If You Want Something Done Right, Do It Yourself?


President Trump mulls executive action for coronavirus relief. With no coronavirus relief deal yet in sight on Capitol Hill, the White House is considering unilateral actions. This includes executive orders to halt evictions. Will President Trump also follow the advice of Stephen Moore, a member of the White House’s economic recovery task force? He’s urging President Trump to direct the IRS to suspend collecting payroll taxes, which, he argues, could help the middle class and Trump’s political fortunes.

On the Hill: A meeting and a letter. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer met yesterday afternoon to continue negotiations over a coronavirus relief bill. The sharpest sticking point remains the expired $600 boost to unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, Senate Banking Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-ID) wrote a letter to top officials at agencies including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Reserve urging them to use their existing authority to halt evictions and loosen rules for loans.

Kashkari: Shut down for four to six weeks, spend big on relief efforts. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari says that the economy could make a robust recovery if the coronavirus is under control. A temporary shutdown could help do that: “Those of us who are fortunate enough to still have our jobs,” Kashkari said, are “saving a lot more money because we’re not going to restaurants or movie theaters or vacations.” Congress, he explained, can spend big on coronavirus relief efforts given how much many Americans are currently saving. The nation’s budget gap can be financed without relying on foreign borrowing.

CEOS to Congress: Small businesses need federal aid. The top executives of 100 companies have written a letter to Congress asking that it provide more aid to small businesses. They predict business closures on a massive scale They call for more support including federally guaranteed loans to last into 2021; flexibility in how that money is put to use; at least partial loan forgiveness for the hardest-hit companies; and heightened attention on businesses owned by people of color.

As for President Trump’s financial records…. A new court filing urges a federal judge to toss out Trump’s new legal effort to prevent prosecutors from getting his tax returns. The filing suggests that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. may be investigating President Trump and his company for possible insurance and bank fraud. In challenging Trump’s new legal effort, Vance argues that when his office first subpoenaed the accounting firm Mazars USA, there had been public allegations of possible criminal activity in the New York County-based Trump Organization dating back over a decade.

For the latest tax news, subscribe to the Tax Policy Center’s Daily Deduction. Sign up here to have it delivered to your inbox weekdays at 8:00 am (Mondays only when Congress is in recess). We welcome tips on new research or other news. Email Renu Zaretsky at dailydeduction@taxpolicycenter.org.

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