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Sen. Perdue Quietly Pushed Big Tax Break For Rich Sports Team Owners

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) privately pushed Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to give wealthy sports owners a lucrative tax break last year, according to a previously unreported letter obtained by ProPublica.

After the 2017 tax bill championed by President Donald Trump passed, Mnuchin and the Treasury had to write rules on how the legislation would work in practice.

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How Fed Bailout Greased A Top Treasury Official’s Family Financial Firm

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have become the public faces of the $3 trillion federal coronavirus bailout. Behind the scenes, however, the Treasury's responsibilities have fallen largely to the 42-year-old deputy secretary, Justin Muzinich.

A major beneficiary of that bailout so far: Muzinich & Co., the asset manager founded by his father where Justin served as president before joining the administration. He reported owning a stake worth at least $60 million when he entered government in 2017.

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Economy Won’t Reopen With A Bang

From the first moment Donald Trump recognized the serious nature of the new coronavirus pandemic, his impatience has been palpable. Over and over, he stressed how quickly we would get past it. And even after extending the guidelines that restrict activity until the end of April, he continues to predict that life will soon be back to normal.

"It would be nice to be able to open with a big bang and open up our country or certainly most of our country," he said Wednesday. "And I think we're going to do that soon." Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was similarly optimistic, predicting that "we could be open for business in the month of May." Attorney General William Barr insisted that by then, it will be time "to allow people to adapt more than we have and not just tell people to go home and hide under their bed."

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Mnuchin May Use Coronavirus To Urge Tax Cuts

Donald Trump and his administration are pushing Congress to pass more tax cuts in an effort to battle the impacts of COVID-19, which experts warn could lead to an outbreak of pandemic proportions.

"The Democrats in the House should propose a very simple one year Payroll Tax cut," Trump tweeted Monday night, confirming previous reports that he was eyeing tax cuts as a way to combat the spread of the disease, which is caused by a strain of coronavirus that originated in China.

"Great for the middle class, great for the USA!"

On Tuesday morning, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin further confirmed that tax cuts were being discussed within the administration.

"We have a sub task force set up with the Treasury to begin to look at some of the issues that you're addressing," Mnuchin told House members during a hearing on Trump's proposed 2021 fiscal year budget, after he was asked how the administration was handling the economic impact of the virus.

He added, "…As this progresses, we may come back to Congress and look for special actions as it impacts small SMEs [small businesses]."

Tax cuts would not help stop the spread of COVID-19, which can cause severe respiratory problems and has resulted in at least six confirmed deaths in the United States so far.

However, Trump and his administration believe that cutting taxes could help stem the economic impacts of a wider outbreak, which has thus far rattled investors and led to a massive plunge in the stock market.

Trump has pushed for more tax cuts since the GOP tax bill in 2017, which mostly benefited big business and the super wealthy. The tax cuts exploded the deficit, despite Republican claims that the cuts would pay for themselves.

The Federal Reserve also announced an emergency interest rate cut on Tuesday, the first time the Fed has made an emergency cut since the 2008 financial crisis.

The announcement didn't seem to do much for the market, however, which has held mostly steady since Monday's close.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation