Who could benefit from Trump’s tax plan? In case you missed it, TPC’s Lily Batchelder spoke with NPR over the weekend about the primary beneficiaries of the president-elect’s proposals. They are not the “middle-class” as, Trump has promised.
How about an agenda for inclusive growth instead? TPC’s Bill Gale writes for Brookings: “The record is clear that deficit-financed tax cuts on high-income households and businesses have failed to boost growth at the federal or state level in the U.S., or in other countries.” Gale argues that “the next president should focus on building economic capacity with new investments in infrastructure, research and development, education, and anti-poverty programs.”
But will entitlements limit those choices? A new brief by TPC’s Gene Steuerle, the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget’s Maya MacGuineas and coauthors warns that the new president may enter office with diminished influence due to “the increasing dominance of autopilot programs with built-in growth.” Health and retirement programs as well as interest on the debt will limit his ability to shift priorities and increase the government’s need to borrow. That may be why House Republicans are targeting Medicaid and Medicare spending.
There is always impeaching the IRS commissioner. Entitlements may be constraining the ability of lawmakers to change priorities, but they still can keep busy. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan told Politico that he’ll continue to push to remove IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in the lame duck session. The effort is doomed to fail.
Paul Ryan wants another term as speaker. Before the election, many speculated that Ryan would turn in his gavel (perhaps to concentrate in a presidential run in 2020). But with a GOP sweep, Ryan has thrown his hat back in the ring for another term as Speaker. One of his top priorities is likely to be a tax bill.
Why did progressives in Washington State nix a carbon tax? TPC’s Megan Randall explains: “It wasn’t primarily the idea of such a tax, which is something of a holy grail of climate change policy. Rather, they objected to how the state proposed to use the $2.2 billion in revenues the plan was projected to generate.”
And in France… Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy proposes that Europe levy a carbon tax on US imports if the president-elect pulls the United States out of the Paris climate pact.
There seems to be a black market in the United Kingdom. The UK’s treasury, or Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, has lost more than £31 billion ($39 billion) in tax revenues the past five years. It has not been able to collect taxes on spirits, beer, wine, cigarettes, hand rolling tobacco, and diesel fuel.
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- © Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2016.