Jul 31, 2018

Trump mulls $100 billion tax cut for the rich

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

Coronavirus updates: World case count tops 600,000, Spain sees its deadliest day of outbreak

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain reported a record 832 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours — just one day after Italy reported nearly 1,000 deaths.

The big picture: The U.S. now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, as the number of global cases nears 615,519. Governments around the world are trying to curb the medical and financial fallout of COVID-19, as infections surge across Europe and the U.S.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 615,519 — Total deaths: 28,687 — Total recoveries: 135,671.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 104,837 — Total deaths: 1,711 — Total recoveries: 894.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  6. Business latest: President Trump authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to direct General Motors to build ventilators for those affected by COVID-19. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been appointed to enforce the act.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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The one-minute coronavirus story

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

News about the coronavirus is so big and coming so fast that it's hard to remember what happened just last week, let alone last month.

Here's the quickest possible review of the story so far — how it happened and how the U.S. lost control.

Go deeperArrow22 mins ago - Health