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April 27, 2016: Trump’s tax plan

Trump presented a new tax plan. The ambitious plan would sharply reduce income tax rates for individuals and businesses, but economic experts are concerned about how the tax cuts would be funded without increasing our national debt or widening the deficit gap. Among other things, the plan says that married couples filing jointly would not have to pay taxes on the first $24,000 of income (up from $12,600), all individual tax deductions would be eliminated with the exception of home ownership and charitable contributions, parents would receive a bigger tax break, and small and family-run businesses would pay a 15% tax rate (down from 39.6%).

Another major change is the reduction from seven tax brackets down to three with rates of 10%, 25%, and 35%. While the plan would simplify some parts of the tax code, critics are quick to point out that it does more for the wealthiest tax payers and doesn’t change much for those in the bottom brackets. The plan did not specify the income ranges for the new brackets.

Arkansas will execute another man today as lethal drugs near their expiration date. The state is scheduled to put another inmate to death today in what will be the fourth of a planned eight executions over 11 days – an unprecedented rate. The plan to execute so many prisoners is being moved forward in an effort to use one of three drugs that will expire on April 30. Death penalty opponents are heavily criticizing the state’s “assembly line” approach.

Trump will sign an executive order aimed at VA accountability. The President is set to sign an executive order today that will create an office at the Department of Veterans Affairs charged with holding more VA employees accountable for wrongdoing. The office will investigate allegations of misconduct – including retaliation against whistle-blowing employees who reported abuses – and seek to identify systemic problems preventing the VA from adequately addressing issues.

A picture of the potentially record setting giant bunny that died on a United Airlines flight. Photo by Caters News Agency.

United Airlines announced changes to it’s overbooking policies. The airline will now offer up to $10,000 in travel certificates to passengers who volunteer to change flights, among several other steps that the airline announced on Wednesday as it responds to a series of public relations fiascos. Also on Wednesday, the company contended with the death of a giant rabbit on one of its flights.

Uplifting stories and clickbait: Billionaire Paul Allen pledged $30 million toward permanent housing for Seattle’s homeless population. The U.S. military has developed an electromagnetic railgun that can shoot a projectile 100 miles at Mach 7 speed to intercept any incoming missiles. And, at 84-years-old, the world’s oldest female sharpshooter never misses.

About today: Sierra Leone and Togo both celebrate their independence today, and Beethoven composed Fur Elise on this date in 1810.

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