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White House mulling tax cut to avoid recession: report

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The White House is considering cutting taxes or revering tariffs to head off a recession, US media reported on Monday, despite President Donald Trump’s insistence on the economy’s health.

Senior White House officials are considering several moves to stimulate the economy including temporarily cutting the payroll tax to increase workers’ monthly take-home pay, The Washington Post reported.

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Also under consideration is reversing new tariffs the Trump administration imposed on Chinese goods, according to The New York Times.

The discussion is still in the early stages, and officials have not brought up the idea with Trump, who would have to seek approval from Congress, the newspapers said.

The White House disputed the reports in a statement to the Post, saying “cutting payroll taxes is not something under consideration at this time.”

Trump on Sunday pushed back against talk of a looming recession after a raft of US data reports last week gave a mixed outlook for the economy.

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“I’m prepared for everything. I don’t think we’re having a recession. We’re doing tremendously well,” Trump told reporters.

“And most economists actually say that we’re not going to have a recession.”

Earlier on Monday, a survey was released showing that a majority of economists expect a US recession in the next two years — right around the time of the 2020 election in which Trump is standing for a second term.

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Only two percent of the survey’s 226 respondents predicted a recession this year, but 38 percent expected a downturn to hit in 2020 and 34 percent in 2021, according to the polls from the National Association for Business Economists.

Payroll taxes were cut temporarily during President Barack Obama’s term in 2011 and 2012, in an effort to counteract a sluggish recovery from the 2008 recession.

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Ex-prosecutor demands congressional investigation after latest report on the FBI and Brett Kavanaugh

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Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had another allegation of sexual misconduct revealed on Saturday in a bombshell report in The New York Times.

"A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly," the newspaper reported.

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Boris Johnson promises Britain will be like the Incredible Hulk during Brexit negotiations

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday he was making a "huge amount of progress" towards a Brexit deal with the EU, in an interview in which he compared Britain to the Incredible Hulk.

"It's going to take a lot of work between now and October 17" when EU leaders gather for their final summit before Britain's scheduled exit from the bloc, he told the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

"But I'm going to go to that summit and I'm going to get a deal, I'm very confident. And if we don't get a deal then we'll come out on October 31."

His comments came ahead of talks with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, in Luxembourg on Monday.

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NYT blasted for ‘spectacularly offensive sentiment’ after tweet illustrating ‘rape culture’

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The results of a 10-month investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly was published on Saturday.

But attention was taken away from the powerful reporting after the Twitter account of The Times opinion page posted a shocking message.

"Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun," read the tweet.

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