# GOP unity (for now) on House tax plan

The tax overhaul is Republicans’ top priority ahead of next year’s elections, and lawmakers are desperate for a victory after the Obamacare repeal failed.

Updated

House Republicans largely put aside their often sharp policy and ideological differences Thursday to warmly greet the tax overhaul legislation introduced by GOP leaders.

But, as expected, it didn’t take long for various interest groups that feel stung by the measure to make their views known, and that will likely make the lawmakers’ unity fleeting.

Even before the legislation was formally unveiled, one of the most powerful groups in conservative circles, Americans for Prosperity, warned that plans to slap a tax on imports from U.S. companies that move jobs abroad “has the potential to derail much-needed reform.”

That was followed by denunciations from the influential National Federation of Independent Business, a small business lobby; the National Association of Home Builders; Independent Sector, which represents charities; the National Farmers Union; and even the American Institute of Architects.

That will give lawmakers plenty to think about as they brace for lobbyists to descend on their offices to fight for and against parts of the bill that will affect their profits, charitable donations and public services.

But Thursday appeared to be all about rallying around what could be the only major legislative accomplishment Republicans have to take into the 2018 midterm elections.

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said he didn’t hear enough concerns among members of his party when they were briefed on the plan to slow its momentum.

“I don’t think anyone voiced anything that was just overwhelmingly a shutdown concern, to my surprise,” Walker said. “Guys from different caucuses, from different groups, were all speaking in favor of it. Not everybody’s happy about everything but … I was actually a little taken aback at how much unity there was in the room at the overall package.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), head of the often balky Freedom Caucus, said he had some concerns about proposed changes to housing tax breaks and also with how the bill treats small businesses, but said he’s nevertheless “leaning yes” on the plan.

“I believe we’ll get there, and I’ll be optimistic that the few remaining issues will get addressed,” he said.

Lawmakers from high-tax states continued to grumble that the proposal would eliminate a deduction for state and local income and sales taxes, while keeping a property tax write-off that would be capped at $10,000. “The property tax is still too low,” Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) told reporters, adding that he’s already made a personal plea to House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas). “I’ve done the math for my own state, my own district, and I’ve given the chairman of Ways and Means what I think the number needs to be.” The unveiling of the 429-page bill — and a summary that runs 82 pages — kicks off what is sure to be a grueling slog to get legislation to President Donald Trump by the end of the year. The Senate is expected to follow up with its own plan as early as next week. The bill would benefit a big slice of the American economy, with deep cuts in corporate tax rates, changes designed to make taxes on U.S. multinationals more competitive and tax cuts for individuals that Republicans say will significantly lighten their tax burden. But it also includes provisions sure to stoke controversy and fierce lobbying, including new limits on the popular mortgage interest deduction. People could only deduct interest on the first$500,000 of loans for newly purchased homes, down from the current $1 million, and lawmakers would eliminate the break for second homes. The bill would also make it harder for people to sell their homes without paying taxes on any capital gains. Experts warned that some middle-income people could see tax increases under the plan. While big companies would get a significantly lower 20 percent corporate rate, down from 35 percent, they would face new limits on their ability to deduct interest on their loans, a new global minimum tax on their overseas earnings, and new taxes on U.S. companies heading abroad. Republicans dropped a contentious plan to curb tax benefits for 401(k) retirement plans, which had GOP lawmakers cheering Brady at a closed door briefing on the plan. Exactly who would win and lose in the proposal — dubbed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” — has been a closely guarded secret, and many lawmakers will surely be surprised at the scope of changes needed to make the numbers behind the plan work. The NFIB announced its opposition, citing restrictions lawmakers included on which small businesses can claim their lower tax rate on unincorporated “pass-through” firms. The issue has been one of the most difficult for lawmakers to work out, and could prove to be one of the most contentious going forward. Though lawmakers would reduce the rate on those businesses to 25 percent, there would be limits on which firms could take advantage, provisions designed to avoid gaming by wealthy individuals. Under the proposal, pass-throughs would get the lower rate on 30 percent of their profits, with the remainder taxed at ordinary income tax rates, though there would be circumstances in which businesses could qualify for a bigger share being subject to the special rate. That means, though, that some pass-throughs would actually pay more than 25 percent under the plan. “This bill leaves too many small businesses behind,” said Juanita Duggan, the group’s president. “We believe that tax reform should provide substantial relief to all small businesses.” The National Association of Home Builders said the legislation “eviscerates” housing tax benefits, and “abandons middle class taxpayers.” The National Association of Realtors meanwhile has already begun lobbying against the proposal, running online ads in tax writers’ districts. “Don’t let tax reform become a tax increase for middle-class homeowners,” the ad says. Independent Sector worries charities would suffer because the bill’s expansion of the standard deduction means far fewer people would take an itemized deduction for charitable giving. “The bill moves in the wrong direction,” said Daniel Cardinali, the group’s president. Other business groups embraced the plan, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. “This bold tax reform bill is exactly what our nation needs to get our economy growing faster,” said Neil Bradley, a senior vice president at the Chamber of Commerce. Said Jamie Dimon, head of JP Morgan Chase & Co. and the Business Roundtable: “We support this tax reform effort because it is good for all Americans.” House Speaker Paul Ryan and his leadership team want to stay ahead of lobbyists and constituencies that they know will be at their door. They plan to create an interactive presentation for each member to show the bill’s economic impact on their district, and what different adjustments would do. “The substantive issue is how all these changes add up for families in my district or other members’ districts,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the Republican chief deputy whip. “And once people can see that then that will determine their level of support.” The plan is Republicans’ top priority ahead of next year’s elections, and lawmakers are desperate for a victory to take to voters after the failed campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Republicans are hoping to move it quickly through the House, with committee action penciled in for next week. Lawmakers aim to forward it on to the Senate later this month. Senate Republicans are working on their own competing plan they aim to unveil next week. Lawmakers hope to land a compromise on Trump’s desk by the end of the year. House leaders, who have written the plan in secret, had avoided identifying most of the breaks that would be quashed under the proposal in order to keep lobbyists at bay. But many Republicans had little inkling of what’s in the bill, and the strategy means leaders have not had much opportunity to build support among rank-and-file members for controversial proposals that will surely get more attention in the coming days. The bill is loaded with sure-to-be contentious ideas affecting broad swathes of the economy. It would delete a long-standing deduction for people with high medical bills — including those with chronic conditions. People would have to live longer in their homes, under the bill, to qualify for tax-free treatment of capital gains when they sell their houses. It would also kill long-standing breaks for adoptions, and for student loan interest costs. Private universities would face a new 1.4 percent tax on their investment earnings from their endowments. The Work Opportunity Credit, which encourages businesses to hire veterans, would be eliminated. So too would the New Markets Tax credit, which encourages investment in poor areas. Tax benefits related to fringe benefits would be curtailed. It would also dump a long-standing break for casualty losses that allow people to deduct things lost in fires and storms, although it would continue to allow the provision for people hit by hurricanes — no doubt reflecting the influence of Brady, whose Houston-area district was hit by Hurricane Harvey. Foreign companies operating in the United States would face higher taxes under the proposal, as would companies such as pharmaceutical firms that move overseas and want to sell goods back to the United States. The bill would cut taxes over the next decade by$1.487 trillion, according to the official Joint Committee on Taxation. The estimate also shows the bill would likely run afoul of the Senate’s “Byrd rule,” named after the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), which bars provisions adding to the government’s long-term debt.

