Weekly Wrap 9/29/17: Tax Cuts for Rich, Puerto Rico Ignored, Tom Price Distracts from Both

Tom Price Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The major news heading into the weekend is the resignation of HHS Secretary Tom Price. This is covering nearly every news organization. This is also burying Friday afternoon breaking news of the impact of Donald Trump’s tax plan. We are going to include that headline and lede below.

Weekly recap: The White House released its framework for major tax reform this week. We covered how to weigh the tax reform debate here. Other major news stories this week included a response to the NFL protests, reports of how widespread and recent Russian social media use has been, the lackluster response by the White House to helping the desperate situation in Puerto Rico, and HHS Secretary Tom Price’s scandalous use of private aircraft on the taxpayers’ dime. Take a few minutes to read both of those links if you can.

This afternoon, we have the first nonpartisan analysis of Donald Trump’s tax plan unveiled by the Tax Policy Center. The plan clearly benefits the ultra-wealthy, while its benefits for all others are marginal or nonexistent. That analysis is the major story for several of the media outlets.

The Washington Post and New York Times were headlining the tax report’s results prior to the Price news. This is a complex issue and those two news organizations are better than their counterparts at making complex issues digestible in shorter timeframes:

Washington Post: “Report: GOP tax plan would provide major gains for richest 1%, uneven benefits for the middle class

Lede: The Republican tax plan would deliver a major benefit to the top 1 percent of Americans, according to a new analysis by a leading group of nonpartisan tax experts that challenges the White House’s portrayal of its effects.

The plan would deliver far-more-modest tax cuts to most other households — an average cut of $1,700 for households in 2027, according to the report. But the results would be unevenly spread, with 1 in 4 households paying more in taxes.

Despite repeated promises from Republican lawmakers that the plan is designed to provide relief to the middle class, nearly 30 percent of taxpayers with incomes between $50,000 and $150,000 would see a tax increase, according to the study by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. The majority of households that made between $150,000 and $300,000 would see a tax increase.

Other tax coverage:

New York Times: “Senate Budget Opens the Door to $1.5 Trillion in Tax Cuts

Yahoo News: “Trump tax plan would benefit top earners most



As of 4:45, news is breaking that HHS Secretary Tom Price resigned. Trump had announced he’d make a decision on firing him tonight. Trump sells it like an episode of The Apprentice. TV-based news is best suited for this kind of coverage. Expect headlines below to be modified/developed over the next hour or so.

CBS News: “HHS Secretary Tom Price Resigns Over Travel Scandal

Lede: Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price is out, amid intense scrutiny for his use of private charter planes.

Price “offered his resignation earlier today and the President accepted,” a statement by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday afternoon. The president intends to designate Don J. Wright to serve as acting secretary, the statement went on to say. He’s currently deputy assistant HHS secretary.

Price’s tenure in the Trump administration lasted less than eight months. 


Other headlines on Price:

ABC News: “Tom Price resigns as Health and Human Services secretary

NBC News: “Tom Price Resigns as Health and Human Services Secretary

Fox News: “HHS Secretary Tom Price resigns amid backlash over private plan trips

USA Today: “HHS Secretary Tom Price has resigned


Wall Street Journal: “Tom Price Resigns as Health and Human Services Secretary, White House Says


MSNBC: “Tom Price resigns as HHS Secretary

BBC: “US health secretary Tom Price quits


And other non-Price headlines:


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