Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The tax plan that President Trump will release today isn't super-specific or super-achievable. But it's a loud White House message to the Hill that the administration — after learning lessons on health reform — will now be less of a bystander.

A West Wing confidant said: "The White House is saying to Congress: You can expect us to do this on other major policy initiatives — health care; immigration; infrastructure; and the budget, particularly defense spending. We let you drive policy on health care, and you drove off a cliff."

  • The principles, based largely on campaign promises, take a Reaganite approach, with breaks for businesses big and small (The N.Y. Times lead story is "White House's Tax Plan Puts Business at the Fore"), plus a politically driven focus on individual side of the code.
  • One Republican lobbyist called it "neither comprehensive nor a plan," but more "a series of negotiating points" designed to jump-start Hill action.
  • Winners: moderate-income families (higher standard deduction, lower rates, a wider band on who gets the lower rates) ... corporations (though the proposed 15% rate isn't achievable — no way to make the math work) ... Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, left to create common ground on what one lobbyist called "achievable change."
  • Losers: The deficit ... nationalist approach (no border-adjustment tax).
  • The deets ... Wall Street Journal's Michael Bender and Richard Rubin say the plan would "cut corporate taxes on U.S. companies' foreign profits and ... slash the top tax rate on so-called pass-through businesses, including many owner-operated companies, to 15% from 39.6%."
  • "White House officials also have agreed to propose a territorial tax system, ... favored by large multinational firms ... U.S. corporations would pay little or no tax on future foreign earnings."

Frame game ... Although Trump hasn't won passage of any of his signature legislation, the White House yesterday posted a tally arguing he "has worked with Congress to enact 28 laws during the first 100 days of his Administration ... more legislation ... than any President since Truman."

Go deeper

Axios-SurveyMonkey poll: Harris boosting Biden ticket with key voters

Data: SurveyMonkey poll of 2,847 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 11–12, 2020 with ±3% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Kamala Harris is accomplishing what Joe Biden's campaign hoped she would in her first two days as his running mate — doing no harm, while exciting parts of the base with whom Biden needs the most help.

The big picture: Black women especially, but also Black men, Hispanics and Democrats and independents across the board say they are more likely to vote for Biden with Harris on the ticket, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

28 mins ago - Technology

Epic sues Apple over developer tax as Fortnite is pulled from App Store

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Fortnite maker Epic Games on Thursday escalated its battle over Apple's App Store tactics, suing the tech giant over antitrust claims while also baiting Apple into dropping Fortnite from the App Store.

The big picture: Epic is just one of several developers clashing with Apple. They argue the company harms competition by taking a cut of up to 30% on in-app purchases and subscriptions and blocking most developers from getting around the tax by charging their users directly.

Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandate: "Be a patriot"

Joe Biden called on governors to issue a three-month mandatory outdoor mask mandate on Thursday, telling reporters after receiving a coronavirus briefing that experts say it could save over 40,000 lives.

Why it matters: Biden was more aggressive and specific than he has been in previous calls to wear a mask, arguing that it will allow children to return to school sooner, businesses to reopen and help "get our country back on track."