For individuals, the plan would reduce the number of tax brackets to four from the current seven, with the top rate remaining at 39.6 percent. Republicans would more than double the income threshold at which the top rate would kick in to $1 million for married couples. They would simultaneously raise taxes on the rich, though, by limiting their ability to take advantage of their lowest income tax bracket. The 35 percent bracket would begin at$260,000 for married couples, and the threshold for a 25 percent bracket would be $90,000 under the plan. Republicans would also get rid of personal exemptions, which are designed to adjust tax burdens for family size. The plan would instead double the standard deduction while increasing both the size of the child tax credit to$1,600, from the current $1000, while increasing the income threshold at which it could be claimed. They would also create a new$300 credit for adult dependents as well as another $300 “family flexibility” credit. The bill would ease the estate tax by doubling the threshold at which it would kick in before eventually repealing it. Aside from the lower corporate tax rate, businesses would also get the ability to immediately write off their investment expenses for the next five years. They would get a one-time reduced rate of 12 percent on their overseas earnings on liquid assets and a 5 percent rate on illiquid assets like overseas factories. But they would face new limits on their ability to deduct interest payments on the money they borrow. They would also face a new 10 percent foreign minimum tax targeting companies that squirrel away money in offshore tax havens. Life insurance companies would lose a number of tax benefits, private activity bonds would be eliminated and tax-exempt bonds could no longer be used to help build professional sports stadiums. Colin Wilhelm, Rachael Bade and Sarah Ferris contributed to this report. https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/02/tax-reform-house-gop-plan-244453 # Leadership The majority party members and the minority party members meet separately to select their leaders. Third parties rarely have had enough members to elect their own leadership, and independents will generally join one of the larger party organizations to receive committee assignments. A party caucus or conference is the name given to a meeting of or organization of all party members in the House. During these meetings, party members discuss matters of concern. ## Speaker of the House ### Rep. Paul D. Ryan Elected by the whole of the House of Representatives, the Speaker acts as leader of the House and combines several roles: the institutional role of presiding officer and administrative head of the House, the role of leader of the majority party in the House, and the representative role of an elected member of the House. The Speaker of the House is second in line to succeed the President, after the Vice President. ## Republican Leadership ### Majority Leader #### Rep. Kevin McCarthy Represents Republicans on the House floor. ### Majority Whip #### Rep. Steve Scalise Assists leadership in managing party’s legislative program. ### Republican Conference Chairman #### Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers Heads organization of all Republican Party members in the House. ### Republican Policy Committee Chairman #### Rep. Luke Messer Heads Conference forum for policy development. ## Democratic Leadership ### Democratic Leader #### Rep. Nancy Pelosi Represents Democrats on the House floor. ### Democratic Whip #### Rep. Steny Hoyer Assists leadership in managing party’s legislative program. ### Assistant Democratic Leader #### Rep. James Clyburn Works with caucuses and as liaison to Appropriations Committee. ### Democratic Caucus Chairman #### Rep. Joseph Crowley Heads organization of all Democratic Party members in the House. # Republican Party House Leadership # Democratic Party House Leadership https://www.conservativereview.com/scorecard?chamber=house&state=&party=R # The GOP’s hidden 46% tax bracket If you’re rich enough, some of your income is taxed at a rate unseen since the ‘80s. House Republicans claim the tax plan they introduced Thursday keeps the top individual rate unchanged at 39.6 percent—the level at which it’s been capped for much of the past quarter-century. But a little-noticed provision effectively creates a new band in which income is taxed at over 45 percent. Thanks to a quirky proposed surcharge, Americans who earn more than$1 million in taxable income would trigger an extra 6 percent tax on the next $200,000 they earn—a complicated change that effectively creates a new, unannounced tax bracket of 45.6 percent. It hasn’t been advertised by Republicans, who have described their plan as maintaining the current top tax rate of 39.6 percent. And it goes against decades of GOP orthodoxy that raising taxes on the rich discourages work and reduces economic growth. Reached by phone, Steve Moore, a tax expert at The Heritage Foundation, said the surcharge was news to him. “I was just in a briefing with the White House on this,” he said. “They didn’t mention that. It seems kind of bizarre to me.” The new rate stems from a provision in the bill intended to help the government recover, from the very wealthy, some of the benefits that lower-income taxpayers enjoy. Under the House GOP plan, all individuals—no matter whether they earn$35,000, $150,000 or$10 million—would pay the lowest rate, 12 percent, on their first $45,000 in taxable income. That’s a normal feature of current American tax law. But in the new plan, House Republicans want to claw back some of that benefit for individuals who earn more than$1 million, or couples earning more than $1.2 million. Here’s how it would work: After the first$1 million in taxable income, the government would impose a 6 percent surcharge on every dollar earned, until it made up for the tax benefits that the rich receive from the low tax rate on that first $45,000. That surcharge remains until the government has clawed back the full$12,420, which would occur at about $1.2 million in taxable income. At that point, the surcharge disappears and the top tax rate drops back to 39.6 percent. This type of tax is sometimes called a “bubble tax,” because the marginal tax rate effectively bubbles up for a brief period before falling back to a lower level. According to POLITICO’s calculation, the surcharge could raise more than$50 billion over a decade—money that will help the GOP meet the $1.5 trillion in increased deficits that their budget allows for and required to balance out tax cuts elsewhere. Balancing out those costs means that the bill can pass through budget reconciliation, and Senate Democrats can’t filibuster the bill. Whom would it affect? According to the Internal Revenue Service, 438,000 tax filers had more than$1 million in taxable income in 2015, most of whom also make more than $1.2 million—meaning they’d pay the full additional$12,420 in bubble tax. Altogether, that surcharge could have raised roughly $5 billion in 2015, the latest year in which numbers are available, meaning it could potentially bring in around$50 billion over the next decade. That’s not huge money in a plan that cuts taxes $1.5 trillion—but every bit counts. A spokesperson for the House Ways and Means Committee did not dispute the math but characterized the bubble as “the phase-out of a tax benefit” for high earners, rather than a surcharge. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides tax relief at every income level,” said the spokesperson. The idea of a bubble tax is not exactly new. In fact, the corporate tax code currently contains a bubble tax, which the GOP plan would eliminate. But the hidden nature of bubble taxes concerns experts who believe that the tax code should be easy to understand. “It certainly doesn’t promote tax transparency in terms of letting people readily understand the true rate structure,” said Alan Viard, a tax expert at the American Enterprise Institute. “I don’t think many people in the tax policy community are enthused about this kind of provision.” The bubble tax also represents something of a break from nearly all Republican tax plans for the past few decades. Supply-side conservatives have long complained that the current tax rates on top earners are too high, discouraging work and reducing economic growth. House Republicans proposed lowering the top rate to 33 percent in the tax blueprint that they released last year. Over the past few weeks, faced with pressure from President Donald Trump to counter critics who said the plan is a giveaway to the rich and needing additional revenue, GOP leaders acceded to leaving the top rate unchanged. For a party that has focused intently on lowering marginal tax rates, it was a big concession. For Democrats, the extra$50 billion from the rich is almost certain not to change their criticisms that the plan contains huge giveaways to the rich in the form of corporate tax cuts and the new 25 percent rate for so-called “pass through” businesses, which include everything from small businesses to hedge funds.

The bubble tax, in other words, is a way for the GOP to quietly raise much-needed revenue without changing the broader features of the bill. But it does mean that the top marginal tax rate would rise above 40 percent for the first time since 1986—the last year that Congress overhauled the tax code.

https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/11/02/the-gops-hidden-46-tax-bracket-000570

# Rand Paul: Have to Cut Taxes on Top 1 Percent or It’s Not a ‘Significant Tax Cut’

## The Kentucky senator says members of Congress have bought into the ‘class warfare’ of the Left

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Thursday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that the House’s tax plan will deliver economic growth, although it doesn’t really constitute “a significant tax cut” as President Donald Trump said it would.

The House’s watered-down Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, released Thursday, would reduce the number of income tax brackets to four, with rates of zero percent, 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. In addition, the corporate tax rate drops from 35 percent to 20 percent — short of the 15 percent tax rate Trump championed on the campaign trail, but still a significant change.

Although Paul applauded some aspects of the bill’s content, he expressed disappointment, saying the proposed legislation as it now stands wouldn’t deliver the “significant tax cut” Trump and Republicans promised.

“If you don’t cut the top 1 percent, you don’t really have a significant tax cut,” Paul told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham. “What they’ve done is, they’ve bought into the class warfare on the individual side.”

“So at the top, there’s not going to be much of a tax cut. There will be some. And in the middle, there’s going to be a little bit — there’s mostly going to be eliminating deductions. And at the bottom, the bottom already don’t pay much income tax and will continue not to pay much income tax,” Paul added.

The senator from Kentucky said that if the U.S. wants to create jobs and keep them in the country, Congress must “lessen the punishment” it has doled out on corporations and the top 1 percent of income earners.

“We’re punishing corporations and the workers of those corporations so much that companies are fleeing and going abroad. So we have the highest corporate income tax in the world. It’s going down to 20 percent,” Paul said. “The president’s been a good leader on this. He has pushed up until the last minute of the last hour last night. House leadership is still trying to not give him the corporate tax cut he’s asked for.”

Even though the bill would only lower the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, Paul said this move still would “be huge” for the country.

“The best news out of this is, lowering the corporate rate will help the country. And I think we will see growth,” Paul said. “Already we’re seeing about 3 percent growth in the country because of the enthusiasm for President Trump and his policies. I think we’re going to get 4 or 5 percent growth if we get this thing through, within a year or two.”

“For the individuals, it’s not as good as I would like. I would like to see every individual up and down get a lower rate, and particularly on the top part of the spectrum because the top part of the spectrum pays most of the taxes,” Paul continued.

But the Democrats have been particularly effective in pushing the narrative that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans disadvantage poorer Americans, and many Republicans have found themselves convinced by portions of these emotional arguments, Paul suggested.

“We have to understand that the owners of our businesses — the people we work for — are richer than us. They pay more taxes,” Paul said. “But if you lower their taxes, they will either buy stuff or hire more people. If you raise their taxes, it goes into the nonproductive economy, which is Washington, D.C., and it will be squandered.”

“So really, even if rich people get a tax cut, we should all stand up and cheer because it means more jobs for us because you’re leaving more money in the private sector,” Paul continued. “So I’m one of the few that will stand up on TV and say everybody’s taxes should go down, including the wealthy.”

