Messaging matters. House Speaker Paul Ryan has toured factories in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Massachusetts to extoll the virtues of lowering business taxes and promoting the Big Six Unified Framework proposed cuts in business tax rates. But Roll Call reports that he’s spent much less time touting the benefits of the framework for individuals. On NBC’s Meet the Press, House Majority Whip Steven Scalise promised “All the rates are going to go down… the people who are going to benefit the most are going to be the middle class” and nobody will have higher taxes. Ryan vows the House will pass a tax bill by the end of October.
But does the GOP need a better marketing plan? House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows thinks so. “The average American doesn’t know the basic point right now… there is no way to raise wage rates without raising productivity.” Business tax reform could do that… Would the Unified Framework?
Does the average American know what she’s paying in taxes? New CNBC polling finds that roughly 60 percent think they pay "around 20 percent" or less of their income in taxes. In reality, about 40 percent of households pay an effective federal income tax rate of 10 percent or less, and about 55 percent pay 15 percent or less.
Will there be a robot tax in San Francisco? A member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Jane Kim, thinks it would be a good idea. She’s created a “Jobs of the Future Fund” Committee that is exploring how to—sort of—levy a payroll tax on robots. Companies would contribute an amount equal to the payroll and social security tax paid for an employee into a fund. That fund would support training efforts for workers, or provide free community college. As TPC’s Yifan Powers explains, this proposed solution might not fit the perceived problem.
How do we tax the income of entrepreneurs? TPC’s Eric Toder has a new brief that considers the question. The current system allows deferral of tax on the accrued wealth in new firms, and taxes capital gains, when realized, at favorable rates. But the taxes on income of mature enterprises offset some of this benefit.
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