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Story 1: Senate Majority Leader McConnell Commits To Passing Tax Reduction and Reform This Year Maybe — Best Efforts Only — Otherwise President Trump Will Run Against Congress in 2018 and Steve Bannon Will Find Candidates To Primary All Republicans Not on Trump Team — — 2017 Values Summit — Merry Christmas –Videos — 

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Strauss–Howe generational theory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Strauss–Howe generational theory, created by authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, describes a theorized recurring generation cycle in American history. Strauss and Howe laid the groundwork for their theory in their 1991 book Generations, which discusses the history of the United States as a series of generational biographies going back to 1584.[1] In their 1997 book The Fourth Turning, the authors expanded the theory to focus on a fourfold cycle of generational types and recurring mood eras in American history.[2] They have since expanded on the concept in a variety of publications.

The theory was developed to describe the history of the United States, including the 13 colonies and their British antecedents, and this is where the most detailed research has been done.[original research?] However, the authors have also examined generational trends elsewhere in the world and described similar cycles in several developed countries.[3]

In a 2009 article published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Eric Hoover called the authors pioneers in a burgeoning industry of consultants, speakers and researchers focused on generations.[4] Academic response to the theory has been mixed—some applauding Strauss and Howe for their “bold and imaginative thesis”, and others criticizing the theory.[5][6] Criticism has focused on the lack of rigorous empirical evidence for their claims,[7] and a perception that aspects of the argument gloss over real differences within the population.[6]

History

William Strauss and Neil Howe’s partnership began in the late 1980s when they began writing their first book Generations, which discusses the history of the United States as a succession of generational biographies. Each had written on generational topics: Strauss on Baby Boomers and the Vietnam War draft, and Howe on the G.I. Generation and federal entitlement programs.[8] Strauss co-wrote two books with Lawrence Baskir about how the Vietnam War affected the Baby Boomers (Chance and Circumstance: The Draft the War and The Vietnam Generation (1978) and Reconciliation after Vietnam (1977)). Neil Howe studied what he believed to be the US’s entitlement attitude of the 1980s and co-authored On Borrowed Time: How America’s entitlement ego puts America’s future at risk of Bankruptcyin 1988 with Peter George Peterson.[9] The authors’ interest in generations as a broader topic emerged after they met in Washington, D.C., and began discussing the connections between each of their previous works.[10]

They wondered why Boomers and G.I.s had developed such different ways of looking at the world, and what it was about these generations’ experiences growing up that prompted their different outlooks. They also wondered whether any previous generations had acted along similar lines, and their research discussed historical analogues to the current generations. The two ultimately described a recurring pattern in Anglo-American history of four generational types, each with a distinct collective persona, and a corresponding cycle of four different types of era, each with a distinct mood. The groundwork for this theory was laid out in Generations in 1991. Strauss and Howe expanded on their theory and updated the terminology in The Fourth Turning in 1997.[8][11] Generations helped popularize the idea that people in a particular age group tend to share a distinct set of beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviors because they all grow up and come of age during a particular period in history.[6]

In their books Generations (1991) and The Fourth Turning (1997), Strauss and Howe discussed the generation gap between Baby Boomers and their parents and predicted there would be no such generation gap between Millennials and their elders. In 2000, they published Millennials Rising. A 2000 New York Times book review for this book titled: What’s the Matter With Kids Today? Not a Thing, described the message of Millennials Rising as “we boomers are raising a cohort of kids who are smarter, more industrious and better behaved than any generation before”, saying the book complimented the Baby Boomer cohort by complimenting their parenting skills.[12][13][14]

In the mid-1990s, the authors began receiving inquiries about how their generational research could be applied to strategic problems in organizations. Strauss and Howe were quickly established as pioneers in a growing field, and started speaking frequently about their work at events and conferences.[6] In 1999, Strauss and Howe founded LifeCourse Associates, a publishing, speaking and consulting company built on their generational theory. As LifeCourse partners, they have offered keynote speeches, consulting services, and customized communications to corporate, nonprofit, government, and education clients. They have also written six books in which they assert that the Millennial Generation is transforming various sectors, including schools, colleges, entertainment, and the workplace.[promotional language]

On December 18, 2007, William Strauss died at the age of 60 from pancreatic cancer.[15] Neil Howe continues to expand LifeCourse Associates and to write books and articles on a variety of generational topics. Each year Mr. Howe gives about 60 speeches, often followed by customized workshops, at colleges, elementary schools, and corporations.[6] Neil Howe is a public policy adviser to the Blackstone Group, senior adviser to the Concord Coalition, and senior associate to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.[16]

Steve Bannon, former Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to President Trump is a prominent proponent of the theory. As a documentary filmmaker Bannon discussed the details of Strauss-Howe generational theory in Generation Zero. According to historian David Kaiser, who was consulted for the film, Generation Zero “focused on the key aspect of their theory, the idea that every 80 years American history has been marked by a crisis, or ‘fourth turning’, that destroyed an old order and created a new one”. Kaiser said Bannon is “very familiar with Strauss and Howe’s theory of crisis, and has been thinking about how to use it to achieve particular goals for quite a while.”[17][18][19] A February 2017 article from Business Insider titled: “Steve Bannon’s obsession with a dark theory of history should be worrisome”, commented: “Bannon seems to be trying to bring about the ‘Fourth Turning’.”[20]

Works

Strauss and Howe’s work combines history with prophecy. They provided historical information regarding living and past generations and made various predictions. Many of their predictions were regarding the Millennial Generation, who were young children when they began their work, thus lacking significant historical data. In their first book Generations (1991), Strauss and Howe describe the history of the US as a succession of Anglo-American generational biographies from 1584 to the present, and they describe a theorized recurring generational cycle in American history. The authors posit a pattern of four repeating phases, generational types and a recurring cycle of spiritual awakenings and secular crises, from the founding colonials of America through the present day.[1][21]

Strauss and Howe followed in 1993 with their second book 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?, which was published while Gen Xers were young adults. The book examines the generation born between 1961 and 1981, “Gen-Xers” (which they called “13ers”, describing them as the thirteenth generation since the US became a nation). The book asserts that 13ers’ location in history as under protected children during the Consciousness Revolution explains their pragmatic attitude. They describe Gen Xers as growing up during a time when society was less focused on children and more focused on adults and their self-actualization.[22][23][24]

In 1997, the authors published The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy, which expanded on the ideas presented in Generations and extended their cycles back into the early 15th century. The authors began the use of more colorful names for generational archetypes – e.g. “Civics” became “Heroes” (which they applied to the Millennial Generation), “Adaptives” became “Artists” – and of the terms “Turning” and “Saeculum” for the generational cycles. The title is a reference to what their first book called a Crisis period, which they expected to recur soon after the turn of the millennium.[2]

In 2000, the two authors published Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation. This work discussed the personality of the Millennial Generation, whose oldest members were described as the high school graduating class of the year 2000. In this 2000 book, Strauss and Howe asserted that Millennial teens and young adults were recasting the image of youth from “downbeat and alienated to upbeat and engaged”. They credited increased parental attention and protection for these positive changes. They asserted Millennials are held to higher standards than adults apply to themselves and that they’re a lot less vulgar and violent than the teen culture older people produce for them. They described them as less sexually charged and as ushering in a new sexual modesty, with increasing belief that sex should be saved for marriage and a return to conservative family values. They predicted that over the following decade, Millennials would transform what it means to be young. According to the authors, Millennials could emerge as the next “Great Generation”. The book was described as an optimistic, feel-good book for the parents of the Millennial Generation, predominantly the Baby Boomers.[25][26][27]

Defining a generation

Strauss and Howe define a social generation as the aggregate of all people born over a span of roughly twenty years or about the length of one phase of life: childhoodyoung adulthoodmidlife, and old age. Generations are identified (from first birthyear to last) by looking for cohort groups of this length that share three criteria. First, members of a generation share what the authors call an age location in history: they encounter key historical events and social trends while occupying the same phase of life. In this view, members of a generation are shaped in lasting ways by the eras they encounter as children and young adults and they share certain common beliefs and behaviors. Aware of the experiences and traits that they share with their peers, members of a generation would also share a sense of common perceived membership in that generation.[28]

Strauss and Howe say they based their definition of a generation on the work of various writers and social thinkers, from ancient writers such as Polybius and Ibn Khaldun to modern social theorists such as José Ortega y GassetKarl MannheimJohn Stuart MillÉmile LittréAuguste Comte, and François Mentré.[29]

Generational archetypes and turnings

Generations by year of birth according to Strauss–Howe
Late Medieval Saeculum
Reformation Saeculum (104 years)
  • Reformation Generation (1483–1511) (P)
  • Reprisal Generation (1512–1540) (N)
  • Elizabethan Generation (1541–1565) (H)
  • Parliamentary Generation (1566–1587) (A)
New World Saeculum (112 years)
  • Puritan Generation (1588–1617) (P)
  • Cavalier Generation (1618–1647) (N)
  • Glorious Generation (1648–1673) (H)
  • Enlightenment Generation (1674–1700) (A)
Revolutionary Saeculum (90 years)
  • Awakening Generation (1701–1723) (P)
  • Liberty Generation (1724–1741) (N)
  • Republican Generation (1742–1766) (H)
  • Compromise Generation (1767–1791) (A)
Civil War Saeculum (67 years)
Great Power Saeculum (82 years)
Millennial Saeculum (age 74 years in 2017)
Key: Prophet (P), Nomad (N), Hero (H), Artist (A)

Turnings

While writing Generations, Strauss and Howe described a theorized pattern in the historical generations they examined, which they say revolved around generational events which they call turnings. In Generations, and in greater detail in The Fourth Turning, they describe a four-stage cycle of social or mood eras which they call “turnings”. The turnings include: “The High”, “The Awakening”, “The Unraveling” and “The Crisis”.[21]

High

According to Strauss and Howe, the First Turning is a High, which occurs after a Crisis. During The High institutions are strong and individualism is weak. Society is confident about where it wants to go collectively, though those outside the majoritarian center often feel stifled by the conformity.[36]

According to the authors, the most recent First Turning in the US was the post-World War II American High, beginning in 1946 and ending with the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.[37]

Awakening

According to the theory, the Second Turning is an Awakening. This is an era when institutions are attacked in the name of personal and spiritual autonomy. Just when society is reaching its high tide of public progress, people suddenly tire of social discipline and want to recapture a sense of “self-awareness”, “spirituality” and “personal authenticity”. Young activists look back at the previous High as an era of cultural and spiritual poverty.[38]

Strauss & Howe say the US’s most recent Awakening was the “Consciousness Revolution,” which spanned from the campus and inner-city revolts of the mid-1960s to the tax revolts of the early 1980s.[39]

Unraveling

According to Strauss and Howe, the Third Turning is an Unraveling. The mood of this era they say is in many ways the opposite of a High: Institutions are weak and distrusted, while individualism is strong and flourishing. The authors say Highs come after Crises, when society wants to coalesce and build and avoid the death and destruction of the previous crisis. Unravelings come after Awakenings, when society wants to atomize and enjoy.[40] They say the most recent Unraveling in the US began in the 1980s and includes the Long Boom and Culture War.[21]

Crisis

According to the authors, the Fourth Turning is a Crisis. This is an era of destruction, often involving war, in which institutional life is destroyed and rebuilt in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s survival. After the crisis, civic authority revives, cultural expression redirects towards community purpose, and people begin to locate themselves as members of a larger group.[41]

The authors say the previous Fourth Turning in the US began with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and climaxed with the end of World War II. The G.I. Generation (which they call a Hero archetype, born 1901 to 1924) came of age during this era. They say their confidence, optimism, and collective outlook epitomized the mood of that era.[42] The authors assert the Millennial Generation (which they also describe as a Hero archetype, born 1981 to 2004) show many similar traits to those of the G.I. youth, which they describe as including: rising civic engagement, improving behavior, and collective confidence.[43]

Cycle

The authors describe each turning as lasting about 20–22 years. Four turnings make up a full cycle of about 80 to 90 years,[44] which the authors term a saeculum, after the Latin word meaning both “a long human life” and “a natural century”.[45]

Generational change drives the cycle of turnings and determines its periodicity. As each generation ages into the next life phase (and a new social role) society’s mood and behavior fundamentally changes, giving rise to a new turning. Therefore, a symbiotic relationship exists between historical events and generational personas. Historical events shape generations in childhood and young adulthood; then, as parents and leaders in midlife and old age, generations in turn shape history.[46]

Each of the four turnings has a distinct mood that recurs every saeculum. Strauss and Howe describe these turnings as the “seasons of history”. At one extreme is the Awakening, which is analogous to summer, and at the other extreme is the Crisis, which is analogous to winter. The turnings in between are transitional seasons, similar to autumn and spring.[47] Strauss and Howe have discussed 26 theorized turnings over 7 saecula in Anglo-American history, from the year 1435 through today.

At the heart of Strauss & Howe’s ideas is a basic alternation between two different types of eras, Crises and Awakenings. Both of these are defining eras in which people observe that historic events are radically altering their social environment.[48] Crises are periods marked by major secular upheaval, when society focuses on reorganizing the outer world of institutions and public behavior (they say the last American Crisis was the period spanning the Great Depression and World War II). Awakenings are periods marked by cultural or religious renewal, when society focuses on changing the inner world of values and private behavior (the last American Awakening was the “Consciousness Revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s).[49]

During Crises, great peril provokes a societal consensus, an ethic of personal sacrifice, and strong institutional order. During Awakenings, an ethic of individualism emerges, and the institutional order is attacked by new social ideals and spiritual agendas.[50] According to the authors, about every eighty to ninety years—the length of a long human life—a national Crisis occurs in American society. Roughly halfway to the next Crisis, a cultural Awakening occurs (historically, these have often been called Great Awakenings).[49]

In describing this cycle of Crises and Awakenings, Strauss and Howe draw from the work of other historians and social scientists who have also discussed long cycles in American and European history. The Strauss–Howe cycle of Crises corresponds with long cycles of war identified by such scholars as Arnold J. ToynbeeQuincy Wright, and L. L. Ferrar Jr., and with geopolitical cycles identified by William R. Thompson and George Modelski.[51] Strauss and Howe say their cycle of Awakenings corresponds with Anthony Wallace‘s work on revitalization movements;[52] they also say recurring Crises and Awakenings correspond with two-stroke cycles in politics (Walter Dean BurnhamArthur Schlesinger Sr. and Jr.), foreign affairs (Frank L. Klingberg), and the economy (Nikolai Kondratieff) as well as with long-term oscillations in crime and substance abuse.[53]

Archetypes

The authors say two different types of eras and two formative age locations associated with them (childhood and young adulthood) produce four generational archetypes that repeat sequentially, in rhythm with the cycle of Crises and Awakenings. In Generations, Strauss and Howe refer to these four archetypes as Idealist, Reactive, Civic, and Adaptive.[54] In The Fourth Turning (1997) they change this terminology to Prophet, Nomad, Hero, and Artist.[55] They say the generations in each archetype not only share a similar age-location in history, they also share some basic attitudes towards family, risk, culture and values, and civic engagement. In essence, generations shaped by similar early-life experiences develop similar collective personas and follow similar life-trajectories.[56] To date, Strauss and Howe have described 25 generations in Anglo-American history, each with a corresponding archetype. The authors describe the archetypes as follows:

Prophet

Abraham Lincoln, born in 1809. Strauss and Howe would identify him as a member of the Transcendental generation.

Prophet generations enter childhood during a High, a time of rejuvenated community life and consensus around a new societal order. Prophets grow up as the increasingly indulged children of this post-Crisis era, come of age as self-absorbed young crusaders of an Awakening, focus on morals and principles in midlife, and emerge as elders guiding another Crisis.[57]

Nomad

Nomad generations enter childhood during an Awakening, a time of social ideals and spiritual agendas, when young adults are passionately attacking the established institutional order. Nomads grow up as under-protected children during this Awakening, come of age as alienated, post-Awakening adults, become pragmatic midlife leaders during a Crisis, and age into resilient post-Crisis elders.[57]

Hero

Young adults fighting in World War II were born in the early part of the 20th century, like PT109 commander LTJGJohn F. Kennedy (b. 1917). They are part of the G.I. Generation, which follows the Hero archetype.

Hero generations enter childhood after an Awakeningduring an Unraveling, a time of individual pragmatism, self-reliance, and laissez faire. Heroes grow up as increasingly protected post-Awakening children, come of age as team-oriented young optimists during a Crisis, emerge as energetic, overly-confident midlifers, and age into politically powerful elders attacked by another Awakening.[57]

Artist

Artist generations enter childhood after an Unraveling, during a Crisis, a time when great dangers cut down social and political complexity in favor of public consensus, aggressive institutions, and an ethic of personal sacrifice. Artists grow up overprotected by adults preoccupied with the Crisis, come of age as the socialized and conformist young adults of a post-Crisis world, break out as process-oriented midlife leaders during an Awakening, and age into thoughtful post-Awakening elders.[57]

Summary

  • An average life is 80 years, and consists of four periods of ~20 years
    • Childhood → Young adult → Midlife → Elderhood
  • A generation is an aggregate of people born every ~20 years
    • Baby Boomers → Gen X → Millennials → Post-Millennials (“Homeland Generation”)
  • Each generation experiences “four turnings” every ~80y
    • High → Awakening → Unraveling → Crisis
  • A generation is considered “dominant” or “recessive” according to the turning experienced as young adults. But as a youth generation comes of age and defines its collective persona an opposing generational archetype is in its midlife peak of power.
    • Dominant: independent behavior + attitudes in defining an era
    • Recessive: dependent role in defining an era
  • Dominant Generations
    • Prophet: Awakening as young adults. Awakening, defined: Institutions are attacked in the name of personal and spiritual autonomy
    • Hero: Crisis as young adults. Crisis, defined: Institutional life is destroyed and rebuilt in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s survival
  • Recessive Generations
    • Nomad: Unraveling as young adults. Unraveling, defined: Institutions are weak and distrusted, individualism is strong and flourishing
    • Artist: High [when they become] young adults. High, defined: Institutions are strong and individualism is weak

Timing of generations and turnings

Generation Generation Archetype Generation Year Span Entered childhood in a Turning Year Span
Late Medieval Saeculum
Arthurian Generation Hero (Civic) 1433-1460 (27) 3rd Turning: Unraveling: Retreat from France 1435-1459 (24)0
Humanist Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1461–1482 (21) 4th Turning: Crisis: War of the Roses 1459–1497 (28)
Reformation Saeculum (107)
Reformation Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1483–1511 (28) 1st Turning: High: Tudor Renaissance 1497–1517 (30)
Reprisal Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1512–1540 (28) 2nd Turning: Awakening: Protestant Reformation 1517-1542 (25)
Elizabethan Generation Hero (Civic) 1541–1565 (24) 3rd Turning: Unraveling: Intolerance and Martyrdom 1542–1569 (27)
Parliamentary Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1566–1587 (21) 4th Turning: Crisis: Armada Crisis 1569–1594 (25)
New World Saeculum (110)
Puritan Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1588–1617 (29) 1st Turning: High: Merrie England 1594–1621 (27)
Cavalier Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1618–1647 (29) 2nd Turning: Awakening: Puritan Awakening 1621–1649 (26)
Glorious Generation Hero (Civic) 1648–1673 (25) 3rd Turing: Unraveling: Reaction and Restoration 1649–1675 (26)
Enlightenment Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1674–1700 (26) 4th Turning: Crisis: Salem Witch Trials/King Philip’s War/
Glorious Revolution/War of the Spanish Succession
1675–1704 (29)
Revolutionary Saeculum (90)
Awakening Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1701–1723 (22) 1st Turning: High: Augustan Age of Empire 1704–1727 (23)
Liberty Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1724–1741 (17) 2nd Turning: Awakening: Great Awakening 1727–1746 (19)
Republican Generation Hero (Civic) 1742–1766 (24) 3rd Turning: Unraveling: French and Indian War 1746–1773 (27)
Compromise Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1767–1791 (24) 4th Turning: Crisis: American Revolution 1773–1794 (21)
Civil War Saeculum (71)
Transcendental Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1792–1821 (29) 1st Turning: High: Era of Good Feeling 1794–1822 (28)
Gilded Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1822–1842 (20) 2nd Turning: Awakening: Transcendental Awakening 1822–1844 (22)
Hero (Civic)1 3rd Turning: Unraveling: Mexican War and Sectionalism 1844–1860 (16)
Progressive Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1843–1859 (16) 4th Turning: Crisis: American Civil War 1860–1865 (5)
Great Power Saeculum (81)
Missionary Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1860–1882 (22) 1st Turning: High: Reconstruction/Gilded Age 1865–1886 (21)
Lost Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1883–1900 (17) 2nd Turning: Awakening: Missionary Awakening 1886–1908 (22)
G.I. Generation Hero (Civic) 1901–1924 (23) 3rd Turning: Unraveling: World War I/Prohibition 1908–1929 (21)
Silent Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1925–1942 (17) 4th Turning: Crisis: Great Depression/World War II 1929–1946 (17)
Millennial Saeculum (age 74)
Baby Boom Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1943–1960 (17)[58] 1st Turning: High: Superpower America 1946–1964 (18)
13th Generation (Generation X)2 Nomad (Reactive) 1961–1981 (20) 2nd Turning: Awakening: Consciousness Revolution 1964–1984 (20)
Millennial Generation (Generation Y)3 Hero (Civic) 1982–2004 (22) 3rd Turning: Unraveling: Culture WarsPostmodernism 1984–2008 (24)
Homeland Generation (Generation Z)4 Artist (Adaptive) 2005–present (age 12) 4th Turning: Crisis: Great Recession/War on Terror/Sustainability[citation needed] 2008-

Note (0): Strauss and Howe base the turning start and end dates not on the generational birth year span, but when the prior generation is entering adulthood. A generation “coming of age” is signaled by a “triggering event” that marks the turning point and the ending of one turning and the beginning of the new. For example, the “triggering event” that marked the coming of age for the Baby Boom Generation was the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. This marked the end of a first turning and the beginning of a second turning. This is why turning start and end dates don’t match up exactly with the generational birth years, but they tend to start and end a few years after the generational year spans. This also explains why a generation is described to have “entered childhood” during a particular turning, rather than “born during” a particular turning.

Note (1): According to Strauss and Howe their generational types have appeared in Anglo-American history in a fixed order for more than 500 years, with one hiccup in the Civil War Saeculum. They say the reason for this is because according to the chart, the Civil War came about ten years too early; the adult generations allowed the worst aspects of their generational personalities to come through; and the Progressives grew up scarred rather than ennobled.

Note (2): Strauss and Howe use the name “13th Generation” instead of the more widely accepted “Generation X” in their book, which was published mere weeks before Douglas Coupland‘s Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture was. The generation is so numbered because it is the thirteenth generation alive since American Independence (counting back until Benjamin Franklin’s).[23]

Note (3): Although there is as yet no universally accepted name for this generation, “Millennials” (a name Strauss and Howe coined) is becoming widely accepted. Other names used in reference to it include Generation Y (as it is the generation following Generation X) and “The Net Generation”.

Note (4): New Silent Generation was a proposed holding name used by Howe and Strauss in their demographic history of America, Generations, to describe the generation whose birth years began somewhere in the mid-2000s and the ending point will be around the mid-2020s. Howe now refers to this generation (most likely currently being born) as the Homeland Generation.[6]

Note (5): There is no consistent agreement among participants on the Fourth Turning message board that 9/11 and the War on Terror lie fully within a Crisis era. The absence of any attempt to constrict consumer spending through taxes or rationing and the tax cuts of the time suggest that any Crisis Era may have begun, if at all, later, as after Hurricane Katrina or the Financial Meltdown of 2008.

The basic length of both generations and turnings—about twenty years—derives from longstanding socially and biologically determined phases of life.[who?] This is the reason it has remained relatively constant over centuries.[59] Some have argued that rapid increases in technology in recent decades are shortening the length of a generation.[60] According to Strauss and Howe, however, this is not the case. As long as the transition to adulthood occurs around age 20, the transition to midlife around age 40, and the transition to old age around age 60, they say the basic length of both generations and turnings will remain the same.[59]

In their book, The Fourth Turning, however, Strauss and Howe say that the precise boundaries of generations and turnings are erratic. The generational rhythm is not like certain simple, inorganic cycles in physics or astronomy, where time and periodicity can be predicted to the second. Instead, it resembles the complex, organic cycles of biology, where basic intervals endure but precise timing is difficult to predict. Strauss and Howe compare the saecular rhythm to the four seasons, which they say similarly occur in the same order, but with slightly varying timing. Just as winter may come sooner or later, and be more or less severe in any given year, the same is true of a Fourth Turning in any given saeculum.[61]

Current position of the US in the cycle

According to Strauss and Howe, there are many potential threats that could feed a growing sense of public urgency as the Fourth Turning progresses, including a terrorist attack, a financial collapse, a major war, a crisis of nuclear proliferation, an environmental crisis, an energy shortage, or new civil wars. The generational cycle cannot explain the role or timing of these individual threats. Nor can it account for the great events of history, like the bombing of Pearl HarborPresident Kennedy’s assassination, or 9/11. What the generational cycle can do, according to Strauss and Howe, is explain how society is likely to respond to these events in different eras. It is the response, not the initial event, which defines an era according to the theory. According to Strauss and Howe, the crisis period lasts for approximately 20 years.[62][21]

Critical reception

The Strauss and Howe retelling of history through a generational lens has received mixed reviews. Many reviewers have praised the authors’ books and theory for their ambition, erudition and accessibility. Former U.S Vice President Al Gore (who graduated from Harvard University with Mr. Strauss) called Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069 the most stimulating book on American history he’d ever read. He even sent a copy to each member of Congress.[6] The theory has been influential in the fields of generational studies, marketing, and business management literature. However, it has also been criticized by several historians and some political scientists and journalists, as being overly-deterministic, non-falsifiable, and unsupported by rigorous evidence.[63][64][65]

Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069

After the publication of their first book Generations, Martin Keller, professor of history at Brandeis University, said that the authors “had done their homework”. He said that their theory could be seen as pop-sociology and that it would “come in for a lot more criticism as history. But it’s almost always true that the broader you cast your net, the more holes it’s going to have. And I admire [the authors’] boldness.”[66] Harvard sociologist David Riesman said the book showed an “impressive grasp of a great many theoretical and historical bits and pieces”. The Times Literary Supplement called it “fascinating,” but also, “about as vague and plausible as astrological predictions.”[67] Publishers Weekly, though, called Generations “as woolly as a newspaper horoscope“.[6]

The Fourth Turning

In his review for the Boston Globe, historian David Kaiser called The Fourth Turning “a provocative and immensely entertaining outline of American history”. “Strauss and Howe have taken a gamble”, argued Kaiser. “If the United States calmly makes it to 2015, their work will end up in the ashcan of history, but if they are right, they will take their place among the great American prophets.”[68] Kaiser has since argued that Strauss and Howe’s predictions of coming crisis seems to have occurred, citing events such as 9/11,[69] the 2008 financial crisis,[70] and the recent political gridlock.[71]

Kaiser has incorporated Strauss and Howe’s theory in two historical works of his own, American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War (2000), and No End Save Victory: How FDR Led the Nation into War (2014).[72][73] New York Times book reviewer Michael Lind wrote that The Fourth Turning (1997) was vague and verged into the realm of pseudoscience.[65] Lind said that the theory is essentially “non-falsifiable” and “mystifying,” although he believed the authors did have some insights into modern American history.

13th Gen

In 1993, Andrew Leonard reviewed the book 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?. He wrote “as the authors (Strauss and Howe) relentlessly attack the iniquitous ‘child-abusive culture’ of the 1960s and ’70s and exult in heaping insult after insult on their own generation — they caricature Baby Boomers as countercultural, long-haired, sex-obsessed hedonists — their real agenda begins to surface. That agenda becomes clear in part of their wish list for how the 13th generation may influence the future: “13ers will reverse the frenzied and centrifugal cultural directions of their younger years. They will clean up entertainment, de-diversify the culture, reinvent core symbols of national unity, reaffirm rituals of family and neighborhood bonding, and re-erect barriers to cushion communities from unwanted upheaval.”[74]

Again in 1993, writing for the Globe and Mail, Jim Cormier reviewed the same book: “self-described boomers Howe and Strauss add no profound layer of analysis to previous pop press observations. But in cobbling together a more extensive overview of the problems and concerns of the group they call the 13ers, they’ve created a valuable primer for other fogeys who are feeling seriously out of touch.” Cormier believed that the authors “raised as many new questions as answers about the generation that doesn’t want to be a generation. But at least they’ve made an honest, empathetic and good-humoured effort to bridge the bitter gap between the twentysomethings and fortysomethings.”[75]

In 1993, Charles Laurence at the London Daily Telegraph wrote that, in 13th Gen, Strauss and Howe offered this youth generation “a relatively neutral definition as the 13th American generation from the Founding Fathers,”.[76] According to Alexander Ferron’s review in Eye Magazine, “13th Gen is best read as the work of two top-level historians. While its agenda is the 13th generation, it can also be seen as an incredibly well-written and exhaustive history of America from 1960 to 1981–examining the era through everything except the traditional historical subjects (war, politics, famine, etc).”[77]

In 2011, Jon D. Miller, at the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (funded by the National Science Foundation)[78] wrote that Strauss and Howe’s 1961 to 1981 birth year definition of “Generation X” (13th Gen) has been widely used in popular and academic literature.[79]

Millennials Rising

David Brooks reviewed the follow-up book about the next generation titled Millennials Rising (2000). “Millennials” is a term coined by Strauss and Howe.[80] Brooks wrote: “This is not a good book, if by good you mean the kind of book in which the authors have rigorously sifted the evidence and carefully supported their assertions with data. But it is a very good bad book. It’s stuffed with interesting nuggets. It’s brightly written. And if you get away from the generational mumbo jumbo, it illuminates changes that really do seem to be taking place.”[63] Further, Mr. Brooks wrote that the generations aren’t treated equally: “Basically, it sounds as if America has two greatest generations at either end of the age scale and two crummiest in the middle”.[63]

In 2001, reviewer Dina Gomez wrote in NEA Today that Strauss and Howe make their case “convincingly,” with “intriguing analysis of popular culture.” While conceding that the book “over-generalizes”, Gomez also argues that it is “hard to resist the book’s hopeful vision for our children and future.”[81]

Millennials Rising ascribes seven “core traits” to the Millennial cohort, which are: special, sheltered, confident, team-oriented, conventional, pressured, and achieving. A 2009, Chronicle of Higher Education report commented Howe and Strauss based these core traits on a “hodgepodge of anecdotes, statistics, and pop-culture references” and on surveys of approximately 600 high-school seniors from Fairfax County, Virginia, an affluent county with median household income approximately twice the national average. The report described Millennials Rising as a “good-news revolution” making “sweeping predictions” and as describing Millennials as “rule followers who were engaged, optimistic, and downright pleasant”, commenting the book gave educators and “tens of millions of parents, a warm feeling. Who wouldn’t want to hear that their kids are special?”[82]

General

In 1991, Jonathan Alter wrote in Newsweek that the book Generations was a “provocative, erudite and engaging analysis of the rhythms of American life”. However, he believed it was also “an elaborate historical horoscope that will never withstand scholarly scrutiny.” He continued, “these sequential ‘peer personalities’ are often silly, but the book provides reams of fresh evidence that American history is indeed cyclical, as Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and others have long argued.” But he complained, “The generational boundaries are plainly arbitrary. The authors lump together everyone born from 1943 through the end of 1960 (Baby Boomers), a group whose two extremes have little in common. And the predictions are facile and reckless.” He concluded: “However fun and informative, the truth about generational generalizations is that they’re generally unsatisfactory.”[83] Arthur E. Levine, a former president of the Teachers College of Columbia University said “Generational images are stereotypes. There are some differences that stand out, but there are more similarities between students of the past and the present. But if you wrote a book saying that, how interesting would it be?”[6]

In response to criticism that they stereotype or generalize all members of a generation the authors have said, “We’ve never tried to say that any individual generation is going to be monochromatic. It’ll obviously include all kinds of people. But as you look at generations as social units, we consider it to be at least as powerful and, in our view, far more powerful than other social groupings such as economic class, race, sex, religion and political parties.”[84]

Gerald Pershall wrote in 1991: “Generations is guaranteed to attract pop history and pop social science buffs. Among professional historians, it faces a tougher sell. Period specialists will resist the idea that their period is akin to several others. Sweeping theories of history are long out of fashion in the halls of ivy, and the authors’ lack of academic standing won’t help their cause. Their generational quartet is “just too wooden” and “just too neat,” says one Yale historian. “Prediction is for prophets,” scoffed William McLoughlin (a former history professor at Brown), who said it is wrong to think that “if you put enough data together and have enough charts and graphs, you’ve made history into a science.” He also said the book might get a friendlier reception in sociology and political science departments than the science department.[64]

Sociologist David Riesman and political scientist Richard Neustadt offered strong, if qualified, praise. Riesman found in the work an “impressive grasp of a great many theoretical and historical bits and pieces” and Neustadt said Strauss and Howe “are asking damned important questions, and I honor them.”[64]

In 1991, professor and New York Times writer Jay Dolan critiqued Generations for not talking more about class, race and sex, to which Neil Howe replied that they “are probably generalizations not even as effective as a generation to say something about how people think and behave. One of the things to understand is that most historians never look at history in terms of generations. They prefer to tell history as a seamless row of 55-year-old leaders who always tend to think and behave the same way — but they don’t and they never have. If you look at the way America’s 55-year-old leaders were acting in the 1960s — you know, the ebullient and confidence of the JFKs and LBJs and Hubert Humphreys — and compare them with today’s leaders in Congress — the indecision, the lack of sure-footedness — I think you would have to agree that 55-year-olds do not always act the same way and you’re dealing with powerful generational forces at work that explain why one generation of war veterans, war heroes, and another generation which came of age in very different circumstances tend to have very different instincts about acting in the world.”[84]

Responding to criticisms in 1991, Bill Strauss accepted that some historians might not like their theory, which they presented as a new paradigm for looking at American history, that filled a need for a unifying vision of American history:

People are looking for a new way to connect themselves to the larger story of America. That is the problem. We’ve felt adrift over the past 10 years, and we think that the way history has been presented over the past couple of decades has been more in terms of the little pieces and people are not as interested in the little pieces now. They’re looking for a unifying vision. We haven’t had unifying visions of the story of America for decades now, and we’re trying to provide it in this book.

