National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said Monday that tax reform has to happen this year, even if it means Congress has to stay in session longer. "I think we have a unique window in time right now, but unfortunately we keep losing days to this window,” he said. “The opportunity is now." House Speaker Paul Ryan said last week he’d keep members over Christmas if that’s what it takes. And Ryan predicted Monday that tax reform would pass the House by early next month and then get through the Senate to reach the president’s desk by the end of the year. But there are plenty of skeptics out there, given the hurdles. Issac Boltansky, an analyst at the investment bank Compass Point, told Business Insider, "The idea of getting tax reform done this year is a farcical fantasy. Lawmakers have neither the time nor the capacity to formulate and clear a tax reform package in 2017."
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is preparing to announce a plan for the federal government to guarantee a job paying $15 an hour and providing health-care benefits to every American “who wants one or needs one.” The jobs would be on government projects in areas such as infrastructure, care giving, the environment and education. The proposal is still being crafted, and Sanders’ representative said his office had not yet come up with a cost estimate or funding plan. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) last week tweeted support for a federal jobs guarantee, but Republicans have long opposed such proposals, saying they would cost too much. (Washington Post)
Childhood poverty cost $1.03 trillion in 2015, including the loss of economic productivity, increased spending on health care and increased crime rates, according to a recent study in the journal Social Work Research. That annual cost represents about 5.4 percent of U.S. GDP. “It is estimated that for every dollar spent on reducing childhood poverty, the country would save at least $7 with respect to the economic costs of poverty,” says Mark R. Rank, a co-author of the study and professor of social welfare at Washington University in St. Louis. (Futurity)
A new survey by the Spectrem Group, a market research firm, finds that almost 80 percent of investors with net worth between $100,000 and $25 million (not including their home) say that the U.S. political environment is their biggest concern, followed by government gridlock (76 percent) and the national debt (75 percent).
At least two key Republican senators are unlikely to support an effort to roll back parts of the $1.3. trillion spending bill passed by Congress last month, The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis reported Monday evening. While aides to President Trump are working with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on a package of spending cuts, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) expressed opposition to the idea, meaning a rescission bill might not be able to get a simple majority vote in the Senate. And Roll Call reports that other Republican senators have expressed significant skepticism, too. “It’s going nowhere,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said.