More than 24 hours after the release of the GOP’s tax plan and there are more questions than answers about how it will affect everyday Americans. Corporations would get a tax break on earnings and reduced rates to repatriate overseas reserves. The impact on the highest wage-earners, like President Trump, seems clear, with the elimination of the alternative minimum tax, the estate tax and the lowering of the top tax rate providing substantial benefit. For the lowest earners, the doubling of the standard deduction should move more people to the “zero” bracket. It’s those in the middle—the middle class that Trump has said he wants to help — that is the most opaque, with officials withholding their precise income ranges for the new brackets, as well as the details on which deductions will stay or go. Of course, all of this now goes to congressional committees to sort out. There, many Republicans aren’t confident about being able to pass the massive — and expensive — tax cut package in one go. And politically, some in the GOP would be happy with just a symbolic cut that falls far short of broad tax reform, because it would give them the ability to confect a legislative victory before the midterm elections.
How Donald Trump’s NFL criticism fits his broader political playbook. The GOP grapples with Roy Moore’s victory. And tech is in the hot seat.
Here are your must reads:
Inside Donald Trump’s Latest Battle Against the NFL
Why he bounces back [TIME]
$5 Trillion Question for Trump Tax Plan: How to Pay for It?
GOP leaves out the details [Associated Press]
Twitter, With Accounts Linked to Russia, to Face Congress Over Role in Election
Latest tech company in the crosshairs [New York Times]
Trump’s Tax Plan Could Actually Benefit Wealthy People Like Him
Despite his claims to the contrary [USA Today]
Senate Republicans Have Never Heard of Roy Moore
Numerous GOP senators said they were not familiar with the Alabama Senate candidate’s controversial views — but they want him elected. [Politico]
An Unlikely Salesman for the Republican Party’s Tax Plan
The Treasury Secretary’s latest test [TIME]
“I have so many friends that are owners. And they’re in a box. I mean, I’ve spoken to a couple of them. They say, we are in a situation where we have to do something. I think they’re afraid of their players, if you want to know the truth.” — President Trump on the NFL to Fox and Friends Thursday
“I can’t guarantee anything. You can always find a unique family somewhere.” — Gary Cohn, the director of the White House Economic Council, asked by ABC whether he could state unequivocally that middle class families wouldn’t see a tax increase under the GOP plan
Bits and Bites
Roy Moore’s Alabama Victory Sets Off Talk of a G.O.P. Insurrection [New York Times]
5 Takeaways From the GOP Tax Framework [Wall Street Journal]
With Tax Cuts on the Table, Once-Mighty Deficit Hawks Hardly Chirp [New York Times]
Bannon’s Back and Targeting China [Bloomberg]
President Trump Waives Jones Act So That Puerto Rico Can Get Much-Needed Aid [Associated Press]