The kinds of historians who are drawn to our book — and I’m sure it will be very controversial among academics because we are presenting something that is so new — but the kinds who are drawn to it are the ones who themselves have focused on the human life cycle rather than just the sequential series of events. Some good examples of that are Morton Keller up at Brandeis and David Hackett Fischer. These are people who have noticed the power in not just generations, but the shifts that have happened over time in the way Americans have treated children and older people and have tried to link that to the broader currents of history.[84]

In 2006, Frank Giancola wrote an article in Human Resource Planning that stated “the emphasis on generational differences is not generally borne out by empirical research, despite its popularity”.[85]

In 2016 an article was published that explains the differences in generations, observed with the employer’s position, through the development of working conditions, initiated by the employer.[86] This development is due to the competition of firms on the job market for receiving more highly skilled workers. New working conditions as a product on the market have a classic product life-cycle and when they become widespread standard expectations of employees change accordingly.

One criticism of Strauss and Howe’s theory, and the field of “generational studies” in general, is that conclusions are overly broad and do not reflect the reality of every person in each generation regardless of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, or genetic information[87] For example, Hoover cited the case of Millennials by writing that “commentators have tended to slap the Millennial label on white, affluent teenagers who accomplish great things as they grow up in the suburbs, who confront anxiety when applying to super-selective colleges, and who multitask with ease as their helicopter parents hover reassuringly above them. The label tends not to appear in renderings of teenagers who happen to be minorities, or poor, or who have never won a spelling bee. Nor does the term often refer to students from big cities and small towns that are nothing like Fairfax County, Va. Or who lack technological know-how. Or who struggle to complete high school. Or who never even consider college. Or who commit crimes. Or who suffer from too little parental support. Or who drop out of college. Aren’t they Millennials, too?”[6]

In their 2000 book Millennials Rising Strauss and Howe brought attention to the Millennial children of immigrants in the United States, “who face daunting challenges.”[88] They wrote “one-third have no health insurance, live below the poverty line and live in overcrowded housing”.[88]

In a 2017 article from Quartz two journalists commented on Strauss–Howe generational theory saying: “the theory is too vague to be proven wrong, and has not been taken seriously by most professional historians. But it is superficially compelling, and plots out to some degree how America’s history has unfolded since its founding”.[19]

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss%E2%80%93Howe_generational_theory

 

Story 2: President Trump Addresses 2017 Values Summit — Merry Christmas — Videos —

Donald Trump at Values Voter Summit: We’re Saying MERRY CHRISTMAS Again!

President Trump Delivers Remarks to the 2017 Values Voter Summit

Kellyanne Conway Takes Questions at the Values Summit in Washington DC

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Bill Bennett with a Very Pro-Trump Speech. Value Voters Summit!

Laura Ingraham Speaks at the Values Summit in Washington DC.

Watch Phil Robertson Preach! Values Voters Summit

Dana Loesch Full Speech! Values Voter Summit

Rep Mark Meadows Speech. Values Voters Summit

Lila Rose speaks at the 2017 Values Voter Summit

Steve Scalise Speech! Values Voters Summit!

Michele Bachmann! A Full on Sermon! Values Voters Summit!

Judge Roy Moore Full Speech! Values Voter Summit

Sebastian Gorka Full Speech! Values Voter Summit

Steve Bannon Speaking at the Values Summit in Washington DC.

 

 

LIBERTY SCORECARD

List of A, B and C+ Scoring

Republican Senators Supporting Trump

 

 

 

 

GOP doesn’t have a clue — but Bannon does

Steve Bannon Hit List of Liberty Scorecard F Rated

Republican Senators Not Supporting Trump

MemberPartyStateLiberty Score®Years in DCNext ElectionPDF

Jeff Flake

Senator
Jeff Flake

AZ F 53% 2018

Dan Sullivan

Senator
Dan Sullivan

AKF 53% 2020

Pat Roberts

Senator
Pat Roberts

KS F 53% 20 2020

John Barrasso

Senator
John Barrasso

WY F 52% 2018

Todd Young

Senator
Todd Young

IN-F 50% 2022

Rob Portman

Senator
Rob Portman

OH F 49% 2022

Bill Cassidy

 

Senator
Bill Cassidy

LA F 47% 2020

Bob Corker

Senator
Bob Corker

TN F 47% 10 2018

John Thune

Senator
John Thune

SD F 44% 12 2022

Mitch McConnell

Senator
Mitch McConnell

KY F 42% 32 2020

Cory Gardner

Senator
Cory Gardner

CO F 42% 2020

Roy Blunt

Senator
Roy Blunt

MO F 41% 2022

John Cornyn

Senator
John Cornyn

TX F 40% 14 2020

Richard Burr

Senator
Richard Burr

NC F 40% 12 2022

Thom Tillis

Senator
Thom Tillis

NC F 37% 2020

Lindsey Graham

Senator
Lindsey Graham

SC F 33% 14 2020

John McCain

Senator
John McCain

AZ F 33% 30 2022

Mike Rounds

Senator
Mike Rounds

SD F 32% 2020

Shelley Capito

Senator
Shelley Capito

WV F 32% 16 2020

Orrin Hatch

Senator
Orrin Hatch

UT F 31% 40 2018

Johnny Isakson

Senator
Johnny Isakson

GA F 31% 12 2022

Roger Wicker

Senator
Roger Wicker

MS F 30% 2018

John Hoeven

Senator
John Hoeven

ND F 26% 2022

Thad Cochran

Senator
Thad Cochran

MS F 24% 38 2020

Lisa Murkowski

Senator
Lisa Murkowski

AK F 22% 14 2022

 

 

 

Trump White House fed up with the Senate

With tax cuts on the line, ‘We look at the Senate and go: ‘What the hell is going on?’” said White House budget director Mick Mulvaney.

President Donald Trump is pictured with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. | AP Photo
President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held an unusual 40-minute unity press conference, intended to sooth a jittery party that’s watched Trump attack “Mitch M” for failing on health care reform. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo
President Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell stood side-by-side at the White House Monday afternoon to declare they’re “together totally” and “very united” heading into this fall’s tax reform battle.

But behind the scenes, Trump, his administration and even some senators are increasingly worried that taxes will go the way of Obamacare repeal in the Senate: Months of bickering ending in extreme embarrassment.

The debate hasn’t even started on the GOP’s plan, yet some senators are pushing their own tax proposals, while others are increasingly emboldened to defy the Republican president. It’s a dangerous mix considering that McConnell can only lose two votes assuming Democrats band together in opposition.

“We look at the Senate and go: ‘What the hell is going on?’” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said in an interview Friday.

“The House passed health care, the House has already passed its budget, which is the first step of tax reform. The Senate hasn’t done any of that. Hell, the Senate can’t pass any of our confirmations,” Mulvaney fumed in an interview, slapping a table for emphasis. “You ask me if the Republican-controlled Senate is an impediment to the administration’s agenda: All I can tell you is so far, the answer’s yes.”

The revulsion for the Senate’s age-old traditions and byzantine procedure boiled over in public repeatedly on Monday. Trump complained in front of TV cameras that the Senate is “not getting the job done” and said he sees where Steve Bannon — his former chief strategist now planning to run primary challengers against incumbent Republican senators — “is coming from.”

And House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), when asked Monday to name the biggest impediment to tax reform, replied: “You ever heard of the United States Senate before?”

Shortly after, Trump and McConnell held an unusual 40-minute unity press conference, intended to sooth a jittery party that’s watched Trump attack “Mitch M” for failing on health care reform and McConnell assert that Trump had “excessive expectations” for Congress. Trump suggested he would try to get Bannon to back off on some of McConnell’s incumbents, and McConnell sought to keep the tax reform critics at bay after Trump said he wants it done this year.

“We’re gonna get this job done and the goal is to get it done by the end of the year,” McConnell said after lunching with the president. The meeting had been long-planned, but the impromptu press conference was Trump’s idea, two sources familiar with the event said.

McConnell is expected to hold a vote this week on the budget — a precondition for tax reform — and GOP aides expect it to pass. That will relieve some of the pressure on the chamber, which has been receiving flak nonstop from donors, House members and the president since the health care implosion this summer.

Administration officials are hoping that frustration produces enough pressure to force the Senate to pass tax reform. But already, there are signs of trouble.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is so skeptical that the Senate can enact the GOP’s tax framework that he’s begun pitching his own tax plans to colleagues. It would shift the burden of corporate taxes onto shareholders and allow individuals to opt out of the existing tax code and into a system without the confusing array of tax preferences and deductions that people can now choose.

It’s radically different from what congressional leaders and the president proposed. But Johnson said in an interview that leadership’s plan “is going to be very difficult to pass. We’ve already seen with the outline now, with the principles given, that’s going to be a challenge.”

“I don’t want to be a problem child here, but what I’m offering is a plan B,” Johnson added. “If they can’t get the votes … I’ve got an alternative.”

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) brushed off any negativity about the Senate’s work, insisting that he never thought the party’s agenda is “off track.” But he said the sniping from Mulvaney and Ryan — and skepticism from some Republican senators about the prospects for tax reform — is not helpful.

“I don’t think that sort of thing is very constructive myself,” Cornyn said Monday.

The House is sure to labor to pass tax reform, too. Members from high-tax states are already rebelling against plans to gut the deduction for state and local taxes. But two White House officials said the most serious concerns are in the Senate.

“I was really not happy that this Congress couldn’t control its own members and get to a winning vote on health care,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.). “This tax code is something we’ve got to do. We’ve got to do that this year. It’s a test of the Republican majority.”

But like with health care, the tax reform process is moving more slowly than many Republicans would like. There’s no bill yet, for starters. And White House officials have deliberately left some policy details vague because they’re unsure what it will take for various senators to get on board and want to leave their options open, one of these people said.

The White House officials expect a multitude of demands from Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) regarding the deficit, and from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on middle-class tax cuts. Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, perhaps the most endangered Republican senator on the ballot next year, is expected to have his own asks.

Other moderate Republicans senators are expected to hold major sway as well, including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. Another wild card is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who’s voted against past tax cuts and cast the decisive vote against Obamacare repeal.

“We’re expecting to have to make some deals here,” one official said.

Rattled that many senators are still on the fence, the Koch network encouraged their donors at a recent retreat to call Republican senators and push them to vote for tax reform. Vice President Mike Pence told donors at the Koch summit that they thought they could persuade Paul and that Trump planned to travel more to win wavering senators over.

And after working for months on an Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill that went nowhere, senators say they feel more urgency than they ever have on taxes.

“If you just stand there you get run over,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.). “I don’t want to see what happened to us on health care happen to us on tax reform. Which is basically, we analyze it until we are paralyzed.”

If that happens again, Republicans are warning of dire consequences: Losing the House and possibly the Senate, and inviting a new wave of ire at incumbents. In an urgent plea over the weekend, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) even suggested on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that if the party can’t pass tax reform and repeal Obamacare within the next few months, “it will be the end of Mitch McConnell as we know it.”

People close to Trump said the White House isn’t there yet.

“We don’t get into leadership races down here,” Mulvaney said. But maybe, he suggested, the pressure on McConnell and “the Senate’s failure to pass health care might actually help us to get tax reform passed. Because I think they know they need to get something done.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/16/trump-senate-taxes-republicans-243839

 

Trump, McConnell: Republican tax plan could bleed into next year

Updated 

President Donald Trump on Monday raised the possibility that Republicans may fall short of their goal of rewriting the tax code by the end of this year.

“I would like to see it be done this year,” he told reporters. “But don’t forget it took years for the Reagan administration to get taxes done — I’ve been here for nine months.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, appearing alongside Trump at a White House news conference, also tamped down the bullish timeline laid out by some administration officials and congressional leaders.

“The goal is to get it done this calendar year, but it is important to remember that Obama signed Obamacare in March of year two [of his first term], Obama signed Dodd-Frank in July of year two,” McConnell said.

“We’re going to get this job done, and the goal is to get it done by the end of the year,” said McConnell.

Their comments are a rare acknowledgment by Republican leaders that their plans to rewrite the code may take longer than anticipated. They’re anxious to complete work on the code, their top legislative priority, by the close of this year, before next year’s midterm elections begin to loom. Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan even raised the possibility of lawmakers working until this Christmas on a plan.

Speaking separately Monday in an interview with a Milwaukee-area radio station, Ryan was far more confident lawmakers would remain on schedule, predicting the House will pass its version of the plan within weeks.

“We’ll mark it up and pass it — so by early November, we’ll get it out of the House, we’ll send it to the Senate,” he told WTMJ. “The goal: Get law in December so that we wake up with New Year’s and a new tax code in 2018.”

Although Republicans have not yet released a detailed plan, they’ve already run into a number of hurdles, including objections by some blue-state Republicans that their plans to scrap a long-standing deduction for state and local taxes will mean tax hikes on their constituents. Republicans are now massaging those provisions.

In the Senate, lawmakers have signaled a willingness to go their own way on a number of issues, including how to tax corporations, whether to dump the estate tax and how much any plan should cost.

Republicans have also been stung by an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center showing the top 1 percent of earners would be the biggest winners under their proposal, which Republicans released in framework form last month.

“We are doing minor adjustments,” Trump told reporters. “We want to make sure that the middle class is the biggest beneficiary of the tax cuts.”

The next step for Republicans is agreeing on a budget, which will determine how much they can spend on their tax proposal. The Senate aims to approve this week its plan penciling in $1.5 trillion for tax cuts, which would have to be merged with a competing House proposal calling for a deficit-neutral tax rewrite as well as accompanying spending cuts.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/16/trump-mcconnell-tax-plan-243833

Story 3: Prowling Pedophile Predator Pack —  Friends of Clinton, Epstein and Weinstein — War on Women By Dirty Deviant Democrats — Filthy Rich Too Big To Arrest? — Videos

Image result for BillJeffrey Epstein and harvey weinstein

Image result for lJeffrey Epstein , bill clinton and harvey weinstein

Hollywood sex scandal expands beyond Harvey Weinstein

SETH MACFARLANE AND FOUR HOLLYWOOD STARS WARNED US ABOUT HARVEY WEINSTEIN YEARS AGO

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Hollywood Was Quick To Attack Trump, But Matt Damon Protected Harvey Weinstein

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Tucker Rips Hollywood, They Protected Harvey Weinstein for Years!

Mark Steyn: Clinton Democrats, Weinstein have much in common

Emma Thompson: Harvey Weinstein ‘top of harassment ladder’ – BBC Newsnight

Ann Coulter Talks Harvey Weinstein Scandal, Bob Corker

Harvey Weinstein May Not Go Down Alone — Money Trail Leads to Michael Moore and Quentin Tarantino

Rush Limbaugh 10/16/2017 | Leftists Try to Shift Blame from Harvey and Bill Clinton to Trump

#WoodyAllen Abandons What’s Left of His Perv-Skeevy Sense of Decency and Defends #HarveyWeinstein

Actress Jessica Barth on Her Encounter with Harvey Weinstein

Actress: Weinstein chased me around room naked

CNN Asks Why Are The Obamas Silent On Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein – Crackin’ Jokes Amidst Sexual Harassment Allegations | TMZ TV

Harvey Weinstein Accuser Describes Harrowing Encounter: He ‘Began Pleasuring Himself’

Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie Say Harvey Weinstein Also Harassed Them | TMZ News

Gwyneth Paltrow and Dave on Harvey Weinstein, Late Show, November 25, 1998

Harvey Weinstein’s New Accuser: He Begged Me to Watch Him Masturbate at Sundance | TMZ

Rob Schneider Says He Was Sexually Harassed by Director, Harvey Weinstein’s Not Only One | TMZ

Jennifer Lawrence BLASTS Harvey Weinstein & More Stars Speak Out

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Bill Clinton & Jeffrey Epstein: Politics + Sex Slave Connections

Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein have a friendship that has caused speculation about pedophilia and sexual relationships that took place on Epstein’s island. After underage sex slaves were linked to Jeffrey Epstein, and with Epstein acting as a major donor to political campaigns of Democrats including Hillary Clinton, Conchita Sarnoff discusses her investigation into powerful and perverted influence at the highest levels , in this highlight from Buzzsaw hosted by Sean Stone.

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The Clinton Pedophilia Connection

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Donald Trump exposes Bill Clinton’s trips with Jeffrey Epstein’s “Pedophile Island”

LOOK AT BILL CLINTON’S FACE as TRUMP Lays Down The Truth About Bill’s Sexual Assaults to Many Women

 

British actress becomes fifth woman to accuse Weinstein of rape

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British actress Lysette Anthony has told police that Harvey Weinstein raped her, the Sunday Times reported, becoming the fifth woman to level such accusations against the disgraced Hollywood mogul.

The 54-year-old actress, who currently appears in British soap Hollyoaks, told Metropolitan Police last week that she had originally met Weinstein in New York, and agreed to meet him later at his rented house in London, according to the paper.

“The next thing I knew he was half undressed and he grabbed me. It was the last thing I expected and I fled,” she told the Times.

Anthony, who appeared in Woody Allen’s 1992 film “Husbands and Wives”, said that Weinstein then began stalking her, turning up unannounced at her house.

“He pushed me inside and rammed me against the coat rack,” she said of the attack in the 1980s. “He was trying to kiss me and shove inside me. Finally I just gave up.”

Harvey Weinstein faces another rape claim

Harvey Weinstein faces another rape claim

Weinstein has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled Weinstein on Saturday amid mounting accusations of sexual harassment, assault and rape.

An avalanche of claims have surfaced since the publication last week of an explosive New York Times report alleging a history of abusive behaviour by Weinstein dating back decades.

The producer’s wife, English fashion designer Georgina Chapman, has said she plans to divorce him.

Weinstein’s films have received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes, according to The Weinstein Company, which he co-founded after selling Miramax.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4981326/British-actress-fifth-women-accuse-Weinstein-rape.html

 

High-Powered Sex Abusers: Too Big To Fail

CONCHITA SARNOFF

Executive Director, Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking

Abuse of power, influence peddling, non-disclosure agreements, sexual favors, pay offs, terrified victims, and the inability to control sexual urges that stem from the dark side of man, all seem to be a running theme in the distinct cases of Hollywood’s, Harvey Weinstein and Wall Street’s infamous hedge fund manager, Jeffrey Epstein.

Both men–exceptionally intelligent, rich, respected marketing geniuses and armed with powerful friends and political allies such as the Clinton’s, seem to be above the law irrespective of their legal wrongdoings.  Yes, the violations committed by Mr. Weinstein and Mr. Epstein are different.  Mr. Weinstein has never been accused of sexually violating a minor unlike Mr. Epstein.  Epstein pled guilty to two counts of Solicitation of Prostitution with a Minor, in 2007, after a two-year federal investigation was shut down.  Mr. Epstein also has 2 pending cases in New York and Florida, twelve years after the criminal case closed.

Anyone who enjoys history knows that it tends to repeat itself.  In fact, it is exhaustively documented that some absolute monarchs and modern day dictators, given all power to rule, have all but declared themselves gods.  Three in particular come to mind— Emperor Caligula, nee Gaius Augustus Germanicus who ruled over the 3rd Roman Empire, Napoleon Bonaparte, the 19th Century’s Emperor of the French, and Adolf Hitler, Germany’s 20th Century, demonic ruler.

In 1887, British historian and moralist First Baron John Emerich Edward Acton, coined the phrase when expressing his opinion to Bishop Mandell Creighton about “Great men are always bad men.” He went on to explain, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  Perhaps Lord Acton was on to something.  The question to ask in 21st Century America is:  How can corporations, Civil Society, and the Department of Justice help curtail productive, powerful, successful executives and marketing geniuses such as Messrs. Weinstein and Epstein from harming young people in vulnerable positions?   Since two categories of laws exist, federal and state, should more legislation be enacted–by federal and state legislators–to protect the most vulnerable populations, men and women, in the United States?

Mr. Weinstein’s act of contrition seemed believable and resolute when he gave his public statement last week concerning his misconduct.  In a statement to The New York Times he said, “I came of age in the 60s and 70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.  I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office—or out of it. To anyone.   I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.  I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”

In contrast to Mr. Weinstein’s public repentance and honesty, Jeffrey Epstein has never apologized for his actions.  On the contrary, when asked by a New York Post reporter in 2011 about serving time for solicitation with a minor, Epstein was not the least bit remorseful.

Mr. Epstein told the reporter, “I’m not a sexual predator, I’m an offender.  It’s the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel.”  This statement was in spite of him being advised to sign a Non- Prosecution Agreement. He pled guilty to 2 counts of prostitution with a minor ad served 13 months in a state jail followed by 18 months under house arrest, In Palm Beach.  When he was released he traveled to New York where he maintains a vast residence in Manhattan. He was forced to register as a sexual offender and designated a level 3. Level 3 is the highest risk category that poses a threat to public safety. Two dozen victims trafficked for sex testified against Mr. Epstein and his principal procurers.  Yet he still believes he is not a predator.  Perhaps Mr. Epstein does not understand that sexually abusing a child usually destroys the child’s psyche forever? Perhaps it does not concern Mr. Epstein to be identified as a registered sex offender, level 3?  After all, money begets power which most always precipitates forgiveness.

Last week in a surprising act of departure, The New York Times called on Mr. Weinstein to, “release women from any non-disclosure agreements.”

Should the news organization follow the same course of action and request Mr. Epstein release his victims from any non-disclosure agreements? In Epstein’s case, thousands of court files detailing the egregiousness of the sexual abuse cases have been heavily redacted and mostly sealed to the media and public.  Court files containing important evidence and hundreds of depositions given by victims and law enforcement remain under seal.  After all, Mr. Epstein’s cases represent far more egregious crimes against dozens of women than Mr. Weinstein’s case has thus far. Crimes committed by Mr. Epstein against dozens of underage victims, some as young as 12, that scarred them permanently.

According to the New York Times report, several striking similarities between the two cases show that in proper mogul fashion, Messrs. Weinstein and Epstein paid off dozens of allegations of sexual harassment for years before their cases were brought to light.  Both hired the best and brightest attorneys to represent them.

It’s interesting to note the difference in style of the principal attorneys representing each mogul.  One of Mr. Epstein’s lead attorneys was former Harvard University law professor, Alan Dershowitz.  Mr. Dershowitz was a close friend and lead attorney. In 2014, Mr. Dershowitz was accused by one of the victim’s, Virginia Louise Roberts, of sexual molestation when she was a minor.

In Mr. Weinstein’s case, the recent resignation of his Los Angeles attorney, Ms. Lisa Bloom, an outspoken and respected feminist and Ms. Gloria Allred’s daughter, left a lot to the imagination. No doubt the truth–in its entirety–will surface eventually.

Two more attorneys represent Mr. Weinstein. Charles Harder and New York’s, David Boies, continue to work on the case.  Mr. Boies, coincidentally, recently represented Virginia Louise Roberts-Giuffre.  The same victim who accused Mr. Dershowitz of sexually molesting her as a minor. Mr. Boies took on the defamation case Virginia Louise Giuffre vs. Ghislaine Maxwell, pro bono, in September 2015.

Ms. Roberts-Giuffre accused Ms. Maxwell, Mr. Epstein’s former companion, of multiple felonies including child sex trafficking.  Mr. Boies managed to settle the defamation case against Ms. Maxwell for an undisclosed amount at the eleventh hour just before the 2016 presidential elections.  Ms. Maxwell was identified as the principal procurer in dozens of court files.

Unlike the two victims, Virginia Louise Roberts-Giuffre and Lauren O’Connor, who inculpated Mr. Weinstein of sexual harassment, there are countless unknown victims of sexual abuse and harassment who refuse to come forward given the challenges women confront when testifying against rich and powerful sexual predators.  An accurate description of this dilemma was described in Ms. O’Connor’s memo, “I am a 28-year-old woman trying to make a living and a career. Harvey Weinstein is a 64-year-old, world famous man and this is his company. The balance of power is me: 0, Harvey Weinstein: 10.”

It is not surprising that so many victims prefer silence over the indignity, public shame of disclosure, unbalanced wheels of power and justice, and unremitting obstacles brought forth during a sexual crime investigation.  All of these daunting elements deter many victims, men and women, from ‘blowing the whistle.’  When it comes to the rich and famous, the powerful adage still holds: “The rich can get away with murder.”   While Mr. Weinstein was disgraced when he was let go by the Weinstein’s Company Board, on account of the sexual harassment charges, Mr. Epstein did not suffer any professional damage or humiliation.  Mr. Epstein continues to trade and invest his client’s money on Wall Street and other markets, his assets–domestic and off-shore–remain unfrozen, and he walks the streets freely, without any consequences and short of the $5 million dollars he had to pay three victims for restitution last month.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/12/high-powered-sex-abusers-too-big-to-fail/

The ‘sex slave’ scandal that exposed pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein

Modal TriggerThe ‘sex slave’ scandal that exposed pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein

In 2005, the world was introduced to reclusive billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, friend to princes and an American president, a power broker with the darkest of secrets: He was also a pedophile, accused of recruiting dozens of underage girls into a sex-slave network, buying their silence and moving along, although he has been convicted of only one count of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Visitors to his private Caribbean island, known as “Orgy Island,” have included Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Stephen Hawking.

According to a 2011 court filing by alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre, she saw Clinton and Prince Andrew on the island but never saw the former president do anything improper. Giuffre has accused Prince Andrew of having sex with her when she was a minor, a charge Buckingham Palace denies.

“Epstein lives less than one mile away from me in Palm Beach,” author James Patterson tells The Post. In the 11 years since Epstein was investigated and charged by the Palm Beach police department, ultimately copping a plea and serving 13 months on one charge of soliciting prostitution from a 14-year-old girl, Patterson has remained obsessed with the case.

“He’s a fascinating character to read about,” Patterson says. “What is he thinking? Who is he?”

Patterson’s new book, “Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal That Undid Him, and All the Justice That Money Can Buy,” is an attempt to answer such questions. Co-authored with John Connolly and Tim Malloy, the book contains detailed police interviews with girls who alleged sexual abuse by Epstein and others in his circle. Giuffre alleged that Epstein’s ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late media tycoon Robert Maxwell, abused her. Ghislaine Maxwell has denied allegations of enabling abuse.

Epstein has spent the bulk of his adult life cultivating relationships with the world’s most powerful men. Flight logs show that from 2001 to 2003, Bill Clinton flew on Epstein’s private plane, dubbed “The Lolita Express” by the press, 26 times. After Epstein’s arrest in July 2006, federal tax records show Epstein donated $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation that year.

Bill Clinton in 1994.AP

Epstein was also a regular visitor to Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, and the two were friends. According to the Daily Mail, Trump was a frequent dinner guest at Epstein’s home, which was often full of barely dressed models. In 2003, New York magazine reported that Trump also attended a dinner party at Epstein’s honoring Bill Clinton.

Last year, The Guardian reported that Epstein’s “little black book” contained contact numbers for A-listers including Tony Blair, Naomi Campbell, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Bloomberg and Richard Branson.

In a 2006 court filing, Palm Beach police noted that a search of Epstein’s home uncovered two hidden cameras. The Mirror reported that in 2015, a 6-year-old civil lawsuit filed by “Jane Doe No. 3,” believed to be the now-married Giuffre, alleged that Epstein wired his mansion with hidden cameras, secretly recording orgies involving his prominent friends and underage girls. The ultimate purpose: blackmail, according to court papers.

Britain’s Prince Andrew in 2012AP

“Jane Doe No. 3” also alleged that she had been forced to have sex with “numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, a well-known prime minister, and other world leaders.”

“We uncovered a lot of details about the police investigation and a lot about the girls, what happened to them, the effect on their lives,” Patterson says.

“The reader has to ask: Was justice done here or not?”

Epstein, now 63, has always been something of an international man of mystery. Born in Brooklyn, he had a middle-class upbringing: His father worked for the Parks Department, and his parents stressed hard work and education.

‘We uncovered a lot of details about the police investigation and a lot about the girls, what happened to them, the effect on their lives.’

 – James Patterson

Epstein was brilliant, skipping two grades and graduating Lafayette High School in 1969. He attended Cooper Union but dropped out in 1971 and by 1973 was teaching calculus and physics at Dalton, where he tutored the son of a Bear Stearns exec. Soon, Epstein applied his facility with numbers on Wall Street but left Bear Stearns under a cloud in 1981. He formed his own business, J. Epstein & Co.

The bar for entry at the new firm was high. According to a 2002 profile in New York magazine, Epstein only took on clients who turned over $1 billion, at minimum, for him to manage. Clients also had to pay a flat fee and sign power of attorney over to Epstein, allowing him to do whatever he saw fit with their money.

Still, no one knew exactly what Epstein did, or how he was able to amass a personal billion-dollar-plus fortune. In addition to a block-long, nine-story mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Epstein owns the $6.8 million mansion in Palm Beach, an $18 million property in New Mexico, the 70-acre private Caribbean island, a helicopter, a Gulfstream IV and a Boeing 727.

“My belief is that Jeff maintains some sort of money-management firm, though you won’t get a straight answer from him,” one high-level investor told New York magazine. “He once told me he had 300 people working for him, and I’ve also heard that he manages Rockefeller money. But one never knows. It’s like looking at the Wizard of Oz — there may be less there than meets the eye.”

Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach homeSplash News

“He’s very enigmatic,” Rosa Monckton told Vanity Fair in 2003. Monckton was the former British CEO of Tiffany & Co. and confidante to the late Princess Diana. She was also a close friend of Epstein’s since the 1980s. “He never reveals his hand . . . He’s a classic iceberg. What you see is not what you get.”

Both profiles intimated that Epstein had a predilection for young women but never went further. In the New York magazine piece, Trump said Epstein’s self-professed image as a loner, an egghead and a teetotaler was not wholly accurate.

Donald Trump in 1990AP

“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years,” Trump said. “Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

Three years after that profile ran, Palm Beach Police Officer Michele Pagan got a disturbing message. A woman reported that her 14-year-old stepdaughter confided to a friend that she’d had sex with an older man for money. The man’s name was Jeff, and he lived in a mansion on a cul-de-sac.

Pagan persuaded the woman to bring her stepdaughter down to be interviewed. In his book, Patterson calls the girl Mary. And Mary, like so many of the other girls who eventually talked, came from the little-known working-class areas surrounding Palm Beach.

A friend of a friend, Mary said, told her she could make hundreds of dollars in one hour, just for massaging some middle-aged guy’s feet. Lots of other girls had been doing it, some three times a week.

Mary claimed she had been driven to the mansion on El Brillo Way, where a female staffer escorted her up a pink-carpeted staircase, then into a room with a massage table, an armoire topped with sex toys and a photo of a little girl pulling her underwear off.

Ghislaine MaxwellGetty Images

Epstein entered the room, wearing only a towel, Mary said.

“He took off the towel,” Mary told Pagan. “He was a really built guy. But his wee-wee was very tiny.”

Mary said Epstein got on the table and barked orders at her. She told police she was alone in the room with him, terrified.

Pagan wrote the following in her incident report:

“She removed her pants, leaving her thong panties on. She straddled his back, whereby her exposed buttocks were touching Epstein’s exposed buttocks. Epstein then turned to his side and started to rub his penis in an up-and-down motion. Epstein pulled out a purple vibrator and began to massage Mary’s vaginal area.”

