Sunday February 18, 2018
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Trump Touts Tax Reform, Saying Typical Household Would Get ‘$4,000 Pay Raise’

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President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform during an event at the Harrisburg International Airport,Pennsylvania. voa
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U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday promised Americans they are “going to have so much money to spend” if lawmakers approve his tax reform plan.

Trump, in an airport hangar in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, told a crowd of truckers that the typical American household would get “a $4,000 pay raise” with the changes he wants, although economists say that benefit would only materialize over eight years, at a rate of about $500 annually.

Read Also US President Donald Trump to Unveil; Biggest Tax Cut and Largest Tax Reform” in US History

Trump’s speech to hundreds of truck drivers — the most common job in more than half of the country’s 50 states —- was intended to counter the views of independent analysts that the Republican tax blueprint would mostly benefit the highest income earners. These analysts contend that at least some middle-income taxpayers would pay more, not less, to the government under Trump’s proposal.

The president, in his Pennsylvania speech, did not go into detail of how his plan would affect the wealthy. He said that his rich friends have been telling him they do not want anything from his proposal and are asking him “to give it to the middle class.”

 White House officials say the plan would double the standard deduction so that more income is taxed at zero percent; the first $12,000 of income for individuals and $24,000 for married couples would be tax-free, and the seven existing income tax brackets for taxable income would be consolidated to three brackets: 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. 

The Trump administration, when it took office in January, predicted it would complete a tax overhaul by August, but now has its sights set on completing the reforms by the end of the year.However, congressional tax-writing panels have yet to hold hearings and Democratic and Republican lawmakers have widely divergent views on what changes should be made.

Under some scenarios, the tax cuts could add to the country’s long-term debt of more than $20 trillion, which would be an outrage to many conservative Republican lawmakers. Democratic lawmakers are calling for tax changes to mostly benefit the country’s middle class and lowest-income taxpayers, not the wealthiest.(voa)

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Trump Travel Ban can stay despite ongoing legal battle: SC

Supreme court sighting national security allowed President Trump's travel ban despite ongoing legal battles

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Trump Travel Ban
Protestors against Trump Travel Ban (ALT)

The US Supreme Court on Monday decided to allow President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban to stay in force despite the ongoing legal case in lower courts, much to the joy of the Trump administration.

Of the members of the jury, seven ruled in favor of the administration while two — Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor — voted for the partial stay on the ban to continue.

The court did not account for its decision. The third travel ban issued by Trump denies American visas to most travelers from eight countries — Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Six of these are Muslim-majority nations.

Lower court judges in Maryland and Hawaii had barred the implementation of the ban.

The court’s decision essentially throws out a compromise that exempted foreign nationals who have credible claims of a bona fide relationship with someone in the United States. That includes grandparents, brothers- and sisters-in- law, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Lawyers for the state of Hawaii argued that the Supreme Court had no reason to enter the case at this stage because the Court had already acknowledged that some travelers from the eight countries can be safely vetted and get visas.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions termed Monday’s ruling as a “substantial victory for the safety and security of the American people”; before adding that Trump’s travel ban is necessary to protect the country from threats.

A lawyer for the Trump administration argued that some foreign governments are deficient in sharing information about those seeking U.S. visas, posing a possible risk to the U.S.

White House Deputy Press Spokesman Hogan Gidley found no element of surprise in Monday’s Supreme Court decision, suggesting that it is “essential to protecting our homeland”.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, however, again labelled the travel ban as a Muslim ban.

“The Supreme Court’s actions today are a good reminder that we can’t simply rely on the courts to address the Trump administration’s efforts to marginalize Muslims and other minorities”, CAIR attorney Gadeir Abbas said.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments for and against the Trump travel ban as soon as the issue has made its way through the lower courts. (VOA)

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