Little Compelling Evidence?

Greg Ip, in his Monday Wall Street Journal piece on the matter of corporate tax cuts, says that

most of the US’ largest trading partners cut their corporate rates. But their experience offers a reality check. There is little compelling evidence any enjoyed substantially faster growth as a result, and certainly not on the scale of Mr Trump’s ambitions….

He offered some examples:

Britain reduced its corporate rate from 30% in 2007 to 19% now. A 2013 study by the British Treasury predicted the tax cuts since 2010 would eventually boost the level of gross domestic product by 0.6%. That is certainly worth having, but spread out over, say, six years, would boost the growth rate by a barely noticeable 0.1 percentage point.

“We pay a lot to feed the civil servants”

That’s what Zhou Dewen, Zhejiang Private Investment Enterprise Association Director, a business lobbying group in the People’s Republic of China has said.  He, like business representatives anywhere—including here in the US—is right to be concerned.  That concern is compounded by President Donald Trump’s tax proposal.

Now, Chinese officials and executives worry that the tax proposal Mr Trump announced last week will set back China’s global competitiveness and spur companies to invest in America instead of China.

Which is one of the points of Trump’s proposal that, among other things, seeks to drastically lower our usurious business tax rates.

A Tax Code Proposal

Below is the handout given to the NLMSM at Wednesday’s White House daily press briefing, this time hosted by Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for the purpose of discussing President Donald Trump’s tax reform proposal, which was released today via that handout and press briefing.

Also included, as mentioned during the briefing though not on the handout, is a proposed reduction of the peak capital gains tax to 20%, which Cohn and Mnuchin said will stimulate investment—and, I add, stimulate both productivity and new job creation via that increased investment.

Another Reason

…to stop sending Federal funds to any institution in the California University system.

The University of California hid a stash of $175 million in secret funds while its leaders requested more money from the state, an audit released on Tuesday said.

The University of California system is run by Janet Napolitano, the former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.  And the same Napolitano who decided returning American veterans could be terrorist material: her history of dishonesty is a long one.

The Congressman Misunderstands

What he misunderstands, though is a very expensive thing to misunderstand: basic economics.  Congressman Joe Crowley (D, NY), Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and member of the House Ways and Means Committee said in an interview with PJMedia‘s Nicholas Ballasy that he’s willing to “experiment” with a VAT in the US, “what effect that will have.”  And

Spending Our Tax Dollars

The table below is constructed from the table and data provided by Laura Saunders in her piece in Friday’s Wall Street Journal.  It shows how $100 in our tax monies paid to the Federal government were spent on a range of government purposes.

Item 2016
Social Security $23.61
Medicare $15.26
National defense $15.24
Medicaid $9.55
Interest $6.25
Other spending $4.94
Veterans $4.58
Civilian federal retirement $2.57
Transportation $2.39
Refundable credits* $2.21
Education $2.08
Food stamps $1.89

Social Security Trust Fund Investing in the Stock Market

The Wall Street Journal held one of its aperiodic debates last Sunday, this time on whether the Social Security Trust Fund should be allowed to invest in stocks.  One debater argued that such investing would reduce the need for dependence on benefit cuts or tax increases; the other claimed that government should stay out of the market.

It’s certainly true that investing in the stock market could produce better returns than the Trust Fund’s current requirement to invest wholly in (unmarketable) Federal debt instruments.

Democrats and Tax Reform

They’re plainly not interested in real tax reform, and so they’ll move to block all attempts to achieve reform that would benefit all Americans and so our economy.  This is illustrated by Senator Ben Cardin’s (D, MD) position on the matter.

Tax reform’s got to be responsible and it’s got to be progressive[.]

Pick one; these are mutually exclusive goals.  Punishing particular Democrat-disfavored groups of Americans for their success is the height of irresponsibility in a taxing venue.

“Our Federal Dollars”

It doesn’t get any clearer than this.  Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has illustrated the addictive nature of Federal funds transfers to the States and lower government jurisdictions with that phrase.

In defending his city’s lawsuit against the Federal government over DoJ’s decision to withhold Federal monies from cities that violate Federal law by protecting illegal aliens from enforcement of immigration law, Murray said this:

The federal government cannot compel our police department to enforce federal immigration law and cannot use our federal dollars to coerce Seattle into turning our backs on our immigrant and refugee communities.

Tax Rates and Tax Credits

One illustration of the value of the relationship between the two is provided in Laura Kusisto’s piece, Tax Overhaul Threatens Affordable-Housing Deals, in a piece in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal.

The possibility of a tax-code overhaul is casting a shadow over the $10 billion affordable-housing industry, which receives tax credits so valuable they often determine whether or not projects get off the ground.

Members of Congress and President Donald Trump have proposed reducing the corporate tax rate to 15% to 20% from the current 35%, dimming the allure of a credit investors such as big banks and insurance companies receive to offset income taxes.