Palm Beach assigned six more detectives to the investigation. They conducted a “trash pull” of Epstein’s garbage, sifting through paper with phone numbers, used condoms, toothbrushes, worn underwear. In one pull, police found a piece of paper with Mary’s phone number on it, along with the number of the person who recruited her.

On Sept. 11, 2005, detectives got another break. Alison, as she’s called in the book, told Detective Joe Recarey that she had been going to Epstein’s house since she was 16. Alison had been working at the Wellington Green Mall, saving up for a trip to Maine, when a friend told her, “You can get a plane ticket in two hours . . . We can go give this guy a massage and he’ll pay $200,” according to her statement to the police.

Alison told Recarey that she visited Epstein hundreds of times. She said he had bought her a new 2005 Dodge Neon, plane tickets, and gave her spending money. Alison said he even asked her to emancipate from her parents so she could live with him full-time as his “sex slave.”

She said Epstein slowly escalated his sexual requests, and despite Alison’s insistence that they never have intercourse, alleged, “This one time . . . he bent me over the table and put himself in me. Without my permission.”

Alison then asked if what Epstein had done to her was rape and spoke of her abject fear of him.

An abridged version of her witness statement, as recounted in the book:

Alison: Before I say anything else . . . um, is there a possibility that I’m gonna have to go to court or anything?
Recarey: I mean, what he did to you is a crime. I’m not gonna lie to you.
Alison: Would you consider it rape, what he did?
Recarey: If he put himself inside you without permission . . . That, that is a crime. That is a crime.
Alison: I don’t want my family to find out about this . . . ’Cause Jeffrey’s gonna get me. You guys realize that, right? . . . I’m not safe now. I’m not safe.
Recarey: Why do you say you’re not safe? Has he said he’s hurt people before?
Alison: Well, I’ve heard him make threats to people on the telephone, yeah. Of course.
Recarey: You’re gonna die? You’re gonna break your legs? Or —
Alison: All of the above!

Alison also told Recarey that Epstein got so violent with her that he ripped out her hair and threw her around. “I mean,” she said, “there’s been nights that I walked out of there barely able to walk, um, from him being so rough.”

Two months later, Recarey interviewed Epstein’s former house manager of 11 years, documented in his probable-cause affidavit as Mr. Alessi. “Alessi stated Epstein receives three massages a day . . . towards the end of his employment, the masseuses . . . appeared to be 16 or 17 years of age at the most . . . [Alessi] would have to wash off a massager/vibrator and a long rubber penis, which were in the sink after the massage.”

Another house manager, Alfredo Rodriguez, told Recarey that very young girls were giving Epstein massages at least twice a day, and in one instance, Epstein had Rodriguez deliver one dozen roses to Mary, at her high school.

In May 2006, the Palm Beach Police Department filed a probable-cause affidavit, asking prosecutors to charge Epstein with four counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor — a second-degree felony — and one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a 14-year-old minor, also a second-degree felony.

Today, Jeffrey Epstein is a free man, albeit one who routinely settles civil lawsuits against him, brought by young women, out of court.

Palm Beach prosecutors said the evidence was weak, and after presenting the case to a grand jury, Epstein was charged with only one count of felony solicitation of prostitution. In 2008, he pleaded guilty and nominally served 13 months of an 18-month sentence in a county jail: Epstein spent one day a week there, the other six out on “work release.”

Today, Jeffrey Epstein is a free man, albeit one who routinely settles civil lawsuits against him, brought by young women, out of court. As of 2015, Epstein had settled multiple such cases.

Giuffre has sued Ghislaine Maxwell in Manhattan federal court, charging defamation — saying Maxwell stated Giuffre lied about Maxwell’s recruitment of her and other underage girls. Epstein has been called upon to testify in court this month, on Oct. 20.

The true number of Epstein’s victims may never be known.

He will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life, not that it fazes him.

“I’m not a sexual predator, I’m an ‘offender,’ ” Epstein told The Post in 2011. “It’s the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel.”

http://nypost.com/2016/10/09/the-sex-slave-scandal-that-exposed-pedophile-billionaire-jeffrey-epstein/

Bill Clinton & Jeffrey Epstein: Politics + Sex Slave Connections

The Billionaire Pedophile Who Could Bring Down Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

Billionaire sicko Jeffrey Epstein was long thought to be ammo against the Clintons—until a lurid new lawsuit accused Trump of raping one of Epstein’s girls himself.

For Jeffrey Epstein and his famous friends, the Aughts were a simpler time, when the businessmen, academics, and celebrities who counted themselves among the playboy philanthropist’s inner circle could freely enjoy the fruits of his extreme wealth and connections.

Epstein’s little black book and flight logs read like a virtual Who’s Who: Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Larry Summers, Kevin Spacey, Prince Andrew, and Naomi Campbell all hitched rides on Epstein’s private planes. Socialites and distinguished scientists went to visit Epstein’s island in St. Thomas, and cavorted at epic dinner parties at his palatial townhouse—then the largest privately owned residence in New York, as he liked to brag. There, they picked at elaborate meals catered by celebrity chefs like Rocco DiSpirito, marvelled at Epstein’s opulent decor, and noted the pack of very, very young model-types with whom Epstein always seemed to surround himself.

But a darker story was going on underneath the glamour. In 2008, Epstein was convicted of soliciting sex from an underage girl and quietly paid settlements to scores of alleged victims who said he serially molested them. But the girls kept coming out of the woodwork—in 2014, another young woman filed a lawsuit claiming that Epstein used her as a sex slave for his powerful friends—and that she’d been at parties on his private island with former President Clinton.

And just last week, yet another “Jane Doe” filed a suit in New York accusing Epstein and Donald Trump of raping her at a series of sex parties when she was only 13.

Trump has denied Jane Doe’s claims and his reps have said he barely knew Epstein—even though New York media in the ’90s regularly chronicled his comings-and-goings at Epstein’s Upper East Side palace, and even though Epstein had 14 private numbers for Trump and his family in his little black book. Meanwhile, Bill and Hillary Clinton have remained mum about their ties to the Palm Beach pedophile—despite evidence that shows Bill was one of the most famous and frequent passengers on Epstein’s “Lolita Express” and that Epstein donated money to the Clinton Foundation even after his conviction.

For months, talking heads have wondered whether Trump would use Epstein and his girls as a weapon against Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Less than a year before Florida police began investigating Jeffrey Epstein for the alleged rape and abuse of scores of young girls, the questionable billionaire responded to a call on Edge—an online club where navel-gazing intellectuals and academics meet to pose questions to one another—for a “bit of wisdom, some rule of nature… that you’ve noticed in the universe that might as well be named after you.”

“Epstein’s First Law,” he wrote, “Know when you are winning.”

“Epstein’s Second Law: The key question is not what can I gain but what do I have to lose.”

What the 63-year-old Ralph Lauren lookalike had to lose was his perverted double life. According to law-enforcement officials and alleged victims, between the years 1998 and 2007—and possibly even earlier—he ran a particularly vile pyramid scheme that involved paying minors around $200 at a time to perform sexual massages nearly every day and then recruit even younger girls to do the same. (“The more you do, the more you are paid,” one said.) During these massages, girls as young as 13 told police they were instructed to get undressed. Epstein would masturbate or penetrate them, they said—with his finger, or a vibrator, or his allegedly egg-shaped penis.

By the time Epstein was arrested in 2008, police in Palm Beach County, Florida, had already spent months monitoring his movements, rifling through his trash, and interviewing potential victims and witnesses. Police reported to prosecutors that they had gathered enough evidence to charge the money manager with several felonies: lewd and lascivious molestation and four counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. Epstein’s freedom, his wealth, his little black book full of famous folk—including princes, presidents, and prime ministers—all were seemingly at stake.

So Epstein did what the mega-rich do in these situations: hired star attorneys Gerald Lefcourt and Alan Dershowitz, who defended their client vigorously, reportedly having witnesses followed and discrediting the alleged victims by offering their MySpace pages as evidence of supposed drug use and scandalous behavior.

Prosecutors said Epstein’s dream team made successful prosecution unlikely. “Our judgment in this case, based on the evidence known at the time, was that it was better to have a billionaire serve time in jail, register as a sex offender, and pay his victims restitution than risk a trial with a reduced likelihood of success,” U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta explained in a 2011 letter.

And so, despite a decade of alleged serial sexual abuse and rape of an unknowable number of girls, some as many as 100 times according to court filings, the notoriously secretive financier was offered a deal. For the alleged systematic victimization of young girls—most of whom were plucked by Epstein’s assistants from Palm Beach’s poorer neighborhoods and groomed to adore or acquiesce to him—he was slapped with a 2008 conviction on a single charge of soliciting a minor; and sentenced to an 18-month stay in a Palm Beach county jail—of which he served only 13 months and was allowed to leave six days out of every week for “work release.” He also agreed to a few dozen confidential, out-of-court payoffs to his accusers, the most recent of which was finalized in 2011.

Epstein’s “potential co-conspirators,” as the U.S. Attorney called them—women who allegedly procured girls for Epstein—also received immunity from prosecution as a condition of the 2007 agreement that enraged the local police force for its leniency. As of 2015, according to The Guardian, two of these women had changed their names, and were operating businesses out of a building owned by Epstein’s brother, where it was alleged in court documents that Epstein had housed young women.

Though Epstein must register as a sex offender for life, and arguably suffer the world’s most revolting Google presence, he has seemingly retained his collection of elite academic and media friends as well as his fortune. Since his release in 2009, Epstein has gone about his business, running a mysterious money management firm (clients unknown, income unknown, investments and activities unknown) from his private 70-acre island in the U.S. Virgin Islands and spending time at his Uptown stone mansion. The palace was gifted to Epstein, some say, by its previous owner—Epstein’s guardian angel and the founder of The Limited Inc., Leslie Wexner.

From his plush perch, Epstein continues to dismiss any notions that he should be viewed as the child rapist that victims and Florida police say he is.

“I’m not a sexual predator, I’m an ‘offender,’” he told the New York Post in 2011, shortly after a New York judge classified him as a level 3 offender, or “a threat to public safety.”

“It’s the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel,” Epstein said.

But for the wealthy and famous in Epstein’s orbit, his conviction has meant suspicion by association.

In December 2014, just as the Palm Beach lawsuits were winding down, another alleged victim emerged and her claims were salacious: Epstein, she said, had loaned her out as an underage sex slave to his famous friends—including Britain’s Prince Andrew and Epstein defense attorney Dershowitz (both men denied the charges). Coming forward in Britain’s Daily Mail in 2011, Virginia Roberts Guiffre—called Jane Doe #3 in a related lawsuit (PDF)—claimed that Epstein and his “girlfriend,” alleged madame Ghislaine Maxwell, forced her to have sex with the pair’s powerful pals and gather intel that Epstein could later use. In court documents, Guiffre testified, “Epstein and Maxwell also told me that they wanted me to produce things for them in addition to performing sex on the men. They told me to pay attention to the details about what the men wanted so I could report back to them.”

Guiffre noted that Epstein appeared to be collecting information on Prince Andrew—particularly on his alleged foot fetish—and claimed, “Epstein also trafficked me for sexual purposes to other powerful men, including politicians and powerful business executives. Epstein required me to describe the sexual events I had with these men presumably so that he could potentially blackmail them. I am still very fearful of these men today.”

A judge threw out Guiffre’s motion in 2015, but Guiffre stands by her claims and is suing Ghislaine Maxwell, whom she claims acted as Epstein’s madam.

Meanwhile, the men named by Guiffre seem eager for her to go away. “It’s as if I’ve been waterboarded for 15 months,” Dershowitz told the Boston Globeafter the settlement of a defamation case related to Guiffre’s claims. “This has taken a terrible toll on my family, on my friends…” Buckingham Palace has also denied the allegations against Prince Andrew, calling them “categorically untrue.”

UPDATE: This April, Giuffre’s lawyers withdrew her allegations against Dershowitz and said that it was a “mistake” to have filed the accusations in the first place. A federal judge later struck her allegations against Dershowitz from the court record. At Dershowitz’s request, Louis Freeh, the former head of the FBI, also conducted an independent investigation of her claims and published a statement noting, “Our investigation found no evidence to support the accusations of sexual misconduct against Professor Dershowitz.”

In her lawsuit, Guiffre had claimed that during trips to Epstein’s private island, she’d also encountered another very famous person: former President Bill Clinton. Guiffre alleges the former U.S. president visited Epstein’s “Orgy Island” when there were underage girls present, but added that she never had sex with him and never saw him have sex with any of the young women.

Still, it’s these sorts of allegations that have journalists and Clinton-haters circling. Just last month, pundits on MSNBC’s Morning Joe were speculating about Bill Clinton’s oft-discussed friendship with Epstein and whether it would be the go-to play for a Trump campaign looking to combat Hillary Clinton’s claims that Trump is bad for women.

Requests for comment to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Clinton Foundation were not returned.

The former president, who flew on the “The Lolita Express”at least 26 timesfrom 2001 to 2003, has never addressed his ties with Epstein, a onetime major Democratic donor, according to Federal Election Commission records, who also gave millions to the Clinton Foundation even after his arrest for abusing underage girls. “I invest in people—be it politics or science. It’s what I do,” Epstein has reportedly said to friends.

“There’s a 100 percent chance [Trump] is going there,” said former McCain strategist Steve Schmidt on Morning Joe, referring to Clinton’s friendship with the pervy moneyman.

***

Still, Trump may not want to actually “go there” in light of the new federal lawsuit against him.

Just last week, Trump’s own connections to Epstein made headlines when a Jane Doe claimed that the presumptive Republican nominee and his financier pal raped her on several occasions when she was 13 years old.

The allegations are explosive. And the circumstances surrounding them are very, very strange.

According to the complaint, filed in a Manhattan federal court, one of Epstein’s assistants approached Jane Doe as she waited for a bus at the New York Port Authority terminal and offered the teenager money and contacts that could lead to a modeling contract if she came to a party at Epstein’s house. Jane Doe says she attended several parties at Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion, and supposedly had sexual contact with Donald Trump at four of them. The fourth and final time she attended a party with Trump, she alleges he tied her to a bed with pantyhose, raped her, then beat her and threatened to kill her and her family if she told a soul.

This is the second time the woman has brought a suit against Trump and Epstein. The first, which she filed herself this April in California using the name Katie Johnson, was dismissed for failure to bring a claim under the civil-rights law under which she had filed suit. Calls to the phone number listed on the original suit were never answered, with no way to leave a voicemail. The plaintiff’s reported address in Twentynine Palms was a one-bedroom, one-bath home belonging to 72-year-old David Stacey, who had died on Oct. 9, and public records show no evidence of a Katie Johnson living at the property. Neighbors told RadarOnline that squatters had overrun the home while Stacey was hospitalized, and a real-estate agent reported the home had been turned over to the bank by April.

“The allegations are not only categorically false, but disgusting at the highest level and clearly framed to solicit media attention or, perhaps, are simply politically motivated,” Trump told RadarOnline, responding to the original lawsuit. “There is absolutely no merit to these allegations. Period.”

The new complaint charges that Trump’s denial amounts to defamation. This time, Johnson also has a declaration from a woman who claims to be a corroborating witness, known in the suit as Tiffany Doe. According to her statement, Tiffany was 22 when she lured Johnson to Epstein’s home and witnessed Johnson’s alleged rape firsthand.

Johnson has a number of non-anonymous supporters, though it’s a cast of characters who do little to allay Trump’s assertion that her claim was brought solely to influence the election.

According to a lengthy article on the site Jezebel, some eight months before Johnson filed her California lawsuit against Epstein and Trump, a man named Al Taylor—who claimed to be the “PR person” for something called the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas—reached out to a reporter at Gawker to shop a video recording of Johnson and her rape story. Taylor, who identified himself to The Daily Beast as “a friend” to Johnson, claims to have met her at a party where she revealed her alleged childhood assault by Trump. In a video published in part on Jezebel, a woman claiming to be Katie Johnson appears—wearing a blond wig, her face pixelated and her voice disguised. In it, she details the allegations of rape.

When The Daily Beast asked Taylor for a copy of the video, Taylor suggested it was still for sale. “I heard it would be worth $1 million,” Taylor said, claiming the proceeds from the sale would go to Johnson’s protection.

“We’ve got her in hiding,” he said.

Taylor has coincidentally been the subject of Epstein-related news before. In 2011, Taylor, at first freelance producing for The Jerry Springer Show then working alone, claimed to have made a million-dollar deal with Casey Anthony for an interview after the Florida woman’s acquittal in the murder of her 2-year-old daughter. When the interview didn’t happen, Taylor retained the services of Spencer Kuvin, a Palm Beach lawyer who also represented three Epstein victims. Taylor says he met Kuvin during an attempt to interview his Epstein clients. They settled with Epstein out of court and declined to be interviewed by Taylor.

But Taylor wasn’t the only party working to get the tape and Katie Johnson’s story to the media. According to Jezebel, Steve Baer, described in National Review as “a conservative activist and major, if secretive, donor to the conservative movement,” lobbied their reporter to publish Johnson’s claims. Baer is also, according to Jezebel, the father of Chandler Smith, an Ohio woman who happens to be the co-founder of an organization called Vote Trump Get Dumped, a campaign that urges ladies to withhold sex from Trump supporters. “Until Trump is defeated, we don’t date, sleep with, or canoodle with Trump supporters,” the group’s manifesto reads.

When Johnson’s case was thrown out in California, Taylor says he began looking for an attorney to file a new case for his “friend.” They approached Brad Edwards, the lawyer who has represented a number of Epstein victims through settlements—and who is now representing Virginia Roberts Guiffre in her claim against Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell as well as four alleged victims in the case against the federal government.

“I will say I’ve never represented [Johnson] and I won’t be representing her,” Edwards told The Daily Beast.

Edwards couldn’t comment on the conversations he had with Johnson or her representatives, citing attorney-client privilege. Concerning Trump’s involvement in Epstein’s illicit affairs, Edwards said he hadn’t seen any evidence that would implicate the GOP nominee and described Trump as “extremely helpful and honest,” during questioning.

When Edwards declined to take the case, Taylor told the website GossipExtrathey were shopping for representation. That’s how Johnson’s current attorney, Tom Meagher, says he found his client.

Meagher is a patent attorney in New Jersey who openly admits, “I’ve never taken on accusations like this,” but says he was drawn to Johnson’s story and believes her “100 percent.” In an effort to get media attention for Johnson’s case, Meagher attended a May fundraiser in Lawrenceville, New Jersey—thrown to pay off the debt incurred by Chris Christie’s failed presidential campaign, and one at which Donald Trump spoke. Described as “a protester” by a local reporter, Meagher confirms he was removed by security after holding up a sign that read: “Ask Trump About Katie Johnson.”

“I don’t have a view on the race,” Meagher now tells The Daily Beast. “I did before the matter, but now I’m apolitical so I can focus on my client.”

Concerning the timing of the lawsuit, Meagher says: “Of course, she does not want her rapist to be president.”

Despite several requests, The Daily Beast was not able to speak with Katie Johnson or Tiffany Doe. When asked whether any evidence of their claims existed outside of the Doe declarations, Taylor said Tiffany kept a journal of Epstein contacts. “She has all the goods,” Taylor said, but would not elaborate and said future names would only be released in response to a scandal on par with Donald Trump’s political ascent.

But Mike Fisten, a retired Miami-Dade homicide detective who worked as a private investigator in several Epstein-related cases, is skeptical about the new claims.

Fisten says Epstein had in effect two lives: “a business life and deviant pedphile life.” To find out which friends were involved in which life, Fisten carried a book with photos of Epstein’s contacts. In hundreds of interviews with hundreds of witnesses, he said no one has ever identified Trump as being involved in any kind of sexual activity with underage girls. In fact, Fisten recalls learning in the early 2000s that members of Trump’s private Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, complained that Epstein was often accompanied by very young girls–“a different girl every week”—each of whom he would refer to as “his niece.” Fisten says he offered to look at Tiffany Doe’s book to vet her free of charge, but Taylor and Meagher declined.

Emails to the Trump Organization and the campaign for this story were not returned, but Trump’s attorney Alan Garten has repeatedly denied any relationship between his client and Epstein, other than Epstein’s Mar-a-Lago membership.

Still, it’s clear that Trump’s association with Epstein runs deeper than just pool days at Mar-a-Lago.

“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years,” Trump told New York Magazine in 2002. Calling him a “terrific guy,” Trump continued, “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it—Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

According to a 2003 profile in Vanity Fair and New York gossip rags that covered the goings-on of Epstein and his famous friends in the late ’90s, Trump would attend dinner parties at the 71st Street mansion. In April 1999, The Mail spotted Trump among the guests at a dinner Epstein threw in honor of Prince Andrew. In 2000, they reported he attended a “hookers and pimps” Halloween party. New York magazine reported Trump’s attendance at a 2003 dinner party thrown in honor of Bill Clinton. Magician David Blaine entertained the “barely clad models” with card tricks, but Clinton never appeared.

“I often see Donald Trump and there are loads of models coming and going, mostly at night,” a neighbor told The Mail on Sunday in 2000.

Then there is the black book, in which Epstein lists 14 phone numbers for Trump, including ones for his future wife Melania. Police evidence shows Trump has called Epstein, flown on Epstein’s plane, and eaten in Epstein’s Florida home.

Garten did not return a request for comment on these connections.

“Mr. Trump’s only connection with Mr. Epstein was that Mr. Epstein was one of thousands of people who has visited Mar-a-Lago,” the Trump attorney told a BuzzFeed reporter in 2015. “That’s it. Mr. Trump has NEVER been accused of having any involvement or even having any knowledge of any of Mr. Epstein’s conduct by anyone.”

That was true until last week. And while the media has been hesitant to report on Katie Johnson’s accusations, stories have emerged in recent days in outlets like the New York Daily News and Gothamist and more may be in the works: Johnson’s attorney says he taped an interview with ABC News and sources spoken to for this story said they had been contacted by other national news organizations.

Johnson will likely have her day in court, but—perhaps ironically, given Trump’s habit of “just asking” about conspiracy theories while claiming he’s not endorsing them—the veracity of her claims may not matter. True or not, they bring to light a number of disturbing questions about Epstein and his pre-Palm Beach days—ones both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will likely have to address.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-billionaire-pedophile-who-could-bring-down-donald-trump-and-hillary-clinton

Harvey Weinstein

Harvey WeinsteinCBE (born March 19, 1952) is an American film producer and former film studio executive. He and his brother Bob Weinstein co-founded Miramax, which produced several popular independent filmsincluding Pulp FictionClerksThe Crying Game, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape.[1] Harvey won an Academy Award for producing Shakespeare in Love, and garnered seven Tony Awards for producing a variety of winning plays and musicals, including The ProducersBilly Elliot the Musical, and August: Osage County.[2]

Weinstein and his brother Bob were co-chairmen of The Weinstein Company from 2005 to 2017. In October 2017, following numerous allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape against him, Harvey Weinstein was fired by his company’s board of directors,[3] and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[4]

Education and early career

Weinstein was born in the Flushing section of the New York City borough of Queens,[5] to a Jewish family.[6] His parents were Max Weinstein, a diamond cutter,[7] and Miriam (née Postel).[7][8] He grew up with his younger brother, Bob Weinstein, in a housing co-op named Electchester in New York City. He graduated from John Bowne High School and the University at Buffalo,[9][10] and received an honorarySUNYDoctorate of Humane Lettersin a ceremony at Buffalo in 2000.[11] Weinstein, his brother Bob, and Corky Burger independently produced rock concerts as Harvey & Corky Productions in Buffalo through most of the 1970s.[9][12]

Film career

1970s: Early work and creation of Miramax

Both Weinstein brothers had grown up with a passion for movies, and they nurtured a desire to enter the film industry. In the late 1970s, using profits from their concert promotion business, the brothers created a small independent film distribution company named Miramax, named after their parents, Miriam and Max.[8] The company’s first releases were primarily music-oriented concert films such as Paul McCartney‘s Rockshow.[13]

1980s: Success with arthouse and independent films

In the early 1980s, Miramax acquired the rights to two British films of benefit shows filmed for the human rights organization Amnesty International. Working closely with Martin Lewis, the producer of the original films, the Weinstein brothers edited the two films into one movie tailored for the American market. The resulting film was released as The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball in May 1982, and it became Miramax’s first hit. The movie raised considerable sums for Amnesty International and was credited by Amnesty with having helped to raise its profile in the United States.[9][12]

Weinstein at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival

The Weinsteins slowly built upon this success throughout the 1980s with arthouse films that achieved critical attention and modest commercial success. Harvey Weinstein and Miramax gained wider attention in 1988 with the release of Errol Morris‘ documentary The Thin Blue Line, which detailed the struggle of Randall Adams, a wrongfully convicted inmate sentenced to death row. The publicity that soon surrounded the case resulted in Adams’ release and nationwide publicity for Miramax. In 1989, their successful launch release of Steven Soderbergh‘s Sex, Lies, and Videotape propelled Miramax to become the most successful independent studio in America.[14]

Also in 1989, Miramax released two arthouse films, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and director Pedro Almodóvar‘s film Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, both of which the MPAArating board gave an X-rating, effectively stopping nationwide release for these films. Weinstein sued the MPAA over the rating system. His lawsuit was later thrown out, but the MPAA introduced the NC-17 rating two months later.[15]

1990s–2000s: Further success, Disney ownership deal

Miramax continued to grow its library of films and directors until, in 1993, after the success of The Crying GameDisney offered the Weinsteins $80 million for ownership of Miramax.[16] The brothers agreed to the deal that would cement their Hollywood clout and ensure that they would remain at the head of their company, and the next year Miramax released their first blockbuster, Quentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction, and distributed the popular independent film Clerks.

Miramax won its first Academy Award for Best Picture in 1997 with the victory of The English Patient. (Pulp Fiction was nominated in 1995 but lost to Forrest Gump).[17] This started a string of critical successes that included Good Will Hunting(1997) and Shakespeare in Love (1998), both of which won several awards, including numerous Academy Awards.[18][19][20][21]

2005–2017: The Weinstein Company

Weinstein in 2010

The Weinstein brothers left Miramax on September 30, 2005 to form their own production company, The Weinstein Company, with several other media executives, directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, and Colin Vaines, who had successfully run the production department at Miramax for ten years.[22] In February 2011, filmmaker Michael Moore took legal action against the Weinstein brothers, claiming he was owed $2.7 million in profits for his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), which he said had been denied to him by “Hollywood accounting tricks”.[23] In February 2012, Moore dropped the lawsuit for an undisclosed settlement.[24]

Managerial style and controversies

While lauded for opening up the independent film market and making it financially viable, Weinstein has been criticized by some for the techniques he has allegedly applied in his business dealings. Peter Biskind‘s book Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film[9] details criticism of Miramax’s release history and editing of Asian films, such as Shaolin SoccerHero, and Princess Mononoke. There is a rumor that when Harvey Weinstein was charged with handling the U.S. release of Princess Mononoke, director Hayao Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the mail. Attached to the blade was a stark message: “No cuts.” Miyazaki commented on the incident: “Actually, my producer did that. Although I did go to New York to meet this man, this Harvey Weinstein, and I was bombarded with this aggressive attack, all these demands for cuts. I defeated him.”[25] Weinstein has always insisted that such editing was done in the interest of creating the most financially viable film. “I’m not cutting for fun,” Harvey Weinstein said in an interview. “I’m cutting for the shit to work. All my life I served one master: the film. I love movies.”[12][26]

Another example cited by Biskind was Phillip Noyce‘s The Quiet American (2002), whose release Weinstein delayed following the September 11 attacks owing to audience reaction in test screenings to the film’s critical tone towards America’s past foreign policy. After being told the film would go straight to video, Noyce planned to screen the film in Toronto International Film Festival in order to mobilize critics to pressure Miramax to release it theatrically. Weinstein decided to screen the film at the Festival only after he was lobbied by star Michael Caine, who threatened to boycott publicity for another film he had made for Miramax. The Quiet American received mostly positive reviews at the festival, and Miramax eventually released the film theatrically, but it was alleged that Miramax did not make a major effort to promote the film for Academy Award consideration, though Caine was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.[9]

Weinstein has also cultivated a reputation for ruthlessness and fits of anger. According to Biskind, Weinstein once put a New York Observer reporter in a headlock while throwing him out of a party. On another occasion, Weinstein excoriated director Julie Taymor and her husband during a disagreement over a test screening of her movie Frida.[12]

In a 2004 newspaper article, in New York magazine, Weinstein appeared somewhat repentant for his often aggressive discussions with directors and producers.[27] However, a Newsweek story on October 13, 2008, criticized Weinstein, who was accused of “hassling Sydney Pollack on his deathbed” about the release of the film The Reader. After Weinstein offered $1 million to charity if the accusation could be proven, journalist Nikki Finke published an email sent by Scott Rudin on August 22 asserting that Weinstein “harassed” Anthony Minghella‘s widow and a bedridden Pollack until Pollack’s family asked him to stop.[28][29]

In September 2009, Weinstein publicly voiced opposition to efforts to extradite Roman Polanski from Switzerland to the U.S. regarding a 1977 charge that he had drugged and raped a 13-year-old, to which Polanski had pleaded guilty before fleeing the country.[30] Weinstein, whose company had distributed a film about the Polanski case, questioned whether Polanski committed any crime,[31] prompting Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley to insist that Polanski’s guilty plea indicated that his action was a crime, and that several other serious charges were pending.[32]

In Oscar acceptance speeches since 1966, Weinstein was thanked a total of 34 times by actors and actresses – just as many times as God, and second only to Steven Spielberg with 43 mentions.[33]

Activism

Weinstein has been active on issues such as poverty, AIDSjuvenile diabetes, and multiple sclerosis research. He serves on the Board of the Robin Hood Foundation, a New York City-based non-profit that targets poverty, and co-chaired one of its annual benefits.[34] He is critical of the lack of gun control laws and universal health care in the United States.[35]

Weinstein is a longtime supporter and contributor to the Democratic Party including the campaigns of President Barack Obama and presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry.[36] He supported Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign,[37] and in 2012, he hosted an election fundraiser for President Obama at his home in Westport, Connecticut.[38]

Sexual assault allegations

In October 2017, The New York Times[39][40] and The New Yorker[3] reported that more than a dozen women accused Weinstein of sexually harassing, assaulting, or raping them. Many other women in the film industry subsequently reported similar experiences with Weinstein,[41] who denied any non-consensual sex. As a result of these accusations, Weinstein was fired from his production company[42], expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,[4] his wife Georgina Chapman left him,[43] and leading figures in politics whom he had supported denounced him.[44]

On October 8, 2017, The Weinstein Company’s board fired Harvey Weinstein, following numerous allegations of his sexual misconduct.[45]

On October 12, 2017 Hachette Book Group dropped the imprint for Weinstein Books. [46]

Personal life

Weinstein has been married twice. In 1987, he married his assistant Eve Chilton. They divorced in 2004.[27][47] They had three children: Remy (previously Lily) (born 1995), Emma (born 1998), and Ruth (born 2002).[48] In 2007, he married English fashion designer and actress Georgina Chapman.[49] They have a daughter, India Pearl (born 2010),[50] and a son, Dashiell[51] (born 2013).[52]

Honors

On April 19, 2004, Weinstein was appointed an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his contributions to the British film industry. The award is “honorary” because Weinstein is not a citizen of a Commonwealth country.[53]

On March 2, 2012, Weinstein was made a knight of the French Legion of Honour, in recognition of Miramax’s efforts to increase the presence and popularity of foreign films in the United States.[54]

Selected filmography

Television.svgThis film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Weinstein

Jeffrey Epstein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jeffrey Epstein
Jeffrey Epstein at Harvard University.jpg

Epstein at Harvard University
Born Jeffrey Edward Epstein
January 20, 1953 (age 64)
BrooklynNew YorkU.S.
Residence Little Saint James, U.S. Virgin Islands
Palm Beach, Florida
New York City
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Occupation Financier
Owner, Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation

Jeffrey Edward Epstein (born January 20, 1953) is an American financier and registeredsex offender in the United States.[1] He worked at Bear Stearns early in his career and then formed his own firm, J. Epstein & Co. In 2008, Epstein was convicted of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution, for which he served 13 months in prison.[2] He lives in the US Virgin Islands.

