The corporate income tax is steeply progressive, and genuine tax reform should be raising more money from the corporate income tax, not less. Tax reform should close loopholes, not open new ones. Unfortunately, both the president’s and House Republicans’ opening bids show that they intend tax reform to simply mean tax cuts for the rich.
The outcome of tax reform seems pretty clear: deficit-financed, regressive tax cuts that get crammed through the reconciliation process but expire in 10 years, creating another “fiscal cliff” for future policymakers to deal with.
Tax season in 2017 coincides with the next item on President Trump and congressional Republicans’ legislative agenda—tax reform. As we’ve argued previously, we’re unlikely to see anything resembling 1986-style “tax reform,” which—whatever its flaw—really was a bipartisan effort to find efficiencies that could be introduced into the tax code, and which was revenue-neutral.
Engaging the private sector in infrastructure procurement and management does not provide a fiscal free lunch. Substantial costs and risks must be taken into account to fairly compare the costs and benefits of public–private partnerships relative to traditional infrastructure financing and procurement.
These priorities are simple enough to describe: paying for increased spending on defense and border security with cuts across the board to nondefense discretionary spending. Among other reasons why these are bad decisions, they would have devastating consequences for public investment.
A policy effort to boost public investment should include both “core” infrastructure investments such as building roads and "noncore" public investments, such as improving early child care. Both provide high rates of return. Public finance is the most accountable way of financing infrastructure. Tax credits dangled to entice private financiers and developers provide no compelling efficiency gains and open up possibilities for corruption and crony capitalism.
If our arguments have not yet persuaded policymakers on the dangers of wholly outsourcing infrastructure investment to private developers, perhaps they will be convinced by the result of a public-private partnership (P3) in North Carolina—an exercise in privatization that may have helped swing that state’s gubernatorial race.
President-elect Donald Trump has indicated that one of his first priorities will be a plan to boost infrastructure investment. Normally, this would be welcome news for those of us who have been arguing for years that increased public investment should be a top-tier economic priority. The still-sketchy details of Trump’s plan, however, are a cause for concern.
Progressive revenue increases would provide long-run financing for projected deficits but impose only minimal short-run fiscal drag. All other deficit-reduction measures would do clear economic damage if imposed in the short run.
The national recovery since the end of the Great Recession has been needlessly held back by spending cuts at all levels of government.
Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns continues to obscure the numerous potential loopholes that can be exploited by those at the top that are more arbitrary and objectionable.
Since 1952, corporate profits as a share of the economy have risen dramatically (from 5.5 percent to 8.5 percent), while corporate tax revenues as a share of the economy have plummeted (from 5.9 percent to just 1.9 percent).
Rich multinational corporations avoiding their fair share of U.S. taxes means that domestic firms and American workers have to foot the bill. It also means that corporations are not paying their fair share for our infrastructure, schools, public safety, and legal systems, despite depending on all of these services for their profitability.
The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) recently released a policy agenda purporting to focus on improving women’s lives. The tax policies included are par-for-the-course right-wing talking points focused on lower taxes for the rich.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gave an economic policy speech yesterday. Besides peddling his standard trade scam, Trump doubled-down on one of his favorite tax scams, and unveiled an entirely new scam.
A well-designed financial transaction tax—a small levy placed on the sale of stocks, bonds, derivatives, and other investments—would be an efficient and progressive way to generate tax revenues.
The final major pieces of Speaker Paul Ryan’s House GOP tax reform are the changes to the corporate income tax: Pairing a reduction of the corporate income tax to 20 percent along with the 50 percent tax exemption for capital gains, dividends and interest is a spectacular giveaway to the rich.
The extent to which the House Republican caucus is no longer calling for drastic cuts to top marginal income tax rates is highly exaggerated. They’ve simply traded in their very-apparent tax reductions for less-obvious tax loopholes.
Paul Ryan has decided that the House GOP should take tax advice from noted fiscal policy experts Sam Brownback and Donald Trump. Specifically, Ryan’s House GOP tax reform agenda creates a new loophole for “pass-through” income. Pass-through entities are businesses whose incomes are not taxed at the corporate level, but instead “passed through” entirely to the business owners and then taxed at their individual income tax levels.
The only details Donald Trump has committed to when it comes to taxes show that he intends to hand out massive tax cuts to the rich.
In the last week, Donald Trump has backed away a bit from his ridiculous ideas to retire the federal debt by selling national assets and has noted his approval of the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policies in recent years. This may have led some to question whether or not his policy instincts are really all that bad. They are.
The House GOP budget resolution that passed out of committee would double down on such severe cuts, and yet it couldn’t even get a majority in a Republican-controlled House because it doesn’t call for large enough cuts. Or, to put it just as accurately, it failed because too many in the Republican caucus decided that it wouldn’t do quite enough damage to the economy. That’s the real story here.
After a too-short hiatus, fear-mongering about the debt is back in a big way. TIME magazine is so worried that they’ve taken it upon themselves to not only put out an entire series to remind people that they must still fear the debt boogeyman, but have also allowed the headline story to center on long-debunked ramblings about the glories of the gold standard.
While the rest of us will dutifully pay our fair share of taxes on April 18th
, we should not be surprised if some large multinational corporations in the United States don’t pay any taxes at all this year. The U.S. corporate income tax base has eroded rapidly in recent decades.
While it has received plenty of deserved scorn, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that about half of the ridiculousness of Trump’s overall debt plan actually just mimics pretty conventional DC budget wisdom. The other half brings a new kind of ridiculousness to the table, but these new proposals come with a grain of useful insight embedded in them.
Yesterday, the Treasury Department took laudable regulatory action to discourage corporate inversions, a tax evasion maneuver where U.S. multinational corporations merge with much smaller foreign corporations in order to move the corporation, on paper, to a lower-tax country.
This week, the House Budget Committee reported out, on a party-line vote, their fiscal year 2017 budget resolution. Infighting between House Republicans, centered on the idea that proposed spending cuts should be even more drastic, suggests that this year’s budget resolution is unlikely to pass.
The American economy faces two major and interrelated problems, and contrary to what one would expect given the newly resurgent cries of deficit hawks, more spending is essential to solving both.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) has unveiled its fiscal year 2017 (FY2017) budget, titled “The People’s Budget—Prosperity not Austerity.” It builds on recent CPC budget alternatives in setting the following priorities: near-term job creation, financing public investments, strengthening low- and middle-income families’ economic security, raising adequate revenue to meet budgetary needs while restoring fairness to the tax code, strengthening social insurance programs, and ensuring long-run fiscal sustainability.