(photo credit, homepage image: Rand PaulCC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore; photo credit, article image: Rand PaulCC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore)

http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/rand-paul-well-see-growth-but-this-isnt-asignificant-tax-cut/

# The Communist Manifesto

Author First edition, in German Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Samuel Moore United Kingdom German late-February 1848

The Communist Manifesto (originally Manifesto of the Communist Party) is an 1848 political pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Commissioned by the Communist League and originally published in London (in German as Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei) just as the revolutions of 1848 began to erupt, the Manifesto was later recognised as one of the world’s most influential political documents. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and then-present) and the problems of capitalism and the capitalist mode of production, rather than a prediction of communism’s potential future forms.

The Communist Manifesto summarises Marx and Engels’ theories about the nature of society and politics, that in their own words, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”. It also briefly features their ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism.

## Synopsis

The Communist Manifesto is divided into a preamble and four sections, the last of these a short conclusion. The introduction begins by proclaiming “A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre”. Pointing out that parties everywhere—including those in government and those in the opposition—have flung the “branding reproach of communism” at each other, the authors infer from this that the powers-that-be acknowledge communism to be a power in itself. Subsequently, the introduction exhorts Communists to openly publish their views and aims, to “meet this nursery tale of the spectre of communism with a manifesto of the party itself”.

The first section of the Manifesto, “Bourgeois and Proletarians”, elucidates the materialist conception of history, that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”. Societies have always taken the form of an oppressed majority living under the thumb of an oppressive minority. In capitalism, the industrial working class, or proletariat, engage in class struggle against the owners of the means of production, the bourgeoisie. As before, this struggle will end in a revolution that restructures society, or the “common ruin of the contending classes”. The bourgeoisie, through the “constant revolutionising of production [and] uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions” have emerged as the supreme class in society, displacing all the old powers of feudalism. The bourgeoisie constantly exploits the proletariat for its labour power, creating profit for themselves and accumulating capital. However, in doing so, the bourgeoisie serves as “its own grave-diggers”; the proletariat inevitably will become conscious of their own potential and rise to power through revolution, overthrowing the bourgeoisie.

“Proletarians and Communists”, the second section, starts by stating the relationship of conscious communists to the rest of the working class. The communists’ party will not oppose other working-class parties, but unlike them, it will express the general will and defend the common interests of the world’s proletariat as a whole, independent of all nationalities. The section goes on to defend communism from various objections, including claims that it advocates “free love” or disincentivises people from working. The section ends by outlining a set of short-term demands—among them a progressive income tax; abolition of inheritances and private property; free public education; nationalisation of the means of transport and communication; centralisation of credit via a national bank; expansion of publicly owned etc.—the implementation of which would result in the precursor to a stateless and classless society.

The third section, “Socialist and Communist Literature”, distinguishes communism from other socialist doctrines prevalent at the time—these being broadly categorised as Reactionary Socialism; Conservative or Bourgeois Socialism; and Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism. While the degree of reproach toward rival perspectives varies, all are dismissed for advocating reformism and failing to recognise the pre-eminent revolutionary role of the working class. “Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Opposition Parties”, the concluding section of the Manifesto, briefly discusses the communist position on struggles in specific countries in the mid-nineteenth century such as France, Switzerland, Poland, and Germany, this last being “on the eve of a bourgeois revolution”, and predicts that a world revolution will soon follow. It ends by declaring an alliance with the social democrats, boldly supporting other communist revolutions, and calling for united international proletarian action—Working Men of All Countries, Unite!.

## Writing

Only surviving page from the first draft of the Manifesto, handwritten by Marx

In spring 1847 Marx and Engels joined the League of the Just, who were quickly convinced by the duo’s ideas of “critical communism”. At its First Congress in 2–9 June, the League tasked Engels with drafting a “profession of faith”, but such a document was later deemed inappropriate for an open, non-confrontational organisation. Engels nevertheless wrote the “Draft of the Communist Confession of Faith“, detailing the League’s programme. A few months later, in October, Engels arrived at the League’s Paris branch to find that Moses Hess had written an inadequate manifesto for the group, now called the League of Communists. In Hess’s absence, Engels severely criticised this manifesto, and convinced the rest of the League to entrust him with drafting a new one. This became the draft Principles of Communism, described as “less of a credo and more of an exam paper.”

On 23 November, just before the Communist League’s Second Congress (29 November – 8 December 1847), Engels wrote to Marx, expressing his desire to eschew the catechism format in favour of the manifesto, because he felt it “must contain some history.” On the 28th, Marx and Engels met at Ostend in Belgium, and a few days later, gathered at the Soho, London headquarters of the German Workers’ Education Association to attend the Congress. Over the next ten days, intense debate raged between League functionaries; Marx eventually dominated the others and, overcoming “stiff and prolonged opposition”,[1] in Harold Laski‘s words, secured a majority for his programme. The League thus unanimously adopted a far more combative resolution than that at the First Congress in June. Marx (especially) and Engels were subsequently commissioned to draw up a manifesto for the League.

Upon returning to Brussels, Marx engaged in “ceaseless procrastination”, according to his biographer Francis Wheen. Working only intermittently on the manifesto, he spent much of his time delivering lectures on political economy at the German Workers’ Education Association, writing articles for the Deutsche-Brüsseler-Zeitung, and giving a long speech on free trade. Following this, he even spent a week (17–26 January 1848) in Ghent to establish a branch of the Democratic Association there. Subsequently, having not heard from Marx for nearly two months, the Central Committee of the Communist League sent him an ultimatum on 24 or 26 January, demanding he submit the completed manuscript by 1 February. This imposition spurred Marx on, who struggled to work without a deadline, and he seems to have rushed to finish the job in time. (For evidence of this, historian Eric Hobsbawm points to the absence of rough drafts, only one page of which survives.)

In all, the Manifesto was written over 6–7 weeks. Although Engels is credited as co-writer, the final draft was penned exclusively by Marx. From the 26 January letter, Laski infers that even the League considered Marx to be the sole draftsman (and that he was merely their agent, imminently replaceable). Further, Engels himself wrote in 1883 that “The basic thought running through the Manifesto … belongs solely and exclusively to Marx.” Although Laski doesn’t disagree, he suggests that Engels underplays his own contribution with characteristic modesty, and points out the “close resemblance between its substance and that of the [Principles of Communism]”. Laski argues that while writing the Manifesto, Marx drew from the “joint stock of ideas” he developed with Engels, “a kind of intellectual bank account upon which either could draw freely.”[2]

## Publication

### Initial publication and obscurity, 1848–72

A scene from the German March Revolution in Berlin, 1848

In late February 1848, the Manifesto was anonymously published by the Workers’ Educational Association (Communistischer Arbeiterbildungsverein) at Bishopsgate in the City of London. Written in German, the 23-page pamphlet was titled Manifest der kommunistischen Partei and had a dark-green cover. It was reprinted three times and serialised in the Deutsche Londoner Zeitung, a newspaper for German émigrés. On 4 March, one day after the serialisation in the Zeitung began, Marx was expelled by Belgian police. Two weeks later, around 20 March, a thousand copies of the Manifesto reached Paris, and from there to Germany in early April. In April–May the text was corrected for printing and punctuation mistakes; Marx and Engels would use this 30-page version as the basis for future editions of the Manifesto.

Although the Manifestos prelude announced that it was “to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages”, the initial printings were only in German. Polish and Danish translations soon followed the German original in London, and by the end of 1848, a Swedish translation was published with a new title—The Voice of Communism: Declaration of the Communist Party. In June–November 1850 the Manifesto of the Communist Party was published in English for the first time when George Julian Harney serialised Helen Macfarlane‘s translation in his Chartist magazine The Red Republican. (Her version begins, “A frightful hobgoblin stalks throughout Europe. We are haunted by a ghost, the ghost of Communism.”)[3] For her translation, the Lancashire-based Macfarlane probably consulted Engels, who had abandoned his own English translation half way. Harney’s introduction revealed the Manifestos hitherto-anonymous authors’ identities for the first time.

Immediately after the Cologne Communist Trial of late 1852, the Communist League disbanded itself.

Soon after the Manifesto was published, Paris erupted in revolution to overthrow King Louis Philippe. The Manifesto played no role in this; a French translation was not published in Paris until just before the working-class June Days Uprising was crushed. Its influence in the Europe-wide revolutions of 1848 was restricted to Germany, where the Cologne-based Communist League and its newspaper Neue Rheinische Zeitung, edited by Marx, played an important role. Within a year of its establishment, in May 1849, the Zeitung was suppressed; Marx was expelled from Germany and had to seek lifelong refuge in London. In 1851, members of the Communist League’s central board were arrested by the Prussian police. At their trial in Cologne 18 months later in late 1852 they were sentenced to 3–6 years’ imprisonment. For Engels, the revolution was “forced into the background by the reaction that began with the defeat of the Paris workers in June 1848, and was finally excommunicated ‘by law’ in the conviction of the Cologne Communists in November 1852”.

