Treasury Pulls a Paper That Contradicts Mnuchin’s Corporate Tax Argument

Treasury Pulls a Paper That Contradicts Mnuchin’s Corporate Tax Argument

By Yuval Rosenberg

The Treasury Department has taken down from its website a 2012 analysis that found that business owners and shareholders — not workers — bear most of the burden of corporate taxes. The findings of the report run counter to the argument Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been making in selling the benefits of a reduction in the corporate tax rate. The Trump administration’s tax reform framework calls for dropping the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.

The 2012 report from the Office of Tax Analysis found that “workers pay 18 percent of the corporate tax while owners of capital pay 82 percent” — figures that are “in line with many economists’ views and close to estimates from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation and Congressional Budget Office,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

A Treasury spokeswoman told the Journal: “The paper was a dated staff analysis from the previous administration. It does not represent our current thinking and analysis.”

Jason Furman, who was chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, tweeted that the goal of the technical paper series that included the removed study “was to be more transparent about the methodology Treasury used for its modeling and analysis.”

Chart of the Day: 2019’s Lobbying Leaders

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By The Fiscal Times Staff

Roll Call reports that trade, infrastructure and health care issues including prescription drug prices “dominated the lobbying agendas of some of the biggest spenders on K Street early this year.” Here’s Roll Call’s look at the top lobbying spenders so far this year: 

Can You Fix Social Security? A New Tool Lets You Try

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By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Congressional Budget Office released an interactive tool Wednesday that shows how some widely discussed policy changes would affect the long-run financial health of the Social Security system.

“This interactive tool allows the user to explore seven policy options that could be used to improve the Social Security program’s finances and delay the trust funds’ exhaustion,” CBO said. “Four options would reduce benefits, and three options would increase payroll taxes. The tool allows for any combination of those options. It also lets the user change implementation dates and choose whether to show scheduled or payable benefits. … The tool also shows the impact of the options on different groups of people.”

Click here to view the interactive tool on the CBO website.

Majority of Tax Cuts Going to Filers Earning More Than $100K: JCT

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By The Fiscal Times Staff

Ahead of a House Ways and Means Committee hearing scheduled for Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Taxation prepared an analysis of the distributional effects of the 2017 Republican tax bill. The New York Times’ Jim Tankersley highlighted the fact that according to the JCT analysis, about 75 percent of the individual and business benefits of the tax cuts will go to filers earning more than $100,000 in 2019. And nearly half of the benefits will flow to filers earning over $200,000.

The Trump Budget's $1.2 Trillion in 'Phantom Revenues'

Trump budget arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington
KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

President Trump’s 2020 budget includes up to $1.2 trillion in “potentially phantom revenues” — money that comes from taxes the administration opposes or from tax hikes that face strong opposition from businesses, The Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin reports, citing data from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. That total, covering 2020 through 2029, includes as much as $390 billion in taxes created under the Affordable Care Act, which the president wants to repeal.

The $1.2 trillion in questionable revenue projections is in addition to the White House budget’s projected deficits of $7.3 trillion for the 10-year period. That total is itself questionable, given that the president’s budget relies on optimistic assumptions about economic growth and some unrealistic spending cuts, meaning that the deficits could be significantly higher than projected.