Conservative politics writer dies at 26Bre Payton, a staff writer at the right-wing website the Federalist, has died after a brief and sudden illness. Politician who broke the news »
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GOP tax plan: Key details of the final bill, explained
What's in the GOP's final tax planby Jeanne Sahadi @CNNMoneyDecember 22, 2017: 11:28 AM ET Trump celebrates GOP tax victoryIt's official. Both chambers of Congress have now passedthe Republican tax overhaul bill on strictly party-line votes. It's the first such overhaul in more than 30 years. President Trump signed it into lawon Friday. The tax overhaul -- which will affect all corners of the U.S. economy and everyone in it -- will have crossed the finish line in just 7 weeks since first being introduced. The final bill still leans heavily toward tax cuts for corporations and business owners. But it also expands or restores some tax benefits for individuals relative to the earlier bills passed by the House and Senate. The individual provisions would expire by the end of 2025, but most of the corporate provisions would be permanent. All told, the final bill includes trillions in tax cuts, most of which but not all are offset by revenue-raising measures. The bill on net would increase deficits by an estimated $1.46 trillion over a decade, according to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. That number would be much higher if, as Republicans assume, a future Congress does not allow the individual tax cuts to expire after 2025. One important note: The bill would not affect 2017 taxes, for which Americans will start filing their returns in a month or so. With that, here's a quick rundown of 16 key provisions in the final bill. FOR INDIVIDUAL FILERS 1. Lowers (many) individual rates: The bill preserves seven tax brackets, but changes the rates that apply to: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%. Today's rates are 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35% and 39.6%. Here's how much income would apply to the new rates: -- 10% (income up to $9,525 for individuals; up to $19,050 for married couples filing jointly) -- 12% (over $9,525 to $38,700; over $19,050 to $77,400 for couples) -- 22% (over $38,700 to $82,500; over $77,400 to $165,000 for couples) -- 24% (over $82,500 to $157,500; over $165,000 to $315,000 for couples) -- 32% (over $157,500 to $200,000; over $315,000 to $400,000 for couples) -- 35% (over $200,000 to $500,000; over $400,000 to $600,000 for couples) -- 37% (over $500,000; over $600,000 for couples) 2. Nearly doubles the standard deduction: For single filers, the bill increases it to $12,000 from $6,350 currently; for married couples filing jointly it increases to $24,000 from $12,700. The net effect: The percentage of filers who choose to itemize would drop sharply, since the only reason to do so is if your deductions exceed your standard deduction. 3. Eliminates personal exemptions: Today you're allowed to claim a $4,050 personal exemption for yourself, your spouse and each of your dependents. Doing so lowers your taxable income and thus your tax burden. The GOP tax plan eliminates that option. For families with three or more kids, that could mute if not negate any tax relief they might get as a result of other provisions in the bill. Related: Read the Republican tax plan 4. Caps state and local tax deduction: The final bill will preserve the state and local tax deduction for anyone who itemizes, but it will cap the amount that may be deducted at $10,000. Today the deduction is unlimited for your state and local property taxes plus income or sales taxes. The SALT break has been on the book for more than a century. The original House and Senate GOP bills sought to repeal it entirely to help pay for the tax cuts, but that met with stiff resistance from lawmakers in high-tax states. Residents in the vast majority of counties across the country claim an average SALT deduction below $10,000, according to the Tax Foundation. So for low- and middle-income families who currently itemize because of their SALT deduction, they're likely to take the much higher standard deduction under the bill if it becomes law, unless their total itemized deductions, including SALT, top $12,000 if single or $24,000 if married filing jointly. Preserving the break -- albeit with a cap -- is likely to provide more help to higher income households in high-tax states. 