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Over a hundred protesters met at Greeley Square in Midtown Manhattan on November 27, 2017. Photo: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

"The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives," the N.Y. Times' Alan Rappeport and Jim Tankersley report.

The big picture: "The Treasury Department could change the definition of 'cost' for calculating capital gains, allowing taxpayers to adjust the initial value of an asset, such as a home or a share of stock, for inflation when it sells."

  • An example: "If a high earner spent $100,000 on stock in 1980, then sold it for $1 million today, she would owe taxes on $900,000. But if her original purchase price was adjusted for inflation, it would be about $300,000, reducing her taxable 'gain' to $700,000. That would save the investor $40,000."

Why it matters, from WashPost's Damian Paletta: "[T]he use of executive power on such a significant change to the tax law would be highly unusual and could be vulnerable to a legal challenge."

  • "Senior administration officials have discussed whether to proceed but have not concluded they have legal authority to do so."
  • "The move was rejected during the George H.W. Bush administration because it was seen as outside the scope of Treasury’s authority and only attainable via an act of Congress."

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden set to inherit Trump's TikTok conundrum

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump has one day left in the White House. TikTok has a lot longer left in the app stores, despite still being owned by China's ByteDance.

Why it matters: Trump's failure to force divestiture or eviction was more than just a blunder, or source of schadenfreude for the TikTok users who bedeviled his reelection campaign's event planners. It was part of a "talk loudly and carry a small stick" economic policy toward China that Joe Biden will inherit.

Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.