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Trump Confuses On Border Tax

Mixed signals from Trump on border tax. NYT: “…Trump appeared to embrace a proposal by House Republicans that would impose a 20 percent tax on all imported goods. The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, told reporters that the proceeds would be used to pay for the border wall … But a furious uproar prompted Mr. Spicer to temper his earlier remarks, saying the plan was simply ‘one idea’ … The House proposal … known as border adjustment, creates the appearance of taxing trade deficits … But the House plan would offset that revenue by reducing the 35 percent corporate income tax rate, and would thus generate no new federal revenue over all … the tax would not be paid by Mexico. It would be paid by companies selling Mexican goods in the United States. Some might raise prices…”

Widening trade deficit weakens fourth quarter GDP. Bloomberg: “U.S. economic growth slowed more than forecast last quarter on the biggest drag from trade in six years and more moderate consumer spending. Business investment picked up, which may be a harbinger for faster expansion in 2017. [GDP] rose at a 1.9 percent annualized rate following the prior quarter’s 3.5 … Net exports subtracted 1.7 percentage points from expansion in the October-December period, the most since the second quarter of 2010…”

More Immigrants Deemed Criminal

“Trump’s Immigration Order Expands the Definition of ‘Criminal.'” NYT: “Immigration agents will now have wider latitude to enforce federal laws and are being encouraged to deport broad swaths of unauthorized immigrants.”

“Contrary to Trump’s Claims, Immigrants Are Less Likely to Commit Crimes” notes NYT: “… several studies, over many years, have concluded that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States. And experts say the available evidence does not support the idea that undocumented immigrants commit a disproportionate share of crime.”

Miami bows to Trump. CBS: “Fearing a loss of millions of dollars from the federal government, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered county jails to begin complying with federal immigration detention demands. The move effectively unravels Miami-Dade’s status as a ‘sanctuary’ for the undocumented.”

Trump Undermines Obamacare Enrollment

Trump pulls Obamacare ads. Politico: “The Trump administration has pulled the plug on all Obamacare outreach and advertising in the crucial final days of the 2017 enrollment season … Even ads that had already been placed and paid for have been pulled … Individuals may still sign up for Obamacare plans until the Jan. 31 deadline — but the Trump administration isn’t advertising that fact any longer … Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA … called the decision ‘a mean-spirited effort that can only result in fewer people getting coverage who need it.'”

House bill would keep protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The Hill: “‘We want to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions continue to get covered,’ House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said on CNN Thursday. ‘In fact, I’ll introduce a bill next week…’ … A Democratic aide familiar with a version of the bill … said under the current language, insurers could charge a client any price if they have had a period of no coverage … an aide for Republicans on the committee disputed [that.]

Keystone Applies For Permit

Keystone pipeline moves forward. AP: “The company behind the Keystone XL pipeline submitted on Thursday a new presidential permit application to the U.S. Department of State for approval … But Trump has also made a new requirement for the pipeline to be made with American steel and fabricated in the United States … Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada made no mention of using American materials in a statement Thursday…”

“Al Gore will host canceled climate change summit” reports The Hill: “Climate activist and former vice president Al Gore is teaming up with the American Public Health Association and other organizations to hold a summit on climate change and health that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention canceled earlier this week.”

Breakfast Sides

“33 labor complaints just dropped in front of Trump’s labor secretary pick” reports Yahoo! News: “On Thursday, workers from CKE Restaurants, which owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., filed 33 complaints against franchises of the company, which is run by Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Labor. Already, Puzder had been facing strong headwinds on his road to confirmation—and he hasn’t even had a hearing yet amid delays.”

“Democrats are lost right now. The DNC chairman’s race isn’t helping,” says Boston Globe’s James Pindell: “The DNC chairman’s race features no clear front-runner and, so far, little debate about the soul and direction of the party … Party members anticipate several rounds of ballots … with the Clinton/Sanders divide in the race, no candidate has been able to lock up enough votes to win … the field is growing. There will be 11 people at a DNC forum in Houston Saturday, including a new batch of lesser-known candidates.”

“It’s the Poverty, Stupid, Not Trump’s Imagined Carnage” writes American Prospect’s Gabrielle Gurley: “Most municipal leaders understand that crime reduction hinges on addressing multiple underlying economic factors like poverty, which requires dollars and innovative strategies, not beatdowns.”

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