After the defeat of the 1848 revolutions the Manifesto fell into obscurity, where it remained throughout the 1850s and 1860s. Hobsbawm says that by November 1850 the Manifesto “had become sufficiently scarce for Marx to think it worth reprinting section III … in the last issue of his [short-lived] London magazine”. Over the next two decades only a few new editions were published; these include an (unauthorised and occasionally inaccurate) 1869 Russian translation by Mikhail Bakunin in Geneva and a 1866 edition in Berlin—the first time the Manifesto was published in Germany. According to Hobsbawm, “By the middle 1860s virtually nothing that Marx had written in the past was any longer in print.” However John Cowell-Stepney did publish an abridged version in the Social Economist in August/September 1869,[4] in time for the Basle Congress.

### Rise, 1872–1917

In the early 1870s, the Manifesto and its authors experienced a revival in fortunes. Hobsbawm identifies three reasons for this. The first is the leadership role Marx played in the International Workingmen’s Association (aka the First International). Secondly, Marx also came into much prominence among socialists—and equal notoriety among the authorities—for his support of the Paris Commune of 1871, elucidated in The Civil War in France. Lastly, and perhaps most significantly in the popularisation of the Manifesto, was the treason trial of German Social Democratic Party (SPD) leaders. During the trial prosecutors read the Manifesto out loud as evidence; this meant that the pamphlet could legally be published in Germany. Thus in 1872 Marx and Engels rushed out a new German-language edition, writing a preface that identified that several portions that became outdated in the quarter century since its original publication. This edition was also the first time the title was shortened to The Communist Manifesto (Das Kommunistische Manifest), and it became the bedrock the authors based future editions upon. Between 1871 and 1873, the Manifesto was published in over nine editions in six languages; in 1872 it was published in the United States for the first time, serialised in Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly of New York City. However, by the mid 1870s the Communist Manifesto remained Marx and Engels’ only work to be even moderately well-known.

Over the next forty years, as social-democratic parties rose across Europe and parts of the world, so did the publication of the Manifesto alongside them, in hundreds of editions in thirty languages. Marx and Engels wrote a new preface for the 1882 Russian edition, translated by Georgi Plekhanov in Geneva. In it they wondered if Russia could directly become a communist society, or if she would become capitalist first like other European countries. After Marx’s death in 1883, Engels alone provided the prefaces for five editions between 1888 and 1893. Among these is the 1888 English edition, translated by Samuel Moore and approved by Engels, who also provided notes throughout the text. It has been the standard English-language edition ever since.

The principal region of its influence, in terms of editions published, was in the “central belt of Europe”, from Russia in the east to France in the west. In comparison, the pamphlet had little impact on politics in southwest and southeast Europe, and moderate presence in the north. Outside Europe, Chinese and Japanese translations were published, as were Spanish editions in Latin America. This uneven geographical spread in the Manifestos popularity reflected the development of socialist movements in a particular region as well as the popularity of Marxist variety of socialism there. There was not always a strong correlation between a social-democratic party’s strength and the Manifestos popularity in that country. For instance, the German SPD printed only a few thousand copies of the Communist Manifesto every year, but a few hundred thousand copies of the Erfurt Programme. Further, the mass-based social-democratic parties of the Second International did not require their rank and file to be well-versed in theory; Marxist works such as the Manifesto or Das Kapital were read primarily by party theoreticians. On the other hand, small, dedicated militant parties and Marxist sects in the West took pride in knowing the theory; Hobsbawm says “This was the milieu in which ‘the clearness of a comrade could be gauged invariably from the number of earmarks on his Manifesto'”.

### Ubiquity, 1917–present

The Bolshevik (1920) by Boris Kustodiev.Following the 1917 Bolshevik takeover of Russia Marx/Engels classics like the Communist Manifesto were distributed far and wide.

Following the October Revolution of 1917 that swept the Vladimir Lenin-led Bolsheviks to power in Russia, the world’s first socialist state was founded explicitly along Marxist lines. The Soviet Union, which Bolshevik Russia would become a part of, was a one-party state under the rule of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Unlike their mass-based counterparts of the Second International, the CPSU and other Leninist parties like it in the Third International expected their members to know the classic works of Marx, Engels and Lenin. Further, party leaders were expected to base their policy decisions on Marxist-Leninist ideology. Therefore works such as the Manifestowere required reading for the party rank-and-file.

Therefore the widespread dissemination of Marx and Engels’ works became an important policy objective; backed by a sovereign state, the CPSU had relatively inexhaustible resources for this purpose. Works by Marx, Engels, and Lenin were published on a very large scale, and cheap editions of their works were available in several languages across the world. These publications were either shorter writings or they were compendia such as the various editions of Marx and Engels’ Selected Works, or their Collected Works. This affected the destiny of the Manifesto in several ways. Firstly, in terms of circulation; in 1932 the American and British Communist Parties printed several hundred thousand copies of a cheap edition for “probably the largest mass edition ever issued in English”. Secondly the work entered political-science syllabuses in universities, which would only expand after the Second World War. For its centenary in 1948, its publication was no longer the exclusive domain of Marxists and academicians; general publishers too printed the Manifesto in large numbers. “In short, it was no longer only a classic Marxist document,” Hobsbawm noted, “it had become a political classic tout court.”

Even after the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in the 1990s, the Communist Manifesto remains ubiquitous; Hobsbawm says that “In states without censorship, almost certainly anyone within reach of a good bookshop, and certainly anyone within reach of a good library, not to mention the internet, can have access to it.” The 150th anniversary once again brought a deluge of attention in the press and the academia, as well as new editions of the book fronted by introductions to the text by academics. One of these, The Communist Manifesto: A Modern Edition by Verso, was touted by a critic in the London Review of Books as being a “stylish red-ribboned edition of the work. It is designed as a sweet keepsake, an exquisite collector’s item. In Manhattan, a prominent Fifth Avenue store put copies of this choice new edition in the hands of shop-window mannequins, displayed in come-hither poses and fashionable décolletage.”

## Legacy

“With the clarity and brilliance of genius, this work outlines a new world-conception, consistent materialism, which also embraces the realm of social life; dialectics, as the most comprehensive and profound doctrine of development; the theory of the class struggle and of the world-historic revolutionary role of the proletariat—the creator of a new, communist society.”

Vladimir Lenin on the Manifesto, 1914[5]

A number of late-20th- and 21st-century writers have commented on the Communist Manifestos continuing relevance. In a special issue of the Socialist Register commemorating the Manifestos 150th anniversary, Peter Osborne argued that it was ‘the single most influential text written in the nineteenth century.’[6] Academic John Raines in 2002 noted that “In our day this Capitalist Revolution has reached the farthest corners of the earth. The tool of money has produced the miracle of the new global market and the ubiquitous shopping mall. Read The Communist Manifesto, written more than one hundred and fifty years ago, and you will discover that Marx foresaw it all.”[7] In 2003, the English Marxist Chris Harman stated, “There is still a compulsive quality to its prose as it provides insight after insight into the society in which we live, where it comes from and where its going to. It is still able to explain, as mainstream economists and sociologists cannot, today’s world of recurrent wars and repeated economic crisis, of hunger for hundreds of millions on the one hand and ‘overproduction’ on the other. There are passages that could have come from the most recent writings on globalisation.”[8]Alex Callinicos, editor of International Socialism, stated in 2010 that “This is indeed a manifesto for the 21st century.”[9] Writing in The London Evening Standard in 2012, Andrew Neather cited Verso Books‘ 2012 re-edition of The Communist Manifesto, with an introduction by Eric Hobsbawm, as part of a resurgence of left-wing-themed ideas which includes the publication of Owen Jones‘ best-selling Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class and Jason Barker‘s documentary Marx Reloaded.[10]

Soviet Union stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Manifesto

In contrast, critics such as Revisionist Marxist and reformist socialist Eduard Bernstein distinguished between “immature” early Marxism—as exemplified by the Communist Manifestowritten by Marx and Engels in their youth—that he opposed for its violent Blanquist tendencies, and later “mature” Marxism that he supported.[11] This latter form refers to Marx in his later life acknowledging that socialism could be achieved through peaceful means through legislative reform in democratic societies.[12] Bernstein declared that the massive and homogeneous working-class claimed in the Communist Manifestodid not exist, and that contrary to claims of a proletarian majority emerging, the middle-class was growing under capitalism and not disappearing as Marx had claimed. Bernstein noted that the working-class was not homogeneous but heterogeneous, with divisions and factions within it, including socialist and non-socialist trade unions. Marx himself, later in his life, acknowledged that the middle-class was not disappearing in his work Theories of Surplus Value (1863). The obscurity of the later work means that Marx’s acknowledgement of this error is not well known.[13]George Boyer described the Manifesto as “very much a period piece, a document of what was called the ‘hungry’ 1840s.”[14]