5. Expands child tax credit: The credit would be doubledto $2,000 for children under 17. It also would be made available to high earners because the bill would raise the income threshold under which filers may claim the full credit to $200,000 for single parents, up from $75,000 today; and to $400,000 for married couples, up from $110,000 today. Related: House passes GOP tax bill, goes to vote in Senate later Tuesday Like the first $1,000 of the child tax credit, $400 of the additional $1,000 also will be refundable, meaning a low- or middle-income family will be able get the money refunded to them if their federal income tax liability nets out at zero. Even with the additional $400 in refundability, however, 10 million children from working low-income families would receive only an additional $75 in benefit under the bill, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates. 6. Creates temporary credit for non-child dependents: The bill would allow parents to take a $500 credit for each non-child dependent whom they're supporting, such as a child 17 or older, an ailing elderly parent or an adult child with a disability. 7. Lowers cap on mortgage interest deduction: If you take out a new mortgage on a first or second home you would only be allowed to deduct the interest on debt up to $750,000, down from $1 million today. Homeowners who already have a mortgage would be unaffected by the change. The bill would no longer allow a deduction for the interest on home equity loans. Currently that's allowed on loans up to $100,000. 8. Curbs who's hit by AMT: Earlier bills called for the elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax. The final version keeps it, but reduces the number of filers who would be hit by it by raising the income exemption levels to $70,300 for singles, up from $54,300 today; and to $109,400, up from $84,500, for married couples. 9. Preserves smaller but popular tax breaks: Earlier versions of the bill had proposed repealing the deductions for medical expenses, student loan interest and classroom supplies bought with a teacher's own money. They also would have repealed the tax-free status of tuition waivers for graduate students. The final bill, however, preserves all of these as they are under the current code. And it actually expands the medical expense deduction for 2018 and 2019. 10. Exempts almost everybody from the estate tax: Unlike the House GOP bill, the final bill does not call for a repeal of the estate tax. But it essentially eliminates it for all but the smallest number of people by doubling the amount of money exempt from the estate tax -- currently set at $5.49 million for individuals, and $10.98 million for married couples. Even at today's levels, only 0.2% of all estates ever end up being subject to the estate tax. 11. Slows inflation adjustments in tax code: The bill would use "chained CPI" to measure inflation, which is a slower measure than is used today. The net effect is your deductions, credits and exemptions will be worth less -- since the inflation adjusted dollars defining eligibility and maximum value would grow more slowly. It also would subject more of your income to higher rates in future years than would be the case under the current code. 12. Eliminates mandate to buy health insurance: There would no longer be a penalty for not buying insurance. While long a goal of Republicans to get rid of it, the measure also would help offset the cost of the tax bill. It is estimated to save money because it would reduce how much the federal government spends on insurance subsidies and Medicaid. The Congressional Budget Office expects fewer consumers who qualify for subsidies will enroll on the Obamacare exchanges, and fewer people who are eligible for Medicaid will seek coverage and learn they can sign up for the program. But policy experts also note that the mandate repeal could raise premiums because more healthy people might decide to skip buying insurance. FOR BUSINESSES AND CORPORATIONS 13. Lowers tax burden on pass-through businesses: The tax burden on owners, partners and shareholders of S-corporations, LLCs and partnerships -- who pay their share of the business' taxes through their individual tax returns -- would be lowered by a 20% deduction, somewhat less than the 23% called for in the Senate-passed bill. The 20% deduction would be prohibited for anyone in a service business -- unless their taxable income is less than $315,000 if married ($157,500 if single). 14. Includes rule to prevent abuse of pass-through tax break: If the owner or partner in a pass-through also draws a salary from the business, that money would be subject to ordinary income tax rates. But to prevent people from recharacterizing their wage income as business profits to get the benefit of the pass-through deduction, the bill would place limits on how much income would qualify for the deduction. Tax experts nevertheless have warned that this kind of anti-abuse measure still presents taxpayers with a lot of opportunities to game the system, and favors passive owners of a business over active owners who actually run things. 15. Slashes corporate rate: The bill cuts the corporate rate to 21% from 35%, starting next year. That's somewhat higher than the 20% called for earlier. The increase was made to free up some revenue to accommodate lawmaker demands on other provisions. The bill would also repeal the alternative minimum tax on corporations. 16. Change how U.S. multinationals are taxed: Today U.S. companies owe Uncle Sam tax on all their profits, regardless of where the income is earned. They're allowed to defer paying U.S. tax on their foreign profits until they bring the money home. Many argue that this "worldwide" tax system puts American businesses at a disadvantage. That's because most foreign competitors come from countries with territorial tax systems, meaning they don't owe tax to their own governments on income they make offshore. The final GOP bill proposes switching the U.S. to a territorial system. It also includes a number of anti-abuse provisions to prevent corporations with foreign profits from gaming the system. In the meantime it would require companies to pay a one-time, low tax rate on their existing overseas profits -- 15.5% on cash assets and 8% on non-cash assets (e.g., equipment abroad in which profits were invested), slightly higher than the rates in the Senate- and House-passed bills. -- CNN's Phil Mattingly contributed to this report. Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that personal exemptions lower adjustable gross income. In fact, they lower taxable income. Item No. 3 has been corrected. CNNMoney (New York) First published December 15, 2017: 9:09 PM ET
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Eric Matthew FreinEric Matthew Frein wanted posterFBI Ten Most Wanted FugitiveChargesMurder in the first degreeReward$175,000 between FBI and PA GovernmentDescriptionBorn (1983-05-03) May 3, 1983 (age 35) New Jersey, U.S.NationalityAmericanRaceWhiteGenderMaleStatusConvictionsGuiltyPenaltyDeathAddedSeptember 18, 2014CaughtOctober 30, 2014Number503CapturedEric Matthew Frein (born May 3, 1983) is an American domestic terroristand murderer, convicted and sentenced to death for the 2014 Pennsylvania State Police barracks attackin which he shot and killed one State Trooper, and seriously injured another. A letter to his parents made it clear that he hoped to spark a revolution by his actions. After being identified as a suspect three days after the shooting, Frein was the target of an extensive manhunt before being captured on the night of October 30, 2014, at an abandoned airport48 days after the attack.He was convicted of the ambush in 2017 and sentenced to death. Contents1 Background2 Identification as a murder suspect3 Manhunt3.1 Capture4 Legal developments4.1 Conviction and sentence5 References6 External linksBackgroundEric Matthew Frein was born on May 3, 1983, in New Jersey. At Pocono Mountain High Schoolin Pennsylvania, he was often a top scorer on his school's rifle team.He was described by police as a "self-taught survivalist" with a grudge against law enforcement personnel.An early report citing friends who said that Frein was an Eagle Scoutwas repudiated by the CEO of the Boy Scouts of AmericaMinsi Trails Council, where Frein had worked. He attended East Stroudsburg Universityfor one semester.He also attended Northampton Community College(the Bethlehem Townshipcampus and the Monroe Countycampus) as a chemistry major. In 2004, Frein was charged with burglary and grand larceny after he was accused of stealing items from vendors at a World War IIreenactment in Odessa, New York. He failed to attend his trial and was arrested in Pennsylvania as a fugitive from justice.In lieu of $5,000 bail, Frein was held for 109 days in a county jail in New York on a felony charge before pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possession of stolen property to be sentenced to time servedand payment of $3,120 restitution. In 2008, Frein founded Istocni Vuk or "Eastern Wolf", whose Myspacepagepictured Frein engaged in recreational military simulationsdressed in an Army of Republika Srpskauniform. Though he reenacted in a variety of roles, Frein preferred to portray Bosnian Serb soldiers. Fellow reenactors believed this was not based on ideology, but the way that the ragtag look of an ex-Yugoslavian field jacket stood out from others. Pennsylvania State Police also believe that Frein made several trips to Southeast Europe. The Eastern Wolves were one of several groups competing in "tacticals" under the umbrella organization "Red Alliance", using replica airsoft rifleswith plastic BBs. Frein was viewed as a serious reenactor with a deep knowledge of history; he was meticulous in many details, such as uniforms, but not overly obsessive in others–once even choosing a cheaper Chinese-made replica airsoft rifle over one made in Yugoslavia. Although he looked down on casual participants playing "cowboys and Indians", he was nevertheless a joker and could be quite humorous. Frein's reenactment