President Trump and congressional leaders have sounded optimistic about their ability to strike a deal to rebuild America's crumbling infrastructure, but advisers to the White House warn that Democrats are trying to spring a gas tax trap on the president to sabotage his 2020 re-election bid.
Taxes & Budget
Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.
By Jessica Chasmar - The Washington Times
Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent a flurry of tweets late Monday slamming Amazon for its planned split headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, saying residents are outraged over the billion-dollar company possibly getting "millions of dollars in tax breaks" while the local community is being neglected. Published November 13, 2018
The Department of Veterans Affairs this week will stop paying employees in health care jobs for time spent on union activities as the Trump administration cracks down on the practice known as "official time," which costs taxpayers more than $100 million per year.
U.S. employers added a stellar 250,000 jobs last month and raised average pay by the most in nearly a decade.
The Defense Department is pumping billions more into classified intelligence programs, from unmanned reconnaissance drones to high-tech space surveillance satellites, according to recently released figures by the Pentagon.
President Trump on Tuesday called the big selloff on Wall Street a "little pause" in the economic boom, and he warned that voting Democrat in the midterms would send stocks lower.
The good news is that the U.S. economy is now on track to grow more than 3 percent this year for the first time in 13 years. The bad news is that the economy would be growing even faster if it were not for policy mistakes.
From the budget deals in the 1990s to the "sequester" spending caps passed in 2011, divided government has been relatively good for Washington's bottom line. That's unlikely to be the case next year.
The sizzling economy underpins President Trump's final blitz for Republicans in the midterms, with dire warnings that the jobs boom and higher wages will slip away if Democrats seize Congress.
The nerve-wracking anxiety that's gripped the U.S. stock market seems oddly unmoored from economic reality: Despite the turbulence on Wall Street, economic growth is strong, unemployment ultra-low and consumers exceptionally confident.
The United States' long-term fiscal picture is so dire that if current policies continue, the national debt would be more than six times the size of the U.S. economy in 75 years, according to a report being released Thursday by a fiscal watchdog group.
Like the location of Jimmy Hoffa's body, the secret formula for Coca-Cola and the possibility of aliens in outer space, the identity of the winner of the second-biggest lottery in American history may remain hidden forever - because of where the person bought the ticket.
Lottery officials say someone has won the record $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot.
As difficult as it may be to believe, there was a time when Republicans were known as the anti-debt and balanced budget party. Now, the GOP prefers to tout low unemployment as the debt soars and they are co-conspirators in its rise.
Former President Barack Obama took credit Monday for what he called the "economic miracles" happening under President Trump.
President Trump said Monday his new tax cut plan would be a 10 percent reduction for middle-class families.
Sen. Cory Booker announced a new bill Monday that would establish a taxpayer-funded savings account for every American at birth.
Scammers are using Social Security's customer service number in a "spoofing" scheme to try to steal information from Americans, the agency's acting inspector general said in a new alert Monday.
If it seems like lottery jackpots are getting larger and larger, it's because they are getting larger and larger.
President Trump asked his Cabinet secretaries Wednesday to cut their budgets by 5 percent, mindful that the government reported a $117 billion increase in the federal deficit just three weeks ahead of the midterm elections.
President Trump oversaw a massive increase in the deficit during his first full year in office, the Treasury Department announced Monday, pointing to rising spending and stagnant taxes that threaten to send the government back into the realm of trillion-dollar shortfalls.
Working to obtain President Trump's tax returns will be one of the Democrats' first orders of business if they retake the House in the midterm elections, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday.
Tens of millions of Social Security recipients and other retirees will get a 2.8 percent increase in benefits next year as inflation edges higher. For the average retired worker, it amounts to $39 a month.
U.S. employers added just 134,000 jobs in September, the fewest in a year, though the figure was likely lowered by Hurricane Florence, while the unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent, the lowest level since 1969.
President Trump brushed off the New York Times report on Wednesday that tax fraud his family allegedly committed in the 1990's as a "very old, boring and often told hit piece on me."
An eye-poppingly high price tag sank President Trump's plans for a military parade through the streets of Washington. Now, some experts say opponents are using the same creative budgeting to scuttle -- or at least delay -- the creation of a U.S. Space Force.
President Trump signed an $854 billion spending bill Friday that will keep the federal government open into the new fiscal year, and he criticized Democrats for refusing to fully fund his border wall.
The House on Friday voted to permanently extend the individual rate cuts in the GOP's $1.5 trillion tax cut law as part of Republicans' "Tax reform 2.0" effort, saying the cuts are needed to keep the economy humming in the future.
House passes 'Tax Reform 2.0' bills aimed at bolstering retirement savings, incentivizing businesses
The House on Thursday passed two pieces "Tax Reform 2.0" package, as the GOP tries to cement itself as the party of lower taxes and an ascendant economy before the closing stretch of the fall campaign.