Many have drawn attention to the passage in the Manifesto that seems to sneer at the stupidity of the rustic: “The bourgeoisie … draws all nations … into civilisation … It has created enormous cities … and thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy [sic!] of rural life”.[15] As Eric Hobsbawm noted, however:

[W]hile there is no doubt that Marx at this time shared the usual townsman’s contempt for, as well as ignorance of, the peasant milieu, the actual and analytically more interesting German phrase (“dem Idiotismus des Landlebens entrissen”) referred not to “stupidity” but to “the narrow horizons”, or “the isolation from the wider society” in which people in the countryside lived. It echoed the original meaning of the Greek term idiotes from which the current meaning of “idiot” or “idiocy” is derived, namely “a person concerned only with his own private affairs and not with those of the wider community”. In the course of the decades since the 1840s, and in movements whose members, unlike Marx, were not classically educated, the original sense was lost and was misread.[16]

## Influences on The Communist Manifesto

Marx and Engel’s political influences were wide-ranging, reacting to and taking inspiration from German idealist philosophy, French socialism, and English and Scottish political economy. The Communist Manifesto also takes influence from literature. In Jacques Derrida’s work, Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International, he uses Shakespeare’s Hamlet to frame a discussion of the history of the International, showing, in the process, the influence that Shakespeare’s work had on Marx and Engel’s writing.[17] In his essay, “Big Leagues: Specters of Milton and Republican International Justice between Shakespeare and Marx,” Christopher N. Warren makes the case that English poet John Milton also had a substantial influence on Marx and Engel’s work.[18]Historians of 19th-century reading habits have confirmed that Marx and Engels would have read these authors, and it is known that Marx loved Shakespeare, in particular.[19][20][21] Milton, Warren argues, also shows a notable influence on The Communist Manifesto: “Looking back on Milton’s era, Marx saw a historical dialectic founded on inspiration in which freedom of the press, republicanism, and revolution were closely joined.”[22] Milton’s republicanism, Warren continues, served as “a useful, in unlikely, bridge” as Marx and Engels sought to forge a revolutionary international coalition.

## Footnotes

1. Jump up^ Laski, Harold (1948). “Introduction”. Communist Manifesto: Socialist LandmarkGeorge Allen and Unwin. p. 22.
2. Jump up^ Laski, Harold (1948). “Introduction”. Communist Manifesto: Socialist LandmarkGeorge Allen and Unwin. p. 26.
3. Jump up^ Louise Yeoman. “Helen McFarlane – the radical feminist admired by Karl Marx“. BBC Scotland. 25 November 2012.
4. Jump up^ Leopold, David (2015). “Marx Engels and Other Socialisms”. In Carver, Terrell; Farr, James. The Cambridge Companion to The Communist Manifesto. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
5. Jump up^ Marx/Engels Collected Works, Volume 6, p. xxvi
6. Jump up^ Osborne, Peter. 1998. “Remember the Future? The Communist Manifesto as Historical and Cultural Form” in Panitch, Leo and Colin Leys, Eds., The Communist Manifesto Now: Socialist Register, 1998 London: Merlin Press, p. 170. Available online from the Socialist Register archives. Retrieved November 2015.
7. Jump up^ Raines, John (2002). “Introduction”. Marx on Religion (Marx, Karl). Philadelphia: Temple University Press. p. 5.
8. Jump up^ Harman, Chris (2010). “The Manifesto and the World of 1848”. The Communist Manifesto (Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich). Bloomsbury, London: Bookmarks. p. 3.
9. Jump up^ Callinicos, Alex (2010). “The Manifesto and the Crisis Today”. The Communist Manifesto (Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich). Bloomsbury, London: Bookmarks. p. 8.
10. Jump up^ “The Marx effect”The London Evening Standard. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
11. Jump up^ Steger, Manfred B. The Quest for Evolutionary Socialism: Eduard Bernstein And Social Democracy. Cambridge, England, UK; New York City, USA: Cambridge University Press, 1997. pp. 236–37.
12. Jump up^ Micheline R. Ishay. The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era. Berkeley and Lose Angeles, California: University of California Press, 2008. p. 148.
13. Jump up^ Michael Harrington. Socialism: Past and Future. Reprint edition of original published in 1989. New York City: Arcade Publishing, 2011. pp. 249–50.
14. Jump up^ Boyer 1998, p. 151.
15. Jump up^ The [sic!] is that of Joseph Schumpeter; see Schumpeter 1997, p. 8 n2.
16. Jump up^ Hobsbawm 2011, p. 108.
17. Jump up^ Derrida, Jacques. “What is Ideology?” in Specters of Marx, the state of the debt, the Work of Mourning, & the New International, translated by Peggy Kamuf, Routledge 1994.
18. Jump up^ Warren, Christopher N (2016). “Big Leagues: Specters of Milton and Republican International Justice between Shakespeare and Marx.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, Vol. 7.
19. Jump up^ Rose, Jonathan (2001). The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes. Pgs. 26, 36-37, 122-25, 187.
20. Jump up^ Taylor, Antony (2002). “Shakespeare and Radicalism: The Uses and Abuses of Shakespeare in Nineteenth-Century Popular Politics.” Historical Journal 45, no. 2. Pgs. 357-79.
21. Jump up^ Marx, Karl (1844). “On the Jewish Question.”
22. Jump up^ Warren, Christopher N (2016). “Big Leagues: Specters of Milton and Republican International Justice between Shakespeare and Marx.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, Vol. 7. Pg. 372.

# The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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# The Economic Club of New York Event – Jerome Powell

Published on Jun 28, 2017
Thursday June 1, 2017 Jerome Powell Governor, Federal Reserve System

# Trump: Fed’s a very important position

Published on Oct 23, 2017
President Donald Trump on tech regulations, the Federal Reserve, NAFTA, the outlook for U.S. economic growth and defense spending.

# Alan Greenspan Is ‘Nervous’ Bond Prices Are Too High

Published on Aug 1, 2016
July 28 — Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman and founder of Greenspan Associates, discusses nervousness over bond prices and moving into currencies to counter negative interest rates, as well as dealing with uncertainties in the global economy. He speaks with Bloomberg’s Alix Steel on “Bloomberg ‹GO›.”

# Greenspan: You Can’t Fix U.S. Economy Until You Fix Entitlements

Published on Dec 14, 2016
Dec.13 — Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan discusses his outlook for productivity and U.S. economic growth. He speaks with Bloomberg’s David Westin.

# What John Taylor Would Bring to the Federal Reserve

Published on Oct 17, 2017
Oct.17 — David Riley, head of credit strategy at Bluebay Asset Management, and Ed Perks, chief investment officer at Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions, examine what John Taylor would offer as Federal Reserve Chairman. They speak on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas.”

# The Fed Should Raise Rates to Help the Economy – John Taylor

Published on Nov 13, 2015

The Federal Reserve should return to conventional monetary policy as soon as possible as higher interest rates would be beneficial to the U.S. economy, said noted economist John Taylor of Stanford University. Taylor spoke with TheStreet during a conference called ‘Rethinking Monetary Policy,’ which was held at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. Thursday. ‘To me the rethinking in some sense is going back and seeing why things worked well when they did in the ‘80s and ’90s until this period,’ said Taylor. ‘Rethinking means adapting some of the things that we forgot.’ Taylor argues that unconventional Fed policy, which was enacted in response to the financial crisis, has in some ways been detrimental. ‘The world has suffered in a way from being off track, from these very unusual policies. And so fixing that, getting back to where I think the Fed wants to go, would be an improvement,’ explained Taylor. ‘Just globally speaking, it’s not been a very successful decade,’ he added. Taylor argues for a rules-based policy system for Central Banks, saying it would lead to less volatility in policy making. TheStreet’s Rhonda Schaffler reports.

# 5 Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity: John B. Taylor

n his new book, First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity, Stanford University professor of economics John B. Taylor, details the not-so-secret ingredients to rebuilding American’s economic future: predictable policy, rule of law, strong incentives, reliance on markets, and a clearly limited role for government. “America can be great again, economically speaking,” Taylor explains, “it’s just more recently where we’ve gone off track.” Taylor sat down with Reason Magazine Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward to discuss his book, the principles that underlie America’s economic supremacy and what’s gone wrong over the past decade. Taylor is the Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University and the George Shultz Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He was Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs from 2001 to 2005. His previous books include Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis.

# John B. Taylor “How Government Interventions Caused the Financial Crisis.”

Author John B. Taylor discusses his book “Getting Off Track — How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis,” with Reason.tv’s Michael C. Moynihan.

# Trump to Tap Jerome Powell as Next Fed Chairman

## The president is expected to announce his decision Thursday

Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell spoke in Washington on Oct. 3. He has been on the board of governors since 2012. PHOTO:JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS

If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Powell would succeed Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, the central bank’s first female leader, whose four-year term as Fed chief expires in early February.

In his five years at the Fed, Mr. Powell has been a reliable ally of Ms. Yellen and would likely continue the Fed’s current cautious approach to reversing the central bank’s crisis-era stimulus policies as the economy expands.

