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Posts Tagged ‘president trump’

After enduring the healthcare debacle, Charlottesville nightmare, and a seemingly endless string of natural disasters, the White House is desperate for some good PR, and revamping the nation’s tax law is where it aims to find it.

Over the past year, many promises have been made and modified, proposals floated and abandoned, and timelines established and extended. And while I’d like nothing more than to use this space to get you caught up on the details of where we stand today — projected tax rates, a review of what deductions will be eliminated or survive, etc… — the reality is, those details simply don’t exist. In fact, we know far less today about what tax reform might look like than we did seven or eight months ago.

So instead, I’d like to take a look at the big picture: what are the five biggest questions that must be answered before the GOP can fulfill one of its biggest promises to the American public: a more simple, more fair tax system that leaves additional cash in the hands of businesses and families? Let’s take a look.

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Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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As you may have read in one of your uncle’s late-night Facebook missives, President Donald Trump stands accused of having colluded with Moscow to make America not Great Again, but rather the largest province in the Russian empire.

There are more to these accusations than the social media ramblings of a distraught family member, however; the FBI found enough smoke around the Trump campaign to convince the Bureau there may well be fire, launching a federal investigation into possible collusion by the current administration in early 2017.

In May, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was tabbed as special counsel to head the investigation, a sign that things had turned towards the serious. The decision to bring in Mueller was made in response to the President’s dismissal of the standing FBI Director, James Comey, a move that came as Comey was reportedly intensifying his investigation into Trump’s affairs.

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Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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A few summers ago, my wife and I marked our ten-year wedding anniversary with a three-day getaway to Block Island. Our first night on the island, we went out to dinner, and while we awaited the arrival of our food, my wife shared the story of friend who had recently gotten a new job, and when she and her husband arrived at the restaurant that night to celebrate with dinner, the husband had thoughtfully arranged to have a bottle of champagne waiting at the table with a note that read, “Congratulations!”

Maybe my wife meant that as a hint; maybe she didn’t. That’s when it dawned on me: Ten years is a big deal. There are expectations involved. I should probably live up to them.

In recent days, President Trump found himself in the same uncomfortable situation I endured at that table in Block Island. Soon to mark his 100th day in office, he realized that he had done nothing to fulfill his promise to deliver a “phenomenal tax plan.” So as I did during dinner with my wife, the President scrambled for the best solution he could: a rushed, half-hearted gesture meant merely to meet his minimum obligations. There was no plan. There were no details. There was, quite literally, a one-page release with a handful of bullet points, that only served to raise more questions than answers.

But before we get to those questions, let’s take a quick look at the “plan.”

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Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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The flames had not yet cooled on the American Health Care Act — the GOP’s seven-years-in-the-making plan to repeal and replace Obamacare — before Republican leaders had moved on to its next top priority: tax reform. And from that emphatic pivot was born a golden moment for people like me; after all, it’s not often that tax law rises to the forefront of the public consciousness. But that’s where we’re heading…maybe for mere weeks, but possibly for months or — dare I say it? — years. A time where discussions of deductions and talk of tax brackets will dominate newspaper pages, Facebook timelines, and Twitter feeds.

Sure, these rare moments serve as career validation for people who have made the ill-advised choice to spend their lives in the bowels of the tax law, but debates over reform of those laws shouldn’t be preserved solely for us. Everyone should get in on the fun, and to that end, here’s a little primer for you: five headlines you’re sure to read about tax reform as the process unfolds.

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Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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In early March, GOP leaders Kevin Brady and Paul Ryan unleashed their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, publishing proposed legislation in the form of the American Health Care Act. Last week, the Congressional Budget Office released its score of the plan, and two of the primary criticisms that emerged from the report were as follows:

  1. The plan results in an $880 billion tax cut over the next decade, with at least $274 billion of the cuts going directly into the pockets of the richest 2%, and
    Medicaid would be cut by an equivalent $880 billion over the next decade, making it more difficult for low-income taxpayers to procure insurance.
  2. Last week, the GOP released amendments to its health care bill, and in response to the shortcomings highlighted by the CBO report, the changes to the bill would add more tax breaks for the rich and further slash Medicaid funding.

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Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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Sometime in the past few days, the first two pages of President Trump’s 2005 Form 1040 mysteriously landed in the mailbox of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and tax professor David Cay Johnston. In the interest of full disclosure, the same two pages showed up at my house late last week, but they were shipped C.O.D., and I’d be damned if I was going to shell out the 49 cents.

Johnston shared the documents with Rachel Maddow and MSNBC, setting off BREAKING NEWS sirens that inspired millions of Americans to flip on the TV to watch Maddow unveil the President’s intimate — and private — financial information.

Now normally, the opportunity to ogle the President’s tax returns would not create a stir; after all, every sitting president since Nixon has published their returns as part of an unwritten agreement with the American people to be transparent and forthright. President Trump, quite famously, has deviated from that long-held practice, first refusing to release his returns during his campaign because he was “under constant IRS audit,” and then pointing to his subsequent election as a referendum that “no one other than journalists” cares about his taxes.

Of course, people DO care: over 1 million individuals signed an online petition insisting that Trump publish the missing returns, but to date, the President has resisted. This of course, has only added to the intrigue, and in today’s world, when there’s enough intrigue, there will eventually be a leak.

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Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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Last week, GOP leadership revealed its long-awaited plan to repeal and replace Obamacare by publishing the American Health Care Act. Rather than representing a unifying piece of legislation for the Republican party, however, the proposed legislation created an immediate division within the GOP, with many leading Republicans derisively calling the plan “Obamacare Lite” and others questioning the impact it would have on the number of insured individuals, or stated more appropriately, the number of insured voters in advance of the 2018 mid-term elections.

Despite the lukewarm reception with which it was met, the American Health Care Act moved through the House Ways and Means Committee along party lines; though it did require 18 hours of debate, with Democratic committee members decrying the Committee’s willingness to move the bill forward without a complete measure of its cost or the lost insured.

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office answered those questions, releasing its official scoring of the American Health Care Act, and the results are not pretty. An $883 billion tax cut, $274 billion of it going to the richest 2%. $880 billion stripped from Medicare. And 24 million fewer insured individuals over the next ten years.

Let’s take a look at how the CBO came up with the numbers it did. But first, we need to understand a bit about how Obamacare works.

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Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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