landed him several employments in the film industry. He played a non-speaking role in Lustig, a 16-minute anti-Nazi film where he portrayed a German soldier at Auschwitz. In 2009, he gave technical direction in a World War Idocumentary being made by Jeremiah Hornbaker, who credited him for correcting errors in the set design and later offered him several other jobs that he turned down. In July 2014, Frein told Hornbaker, friends, and parents that he was moving to Delaware to work at a chemical company. Police speculate that he might have taken this time to make the preparations that later would allow him to survive and evade capture. At the time when Dickson and Douglass were shot, Frein was living with his parents at their home in Canadensisin Barrett Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Identification as a murder suspectSee also: 2014 Pennsylvania State Police barracks attackDuring a shift change late at night on September 12, 2014, outside the Trooper barracksof the Pennsylvania State Police in the Pocono Mountainsin the Township of Blooming Grove, Pennsylvania, Frein opened fire with a .308-caliberrifle,killing Corporal Bryon K. Dickson II, a 38-year-old Pennsylvania State Police Trooper, and critically injuring Trooper Alex Douglass. Three days after the shootings, a man walking his dog found a 2001 Jeep Cherokeepartially submerged in a retaining pond or drainage basin in a swamp near the intersection of Pennsylvania Route 402and US Route 6, about 2 miles (3.2 km) away from the crime scene.The vehicle was determined to belong to Frein's parents and evidence found in the vehicle included Frein's Social Securitycard, information about foreign embassies, camouflage paint, and bullet casings matched to the shooting.This led authorities to identify Frein as their only suspect.On September 16, 2014, a criminal complaint against Frein was docketed in the U.S. District Court in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the court issued an arrest warrant the next day. Authorities speculated that Frein, driving with his lights off on Pennsylvania Route 402, had failed to see a T-junction and drove into the swamp, and then may have traveled 15 to 20 miles (24 to 32 km) on foot to Canadensis, Pennsylvania, where his parents live. ManhuntOn October 1, following discovery of two pipe bombs, all hunting and trapping on public or private land and all access to state gameland was forbidden in the shaded areas.The blue-shaded area was reopened on October 10.The green-shaded area was reopened October 21, after two sightings of Frein in Paradise Township, while the yellow remained under the hunting/trapping ban and gameland closures.The police manhunt grew from nearly 200 officers by September 17to 400 officers by September 22to nearly 1,000 on September 24.Law enforcement officers included local police, state police forces from Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jerseyas well as FBI, U.S. Marshals Service; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.Though tracking dogswere regarded as a valuable tool, particularly on damp, calm days when scent dissipates most slowly, Frein successfully evaded them using "water crossings and terrain conditions." Equipment included numerous police vehicles,armored BearCats,at least four helicopters with thermal imagingequipment, and a 13,000-pound, $245,000 Ring Powerarmored siege vehicle dubbed "The Rook".The FBI displayed Frein's image and the number of a state police hotline (866-326-7256) using hundreds of digital billboardsin Pennsylvania and five other states that are controlled by Outdoor Advertising Association of America. Police believed they saw Frein several times during the manhunt, but each time were unable to approach directly due to the rugged terrain of the area, which allowed Frein to slip away. They believed Frein was taunting them, and Lt. Colonel George Bivens told reporters, "I almost think this is a game to him."A colleague from the MilSimgroup "Red Alliance" suggested that "If he's re-enacting anyone, it's Rambo from the very first movie," referring to the character of John Ramboin First Blood.The difficulty of capturing Frein was compared to that of finding other survivalist outdoorsmen such as Eric Rudolph, Troy James Knapp, Jason McVean, and Robert William Fisher, who were able to elude police for years by special training. Local resident James Tully, who bears some resemblance to Frein and who walks to work in the area, says he was stopped more than 20 times by officers searching for Frein. He claims one officer pointed a rifle at him and forced him to the ground, leaving him with bruised ribs and in fear that he would be shot. CaptureFrein was captured by U.S. Marshals in an open field near an unused airport hangar at Birchwood-Pocono Airpark, an abandoned airfieldapproximately 3 miles (4.8 km) ENE of Tannersville, on October 30, 2014, 48 days after the shooting.At the time of his arrest, he was not armed,but a .308-caliber rifle and a pistol were recovered. Frein was arrested without incident.Although he did not resist arrest, he suffered a cut to the bridge of his nose, as well as a scrape over his left eye and bruises to his cheeks and eyes.A Pennsylvania State Police spokesman said these injuries occurred while he was on the run,but the U.S. Marshals said this occurred while police had him down on the pavement during his arrest.According to Scott Malkowski, one of a dozen Marshals who took down Frein, standard procedure is "Never have a fugitive look at you", and because Frein went down in a position with head up looking at the officers, they pushed him to a face-down position, causing the scrapes in the process. Symbolically, Frein was restrained after the arrest using the handcuffs of deceased officer Bryan Dicksonand taken to the barracks where the attack occurred in the back seat of Dickson's car. Legal developmentsThe day after his capture, he was charged with first-degree murderand attempted murderin the shooting that killed Dickson and wounded Douglass.Frein was charged with murder of the first degree, criminal attemptto commit murder of the first degree, murder of a law enforcement officer of the first degree, criminal attempt to commit murder of a law enforcement officer of the first degree, assaultof a law enforcement officer, two counts of terrorismunder 18 Pa C.S.A. 2717(a)2 and 3, two counts of weapons of mass destructionunder 18 Pa C.S.A. 2716(a), discharging a firearm into an occupied structure, possessing instruments of crime, and recklessly endangeringanother person.He pleaded not guilty to all charges during his video arraignmenton January 29, 2015. Prosecutors said they intended to seek the death penalty. Before Frein was tried, a Pike County judge had to determine if information about a State Police internal affairs investigation involving witnesses could be released to Frein's attorneys. In June 2016, it was determined that Frein's trial would be heard by an imported juryfrom Chester Countydue to the extensive pretrial publicity in Pike County. This would be the first time that a Pike County case would be heard by a jury impaneled from another county since the 1980s. Also in June 2016, Pike County Judge Gregory Chelak denied a motion made by Frein's attorneys to bar prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in the case. Chelak rejected Frein's claim that the death penalty was unconstitutional. In September 2017, Trooper Bryan Dickson's widow, Tiffany Dickson, filed a lawsuit against Frein's parents alleging they missed warning signs about their son's behavior and influenced him with their constitutionalistpolitical views. Conviction and sentenceOn April 19, 2017, Frein was found guilty on all chargesand on April 26, the jury recommended the death penalty. The following day, Frein was formally sentenced to death by lethal injection.Frein currently awaits execution on death row at SCI Greene, a maximum security prison in Pennsylvania. References^Bounty hunters not joining Eric Frein manhunt in Pa. woods^ abBrelje, Beth (14 November 2014). "Letter could suggest Eric Frein's motive: Revolution". Pocono Record. Retrieved 27 April 2017.^"Bryon Dickson, PA State Trooper Killed In Ambush, To Be Laid To Rest". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 14, 2014.^"FBI — ERIC MATTHEW FREIN". FBI. Retrieved November 14, 2014.^"FBI adds Frein to 10 Most Wanted list". Philadelphia Inquirer. September 20, 2014.^Krawczeniuk, Borys; Morgan-Besecker, Terrie (September 17, 2014). "Eric Frein a fan of guns, the military". The Patriot-News. Standard Speaker. Retrieved September 23, 2014.^"Day 9 Of Manhunt For PA Barracks Shooting Suspect Eric Frein". KYW-TV. The Associated Press. September 21, 2014.^"Pennsylvania State Police: Eric Frein has 'personal battle' with law enforcement". Times-Leader. September 17, 2014.^Nick Falsome (September 23, 2014). "Eric Frein, alleged cop killer, worked for Boy Scouts' Minsi Trails Council, report says". Lehigh Valley Live.^Chaplin, Paul (September 21, 2014). "As day 9 begins in manhunt for Eric Frein, neighbors seek answers". The Associated Press.^"Police ambush suspect manhunt upends daily life". WTAE-TV. The Associated Press. September 24, 2014.^ abcAmbush suspect was former Northampton Community College student, The Express-Times, September 17, 2014.^Eric Frein: Is reenactor waging private cold war on Pa. cops? (+video), Christian Science Monitor, September 18, 2014.
Conservative politics writer dies at 26Bre Payton, a staff writer at the right-wing website the Federalist, has died after a brief and sudden illness. Politician who broke the news »
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