Trump Pulls Out the Plastic to Pay for the Government
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Trump Pulls Out the Plastic to Pay for the Government

Sends the Bill to Your Kids and Grandkids

Credit card Republicans. Trump on Monday will offer a budget plan that falls far short of eliminating the government’s deficit over 10 years, conceding that huge tax cuts and new spending increases make this goal unattainable, three people familiar with the proposal said.

Eliminating the budget deficit over 10 years has been a North Star for the Republican Party for several decades, and GOP lawmakers took the government to the brink of default in 2011 when they demanded a vote on an amendment to the Constitution that would prohibit the federal government from spending more than it takes in.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), when he used to chair the House Budget Committee, routinely proposed tax and spending outlines that would eliminate the deficit over 10 years, even though critics said his changes would lead to a severe curtailment in government programs.

Second thoughts. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) may be reconsidering his decision to retire, CNN reports. Corker last year questioned the president’s competence, called the White House an adult day care center and suggested the president could stumble into a major war.

Corker has had conversations with a few colleagues in recent days about whether he should reconsider his decision to leave Congress and not seek re-election this year, GOP sources tell CNN. Whether it is a serious reconsideration, or just chatter with colleagues is the subject of some disagreement.

There are also conflicting accounts of whether Corker has initiated the conversations, or whether he has had them with colleagues who are pushing him to think again.

But several sources say the issue has come up in recent conversations Corker has had with fellow Tennessean Sen. Lamar Alexander and with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, two of Corker’s friends.

Planet view. Trump wants to turn the International Space Station into a kind of orbiting real estate venture run not by the government, but by private industry. The White House plans to stop funding the station after 2024, ending direct federal support of the orbiting laboratory. But it does not intend to abandon the orbiting laboratory altogether and is working on a transition plan that could turn the station over to the private sector, according to an internal NASA document obtained by The Washington Post. The plan to privatize the station is likely to run into a wall of opposition, especially because the United States has spent nearly $100 billion to build and operate it. Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said he hoped recent reports of NASA’s decision to end funding of the station “prove as unfounded as Bigfoot.”

Not so fast. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman filed a lawsuit on Sunday against former media mogul Harvey Weinstein, his brother Robert Weinstein and The Weinstein company for civil rights, human rights and business law violations. More than 70 women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault in incidents that go back decades. The lawsuit, filed electronically in Manhattan, appeared timed to at least temporarily stop the $275 million sale of the film company to an investor group; the sale had been expected to be finalized on Sunday. The Weinstein Company is headquartered in New York City, and many of Weinstein’s accusers have said the alleged assaults occurred in the city. “As alleged in our complaint, The Weinstein Company repeatedly broke New York law by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation, and discrimination,” Schneiderman stated in a news release.

February 12, 2018