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Trump Rules: When Picking Apples on a Farm With 5,000 Rules, Watch Out for the Ladders

“So many of the farmers I’ve spoken with tell me that stricter and stricter regulations have put many of their neighbors and friends out of business, and in doing so cost them their homes, land and livelihoods,” said Baylen Linnekin, a libertarian-leaning expert in food law and policy, in an email. “For many farmers, rolling back regulations is the only way they can survive.”“The Number of Rules on Ladders Alone!”After a lifetime of navigating his family’s agricultural business, Mr. Ten Eyck has a firm appreciation for the rules and regulations that are good and helpful, as well as those that are excessive and ill-advised.He fluently speaks the language of government compliance, rattling off acronyms that consume his time and resources, including E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency), O.S.H.A. (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), U.S.D.A. (United States Department of Agriculture) and state and local offices, too, like A.C.D.O.H. (Albany County Department of Health).During the Obama administration, food and worker safety were particular priorities among regulators, Mr. Ten Eyck said […]

Wealth Matters: Tax Cuts for Small-Business Owners? It’s Complicated

In other words, the House bill may seem like a tax cut for small businesses, but it is not likely to bring much relief to many of those owners, and it is certainly not comparable to what was proposed for large corporations. And some professions, like consultants, lawyers, doctors and other professional services companies, are not even eligible for the lower pass-through rate.“What’s really going to happen is, people are going to change their behavior based on this tax act,” Mr. Reitmeyer said, like rethinking their business tax structure.The House bill says that up to 30 percent of business income can be taxed at the lower 25 percent rate, with the rest at the personal income tax rate. At the highest level, this is a blended tax rate of 35.22 percent, at least for businesses that qualify. That is a far cry from the 20 percent proposed for corporations.The Senate proposal, which is wending its way through the committee process, offers the possibility of a deduction of business income of up to 17.4 percent. But it still has hurdles: This week, it lost one Republican vote, when Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin opposed the different treatment for corporations and pass-through entities.What becomes of the two bills when they get reconciled is going to determine whether small-business owners will pay less in taxes. But it will also determine what resources they will have to invest in their businesses and still maintain their lifestyles.The savviest business owners will begin by calling a sophisticated accountant or tax lawyer […]

Why a Firm Believer in Tax Cuts Could Derail the Senate Tax Cut Plan

Senate Republican leaders, who are seeking a major legislative victory before year’s end, hope to bring their tax bill, which differs significantly from the House measure, to a vote after Thanksgiving. But it is unclear whether it has enough support to pass in the narrowly divided chamber.Offering concessions to skeptical senators one by one could prove an impossible task for Republican leaders, who face restraints under Senate rules on the total size of the tax cut package. Those leaders are hoping, instead, that they can pull off a version of Mr. Ryan’s strategy: all but daring holdouts to derail the party’s top priority.Republicans, who control Congress and the White House, are desperately seeking their first significant legislative achievement of the Trump presidency. Mr. Johnson’s public wavering elicited calls from President Trump and a visit from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Gary D […]

Hurricane Maria, North Korea, Federal Reserve: Your Thursday Briefing

• Best of late-night TV. Jimmy Kimmel refused to back down from his attacks on Senator Bill Cassidy. • Quotation of the day. “There are no pill parties happening in preschools. These kids aren’t making a choice because they are trying to get high on a substance.” — Dr […]

News Analysis: Trump Shifts Labor Policy Focus From Worker to Entrepreneur

Championing the American worker was a central theme of Mr. Trump’s election campaign. He made inroads into the traditionally Democratic union vote, and echoed the words of labor leaders on themes like trade, infrastructure and offshoring jobs.That a Republican administration would nonetheless pursue a business-friendly labor policy is not unexpected. But beyond partisan politics, its record on worker issues reflects a consistent Trump worldview: that entrepreneurship is the highest economic calling and the entrepreneur is the economic actor most deserving of respect.Mr. Trump has framed his own career as an example of entrepreneurship’s risks and rewards, and has made entrepreneurship a key talking point as president. In nominating officials to serve in his cabinet, he has frequently highlighted their entrepreneurial accomplishments […]

Eager to Create Blue-Collar Jobs, a Small Business Struggles

‘We Take the Crumbs’On a piece of plastic no bigger than a cigarette lighter rested great hopes.It was a Friday in late spring, and Ms. Quillen was about to join a conference call with one of the world’s largest parts suppliers. In the automotive food chain, big suppliers like Delphi and Johnson Controls constitute Tier One. They sell directly to the carmakers. D.E.P., which primarily sells to other suppliers, is in Tier Two.Continue reading the main story“Tier Ones are eating whole peanuts,” Ms. Quillen says mordantly. […]

Black Voices on Turmoil in Charlottesville: ‘The World We Live In’

“I’m not surprised,” said Harold Harris, 41, a barber in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood in Atlanta. “This is the world we live in; this is the country that we live in. We have a lot of racism embedded in our country, in our history.”Sitting in a barber’s chair, London Balbosa, 22, a college student, said he did not feel he faced as much racism growing up as previous generations of African-Americans. But he said he has recently noticed a rise in acts of racism, and saw fear among whites that blacks were coming into their own and into power in America.“Instead of waiting until something happens to want to talk about the issue, I think we should be focusing on publicizing ways to speak out,” Mr. Balbosa said.Just around the corner at the Martin Luther King Jr […]