That would mean gradually raising short-term interest rates in quarter-percentage-point steps through 2020 while slowly shrinking the Fed’s $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities it purchased to lower long-term rates. Mr. Powell’s nomination would mark the first time in nearly four decades that a new president hasn’t asked the serving Fed leader to stay on for another term, even though that person was nominated by a president of a different party. The last time a first-term president didn’t do that was in 1978, when President Jimmy Carter chose G. William Miller to succeed Arthur Burns. The president spoke with Mr. Powell on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter who couldn’t describe what they discussed. Mr. Trump had settled on Mr. Powell by Saturday, but people familiar with the process had cautioned that he could change his mind. The president plans to formally announce the decision Thursday before he leaves for a trip to Asia on Friday. Reached by phone Wednesday, both Mr. Powell and Ms. Yellen declined to comment. A Fed spokeswoman also declined to comment. Ms. Yellen was one of five finalists for the position, along with Stanford University economics professor John Taylor, former Fed governor Kevin Warsh and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn. Mr. Taylor and Mr. Warsh didn’t respond to requests seeking comment Wednesday. Mr. Cohn’s spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Mr. Trump said in a video last week that he had “somebody very specific in mind” for the job. “It will be a person who hopefully will do a fantastic job,” Mr. Trump said in a video posted to Instagram, adding, “I think everybody will be very impressed.” Fed officials began raising their benchmark federal-funds rate in December 2015 after holding it near zero for seven years following the financial crisis. They voted in June to lift rates to a range between 1% and 1.25% and in October started the process of slowly shrinking the Fed’s bond portfolio. #### FED SPEECH ANALYZER “The economy is as close to our assigned goals as it has been for many years,” Mr. Powell said in June. If it continues growing as expected, “I would view it as appropriate to continue to gradually raise rates.” Officials have penciled in one more rate increase this year. But they indicated in September such increases are likely to end at a lower point than they had previously projected—at a longer-run level of around 2.75%—considerably lower than where officials have stopped raising rates in the past. Mr. Trump told The Wall Street Journal in July, “I’d like to see rates stay low.” The Fed on Wednesday left short-term interest rates unchanged, but signaled it would consider lifting them before year’s end amid signs the economy is gaining momentum. Mr. Powell has never dissented on a Fed monetary or regulatory policy vote and in speeches hasn’t deviated far from the board’s consensus. Where he could lead a shift is on regulatory policy. He has advocated loosening some of the financial rules adopted by the Fed and other agencies since the crisis, a position that meshes with Mr. Trump’s deregulatory agenda. Mr. Powell has suggested softening the Volcker rule barring banks from using their own money to make risky bets and easing some bank stress tests. He also has endorsed reviewing some of the supervisory duties imposed on banks’ boards of directors to prevent them from being burdened with “an ever-increasing checklist.” “More regulation is not the best answer to every problem,” Mr. Powell said in a speech in early October. ### How Fed Chairs Have Fared #### A look at various Fed regimes, and how they used interest rates to manage inflation, growth and the economy *Seasonally adjusted †Change from a year earlier in the price index for personal-consumption expenditures Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis “To some extent he offers Trump the best of both worlds. You get broadly speaking continuity of Yellen’s careful and relatively dovish approach to monetary policy but with somebody who is a card-carrying Republican and who is significantly more inclined to revisit some of the postcrisis regulations,” said Krishna Guha, vice chairman at Evercore ISI and a former New York Fed official. Karen Petrou, managing partner of the financial-services consulting firm Federal Financial Analytics, said Mr. Powell’s recent remarks on regulation “were certainly much more flexible than [Ms. Yellen] has been.” Mr. Powell, a lawyer, would be the first Fed leader in three decades without a Ph.D. in economics. Before joining the Fed board, Mr. Powell worked as an investment banker in New York City, as Treasury undersecretary for financial institutions in the George H.W. Bush administration, as a partner at the Carlyle Group and as a scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center. That background could serve him well, said Aaron Klein, an economic studies fellow at the Brookings Institution and director of the Center on Regulation and Markets. “The Federal Reserve’s mandate has grown significantly since the financial crisis,” he said. “With a broader mandate, one should expect broader and more diverse backgrounds of potential good fits for a chair.” “He would represent continuity of the Fed system and culture but a break from the predominance of monetary policy as the core background of the chair,” Mr. Klein said. The decision marks the culmination of an unusually public and drawn-out search for one of the top economic policy-making jobs in the world. Mr. Trump upended the usually staid selection process by openly weighing the pros and cons of various candidates and asking lawmakers, businesspeople and media personalities for their input. Mr. Trump polled GOP senators last month on their preferred choice at a lunch on Capitol Hill, and said he was still considering “two, and maybe three” people for the job. Mr. Trump has other opportunities to reshape the central bank. Randal Quarles, his first nominee to the Fed’s powerful seven-member board of governors, took office in October. Three other seats remain open. Nominations for all board positions, including chairman and vice chairman, are subject to Senate confirmation. Mr. Powell should have little trouble winning Senate approval, but his views could clash with those of some Republican senators who have criticized him for supporting the Fed’s easy-money and postcrisis regulatory policies. He won confirmation to the Fed with bipartisan support in the Senate twice before: to fill an unfinished governor’s term in 2012 and for a full term in 2014. Some Republicans have suggested he could face difficult questions from his own side of the aisle. “I think we should move in a different direction,” from current Fed policies, Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) said last month about the possibility of a Powell nomination. Write to Kate Davidson at kate.davidson@wsj.com, Peter Nicholas at https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-to-tap-feds-jerome-powell-for-fed-chairman-1509568166 # Taylor rule In economics, a Taylor rule is a reduced form approximation of the responsiveness of the nominal interest rate, as set by the central bank, to changes in inflationoutput, or other economic conditions. In particular, the rule describes how, for each one-percent increase in inflation, the central bank tends to raise the nominal interest rate by more than one percentage point. This aspect of the rule is often called the Taylor principle. Although such rules may serve as concise, descriptive proxies for central bank policy, and are not explicitly proscriptively considered by central banks when setting nominal rates. The rule was first proposed by John B. Taylor,[1] and simultaneously by Dale W. Henderson and Warwick McKibbin in 1993.[2] It is intended to foster price stability by systematically reducing uncertainty and increasing the credibility of future actions by the central bank. It may also avoid the inefficiencies of time inconsistency from the exercise of discretionary policy.[3] The Taylor rule synthesized, and provided a compromise between, competing schools of economics thought in a language devoid of rhetorical passion.[4] Although many issues remain unresolved and views still differ about how the Taylor rule can best be applied in practice, research shows that the rule has advanced the practice of central banking.[5] ## As an equation According to Taylor’s original version of the rule, the nominal interest rate should respond to divergences of actual inflation rates from target inflation rates and of actual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from potential GDP: {\displaystyle i_{t}=\pi _{t}+r_{t}^{*}+a_{\pi }(\pi _{t}-\pi _{t}^{*})+a_{y}(y_{t}-{\bar {y}}_{t}).} In this equation, {\displaystyle \,i_{t}\,} is the target short-term nominal interest rate (e.g. the federal funds rate in the US, the Bank of England base rate in the UK), {\displaystyle \,\pi _{t}\,} is the rate of inflation as measured by the GDP deflator{\displaystyle \pi _{t}^{*}} is the desired rate of inflation, {\displaystyle r_{t}^{*}} is the assumed equilibrium real interest rate, {\displaystyle \,y_{t}\,} is the logarithm of real GDP, and {\displaystyle {\bar {y}}_{t}} is the logarithm of potential output, as determined by a linear trend. In this equation, both {\displaystyle a_{\pi }} and {\displaystyle a_{y}} should be positive (as a rough rule of thumb, Taylor’s 1993 paper proposed setting {\displaystyle a_{\pi }=a_{y}=0.5}).[6] That is, the rule “recommends” a relatively high interest rate (a “tight” monetary policy) when inflation is above its target or when output is above its full-employment level, in order to reduce inflationary pressure. It recommends a relatively low interest rate (“easy” monetary policy) in the opposite situation, to stimulate output. Sometimes monetary policy goals may conflict, as in the case of stagflation, when inflation is above its target while output is below full employment. In such a situation, a Taylor rule specifies the relative weights given to reducing inflation versus increasing output. ## The Taylor principle By specifying {\displaystyle a_{\pi }>0}, the Taylor rule says that an increase in inflation by one percentage point should prompt the central bank to raise the nominal interest rate by more than one percentage point (specifically, by {\displaystyle 1+a_{\pi }}, the sum of the two coefficients on {\displaystyle \pi _{t}} in the equation above). Since the real interest rate is (approximately) the nominal interest rate minus inflation, stipulating {\displaystyle a_{\pi }>0} implies that when inflation rises, the real interest rate should be increased. The idea that the real interest rate should be raised to cool the economy when inflation increases (requiring the nominal interest rate to increase more than inflation does) has sometimes been called the Taylor principle.