 50-foot yacht, annually. Meanwhile, Trump and other Republican leaders keep repeating “middle class,” “middle class,” “middle class.” Yet there is also a major difference between the current plan and George W. Bush’s tax cut or Ronald Reagan’s. Trump’s plan would not actually cut taxes for many middle-class families. It would raise them.
People earning between $50,000 and 150,000 would actually see their taxes RISE. Tax breaks for the very wealthy and tax increases for the average American. The opposition to the recent health care bills also started as an underdog and managed to prevail, by relentlessly talking about the bills’ effects. When enough Americans understood the truth, enough members of Congress felt pressure to vote no.
The same could happen on taxes. It is already starting to. Recent polls suggest the plan’s approval rating is only about 30 percent.
For the middle class and poor families. package is a mix of pluses and minuses. Many face a higher rate and many families lose deductions. The combination creates a lot of losers. Reduced deductions for children, for example, hurt large families, notes N.Y.U.’s Lily Batchelder. And the deduction for state and local taxes — also a target for cuts — now benefits 30 percent of households nationwide would be lost… raising their taxes significantly. The plan would radically increase the federal deficit. Trump and his allies are feverishly trying to claim their plan really would benefit the middle class. Their latest talking point is the notion that corporate tax cuts will create an indirect windfall for workers. Funny, though, how the wealthy get the direct benefits of massive tax decreases, while everyone else has to hope for indirect ones somehow to magically materialize.
(CNN)As early as Monday, special counsel Robert Mueller, brought in to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, could have someone in custody. This follows CNN’s Friday night story, citing sources briefed on the matter, which revealed that a federal grand jury has approved the first charges in the investigation. Regardless of who is charged and what the charges are, it is clear that the news constitutes a major political blow to President Donald Trump. After a week when the President attempted to spin a story about Hillary Clinton’s corruption and collusion vis-a-vis the Russians, when some Republicans called on Mueller to resign and when the administration insisted that the congressional investigations come to an end, the hard-hitting Mueller may be about to shift the conversation.
Not since the first year of the Affordable Care Act has there been so much uncertainty at the start of an open enrollment period. How many Americans will sign up for health coverage? As experts weigh the uncertain impact of the Trump administration’s last-minute policy moves, estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and Urban Institute range from nearly one million fewer Americans with coverage to at least 600,000 more.
President Trump ran on the promise to repeal-and-replace Obamacare, but multiple bills to do so have failed in the Senate after a number of establishment Republicans refused to back the various forms of legislation. President Trump subsequently signed an executive order this month that expands access to association health plans by small businesses, expands the length of short-term health plans, and expands health reimbursement accounts for small businesses. He also signed an order halting payments to insurers, which critics of Obamacare have described as bailouts for insurance companies.
NEW YORK/HOUSTON (Reuters) – Tankers carrying record levels of crude are leaving in droves from Texas and Louisiana ports, and more growth in the fledgling U.S. oil export market may before long test the limits of infrastructure like pipelines, dock space and ship traffic.
How much crude the United States can export is a mystery. Most terminal operators and companies will not disclose capacity, and federal agencies like the U.S. Energy Department do not track it. Still, oil export infrastructure will probably need further investment in coming years. Bottlenecks would hit not only storage and loading capacity, but also factors such as pipeline connectivity and shipping traffic. Analysts believe operators will start to run into bottlenecks if exports rise to 3.5 million to 4 million barrels a day. RBC Capital analysts put the figure lower, around 3.2 million bpd. The United States has not come close to that yet. A total of the highest loading days across Houston, Port Arthur, Corpus Christi and St. James/New Orleans – the primary places where crude can be exported – comes to about 3.2 million bpd, according to Kpler, a cargo tracking service. But with total U.S. crude production currently at 9.5 million barrels a day and expected to add 800,000 to 1 million bpd annually, export capacity could be tested before long. Over the past four weeks, exports averaged 1.7 million bpd, more than triple a year earlier. “Right now, there seems to be a little more wiggle room for export levels,” said Michael Cohen, head of energy markets research at Barclays. “Two to three years down the road, if U.S. production continues to grow like current levels, the market will eventually signal that more infrastructure is needed. But I don’t think a lot of those plans are in place right now.” If exports do hit a bottleneck, it would put a ceiling on how much oil shippers get out of the country. Growing domestic oil production and limited export avenues could sink U.S. crude prices. Nick Bit: profits will mean that the infrastructure will be built. They can get a extra $5 a barrel profit after costs by simply shipping oil to Europe and Asia. As i have predicted the US this decade will become the worlds largest oil and gas exporter. We are already the worlds largest fossil fuels producer.
After controversial comments made by owner Bob McNair, several Houston Texans players took a knee during the playing of the national anthem prior to Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Lindsey Wisniewski of USA Today captured an image featuring Texans players kneeling on the sideline:
Lindsey Wisniewski @lindsniewski
Several #Texans players kneeling during national anthem. #HOUvsSEA https://t.co/Fv50UuxGor
Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, approximately 10 Texans stood during the anthem with their hand over their heart. On Friday, ESPN The Magazine‘s Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. reported McNair said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” during the NFL owners’ meetings on Oct. 18 in response to player protests during the national anthem. After McNair’s comments were made public, ESPN.com’s Sarah Barshop reported wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and running back D’Onta Foreman missed Friday’s practice and other players left the team facilities before returning to practice.
After days of pointed questions and mounting ouctry, the head of Puerto Rico’s beleaguered power utility announced on Sunday that it had put an end to a contract it granted to Whitefish Energy, which was worth up to $300 million. The small, virtually unknown Montana based company landed the heavily scrutinized deal to aid in the restoration of power on the island of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria’s total destruction of the power grid. “We are very disappointed in the decision by Governor Rosselló to ask PREPA to cancel the contract which led to PREPA’s announcement this afternoon,” Whitefish said in a statement issued on Sunday. “The decision will only delay what the people of Puerto Rico want and deserve – to have the power restored quickly in the same manner their fellow citizens on the mainland experience after a natural disaster,” the company added. The Whitefish contract with PREPA—which has $9 billion in outstanding debt and officially entered into a bankruptcy-like preceding in July—sparked outrage among members of U.S. Congress, several of whom called for an investigation into the bidding process. It set off alarm bells among government watchdogs, FEMA and other parts of the Trump administration, which in recent days was forced to distance itself from the increasingly controversial bid.