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Trump Is Misrepresenting What’s In The Health Care Bill He Wants To Pass

President Donald Trump, trying to drum up support for Senate Republicans’ latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, defended the legislation by claiming it contains a provision it does not. In a tweet on Wednesday evening, Trump ― hailing the legislation as “a great bill” ― affirmed that he would not sign it “if it did not include coverage of pre-existing conditions.”

As HuffPost’s Jonathan Cohn explains, the bill, sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), leaves most decisions on health insurance to states, as it converts federal money to state grants. States could dismantle key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, such as the requirement that people with preexisting conditions are not denied coverage. Without that requirement, insurers could charge higher insurance premiums based on patients’ medical status.

The bill, which Republicans are rushing through the Senate without hearings or an independent analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, is yet another attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

In an later tweet on Wednesday, Trump defended Cassidy, a physician, saying that “he doesn’t lie.” In a viral clip on Tuesday, late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel said Cassidy “lied to my face” about the bill. Kimmel took more swipes at Cassidy on Wednesday.

This summer, after Kimmel’s infant son underwent surgery for a preexisting heart condition, Cassidy appeared on Kimmel’s show and pledged the Senate health care legislation would pass what he called “the Jimmy Kimmel test,” including protecting people with preexisting conditions.

But responding to Kimmel this week, Cassidy defended his bill by making misleading claims, including the assertion that it would contain protections for preexisting conditions.

Several health care experts said Kimmel was more accurate than Cassidy in explaining what’s in the bill.

 

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Trump tells the UN: 'I will always put America first'

President Trump urged his foreign counterparts on Tuesday to put the security of their own countries first, much as he intends to do as the leader of the U.S., during a speech before the United Nations General Assembly.

"Our government's first duty is to its people, to our citizens, to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights and to defend their values," Trump said.

"As president of the United States, I will always put America first. Just like you as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always put your countries first," he added.

At the 72nd annual gathering of diplomats and foreign leaders from 193 countries, Trump emphasized state sovereignty as a foundation for global peace and prosperity.

"Strong, sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just co-exist but work side-by-side on the basis of mutual respect," the president said. He added that sovereign states "let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny."

The president touted the U.S. as an example of a strong, sovereign nation that has declined "to impose our way of life on anyone."

"Rather, [we] let it shine as an example for everyone to watch," Trump said. "In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign."

WASHINGTONEXAMINER.COM

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-tells-the-un-i-will-always-put-america-first/article/2634862

 

The Growing Danger Of Dynastic Wealth

White House National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, former president of Goldman Sachs, said recently that “only morons pay the estate tax.” I’m reminded of Donald Trump’s comment that he didn’t pay federal income taxes because he was “smart.” And billionaire Leona Helmsley’s “only the little people pay taxes.”

What Cohn was getting at is how easy it is nowadays for the wealthy to pass their fortunes to their children, tax-free.  

The estate tax applies only to estates over $11 million per couple. And wealthy families stash away dollars above this into “dynastic” trust funds that escape additional taxes. 

No wonder revenues from the estate tax have been dropping for years even as wealth has become concentrated in fewer hands. The tax now generates about $20 billion a year, which is less than 1 percent of federal revenues. And it applies to only about 2 out of every 1,000 people who die.

Now, Trump and Republican leaders are planning to cut or eliminate it altogether.

There’s another part of the tax code that Cohn might also have been referring to – capital gains taxes paid on the soaring values of the wealthy people’s stocks, bonds, mansions and works of art, when they sell them.

If the wealthy hold on to these assets until they die, the tax code allows their heirs to inherit them without paying any of these capital gains taxes. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this loophole saves heirs $50 billion a year.

The estate and capital gains taxes were originally designed to prevent the growth of large dynasties in the U.S. and to reduce inequality.

They’ve been failing to do that. The richest 1 tenth of 1 percent of Americans now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.

Many of today’s super rich never did a day’s work in their lives. Six out of the ten wealthiest Americans alive today are heirs to prominent fortunes. The Walmart heirs alone have more wealth than the bottom 42 percent of Americans combined.

Rich millennials will soon acquire even more of the nation’s wealth. 

America is now on the cusp of the largest inter-generational transfer of wealth in history. As wealthy boomers expire, an estimated $30 trillion will go to their children over the next three decades. 

Those children will be able to live off of the income these assets generate, and then leave the bulk of them – which in the intervening years will have grown far more valuable – to their own heirs, tax-free.

After a few generations of this, almost all of the nation’s wealth will be in the hands of a few thousand families.  

Dynastic wealth runs counter to the ideal of America as a meritocracy. It makes a mockery of the notions that people earn what they’re worth in the market, and that economic gains should go to those who deserve them.

It puts economic power into the hands of a relative small number of people who have never worked, but whose investment decisions will have a significant effect on the nation’s future.

And it creates a self-perpetuating aristocracy that is antithetical to democracy.

The last time America faced anything comparable to the concentration of wealth we face now, occurred at the turn of the last century.

Then, President Teddy Roosevelt warned that “a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power,” could destroy American democracy.

Roosevelt’s answer was to tax wealth. The estate tax was enacted in 1916 and the capital gains tax in 1922.

But since then, both have been eroded. As the rich have accumulated greater wealth, they have also amassed more political power, and they’ve used that political power to reduce their taxes.

Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, helped create a movement against dynastic wealth. Trump and today’s congressional Republicans will not follow in his footsteps. I doubt even today’s Democrats would do so if they had a chance. Big money has become too powerful on both sides of the aisle.

But taxing big wealth is necessary if we’re ever to get our democracy back, and make our economy work for everyone rather than a privileged few.

Maybe Gary Cohn is correct that only morons pay the estate tax. But if he and his boss were smart and they cared about America’s future, they’d raises taxes on great wealth. Roosevelt’s fear of an American dynasty is more applicable today than ever before.

 

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