[7] ## Alternative versions of the rule Effective federal funds rate and prescriptions from alternate versions of the Taylor Rule While the Taylor principle has proved very influential, there is more debate about the other terms that should enter into the rule. According to some simple New Keynesian macroeconomic models, insofar as the central bank keeps inflation stable, the degree of fluctuation in output will be optimized (Blanchard and Gali call this property the ‘divine coincidence‘). In this case, the central bank does not need to take fluctuations in the output gap into account when setting interest rates (that is, it may optimally set {\displaystyle a_{y}=0}.) On the other hand, other economists have proposed including additional terms in the Taylor rule to take into account financial conditions: for example, the interest rate might be raised when stock prices, housing prices, or interest rate spreads increase. • Taylor Rule 1993 – the original definition by John Taylor with {\displaystyle a_{\pi }=a_{y}=0.5} • Taylor Rule 1999 – adapted and updated by John Taylor in a new research paper: {\displaystyle a_{\pi }=0.5,a_{y}\geq 0} ## Empirical relevance Although the Federal Reserve does not explicitly follow the Taylor rule, many analysts have argued that the rule provides a fairly accurate summary of US monetary policy under Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan.[8][9] Similar observations have been made about central banks in other developed economies, both in countries like Canada and New Zealand that have officially adopted inflation targeting rules, and in others like Germany where the Bundesbank‘s policy did not officially target the inflation rate.[10][11] This observation has been cited by ClaridaGalí, and Gertler as a reason why inflation had remained under control and the economy had been relatively stable (the so-called ‘Great Moderation‘) in most developed countries from the 1980s through the 2000s.[8] However, according to Taylor, the rule was not followed in part of the 2000s, possibly leading to the housing bubble.[12][13] Certain research has determined that some households form their expectations about the future path of interest rates, inflation, and unemployment in a way that is consistent with Taylor-type rules.[14] ## Criticisms Athanasios Orphanides (2003) claims that the Taylor rule can misguide policy makers since they face real-time data. He shows that the Taylor rule matches the US funds rate less perfectly when accounting for these informational limitations and that an activist policy following the Taylor rule would have resulted in an inferior macroeconomic performance during the Great Inflation of the seventies.[15] In 2015, financial manager Bill Gross said the Taylor rule “must now be discarded into the trash bin of history”, in light of tepid GDP growth in the years after 2009.[16] Gross believed low interest rates were not the cure for decreased growth, but the source of the problem. ## See also ## References 1. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (1993). “Discretion versus Policy Rules in Practice” (PDF). Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy39: 195–214. (The rule is introduced on page 202.) 2. Jump up^ Henderson, D. W.; McKibbin, W. (1993). “A Comparison of Some Basic Monetary Policy Regimes for Open Economies: Implications of Different Degrees of Instrument Adjustment and Wage Persistence”. Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy39: 221–318. doi:10.1016/0167-2231(93)90011-K. 3. Jump up^ Taylor, John (2012). First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Economic Prosperity. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. p. 126 4. Jump up^ Kahn, George A.; Asso, Pier Francesco; Leeson, Robert (2007). “The Taylor Rule and the Transformation of Monetary Policy”. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Working Paper 07-11SSRN . 5. Jump up^ Asso, Pier Francesco; Kahn, George A.; Leeson, Robert (2010). “The Taylor Rule and the Practice of Central Banking”. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Working Paper 10-05SSRN . 6. Jump up^ Athanasios Orphanides (2008). “Taylor rules,” The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. v. 8, pp. 2000-2004, equation (7).Abstract. 7. Jump up^ Davig, Troy; Leeper, Eric M. (2007). “Generalizing the Taylor Principle”. American Economic Review97 (3): 607–635. JSTOR 30035014doi:10.1257/aer.97.3.607. 8. Clarida, Richard; Galí, Jordi; Gertler, Mark (2000). “Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Theory and Some Evidence”. Quarterly Journal of Economics115 (1): 147–180. JSTOR 2586937doi:10.1162/003355300554692. 9. Jump up^ Lowenstein, Roger (2008-01-20). “The Education of Ben Bernanke”The New York Times. 10. Jump up^ Bernanke, Ben; Mihov, Ilian (1997). “What Does the Bundesbank Target?”. European Economic Review41 (6): 1025–1053. doi:10.1016/S0014-2921(96)00056-6. 11. Jump up^ Clarida, Richard; Gertler, Mark; Galí, Jordi (1998). “Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence”. European Economic Review42 (6): 1033–1067. doi:10.1016/S0014-2921(98)00016-6. 12. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2008). “The Financial Crisis and the Policy Responses: An Empirical Analysis of What Went Wrong” (PDF). 13. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2009). Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis. Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 0-8179-4971-2. 14. Jump up^ Carvalho, Carlos; Nechio, Fernanda (2013). “Do People Understand Monetary Policy?”. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2012-01SSRN . 15. Jump up^ Orphanides, A. (2003). “The Quest for Prosperity without Inflation”. Journal of Monetary Economics50 (3): 633–663. doi:10.1016/S0304-3932(03)00028-X. 16. Jump up^ Bill Gross (July 30, 2015). “Gross: Low rates are the problem, not the solution”CNBC. Retrieved July 30, 2015. ## External links https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_rule # Real interest rate Yields on inflation-indexed government bonds of selected countries and maturities. The real interest rate is the rate of interest an investor, saver or lender receives (or expects to receive) after allowing for inflation. It can be described more formally by the Fisher equation, which states that the real interest rate is approximately the nominal interest rate minus the inflation rate. If, for example, an investor were able to lock in a 5% interest rate for the coming year and anticipated a 2% rise in prices, they would expect to earn a real interest rate of 3%.[1] The expected real interest rate is not a single number, as different investors have different expectations of future inflation. Since the inflation rate over the course of a loan is not known initially, volatility in inflation represents a risk to both the lender and the borrower. In the case of contracts stated in terms of the nominal interest rate, the real interest rate is known only at the end of the period of the loan, based on the realized inflation rate; this is called the ex-post real interest rate. Since the introduction of inflation-indexed bondsex-ante real interest rates have become observable.[2] ## Risks In economics and finance, an individual who lends money for repayment at a later point in time expects to be compensated for the time value of money, or not having the use of that money while it is lent. In addition, they will want to be compensated for the risks of having less purchasing power when the loan is repaid. These risks are systematic risks, regulatory risks and inflation risks. The first includes the possibility that the borrower will default or be unable to pay on the originally agreed upon terms, or that collateral backing the loan will prove to be less valuable than estimated. The second includes taxation and changes in the law which would prevent the lender from collecting on a loan or having to pay more in taxes on the amount repaid than originally estimated. The third takes into account that the money repaid may not have as much buying power from the perspective of the lender as the money originally lent, that is inflation, and may include fluctuations in the value of the currencies involved. Nominal interest rates include all three risk factors, plus the time value of the money itself. Real interest rates include only the systematic and regulatory risks and are meant to measure the time value of money. The “real interest rate” in an economy is often considered to be the rate of return on a risk free investment, such as US Treasury notes, minus an index of inflation, such as the rate of change of the CPI or GDP deflator. ### Fisher equation The relation between real and nominal interest rates and the expected inflation rate is given by the Fisher equation {\displaystyle 1+i=(1+r)(1+\pi _{e})} where i = nominal interest rate; r = real interest rate; {\displaystyle \pi _{e}} = expected inflation rate. For example, if somebody lends$1000 for a year at 10%, and receives $1100 back at the end of the year, this represents a 10% increase in her purchasing power if prices for the average goods and services that she buys are unchanged from what they were at the beginning of the year. However, if the prices of the food, clothing, housing, and other things that she wishes to purchase have increased 25% over this period, she has in fact suffered a real loss of about 15% in her purchasing power. (Notice that the approximation here is a bit rough; since 1.1/1.25 = 0.88 = 1 – 0.12, the actual loss of purchasing power is exactly 12%. ### Variations in inflation The inflation rate will not be known in advance. People often base their expectation of future inflation on an average of inflation rates in the past, but this gives rise to errors. The real interest rate ex-post may turn out to be quite different from the real interest rate (ex-ante real interest rate) that was expected in advance. Borrowers hope to repay in cheaper money in the future, while lenders hope to collect on more expensive money. When inflation and currency risks are underestimated by lenders, then they will suffer a net reduction in buying power. The complexity increases for bonds issued for a long term, where the average inflation rate over the term of the loan may be subject to a great deal of uncertainty. In response to this, many governments have issued real return bonds, also known as inflation-indexed bonds, in which the principal value and coupon rises each year with the rate of inflation, with the result that the interest rate on the bond approximates a real interest rate. (E.g., the three-month indexation lag of TIPS can result in a divergence of as much as 0.042% from the real interest rate, according to research by Grishchenko and Huang.