A call for an IRS investigation. Top Senate Finance Committee Democrat Ron Wyden wants the IRS to investigate this week’s New York Times report on the Trump family’s manipulation of federal estate and gift tax laws. He wrote to the IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig: “These media reports represent serious and credible allegations of potentially illegal tax fraud, based on extensive documentation.” The statute of limitations has run out for any criminal fraud charges, but civil fines could run into the millions of dollars.
A dangerous goal? Meanwhile, House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady says Democrats’ efforts to obtain President Trump’s tax returns are “dangerous.” In a tweet, he asks, “what stops them from prying/making public YOUR tax returns for political reasons?” If Democrats win a majority in the House in November, Ways & Means’ top Democrat Richard Neal has vowed to obtain Trump’s tax documents.
Tax genius. MIT economist Amy Finkelstein has won a MacArthur “genius award.” While much of her recent work has been in health care, Amy has also done pathbreaking work in tax salience. She is the founding editor of the American Economic Review: Insights and co-director of the Public Economics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Where’s the windfall? Thanks in part to Trump’s steel tariffs, US production has ramped up and profits are surging. But will workers benefit? The Washington Post explains that “while the tariff boon might provide new opportunities for jobs and boost corporate bottom lines, whether it can overcome longer-term factors affecting the livelihoods of steelworkers remains to be seen.”
Let them have tax cuts in France? President Emmanuel Macron is losing popularity, so he has proposed cutting taxes for middle- and low-income workers, reports The New York Times. The tax breaks, worth $6.9 billion are supposed to align with Macron’s plans for a “new French prosperity,” or so the French government tells investors.
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