Jan 2, 2018

Ex-Treasury Sec. Lew says tax plan is 'ticking time bomb'

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says the GOP's tax cuts are leaving the U.S. broke. Photo: Mark Makela / Getty Images

Jacob Lew, former Treasury Secretary under Barack Obama, told Bloomberg radio that the GOP tax cuts will substantially drive up the deficit and leave America "broke":

"It's a ticking time bomb in terms of the debt... What we've seen is a tax cut that spends money we don't have to have very concentrated benefits for global corporations and the top 1 percent, and it's leaving us broke."

What's next: Lew said America's poorest will be hit the hardest as the GOP struggles to cope with the rising debt. "We are going to see proposals to cut health insurance for poor people, to take basic food support away from poor people, to attack Medicare and Social Security. One could not have made up a more cynical strategy."

Sign up for Axios newsletters to get our smart brevity delivered to your inbox every morning.

Go deeper

Trump's clemency spree

Rod Blagojevich in 2010. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Trump announced Tuesday that he commuted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence for extortion, bribery and corruption — as well as issuing full pardons for former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik and financier Michael Milken.

The big picture: The president's clemency spree largely benefitted white-collar criminals convicted of crimes like corruption, gambling fraud and racketeering, undercutting his message of "draining the swamp."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump's improbable moonshot

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA is unlikely to meet its deadline of sending astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2024, even with a large influx of funding.

Why it matters: The Artemis mission to send people back to the Moon is the Trump administration's flagship space policy, and its aggressive, politically-motivated timeline is its hallmark.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Science

Justice Department says U.S. attorneys are reviewing Ukraine information

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) Tuesday informing him that the U.S. attorneys for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania are reviewing "unsolicited" information from the public related to matters involving Ukraine.

Why it matters: Nadler had requested an explanation for the "intake process" that Attorney General Bill Barr stated had been set up in order to receive information that Rudy Giuliani had obtained about the Bidens in Ukraine.