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US President Donald Trump to Unveil “Biggest Tax Cut and Largest Tax Reform” in US History

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US, April 25, 2017: President Donald Trump is set to unveil “the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform” in the country’s history, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday.

The Treasury chief said it would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent, the highest in the industrialized world, to 15 percent for all businesses. White House aides said the top individual tax rate of 39.6 percent would be trimmed by a few percentage points.

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Mnuchin said the Trump administration hopes to simplify an annual rite in the U.S. when citizens file their tax returns in the early months of each year to account for the taxes they owe based on the income they earned the previous year.

Mnuchin said the “objective is simplifying personal taxes. For most Americans, we think they should be able to do their taxes on a large postcard,” instead of the voluminous pages of forms many taxpayers now face.

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Congress is expected to closely scrutinize Trump’s plan to sharply cut corporate taxes, which some analysts say could over the next decade add $2 trillion to the nearly $20 trillion in long-term debt the U.S. has already amassed.

Some Republicans have expressed concerns the Trump plan does not call for adding any new revenue-producing measures that would offset the lost revenue with the tax cuts.

During his campaign for the White House, Trump attacked his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, for massive annual deficit spending that added to the national debt, but now seems unconcerned about it. Mnuchin told reporters this week that “tax reform will pay for itself with economic growth” that would boost tax revenues, a proposition that many economists reject.

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Congress is likely to debate the Trump plan for months, but Trump gained one quick ally for the coming legislative fight over U.S. tax policy. The leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, Speaker Paul Ryan, voiced support for much of the president’s proposal.

“We like it a lot, it puts us on the same page, we’re in agreement on 80 percent, and on the 20 percent we’re in the same ballpark,” said Ryan.

Mnuchin said the corporate tax cuts are aimed at sparking sustained 3 percent economic growth in the U.S., a figure well above last year’s tepid 1.6-percent advance. The U.S. has not recorded 3 percent annual growth since 2005, even as it recovered from the depths of the steep recession in 2008 and 2009.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday the U.S. has been “uncompetitive” against other countries in attracting new businesses, “largely because of our rates.”

U.S. lawmakers have for years vowed to adopt broad tax reforms, but the efforts have foundered amid competing demands to eliminate tax breaks for some corporate and individual interests and raise taxes on others. Many of Trump’s Republican colleagues in Congress have their own ideas on how the labyrinth U.S. tax code ought to be reshaped.

Tax experts say the 35 percent U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest among the world’s 35 industrialized nations, although U.S. corporations rarely pay that much because they are permitted to deduct their business expenses from their revenues before. A number of profitable companies pay no U.S. income taxes.

When the 35-percent rate is added to the average state corporate tax rate, the figure reaches 38.9 percent, which ranks third in the world among 188 countries surveyed by the Washington-based Tax Foundation. The U.S. figure trails only that of the United Arab Emirates at 55 percent and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico at 39 percent. (VOA)

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Googling ‘idiot’ Bringing up Donald Trump Pictures Drags Google in Trouble

The House committee had also questioned YouTube, Twitter and Facebook executives at separate hearings on bias in big tech

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Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing "examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices" on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

US Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, in an effort to understand how Google search algorithms work, asked its CEO Sundar Pichai why so many pictures of President Donald Trump appear when she does a Google search for “idiot”.

“Right now, if you Google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I just did that,” the California Democrat told Pichai during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday here.

“How would that happen? How does search work so that would occur?” Lofgren asked Pichai, according to the Washington Post.

The Google CEO — who was at the hearing to address allegations of political bias in his company’s widely used search engine — said the results were based on billions of keywords ranked according to over 200 factors such as relevance, popularity, how others were using the search term, to determine how to best match a query with results.

“So it’s not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we’re going to show the user?” Lofgren asked. “It’s basically a compilation of what users are generating.”

Republicans have long accused Google of political bias, which the company has strongly denied.

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Why googling ‘idiot’ brings up Trump photos, Congresswoman asks Pichai. VOA

In August, Trump said in a tweet that a Google search for “Trump News” showed only reports from “Fake News Media.” He concluded it was “rigged” against him so “almost all stories and news was bad.”

House Republicans said they wanted to hold the hearing — entitled “Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices” — to make sure the search giant was being impartial.

“Americans put their trust in big tech companies to honour freedom of speech and champion open dialogue,” Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia said in a statement before the hearing.

The House committee had also questioned YouTube, Twitter and Facebook executives at separate hearings on bias in big tech.

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In response to Republicans who complained about Google searches, Democratic Representative Ted Lieu said: “If you want positive search results, do positive things. If you don’t want negative search results, don’t do negative things.”

“And to some of my colleagues across the aisle, if you’re getting bad press articles and bad search results, don’t blame Google or Facebook or Twitter, consider blaming yourself.” (IANS)