Early life

Epstein was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a middle-class Jewish family. His father worked for New York City’s parks.[3]

Epstein attended Lafayette High School. He attended classes at Cooper Union from 1969 to 1971 and later at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. He left without a degree.[citation needed]

Career

Epstein taught calculus and physics at the Dalton School in Manhattan from 1973 to 1975.[4] Among his students was a son of Alan C. Greenberg, chairman of Bear Stearns.[3]

In 1976, Epstein started work as an options trader at Bear Stearns,[4] where he worked in the special products division, advising high-net-worth clients on tax strategies.[4] Proving successful in his financial career, in 1980 Epstein became a partner at Bear Stearns.[4]

In 1982, Epstein founded his own financial management firm, J. Epstein & Co., managing the assets of clients with more than $1 billion in net worth. In 1987, Leslie Wexner, founder and chairman of Ohio-based The Limited chain of women’s clothing stores, became a well-known client.[4] Wexner acquired Abercrombie & Fitch the following year. In 1992 he converted a private school on the Upper East Side into an enormous residence. Epstein later bought that property, in the wealthiest part of Manhattan. In 1996, Epstein changed the name of his firm to the Financial Trust Company and, for tax advantages, based it on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.[4]

In 2003, Epstein bid to acquire New York magazine. Other bidders were advertising executive Donny Deutsch, investor Nelson Peltzmedia mogul and publisher Mortimer Zuckerman, who had the New York Daily News, and film producer Harvey Weinstein. They were ultimately outbid by Bruce Wasserstein, a longtime Wall Street investor, who paid $55 million.[5]

In 2004, Epstein and Zuckerman committed up to $25 million to finance Radar, a celebrity and pop culture magazine founded by Maer Roshan. Epstein and Zuckerman were equal partners in the venture. Roshan, as its editor-in-chief, retained a small ownership stake.[6]

Residences

Epstein’s New York home is reputedly the largest private residence in Manhattan;[7] it was originally built as the Birch Wathen School. The 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2), 9-story mansion is just off Fifth Avenue and overlooks the Frick Collection. The financier’s other properties include a villa in Palm Beach, Florida; an apartment in Paris; a 10,000-acre ranch with a hilltop mansion in Stanley, New Mexico;[8][9] and a private island near St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands called Little Saint James that includes a mansion and guest houses.

Science philanthropy

In 2000 he established the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, which funds science research and education. Prior to 2003, Epstein’s foundation funded Martin Nowak’s research at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. In May 2003, Epstein established the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University with a $30 million gift to the university.[10] Under the direction of Martin Nowak, the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics is a graduate department that studies the evolution of molecular biology with the use of mathematics, focusing on diseases such as cancer, HIV and other viruses.[4][11]

The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation has also funded genetic research leading towards advances in such fields as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, colitis and Crohn’s disease. Epstein has given funds to the American Cancer Society, for projects such as circulating tumor cell technology, a blood test to identify genetic mutations to anti-inhibitor cancer drugs.[12]

Through such philanthropy, Epstein has associated with many well-known scientific figures, such as Gerald EdelmanMurray Gell-MannStephen HawkingKip ThorneLawrence KraussLee Smolin and Gregory Benford.[4][13][14] In 2006, Epstein’s foundations sponsored a conference on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands with Hawking, Krauss, and Nobel laureates Gerard ‘t HooftDavid Gross and Frank Wilczek, covering such topics as unified gravity theory, neuroscience, the origins of language and global threats to the Earth.[14]

The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation has backed research into artificial intelligence; it had been supporting Marvin Minsky at MIT (until his death) and is supporting Ben Goertzel in Hong Kong.[15][16]

The extent of Epstein’s claimed philanthropy is unknown. This foundation fails to disclose information which other charities routinely disclose. Concerns have been raised over this lack of transparency, and in 2015 the New York Attorney General has reported as trying to get information.[17]

Criminal proceedings

In March 2005, a woman contacted Palm Beach, Florida police and alleged that her 14-year-old stepdaughter had been taken to Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion by an older girl. There she was paid $300 to strip and massage Epstein.[9] She had undressed, but left the encounter wearing her underwear.[18]

Police started an 11-month undercover investigation of Epstein, followed by a search of his home. The FBI also became involved in the investigation.[7] Subsequently, the police alleged that Epstein had paid several escorts to perform sexual acts on him. Interviews with five alleged victims and 17 witnesses under oath, a high school transcript, and other items they found in Epstein’s trash and home allegedly showed that some of the girls involved were under 18.[19] The police search of Epstein’s home found large numbers of photos of girls throughout the house, some of whom the police had interviewed in the course of their investigation.[18]

The International Business Times reported that papers filed in a 2006 lawsuit alleged that Epstein installed concealed cameras in numerous places on his property to record sexual activity with underage girls by prominent people for criminal purposes such as blackmail.[20]Epstein allegedly “loaned” girls to powerful people to ingratiate himself with them and also to gain possible blackmail information.[7] In 2015, evidence came to light that one of the powerful men at Epstein’s mansion may have been Prince Andrew of the UK.[7]

A former employee told the police that Epstein would receive massages three times a day.[18] Eventually the FBI received accounts from about 40 girls whose allegations of molestation by Epstein included overlapping details.[7]

The Guardian said, “Despite this, the US government eventually agreed to allow Epstein to plead guilty to just one count of soliciting prostitution from an underage girl under Florida state law. … Epstein agreed not to contest civil claims brought by the 40 women identified by the FBI, but escaped a prosecution that could have seen him jailed for the rest of his life. … Prosecutors agreed not to bring far more serious federal charges against Epstein, and not to charge “potential co-conspirators”, including four named individuals.”[7]

In May 2006, Palm Beach police filed a probable cause affidavit saying that Epstein should be charged with four counts of unlawful sex with minors and one molestation count.[18]

His team of defense lawyers included Gerald LefcourtAlan Dershowitz and later Ken Starr.[9] Epstein passed a polygraph test in which he was asked whether he knew of the underage status of the girls.[21]

After the federal government agreed to charging Epstein on one count under state law, the prosecution convened a grand jury. Former chief of Palm Beach police Michael Reiter later wrote to State Attorney Barry Krischer to complain of the state’s “highly unusual” conduct and asked him to remove himself from the case.[9] The grand jury returned a single charge of felony solicitation of prostitution,[22] to which Epstein pleaded not guilty in August 2006.[23]

Sentencing

In June 2008, after Epstein pleaded guilty to a single state charge of soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14,[24] he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He served 13 months before being released. At release, he was registered in New York State as a level three (high risk of re-offense) sex offender, a lifelong designation.[25][26]

Reactions

After the accusations became public, several persons and institutions returned donations which they had received from Epstein, including Eliot SpitzerBill Richardson,[11] and the Palm Beach Police Department.[19]Harvard University announced that it would not return any money.[11] Various charitable donations that Epstein had made to finance children’s education were also questioned.[24]

On June 18, 2010, Epstein’s former house manager, Alfredo Rodriguez, was sentenced to 18 months incarceration after being convicted on an obstruction charge for failing to turn over to police, and subsequently trying to sell, a journal in which he had recorded Epstein’s activities. FBI Special Agent Christina Pryor reviewed the material and agreed it was information “that would have been extremely useful in investigating and prosecuting the case, including names and contact information of material witnesses and additional victims”.[27][28]

Suit against federal government re: plea deal

In a separate case, on April 7, 2015, Judge Kenneth Marra ruled that the allegations made by Virginia Roberts against Prince Andrew had no bearing on a current (and longrunning) lawsuit by alleged victims seeking to reopen Epstein’s non-prosecution plea agreement with the federal government; he ordered it to be struck from the record.[29] There was an effort to add Roberts and another woman as plaintiffs to that case. Judge Marra made no ruling as to whether claims by Roberts are true or false.[30] Marra specifically said that Roberts may later give evidence when the case comes to court.[31]

Civil proceedings

On February 6, 2008, an anonymous Virginia woman filed a $50 million civil lawsuit[32] in federal court against Epstein, alleging that when she was a 16-year-old minor in 2004–2005, she was “recruited to give Epstein a massage”. She claims she was taken to his mansion, where he exposed himself and had sexual intercourse with her, and paid her $200 immediately afterward.[22] A similar $50 million suit was filed in March 2008 by a different woman, who was represented by the same lawyer.[33] These and several similar lawsuits were dismissed. [34]

All other lawsuits were settled by Epstein out of court.[35] Epstein has made many out-of-court settlements with alleged victims and, as of January 2015, some cases remain open.[34]

A December 30, 2014, federal civil suit was filed in Florida against the United States for violations of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act by the Department of Justice’s agreement to Epstein’s limited 2008 plea; the suit also accuses Alan Dershowitz of sexually abusing a minor provided by Epstein.[36] (See Two Jane Does v. United States.) The allegations against Dershowitz were stricken by the judge and eliminated from the case because he said they were outside the intent of the suit to re-open the plea agreement.[29][37] A document filed in court alleges that Epstein ran a “sexual abuse ring”, and lent underage girls to “prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known prime minister, and other world leaders”.[38]

Another woman, identified by the pseudonym “Katie Johnson”,[39] filed a lawsuit in California federal court on April 26, 2016, accusing Epstein and real estate businessman Donald Trump (now President of the United States) of raping her in 1994, when she was 13 years old.[40][41][42] At the time of filing, Trump was campaigning to become the Republican Party candidate for the office of U.S. President. Judges Ronnie Abrams and James C. Francis IV presided over the case against Epstein and Trump.[43]

The suit, which Johnson had filed without counsel, was dismissed on technical grounds after the court determined that the address listed for “Katie Johnson” was a foreclosed abandoned home whose resident had died and the provided telephone contact information was also not a functioning contact.[40] The woman (now using the pseudonym “Jane Doe”) filed a new lawsuit in June 2016, this time in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She excluded some of her previous accusations, such as that Trump threw money for an abortion at her and that he called Epstein a “Jew bastard”.[44]

Following a delay caused by the accuser failing to show that the defendants had been served with formal notice of the suit,[45] the suit was voluntarily dismissed on September 16.[46] The woman’s lawyer said she would re-file the lawsuit and would provide an additional witness to substantiate the claims.[47]

On September 30, 2016, the woman re-filed the lawsuit in New York, with an additional witness identified by the pseudonym “Joan Doe”.[48][49] There was no further information available on the allegations outside the claims made anonymously by the two women. They were not made available for contact by the press.[40] Civil rights lawyer and legal analyst Lisa Bloom wrote in a June 2016 blog post for the Huffington Post that the claims by the anonymous individuals were credible enough to warrant further investigation.[42] Journalist Jon Swaine reported in The Guardian in July 2016 that the “Katie Johnson” lawsuits appeared to be orchestrated by Norm Lubow, a former producer on The Jerry Springer Show. He described Lubow as “an eccentric anti-Trump campaigner with a record of making outlandish claims about celebrities”.[50]

The woman failed to appear at a press conference announced by her attorneys, saying she was fearful because of threats. She granted an interview to The Daily Mail together with Bloom (whom the Daily Mail identified as her lawyer) and permitted photographs. Soon after that, the woman dropped her lawsuit against Epstein and Trump on November 4, 2016.[39][51][52] The Daily Mail said their reporters were aware of the woman’s identity but were honoring her request to protect her privacy and not release her name. Her attorneys said the woman dropped her suit out of fear, based on having received “numerous threats” against her life.[39]

Virginia Roberts lawsuits

In January 2015, a 31-year-old American woman, Virginia Roberts, alleged in a sworn affidavit that at the age of 17, she had been held as a sex slave by Epstein. She further alleged that he had trafficked her to several people, including Prince Andrew and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz. Roberts also claimed that Epstein and others had physically and sexually abused her.[53]

Rogers alleged that the FBI may have been involved in a cover-up.[54] She said she had served as Epstein’s sex slave from 1999 to 2002 and had recruited other under-age girls.[55] Prince Andrew, Epstein and Dershowitz all denied having had sex with Roberts. Dershowitz took legal action over the allegations.[56][57][58] A diary purported to belong to Roberts was published online.[59][60] Epstein made a settlement with Roberts out of court, as he did in several other lawsuits.[7]

The BBC television series Panorama planned an investigation of the scandal.[61] As of 2016 these claims had not been tested in any law court.[62]

Personal life

In September 2002, Epstein flew Bill ClintonKevin Spacey and Chris Tucker to Africa in his private Boeing 727.[4][63]

Epstein is also a longtime friend of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and has partied with celebrities such as Katie CouricGeorge StephanopoulosCharlie Rose, and Woody Allen.[64]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Epstein

Steve Pieczenik

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Steve R. Pieczenik
Born December 7, 1943 (age 73)
HavanaCuba
Occupation Author, publisher, civil servant, psychiatrist
Nationality American
Genre Militaryspy
Website
http://www.stevepieczenik.com/

 

Steve R. Pieczenik (/pəˈɛnɪk/; born December 7, 1943) is an American science fiction writer, former United States Department of State official, psychiatrist, and publisher.

Early life and education

Pieczenik was born in Cuba of Jewish parents from Russia and Poland and was raised in France.[1] His father, a doctor from Dombrovicz who studied and worked in Toulouse, France,[2] fled Poland before World War II. His mother, a Russian Jew from Białystok, Poland,[2]fled Europe after many of her family members were killed. The couple met in Portugal, where both had fled ahead of the Nazi invaders.[2] Pieczenik was born in Cuba in 1943.[2][3] After living in Toulouse for six years, Pieczenik’s family migrated to the United States, where they settled in the Harlem area[2] of New York CityNew York.[4] Steve Pieczenik was 8 years old when his parents received their entry visa to the United States.[2]

Pieczenik is a classical pianist and wrote a full-length musical at the age of 8.[3]

Pieczenik is a Harvard University-trained psychiatrist and has a doctorate in international relations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[2]

Pieczenik’s autobiography notes that he attended Booker T. Washington High School in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Pieczenik received a full scholarship to Cornell University at the age of 16.[2] According to Pieczenik, he received a BA degree in Pre-Medicine and Psychology from Cornell in 1964, and later attended Cornell University Medical College. He attained his PhD in international relations from MIT while studying at Harvard Medical School.[3] Pieczenik claims to be the first psychiatrist ever to receive a PhD focusing on international relations.[4]

While performing his psychiatry residency at Harvard, he was awarded the Harry E. Solomon award for his paper titled: “The hierarchy of ego-defense mechanisms in foreign policy decision making”.[2]

An article written by Pieczenik, “Psychological dimensions of international dependency”, appears in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol 132(4), Apr 1975, 428-431.[5]

Professional life

Pieczenik was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under Henry KissingerCyrus Vance and James Baker.[2] His expertise includes foreign policy, international crisis management and psychological warfare.[6] He served the presidential administrations of Gerald FordJimmy CarterRonald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in the capacity of deputy assistant secretary.[7]

In 1974, Pieczenik joined the United States Department of State as a consultant to help in the restructuring of its Office for the Prevention of Terrorism.[1]

In 1976, Pieczenik was made Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for management.[1][4][8][9]

At the Department of State, he served as a “specialist on hostage taking”.[10] He has been credited with devising successful negotiating strategies and tactics used in several high-profile hostage situations, including the 1976 TWA Flight 355 hostage situation and the 1977 kidnapping of the son of Cyprus’ president.[1] He was involved in negotiations for the release of Aldo Moro after Moro was kidnapped.[11] As a renowned psychiatrist, he was utilized as a press source for early information on the mental state of the hostages involved in the Iran hostage crisis after they were freed.[12] In 1977, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Mary McGrory described Stephen Pieczenik as “one of the most ‘brilliantly competent’ men in the field of terrorism”.[13] He worked “side by side” with Police Chief Maurice J. Cullinane in the Washington, D.C. command center of Mayor Walter Washington during the 1977 Hanafi Siege.[14] In 1978, Pieczenik was known as “a psychiatrist and political scientist in the U.S. Department of State whose credentials and experiences are probably unique among officials handling terrorist situations”.[1]

On September 17, 1978 the Camp David Accords were signed. Pieczenik was at the secret Camp David negotiations leading up to the signing of the Accords. He worked out strategy and tactics based on psychopolitical dynamics. He correctly predicted that given their common backgrounds, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin would get along.[2]

In 1979, he resigned as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State over the handling of the Iranian hostage crisis.[3]

In the early 1980s, Pieczenik wrote an article for The Washington Post in which he claimed to have heard a senior U.S. official in the Department of State Operations Center give permission for the attack that led to the death of U.S. Ambassador Adolph Dubs in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1979.[15]

Pieczenik got to know Syrian President Hafez al-Assad well during his 20 years in the Department of State.[2]

In 1982, Pieczenik was mentioned in an article in The New York Times as “a psychiatrist who has treated C.I.A. employees”.[16]

In 2001, Pieczenik operated as chief executive officer of Strategic Intelligence Associates, a consulting firm.[17]

Pieczenik has been affiliated in a professional capacity as a psychiatrist with the National Institute of Mental Health.[18]

Pieczenik has consulted with the United States Institute of Peace and the RAND Corporation.[19]

Pieczenik began mentorship of Drew Paul, founder of Blabor.com.[20] Blabor.com is now the production company responsible for Pieczenik’s web and media releases.[21][22]

As recently as October 6, 2012, Pieczenik was listed as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).[23] According to Internet Archive, his name was removed from the CFR roster sometime between October 6 and November 18, 2012.[24] Publicly, Pieczenik no longer appears as a member of the CFR.[25]

Pieczenik is fluent in five languages, including Russian, Spanish and French.[1][2][3]

Pieczenik has lectured at the National Defense University.[6]

Writing ventures

Pieczenik has made a number of ventures into fiction, as an author (of State of Emergency and a number of other books)[26] and as a business partner of Tom Clancy for several series of novels.[27]

He studied medicine and writing, beginning with drama and poetry. But eventually “I turned to fiction because it allows me to address reality as it is or could be.”[2]

Pieczenik received a listed credit as co-creator for both Tom Clancy’s Op-Center and Tom Clancy’s Net Force, two best-selling series of novels, as a result of a business relationship with Tom Clancy. He was not directly involved in writing books in these series, but “assembled a team” including the ghost-writer who did author the novels, and someone to handle the “packaging” of the novels.[27][28] The Op-Center series alone had earned more than 28 million dollars in net profit for the partnership by 2003.[27] Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes was released in 2014 by St. Martins Press.

Books he has authored include novel Mind Palace (1985), novel Blood Heat (1989), self-help My Life Is Great! (1990) and paper-back edition Hidden Passions (1991), novel Maximum Vigilance (1993), novel Pax Pacifica (1995), novel State Of Emergency (1999), novel My Beloved Talleyrand (2005).[29] He’s also credited under the pseudonym Alexander Court for writing the novels Active Measures (2001), and Active Pursuit (2002).[30]

Pieczenik has had at least two articles published in the American Intelligence Journal, a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Military Intelligence Association.[31]

In September 2010, John Neustadt was recognized by Elsevier as being one of the Top Ten Cited Authors in 2007 and 2008 for his article, “Mitochondrial dysfunction and molecular pathways of disease.” This article was co-authored with Pieczenik.[32]

Pieczenik is the co-author of the published textbook, Foundations and Applications of Medical Biochemistry in Clinical Practice.[32]

Controversies

In 1992, Pieczenik told Newsday that in his professional opinion, President [George H. W.] Bush was “clinically depressed”. As a result, he was brought up on an ethics charge before the American Psychiatric Association and reprimanded. He subsequently quit the APA.[3]

He calls himself a “maverick troublemaker. You make your own rules. You pay the consequences.”[3]

The role he played in the negotiations to bring about the release of Aldo Moro, an Italian politician kidnapped by the Red Brigades, is fraught with controversy.[citation needed]

In 2013, Pieczenik spoke on Alex Jones’s radio show denying the Sandy Hook shooting ever occurred, labeling it a “false flag”[33] operation.

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The Pronk Pops Show 982, October 12, 2017, Story 1: President Trump Signs Executive Order Promoting Competition in Health Insurance Market With Association and Temporary Health Insurance Plans — Ends Health Care Subsidies To Insurance Companies Never Approved By Congress — Video — Story 2: President Trump Nominates New Secretary of Homeland Security Nominee Kirstjen Nielsen — Videos — Story 3: Will Trump’s Promised Middle Class Tax Cut Become Law? — Tax Cut Yes — Fundamental Tax Reform No — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Signs Executive Order Promoting Competition in Health Insurance Market With Association and Temporary Health Insurance Plans — Ends Health Care Subsidies To Insurance Companies Never Approved By Congress — Video —

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Foiled in Congress, Trump Signs Order to Undermine Obamacare

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday that clears the way for potentially sweeping changes to the country’s health insurance system, including sales of cheaper policies with fewer benefits and protections for consumers than those mandated under the Affordable Care Act.

The president’s plan, an 1,100-word directive to federal agencies, laid the groundwork for an expanding array of health insurance products, mainly less comprehensive plans offered through associations of small employers and greater use of short-term medical coverage.

It was the first time since efforts to repeal the landmark health law collapsed in Congress that Mr. Trump has set forth his vision of how to remake the nation’s health care system using the powers of the executive branch. It immediately touched off a furious debate over whether the move would fatally destabilize the Affordable Care Act marketplaces or add welcome options to consumers complaining of high premiums and not enough choice.

In Congress, the move seemed to intensify the polarization over health care. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said the president was offering “more affordable health insurance options” desperately needed by consumers. But the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, said Mr. Trump was “using a wrecking ball to single-handedly rip apart our health care system.”

Most of the changes will not occur until federal agencies write and adopt regulations implementing them. The process, which includes a period for public comments, could take months. That means the order will probably not affect insurance coverage next year, but could lead to major changes in 2019.

“With these actions,” Mr. Trump said at a White House ceremony, “we are moving toward lower costs and more options in the health care market, and taking crucial steps toward saving the American people from the nightmare of Obamacare.”

“This is going to be something that millions and millions of people will be signing up for,” the president predicted, “and they’re going to be very happy.’’

But many patients, doctors, hospital executives and state insurance regulators were not so happy. They said the changes envisioned by Mr. Trump could raise costs for sick people, increase sales of bare-bones insurance and add uncertainty to wobbly health insurance markets.

“Today’s executive order could leave millions of cancer patients and survivors unable to access meaningful coverage,’’ said Chris Hansen, the president of the lobbying arm of the American Cancer Society.

GRAPHIC

We’re Tracking the Ways Trump Is Scaling Back Obamacare. Here Are 11.

What the administration has done to weaken the health law.

In a statement from six physician groups, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the doctors predicted, “Allowing insurers to sell narrow, low-cost health plans likely will cause significant economic harm to women and older, sicker Americans who stand to face higher-cost and fewer insurance options.”

While many health insurers remained silent about the executive order, some voiced concern that it could destabilize the market.

The Trump proposal “would draw younger and healthier people away from the exchanges and drive additional plans out of the market,” warned Ceci Connolly, the chief executive of the Alliance of Community Health Plans. “In turn, premiums would continue to increase, threatening the security of affordable coverage for millions of working families.”

The Affordable Care Act has expanded private insurance to millions of people through the creation of marketplaces, also known as exchanges, where people can purchase plans, in many cases using government subsidies to offset the cost. It also required that plans offered on the exchanges include a specific set of benefits, including hospital care, maternity care and mental health services, and it prohibited insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

The order’s quickest impact on the marketplaces would be the potential expansion of short-term plans, which are exempt from Affordable Care Act requirements. The Obama administration limited the length of time people could enroll in such plans because companies were marketing them to healthy customers and luring people away from Affordable Care Act marketplaces, said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown University. She predicted companies would seize the opportunity to resume sale of such policies, which are much less expensive than A.C.A. plans. “There are companies that are poised to aggressively market this stuff,” she said.

Many health policy experts worry that if large numbers of healthy people move into such plans, it would drive up premiums for those left in Affordable Care Act plans because the risk pool would have sicker people.

“If the short-term plans are able to siphon off the healthiest people, then the more highly regulated marketplaces may not be sustainable,” said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president for the Kaiser Family Foundation. “These plans follow no rules.”

Short-term policies could be useful to people in counties where only one insurer is offering plans in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, according to a White House document.

But short-term policies can also limit benefits and charge higher premiums to people who have expensive medical conditions, a type of discrimination banned in policies regulated under the Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Trump’s order would also eventually make it easier for small businesses to band together and buy insurance through entities known as association health plans, which could be created by business and professional groups. A White House official said these health plans “could potentially allow American employers to form groups across state lines” — a goal championed by Mr. Trump and many other Republicans — allowing more options and the formation of larger risk pools.

“This could turn back the clock three decades on small business insurance,” Mr. Levitt said. Without the oversight by states, “this could create an unregulated and risky market that we haven’t seen for decades,’ he said.

The order won applause from potential sponsors of association health plans, including the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Restaurant Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Associated Builders and Contractors, a trade group for the construction industry.

The White House released a document saying that some consumer protections would remain in place for association plans. “Employers participating in an association health plan cannot exclude any employee from joining the plan and cannot develop premiums based on health conditions” of individual employees, according to the document.

But state officials pointed out that an association health plan can set different rates for different employers, so that a company with older, sicker workers might have to pay much more than a firm with young, healthy employees.

“Two employers in an association can be charged very different rates, based on the medical claims filed by their employees,” said Mike Kreidler, the state insurance commissioner in Washington.

Mr. Trump’s order followed the pattern of previous policy shifts that originated with similar directives to agencies to come up with new rules. Within hours of his inauguration in January, he ordered federal agencies to find ways to waive or defer provisions of the Affordable Care Act that might burden consumers, insurers or health care providers. In May, he directed officials to help employers with religious objections to the federal mandate for insurance coverage of contraception.

Both of those orders were followed up with specific, substantive regulations that rolled back policies of President Barack Obama.

In battles over the Affordable Care Act this year, Mr. Trump and Senate Republicans said they wanted to give state officials vast new power to regulate insurance because state officials were wiser than federal officials and better understood local needs. But under the order, the federal government could pre-empt many state insurance rules, a prospect that alarms state insurance regulators.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, representing state officials, has long opposed association health plans because they could be largely exempt from state regulation. Ted Nickel, the president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, who is also the top insurance regulator in Wisconsin, said the proliferation of association health plans could further destabilize “already fragile markets.’’

Another part of Mr. Trump’s order indicates that he may wish to crack down on the consolidation of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, a trend that critics say has driven up costs for consumers. Mr. Trump said that administration officials, working with the Federal Trade Commission, should report to him within 180 days on federal and state policies that limit competition and choice in the health care industry.

Trump’s Association Health Plans Are An Old Idea That Hasn’t Worked

I write about healthcare business and policy  Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order on health care Thursday that he said was designed to spur competition in the individual insurance market, but the main component of it has been tried before and hasn’t worked out well for small business or consumers.

Trump Thursday directed his cabinet to ease rules to allow small employers to band together through trade groups to create “Association Health Plans” that could form across state lines to offer coverage while attracting more competition among insurers.

President Donald Trump signs an executive order Thursday “to promote healthcare choice and competition.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“They will have so many options,” Trump said Thursday morning at a signing ceremony for the executive order. “This will cost the U.S. government virtually nothing.”

But those who have studied insurance sales across state lines and past efforts dating to the 1980sof small groups to band together to compete with health plans say they haven’t worked. And when association health plans offering skimpier benefits have operated in the past, consumers have suffered and established insurers have stayed away from offering bare-bones policies as analysts expect they will do this time.

“AHPs do have a poor track record, both in terms of insolvency and also, unfortunately, of fraud,” Sabrina Corlette , professor with the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University who is also the consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners said Thursday.

Trump said Thursday these new plans will draw “millions” of consumers to lower rates and policies free of “Obamacare” rules and regulations under the Affordable Care Act.

“The health insurance sold via the AHP could become exempt from consumer protections such as the essential health benefits standard and the prohibition on charging higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions,” Corlette and colleague Kevin Lucia wrote for The Commonwealth Fund. “The result would be increased risk for higher premiums and fewer plan options on the individual market, as well as fraud and insolvency.”

Even if AHPs have fewer rules to abide by than health insurers that sell on public exchanges under the ACA, the plans will still have to be well capitalized to pay doctors and hospitals and pool premiums to pay insurance claims. That requires a lot of money to establish health plan networks.

A key reason insurers like Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth Group left the ACA’s public exchanges is due to lack of customers and disinterest in creating larger networks, particularly in rural areas where they haven’t historically operated. Rural areas have been largely dominated by Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, which are continuing to participate on the ACA’s public exchanges.

Health insurance companies in some states can already sell health coverage across state lines, but it hasn’t worked in large part because plans haven’t wanted to spend the money contracting with more doctors and hospitals in areas they have no enrollees. Six states have enacted laws allowing health plan sales across state lines and “no state was known to actually offer or sell such policies,” National Conference of State Legislatures said in a new report last week.

The health insurance industry issued a statement after Trump’s executive order that was far from an endorsement, saying plans needed to further evaluate its impact. But insurers don’t appear interested in eliminating consumer protections and the trend toward health plan networks that measure quality and health outcomes.

“Health plans remain committed to certain principles,” America’s Health Insurance Plans, which represents Anthem, Centene and several Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, said. “We believe that reforms must stabilize the individual market for lower costs, higher consumer satisfaction, and better health outcomes for everyone. And we believe that we cannot jeopardize the stability of other markets that provide coverage for hundreds of millions of Americans.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2017/10/12/trumps-association-health-plans-are-an-old-idea-that-hasnt-worked/#695e56562748

President Trump signed an executive order on health care in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Thursday. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump will scrap subsidies to health insurance companies that help pay out-of-pocket costs of low-income people, the White House said late Thursday. His plans were disclosed hours after the president ordered potentially sweeping changes in the nation’s insurance system, including sales of cheaper policies with fewer benefits and fewer protections for consumers.

The twin hits to the Affordable Care Act could unravel President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, sending insurance premiums soaring and insurance companies fleeing from the health law’s online marketplaces. After Republicans failed to repeal the health law in Congress, Mr. Trump appears determined to dismantle it on his own.

Without the subsidies, insurance markets could quickly unravel. Insurers have said they will need much higher premiums and may pull out of the insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act if the subsidies were cut off. Known as cost-sharing reduction payments, the subsidies were expected to total $9 billion in the coming year and nearly $100 billion in the coming decade.

“The government cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments,” the White House said in a statement.

It concluded that “Congress needs to repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare law and provide real relief to the American people.”

In a joint statement, the top Democrats in Congress, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, said Mr. Trump had “apparently decided to punish the American people for his inability to improve our health care system.”

“It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America,” they said. “Make no mistake about it, Trump will try to blame the Affordable Care Act, but this will fall on his back and he will pay the price for it.”

Lawmakers from both parties have urged the president to continue the payments. Mr. Trump had raised the possibility of eliminating the subsidies at a White House meeting with Republican senators several months ago. At the time, one senator told him that the Republican Party would effectively “own health care” as a political issue if the president did so.

“Cutting health care subsidies will mean more uninsured in my district,” Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican of Florida, wrote on Twitter late Thursday. She added that Mr. Trump “promised more access, affordable coverage. This does opposite.”

But Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, praised Mr. Trump’s decision and said the Obama administration had usurped the authority of Congress by paying the subsidies. “Under our Constitution,” Mr. Ryan said, “the power of the purse belongs to Congress, not the executive branch.”

The future of the payments has been in doubt because of a lawsuit filed in 2014 by House Republicans, who said the Obama administration was paying the subsidies illegally. Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the United States District Court in Washington agreed, finding that Congress had never appropriated money for the cost-sharing subsidies.

The Obama administration appealed the ruling. The Trump administration has continued the payments from month to month, even though Mr. Trump has made clear that he detests the payments and sees them as a bailout for insurance companies.

This summer, a group of states, including New York and California, was allowed to intervene in the court case over the subsidies. The New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, said on Thursday night that the coalition of states “stands ready to sue” if Mr. Trump cut off the subsidies.

GRAPHIC

We’re Tracking the Ways Trump Is Scaling Back Obamacare. Here Are 12.

What the administration has done to weaken the health law.

Mr. Trump’s decision to stop the subsidy payments puts pressure on Congress to provide money for them in a spending bill.

Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee and the chairman of the Senate health committee, and Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the senior Democrat on the panel, have been trying to work out a bipartisan deal that would continue the subsidy payments while making it easier for states to obtain waivers from some requirements of the Affordable Care Act. White House officials have sent mixed signals about whether Mr. Trump was open to such a deal.

The decision to end subsidies came on the heels of Mr. Trump’s executive order, which he signed earlier Thursday.

With an 1,100-word directive to federal agencies, the president laid the groundwork for an expanding array of health insurance products, mainly less comprehensive plans offered through associations of small employers and greater use of short-term medical coverage.

It was the first time since efforts to repeal the landmark health law collapsed in Congress that Mr. Trump has set forth his vision of how to remake the nation’s health care system using the powers of the executive branch. It immediately touched off a debate over whether the move would fatally destabilize the Affordable Care Act marketplaces or add welcome options to consumers complaining of high premiums and not enough choice.

