Political gridlock is good for the US economy. That is encouraging because it seems that this is what Americans are likely to get from the mid-term elections tomorrow. To be more precise, the balance of the polls suggests that the Democrats will retake control of the House and the Republicans will retain the Senate. That is the view of most of the polling experts, including the renowned guru Nate Silver, who said yesterday that Democrats have a four-in-five chance of winning the House. The only way they could win the Senate, however, would be if there were “a systemic polling error”. Now let’s track through the economic and financial implications if that proves correct. Donald Trump will find it very difficult to get substantive legislation through Congress. The old adage “the President proposes and Congress disposes” will again be the rule. So no further round of tax cuts, for a start. That is a bit of a relief, since the deficit for the 2018 fiscal year, … [Read more...] about Looming gridlock should put paid to more Donald Trump tax cuts
Donald trumps taxes
opinion Joann M. Weiner Opinion contributor Published 4:00 AM EDT Oct 15, 2018 In the waning days of the 2016 presidential election, we learned that Donald Trump lost nearly $1 billion in a single year. This peek into his tax situation led his opponent Hillary Clinton to charge that Trump was refusing to release his tax returns because they’d show he didn’t pay any federal income taxes. Trump retorted, “That makes me smart!” At a later campaign rally, he said that he used the tax code “brilliantly.” Does paying no federal taxes make Trump the smartest tax guy in the room? That depends on what being smart about taxes implies. If it’s legal tax avoidance, that’s OK, but if it’s illegal tax evasion, that’s not OK. We recently got a glimpse into the tax avoidance/tax evasion conflict when The New York Times charged in an investigative repor that Trump has engaged in suspect tax schemes, some of which were … [Read more...] about Donald Trump, tax genius or tax con man? We need to see his returns.
Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has reportedly reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors. It's thought the deal would see Cohen plead guilty to charges related to money paid to women to buy their silence over alleged affairs. It's fuelling speculation that Cohen is set to 'flip' and cooperate with Robert Mueller's Russia probe. But CNN reported the proposed deal - which was reached at the last minute before indictments were set to be filed against him - did not include a pledge to cooperate with authorities. Lanny Davis, a lawyer for Cohen, declined to comment. Cohen and another of his lawyers, Guy Petrillo, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The probe is being led by the office of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan. A spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Federal agents had seized documents and files from Cohen in April that stemmed from a referral from the office of Robert Mueller, the special counsel looking into … [Read more...] about Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen reaches plea deal on fraud charges
Some headlines on the US economy from the past few days: Retail and Factories Drive Growth, Consumer Spending Lifts Retailers, Cost of Imports Eased by Strong Dollar, Confidence is High, Stocks Rebound as Fears Recede, Profits soar as Economy Advances. Those are all from the Wall Street Journal, which might be accused of focusing only on the positive side of the US economy, but the paper is hardly inventing the numbers behind the stories. The figures are so relentlessly upbeat they make it hard for those who hate Donald Trump and all he stands for to make a case that he’s failing, at least on what matters most electorally — money. The WSJ noted on its editorial page “a severe nationwide shortage of truck drivers” which will presumably lead to rising wages for a core Trump constituency. Other news sees US family-run farms finally winning against giant agribusinesses that for so long have dominated. Small farmers have complained for decades that the … [Read more...] about Donald Trump plan’s looking good, but is he heading for a cliff?
By Michael CliffordJust after 1.45pm, somebody in the ballroom of the Gresham Hotel said, “You’d think it was Obama we were waiting for”.By then Sean Spicer was a half-hour late. The room was full and impatient.Behind the rows of chairs a table was weighed down with copies of Spicer’s book, The Briefing. Sales didn’t appear to be terribly brisk.The former presidential spokesman was in Dublin to promote his tome. Books emerging from and delving into the current White House administration are plentiful at the moment, each promising more salacious detail about the Trumponian organised chaos.Not this one. Spicer has written to praise Donald Trump, not to bury him. The big question concerned whether he continued to be his master’s voice now he is no longer employed to be so.The answer at the event, organised by the Institute of International and European Affairs, would appear to be in the affirmative. Over the course of a brisk and well-conducted … [Read more...] about Former Donald Trump mouthpiece Spices up Dublin crowd