What in the Tax bill? White House proposes to change immigration, Quick news, FBI Against Trump, Brexit in Phase II

Transcript for The Morning Brew Dec. 15, 2017.


Known Provisions of Tax Bill



  • Corporate tax rate drops to 21% from 35%
  • The House, Senate, and Trump proposed 20%
    • Pass-Through Businesses
      • 20% income deduction for pass-through businesses
      • sole proprietorships and Partnerships
      • The House proposed 25% rate, the Senate 23%
  • Corporate Minimum
    • Repeals minimum tax
      • Originally set up to make sure profitable companies pay some federal tax.
  • Clean Energy
    • Keeps tax credit for the manufacture of wind energy
    • Keeps $7,500 credit for electric vehicle
    • House proposed repealing electric vehicle credit and scaling back wind energy credit, Senate proposed neither


  • Individual Income Tax Rates
    • 7 Brackets
    • Top rate goes from 39.6% to 37%
    • The House wanted to reduce the number of brackets to 4. The Senate wanted to cut top rate to 38.5% but keep the 7 brackets.
  • Permanence
    • Individual rates will be expected to revert back to current levels after 2024
    • House proposed permanence. Senate wanted an expiration date after 2025
  • State and Local Tax
    • $10,000 cap on SALT
    • Allow for continued deductions of both types of tax payments and property taxes
    • House and Senate wanted to scale back popular individual deduction for SALT by placing limiting the payments of property taxes and capping it at $10,000
  • Mortgage Interest
    • This interest deduction is capped at the home loan value of $750,000, which is down from $1M.
    • House wanted to cap at $500,000, the Senate wanted to keep the $1M.
  • Estate Tax
    • Federal estate tax is pretty much doubled on inherited assets: $11M per individual, $22M per couple
    • Leaves the tax in place
    • This is the Senate proposal. House wanted to repeal the estate tax over the course of several years.

ObamaCare Mandate: Repeals penalty for not getting health insurance coverage. House bill did not propose a repeal for this.

ANWR Drilling: Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge can now be tapped for drilling. Sponsored by Rep. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.


White House Out to Sway Popular Opinion on Immigration


The White House is aiming to shift toward a merit-based immigration system, which will go against the popular “chain immigration”. This would make the largest change to immigration policies in the US in 30 years. This comes after the New York bombing by an IS inspired extremist who was brought to the US under the F-43 Visa. The question is, “What is merit based immigration?”

This type of immigration is the same system that Canada and Britain employ. This is immigration based on education and job potential, asking the question, “What do you bring to the table in terms of wanting to be an American citizen?” This will be a points-based merit system. The problem with moving to this system is the current political climate, but many feel this shift from green cards and “chain immigration” is sorely needed.

According to Dept. of Homeland Security, 9.3 million immigrants were family members brought here by family members who were already residing in the states. Not surprisingly, a poll done in August showed 48% of voters were not in favor of Trump cutting the number of future legal immigrants in half and placing priority to those with job skills and not familial ties. The poll was conducted by Quinnipiac University.

In an attempt to offer a concession, Trump says he will give legal status to 700,000 young “Dreamers” who were brought here illegally in exchange for his immigration bill. A bill which includes a border wall, tougher enforcement measures, and moving to a merit-based system. Trump gave Congress six months from September to provide a legislative fix to DACA.



Quick News

  • The death toll in the California Wildfire is now two, including one firefighter. The woman found in her car has now been attributed to the blaze as she was fleeing the fire at the time of the accident.
  • Heather Heyer’s killer has been charged with first degree murder. Heyer, if you recall, was the woman run down by a car during the Charlottesville protests. This charge was levied, instead of second degree, because it shows in a video the driver backing up rapidly and then drove head first at a high speed into the crowd.
    • Sources are from Associated Press application for Windows

FBI Records Uncover Bias Against Trump


The White House says newly revealed records hold proof of “extreme bias” against Trump in the senior leadership positions. This came hours prior to the president’s scheduled speaking engagement at Quantico, VA. It appears there were edits to Comey’s statements on Hillary Clinton’s private server and also critical text messages from the top agent to her as well. “There is extreme bias against this president with high-up members of the team there at the FBI who were investigating Hillary at the time,” Dep Press Secretary Hogan Gidley declared, though Trump still has confidence in the rank-and-file of the FBI as a whole.

The edits Comey did look to soften the seriousness of the findings in the bureau’s 2016 investigation of Hillary’s use of her private server during her stint as Secretary of State.



New Brexit Phase Launched


The European Union has helped to clear the way for Brexit talks with Britain, which will move it on to the second stage. Second stage talks will focus on future relationships and trade agreements. This move was approved by 27 leaders after the two-year mechanism that involves Britain leaving. Even though there has been progress, time is running out for the exit from the EU. Some sort of agreement has to be made and in place before October of next year to get the clearance needed from parliaments in time for the actual separation in March 2019. May’s top priority is to establish the transition period. This would likely mean Britain will remain as a part of the single market and customs union, lasting about two years. The EU is pressing for London to give up its seat at the leader’s table. It is also demanding London to lose all of its lawmakers in the European Parliament and to remove its judges from Europe’s courts, but the EU still wants London to obey EU laws and respect the European Court of Justice.

Until next time, question everything,


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