Sep 12, 2017

Trumpworld's Hill talking points for tax reform

Andrew Harnik / AP

Axios obtained the talking points the Trump administration sent to Capitol Hill this afternoon, as tax reform talks heat up. It's a window into how the President and his team will be selling their biggest legislative goal for 2017:

  1. Reducing tax preparation time and complexity: "Under our plan, 95% of Americans will be able to file their tax return on a single page..."
  2. Framing tax cuts as increasing tax fairness: "We will restore fairness by streamlining the tax code and ending special interest tax breaks and loopholes... Our plan will reduce taxes for our Middle Class..."
  3. "Win again": The administration will argue for corporate tax cuts as fairness for small business and leveling the playing field for American workers.
  4. "Bring it home": The talking points encourage businesses to repatriate overseas profits, labeling the swap from "Offshoring Model" to "American Model."

Reality check: We still have no detail and detail is what the Hill is hungering for. There's little chance Republican members will pass a budget, which is needed as the vehicle to move tax reform, until they know critical details like the specific rates and which loopholes are removed.

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China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

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Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.