Most of the changes will not occur until federal agencies write and adopt regulations implementing them. The process, which includes a period for public comments, could take months. That means the order will probably not affect insurance coverage next year, but could lead to major changes in 2019.

“With these actions,” Mr. Trump said at a White House ceremony, “we are moving toward lower costs and more options in the health care market, and taking crucial steps toward saving the American people from the nightmare of Obamacare.”

“This is going to be something that millions and millions of people will be signing up for,” the president predicted, “and they’re going to be very happy.”

But many patients, doctors, hospital executives and state insurance regulators were not so happy. They said the changes envisioned by Mr. Trump could raise costs for sick people, increase sales of bare-bones insurance and add uncertainty to wobbly health insurance markets.

Chris Hansen, the president of the lobbying arm of the American Cancer Society, said the order “could leave millions of cancer patients and survivors unable to access meaningful coverage.”

In a statement from six physician groups, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the doctors predicted that “allowing insurers to sell narrow, low-cost health plans likely will cause significant economic harm to women and older, sicker Americans who stand to face higher-cost and fewer insurance options.”

While many health insurers remained silent about the executive order, some voiced concern that it could destabilize the market. The Trump proposal “would draw younger and healthier people away from the exchanges and drive additional plans out of the market,” warned Ceci Connolly, the chief executive of the Alliance of Community Health Plans.

Administration officials said they had not yet decided which federal and state rules would apply to the new products. Without changing the law, they said, they can rewrite federal regulations so that more health plans would be exempt from some of its requirements.

The Affordable Care Act has expanded private insurance to millions of people through the creation of marketplaces, also known as exchanges, where people can purchase plans, in many cases using government subsidies to offset the cost. It also required that plans offered on the exchanges include a specific set of benefits, including hospital care, maternity care and mental health services, and it prohibited insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

The executive order’s quickest effect on the marketplaces would be the potential expansion of short-term plans, which are exempt from Affordable Care Act requirements. Many health policy experts worry that if large numbers of healthy people move into such plans, it would drive up premiums for those left in Affordable Care Act plans because the risk pool would have sicker people.

“If the short-term plans are able to siphon off the healthiest people, then the more highly regulated marketplaces may not be sustainable,” said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president for the Kaiser Family Foundation. “These plans follow no rules.”

Mr. Trump’s order would also eventually make it easier for small businesses to band together and buy insurance through entities known as association health plans, which could be created by business and professional groups. A White House official said these health plans “could potentially allow American employers to form groups across state lines” — a goal championed by Mr. Trump and many other Republicans — allowing more options and the formation of larger risk pools.

Association plans have a troubled history. Because the plans were not subject to state regulations that required insurers to have adequate financial resources, some became insolvent, leaving people with unpaid medical bills. Some insurers were accused of fraud, telling customers that the plans were more comprehensive than they were and leaving them uncovered when consumers became seriously ill.

The White House said that a broader interpretation of federal law — the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 — “could potentially allow employers in the same line of business anywhere in the country to join together to offer health care coverage to their employees.”

The order won applause from potential sponsors of association health plans, including the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Restaurant Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Associated Builders and Contractors, a trade group for the construction industry.

The White House released a document saying that some consumer protections would remain in place for association plans. “Employers participating in an association health plan cannot exclude any employee from joining the plan and cannot develop premiums based on health conditions” of individual employees, according to the document. But state officials pointed out that an association health plan can set different rates for different employers, so that a company with older, sicker workers might have to pay much more than a firm with young, healthy employees.

“Two employers in an association can be charged very different rates, based on the medical claims filed by their employees,” said Mike Kreidler, the state insurance commissioner in Washington.

Mr. Trump’s order followed the pattern of previous policy shifts that originated with similar directives to agencies to come up with new rules.

Within hours of his inauguration in January, he ordered federal agencies to find ways to waive or defer provisions of the Affordable Care Act that might burden consumers, insurers or health care providers. In May, he directed officials to help employers with religious objections to the federal mandate for insurance coverage of contraception.

Both of those orders were followed up with specific, substantive regulations that rolled back Mr. Obama’s policies.

3350COMMENTS

In battles over the Affordable Care Act this year, Mr. Trump and Senate Republicans said they wanted to give state officials vast new power to regulate insurance because state officials were wiser than federal officials and better understood local needs. But under Thursday’s order, the federal government could pre-empt many state insurance rules, a prospect that alarms state insurance regulators.

Another part of Mr. Trump’s order indicates that he may wish to crack down on the consolidation of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, a trend that critics say has driven up costs for consumers. Mr. Trump said that administration officials, working with the Federal Trade Commission, should report to him within 180 days on federal and state policies that limit competition and choice in the health care industry.

Executive order (United States)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Executive Orders are presidential directives issued by United States Presidents and are generally directed towards officers and agencies of the U.S. federal government. Executive orders may have the force of law, if based on the authority derived from statute or the Constitution itself. The ability to make such orders is also based on express or implied Acts of Congress that delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power (delegated legislation).[1]

Like both legislative statutes and regulations promulgated by government agencies, executive orders are subject to judicial review and may be overturned if the orders lack support by statute or the Constitution.[2] Major policy initiatives require approval by the legislative branch, but executive orders have significant influence over the internal affairs of government, deciding how and to what degree legislation will be enforced, dealing with emergencies, waging wars, and in general fine-tuning policy choices in the implementation of broad statutes.

Basis in the United States Constitution

The United States Constitution does not have a provision that explicitly permits the use of executive orders. The term executive power in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution is not entirely clear. The term is mentioned as direction to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” and is part of Article II, Section 3. The consequence of failing to comply could possibly be removal from office.[3][4]

The U.S. Supreme Court has held[5] that all executive orders from the President of the United States must be supported by the Constitution, whether from a clause granting specific power, or by Congress delegating such to the executive branch.[6] Specifically, such orders must be rooted in Article II of the US Constitution or enacted by the congress in statutes. Attempts to block such orders have been successful at times when such orders exceeded the authority of the president or could be better handled through legislation.[7]

The Office of the Federal Register is responsible for assigning the executive order a sequential number after receipt of the signed original from the White House and printing the text of the executive order in the daily Federal Register and Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations.[8]

History and use

With the exception of William Henry Harrison, all presidents beginning with George Washington in 1789 have issued orders that in general terms can be described as executive orders. Initially they took no set form. Consequently, such orders varied as to form and substance.[9]

The first executive order was issued by George Washington on June 8, 1789, addressed to the heads of the federal departments, instructing them “to impress me with a full, precise, and distinct general idea of the affairs of the United States” in their fields.[10]

The most famous executive order was by President Abraham Lincoln when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Political scientist Brian R. Dirck states:

The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order, itself a rather unusual thing in those days. Executive orders are simply presidential directives issued to agents of the executive department by its boss.[11]

Until the early 1900s, executive orders went mostly unannounced and undocumented, seen only by the agencies to which they were directed. This changed when the Department of State instituted a numbering scheme in 1907, starting retroactively with United States Executive Order 1 issued on October 20, 1862, by President Abraham Lincoln.[12] The documents that later came to be known as “executive orders” apparently gained their name from this order issued by Lincoln, which was captioned “Executive Order Establishing a Provisional Court in Louisiana”.[13] This court functioned during the military occupation of Louisiana during the American Civil War, and Lincoln also used Executive Order 1 to appoint Charles A. Peabody as judge, and to designate the salaries of the court’s officers.[12]

President Truman’s Executive Order 10340 in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 US 579 (1952) placed all steel mills in the country under federal control. This was found invalid because it attempted to make law, rather than clarify or act to further a law put forth by the Congress or the Constitution. Presidents since this decision have generally been careful to cite which specific laws they are acting under when issuing new executive orders. Likewise, when presidents believe their authority for issuing an executive order stems from within the powers outlined in the Constitution, the order will simply proclaim “under the authority vested in me by the Constitution” instead.

Wars have been fought upon executive order, including the 1999 Kosovo War during Bill Clinton‘s second term in office. However, all such wars have had authorizing resolutions from Congress. The extent to which the president may exercise military power independently of Congress and the scope of the War Powers Resolution remain unresolved constitutional issues, although all presidents since its passage have complied with the terms of the resolution while maintaining that they are not constitutionally required to do so.

President Truman issued 907 executive orders, with 1,081 orders by Theodore Roosevelt, 1,203 orders by Calvin Coolidge, and 1,803 orders by Woodrow Wilson. Franklin D. Roosevelt has the distinction of making a record 3,522 executive orders.

Franklin Roosevelt

Prior to 1932, uncontested executive orders had determined such issues as national mourning on the death of a president, and the lowering of flags to half-staff. President Franklin Roosevelt issued the first of his 3,522 executive orders on March 6, 1933, declaring a bank holiday, forbidding banks to release gold coin or bullionExecutive Order 6102 forbade the hoarding of gold coin, bullion and gold certificates. A further executive order required all newly mined domestic gold be delivered to the Treasury.[14]

By Executive Order 6581, the president created the Export-Import Bank of the United States. On March 7, 1934, he created the National Industrial Recovery Act (Executive Order 6632). On June 29, the president issued Executive Order 6763 “under the authority vested in me by the Constitution”, thereby creating the National Labor Relations Board.

In 1934, while Charles Evans Hughes was Chief Justice of the United States (in the time period known as the Hughes Court), the Court found that the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) was unconstitutional. The president then issued Executive Order 7073 “by virtue of the authority vested in me under the said Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935“, reestablishing the National Emergency Council to administer the functions of the NIRA in carrying out the provisions of the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act. On June 15, he issued Executive Order 7075, which terminated NIRA and replaced it with the Office of Administration of the National Recovery Administration.[15]

In the years that followed, President Roosevelt replaced the outgoing judges with those more in line with his views, ultimately appointing Hugo BlackStanley ReedFelix FrankfurterWilliam O. DouglasFrank MurphyRobert H. Jackson and James F. Byrnes to the Court. Historically, only George Washington had equal or greater influence over Supreme Court appointments, choosing all of its original members. Justices Frankfurter, Douglas, Black, and Jackson dramatically checked presidential power by invalidating the executive order at issue in The Steel Seizure Case (i.e., Executive Order 10340). In that case Roosevelt’s successor, President Truman, had ordered private steel production facilities seized in support of the Korean War effort, but the Court held the executive order was not within the power granted to the President by the Constitution.

Table of Presidents using Executive Orders

President Number
issued [14]
Starting with
E.O. number [14]
George Washington 8 n/a
John Adams 1 n/a
Thomas Jefferson 4 n/a
James Madison 1 n/a
James Monroe 1 n/a
John Quincy Adams 3 n/a
Andrew Jackson 12 n/a
Martin van Buren 10 n/a
William Henry Harrison 0 n/a
John Tyler 17 n/a
James K. Polk 18 n/a
Zachary Taylor 5 n/a
Millard Fillmore 12 n/a
Franklin Pierce 35 n/a
James Buchanan 16 n/a
Abraham Lincoln 48 1
Andrew Johnson 79
Ulysses S. Grant 217
Rutherford B. Hayes 92
James Garfield 6
Chester Arthur 96
Grover Cleveland (first term) 113
Benjamin Harrison 143
Grover Cleveland (second term) 140
William McKinley 185
Theodore Roosevelt 1,081
William Howard Taft 724
Woodrow Wilson 1,803
Warren G. Harding 522
Calvin Coolidge 1,203
Herbert Hoover 968 5075
Franklin D. Roosevelt (~3.05 terms) 3,522 6071
Harry S. Truman 907 9538
Dwight D. Eisenhower 484 10432
John F. Kennedy 214 10914
Lyndon B. Johnson 325 11128
Richard Nixon 346 11452
Gerald R. Ford 169 11798
Jimmy Carter 320 11967
Ronald Reagan 381 12287
George H. W. Bush 166 12668
Bill Clinton[16] 308 12834
George W. Bush[16] 291 13198
Barack Obama[16] 276 13489
Donald Trump (as of September 29, 2017) [16][17] 49 13765

Reaction

Large policy changes with wide-ranging effects have been implemented through executive order, including the racial integration of the armed forces under Harry Truman and the desegregation of public schools under Dwight D. Eisenhower[citation needed].

Two extreme examples of an executive order are Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 6102 “forbidding the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States” and Executive Order 9066, which delegated military authority to remove any or all people in a military zone (used to target Japanese-Americans and German-Americans in certain regions). The order was then delegated to GeneralJohn L. DeWitt, and subsequently paved the way for all Japanese-Americans on the West Coast to be sent to internment camps for the duration of World War II.

President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13233 in 2001, which restricted public access to the papers of former presidents. The order was criticized by the Society of American Archivists and other groups, who stated that it “violates both the spirit and letter of existing U.S. law on access to presidential papers as clearly laid down in 44 USC 2201–07″, and adding that the order “potentially threatens to undermine one of the very foundations of our nation”. President Barack Obama revoked Executive Order 13233 in January 2009.[18]

The Heritage Foundation has accused presidents of abusing executive orders by using them to make laws without Congressional approval and moving existing laws away from their original mandates.[19]

Legal conflicts

In 1935, the Supreme Court overturned five of President Franklin Roosevelt’s executive orders (6199, 6204, 6256, 6284, 6855). Executive Order 12954, issued by President Bill Clinton in 1995, attempted to prevent the federal government from contracting with organizations that had strike-breakers on the payroll; a federal appeals court subsequently ruled that the order conflicted with the National Labor Relations Act, and invalidated the order.[20][21]

Congress has the power to overturn an executive order by passing legislation that invalidates it. Congress can also refuse to provide funding necessary to carry out certain policy measures contained with the order or to legitimize policy mechanisms. In the case of the former, the president retains the power to veto such a decision; however, the Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds majority to end an executive order. It has been argued that a congressional override of an executive order is a nearly impossible event, due to the supermajority vote required and the fact that such a vote leaves individual lawmakers vulnerable to political criticism.[22]

On July 30, 2014, the Republican-led House of Representatives approved a resolution authorizing Speaker of the HouseJohn Boehner to sue President Barack Obama over claims that he exceeded his executive authority in changing a key provision of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) on his own[23] and over what Republicans claimed had been “inadequate enforcement of the health care law”, which Republican lawmakers opposed. In particular, Republicans “objected that the Obama administration delayed some parts of the law, particularly the mandate on employers who do not provide health care coverage”.[24] The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on November 21, 2014.[25]

Part of President Donald Trump’s executive order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which temporarily banned entry to the US from citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, including for permanent residents, was stayed by a federal court on January 28, 2017.[26]

State governors’ executive orders

Executive orders issued by state governors are not the same as statutes passed by state legislatures, but do have the force of law in a similar way to the federal system. State executive orders are usually based on existing constitutional or statutory powers of the governor and do not require any action by the state legislature to take effect.

Executive orders may, for example, demand budget cuts from state government when the state legislature is not in session, and economic conditions take a downturn, thereby decreasing tax revenue below what was forecast when the budget was approved. Depending on the state constitution, a governor may specify what percentage each government agency must reduce by, and may exempt those that are already particularly underfunded, or cannot put long-term expenses (such as capital expenditures) off until a later fiscal year. The governor may also call the legislature into special session.

There are also other uses for gubernatorial executive orders. In 2007, for example, George “Sonny” Perdue, governor of Georgia, issued an executive order for all of its state agencies to reduce water use during a major drought. This was also demanded of its counties‘ water systems, however it is unclear whether this order would have the force of law.

Presidential proclamation

According to political expert Phillip J. Cooper, a presidential proclamation “states a condition, declares a law and requires obedience, recognizes an event or triggers the implementation of a law (by recognizing that the circumstances in law have been realized)”.[27]Presidents define situations or conditions on situations that become legal or economic truth. These orders carry the same force of law as executive orders—the difference between the two is that executive orders are aimed at those inside government while proclamations are aimed at those outside government.

The administrative weight of these proclamations is upheld because they are often specifically authorized by congressional statute, making them “delegated unilateral powers.” Presidential proclamations are often dismissed as a practical presidential tool for policy making because of the perception of proclamations as largely ceremonial or symbolic in nature. However, the legal weight of presidential proclamations suggests their importance to presidential governance.[28]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_order_(United_States)

Powers of the President of the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The President of the United States has numerous powers, including those explicitly granted by Article II of the United States Constitution.

The Constitution explicitly assigned the president the power to sign or veto legislation, command the armed forces, ask for the written opinion of their Cabinet, convene or adjourn Congress, grant reprieves and pardons, and receive ambassadors. The president may make treaties which need to be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. The president may also appoint Article III judges and some officers with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate. In the condition of a Senate recess, the president may make a temporary appointment.

Executive powers

Within the executive branch itself, the president has broad powers to manage national affairs and the priorities of the government. The president can issue rules, regulations, and instructions called executive orders, which have the binding force of law upon federal agencies but do not require approval of the United States Congress. Executive orders are subject to judicial review and interpretation.

The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 put additional responsibilities on the presidency for the preparation of the United States federal budget, although Congress was required to approve it.[1] The act required the Office of Management and Budget to assist the president with the preparation of the budget. Previous presidents had the privilege of impounding funds as they saw fit, however the United States Supreme Court revoked the privilege in 1998 as a violation of the Presentment Clause. The power was available to all presidents and was regarded as a power inherent to the office. The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 was passed in response to large-scale power exercises by President Nixon. The act also created the Congressional Budget Office as a legislative counterpoint to the Office of Management and Budget.

The president, as the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces, may also call into federal service individual state units of the National Guard. In times of war or national emergency, the Congress may grant the president broader powers to manage the national economy and protect the security of the United States, but these powers were not expressly granted by the United States Constitution.[2] During the Vietnam War, in 1973, Congress expeditiously passed the War Powers Act and severely limited the ability of the President to conduct warfare without Congressional approval. Congress was constitutionally provided the power to declare the war,[3] but if the president needed to send the troops to other countries for emergency reasons, approved statutes required the notification of Congress within forty-eight hours. For any time beyond sixty days, further congressional approval was required.

Powers related to legislation

The president has several options when presented with a bill from Congress. If the president agrees with the bill, he can sign it into law within ten days of receipt. If the president opposes the bill, he can veto it and return the bill to Congress with a veto message suggesting changes unless the Congress is out of session then the president may rely on a pocket veto.

Presidents are required to approve all of a bill or none of it; selective vetoes have been prohibited. In 1996, Congress gave President Bill Clinton a line-item veto over parts of a bill that required spending federal funds. The Supreme Court, in Clinton v. New York City, found Clinton’s veto of pork-barrel appropriations for New York City to be unconstitutional because only a constitutional amendment could give the president line-item veto power.[4]

When a bill is presented for signature, the president may also issue a signing statement with expressions of their opinion on the constitutionality of a bill’s provisions. The president may even declare them unenforceable but the Supreme Court has yet to address this issue.[5]

Congress may override vetoes with a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate. The process has traditionally been difficult and relatively rare. The threat of a presidential veto has usually provided sufficient pressure for Congress to modify a bill so the President would be willing to sign it.

Much of the legislation dealt with by Congress is drafted at the initiative of the executive branch.[6] The president may personally propose legislation in annual and special messages to Congress including the annual State of the Union address and joint sessions of Congress. If Congress has adjourned without acting on proposals, the president may call a special session of the Congress.

Beyond these official powers, the U.S. president, as a leader of his political party and the United States government, holds great sway over public opinion whereby they may influence legislation.

To improve the working relationship with Congress, presidents in recent years have set up an Office of Legislative Affairs. Presidential aides have kept abreast of all important legislative activities.

Powers of appointment

The President of the United States has several different appointment powers.

Before taking office, the president-elect must appoint more than 6,000 new federal positions.[7] The appointments range from top officials at U.S. government agencies, to the White House Staff, and members of the United States diplomatic corps. Many, but not all, of these positions at the highest levels are appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the United States Senate.[8]

The president also nominates persons to fill federal judicial vacancies, including federal judges, such as members of the United States Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. These nominations require Senate confirmation, and this can provide a major stumbling block for presidents who wish to shape the federal judiciary in a particular ideological stance.

As head of the executive branch, the president appoints the top officials for all federal agencies. These positions are listed in the Plum Book which outlines more than seven thousand appointive positions in the government. Many of these appointments are made by the president. In the case of ten agencies, the president is free to appoint a new agency head. For example, it is not unusual for the CIA‘s Director or NASA‘s Administrator to be changed by the president. Other agencies that deal with federal regulation such as the Federal Reserve Board or the Securities and Exchange Commission have set terms that will often outlast presidential terms. For example, governors of the Federal Reserve serve for fourteen years to ensure agency independence. The president also appoints members to the boards of directors for government-owned corporations such as Amtrak. The president can also make a recess appointment if a position needs to be filled while Congress is not in session.[9]

In the past, presidents could appoint members of the United States civil service. This use of the spoils system allowed presidents to reward political supporters with jobs. Following the assassination of President James Garfield by Charles J. Guiteau, a disgruntled office seeker, Congress instituted a merit-based civil service in which positions are filled on a nonpartisan basis.[10] The Office of Personnel Management now oversees the staffing of 2.8 million federal jobs in the federal bureaucracy.

The president must also appoint his staff of aides, advisers, and assistants. These individuals are political appointments and are not subject to review by the Senate. All members of the staff serve “at the pleasure of the President“.[11][12] Since 1995, the president has been required to submit an annual report to Congress listing the name and salary of every employee of the White House Office. The 2011 report listed 454 employees.[13]

Executive clemency

Article II of the United States Constitution gives the president the power of clemency. The two most commonly used clemency powers are those of pardon and commutation. A pardon is an official forgiveness for an acknowledged crime. Once a pardon is issued, all punishment for the crime is waived. The person accepting the pardon must, however, acknowledge that the crime did take place.[14] The president can only grant pardons for federal offences.[15] The president maintains the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice to review all requests for pardons. The president can also commute a sentence which, in effect, changes the punishment to time served. While the guilty party may be released from custody or not have to serve out a prison term, all other punishments still apply.

Most pardons are issued as oversight of the judicial branch, especially in cases where the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are considered too severe. This power can check the legislative and judicial branches by altering punishment for crimes. Presidents can issue blanket amnesty to forgive entire groups of people. For example, President Jimmy Carter granted amnesty to Vietnam draft dodgers who had fled to Canada. Presidents can also issue temporary suspensions of prosecution or punishment in the form of respites. This power is most commonly used to delay federal sentences of execution.

Pardons can be controversial when they appear to be politically motivated. President George W. Bush commuted the sentence of White House staffer Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

Foreign affairs

Under the Constitution, the president is the federal official that is primarily responsible for the relations of the United States with foreign nations. The president appoints ambassadors, ministers, and consuls (subject to confirmation by the Senate) and receives foreign ambassadors and other public officials.[2] With the Secretary of State, the president manages all official contacts with foreign governments.

On occasion, the president may personally participate in summit conferences where heads of state meet for direct consultation.[16] For example, President Wilson led the American delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 after World War I; President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with Allied leaders during World War II; and every president sits down with world leaders to discuss economic and political issues and to reach agreements.

Through the Department of State and the Department of Defense, the president is responsible for the protection of Americans abroad and of foreign nationals in the United States. The president decides whether to recognize new nations and new governments,[17] and negotiate treaties with other nations, which become binding on the United States when approved by two-thirds of the Senate. The president may also negotiate executive agreements with foreign powers that are not subject to Senate confirmation.[18]

Emergency powers

The Constitution does not expressly grant the president additional powers in times of national emergency. However, many scholars think that the Framers implied these powers because the structural design of the Executive Branch enables it to act faster than the Legislative Branch. Because the Constitution remains silent on the issue, the courts cannot grant the Executive Branch these powers when it tries to wield them. The courts will only recognize a right of the Executive Branch to use emergency powers if Congress has granted such powers to the president.[19]

A claim of emergency powers was at the center of President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus without Congressional approval in 1861. Lincoln claimed that the rebellion created an emergency that permitted him the extraordinary power of unilaterally suspending the writ. With Chief Justice Roger Taney sitting as judge, the Federal District Court of Maryland struck down the suspension in Ex Parte Merryman, although Lincoln ignored the order. [20]

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt similarly invoked emergency powers when he issued an order directing that all Japanese Americans residing on the West Coast be placed into internment camps during World War II. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld this order in Korematsu v. United States[21]

Harry Truman declared the use of emergency powers when he nationalized private steel mills that failed to produce steel because of a labor strike in 1952.[22] With the Korean War ongoing, Truman asserted that he could not wage war successfully if the economy failed to provide him with the material resources necessary to keep the troops well-equipped.[23] The U.S. Supreme Court, however, refused to accept that argument in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, voting 6-3 that neither Commander in Chief powers nor any claimed emergency powers gave the president the authority to unilaterally seize private property without Congressional legislation. [24]

Executive privilege

Executive privilege gives the president the ability to withhold information from the public, Congress, and the courts in national security and diplomatic affairs.[25] George Washington first claimed privilege when Congress requested to see Chief Justice John Jay‘s notes from an unpopular treaty negotiation with Great Britain. While not enshrined in the Constitution, Washington’s action created the precedent for privilege. When Richard Nixon tried to use executive privilege as a reason for not turning over subpoenaed audio tapes to a special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Nixon that privilege was not absolute. The Court reasoned that the judiciary’s interest in the “fair administration of criminal justice” outweighed President Nixon’s interest in keeping the evidence secret.[26] Later President Bill Clinton lost in federal court when he tried to assert privilege in the Lewinsky affair. The Supreme Court affirmed this in Clinton v. Jones, which denied the use of privilege in cases of civil suits.[27]

Constraints on presidential power

Because of the vast array of presidential roles and responsibilities, coupled with a conspicuous presence on the national and international scene, political analysts have tended to place great emphasis on the president’s powers. Some have even spoken of “the imperial presidency“, referring to the expanded role of the office that Franklin D. Roosevelt maintained during his term.

President Theodore Roosevelt famously called the presidency a “bully pulpit” from which to raise issues nationally, for when a president raises an issue, it inevitably becomes subject to public debate. A president’s power and influence may be limited, but politically the president is certainly the most important power in Washington and, furthermore, is one of the most famous and influential of all Americans.

Though constrained by various other laws passed by Congress, the president’s executive branch conducts most foreign policy, and their power to order and direct troops as commander-in-chief is quite significant (the exact limits of what a president’s military powers without Congressional authorization are open to debate).

The Separation of Powers devised by the founding fathers was designed to do one primary thing: to prevent the majority from ruling with an iron fist. Based on their experience, the framers shied away from giving any branch of the new government too much power. The separation of powers provides a system of shared power known as “checks and balances”. For example, the President appoints judges and departmental secretaries, but these appointments must be approved by the Senate. The president can veto bills, or deny them. If he does that, the bill is sent back to Congress.

See also

References

 

Story 3: Will Trump’s Promised Middle Class Tax Cut Become Law? — Tax Cut Yes — Fundamental Tax Reform No — Videos

President Trump Delivers Incredible Tax Speech In PA

President Trump’s Major Speech on Tax Reform in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 10/11/17

Trump vows largest tax cut in the history of this country

FULL President Trump Hannity Interview 10/11/17

Donald Trump: Simplify the Tax Code

Bill Gates: Don’t tax my income, tax my consumption

Wealth Inequality in America

The middle class is shrinking just about everywhere in America

There’s less middle in the middle class as income inequality grows, Pew analysis finds

The American dream is turned into poverty. Documentary 2017

 

FairTax

Freedom from the IRS! – FairTax Explained in Detail

Fair Tax Economics 2016 DO

Income Tax vs. Consumption Tax

Shattering The FairTax Evasion Myth (long version)

Pence on the Fair Tax

Sen. Moran Discusses FairTax Legislation on U.S. Senate Floor

How will the FairTax affect CPA’s and Accountants?

FairTax: Fire Up Our Economic Engine (Official HD)

FairTax Composite

 

Trump to trucking: Tax reform a boon for carriers, drivers and industry at large

By James Jaillet

 

Trump promises big tax cuts, but GOP-led Congress is already thinking about scaling back

President Trump promised the largest tax cut in history, but as he hit the road Wednesday to promote the plan, Republicans in Congress were quietly discussing scaling back key provisions in an effort to deliver the top White House priority.

There’s already talk that the cornerstone of the GOP proposal — a dramatically reduced 20% corporate tax rate that Trump has called a “red line” — may slip to 22% or 23%, those familiar with negotiations said.

Trump had originally promised a 15% rate for corporations. But Republicans are running into resistance from lawmakers and lobbyists who want to preserve deductions and loopholes that were targeted for elimination under the White House plan to offset the massive corporate cut from the current 35% rate.

Some Republicans are also pushing back against other parts of the president’s plan, such as scrapping the estate tax for the rich and eliminating deductions for state and local taxes, which would hurt residents in high-tax states like California and New York.

At an evening rally in Harrisburg, Pa., Trump said the corporate rate would be “no more than 20%.” But earlier this week, he acknowledged that changes may lie ahead. “We’ll be adjusting a little bit over the next few weeks to make it even stronger,” he said.

Negotiators say changes will be needed if Republicans, who can afford to lose only two votes in the Senate and about 20 in the House if no Democrats join in support, hope to avoid another embarrassing defeat like the collapse of their Obamacare repeal plan.

Fiscally conservative Republicans will be the hardest to win over because the GOP tax plan has been estimated by some outside groups to add more than $2 trillion to the deficit over 10 years.

Republicans are racing to pass their tax overhaul by the end of the year, hoping to give the economy a boost and quiet complaints that they have accomplished little with the party’s hold on the White House and Congress.

Yet even as Trump and top Republicans, including House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Vice President Mike Pence, talk up the tax plan in whistle-stop tours across the nation, it remains in flux, more of a concept than a proposal. Actual legislation remains weeks away.

“Everything is fluid right now,” said one business lobbyist, granted anonymity to discuss the private talks, adding that there are “realistic tensions” over the details.

Republicans are finding that their desire for lowering corporate and individual rates is running into the fiscal challenge of how to pay for the reductions without exacerbating the nation’s debt load.

They argue that tax cuts, even if deficit-financed, will spur economic growth and provide new revenue. But many economists question that theory, saying it hasn’t worked that way in the past.

In addition, Republicans — in order to take advantage of special budget rules that will allow them to pass the tax plan in the Senate with a simple majority — must find ways to offset some of the costs.

Every percentage-point reduction in the corporate rate reduces federal tax revenue by about $100 billion over 10 years. Slashing the corporate rate to 20% would cost about $1.5 trillion.

With lobbyists and lawmakers lining up to protect deductions and loopholes, tax bill drafters are having a tough time finding ways to cover the costs.

One main revenue source, the elimination of state and local tax deductions, could generate as much as $1.3 trillion over the decade. But talk of killing the deduction set off an outcry among high-tax state lawmakers in New York, New Jersey and California. Talks are now underway to restructure that proposal.

“As the swamp kicks in, they’re going to argue to keep all their special loopholes and deductions, and the more they get to keep, the less you can reduce the tax rate,” said Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.). “There’s going to be tremendous pressure, but that’s why we have to hold the line on that.”

Corporate tax rates have been the focus throughout the process, as lawmakers try to bring the U.S. on par with the 35 developed nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which have an average rate of 22.5%. Many U.S. corporations, however, pay much less than 35% thanks to loopholes.

Lowering corporate rates has been a top priority for businesses. The Koch brothers-aligned Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce released new ads Wednesday warning lawmakers against protecting favorite deductions.

In Harrisburg, Trump argued that corporate tax changes would benefit ordinary Americans, delivering as much as $4,000 per household. “You’re going to have so much money to spend,” he told the crowd.

The White House said changing the way foreign earnings are taxed — along with a one-time incentive to bring back some of the estimated $2.5 trillion U.S. companies have parked abroad — would result in $4,000 more for American workers over an eight-year period.

But experts doubted such a windfall would flow to workers and said the GOP’s planned changes to individual income tax rates would largely benefit the wealthiest Americans.

Mark Mazur, director of the Tax Policy Center, said he was “incredibly skeptical” of the White House’s $4,000 estimate, explaining that there are many reasons why wages have not kept up with the growth of corporate profits. He cited less powerful labor unions and competition from lower-wage workers abroad.

On Wednesday, Ryan outlined the schedule ahead during a closed-door meeting that left lawmakers expecting a House vote on a tax bill by Thanksgiving.

The Senate would follow if it clears a preliminary budget hurdle next week. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has panned the tax proposal as benefiting the wealthy. And Trump’s recent personal attacks on Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) certainly won’t help win his vote. Even before Trump mocked him, Corker was concerned the tax plan would increase the deficit.

But even as Republicans pursue a largely partisan approach without Democratic input, some predicted Wednesday there would be no adjustments to the proposed 20% corporate rate, since that seemed to be a core area of agreement.

