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“Oh, we’ll be cutting.”
— President Trump’s response when he was asked at a Fox News town hall meeting if he’ll address entitlement spending to deal with the country’s burgeoning debt.
While Amazon said it paid “billions” in taxes in 2019, the company actually paid $162 million in federal income tax—a tax rate of 1.2 percent on profits of more than $13 billion, according to Yahoo News.
Bloomberg: “Joe Biden plans to pay for $3.2 trillion in policy proposals with new and higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, including a measure targeting companies like Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. that have reported paying no federal income taxes in recent years. … The so-called minimum book tax, which his team estimates would raise $400 billion over a decade, would be coupled with increases in the top individual and corporate rates that Biden has already promised.”
President Trump’s economic advisers are exploring whether the president should campaign for reelection proposing a 15% tax rate for the American middle class, with some seeing the idea as a simple way of selling Republicans’ economic agenda as not merely beneficial to the rich, the Washington Post reports.
The 400 wealthiest Americans last year paid a lower total tax rate — spanning federal, state and local taxes — than any other income group, the New York Times reports. “That’s a sharp change from the 1950s and 1960s, when the wealthy paid vastly higher tax rates than the middle class or poor. Since then, taxes that hit the wealthiest the hardest — like the estate tax and corporate tax — have plummeted, while tax avoidance has become more common.”
“The U.S. budget gap widened to more than $1 trillion in the first 11 months of the fiscal year, the Treasury Department said Thursday, the first time deficits have topped that amount in seven years,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“There are lots of reasons to worry about how President Trump would handle a recession, should we tip into one. There’s his incompetent economic team. Or the limited fiscal policy tools at his disposal, given that Republicans already spent nearly $2 trillion on tax cuts. Or his efforts to discredit the Federal Reserve just when we’ll need it most. … One underrated concern: Trump’s tendency to double down on stupid and destructive ideas, despite — perhaps because of? — overwhelming evidence of their stupidity and destructiveness.”
The CBO says federal deficits are projected to grow much more than expected over the next decade thanks to the two-year budget agreement lawmakers and the White House struck last month, the Wall Street Journal reports. “The agency increased its forecasts for deficits over the next decade by $809 billion, to $12.2 trillion… The increase primarily reflects higher federal spending under the new budget deal, partly offset by lower projected interest rates.”
“The nation’s federal debt is now projected to balloon to ‘unprecedented levels’ over the next 30 years, if policymakers fail to change laws, potentially pushing the country into the risk of a ‘fiscal crisis,’ the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a new report Tuesday,” CNN reports. “Federal debt is expected to rise from 78% of GDP in 2019 to 92% percent in 2029 and 144% in 2049, the most ever in history.”
“The U.S. recorded a $100.5 billion budget deficit in October, an increase of about 60 percent from a year earlier, as spending grew twice as fast as revenue,” Bloomberg reports. “A ballooning U.S. budget shortfall — fueled by tax cuts, spending hikes and an aging population — is driving the Treasury Department to raise its long-term debt issuance.”