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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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Brown: The colour of toil but non-acceptance across the West?

"This is now our destiny as brown people. Our labour is needed, but citizenship is denied."

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Police Chief David Brown. Image Source: Twitter
  • Kamal Al Solaylee’s book Brown highlights the problems of ‘brown’ people in Trump’s rule
  • Donald Trump is often accused of malingering the image of brown people
  • this book cites many examples of discrimination which brown people go through

Title: Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone); Author: Kamal Al Solaylee

All our social development and our technological advancements don’t seem enough to eradicate our long-persisting atavistic sense of difference based on appearance, which though long-suppressed is now emerging free from its restraints — as proved by the recent intemperate comments by US President Donald Trump on immigrants from a certain set of countries.

Trump’s thinking, as seen in his off-the-cuff remarks, underscore that the questionable classification of race, expressed by the obviously evident and inescapable feature of a person’s skin, is well alive — and extends beyond the white-black binary. What about the yellow, or rather, the (as necessary for the global economy but far more exploited) brown?

Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons
Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons

Trump is only one leading manifestation of the malaise facing brown people — which include West Asians, Latin Americans, North Africans, and South and Southeast Asians — and far beyond the West too or from the “Whites”, says Yemeni-origin, Egypt-bred, Canadian journalist-turned-academician Al Solaylee in this book.

Trump’s victory “largely (but not exclusively)” rode on demonising Mexicans, galvanising sentiment against Muslims and championing white nationalism, the vote for Brexit was mostly pioneered by those with a restrictive view of Englishness, the record of Canada under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives — all these are obscure racial conflicts brewing in the US and Europe for decades now.

Also Read: Mexico can learn about dealing with diaspora from India: Claudia Ruiz-Massieu Salinas

“Examine these tensions closely and you’ll find a strong anti-brown sentiment at the core,” says Al Solaylee as he traces the response to, as well as the experiences of, the residents of Global South, who are forced to migrate to — and much needed in — the Developed North for various reasons, not least of which is the latter’s colonial record.

“Brown as the colour of cheap labour continues on a global scale… brown bodies undertake the work that white and older immigrant Americans refuse to do (and those black slaves were forced to do in previous centuries).

These are low-skill, labour-intensive jobs in unforgiving climates,” he says, but also that these are not limited to the Western nations but also in the more affluent parts of Asia itself too.

“This is now our destiny as brown people. Our labour is needed, but citizenship is denied; our presence as Muslims or religious minorities is offered as an example of the tolerant, diverse societies in which we live, but we continue to be feared,” says Al Solaylee.

And there is no difference whether this is deliberate or mistaken as he goes to cite the cases of the racist slurs on Sikh volunteers feeding the homeless in Manchester in the wake of the May 2017 terror attack, or the fatal shooting of Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla in the US in February 2017 by an American who thought he and his friend were Iranians and screaming at them to “get out of his country”.

Al Solaylee contends we think of brown as a “continuum, a grouping — a metaphor, even — for the millions of darker-skinned people who, in broad historical terms, have missed out on the economic and political gains of the post-mobility, equality and freedom”. They are now living, he says, among former colonial masters where they are “transforming themselves from nameless individuals with swarthy skins into neighbours, co-workers and friends”.

You may also like: List of 50 People who have affected Hinduism in a Negative Manner 

And it is their story he tells — both in their homes from the Philippines to Sri Lanka and workplaces from Hong Kong to the Gulf as well as Western Europe and North America.

Al Solaylee, however, starts with first recounting his own childhood experience on learning he is brown after seeing an English movie featuring a white child and coming to terms with “brownness” in his journeys around the world and interactions with other browns (fairness creams figure largely as well as the concern that he settle down) as well as Brown’s significance in nature and culture.

He then takes up the human obsession with race, despite the concept being debunked, except in politics before his exploration of the experiences and consequences of being brown around the world.

A stirring travelogue, incisive social and political comment and a passionate cry to rise above unavoidable consequences of geography and genes, this invaluable work rises in importance beyond its subject to be a seminal guide to the world today — and what it will soon be — particularly the US. IANS