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Trump and Kim Can Learn a Thing or Two From Singapore

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are spending such a short amount of time in Singapore this week. Maybe they should stick around longer to see what makes its economy tick. Singapore is an especially wealthy nation, with a per capita income of bonuses attached that can double that sum for excellent performance. Is Peace With Kim Jong Un Even Possible? Yet it’s not just about the money. Since independence in 1965, Singaporean leaders have cultivated an ethos of public service in the bureaucracy. The…

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Mueller Releases Secret Memo Underpinning Manafort Probe

Rosenstein gave Mueller authority to look at Ukrainian work Manafort claims that Mueller overstepped his appointment Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort by releasing a secret government memorandum granting him authority to investigate crimes related to Manafort’s political consulting work for former President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine. Mueller is using the memo to refute Manafort’s claims that prosecutors went too far by investigating crimes beyond Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Prosecutors released the memo just before midnight on Monday, arguing that Manafort can’t legally challenge his indictment for financial…

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California Could See the Return of $4 Gasoline by May

Motorists in California, the state with the most expensive gasoline, could see pump prices that begin with a 4 again as oil markets rally. Gasoline, which is currently averaging $3.30 a gallon in California, may reach $4 by Memorial Day, the traditional start of the demand-heavy summer driving season, according to Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at Boston-based GasBuddy, which monitors fuel prices across the U.S. It would be the first time the state has seen $4 gasoline since July 2014. Pump prices, which include taxes, are already 47…

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Why a $38 Billion Tax Payment Is a Good Deal for Apple

Apple has faced mounting criticism in recent years for avoiding taxes in the US and Europe. Wednesday, it offered critics 38 billion replies. More precisely, Apple said it would pay an estimated $38 billion in tax to bring back to the US some of the cash it has stashed overseas over the years. Apple says the payment would be the largest tax payment of its type in history. But it’s also a pretty good deal for the company. In the wake of the tax-cut bill approved by Congress last month,…

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Odds and Ends 

Pulling Their Heartstrings: Tearful Republicans Unanimously Voted For The New Tax Bill After Hearing A Billionaires Heart-Wrenching Story Of How He Would Like To Have More Money

People like to paint conservatives as unfeeling plutocrats, but here’s a story that proves that Republicans in Congress are actually governing with their hearts: Today tearful Republicans unanimously voted for the new tax bill after hearing a billionaire’s heart-wrenching story of how he would like to have more money. Wow. If you thought conservatives were utterly void of empathy, think again. Members of Congress took a break from political jockeying this morning to hear a tear-jerking testimony from billionaire banker Andrew Beal about how he has a lot of money…

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Singapore’s Economy Grows Faster Than Estimated

Singapore’s economy finished 2017 on a solid footing, allowing more room for policy makers as they consider raising taxes and tightening monetary policy this year. Growth was higher taxes when the government releases its budget on Feb. 19, with one option being an increase in the goods and services tax. The Monetary Authority of Singapore may also shift to a tightening stance after government and the central bank forecast GDP growth of 1.5 to 3.5 percent this year. A stabilizing labor market and recharged property market is setting up a…

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Odds and Ends 

Incredible: This Inner-City Teacher Can Finally Use The Private Jet Tax Credit To Take Her Kids On A Field Trip To The Louvre

While the long-term impact of the newly passed Republican tax plan remains uncertain, there’s already one American who is reaping the benefits, and her story is absolutely heartwarming: This inner-city teacher can use the tax credit she now receives on her private jet so that she can fly her students to an educational field trip at the Louvre! It’s official: Chalk this one up as a win for America’s underdogs! Thanks to the GOP’s tax reform, Ms. Nadia Perez, a sixth-grade teacher in the Newark public school system, will now…

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Ray Dalio Says End of the SALT Deduction Will Further Divide the Nation

Billionaire legislation. The Senate bill mirrors the House legislation by calling for the repeal of state and local tax deductions, while allowing up to $10,000 for property tax deductions. According to a study by the Tax Policy Center, 7 percent of taxpayers would pay more tax in 2019, 10 percent in 2025, and 48 percent in 2027, compared to current law. On average in 2027, taxes would change little for lower- and middle-income groups and decrease for higher-income groups. Tax Revenues On its face, ending so-called Read more about the…

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Senate Passes Major Business, Individual Cuts: Tax Debate Update

The Senate tax bill is in the midst of a marathon vote session that stretched into early Saturday morning with the goal of holding a final vote in the next several hours. Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day: Senate Passes Major Business, Individual Cuts (1:51 a.m.) Senate Republicans narrowly approved the most sweeping rewrite of the U.S. tax code in three decades, slashing the corporate tax rate and providing temporary tax-rate cuts for most Americans. The 51-49 vote — achieved only after closed-door deal-making with dissident senators…

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Grad Students Are Freaking Out About the GOP Tax Plan. They Should Be

Amanda Coston was preparing for a meeting with her advisor Monday afternoon when her friend, another first-year PhD student in Carnegie Mellon's machine learning department, knocked on her door. Had she seen the email? A few minutes earlier, the university's Graduate Student Assembly had sent a Google Doc to department representatives across the university, and those reps had forwarded the document to their grad students. That document, which you can see for yourself here, details the devastating impact the GOP's recently unveiled tax-reform plan could have on the university's PhD…

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Mnuchin Says Its Very Hard Not to Give Tax Cuts to the Wealthy

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview published Wednesday that the Republican tax plan will include breaks for the wealthy, a rhetorical reversal that contradicts President told CNBC that Trump wanted “no absolute tax cut for the upper class,” which prompted Democrats to label that promise the “Mnuchin Rule.” In the ensuing months, Mnuchin softened that promise in public remarks — in June, he

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