Justin Miller

Justin Miller is a former Prospect writing fellow and is currently covering politics for the Texas Observer

Recent Articles

What Happens If Trump Fires Mueller?

The president can try to oust the special prosecutor, but it won’t be easy—and it won’t be the end of Trump’s legal problems.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File
Speculation is running rampant within the Beltway that over the holiday break President Donald Trump might try to oust Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the expansive investigation into whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russia. Trump continues to publicly deny the rumors, insisting he won’t fire Mueller. Meanwhile, even as some Republican Party officials have been fomenting opposition to Mueller to build support for Trump dumping him, progressive organizations and Democratic leaders alike have called for immediate protests in the streets should Trump actually fire the special prosecutor. This has all created a sense of heightened drama to close out a year that has had no shortage of it. It’s important to note, however, that many legal experts strongly contend that the president himself does not have the authority to fire Mueller. That authority lies solely with the United States Attorney General (or in this case the deputy, because Jeff...

Trump’s NLRB Showers Big Business with Gifts, Workers with Coal

While all eyes were on the tax bill, Trump’s new labor board quickly and quietly undid a number of Obama’s pro-worker reforms. 

(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh) President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign-style rally at the Pensacola Bay Center, in Pensacola, Fla., Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. This holiday season, President Trump is doling out lumps of coal for workers (and not the clean kind either). In his first year as president, Trump appointed two new members on the National Labor Relations Board, giving the board its first pro-business majority in eight years. By the end of September the Senate had confirmed the appointments of Marvin Kaplan, a Republican lawyer, and William Emmanuel, a corporate labor lawyer. However, nobody expected the new board to take much action until after the NLRB’s Chairman, Philip A. Miscimarra, retired in mid-December and Trump replaced him. But Trump’s federal labor agency pulled off a Christmas miracle. As all eyes were on the fate of the Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax cut package and Miscimarra on his way out the door on Saturday, the board released a flurry of decisions...

Dynamically Scorned

Steve Mnuchin’s “fake math” analysis admits that the tax cuts will not pay for themselves. Will it matter? 

(Photo: AP/Alex Brandon) Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is seated during a ceremony to swear in Joseph M. Otting as Comptroller of the Currency, at the Treasury Department, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017 in Washington. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has claimed from Day One that the Trump tax cuts will pay for themselves with a healthy dose of economic growth. “Not only will this tax plan pay for itself, but it will pay down debt,” he said in September. For almost as long, he has promised that his tax analysts would produce a detailed analysis that backed up that claim. Mnuchin said he had more than 100 analysts working on the report, which would be released before Congress voted. But as the tax bill was unveiled, details were hashed out in the House and Senate, and votes took place, tax wonks questioned whether the report would ever come out. As it turns out, The New York Times found out that nobody in the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy—which is in charge of...

Trump Lamented Loss of Oreo Jobs to Mexico. His Tax Bill Could Make More Jobs Go South.

Nabisco’s outsourcing wreaked havoc on its American workforce. The Republican tax plan could prompt even more manufacturers to move operations out of the United States. 

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh) President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign-style rally at the Pensacola Bay Center, in Pensacola, Fla., Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. The historic ten-story Nabisco plant in Southwest Chicago had long been a point of pride—and a source of good-paying union jobs—in the Windy City, thanks to its production of one of America’s favorite cookies: Oreos. The good feelings went both ways. In 1993, Nabisco received $90 million in tax subsidies from Chicago and Illinois to invest in upgrading and expanding its production capabilities for snacks like Oreos, Ritz crackers, and Fig Newtons. More than 20 years later, in the spring of 2015, rumors were circulating at the 1,200-employee plant that Nabisco’s parent company, Mondélez International, might once again invest more than $100 million to modernize the Chicago plant and add new production lines. That July, however, management announced that the company would instead be investing that money to...

Beware the Paid Family Leave Fig Leaf in GOP’s Tax Plan

Tucked amid the Senate GOP’s pile of toxic waste is a paid family leave plan that might just give away more than it gives.  

(Photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite) Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., talks during a 2014 news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. It’s admittedly hard to keep track of all the various moving parts and rotten eggs hidden throughout the Senate Republicans’ pernicious tax cut scheme, which they jammed through in the early morning hours Saturday just hours after releasing the full text—handwritten marginalia and all. One particular part that hasn’t received all that much attention is a paid family leave tax credit for companies that provide at least two weeks of paid parental leave. Ostensibly as a means for encouraging the expansion of paid family leave, employers would receive a tax credit for 12.5 percent of the employees’ pay if they pay those workers 50 percent of their wages. Alternatively, employers would get a 25 percent credit if they pay their workers 100 percent of their wages on leave. The...

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