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Ryan Says This Is a 'Now or Never Moment' for Tax Reform

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Health care was a bust, so President Trump is counting on a tax overhaul for a legislative victory. The long-awaited plan, unveiled Wednesday, proposes cutting the top individual tax rate to 35 percent and the rate on corporations to 20 percent (down from 35 percent). How will these cuts be offset? Just ask residents of New York, New Jersey, or California.—Katie Robertson

GOP plan has trillions in tax breaks for the rich. Despite Trump’s statement this month that “the rich will not be gaining at all,” the tax plan that the White House and congressional leaders rolled out contains trillions of dollars in breaks for the highest earners and the wealthy. The tax framework sets up some drama and suspense over where Congress will set the top individual income-tax rate.

Trump is “not happy with” health secretary. The president said he was looking “very closely” at whether to fire the embattled Tom Price, whose travel is at the center of a widening uproar over flights taken by top administration officials. He is also displeased with Price over the failure so far to pass legislation repealing and replacing Obamacare.  

The rich are getting richer. The long-running U.S. economic expansion is starting to reach down and deliver gains to lower-income Americans while causing already-wide disparities in earning power and wealth to get even bigger, according to a triennial Federal Reserve survey. Shares of income and wealth held by the most affluent families reached the highest levels in records back to 1989.

Amazon slashes the price of the latest Echo speaker. The tech giant unveiled a smaller, cheaper version of its popular Alexa-powered speaker that it claimed has better sound. It costs $99, a significant drop from the current model’s $180 price. The new version will take on speakers expected to be released by competitors, including Apple and Google.

Alabama voters rejected Trump-backed Senate candidate. Roy Moore, a former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was removed from office for his display of a Ten Commandments statue, defeated incumbent Senator Luther Strange on Tuesday, capturing 55 percent of the vote. It was a rebuff to Trump by the same voters who turned out en masse for him in November.

Nike cuts out the middleman to sell you the perfect sneaker. While the sports giant reported its slowest quarterly growth since 2010, its performance as a retailer—rather than a wholesaler—was a relative highlight. The company is now focused on doing business directly with consumers. Sought-after sneakers now ship via Nike’s own ecosystem of apps, while the heart of its lineup sells on Nike.com and in its own big box stores.

From 172 to 115 pounds: The faces of Venezuelan hunger. Much has been written about Venezuelan hunger since the oil-rich country sank into economic chaos a few years ago: the strict food rationing, surging malnutrition and, in some extreme cases, starvation. We photographed five Venezuelans and asked them to share pictures of their old, fuller selves. The changes in their physiques are stark.

 

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