On this day in 1485, Richard III meets his end at the Battle of Bosworth Field.
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Jim Tankersley and Emily Cochrane report Budget Deficit on Path to Surpass $1 Trillion Under Trump:
The deficit — the gap between what the government takes in through taxes and other sources of revenue and what it spends — will reach $960 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. That gap will widen to $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year, the Congressional Budget Office said in updated forecasts released on Wednesday.
The updated projections show deficits rising — and damage from Mr. Trump’s tariffs mounting — faster than the office had previously predicted. In May, the budget office said it expected a deficit of $896 billion for 2019 and $892 billion for 2020.
That damage would be even higher if not for lower-than-expected interest rates, which are reducing the amount of money the government has to pay to its borrowers. Still, the 2019 deficit is projected to be 25 percent larger than it was in 2018, and the budget office predicts it will continue to rise every year through 2023.
By 2029, the national debt will reach its highest level as a share of the economy since the immediate aftermath of World War II.
Elaina Plott writes Trump’s Phone Calls With Wayne LaPierre Reveal NRA’s Influence:
Earlier this afternoon [8.20], according to a person briefed on the call, the president told LaPierre in another phone call that universal background checks were off the table. “He was cementing his stance that we already have background checks and that he’s not waffling on this anymore,” the source told me. “He doesn’t want to pursue it.” In the call, the source added, Trump said he wanted to focus now on “increasing funding” for mental-health care and directing attorneys general across the country to start prosecuting “gun crime” through federal firearms charges from the Justice Department.
The NRA has been consumed by internal strife in recent months, including attempted coups from within, investigations into questionable spending by top executives, and a messy battle with its former advertising agency—all of which the group’s officials calmly refer to as “family issues.” Accordingly, many have speculated that the gun lobby’s clout is not what it once was, that its so-called family issues have caused the NRA’s grip on the GOP to soften. But as the conversations between Trump and LaPierre show, the NRA continues to influence gun policy, or lack thereof, in the Republican Party. Even with its leadership in disarray, the group has once more ensured that modest gun-control efforts are a nonstarter, turning a president who once boasted that he wasn’t “afraid” of the NRA into one of its most reliable advocates.