Congress has approved a bill keeping the government open through Dec. 7, as lawmakers move to avert a government shutdown looming next week.
President Trump ended the threat of a total government shutdown last week with his signature on a bill to fund several key departments and Congress for all of 2019 -- leaving all sides to wonder what comes next.
Dozens of people have launched GoFundMe accounts to raise money that they say they will make sure is used to push the president's plans for his "great, beautiful wall."
President Trump called the latest spending bill "ridiculous" while complaining about border wall funding Thursday morning and demanded Republicans "finally get tough."
Congress is hoping to pass nine of the 12 annual appropriations bills for 2019 before Oct. 1 -- and plans to fund the remaining departments at current-year levels through Dec. 7 to avoid a partial shutdown when funding expires at the end of the month.
Republicans have poll-tested a Contract with America-style agenda to carry into the fall elections as they ponder whether they need to give voters a bolder plan for what they will do if they keep control of Congress.
For the past two years, most major media outlets have been running non-stop about what a disaster President Trump is, and how his mere existence is a threat to both citizens' pocketbooks and liberty. Yet the economy has been booming, and lower taxes and fewer regulations not only meant more prosperity but more liberty.
The farm bill last year sent $15,488 in subsidies to the homes of Hollywood's elite, and Congress is back at the drawing board this year.
Recent Opinion Columns
Most of the gifts exchanged at this time of year are opened on Christmas Day. But this time around, a big one arrived a few days early: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Americans are the most generous people in the world.
Every day there are legions of new economists who dismiss the Donald Trump economic agenda and his forecast of 3 percent growth as a wild-eyed fantasy. The consensus is that the economy "can't possibly grow at 3 percent" says The Wall Street Journal. "Slow growth is the new norm, so get used to it," writes Rucir Sharma, Morgan Stanley, chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley in Foreign Affairs magazine this month.
This past weekend marked President Trump's 100th day in office. While tax cuts and health care reform have been discussed, neither has moved forward. With a potential fight over the debt limit looming, there is surely a lot that could be said about what Mr. Trump has and has not accomplished over the last few months. But there is at least one bright spot: reducing burdensome federal regulations.
If you pay people not to work, what do you think they will do?
From The Vault
The U.S. economy grew at a robust annual rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter, the best performance in nearly four years, but economists believe growth has slowed in the current quarter, in part because of a drag from trade.
The Trump administration ripped up federal regulations at a record pace this year and saved taxpayers $1.3 billion, double the goal set by the president, according to an American Action Forum analysis.
House Republicans announced legislation Monday to permanently lock in last year's tax cuts, looking to remind voters of the surging economy -- and the Republicans' role in getting it there -- in the weeks before the November elections.
The New York-based nonprofit Conference Board reports that its monthly Employment Trends Index is on the upswing.
The federal government took in a record tax haul in April en route to its biggest-ever monthly budget surplus, the Congressional Budget Office said, as a surging economy left Americans with more money in their paychecks -- and this more to pay to Uncle Sam.
U.S. employers added a modest 103,000 jobs in March after several months of robust gains, though the government's overall jobs report suggests that the labor market remains fundamentally healthy.
The IRS is auditing fewer tax returns than at any other time in the past 15 years as the agency struggles with what it says it a shrinking budget and pressure from Congress to be less zealous in enforcement.
The U.S. economy grew at a solid rate of 2.6 percent in the final three months of last year, helped by the fastest consumer spending since the spring of 2016 and a big rebound in home construction.
Disney has joined a growing list of companies that have offered employees cash bonuses after the passage of tax reform legislation in Congress.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has belittled the burgeoning number of tax cut bonuses handed out by employers to millions of employees as "crumbs," but to workers receiving them, it's welcome cash in their pockets.
Walmart on Thursday announced that it will increase the starting wage rate for hourly employees to $11 and provide additional benefits to other workers in the wake of the $1.5 trillion tax-cut package Congress passed last month.
The unsung hero of the Republican Christmas gift of a tax cut is Arthur Laffer — the Reagan economist who helped devise the Gipper's tax reductions. Those tax cuts rebuilt the U.S. economy in the 1980s and pulled us out of the mini-depression of high inflation and unemployment in the late 1970s.
Republican negotiators on Wednesday said they've managed to strike a deal on a $1.4 trillion tax-cut package and that they'll be prepared to send it to President Trump's desk next week.
The Treasury Department said Monday that the Senate-approved tax reform plan would pay for itself and more, actually boosting revenue by $300 billion over 10 years.
U.S. employers added a robust 228,000 jobs in November, a sign of the job market's enduring strength in its ninth year of economic recovery.