“That’s so locked and loaded that I just don’t see that changing,” said Rep. Chris Collins(R-N.Y.), a Trump ally.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, said the 20% rate was “for sure. I have commitments.”

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-congress-tax-cuts-20171011-story.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 975, September 29, 2017, Part 3 of 3,  Story 1: The Tiny Timid Trump Tax Reform Resembles Liberal Democratic Party Proposals vs. Fair Tax Less Would Replace All Federal Taxes With A Single Consumption Tax On What You Buy Not What You Earn With A Generous Tax Prebate and Future Government Spending Limited To 90% of Fair Tax Less Revenues — Affordable, Effective, Efficient, Fair, Reasonable, Simple, and Transparent With Progressive Effective Rates Due To A Generous Monthly $1,000 Per Month or $12,000 Per Year Tax Prebate For All Adult American Citizens — American Friendly Not Revenue Neutral — Balanced Budgets With Real Spending Cuts and No More Budget Deficits — Booming Economy With Jobs, Jobs, and Jobs — The Time Is Now or Never For Fair Tax Less — Videos — Story 2: Secretary of Health and Human Resources Thomas Price Resigns and President Trump Accepts After Trump Outraged Over Use Expensive Private Chartered Jet Flight To Conduct Government Business — Don Wright to serve as acting secretary of the HHS — Videos —

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 975, September 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 974, September 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 973, September 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 972, September 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 971, September 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 970, September 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 969, September 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 968, September 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 967, September 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 966, September 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 965, September 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 964, September 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 963, September 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 962, September 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 961, September 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 960, September 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 959, September 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 956, August 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 955, August 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 954, August 29, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 952, August 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 951, August 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 950, August 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 949, August 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 948, August 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 947, August 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 946, August 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 945, August 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 944, August 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 943, August 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 942, August 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 941, August 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 940, August 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 939, August 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 938, August 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 937, July 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 936, July 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 935, July 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 933, July 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 932, July 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 931, July 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 930, July 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 929, July 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 928, July 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 927, July 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 926, July 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 925, July 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 924, July 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 923, July 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 922, July 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 921, June 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 920, June 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 919, June 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 918, June 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 917, June 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 916, June 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 915, June 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 914, June 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 913, June 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 912, June 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 911, June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910, June 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 909, June 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 908, June 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 907, June 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 906, June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905, June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904, June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903, June 1, 2017

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Corporations paying fewer taxes

 

Part 3 of 3,  Story 1: The Tiny Timid Trump Tax Reform Resembles Liberal Democratic Party Proposals vs. Fair Tax Less Would Replace All Federal Taxes With A Single Consumption Tax On What You Buy Not What You Earn With A Generous Tax Prebate and Future Government Spending Limited To 90% of Fair Tax Less Revenues — Affordable, Effective, Efficient, Fair, Reasonable, Simple, and Transparent With Progressive Effective Rates Due To A Generous Monthly $1,000 Per Month or $12,000 Per Year Tax Prebate For All Adult American Citizens — American Friendly Not Revenue Neutral — Balanced Budgets With Real Spending Cuts and No More Budget Deficits — Booming Economy With Jobs, Jobs, and Jobs — The Time Is Now or Never For Fair Tax Less — Videos


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Trump’s tax plan is ALREADY in trouble with his own party as plan to axe state and local tax deduction comes under fire from Republicans

  • The White House’s tax plan proposes to raise $1 trillion over 10 years by eliminating the deduction for the state and local income taxes people pay
  • That’s drawing howls of protest from Republicans whose states charge high income tax rates
  • Seven states have no income taxes, meaning their citizens wouldn’t be affected
  • But some states charge up to 13.3 per cent on top of federal taxes
  • A family in Los Angeles earning $100,000 would have to fork over roughly an additional $1,800 to Washington if the longstanding deduction goes away
  • Trump is pitching his tax plan to the National Association of Manufacturers on Friday 

As President Trump prepares to sell his tax plan to the nation’s manufacturing lobby on Friday, his best-laid tax plans have already drawn objections from some fellow Republicans who are fuming over the decision to end deductions for state and local income taxes.

The situation will pit the White House against members of Congress from states that pile high income taxes on top of what the federal government takes from paychecks.

High-income Californians, for instance, pay as much as 13.3 per cent of their income to the state in addition to their federal taxes. New Yorkers can pay up to 8.82 per cent.

Just seven U.S. states have no personal income taxes, including Texas, Florida and Nevada.

As President Trump pushes his tax plan, House Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady (right) says he'll listen to congressmen from states that would be affected most if citizens lose deductions for state and local income taxes

As President Trump pushes his tax plan, House Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady (right) says he’ll listen to congressmen from states that would be affected most if citizens lose deductions for state and local income taxes

State income tax rates vary widely; seven states (in gray) don't collect any, and the highest rates (dark blue) can go as high as 13.3 per cent

State income tax rates vary widely; seven states (in gray) don’t collect any, and the highest rates (dark blue) can go as high as 13.3 per cent

Under the Trump tax reform plan, a family earning $100,000 in Los Angeles pays about $6,000 in state and local income taxes. Losing the ability to deduct that expense would cost the hypothetical taxpayers around $1,800.

The GOP is working on a way to pacify legislators whose constituents would wind up paying more.

‘The members with concerns from high-tax states have to be accommodated,’ Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam told The Wall Street Journal. Roskam is a senior member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

‘So, you can imagine a soft landing on this that creative people are putting much time and energy into.’

The White House has shown no sign that it’s willing to budge on eliminating the deduction for state and local taxes since it would bring in about $1 trillion over a 10-year period.

With the prospect of persuading Democrats to go along with a new tax play already slim, the GOP will need every Republican vote it can get.

The Journal reports that the nine states whose citizens use the deduction, measured as a percentage of income, are represented by 33 House Republicans.

If Republicans lose more than 22 votes, Trump’s tax plan is effective dead.

Ways and Means member Peter Roskam, and Illinois Republican, says tax code-writers are finding a 'soft landing' for states that pay the most income tax to their local governments

Ways and Means member Peter Roskam, and Illinois Republican, says tax code-writers are finding a ‘soft landing’ for states that pay the most income tax to their local governments

White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn briefed the press at the White House on Thursday but wouldn't promise that every middle-class U.S. family would get a tax cut

White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn briefed the press at the White House on Thursday but wouldn’t promise that every middle-class U.S. family would get a tax cut

APRIL 13, 2016

High-income Americans pay most income taxes, but enough to be ‘fair’?

Corporations paying fewer taxes

Tax-deadline season isn’t many people’s favorite time of the year, but most Americans are OK with the amount of tax they pay. It’s what other people pay, or don’t pay, that bothers them.

Just over half (54%) of Americans surveyed in fall by Pew Research Center said they pay about the right amount in taxes considering what they get from the federal government, versus 40% who said they pay more than their fair share. But in a separate 2015 surveyby the Center, some six-in-ten Americans said they were bothered a lot by the feeling that “some wealthy people” and “some corporations” don’t pay their fair share.

It’s true that corporations are funding a smaller share of overall government operations than they used to. In fiscal 2015, the federal government collected $343.8 billion from corporate income taxes, or 10.6% of its total revenue. Back in the 1950s, corporate income tax generated between a quarter and a third of federal revenues (though payroll taxes have grown considerably over that period).

Nor have corporate tax receipts kept pace with the overall growth of the U.S. economy. Inflation-adjusted gross domestic product has risen 153% since 1980, while inflation-adjusted corporate tax receipts were 115% higher in fiscal 2015 than in fiscal 1980, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. There have been a lot of ups and downs over that period, as corporate tax receipts tend to rise during expansions and drop off in recessions. In fiscal 2007, for instance, corporate taxes hit $370.2 billion (in current dollars), only to plunge to $138.2 billion in 2009 as businesses felt the impact of the Great Recession.

Corporations also employ battalions of tax lawyers to find ways to reduce their tax bills, from running income through subsidiaries in low-tax foreign countries to moving overseas entirely, in what’s known as a corporate inversion (a practice the Treasury Department has moved to discourage).

But in Tax Land, the line between corporations and people can be fuzzy. While most major corporations (“C corporations” in tax lingo) pay according to the corporate tax laws, many other kinds of businesses – sole proprietorships, partnerships and closely held “S corporations” – fall under the individual income tax code, because their profits and losses are passed through to individuals. And by design, wealthier Americans pay most of the nation’s total individual income taxes.

Wealthy pay more in taxes than poorIn 2014, people with adjusted gross income, or AGI, above $250,000 paid just over half (51.6%) of all individual income taxes, though they accounted for only 2.7% of all returns filed, according to our analysis of preliminary IRS data. Their average tax rate (total taxes paid divided by cumulative AGI) was 25.7%. By contrast, people with incomes of less than $50,000 accounted for 62.3% of all individual returns filed, but they paid just 5.7% of total taxes. Their average tax rate was 4.3%.

The relative tax burdens borne by different income groups changes over time, due both to economic conditions and the constantly shifting provisions of tax law. For example, using more comprehensive IRS data covering tax years 2000 through 2011, we found that people who made between $100,000 and $200,000 paid 23.8% of the total tax liability in 2011, up from 18.8% in 2000. Filers in the $50,000-to-$75,000 group, on the other hand, paid 12% of the total liability in 2000 but only 9.1% in 2011. (The tax liability figures include a few taxes, such as self-employment tax and the “nanny tax,” that people typically pay along with their income taxes.)

All told, individual income taxes accounted for a little less than half (47.4%) of government revenue, a share that’s been roughly constant since World War II. The federal government collected $1.54 trillion from individual income taxes in fiscal 2015, making it the national government’s single-biggest revenue source. (Other sources of federal revenue include corporate income taxes, the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare, excise taxes such as those on gasoline and cigarettes, estate taxes, customs duties and payments from the Federal Reserve.) Until the 1940s, when the income tax was expanded to help fund the war effort, generally only the very wealthy paid it.

Since the 1970s, the segment of federal revenues that has grown the most is the payroll tax – those line items on your pay stub that go to pay for Social Security and Medicare. For most people, in fact, payroll taxes take a bigger bite out of their paycheck than federal income tax. Why? The 6.2% Social Security withholding tax only applies to wages up to $118,500. For example, a worker earning $40,000 will pay $2,480 (6.2%) in Social Security tax, but an executive earning $400,000 will pay $7,347 (6.2% of $118,500), for an effective rate of just 1.8%. By contrast, the 1.45% Medicare tax has no upper limit, and in fact high earners pay an extra 0.9%.

All but the top-earning 20% of American families pay more in payroll taxes than in federal income taxes, according to a Treasury Department analysis.

Still, that analysis confirms that, after all federal taxes are factored in, the U.S. tax system as a whole is progressive. The top 0.1% of families pay the equivalent of 39.2% and the bottom 20% have negative tax rates (that is, they get more money back from the government in the form of refundable tax credits than they pay in taxes).

Of course, people can and will differ on whether any of this constitutes a “fair” tax system. Depending on their politics and personal situations, some would argue for a more steeply progressive structure, others for a flatter one. Finding the right balance can be challenging to the point of impossibility: As Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV’s finance minister, is said to have remarked: “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.”

Note: This is an update of an earlier post published March 24, 2015.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/13/high-income-americans-pay-most-income-taxes-but-enough-to-be-fair/

Distrust of Senate grows within GOP

A day after the GOP presented a united front around the rollout of President Trump’s tax plan, House Republicans are expressing deep reservations about the Senate’s ability to get the job done.

Lawmakers stung over the failure to pass ObamaCare repeal worry the same fate could befall the tax measure if a handful of senators raise objections.

Donald Trump won with an electoral landside and his three big campaign points were ObamaCare repeal, tax reform and border security. For a handful of senators to derail that agenda is very frustrating,” said Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas).

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who is close to the House GOP leadership, says colleagues are frustrated with a handful of senators “overruling the will of the entire House.”

“We do need to see them step up and actually deliver for a change. We have over 200 bills sitting stalled over there. They haven’t been able to deliver on [health care] reform and they all ran on it and now we have a do-or-die moment on tax reform,” he said.

There’s also a sense among House Republicans that their Senate brethren aren’t under the same pressure to get results — perhaps because the GOP’s majority in the Senate is seen as safer in the 2018 midterm elections than the House majority.

“They put our majority in jeopardy with their failure on health care, more than they did their own,” Cole said.

While Republicans have a bigger majority in the House than in the Senate, the political map favors the Senate GOP in 2018.

Republicans only have to defend nine seats next year, and only one — held by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) — is in a state won by 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Democrats are defending more than 20 seats, including 10 in states won by Trump.

In the House, Republicans represent 23 districts carried by Clinton, just shy of what Democrats would need to win to take back the majority.

Republicans are excited about moving to tax reform, and Trump’s plan received enthusiastic support at a half-day private retreat the House GOP held Wednesday to review it.

The president’s proposals to eliminate the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax received ovations.

But the mood turned more somber when Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) stood up to ask if the Senate could be counted on to pass tax legislation, according to people familiar with the meeting.

A spokesman for Poliquin did not respond to a request for comment.

“A lot of House members trust a lot of senators to introduce their own tax reform bills,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), alluding to how senators seek to show independence by offering their own bills.

House Republicans say they can easily see GOP Sens. Susan Collins(Maine), John McCain (Ariz.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who all voted against a slimmed-down ObamaCare repeal bill in July, bucking the leadership again.SPONSORED BY NEXT ADVISOR

“I do not understand what motivates John McCain,” King said. “I don’t know what goes on in the minds of folks from Maine.”

Earlier this year, in an illustration of the frustration House Republicans hold for the Senate hold-outs, Farenthold joked about challenging Collins to a duel. He later apologized.

McCain later told The Hill that the health-care bill was doomed because it’s virtually impossible to tackle something as huge as reform as health care on a partisan basis.

“If you’re going to pass a major reform, you got to have bipartisan support,” he said.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is making the case that Senate Republicans are more likely to come through on tax reform because McConnell and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have already negotiated a tax reform framework with the administration and House leaders.

“What we did differently in this go around is we spent the last four months basically working together, the Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee and the White House, making sure that we’re on the same page,” Ryan told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday morning.

Ryan explained that leaders made sure they did “the hard lifting, the tough work ahead of schedule, ahead of rollout.”

But he also acknowledged that House Republicans have just about run out of patience with the Senate after the collapse of health care reform this week.

“We’re really frustrated. Look, we passed 373 bills here in the House — 270-some are still in the Senate,” he said.

Already there are doubts that Senate Republicans will stick to the plan on taxes.

Hatch, who heads the Senate’s tax writing panel, told reporters Thursday afternoon that he would like to keep in place the deduction for state and local taxes, which the administration wants to eliminate to provide revenue for lower rates.

A spokeswoman for the Finance Committee said, “Chairman Hatch recognizes that every major provision within the tax code has an important constituency and consequence.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/352999-distrust-of-senate-grows-within-gop

Key Findings

  • This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 23rd, 113 days into the year.
  • Tax Freedom Day is a significant date for taxpayers and lawmakers because it represents how long Americans as a whole have to work in order to pay the nation’s tax burden.
  • Americans will pay $3.5 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of more than $5.1 trillion, or 31 percent of the nation’s income.
  • Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2017 than they will on food, clothing, and housing combined.
  • If you include annual federal borrowing, which represents future taxes owed, Tax Freedom Day would occur 14 days later, on May 7.

What Is Tax Freedom Day?

Tax Freedom Day® is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for the year. Tax Freedom Day takes all federal, state, and local taxes—individual as well as payroll, sales and excise, corporate and property taxes—and divides them by the nation’s income. In 2017, Americans will pay $3.5 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total tax bill of $5.1 trillion, or 31 percent of national income. This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 23, 113 days into the year.

What Taxes Do We Pay?

This year, Americans will work the longest—46 days—to pay federal, state, and local individual income taxes. Payroll taxes will take 26 days to pay, followed by sales and excise taxes (15 days), corporate income taxes (10 days), and property taxes (10 days). The remaining six days are spent paying estate and inheritance taxes, customs duties, and other taxes.

When Is Tax Freedom Day if You Include Federal Borrowing?

Since 2002, federal expenses have surpassed federal revenues, with the budget deficit exceeding $1 trillion annually from 2009 to 2012. In calendar year 2017, the deficit is expected to shrink slightly, from $657 billion to $612 billion. If we include this annual federal borrowing, which represents future taxes owed, Tax Freedom Day would occur on May 7, 14 days later. The latest ever deficit-inclusive Tax Freedom Day occurred during World War II, on May 25, 1945.

When Is My State’s Tax Freedom Day?

The total tax burden borne by residents across states varies considerably due to differing tax policies and the progressivity of the federal tax system. This means that states with higher incomes and higher taxes celebrate Tax Freedom Day later: Connecticut (May 21), New Jersey (May 13), and New York (May 11). Residents of Mississippi bear the lowest average tax burden in 2017, with their Tax Freedom Day having arrived on April 5. Also early were Tennessee (April 7) and South Dakota (April 8).

2017 Tax Freedom Day - State Dates

How Has Tax Freedom Day Changed over Time?

The latest ever Tax Freedom Day was May 1, 2000; in that year, Americans paid 33 percent of their total income in taxes. A century earlier, in 1900, Americans paid only 5.9 percent of their income in taxes, so that Tax Freedom Day came on January 22.

Tax Freedom Day Over Time

Methodology

In the denominator, we count every dollar that is officially part of net national income according to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the numerator, we count every payment to the government that is officially considered a tax. Taxes at all levels of government—federal, state, and local—are included in the calculation. In calculating Tax Freedom Day for each state, we look at taxes borne by residents of that state, whether paid to the federal government, their own state or local governments, or governments of other states. Where possible, we allocate tax burdens to each taxpayer’s state of residence. Leap days are excluded, to allow comparison across years, and any fraction of a day is rounded up to the next calendar day

https://taxfoundation.org/publications/tax-freedom-day/

Feds Collect Record Taxes Through August; Still Run $673.7B Deficit

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 13, 2017 | 4:28 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) – The federal government collected record total tax revenues through the first eleven months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through the end of August), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Through August, the federal government collected approximately $2,966,172,000,000 in total tax revenues.

That was $8,450,680,000 more (in constant 2017 dollars) than the previous record of $2,957,721,320,000 in total tax revenues (in 2017 dollars) that the federal government collected in the first eleven months of fiscal 2016.

At the same time that the federal government was collecting a record $2,966,172,000,000 in tax revenues, it was spending $3,639,882,000,000—and, thus, running a deficit of $673,711,000,000.

Individual income taxes have provided the largest share (47.9 percent) of federal revenues so far this fiscal year. From Oct. 1 through the end of August, the Treasury collected $1,421,997,000,000 in individual income taxes.

Payroll taxes provided the second largest share (35.9 percent), with the Treasury collecting $1,065,751,000,000 in these taxes.

The $233,631 in corporate income taxes collected in the first eleven months of fiscal 2017 equaled only 8.6 percent of total tax collections.

The $21,172,000,000 collected in estate and gift taxes equaled only 0.71 percent of total taxes collected this fiscal year.

(Tax revenues were adjusted to constant 2017 using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.)

The Latest: State legislatures ‘dismayed’ by GOP tax plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Republican plan to overhaul the tax code (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

An organization that advocates for state legislatures says it’s “dismayed” the Republican tax cut proposal unveiled Wednesday would do away with a deduction for state and local taxes paid.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says the deduction has existed in the federal tax code since its inception. The group says “tens of millions of middle-class taxpayers of every political affiliation” would experience a greater tax burden if the deduction were eliminated.

The group says the deduction’s elimination will also impede states in their efforts to invest in education and other public services.

About a third of tax filers itemize deductions on their federal income tax returns. The Tax Policy Center says virtually all who do claim a deduction for state and local taxes paid.

___

4:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is issuing a warning shot to Indiana’s Democratic senator: Support my tax overhaul or I’ll campaign against you next year.

Trump says at a tax event in Indiana that if Sen. Joe Donnelly doesn’t approve the plan, “we will come here and we will campaign against him like you wouldn’t believe.”

But Trump is predicting that numerous Democrats will come across the aisle and support his plan “because it’s the right thing to do.”

The president has made overtures to Democratic senators like Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota in recent weeks. All three are facing re-election in 2018.

___

4 p.m.

Small business advocates are split over the draft of the new Republican tax plan.

The National Federation of Independent Business is praising the proposal to tax business income at 20 percent — including sole proprietors whose business income is taxed at individual rates up to 39.6 percent.

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council says the plan would simplify business taxes, encourage business investment and increase owners’ confidence.

But the Small Business Majority says the plan wouldn’t help most small companies, and the current top rate is paid by less than 2 percent of those businesses.

And John O’Neill, a tax analyst at the American Sustainable Business Council, says tax reform isn’t as useful to the economy as investing in infrastructure and education.

President Donald Trump is calling the current tax system a “relic” and a “colossal barrier” that’s standing in the way of the nation’s economic comeback.

Trump says at an event in Indianapolis that his tax proposal will help middle-class families save money and will eliminate loopholes that benefit the wealthy.

Trump says the wealthy “can call me all they want. It’s not going to help.” The billionaire president says he’s “doing the right thing. And it’s not good for me, believe me.”

The president says under his plan, “the vast majority of families will be able to file their taxes on a single sheet of paper.”

__

3:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is making the case for a sweeping plan to overhaul the tax system for individuals and corporations. He calls it a “once in a generation” opportunity to cut taxes.

The president says in Indiana that he wants to cut taxes for middle-class families to make the system simpler and fairer.

Trump says his tax plan will “bring back the jobs and the wealth that have left our country.” He says it’s time for the nation to fight for American workers.

He’s praising his vice president, Mike Pence, Indiana’s former governor. Trump says, “it’s time for Washington to learn from the wisdom of Indiana.”

__

2:52 p.m.

A budget watchdog group in Washington says the new GOP tax plan could cost $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget admits its estimate is very preliminary since so many details are unclear, but its take is that the plan contains about $5.8 trillion in tax cuts but only $3.6 trillion worth of offsetting tax increases. That $2.2 trillion would be added to the nation’s $20 trillion debt.

That’s more than the $1.5 trillion debt cost that has emerged in a deal among Senate Republicans.

Republicans controlling Congress initially promised that the overhaul of the tax code wouldn’t add to the debt. The group also notes that the $2.2 trillion cost could grow by another $500 billion when interest costs are added in.

_____

1:54 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’s always wanted to reduce the corporate tax rate to 20 percent — even though he said repeatedly he wanted to see it lowered to 15 percent.

Trump told reporters as he departed Washington for Indiana on Wednesday afternoon that a 20 percent rate was his “red line” and that it had always been his goal.

“In fact, I wanted to start at 15 so that we got 20,” he said, adding: “20′s my number.”

Trump also denies the plan unveiled by the White House and congressional Republicans Wednesday would benefit the wealthy.

He says: “I think there’s very little benefit for people of wealth.”

Under the plan, corporations would see their top tax rate cut from 35 percent to 20 percent.

____

1:37 p.m.

A vocal group of the most conservative House Republicans has come out in support of a draft tax plan endorsed by both President Donald Trump and top congressional GOP leaders.

The House Freedom Caucus endorsement is noteworthy because it could ease House passage of a budget plan that’s the first step to advancing the tax cut measure through Congress.

The group says the outline will allow workers to “keep more of their money,” while simplifying the loophole-choked tax code and making U.S. companies more competitive with their foreign rivals.

The group had held up action on the budget measure as they demanded more details on taxes.

_____

11:21 a.m.

President Donald Trump has two red lines that he refuses to cross on overhauling taxes: the corporate rate must be cut to 20 percent and the savings must go to the middle class.

Gary Cohn, the president’s top economics aide, says any overhaul signed by the president needs to include these two elements.

Trump had initially pushed for cutting the 39.6 percent corporate tax rate to 15 percent.

The administration says that the benefits of any tax cut will not favor the wealthy, with Cohn saying that an additional tax bracket could be added to levy taxes on the top one percent of earners if needed.

_____

11:20 a.m.

The Senate’s top Democrat is blasting a new tax cut plan backed by President Donald Trump as a giveaway to the rich.

Sen. Chuck Schumer says Trump’s plan only gives “crumbs” to the middle class, while top-bracket earners making more than a half-million dollars a year would reap a windfall.

The New York Democrat also blasted the plan for actually increasing the bottom tax rate from 10 percent to 12 percent, calling it a “punch to the gut of working Americans.”

Schumer said the plan is little more than an “across-the-board tax cut for America’s millionaires and billionaires.”

The plan, to be officially released Wednesday afternoon, is the top item on Washington’s agenda after the GOP failure to repeal the Obama health care law.

_____

9:53 a.m.

A new Republican blueprint for overhauling the U.S. tax code employs the themes of economic populism that President Donald Trump trumpeted during the presidential campaign to win support from working-class voters.

A copy of the plan to be released later Wednesday says, “Too many in our country are shut out of the dynamism of the U.S. economy.” That’s led to what the plans says is “the justifiable feeling that the system is rigged against hardworking Americans.”

The plan, obtained by The Associated Press, says the Trump administration and Congress “will work together to produce tax reform that will put America first.”

The GOP plan for the first major rewrite of the U.S. tax code in 30 years also says corporations will be stopped from shipping jobs and capital overseas.

_____

9:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are proposing a tax plan that they say will be simple and fair.

In a document obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, they outline a blueprint for almost doubling the standard deduction for married taxpayers filing jointly to $24,000, and $12,000 for individuals.

The plan calls for cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. The GOP proposal also calls for reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to three with a surcharge on the wealthiest Americans.

The plan also leaves intact the deduction for mortgage interest and charitable deductions.

The White House and Republicans plan a formal roll out later Wednesday.

__

4:26 a.m.

President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are rolling out a sweeping plan to cut taxes for individuals and corporations, simplify the tax system, and likely double the standard deduction used by most Americans.

Months in the making, the plan meets a political imperative for Republicans to deliver an overhaul of the U.S. tax code after the failure of the health care repeal.

The public reveal of the plan was set for Wednesday. The day before, details emerged on Capitol Hill while Trump personally appealed to House Republicans and Democrats at the White House to get behind his proposal.

https://apnews.com/f609602269d54524aa14e1d9c74ec97c

 

President Trump spoke about his administration’s tax reform plan in Indianapolis on Wednesday.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The tax plan that the Trump administration outlined on Wednesday is a potentially huge windfall for the wealthiest Americans. It would not directly benefit the bottom third of the population. As for the middle class, the benefits appear to be modest.

The administration and its congressional allies are proposing to sharply reduce taxation of business income, primarily benefiting the small share of the population that owns the vast majority of corporate equity. President Trump said on Wednesday that the cuts would increase investment and spur growth, creating broader prosperity. But experts say the upside is limited, not least because the economy is already expanding.

The plan would also benefit Mr. Trump and other affluent Americans by eliminating the estate tax, which affects just a few thousand uber-wealthy families each year, and the alternative minimum tax, a safety net designed to prevent tax avoidance.

The precise impact on Mr. Trump cannot be ascertained because the president refuses to release his tax returns, but the few snippets of returns that have become public show one thing clearly: The alternative minimum tax has been unkind to Mr. Trump. In 2005, it forced him to pay $31 million in additional taxes.

Mr. Trump has also pledged repeatedly that the plan would reduce the taxes paid by middle-class families, but he has not provided enough details to evaluate that claim. While some households would probably get tax cuts, others could end up paying more.

https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-10/html/container.html

The plan would not benefit lower-income households that do not pay federal income taxes. The president is not proposing measures like a reduction in payroll taxes, which are paid by a much larger share of workers, nor an increase in the earned-income tax credit, which would expand wage support for the working poor.

Indeed, to call the plan “tax reform” seems like a stretch — Mr. Trump himself told conservative and evangelical leaders on Monday that it was more apt to refer to his plan as “tax cuts.” Mr. Trump’s proposal echoes the large tax cuts that President Ronald Reagan, in 1981, and President George W. Bush, in 2001, passed in the first year of their terms, not the 1986 overhaul of the tax code that he often cites. Like his Republican predecessors, Mr. Trump says cutting taxes will increase economic growth.

Photo

The public portion of the debt equaled 24 percent of the gross domestic product in 1981 when President Ronald Reagan signed a tax cut at his vacation home near Santa Barbara, Calif. In June of this year, the debt equaled 75 percent of economic output. CreditAssociated Press

“It’s time to take care of our people, to rebuild our nation and to fight for our great American workers,” Mr. Trump told a crowd in Indianapolis.

But the moment is very different. Mr. Reagan and Mr. Bush cut taxes during recessions. Mr. Trump is proposing to cut taxes during one of the longest economic expansions in American history. It is not clear that the economy can grow much faster; the Federal Reserve has warned that it will seek to offset any stimulus by raising interest rates.

At the time of the earlier cuts, the federal debt was considerably smaller. The public portion of the debt equaled 24 percent of the gross domestic product in 1981, and 31 percent in 2001. In June, the debt equaled 75 percent of economic output.

The Trump administration insists that its tax cut will catalyze such an economic boom that money will flow into the federal coffers and the debt will not rise. The Reagan and Bush administrations made similar claims. The debt soared in both instances.

Another issue: Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Reagan proposed to cut taxes when federal revenues had climbed unusually high as a share of the national economy.

Mr. Trump wants to cut taxes while revenues are close to an average level.

Since 1981, federal revenue has averaged 17.1 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, while federal spending has averaged 20.3 percent.

Last year’s numbers were close to the long-term trend: Federal revenue was 17.5 percent of gross domestic product; spending was 20.7 percent.

Martin Feldstein, a Harvard University economics professor and a longtime adviser to Republican presidents, said that the moment was not perfect, but that Mr. Trump should nevertheless press ahead because the changes would be valuable.

“The debt is moving in the wrong direction,” Mr. Feldstein said. “But the tax reform is moving in the right direction.”

Proponents of the plan assert that the largest benefits are indirect. In particular, they argue that cutting corporate taxes will unleash economic growth.

Mr. Trump’s plan is more focused on business tax cuts than the Reagan and Bush plans, and economists agree that this makes economic gains more likely.

The key elements are large reductions in the tax rates for business income: To 20 percent for corporations, and to 25 percent for “pass-through” businesses, a broad category that includes everything from mom-and-pop neighborhood shops to giant investment partnerships, law firms — and real estate developers.

The plan also lets businesses immediately deduct the full cost of new investments.

“You’re going to get a boost in investment,” said William Gale, co-director of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. “It’s hard to argue that there won’t be a positive effect.”

But Mr. Gale added that there are reasons to think it would be modest.

The most important is that the economy is already growing at a faster pace than the Fed considers sustainable. “Economy roaring,” Mr. Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

Photo

After President George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cuts, the wealthiest Americans paid 34.7 percent of their income in taxes, while Americans in the middle income brackets paid 16.1 percent. CreditRon Edmonds/Associated Press

Also, interest rates are low, and nonfinancial companies are sitting on $1.84 trillion that they don’t want to spend. “It’s not lack of funds that’s stopping companies from investing,” Mr. Gale said.

And the stimulus would come at the cost of increased federal borrowing. Interest rates might not rise if foreigners provide the necessary money, as happened in the 1980s and the 2000s, but that means some of the benefits also end up abroad.

It’s a venerable principle that lower tax rates encourage corporate investment. But a study of a 2003 cut in the tax rate on corporate dividendsfound no discernible impact on investment. The finding would not have surprised Mr. Bush’s Treasury secretary at the time, Paul O’Neill, who was fired for opposing the plan. “You find somebody who says, ‘I do more R & D because I get a tax credit for it,’ you’ll find a fool,” Mr. O’Neill, a former Alcoa chairman, said at the time.

Mr. Trump’s plan also continues a long-term march away from progressive taxation. The federal income tax is the centerpiece of a longstanding bipartisan consensus that wealthy Americans should pay an outsize share of the cost of government.

But successive rounds of tax cuts have eroded that premise, according to research by the economists Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics and Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley. In 1980, the wealthiest Americans paid 59 percent of their income in taxes while the middle 20 percent of Americans paid 24.5 percent. After the Bush tax cuts, the wealthiest Americans paid 34.7 percent of their income in taxes, while Americans in the middle income brackets paid 16.1 percent.

Under President Barack Obama, Congress increased taxation of upper-income households. Mr. Trump is seeking to resume the long-term trend toward flattening the curve. Upper-income households would get large tax cuts; lower-income households would get none.

The exact impact on the middle class is not yet clear. The outline released Wednesday proposes new tax brackets but does not specify income thresholds. It also proposes to replace the current tax deduction for each dependent with a child tax credit — but the administration did not propose a dollar amount for that new credit.

 

The administration said Wednesday that it was committed “to ensure that the reformed tax code is at least as progressive as the existing tax code.” That language, however, applies only to personal income taxes. The proposed reduction of business taxes and the elimination of the estate tax would both disproportionately benefit wealthy Americans.

“I don’t think there’s any way to justify this as a progressive proposal,” said Lily Batchelder, a law professor at New York University who served as deputy director of Mr. Obama’s National Economic Council. “In broad brush strokes, they’re doing nothing for the bottom 35 percent, they’re doing very little and possibly raising taxes on the middle class, and they’ve specified tax cuts for the wealthy.”

 

Tax reform: Trump, GOP mull surcharge on wealthy, doubling standard deduction

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with members of the House Ways and Means committee in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)(<cite>Evan Vucci</cite>)
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with members of the House Ways and Means committee in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)(Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are considering an income tax surcharge on the wealthy and doubling the standard deduction given to most Americans, with the GOP under pressure to overhaul the tax code after the collapse of the health care repeal.

On the eve of the grand rollout of the plan, details emerged on Capitol Hill on Tuesday while Trump personally appealed to House Republicans and Democrats at the White House to get behind his proposal.

“We will cut taxes tremendously for the middle class. Not just a little bit but tremendously,” Trump said as he met with members of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. He predicted jobs “will be coming back in because we have a non-competitive tax structure right now and we’re going to go super competitive.”

Among the details: repeal of the tax on multimillion-dollar estates, a reduction in the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and potentially four tax brackets, down from the current seven. The current top rate for individuals, those earning more than $418,000 a year, is 39.6 percent.

The goal is a more simple tax code that would spur economic growth and make U.S. companies more competitive. Delivering on the top legislative goal will be crucial for Republicans intent on holding onto their majorities in next year’s midterm elections.

The tax overhaul plan assembled by the White House and GOP leaders, which would slash the rate for corporations, aims at the first major revamp of the tax system in three decades. It would deliver a major Trump campaign pledge.

The outlines of the plan were described by GOP officials who demanded anonymity to disclose private deliberations.

The plan would likely cut the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. A new surcharge on wealthy taxpayers might soften the appearance of the wealthiest Americans and big corporations benefiting from generous tax cuts.

Republicans already were picking at the framework, pointing up how divisions within GOP ranks can complicate efforts to overhaul taxes as has happened with the series of moves to repeal the Obama health care law.

Details of the proposal crafted behind closed doors over months by top White House economic officials, GOP congressional leaders and the Republican heads of tax-writing panels in the House and Senate were set to be released Wednesday. Trump and the Republicans were putting the final touches on the plan when the Democrats were brought in. A senior Democrat saw it as the opening of negotiations.

Trump had previously said he wanted a 15 percent rate for corporations, but House Speaker Paul Ryan has called that impractically low and has said it would risk adding to the soaring $20 trillion national debt.

Trump said Tuesday some of the components included doubling the standard deduction used by families and increasing the child tax credit. He said the majority of Americans would be able to file their taxes on a single page. “We must make our tax code simple and fair. It’s too complicated,” Trump said.

Some conservative GOP lawmakers, meanwhile, dug their heels in on the shape of the plan.

Rep. Mark Meadows, head of the House Freedom Caucus, said he’d vote against tax legislation if it provided for a corporate tax rate over 20 percent, a rate for small businesses higher than 25 percent, or if it fails to call for a doubling of the standard deduction.

“That’s the red line for me,” Meadows said at a forum of conservative lawmakers. He noted he was speaking personally, not as head of the conservative grouping.

Disgruntlement came from Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., over the process of putting together the plan.

“I get that we want to move to 3 percent but I’d like to know how,” Kennedy said referring to Trump’s ambitious goal of annual growth in the economy through tax cuts. “I’m not much into all the secrecy,” he said. “We need to do this by November, and at the rate we’re going I’m not encouraged right now.”

The Democrats, while acknowledging the tax system should be simplified, have insisted that any tax relief should go to the middle class, not the wealthiest. Tax cuts shouldn’t add to the ballooning debt, the Democrats say.

Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, came away from the White House meeting in a negotiating mood. “This is when the process gets kicked off,” Neal told reporters at the Capitol.

The rate for wealthiest taxpayers shouldn’t be reduced, he said. Democrats are concerned by indications from Trump and his officials that “they intend to offer tax relief to people at the top,” he said.

Still, there may be room to negotiate over the Republicans’ insistence on repealing the estate tax, Neal indicated, since “there are other things you can do with it” to revise it short of complete elimination.

http://www.syracuse.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/09/tax_reform_trump_gop_mull_surcharge_on_wealthy_doubling_standard_deduction.html

9 ways Trump’s tax plan is a gift to the rich, including himself

President Trump and congressional Republicans keep saying their tax plan doesn’t help the rich. But that’s not true.

The nine-page outline released Wednesday is full of goodies that will make millionaires and billionaires happy. Republicans say it’s a starting point, but it would have to be turned on its head to be anything other than a windfall for the wealthy. In fact, in nine pages, The Washington Post counts at least nine ways the wealthy benefit, including Trump himself. Here’s our list:

1) A straight-up tax cut for the rich. The top tax rate in the United States is 39.6 percent. Trump and GOP leaders propose lowering that to 35 percent. It’s also worth noting the 39.6 percent tax rate applies only to income above $418,400 for singles and $470,700 for married couples. The outline doesn’t specify what income level the new 35 percent rate would kick in at. It’s possible the rich will get an every bigger tax cut if the final plan raises that threshold.

2) The estate tax goes bye-bye. Trump likes to call the estate tax the “death tax.” At the moment, Americans who pass money, homes or other assets on to heirs when they die pay a 40 percent tax. But here’s the important part Trump leaves out: The only people who have to pay this tax are those passing on more than $5.49 million. (And a married couple can inherit nearly $11 million without paying the tax.)

September 28 at 12:45 PM

Trump frequently claims the estate tax hurts farmers and small-business owners. But as The Post’s Fact Checker team points out, only 5,500 estates will pay any estate tax at all in 2017 (out of about 3 million estates). And of those 5,500 hit with the tax, only 80 (yes, you read that right) are farms or small businesses.

3) Hedge funds and lawyers get a special tax break. The plan calls for the tax rate on “pass-through entities” to fall from 39.6 percent to 25 percent. Republicans claim this is a tax break for small-business owners because “pass-through entities” is an umbrella term that covers the ways most people set up businesses: sole proprietorships, partnerships and S corporations. But the reality is, most small-business owners (more than 85 percent) already pay a tax rate of 25 percent or less, according to the Brookings Institution.

Only 3 percent pay a rate greater than 30 percent. That 3 percent includes doctors, lawyers, hedge fund managers and other really well-off people. Instead of paying a 35 percent income tax, these rich business owners would be able to pass off their income as business income and pay only a 25 percent tax rate. (The tax outline released Wednesday “contemplates” that Congress “will adopt measures to prevent” this kind of tax dodging. But there’s no guarantee that will happen).

4) The AMT is over. Republicans want to kill the alternative minimum tax, a measure put in place in 1969 to ensure the wealthy aren’t using a bunch of loopholes and credits to lower their tax bills to paltry sums. The AMT starts to phase in for people with earnings of about $130,000, but the vast majority of people subject to the AMT earn over $500,000, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

Trump himself would benefit from repealing the AMT. As The Post’s Fact Checker team notes, Trump’s leaked tax return from 2005 shows that the AMT increased his tax bill from about $5.3 million to $36.5 million. In 2005 alone, he potentially could have saved $31 million.

5) The wealthy get to keep deducting mortgage interest. Only about 1 in 4 taxpayers claims the mortgage interest deduction, the Brookings Institution says. “Upper-income households primarily benefit from the subsidy,” wrote Brookings scholar Bruce Katz in a report last year. In fact, the wealthy can deduct interest payments on mortgages worth up to $1 million. There have been many calls over the years to lower that threshold, but the Trump tax plan is keeping it in place.

The GOP is doing this even though the tax cuts would add to the United States’ debt, since it doesn’t raise enough revenue to offset all the money lost from the new tax breaks. The outline also calls for the charitable deduction to stay, another deduction used heavily by the top 1 percent.

6) Stockholders are going to be very happy. Trump is calling for a super-low tax rate on the money big businesses such as Apple and Microsoft bring back to the United States from overseas, a process known as “repatriation.” Trump argues companies will use all this money coming home to build new U.S. factories. But the last time the United States did this, in the early 2000s, it ended up being a big win for people who own stocks. Companies simply took most of the money and gave it to shareholders in the form of dividends and share buybacks.

Guess what? Just about everyone (outside the White House) predicts the same thing will happen again. Corporations are even admitting it.

7) The favorite tax break of hedge fund billionaires is still safe. There’s no mention in the tax-overhaul rubric of “carried interest.” Those two words make most people’s eyes glaze over, but they are a well-known tax-dodging trick for millionaires and billionaires on Wall Street. Hedge fund and private-equity managers earn most of their money from their investments doing well. But instead of paying income taxes on all that money at a rate of 39.6 percent, the managers are able to claim it as “carried interest” so they can pay tax at the low capital gains rate of 20 percent.

Trump called this totally unfair on the campaign trail. During the primaries, he said he would eliminate this loophole because hedge fund managers were “getting away with murder.” But that change didn’t end up in the GOP plan.

8) Capital gains taxes stay low. The nine-page document also says nothing about capital gains, the tax rate people pay when they finally sell a stock or asset after holding on to it for many years. At the moment, the wealthiest Americans pay a 20 percent capital gains rate. Trump and Republican leaders aren’t proposing any changes to that, even though it is a popular way for millionaires to lower their tax bill.

9) The Obamacare investment tax goes away. The Affordable Care Act put in place a 3.8 percent surcharge on investment income (known formally as the Net Investment Income Tax). It applies only to individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and married couples earning more than $250,000. There’s no mention of this tax in the outline released this week, but Republicans clearly want to get rid of it. Repealing it was part of the GOP health-care bills that failed to pass Congress in recent weeks. One way or another, Republicans are likely to roll back this tax.

When reporters asked Trump whether the tax plan would help him personally, he quickly said no.

“No, I don’t benefit. I don’t benefit,” Trump said. “In fact, very, very strongly, as you see, I think there’s very little benefit for people of wealth.”

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), who was part of the team that worked with the White House to craft the tax-overhaul outline, was asked a similar question on Fox News. He, too, said this plan does little to help the rich.

“I think those who benefit most are middle-class families struggling to keep every dollar they earn,” Brady told Fox News.

But one look at this plan tells a very different story. It gives an outright tax cut to the wealthiest Americans and it preserves almost all of the most popular loopholes they use to reduce their tax bills.

Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), a strong proponent of tax cuts, was more straightforward this week. He told reporters, “This is a supply-side approach,” another way of saying trickle-down economics.

Read more:

The GOP tax plan, explained in simplest possible terms

Fact-checking President Trump’s tax speech in Indianapolis

The one surefire way to grow your wealth in the U.S.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/09/28/9-ways-trumps-tax-plan-is-a-gift-to-the-rich-including-himself/?utm_term=.bb9dafe36550

The GOP tax plan, explained in simplest possible terms

The big tax code makeover President Trump and Republicans have been promising for months is finally out.

It’s nine pages long. That may sound like a lengthy document, but the final bill in Congress will be hundreds of pages. What the White House released today is a framework. It’s a summary of what top Trump officials and congressional Republican leaders have agreed to so far. The Trump administration says it’s the job of Congress to flesh out the specifics.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • The plan will likely add to America’s $20 trillion debt. There are lots of tax cuts spelled out. There are almost no loopholes eliminated.
  • The rich make out pretty well. The White House vows poor people won’t have to pay more than they do now, but there are few specifics in the plan so far to ensure that.
  • Businesses (both small and large) get major tax cuts.
  • Most people will pay lower taxes, although it’s unclear if the rich get a bigger break than the middle class.
  • There are still a lot of details Congress has to figure out.

What’s in there for the rich?
The wealthy get a tax cut. They will pay only 35 percent on their income taxes (down from 39.6 percent). At the moment, this rate applies to any income above about $418,000. It’s unclear if Congress will tinker with the income level that rate kicks in at. Trump says he would be fine with Congress raising taxes on the rich in the final plan, but he isn’t requiring that they do that.

The bigger tax break for the rich is the elimination of the estate tax, sometimes called the “death tax.” It’s the tax families currently pay when an asset like a house or ranch worth over $5.49 million is passed down to a heir after someone dies. Trump’s plan scraps this tax entirely.

What’s in there for the middle class?
This is the giant question mark. There’s a lot of details left for Congress to fill out. Under the plan, America will have just three tax rates: 35, 25 and 12 percent, but we don’t know yet which rate someone earning $50,000 or $80,000 will pay.

What we do know is the standard deduction (currently $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for married couples) will nearly double. This means that a married couple earning $24,000 or less or an individual earning $12,000 or less won’t pay any taxes. But the plan also eliminates what’s known as the additional standard deduction and the popular personal exemption. Some filers may end up worse off after these changes.

The plan also promises a “significant increase” to the child tax credit (it’s currently $1,000 per child) and that middle class Americans can keep using the mortgage interest deduction as well as tax breaks for retirement savings (e.g. 401ks) and higher education. But it eliminates the state and local tax deduction, which is used by many in high-tax states like New York and California.

Can I really file my taxes on a postcard?
The “file on a postcard” idea was an exaggeration. The goal now is to get most people’s tax returns down to one page.

What about the working poor?
A senior White House official told journalists Tuesday, “We are committed to making the tax code at least as progressive as the current tax code.” Translation: The poor should not end up paying more than they do now. But it’s hard to check if that’s true because we still don’t have enough details.

In theory, increasing the standard deduction should mean that more Americans pay $0 in taxes, but it depends what happens to a lot of other tax provisions (and whether Congress ends up cutting safety net programs that help the poor to pay for tax cuts). Top Republican officials have not decided what to do with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is widely used by the working poor to help them reduce their tax bill and even get a small amount of money back from the government.

What happens to the Alternative Minimum Tax?
The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) would go away under the plan. It currently applies mainly to individuals earning more than $130,000 and married couples earning more than $160,00. It was created in the 1970s to prevent wealthier families from taking so many tax breaks that they end up paying little to no taxes, but over the years, the AMT has impacted more and more families.

What happens to big businesses?
America’s large corporations will get a big tax cut. The top rate at the moment is 35 percent, one of the highest rates among developed nations. Most U.S. companies don’t pay that rate, but it is still a starting point. The Trump plan slashes the rate to 20 percent, just below the average of major developed countries the U.S. competes against.

The White House and Congress promised to close some loopholes that businesses currently enjoy, but no one is saying what those are yet. In fact, the only details we have show MORE business goodies, not less. The plan calls for businesses to be able to write off their investments (e.g. the cost of building a new factory) right away instead of crediting a little bit each year for several years. This is supposed to encourage companies to invest more, which will hopefully create more jobs.

What happens to small businesses?
Small businesses also get a tax cut under the plan. At the moment, many small business owners pay whatever their personal income tax rate is, so some end up paying as much as 39.6 percent. Under this plan, most “pass throughs” (code for small businesses) would pay at the 25 percent rate (the exception is if a small businesses earned very little income, they might be able to pay at the 12 percent rate).

There’s concern some rich people, especially hedge fund managers and consultants to the stars, will simply use this as a way to lower their tax bill. Instead of paying at the new 35 percent top income tax rate, they could say all their income is small business income and pay at the 25 percent rate. Trump has promised to fix that problem, but no one is sure how.

How will this plan help growth?
Trump’s big claim is that this tax overhaul will unleash economic growth. The United States has been growing at about 2 percent a year lately, below the historic norm. Trump keeps saying this plan will unleash growth of 3 percent — or more.

Economists, even those who work at Wall Street banks and for big companies, only project a modest boost to growth. Estimates range from 2.1 percent to 2.25 percent.

How much will this add to the debt?
Originally, Republican leaders said they would not add $1 to America’s debt, but that promise appears to be gone. The White House says it will go along with whatever price tag Congress allows. Right now, Senate Republicans have a deal to add $1.5 trillion to the debt over the next decade, so there’s a good chance this tax plan will add to the debt.

What are the pitfalls?
There’s a ton we don’t know yet. Many on the left are concerned this plan gives away too much to the rich and big businesses. Many across the political spectrum are alarmed that it will likely add to America’s already large debt.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/09/27/the-gop-tax-plan-explained-in-simplest-possible-terms/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.4de9a2bfc9ce

Some tax breaks are for the rich.
Others for the poor. Which are for you?

The Republican tax reform plan is finally out – you can read the full document here. The framework touches on many parts of the tax code, but two critical areas are tax deductions and credits. These reduce how much taxpayers owe, but they affect income groups differently. How could the proposed changes to these policies affect your taxes?

Most beneficial tax deductions and exemptions, 2015

Deductions and exemptions reduce your tax bill by decreasing your taxable income.

Other deductionsState and local taxesCharitable contributionsReal estate taxesEmployee business expensesMedical/dental expensesHome mortgage interestStandard deductionPersonal and dependent exemptions$10,000$25,000$50,000$100,000$500,000Lower incomeHigher income$30,000 to $40,000
DEDUCTION MEAN DEDUCTION*
Personal and dependent exemptions (?) $7,700
Standard deduction (?) $7,100
Home mortgage interest (?) $700
Medical/dental expenses (?) $500
Employee business expenses (?) $400
Real estate taxes (?) $400
Charitable contributions (?) $300
State and local taxes (?) $200
Other deductions $200

* Mean deduction is the total deduction amount received by the income group divided by the number of returns in that group, including those that did not receive the deduction.

Note: Returns for those filing singly and those filing jointly or in other categories are lumped together. Tax returns cannot claim both the standard deductions and itemized deductions. Total deductions and exemptions can exceed adjusted gross income, but the excess does not affect taxes owed, as taxable income cannot drop below zero.

Taxpayers – except the highest earners – are currently eligible for tax “exemptions” to reduce their taxable income. In 2016, Americans could take a $4,050 personal exemption from their income (double if filing as a married couple), and then get additional exemptions for dependents.

After exemptions taxpayers can further reduce their taxable income by taking tax deductions. 69 percent of taxpayers in 2015 took the “standard deduction,” a fixed amount that is currently $6,300 for (most) taxpayers filing singly.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/politics/tax-breaks/?utm_term=.09de159b6eeb

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The remaining taxpayers – mostly in higher income groups – “itemized” their tax returns, meaning they chose to take advantage of more specific tax deductions based on their expenses. The deductions came out to more than they would have gotten through the standard deduction.

Here’s what the Republican’s tax reform framework would change about deductions:

  • Republicans want to nearly double the standard deduction to $12,000 for those filing singly and $24,000 for those filing jointly. At the same time, the framework calls for the repeal of exemptions, consolidating these different parts of the tax system.
  • The framework aims to simplify the tax code by gutting many itemized deductions, although charitable contributions and mortgage interestwould be retained. That makes the state and local taxes deduction (SALT) a major target. SALT lets you deduct state and local income or sales taxes you owe from your federal taxable income and largely benefits blue states with higher taxes.

Most beneficial tax credits, 2015

Tax credits are subtracted directly from taxes owed.

Prior-year minimum tax creditGeneral business creditResidential energy creditsForeign tax creditChild care creditOther creditsAmerican opportunity creditNonrefundable education creditChild tax creditAdditional child tax creditEarned income credit$10,000$25,000$50,000$100,000$500,000Lower incomeHigher income$30,000 to $40,000
CREDIT MEAN CREDIT*
Earned income credit (?) $500
Additional child tax credit (?) $300
Child tax credit (?) $200
Nonrefundable education credit (?) $100
American opportunity credit (?) $100
Other credits $0
Child care credit (?) $0
Foreign tax credit (?) $0
Residential energy credits (?) $0
General business credit (?) $0
Prior-year minimum tax credit (?) $0

* Mean credit is the total credit amount received by the income group divided by the number of returns in that group, including those that did not receive the credit.

Note: Returns for those filing singly and those filing jointly or in other categories are lumped together.

Credits can reduce federal income taxes owed down to zero, but “refundable” credits can reduce them even more, allowing some taxpayers to receive a net gain from the federal government after filing.

Here’s what the Republican’s tax reform framework would change about credits:

  • The plan calls for an expansion of the child tax credit, increasing its value from the current $1,000 max and making it available to more income groups. The framework also proposes an additional $500 non-refundable credit for “non-child dependents.”
  • Like with deductions, the framework calls for the repeal of “numerous other” credits to simplify the tax code but does not specify which policies will be targeted.

Just part of the picture

Of course, the tax policies we’re looking at above are just part of U.S. federal tax code. Actual income tax rates are central to tax reform proposals; the Republican tax reform framework would reduce the seven income brackets currently used to just three, lowering rates for many but increasing them for some in the lowest bracket. It also calls for the repeal of the estate tax.

The plan also proposes a large decrease in the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, among many other changes to the business tax code.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/politics/tax-breaks/?utm_term=.09de159b6eeb

The Internal Revenue Service has recently released new data on individual income taxes for calendar year 2014, showing the number of taxpayers, adjusted gross income, and income tax shares by income percentiles.[1]

The data demonstrates that the U.S. individual income tax continues to be very progressive, borne mainly by the highest income earners.

  • In 2014, 139.6 million taxpayers reported earning $9.71 trillion in adjusted gross income and paid $1.37 trillion in individual income taxes.
  • The share of income earned by the top 1 percent of taxpayers rose to 20.6 percent in 2014. Their share of federal individual income taxes also rose, to 39.5 percent.
  • In 2014, the top 50 percent of all taxpayers paid 97.3 percent of all individual income taxes while the bottom 50 percent paid the remaining 2.7 percent.
  • The top 1 percent paid a greater share of individual income taxes (39.5 percent) than the bottom 90 percent combined (29.1 percent).
  • The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid a 27.1 percent individual income tax rate, which is more than seven times higher than taxpayers in the bottom 50 percent (3.5 percent).

Reported Income and Taxes Paid Both Increased Significantly in 2014

Taxpayers reported $9.71 trillion in adjusted gross income (AGI) on 139.5 million tax returns in 2014. Total AGI grew by $675 billion from the previous year’s levels. There were 1.2 million more returns filed in 2014 than in 2013, meaning that average AGI rose by $4,252 per return, or 6.5 percent.

Meanwhile, taxpayers paid $1.37 trillion in individual income taxes in 2014, an 11.5 percent increase from taxes paid in the previous year. The average individual income tax rate for all taxpayers rose from 13.64 percent to 14.16 percent. Moreover, the average tax rate increased for all income groups, except for the top 0.1 percent of taxpayers, whose average rate decreased from 27.91 percent to 27.67 percent.

The most likely explanation behind the higher tax rates in 2014 is a phenomenon known as “real bracket creep.” [2] As incomes rise, households are pushed into higher tax brackets, and are subject to higher overall tax rates on their income. On the other hand, the likely reason why the top 0.1 percent of households saw a slightly lower tax rate in 2014 is because a higher portion of their income consisted of long-term capital gains, which are subject to lower tax rates.[3]

The share of income earned by the top 1 percent rose to 20.58 percent of total AGI, up from 19.04 percent in 2013. The share of the income tax burden for the top 1 percent also rose, from 37.80 percent in 2013 to 39.48 percent in 2014.

Top 1% Top 5% Top 10% Top 25% Top 50% Bottom 50% All Taxpayers
Table 1. Summary of Federal Income Tax Data, 2014
Number of Returns 1,395,620 6,978,102 13,956,203 34,890,509 69,781,017 69,781,017 139,562,034
Adjusted Gross Income ($ millions) $1,997,819 $3,490,867 $4,583,416 $6,690,287 $8,614,544 $1,094,119 $9,708,663
Share of Total Adjusted Gross Income 20.58% 35.96% 47.21% 68.91% 88.73% 11.27% 100.00%
Income Taxes Paid ($ millions) $542,640 $824,153 $974,124 $1,192,679 $1,336,637 $37,740 $1,374,379
Share of Total Income Taxes Paid 39.48% 59.97% 70.88% 86.78% 97.25% 2.75% 100.00%
Income Split Point $465,626 $188,996 $133,445 $77,714 $38,173
Average Tax Rate 27.16% 23.61% 21.25% 17.83% 15.52% 3.45% 14.16%
 Note: Does not include dependent filers

High-Income Americans Paid the Majority of Federal Taxes

In 2014, the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers (those with AGIs below $38,173) earned 11.27 percent of total AGI. This group of taxpayers paid approximately $38 billion in taxes, or 2.75 percent of all income taxes in 2014.

In contrast, the top 1 percent of all taxpayers (taxpayers with AGIs of $465,626 and above) earned 20.58 percent of all AGI in 2014, but paid 39.48 percent of all federal income taxes.

In 2014, the top 1 percent of taxpayers accounted for more income taxes paid than the bottom 90 percent combined. The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid $543 billion, or 39.48 percent of all income taxes, while the bottom 90 percent paid $400 billion, or 29.12 percent of all income taxes.

Figure 1.

High-Income Taxpayers Pay the Highest Average Tax Rates

The 2014 IRS data shows that taxpayers with higher incomes pay much higher average individual income tax rates than lower-income taxpayers.[4]

The bottom 50 percent of taxpayers (taxpayers with AGIs below $38,173) faced an average income tax rate of 3.45 percent. As household income increases, the IRS data shows that average income tax rates rise. For example, taxpayers with AGIs between the 10th and 5th percentile ($133,445 and $188,996) pay an average rate of 13.7 percent – almost four times the rate paid by those in the bottom 50 percent.

The top 1 percent of taxpayers (AGI of $465,626 and above) paid the highest effective income tax rate, at 27.2 percent, 7.9 times the rate faced by the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers.

Figure 2.

Taxpayers at the very top of the income distribution, the top 0.1 percent (with AGIs over $2.14 million), paid an even higher average tax rate, of 27.7 percent.

