The Trump administration pushed a $1.5 trillion tax cut through Congress in 2017 on the promise that it would spark sustained economic growth. While the tax cuts have goosed the economy in the short term, officials now concede they will not be enough to deliver the 3 percent annual growth the president promised over the long term. To produce that average growth rate for the next decade, White House forecasters say, the American economy would need additional rollbacks in labor regulations, a $1 trillion infrastructure plan and another round of tax cuts. Getting all those policies implemented would be highly unlikely, given a divided Congress and a ballooning federal deficit, which could limit lawmakers' appetite to spend money on a new tax cut or infrastructure plan. read more
There's at least one Don he really likes. The man suspected of gunning down mafia kingpin Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali showed off a hand covered in scrawls related to President Trump and the conservative QAnon movement at his first court appearance on Monday. Anthony Comello, 24, who even yawned during the highly anticipated appearance in a New Jersey courtroom, held up his left palm and revealed a large, bold "Q" written in blue ink in the center of his hand. It was surrounded by the phrases "MAGA Forever," "United We Stand" and "Patriots in Charge USA." "Patriots in Charge" appears to be a variant of the slogan "Patriots Are In Control," which is associated with online followers of QAnon, who's purported to be one or more high-level government insiders aware of a "deep state" conspiracy against Trump.
Defense Secretary Mattis' resignation-in-protest may have sunk quickly beneath that tsunami of headlines, but it is viewed as an important marker by some of the nation's most respected former flag officers and national security officials precisely because the issues it highlighted put the current chaos and rapidly mounting crises into context. Their willingness to break with the nonpartisan tradition of even retired U.S. military and intelligence officials and speak out is due in part to the historic nature of the resignation and the respect accorded Mattis as one of the preeminent warrior intellectuals of his generation of military leaders. But his resignation is also notable for the critique of the commander-in-chief that accompanied it, and the belief by many stewards of U.S. national security that it largely explains why America and the alliance of free peoples that it professes to lead feel so dangerously unstable right now, with worse very likely to come.
Debate on gun legislation reached a crescendo at the Arkansas State Capitol on Wednesday when a senator fervently denounced a bill that would make it easier to use lethal force in the name of self-defense. The bill, sponsored by three Republican state senators, would remove a clause from the current law that required a "duty to retreat" in self-defense cases. read more
A Pennsylvania man who says he isn't a bigot paid for a billboard that refers to civil rights activist John Lewis as a "black racist" and declares that "Whites have rights, too!" The billboard's owner John Placek, who is white, told WPXI in Pittsburgh that he's using the billboard to create a dialogue, which he has certainly done. read more