May 30, 2017

Tax reform falters despite Trump's claims

Susan Walsh

Wall Street Journal lead story, "GOP Bid To Rewrite Tax Code Falters," by Richard Rubin:

"The clear winner, so far, is the status quo. ... The only big revenue-raising provision with anything close to Republican consensus is repealing the deduction for state and local taxes, and that idea faces objections from blue-state lawmakers in the party."

"[A] fruitless revenue quest may lead the GOP to second-tier options. ... One possibility is a temporary tax cut that would expire to comply with rules preventing long-run deficits."

"Another path is settling for a 25% corporate rate instead of the 20% backed by House Republicans or the 15% proposed by Mr. Trump."

Why it matters: "Republicans started 2017 with high tax-policy ambitions, seeing an opportunity to use unified control of government to achieve a long-running party goal. ... Now, the tax bill isn't written and must wait for the health bill and budget."

Trump tweeted Sunday: "The massive TAX CUTS/REFORM that I have submitted is moving along in the process very well, actually ahead of schedule. Big benefits to all!"

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 883,225 — Total deaths: 44,156 — Total recoveries: 185,377Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 189,753 — Total deaths: 4,090 — Total recoveries: 7,141Map.
  3. Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: It's "a tale of two Americas" as the rich are more likely to work from home and the poor are more likely to report to work.
  4. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  5. State updates: Washington and California appear to have slowed their surges of new cases — Florida cases have been doubling the past four days, approaching 7,000.
  6. NYPD: Over 1,400 of its employees have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Private equity hits the brakes amid coronavirus recovery uncertainties

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Private equity is still working on opportunistic deals when it can get a break from portfolio triage, but it's also boarding up the exits amid new questions about the speed of the coronavirus recovery.

The state of play: Sale processes are being shelved daily, even ones that already launched with investment bankers, data rooms, and interested suitors.

China's medical diplomacy is empowering euroskeptic leaders

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Chinese government has embarked on a highly publicized campaign to provide vital medical supplies to European countries as they fight coronavirus outbreaks within their borders.

Why it matters: Those efforts — and the perception that the European Union has done little to help — are providing fodder for politicians who are eager to hail China and criticize the EU. EU leaders may now have to worry about both Chinese and Russian overtures that weaken European unity.

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