What The Fuck Just Happened Today?

Today's essential newsletter. Logging the daily shock and awe in national politics. Read in moderation.
by @matt_kiser

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Day 54: Alias. Salvage. Taxed.

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1/ Trump wrote off $100 million in business losses to reduce his federal taxes in 2005. Trump paid $38 million in federal income taxes on reported income of $150 million, an effective tax rate of 25%. By claiming losses from previous years, Trump was able to save tens of millions of dollars in taxes that he otherwise might have owed. (New York Times)

  • Trump and his wife Melania paid $5.3 million in regular federal income tax in 2005 – a rate of less than 4%. However, the Trumps paid an additional $31 million in the so-called “alternative minimum tax,” or AMT. Trump has previously called for the elimination of this tax. (The Daily Beast)
  • White House: Trump paid $38 million in taxes in 2005 on more than $150 million in income. The White House put the information out ahead of an anticipated MSNBC news report about the returns. Trump had promised during the presidential campaign to release his returns – which every presidential nominee in modern times has made into a precedent – after the conclusion of a routine audit, but the White House has not spelled out when exactly that would be. More recently, aides have suggested that since he won the election, he would not release his returns. (CNN)

2/ White House tries to salvage GOP health-care proposal as criticism mounts. The White House has launched an intensive effort to salvage support for the Republican plan to revise the Affordable Care Act, even as a growing number of lawmakers weighed in against the proposal. (Washington Post)

  • Trump’s backing a healthcare plan that breaks his promises. Trump was clear both as a candidate and as president: No one would be left behind under his health care plan. But the CBO found Trump would break his promise — by a mile. (NBC News)
  • Trump said it could take several years for health insurance prices to start to drop under the healthcare replacement plan he is promoting, creating a rocky transition period that could pose a risk for members of Congress up for re-election next year and Trump’s own bid for a second term in 2020. (Bloomberg)
  • Trump administration shifts away from “insurance for everybody,” instead promising that the House GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare offers “more people the option to get healthcare.” (Los Angeles Times)

3/ Rattled by CBO report, moderate Republicans turn against GOP bill. Republican leaders are struggling to unify conservative and moderate factions on health care. (CNN)

  • Conservatives’ reaction to CBO report casts doubt on GOP health plan’s viability. Lawmakers continue to push back on healthcare plan, saying the bill doesn’t repeal Obamacare, doesn’t unite Republicans, and doesn’t bring down the cost of premiums. (Washington Post)
  • Republican Rep. Peter Roskam: GOP healthcare bill “very much a work in progress.” Roskam voted for the plan just days ago in his position as a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, but has been drawing substantial fire in his district for his stance on health insurance. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

4/ The Trump administration slammed the CBO estimate that millions of people would become uninsured under the Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. The CBO found that 14 million people would lose their insurance coverage by next year under the bill, with the number rising to 24 million over a decade. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said “it’s just not believable” and “virtually impossible” for the CBO estimate to occur. (The Hill)

  • Paul Ryan: CBO report on ObamaCare repeal “exceeded my expectations.” Ryan said the CBO’s prediction that 14 million more Americans would be uninsured in 2018 was due to the bill’s overturning of ObamaCare’s individual mandate. C’mon guy. (Fox News)
  • Sanders responds to CBO score: “Thousands of Americans will die” if the legislation is passed and millions of people are thrown off health insurance. (The Hill)
  • White House analysis of Obamacare repeal sees even deeper insurance losses than CBO. The executive branch analysis forecast that 26 million people would lose coverage over the next decade, versus the 24 million CBO estimates. (Politico)
  • CBO: Defunding Planned Parenthood would lead to thousands more births. Analysts estimate that excluding the women’s health organization from the Medicaid program for one year would affect low-income areas and communities without many health care options, leaving 15% of those people “without services that help women avert pregnancy.” (Washington Post)
  • Ted Cruz calls rising premiums “most troubling aspect” of CBO health care report. “This is not the mandate that we were elected to fulfill,” Cruz said. (Dallas News)

5/ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used an email alias to discuss climate change while he was CEO of Exxon Mobil. Tillerson used the account for “secure and expedited communications between select senior company officials and the former chairman for a broad range of business-related topics,” after his primary account began receiving too many messages. (Bloomberg)

6/ Several states jointly sue to block Trump’s revised travel ban. Washington, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon asked a judge to stop Trump’s revised temporary ban on refugees and travelers from taking effect. (Reuters)

7/ DOJ asks for more time on inquiry into Trump wiretapping allegations after it failed to meet the House Intelligence Committee’s deadline to turn over evidence. (ABC News)

8/ Trump gives CIA new authority to conduct drone strikes against suspected terrorists, changing the Obama administration’s policy of limiting the spy agency’s paramilitary role and reopening a turf war between the agency and the Pentagon. (Wall Street Journal)

9/ Breitbart turns up the heat on Paul Ryan, leaking audio of Ryan disavowing Trump. “I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future,” Ryan says in an October conference call intended for House Republican members. (Breitbart)

10/ Trump is set to sign a sweeping directive to dramatically shrink the role climate change plays in decisions across the government, ranging from appliance standards to pipeline approvals. Trump’s order also will compel a reconsideration of the government’s use of a metric known as the “social cost of carbon” that reflects the potential economic damage from climate change. (Bloomberg)

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