A group of conservative think tanks wants the nation’s tax system to look more like North Carolina’s, writes the Center for Public Integrity. In Washington, D.C., the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans have been considering a similar approach — lower federal income-tax brackets and a tax on imports — that some tax experts say would have comparable outcomes. Some of the same conservative groups that convinced states to change their tax systems have advised the Trump administration on economic and tax policy. But so far, for the working poor, that hasn’t been a great deal. While Congress prepares for the tax debate, single-parents in Asheville worry that the proposed federal tax changes would only make life harder, as North Carolina’s tax reforms did. “They’re going to come for every little penny that you have,” said one. “Where is the help when we need it?”
A two-part series by the Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity investigated the influence of pharmaceutical companies on state and federal policies regarding opioids, the powerful painkillers that have claimed the lives of 165,000 people in the U.S. since 2000. Reporters tracked proposed laws on the subject and analyzed data on how the companies and their allies deployed lobbyists and contributed to political campaigns.