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Author: ProPublic

A question of citizenship could sabotage 2020 census

The Justice Department is pushing for a question on citizenship to be added to the 2020 census, a move that observers say could depress participation by immigrants who fear that the government could use the information against them. That could have potentially large ripple effects for everything the once-a-decade census determines — from how congressional seats are distributed around the country to where hundreds of billions of federal dollars are spent. The DOJ made the request in a previously unreported letter, dated December 12, from DOJ official Arthur Gary to the top official at the Census Bureau, which is...

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The Trump Era of Dark Deregulation

At an event on December 14 to tout his administration’s efforts to rid the federal government of what he contends is burdensome red tape, President Donald Trump used oversized gold scissors to cut a piece of red ribbon strung between two stacks of paper. In short order, he promised, his administration would excise some 165,000 of the more than 185,000 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations. That’s no easy task. Changing federal regulatory laws can mean a congressional slog. And for federal agencies to rescind rules, they must engage in a time-consuming process that opens them to public...

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Tax loopholes for Billionaires survive despite Trump campaign promise

The tax treatment of so-called carried interest would not change in the overhaul proposed by House Republicans, retaining a big benefit for private-equity and hedge-fund titans. From early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump swore he’d do away with the so-called carried-interest loophole, the notorious tax break that allows highly compensated private-equity managers, real estate investors and venture capitalists to be taxed at a much lower rate than other professionals. “They’re paying nothing, and it’s ridiculous,” Trump said in August 2016. “These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky.” They were, he concluded, “getting away...

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Combination of development and disasters goes beyond Houston

The consequences of Houston’s historic inundation, in dеаths and dollars, are nowhere near fully tallied. The economic costs — which will include everything from thousands of ruined and uninsured homes to higher national gasoline prices to lost business activity in the country’s fourth-largest city — will take months to calculate, and years to overcome, said Kevin Simmons, an economist at Austin College focused on storm impacts. “In the Houston metro area alone, there is more than $325 billion in residential value at risk,” Simmons said in an interview. “Most damage to residential property will be flooding and if people...

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Charlottesville sees a new generation of White Supremacists emerge

A group that included many people who were college-educated or ex-military displayed effective planning. “White people are pretty good at getting organized,” said one. The white supremacist forces arrayed in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend — the largest gathering of its sort in at least a generation — represented a new incarnation of the white supremacy movement. Old-guard groups like the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nations and the Nazi skinheads, which had long stood at the center of racist politics in America, were largely absent. Instead, the ranks of the young men who drove to Charlottesville with clubs,...

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