573 $442 $1,015 $458 $1,473 $318
1982 $1,876 $167 $398 $207 $605 $460 $1,065 $478 $1,544 $332
1983 $1,970 $183 $428 $217 $646 $481 $1,127 $498 $1,625 $344
1984 $2,173 $210 $482 $240 $723 $528 $1,251 $543 $1,794 $379
1985 $2,344 $235 $531 $260 $791 $567 $1,359 $580 $1,939 $405
1986 $2,524 $285 $608 $278 $887 $604 $1,490 $613 $2,104 $421
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 $2,814 $347 $722 $316 $1,038 $671 $1,709 $664 $2,374 $440
1988 $3,124 $474 $891 $342 $1,233 $718 $1,951 $707 $2,658 $466
1989 $3,299 $468 $918 $368 $1,287 $768 $2,054 $751 $2,805 $494
1990 $3,451 $483 $953 $385 $1,338 $806 $2,144 $788 $2,933 $519
1991 $3,516 $457 $943 $400 $1,343 $832 $2,175 $809 $2,984 $532
1992 $3,681 $524 $1,031 $413 $1,444 $856 $2,299 $832 $3,131 $549
1993 $3,776 $521 $1,048 $426 $1,474 $883 $2,358 $854 $3,212 $563
1994 $3,961 $547 $1,103 $449 $1,552 $929 $2,481 $890 $3,371 $590
1995 $4,245 $620 $1,223 $482 $1,705 $985 $2,690 $938 $3,628 $617
1996 $4,591 $737 $1,394 $515 $1,909 $1,043 $2,953 $992 $3,944 $646
1997 $5,023 $873 $1,597 $554 $2,151 $1,116 $3,268 $1,060 $4,328 $695
1998 $5,469 $1,010 $1,797 $597 $2,394 $1,196 $3,590 $1,132 $4,721 $748
1999 $5,909 $1,153 $2,012 $641 $2,653 $1,274 $3,927 $1,199 $5,126 $783
2000 $6,424 $1,337 $2,267 $688 $2,955 $1,358 $4,314 $1,276 $5,590 $834
The IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 $6,116 $492 $1,065 $1,934 $666 $2,600 $1,334 $3,933 $1,302 $5,235 $881
2002 $5,982 $421 $960 $1,812 $660 $2,472 $1,339 $3,812 $1,303 $5,115 $867
2003 $6,157 $466 $1,030 $1,908 $679 $2,587 $1,375 $3,962 $1,325 $5,287 $870
2004 $6,735 $615 $1,279 $2,243 $725 $2,968 $1,455 $4,423 $1,403 $5,826 $908
2005 $7,366 $784 $1,561 $2,623 $778 $3,401 $1,540 $4,940 $1,473 $6,413 $953
2006 $7,970 $895 $1,761 $2,918 $841 $3,760 $1,652 $5,412 $1,568 $6,980 $990
2007 $8,622 $1,030 $1,971 $3,223 $905 $4,128 $1,770 $5,898 $1,673 $7,571 $1,051
2008 $8,206 $826 $1,657 $2,868 $905 $3,773 $1,782 $5,555 $1,673 $7,228 $978
2009 $7,579 $602 $1,305 $2,439 $878 $3,317 $1,740 $5,058 $1,620 $6,678 $900
2010 $8,040 $743 $1,517 $2,716 $915 $3,631 $1,800 $5,431 $1,665 $7,096 $944
2011 $8,317 $737 $1,556 $2,819 $956 $3,775 $1,866 $5,641 $1,716 $7,357 $961
2012 $9,042 $1,017 $1,977 $3,331 $997 $4,328 $1,934 $6,262 $1,776 $8,038 $1,004
2013 $9,034 $816 $1,720 $3,109 $1,034 $4,143 $2,008 $6,152 $1,844 $7,996 $1,038
2014 $9,709 $986 $1,998 $3,491 $1,093 $4,583 $2,107 $6,690 $1,924 $8,615 $1,094
Year Total Top 0.1% Top 1% Top 5% Between 5% & 10% Top 10% Between 10% & 25% Top 25% Between 25% & 50% Top 50% Bottom 50%
Table 4. Total Income Tax after Credits, 1980–2014 ($Billions)
Source: Internal Revenue Service.
1980 $249 $47 $92 $31 $123 $59 $182 $50 $232 $18
1981 $282 $50 $99 $36 $135 $69 $204 $57 $261 $21
1982 $276 $53 $100 $34 $134 $66 $200 $56 $256 $20
1983 $272 $55 $101 $34 $135 $64 $199 $54 $252 $19
1984 $297 $63 $113 $37 $150 $68 $219 $57 $276 $22
1985 $322 $70 $125 $41 $166 $73 $238 $60 $299 $23
1986 $367 $94 $156 $44 $201 $78 $279 $64 $343 $24
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 $369 $92 $160 $46 $205 $79 $284 $63 $347 $22
1988 $413 $114 $188 $48 $236 $85 $321 $68 $389 $24
1989 $433 $109 $190 $51 $241 $93 $334 $73 $408 $25
1990 $447 $112 $195 $52 $248 $97 $344 $77 $421 $26
1991 $448 $111 $194 $56 $250 $96 $347 $77 $424 $25
1992 $476 $131 $218 $58 $276 $97 $374 $78 $452 $24
1993 $503 $146 $238 $60 $298 $101 $399 $80 $479 $24
1994 $535 $154 $254 $64 $318 $108 $425 $84 $509 $25
1995 $588 $178 $288 $70 $357 $115 $473 $88 $561 $27
1996 $658 $213 $335 $76 $411 $124 $535 $95 $630 $28
1997 $727 $241 $377 $82 $460 $134 $594 $102 $696 $31
1998 $788 $274 $425 $88 $513 $139 $652 $103 $755 $33
1999 $877 $317 $486 $97 $583 $150 $733 $109 $842 $35
2000 $981 $367 $554 $106 $660 $164 $824 $118 $942 $38
The IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 $885 $139 $294 $462 $101 $564 $158 $722 $120 $842 $43
2002 $794 $120 $263 $420 $93 $513 $143 $657 $104 $761 $33
2003 $746 $115 $251 $399 $85 $484 $133 $617 $98 $715 $30
2004 $829 $142 $301 $467 $91 $558 $137 $695 $102 $797 $32
2005 $932 $176 $361 $549 $98 $647 $145 $793 $106 $898 $33
2006 $1,020 $196 $402 $607 $108 $715 $157 $872 $113 $986 $35
2007 $1,112 $221 $443 $666 $117 $783 $170 $953 $122 $1,075 $37
2008 $1,029 $187 $386 $597 $115 $712 $168 $880 $117 $997 $32
2009 $863 $146 $314 $502 $101 $604 $146 $749 $93 $842 $21
2010 $949 $170 $355 $561 $110 $670 $156 $827 $100 $927 $22
2011 $1,043 $168 $366 $589 $123 $712 $181 $893 $120 $1,012 $30
2012 $1,185 $220 $451 $699 $133 $831 $193 $1,024 $128 $1,152 $33
2013 $1,232 $228 $466 $721 $139 $860 $203 $1,063 $135 $1,198 $34
2014 $1,374 $273 $543 $824 $150 $974 $219 $1,193 $144 $1,337 $38
Year Total Top 0.1% Top 1% Top 5% Between 5% & 10% Top 10% Between 10% & 25% Top 25% Between 25% & 50% Top 50% Bottom 50%
Table 5. Adjusted Gross Income Shares, 1980–2014 (percent of total AGI earned by each group)
Source: Internal Revenue Service.
1980 100% 8.46% 21.01% 11.12% 32.13% 24.57% 56.70% 25.62% 82.32% 17.68%
1981 100% 8.30% 20.78% 11.20% 31.98% 24.69% 56.67% 25.59% 82.25% 17.75%
1982 100% 8.91% 21.23% 11.03% 32.26% 24.53% 56.79% 25.50% 82.29% 17.71%
1983 100% 9.29% 21.74% 11.04% 32.78% 24.44% 57.22% 25.30% 82.52% 17.48%
1984 100% 9.66% 22.19% 11.06% 33.25% 24.31% 57.56% 25.00% 82.56% 17.44%
1985 100% 10.03% 22.67% 11.10% 33.77% 24.21% 57.97% 24.77% 82.74% 17.26%
1986 100% 11.30% 24.11% 11.02% 35.12% 23.92% 59.04% 24.30% 83.34% 16.66%
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 100% 12.32% 25.67% 11.23% 36.90% 23.85% 60.75% 23.62% 84.37% 15.63%
1988 100% 15.16% 28.51% 10.94% 39.45% 22.99% 62.44% 22.63% 85.07% 14.93%
1989 100% 14.19% 27.84% 11.16% 39.00% 23.28% 62.28% 22.76% 85.04% 14.96%
1990 100% 14.00% 27.62% 11.15% 38.77% 23.36% 62.13% 22.84% 84.97% 15.03%
1991 100% 12.99% 26.83% 11.37% 38.20% 23.65% 61.85% 23.01% 84.87% 15.13%
1992 100% 14.23% 28.01% 11.21% 39.23% 23.25% 62.47% 22.61% 85.08% 14.92%
1993 100% 13.79% 27.76% 11.29% 39.05% 23.40% 62.45% 22.63% 85.08% 14.92%
1994 100% 13.80% 27.85% 11.34% 39.19% 23.45% 62.64% 22.48% 85.11% 14.89%
1995 100% 14.60% 28.81% 11.35% 40.16% 23.21% 63.37% 22.09% 85.46% 14.54%
1996 100% 16.04% 30.36% 11.23% 41.59% 22.73% 64.32% 21.60% 85.92% 14.08%
1997 100% 17.38% 31.79% 11.03% 42.83% 22.22% 65.05% 21.11% 86.16% 13.84%
1998 100% 18.47% 32.85% 10.92% 43.77% 21.87% 65.63% 20.69% 86.33% 13.67%
1999 100% 19.51% 34.04% 10.85% 44.89% 21.57% 66.46% 20.29% 86.75% 13.25%
2000 100% 20.81% 35.30% 10.71% 46.01% 21.15% 67.15% 19.86% 87.01% 12.99%
The IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 100% 8.05% 17.41% 31.61% 10.89% 42.50% 21.80% 64.31% 21.29% 85.60% 14.40%
2002 100% 7.04% 16.05% 30.29% 11.04% 41.33% 22.39% 63.71% 21.79% 85.50% 14.50%
2003 100% 7.56% 16.73% 30.99% 11.03% 42.01% 22.33% 64.34% 21.52% 85.87% 14.13%
2004 100% 9.14% 18.99% 33.31% 10.77% 44.07% 21.60% 65.68% 20.83% 86.51% 13.49%
2005 100% 10.64% 21.19% 35.61% 10.56% 46.17% 20.90% 67.07% 19.99% 87.06% 12.94%
2006 100% 11.23% 22.10% 36.62% 10.56% 47.17% 20.73% 67.91% 19.68% 87.58% 12.42%
2007 100% 11.95% 22.86% 37.39% 10.49% 47.88% 20.53% 68.41% 19.40% 87.81% 12.19%
2008 100% 10.06% 20.19% 34.95% 11.03% 45.98% 21.71% 67.69% 20.39% 88.08% 11.92%
2009 100% 7.94% 17.21% 32.18% 11.59% 43.77% 22.96% 66.74% 21.38% 88.12% 11.88%
2010 100% 9.24% 18.87% 33.78% 11.38% 45.17% 22.38% 67.55% 20.71% 88.26% 11.74%
2011 100% 8.86% 18.70% 33.89% 11.50% 45.39% 22.43% 67.82% 20.63% 88.45% 11.55%
2012 100% 11.25% 21.86% 36.84% 11.03% 47.87% 21.39% 69.25% 19.64% 88.90% 11.10%
2013 100% 9.03% 19.04% 34.42% 11.45% 45.87% 22.23% 68.10% 20.41% 88.51% 11.49%
2014 100% 10.16% 20.58% 35.96% 11.25% 47.21% 21.70% 68.91% 19.82% 88.73% 11.27%
Year Total Top 0.1% Top 1% Top 5% Between 5% & 10% Top 10% Between 10% & 25% Top 25% Between 25% & 50% Top 50% Bottom 50%
Table 6. Total Income Tax Shares, 1980–2014 (percent of federal income tax paid by each group)
Source: Internal Revenue Service.
1980 100% 19.05% 36.84% 12.44% 49.28% 23.74% 73.02% 19.93% 92.95% 7.05%
1981 100% 17.58% 35.06% 12.90% 47.96% 24.33% 72.29% 20.26% 92.55% 7.45%
1982 100% 19.03% 36.13% 12.45% 48.59% 23.91% 72.50% 20.15% 92.65% 7.35%
1983 100% 20.32% 37.26% 12.44% 49.71% 23.39% 73.10% 19.73% 92.83% 7.17%
1984 100% 21.12% 37.98% 12.58% 50.56% 22.92% 73.49% 19.16% 92.65% 7.35%
1985 100% 21.81% 38.78% 12.67% 51.46% 22.60% 74.06% 18.77% 92.83% 7.17%
1986 100% 25.75% 42.57% 12.12% 54.69% 21.33% 76.02% 17.52% 93.54% 6.46%
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 100% 24.81% 43.26% 12.35% 55.61% 21.31% 76.92% 17.02% 93.93% 6.07%
1988 100% 27.58% 45.62% 11.66% 57.28% 20.57% 77.84% 16.44% 94.28% 5.72%
1989 100% 25.24% 43.94% 11.85% 55.78% 21.44% 77.22% 16.94% 94.17% 5.83%
1990 100% 25.13% 43.64% 11.73% 55.36% 21.66% 77.02% 17.16% 94.19% 5.81%
1991 100% 24.82% 43.38% 12.45% 55.82% 21.46% 77.29% 17.23% 94.52% 5.48%
1992 100% 27.54% 45.88% 12.12% 58.01% 20.47% 78.48% 16.46% 94.94% 5.06%
1993 100% 29.01% 47.36% 11.88% 59.24% 20.03% 79.27% 15.92% 95.19% 4.81%
1994 100% 28.86% 47.52% 11.93% 59.45% 20.10% 79.55% 15.68% 95.23% 4.77%
1995 100% 30.26% 48.91% 11.84% 60.75% 19.62% 80.36% 15.03% 95.39% 4.61%
1996 100% 32.31% 50.97% 11.54% 62.51% 18.80% 81.32% 14.36% 95.68% 4.32%
1997 100% 33.17% 51.87% 11.33% 63.20% 18.47% 81.67% 14.05% 95.72% 4.28%
1998 100% 34.75% 53.84% 11.20% 65.04% 17.65% 82.69% 13.10% 95.79% 4.21%
1999 100% 36.18% 55.45% 11.00% 66.45% 17.09% 83.54% 12.46% 96.00% 4.00%
2000 100% 37.42% 56.47% 10.86% 67.33% 16.68% 84.01% 12.08% 96.09% 3.91%
The IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 100% 15.68% 33.22% 52.24% 11.44% 63.68% 17.88% 81.56% 13.54% 95.10% 4.90%
2002 100% 15.09% 33.09% 52.86% 11.77% 64.63% 18.04% 82.67% 13.12% 95.79% 4.21%
2003 100% 15.37% 33.69% 53.54% 11.35% 64.89% 17.87% 82.76% 13.17% 95.93% 4.07%
2004 100% 17.12% 36.28% 56.35% 10.96% 67.30% 16.52% 83.82% 12.31% 96.13% 3.87%
2005 100% 18.91% 38.78% 58.93% 10.52% 69.46% 15.61% 85.07% 11.35% 96.41% 3.59%
2006 100% 19.24% 39.36% 59.49% 10.59% 70.08% 15.41% 85.49% 11.10% 96.59% 3.41%
2007 100% 19.84% 39.81% 59.90% 10.51% 70.41% 15.30% 85.71% 10.93% 96.64% 3.36%
2008 100% 18.20% 37.51% 58.06% 11.14% 69.20% 16.37% 85.57% 11.33% 96.90% 3.10%
2009 100% 16.91% 36.34% 58.17% 11.72% 69.89% 16.85% 86.74% 10.80% 97.54% 2.46%
2010 100% 17.88% 37.38% 59.07% 11.55% 70.62% 16.49% 87.11% 10.53% 97.64% 2.36%
2011 100% 16.14% 35.06% 56.49% 11.77% 68.26% 17.36% 85.62% 11.50% 97.11% 2.89%
2012 100% 18.60% 38.09% 58.95% 11.22% 70.17% 16.25% 86.42% 10.80% 97.22% 2.78%
2013 100% 18.48% 37.80% 58.55% 11.25% 69.80% 16.47% 86.27% 10.94% 97.22% 2.78%
2014 100% 19.85% 39.48% 59.97% 10.91% 70.88% 15.90% 86.78% 10.47% 97.25% 2.75%
Year Total Top 1% Top 5% Top 10% Top 25% Top 50%
Table 7. Dollar Cut-Off, 1980–2014 (Minimum AGI for Tax Returns to Fall into Various Percentiles; Thresholds Not Adjusted for Inflation)
1980 $80,580 $43,792 $35,070 $23,606 $12,936
1981 $85,428 $47,845 $38,283 $25,655 $14,000
1982 $89,388 $49,284 $39,676 $27,027 $14,539
1983 $93,512 $51,553 $41,222 $27,827 $15,044
1984 $100,889 $55,423 $43,956 $29,360 $15,998
1985 $108,134 $58,883 $46,322 $30,928 $16,688
1986 $118,818 $62,377 $48,656 $32,242 $17,302
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 $139,289 $68,414 $52,921 $33,983 $17,768
1988 $157,136 $72,735 $55,437 $35,398 $18,367
1989 $163,869 $76,933 $58,263 $36,839 $18,993
1990 $167,421 $79,064 $60,287 $38,080 $19,767
1991 $170,139 $81,720 $61,944 $38,929 $20,097
1992 $181,904 $85,103 $64,457 $40,378 $20,803
1993 $185,715 $87,386 $66,077 $41,210 $21,179
1994 $195,726 $91,226 $68,753 $42,742 $21,802
1995 $209,406 $96,221 $72,094 $44,207 $22,344
1996 $227,546 $101,141 $74,986 $45,757 $23,174
1997 $250,736 $108,048 $79,212 $48,173 $24,393
1998 $269,496 $114,729 $83,220 $50,607 $25,491
1999 $293,415 $120,846 $87,682 $52,965 $26,415
2000 $313,469 $128,336 $92,144 $55,225 $27,682
The IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 $1,393,718 $306,635 $132,082 $96,151 $59,026 $31,418
2002 $1,245,352 $296,194 $130,750 $95,699 $59,066 $31,299
2003 $1,317,088 $305,939 $133,741 $97,470 $59,896 $31,447
2004 $1,617,918 $339,993 $140,758 $101,838 $62,794 $32,622
2005 $1,938,175 $379,261 $149,216 $106,864 $64,821 $33,484
2006 $2,124,625 $402,603 $157,390 $112,016 $67,291 $34,417
2007 $2,251,017 $426,439 $164,883 $116,396 $69,559 $35,541
2008 $1,867,652 $392,513 $163,512 $116,813 $69,813 $35,340
2009 $1,469,393 $351,968 $157,342 $114,181 $68,216 $34,156
2010 $1,634,386 $369,691 $161,579 $116,623 $69,126 $34,338
2011 $1,717,675 $388,905 $167,728 $120,136 $70,492 $34,823
2012 $2,161,175 $434,682 $175,817 $125,195 $73,354 $36,055
2013 $1,860,848 $428,713 $179,760 $127,695 $74,955 $36,841
2014 $2,136,762 $465,626 $188,996 $133,445 $77,714 $38,173
Source: Internal Revenue Service.
Year Total Top 0.1% Top 1% Top 5% Between 5% & 10% Top 10% Between 10% & 25% Top 25% Between 25% & 50% Top 50% Bottom 50%
Table 8. Average Tax Rate, 1980–2014 (Percent of AGI Paid in Income Taxes)
Source: Internal Revenue Service.
1980 15.31% 34.47% 26.85% 17.13% 23.49% 14.80% 19.72% 11.91% 17.29% 6.10%
1981 15.76% 33.37% 26.59% 18.16% 23.64% 15.53% 20.11% 12.48% 17.73% 6.62%
1982 14.72% 31.43% 25.05% 16.61% 22.17% 14.35% 18.79% 11.63% 16.57% 6.10%
1983 13.79% 30.18% 23.64% 15.54% 20.91% 13.20% 17.62% 10.76% 15.52% 5.66%
1984 13.68% 29.92% 23.42% 15.57% 20.81% 12.90% 17.47% 10.48% 15.35% 5.77%
1985 13.73% 29.86% 23.50% 15.69% 20.93% 12.83% 17.55% 10.41% 15.41% 5.70%
1986 14.54% 33.13% 25.68% 15.99% 22.64% 12.97% 18.72% 10.48% 16.32% 5.63%
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
1987 13.12% 26.41% 22.10% 14.43% 19.77% 11.71% 16.61% 9.45% 14.60% 5.09%
1988 13.21% 24.04% 21.14% 14.07% 19.18% 11.82% 16.47% 9.60% 14.64% 5.06%
1989 13.12% 23.34% 20.71% 13.93% 18.77% 12.08% 16.27% 9.77% 14.53% 5.11%
1990 12.95% 23.25% 20.46% 13.63% 18.50% 12.01% 16.06% 9.73% 14.36% 5.01%
1991 12.75% 24.37% 20.62% 13.96% 18.63% 11.57% 15.93% 9.55% 14.20% 4.62%
1992 12.94% 25.05% 21.19% 13.99% 19.13% 11.39% 16.25% 9.42% 14.44% 4.39%
1993 13.32% 28.01% 22.71% 14.01% 20.20% 11.40% 16.90% 9.37% 14.90% 4.29%
1994 13.50% 28.23% 23.04% 14.20% 20.48% 11.57% 17.15% 9.42% 15.11% 4.32%
1995 13.86% 28.73% 23.53% 14.46% 20.97% 11.71% 17.58% 9.43% 15.47% 4.39%
1996 14.34% 28.87% 24.07% 14.74% 21.55% 11.86% 18.12% 9.53% 15.96% 4.40%
1997 14.48% 27.64% 23.62% 14.87% 21.36% 12.04% 18.18% 9.63% 16.09% 4.48%
1998 14.42% 27.12% 23.63% 14.79% 21.42% 11.63% 18.16% 9.12% 16.00% 4.44%
1999 14.85% 27.53% 24.18% 15.06% 21.98% 11.76% 18.66% 9.12% 16.43% 4.48%
2000 15.26% 27.45% 24.42% 15.48% 22.34% 12.04% 19.09% 9.28% 16.86% 4.60%
The IRS changed methodology, so data above and below this line not strictly comparable
2001 14.47% 28.17% 27.60% 23.91% 15.20% 21.68% 11.87% 18.35% 9.20% 16.08% 4.92%
2002 13.28% 28.48% 27.37% 23.17% 14.15% 20.76% 10.70% 17.23% 8.00% 14.87% 3.86%
2003 12.11% 24.60% 24.38% 20.92% 12.46% 18.70% 9.69% 15.57% 7.41% 13.53% 3.49%
2004 12.31% 23.06% 23.52% 20.83% 12.53% 18.80% 9.41% 15.71% 7.27% 13.68% 3.53%
2005 12.65% 22.48% 23.15% 20.93% 12.61% 19.03% 9.45% 16.04% 7.18% 14.01% 3.51%
2006 12.80% 21.94% 22.80% 20.80% 12.84% 19.02% 9.52% 16.12% 7.22% 14.12% 3.51%
2007 12.90% 21.42% 22.46% 20.66% 12.92% 18.96% 9.61% 16.16% 7.27% 14.19% 3.56%
2008 12.54% 22.67% 23.29% 20.83% 12.66% 18.87% 9.45% 15.85% 6.97% 13.79% 3.26%
2009 11.39% 24.28% 24.05% 20.59% 11.53% 18.19% 8.36% 14.81% 5.76% 12.61% 2.35%
2010 11.81% 22.84% 23.39% 20.64% 11.98% 18.46% 8.70% 15.22% 6.01% 13.06% 2.37%
2011 12.54% 22.82% 23.50% 20.89% 12.83% 18.85% 9.70% 15.82% 6.98% 13.76% 3.13%
2012 13.11% 21.67% 22.83% 20.97% 13.33% 19.21% 9.96% 16.35% 7.21% 14.33% 3.28%
2013 13.64% 27.91% 27.08% 23.20% 13.40% 20.75% 10.11% 17.28% 7.31% 14.98% 3.30%
2014 14.16% 27.67% 27.16% 23.61% 13.73% 21.25% 10.37% 17.83% 7.48% 15.52% 3.45%
  1. For data prior to 2001, all tax returns that have a positive AGI are included, even those that do not have a positive income tax liability. For data from 2001 forward, returns with negative AGI are also included, but dependent returns are excluded.
  2. Income tax after credits (the measure of “income taxes paid” above) does not account for the refundable portion of EITC. If it were included, the tax share of the top income groups would be higher. The refundable portion is classified as a spending program by the Office of Management and Budget and therefore is not included by the IRS in these figures.
  3. The only tax analyzed here is the federal individual income tax, which is responsible for more than 25 percent of the nation’s taxes paid (at all levels of government). Federal income taxes are much more progressive than federal payroll taxes, which are responsible for about 20 percent of all taxes paid (at all levels of government), and are more progressive than most state and local taxes.
  4. AGI is a fairly narrow income concept and does not include income items like government transfers (except for the portion of Social Security benefits that is taxed), the value of employer-provided health insurance, underreported or unreported income (most notably that of sole proprietors), income derived from municipal bond interest, net imputed rental income, and others.
  5. The unit of analysis here is that of the tax return. In the figures prior to 2001, some dependent returns are included. Under other units of analysis (like the Treasury Department’s Family Economic Unit), these returns would likely be paired with parents’ returns.
  6. These figures represent the legal incidence of the income tax. Most distributional tables (such as those from CBO, Tax Policy Center, Citizens for Tax Justice, the Treasury Department, and JCT) assume that the entire economic incidence of personal income taxes falls on the income earner.

[1] Individual Income Tax Rates and Tax Shares, Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income, http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats-Individual-Income-Tax-Rates-and-Tax-Shares.

[2] See Congressional Budget Office, The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027, Jan. 2017, https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/reports/52370-outlook.pdf.

[3] There is strong reason to believe that capital gains realizations were unusually depressed in 2013, due to the increase in the top capital gains tax rate from 15 percent to 23.8 percent. In 2013, capital gains accounted for 26.6 percent of the income of taxpayers with over $1 million in AGI received, compared to 31.7 percent in 2014 (these calculations apply for net capital gains reported on Schedule D). Table 1.4, Publication 1304, “Individual Income Tax Returns 2014,” Internal Revenue Service, https://www.irs.gov/uac/soi-tax-stats-individual-income-tax-returns-publication-1304-complete-report.

[4] Here, “average income tax rate” is defined as income taxes paid divided by adjusted gross income.

https://taxfoundation.org/summary-latest-federal-income-tax-data-2016-update/

 

Story 2: Secretary of Health and Human Resources Thomas Price Resigns and President Trump Accepts After Trump Outraged Over Use Expensive Private Chartered Jet Flight To Conduct Government Business — Don Wright to serve as acting secretary of the HHS — Videos —

The Real Reason Tom Price Resigned | The Last Word | MSNBC

Tom Price: From Private Jets To Private Citizen

Chris Wallace Takes On Tom Price to Pay For Charter Flights

President Trump GRILLED on Tom Price Resigns, Puerto Rico & NFL owners players press conference

What A Waste: Tom Price’s Private Jet Trips

Will HHS Secretary Tom Price Keep His Job? | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Guess What Private Jet Scold Tom Price Is Up To

Price resigns from HHS after facing fire for travel

His exit comes after POLITICO revealed his extensive use of private jets and military aircraft for government business.

Updated 

HHS Secretary Tom Price resigned Friday in the face of multiple federal inquiries and growing criticism of his use of private and government planes for travel, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $1 million since May.

The White House said the former seven-term Georgia congressman, 63, offered his resignation earlier in the day and that President Donald Trump had accepted it.

As late as Thursday, Price said he believed he had the president’s support. But the tumult surrounding his travel became another distraction for an administration already reeling from the defeat of repeated Senate efforts to repeal Obamacare and facing criticism for its hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

In his resignation letter, Price expressed regret that “recent events” distracted from efforts to overhaul the health care system, reduce regulatory burdens and improve global health. “In order for you to move forward without further disruption, I am officially tendering my resignation as the Secretary of Health and Human Services effective 11:59 PM on Friday,” Price wrote.

Tom Price resigns as Trump administration health chief after outrage over pricey private jet flights

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned Friday after criticism over his repeatedly taking expensive private jets instead of commercial flights.
  • Price’s private travel, added to his use of military jets for overseas trips, has cost taxpayers more than $1 million.
  • Price said he will reimburse the government just a fraction of the cost of the flights.

Senate Democrats quickly served notice they were preparing for a potential confirmation fight over Price’s successor, saying the next HHS secretary must not undermine Obamacare. Under Price, the department cut the law’s enrollment period in half and massively slashed advertising and outreach for the upcoming enrollment period starting in November.

“The mission of the Health and Human Services secretary should be to support Americans’ health care, not take it away,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “The next HHS secretary must follow the law when it comes to the Affordable Care Act instead of trying to sabotage it.”

“Tom Price’s replacement needs to be focused on implementing the law as written by Congress and keeping the president’s promise to bring down the high cost of prescription drugs,” Senate Finance ranking Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon said in a statement.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a close ally, praised Price as a dedicated public servant who fought for others. “His vision and hard work were vital to the House’s success passing our health care legislation,” Ryan said in a statement.

POLITICO revealed in a series of articles that Price flew at least 26 times on private aircraft at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, a sharp break with his predecessors’ practice. Many of Price’s flights were between major cities that offered inexpensive alternatives on commercial airlines, including Nashville, Philadelphia and San Diego.

On some of those trips, Price, an orthopedic surgeon, mixed official business with personal affairs. He took a government-funded private jet in August to get to St. Simons Island, an exclusive Georgia resort where he and his wife own land, a day and a half before he addressed a medical conference he and his wife have long attended. In June, HHS chartered a private jet to fly Price to Nashville, where he owns a condominium and where his son resides. Price toured a medicine dispensary, spoke to a local health summit organized by a friend and had lunch with his son, an HHS official confirmed.

Price also used military aircraft for multi-national trips to Africa, Europe and Asia, at a cost of more than $500,000 to taxpayersThe White House said it had approved those trips but not the private jets within the United States.

Price tried to defuse the controversy by promising on Thursday to reimburse the government for the approximately $52,000 cost of his own seat on his domestic trips. But that wasn’t enough to tamp down the scandal, which had infuriatedPresident Donald Trump and prompted a bipartisan inquiry from the House Oversight Committee and separate calls for accountability from lawmakers including Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley. The inspector general of Price’s own agency is reviewing if Price complied with federal travel regulations.

The issue of Cabinet members’ travel was also extending beyond Price: POLITICO reported Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his aides took several flights on private or military aircraft, including a $12,000 charter plane to take him to events in his hometown in Montana and private flights in the Caribbean. Zinke dismissed the furor as a “little B.S.” during a Friday appearance at the Heritage Foundation.

Price’s wife, Betty, accompanied him on the military flights, while other members of the secretary’s delegation flew commercially to Europe.

HHS spokeswoman Charmaine Yoest said Price reimbursed the agency for his wife’s travel, but declined to elaborate.

White House officials have groused about Price’s frequent travels, with one senior White House official saying the HHS secretary was “nowhere to be found” as they mounted a last-ditch unsuccessful push to repeal Obamacare.

Congressional Democrats attacked Price for advocating spending cuts to the health agencies he oversaw and health care programs while spending taxpayer dollars on private jets. “There could not be a clearer statement of the Trump administration’s priorities,” Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) said. Key Democrats overseeing health issues in Congress had formally requested that HHS’s inspector general review Price’s travel practices.

In June, Price defended a proposed fiscal 2018 budget for HHS that included a $663,000 cut to the agency’s $4.9 million annual spending on travel, or roughly 15 percent. “The budgeting process is an exercise in reforming our federal programs to make sure they actually work — so they do their job and use tax dollars wisely,” Price told the Senate Finance Committee on June 8.

Ethical questions dogged Price even before questions about his travel arose. During his Senate confirmation hearing to helm HHS, Price faced pointed questions about his personal investments in health care companies during his time in Congress. Democrats called on government ethics officials to investigate Price’s health care stock trades, following reports that he got a sweetheart deal from a biotech company and invested in Zimmer Biomet, a medical device-maker, just days before writing legislation that would have eased regulations on the sector.

The Senate confirmed Price by a 52-47 margin in February after he maintained full Republican support.

 

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/29/price-has-resigned-as-health-and-human-services-secretary-243315

Jacob Pramuk | Dan Mangan

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Tom Price out as HHS Secretary

Tom Price, secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, resigned Friday amid a furor over his taking more than two dozen costly private plane trips instead of less-expensive commercial flights.

The White House in a statement said that President Donald Trump intends to tap a top HHS official, Don Wright, to serve as acting secretary of the department

Wright currently serves as deputy assistant secretary for health and director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

“Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the President accepted,” the White House said, about an hour after Trump said he would decide by Friday night whether to fire Price.

Price’s resignation came a day after he said he would reimburse taxpayers for just a small fraction of the cost of his flights, and after he vowed to not use charter planes in the future.

A longtime critic of wasteful federal spending and the administration’s putative point man on attacking Obamacare — Price had taken 26 flights on charter plans since May, according to a Politico investigation.

In June, Price traveled on a $17,760 roundtrip charter from Washington to Nashville, Tennessee, Politico revealed. He spent less than six hours there, making two official appearances and eating lunch with his son.

In a four-day stretch in September, Price took flights costing an estimated $60,000 in total, according to Politico. Some of those flights came at times when dramatically cheaper commercial air travel would have been available.

Politico on Thursday reported that Price had also taken trips overseas using military jets, at a cost of more than $500,000 — putting the total tab for his penchant for pricey travel above $1 million.

Also Thursday, BuzzFeed News reported that Price had asked a White House official soon after taking office to tell Trump that he wanted to reopen the executive dining room at HHS, which had been closed since George W. Bush was president.

Price, who only became health secretary in February, was reportedly already on thin ice with top officials in the Trump administration when the controversy exploded over his pricey jet jaunts.

Those officials believed he did not do enough in recent weeks to support an ultimately doomed, last-ditch effort in Congress to repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Price’s department for months has been taking steps to undercut that major health-care law — gutting advertising budgets designed to promote enrollment in Obamacare plans, suspending joint efforts with state-level groups to encourage insurance sign-ups and bad-mouthing Obamacare at every opportunity.

But he was noticeably absent at meetings to promote the passage of the Senate repeal bill, Graham-Cassidy, in September, Politico reported. That bill would have dramatically slashed federal spending on subsidizing health insurance coverage for Americans.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump told reporters “I am not happy about” Price’s use of private planes, “and I let him know it.”

“We’ll see,” Trump said, when asked if he would fire Price.

Price on Thursday had tried to tamp down the controversy by saying he would repay the government for the cost of “my seat” on the charter flights. Price said he will pay about $52,000 of the more than $400,000 taxpayer tab for his private trips.

The offer was immediately met with derision by critics who said Price was shortchanging taxpayers.

The 62-year-old Price, a former House member from Georgia, was a prominent critic of Obamacare while serving in Congress.

He also had billed himself as a staunch fiscal conservative with a record of pushing for government spending discipline.

Price leaves the Trump administration after the latest in an unsuccessful string of Republican attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

His departure also comes amid broader concerns about the ethical standards of the Trump administration and its top officials.

While Price has said he received prior approval from legal and HHS advisors for his private flights, his use of charters was in stark contrast to that of his two immediate predecessors as chief of HHS, Sylvia Burwell and Kathleen Sebelius, who took commercial flights to domestic engagements.

HHS’ inspector general is now reviewing Price’s use of private planes.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt also has racked up a $58,000 bill on noncommercial and military flights since mid-February, according to The Washington Post.

In a letter to Trump on Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, pointed out that “federal regulations specifically prohibit official travel by chartered jet when it is not the most cost-effective mode of travel ‘because the taxpayer should pay no more than necessary for your transportation.'”

Grassley asked Trump to urge his Cabinet secretaries to use “reasonable and cost-effective modes of travel.”

The senator noted that in addition to questions about the travel habits of Price and Pruitt, the inspector general of the Treasury Department is investigating the travel expenses of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

During his Senate confirmation hearings as HHS secretary, Price was criticized for having traded more than $300,000 worth of about 40 health-care stocks in the previous four years, which involved companies that could have benefited from legislation he favored as a House member.

For one of those companies, the small Australian biotech firm Innate Immunotherapeutics, Price was offered the opportunity to buy shares at a discount, while sitting on a committee that could affect the financial outlook of the firm.

Price eventually sold his stake in the company during the HHS confirmation process and made a profit of at least $225,000 on a $94,000 investment, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Price during his Senate hearings denied that he invested using nonpublic information.

“Everything that we have done is absolutely aboveboard, transparent, legal and ethical,” he said at the time.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/29/price-out-as-trump-health-chief-after-outrage-over-private-jet-flights.html

 

Tom Price Resigns Under Pressure

Tom Price, the health and human services secretary, resigned on Friday. Mr. Price drew criticism for his use of expensive chartered flights, which undermined President Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” of an entitled capital.

 By CHRIS CIRILLO, GLENN THRUSH and A.J. CHAVAR on Publish DateSeptember 29, 2017. Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times

.Watch in Times Video »WASHINGTON — Tom Price, the health and human services secretary, resigned under pressure on Friday after racking up at least $400,000 in travel bills for chartered flights and undermining President Trump’s promise to drain the swamp of a corrupt and entitled capital.

Already in trouble with Mr. Trump for months of unsuccessful efforts to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health care program, Mr. Price failed to defuse the president’s anger over his high-priced travel by agreeing to pay a portion of the cost and expressing “regret” for his actions.

In a statement, the White House said that Mr. Price “offered his resignation earlier today and the president accepted.”

It said Mr. Trump will tap Don J. Wright of Virginia to serve as acting secretary at midnight Friday. Mr. Wright currently serves as the deputy assistant secretary for health and as director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Mr. Price’s resignation came barely an hour after Mr. Trump publicly dressed him down for the second time in a week and said he would decide whether to fire the secretary by the end of the day. “I’m not happy, O.K.?” the president told reporters before boarding a helicopter as he headed to his New Jersey golf club for the weekend. “I can tell you, I’m not happy.”

Mr. Price’s job was on the line ever since the first of a string of reports by Politico on Sept. 19 about his extensive use of charter aircraft. Mr. Trump has fumed privately and publicly about Mr. Price’s actions, fearing that they undercut his promise to rid Washington of the sort of abuses that have soured the public on its political class. The president made clear on Friday that he also saw it as undermining his promise to save the government money, citing efforts to renegotiate contracts.

Mr. Price, a career physician and former congressman who had long opposed Mr. Obama’s Affordable Care Act, had been a point man on the drive to scrap the law. In July, Mr. Trump said he would fire Mr. Price if he did not get the votes for the legislation. “He better get them,” Mr. Trump told an audience with Mr. Price at his side. “Otherwise, I’ll say, ‘Tom, you’re fired.’”

He said it in a jocular fashion, and his audience at the time took it as a jest, but in fact the president has been privately fuming about Mr. Price over the unsuccessful efforts to pass health care legislation in the Senate. The latest effort collapsed this week when enough Republicans defected to deprive Mr. Trump of a majority.

 

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