Feb 23, 2017

Mnuchin's ambitious 3% growth plan

Evan Vucci)/AP

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is hard at work on the Trump Administration's tax plan, which he says could come by August, according to interviews Thursday with the Wall Street Journal and CNBC. Mnuchin says that tax reform, along with other Trump policies, can move the U.S. back to its postwar average of sustained 3% growth. But given a slower-growing population and recent weak productivity growth, economists are skeptical that such a goal is realistic.

The most important thing: Mnuchin tells CNBC that the Administration's economic growth projections will diverge from the Congressional Budget Office's, setting the stage for conflict over the future effects of tax reform. Current Senate rules dictate that to use the budget reconciliation process — which would enable tax reform to be passed with 51 votes — a bill must be at least deficit neutral over 10 years. How optimistically the CBO and the Joint Economic Committee projects the effect of Trumps policies on growth and therefore tax receipts will be a decisive factor in the composition of tax reform.

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Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.