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Ties to the N.R.A. Leave Companies Scrambling for Cover

For companies like MetLife that are caught in the middle of these angry social media storms, actions tied to divisive social issues can be a lose-lose proposition. […]

What’s in the White House Budget Request?

SubscribeLog In SubscribeLog InAdvertisementPoliticsWhat’s in the White House Budget Request?ImagePresident Trump’s budget proposal would increase military spending by $195 billion over the next two years.CreditAndrew Renneisen/Getty ImagesBy The New York Times Feb. 12, 2018WASHINGTON — The White House released its fiscal 2019 budget on Monday, outlining the administration’s fiscal priorities at a moment when Congress is already moving ahead with its own spending plan. The blueprint is largely a political statement and is unlikely to influence lawmakers, who control the federal pursestrings and just passed a bill, which President Trump signed into law last week, raising spending caps by about $300 billion over two years.That deal, which briefly forced a government shutdown, increases military spending by $195 billion over the next two years and increases nondefense spending by $131 billion over that period. Mr. Trump’s budget proposal calls for a different approach and says Congress should not spend all of those additional nondefense funds […]

Senators Scramble to Advance Tax Bill That Increasingly Rewards Wealthy

At the heart of the debate is whether to more favorably treat small businesses and other so-called pass-through entities — businesses whose profits are distributed to their owners and taxed at rates for individuals. Seventy percent of pass-through income flows to the top 1 percent of American earners, according to research by Owen Zidar, an economist at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.GraphicWhich Republican Senators Might Oppose the Tax Bill, and WhySenate leaders would need to win over several Republican senators to pass a tax overhaul.OPEN GraphicTwo Republican senators, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Steve Daines of Montana, have said that they will vote against the plan if it does not do more to help the owners of those businesses, possibly by increasing the individual income tax deduction for such owners from the 17.4 percent rate currently in the Senate bill.Republicans, who control the Senate 52 to 48, can afford to lose only two of their members if they hope to pass the bill on party lines in the upper chamber.Mr. Johnson could stall the bill by himself on Tuesday, when it is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Budget Committee. Mr. Johnson sits on that committee, where Republicans have a single-vote majority. On Monday, he said he would vote “no” unless his concerns were addressed.“I need a fix beforehand,” Mr. Johnson said.Earlier in the day, Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas and the majority whip, said, “There’s no deal, but there’s been some discussions on how to address Senator Johnson and Senator Daines’s concerns.” He continued, “We’re trying to be responsive.”Adding to the uncertainty, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee also said on Monday that he could be a “no” vote in the Budget Committee if his concerns about the bill’s effect on the deficit were not adequately addressed.Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, who leads the Senate Finance Committee, said that there was a strong desire to get a bill passed by Friday and that additional changes would most likely be made on the Senate floor. Despite speculation that the House will face pressure to quickly vote upon whatever passes in the Senate, Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, said he “fully expects” that there would be a conference to bridge differences between the House and Senate plans.Republican Tax Plan: How to Make Sense of the Push in CongressIt’s virtually impossible to fully understand, let alone keep up with, the flood of proposals, amendments and analyses that continue to pour out. Here are some of the big-picture ideas to keep in mind as this political sausage is being made.The pass-through fight is the first skirmish in what lawmakers and lobbyists expect will be a frenzied week, which Republican leaders hope will produce the first major legislative victory of the Trump-era for their party.Continue reading the main storyThe week is expected to be punctuated by behind-the-scenes arm twisting and deal making as party leaders work to allay senators’ worries without exceeding their self-imposed $1.5 trillion budget for tax cuts […]

Accounting ‘Gimmicks’ in G.O.P.’s Tax Overhaul Mask Higher Cost, Deficit Hawks Say

Such sleights of hand in accounting are more prevalent in the Senate plan, which makes many of its cuts temporary or delays their enforcement. For instance, the Senate bill delays the corporate tax cut, which will fall to 20 percent from 35 percent, by one year for savings of about $100 billion. It also saves about $240 billion by making the individual income tax cuts “temporary” and setting them to expire in 2025.Other tax breaks are phased in slowly or phased out. Businesses are allowed to fully expense only their capital investments, including equipment purchases, through 2022. And, beginning in 2024, the ability to carry net operating losses forward would be limited as a percent of taxable income. In 2026, research and experimental expenditures would have to be written off gradually, or amortized, rather than immediately deducted, which reduces the revenue hit to the federal budget.According the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the real cost of the Senate legislation that the Joint Committee on Taxation says will cost $1.41 trillion over a decade would be $2.2 trillion if all the temporary changes were made permanent. The group estimates that the nation’s debt, which has surpassed $20 trillion, would exceed the size of the economy by 2028 under the plan — a level the United States has not reached since World War II.Republican leaders in Congress and the Trump administration have acknowledged the budget maneuvers, saying they expect the temporary tax cuts to stay in place.“As a result of the reconciliation process and scoring and the Byrd Rule, there are certain parts of this that expire,” the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said on CNBC on Friday. “But we have every expectation that down the road that Congress will extend them.” The Byrd rule refers to restrictions put in place by former Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia that prevent legislation that adds to the deficit in the long-term.To deficit hawks, underselling the true cost of tax cuts is counterproductive and potentially dangerous for the economy.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyThank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. Please try again later.You are already subscribed to this email.View all New York Times newsletters.“The gimmicks not only damage the bill’s fiscal credibility but damage the bill’s objectives at the same time,” said Michael A […]

Tax Cuts Are the Glue Holding a Fractured Republican Party Together

“To me, the only way to stop this is to defeat the budget tomorrow,” Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, said on Wednesday. “Once the budget passes, they hold all the cards.”“They’re asking us to vote on the budget for a tax bill they haven’t shown us on a promise that somehow it’s going to be fair, even though they’re talking about knocking out SALT,” Mr. King said […]

Republican Plan for New Tax Code to Be Unveiled This Month

Mr. Brady said at the meeting that the plan was for the budget process to be completed in the House and Senate by mid-October.Continue reading the main story“No budget, no tax reform,” Mr. Brady said, trying to raise pressure on hard-line conservatives who have said they would not support a budget plan before seeing the details of the tax overhaul.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyThank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. […]

$45 Billion to Fight Opioid Abuse? That’s Much Too Little, Experts Say

The Affordable Care Act vastly expanded access to addiction treatment by designating those services as “essential benefits.” That means they had to be covered through both an expansion of Medicaid to far more low-income adults and the marketplaces set up under the law for people to buy private plans. Both the House and Senate health bills would effectively end the expansion and cap federal Medicaid spending, resulting in the loss of coverage for millions of people, according to the Congressional Budget Office.Continue reading the main storyAccording to the National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health, there were roughly 1.35 million low-income Americans in 2015 with an opioid use disorder. Only 25 percent of those people get treated in a year, although the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of health insurance coverage has provided more resources for closing the treatment gap.Richard G. Frank, a health economics professor at Harvard Medical School, has estimated that last year, people who enrolled in expanded Medicaid incurred about $4.5 billion in costs for mental health and addiction treatment […]