[3]) In the US, Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) are issued by the US Treasury. The expected real interest rate can vary considerably from year to year. The real interest rate on short term loans is strongly influenced by the monetary policy of central banks. The real interest rate on longer term bonds tends to be more market driven, and in recent decades, with globalized financial markets, the real interest rates in the industrialized countries have become increasingly correlated. Real interest rates have been low by historical standards since 2000, due to a combination of factors, including relatively weak demand for loans by corporations, plus strong savings in newly industrializing countries in Asia. The latter has offset the large borrowing demands by the US Federal Government, which might otherwise have put more upward pressure on real interest rates. Related is the concept of “risk return”, which is the rate of return minus the risks as measured against the safest (least-risky) investment available. Thus if a loan is made at 15% with an inflation rate of 5% and 10% in risks associated with default or problems repaying, then the “risk adjusted” rate of return on the investment is 0%. ## Importance in economic theory Effective federal funds rate and prescriptions from alternate versions of the Taylor Rule The amount of physical investment—in particular the purchasing of new machines and other productive capacity—that firms engage in depends on the level of real interest rates, because such purchases typically must be financed by issuing new bonds. If real interest rates are high, the cost of borrowing may exceed the real physical return of some potentially purchased machines (in the form of output produced); in that case those machines will not be purchased. Lower real interest rates would make it profitable to borrow to finance the purchasing of a greater number of machines. The real interest rate is used in various economic theories to explain such phenomena as the capital flightbusiness cycle and economic bubbles. When the real rate of interest is high, that is, demand for credit is high, then money will, all other things being equal, move from consumption to savings. Conversely, when the real rate of interest is low, demand will move from savings to investment and consumption. Different economic theories, beginning with the work of Knut Wicksell have had different explanations of the effect of rising and falling real interest rates. Thus, international capital moves to markets that offer higher real rates of interest from markets that offer low or negative real rates of interest triggering speculation in equities, estates and exchange rates. ### Real federal funds rate In setting monetary policy, the U.S. Federal Reserve (and other central banks) establish an interest rate at which they lend to banks. This is the federal funds rate. By setting this rate low, they can encourage borrowing and thus economic activity; or the reverse by raising the rate. Like any interest rate, there are a nominal and a real value defined as described above. Further, there is a concept called the “equilibrium real federal funds rate” (r*), alternatively called the “natural rate of interest” or the “neutral real rate”, which is the “level of the real federal funds rate, if allowed to prevail for several years, [that] would place economic activity at its potential and keep inflation low and stable.” There are various methods used to estimate this amount, using tools such as the Taylor Rule. It is possible for this rate to be negative.[4] ## Negative real interest rates The real interest rate solved from the Fisher equation is {\displaystyle {\frac {1+i}{1+\pi }}-1=r} If there is a negative real interest rate, it means that the inflation rate is greater than the nominal interest rate. If the Federal funds rate is 2% and the inflation rate is 10%, then the borrower would gain 7.27% of every dollar borrowed per year. {\displaystyle {\frac {1+0.02}{1+0.1}}-1=-0.0727} Negative real interest rates are an important factor in government fiscal policy. Since 2010, the U.S. Treasury has been obtaining negative real interest rates on government debt, meaning the inflation rate is greater than the interest rate paid on the debt.[5] Such low rates, outpaced by the inflation rate, occur when the market believes that there are no alternatives with sufficiently low risk, or when popular institutional investments such as insurance companies, pensions, or bond, money market, and balanced mutual funds are required or choose to invest sufficiently large sums in Treasury securities to hedge against risk.[6][7]Lawrence Summers stated that at such low rates, government debt borrowing saves taxpayer money, and improves creditworthiness.[8][9] In the late 1940s through the early 1970s, the US and UK both reduced their debt burden by about 30% to 40% of GDP per decade by taking advantage of negative real interest rates, but there is no guarantee that government debt rates will continue to stay so low.[6][10] Between 1946 and 1974, the US debt-to-GDP ratio fell from 121% to 32% even though there were surpluses in only eight of those years which were much smaller than the deficits.[11] ## See also ## References 1. Jump up^ 2. Jump up^ “FRB: Speech with Slideshow–Bernanke, Long-Term Interest Rates–March 1, 2013”http://www.federalreserve.gov. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 3. Jump up^ Grishchenko, Olesya V.; Jing-zhi Huang (June 2012). “Inflation Risk Premium: Evidence from the TIPS Market” (PDF). Finance and Economics Discussion Series. Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 4. Jump up^ U.S. Federal Reserve-Remarks by Vice Chairman Roger W. Ferguson Jr. October 29, 2004 5. Jump up^ Saint Louis Federal Reserve (2012) “5-Year Treasury Inflation-Indexed Security, Constant Maturity” FRED Economic Data chart from government debt auctions (the x-axis at y=0 represents the inflation rate over the life of the security) 6. Carmen M. Reinhart and M. Belen Sbrancia (March 2011) “The Liquidation of Government Debt” National Bureau of Economic Research working paper No. 16893 7. Jump up^ David Wessel (August 8, 2012) “When Interest Rates Turn Upside Down” Wall Street Journal (full text) 8. Jump up^ Lawrence Summers (June 3, 2012) “Breaking the negative feedback loop” Reuters 9. Jump up^ Matthew Yglesias (May 30, 2012) “Why Are We Collecting Taxes?” Slate 10. Jump up^ William H. Gross (May 2, 2011) “The Caine Mutiny (Part 2)”PIMCO Investment Outlook 11. Jump up^ “Why the U.S. Government Never, Ever Has to Pay Back All Its Debt” The Atlantic, February 1, 2013 ## External links https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_interest_rate # John B. Taylor John Taylor Personal details Born John Brian Taylor December 8, 1946 (age 70) Yonkers, New YorkU.S. Political party Republican Education Princeton University(BA) Stanford University(PhD) Academic career Field Monetary economics School or tradition New Keynesian economics Doctoral advisor Theodore Wilbur Anderson[1] Doctoral students Lawrence J. Christiano Influences Milton Friedman Paul Volcker E. Philip Howrey Alan Greenspan Contributions Taylor rule Information at IDEAS / RePEc John Brian Taylor (born December 8, 1946) is the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.[2] Born in Yonkers, New York, he graduated from Shady Side Academy[3] and earned his A.B. from Princeton University in 1968 and Ph.D. from Stanford in 1973, both in economics. He taught at Columbia University from 1973–1980 and the Woodrow Wilson School and Economics Department of Princeton University from 1980–1984 before returning to Stanford. He has received several teaching prizes and teaches Stanford’s introductory economics course as well as Ph.D. courses in monetary economics.[4] In research published in 1979 and 1980 he developed a model of price and wage setting—called the staggered contract model—which served as an underpinning of a new class of empirical models with rational expectations and sticky prices—sometimes called new Keynesian models.[5][6] In a 1993 paper he proposed the Taylor rule,[7] intended as a recommendation about how nominal interest rates should be determined, which then became a rough summary of how central banks actually do set them. He has been active in public policy, serving as the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs during the first term of the George W. Bush Administration. His book Global Financial Warriors chronicles this period.[8] He was a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors during the George H. W. Bush Administration and Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisors during the Ford and Carter Administrations. In 2012 he was included in the 50 Most Influential list of Bloomberg Markets Magazine. Thomson Reuters lists Taylor among the ‘citation laureates‘ who are likely future winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics.[9] ## Academic contributions Taylor’s research—including the staggered contract model, the Taylor rule, and the construction of a policy tradeoff (Taylor) curve[10] employing empirical rational expectations models[11]—has had a major impact on economic theory and policy.[12] Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said that Taylor’s “influence on monetary theory and policy has been profound,”[13] and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has noted that Taylor’s work “has affected the way policymakers and economists analyze the economy and approach monetary policy.”[14] Taylor contributed to the development of mathematical methods for solving macroeconomic models under the assumption of rational expectations, including in a 1975 Journal of Political Economy paper, in which he showed how gradual learning could be incorporated in models with rational expectations;[15] a 1979 Econometrica paper in which he presented one of the first econometric models with overlapping price setting and rational expectations,[16] which he later expanded into a large multicountry model in a 1993 book Macroeconomic Policy in a World Economy,[11] and a 1983 Econometrica paper,[17] in which he developed with Ray Fair the first algorithm to solve large-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models which became part of popular solution programs such as Dynare and EViews.[18] In 1977, Taylor and Edmund Phelps, simultaneously with Stanley Fischer, showed that monetary policy is useful for stabilizing the economy if prices or wages are sticky, even when all workers and firms have rational expectations.[19] This demonstrated that some of the earlier insights of Keynesian economics remained true under rational expectations. This was important because Thomas Sargent and Neil Wallace had argued that rational expectations would make macroeconomic policy useless for stabilization;[20] the results of Taylor, Phelps, and Fischer showed that Sargent and Wallace’s crucial assumption was not rational expectations, but perfectly flexible prices.[21] These research projects together could considerably deepen our understanding of the limits of the policy-ineffectiveness proposition.[22] Taylor then developed the staggered contract model of overlapping wage and price setting, which became one of the building blocks of the New Keynesian macroeconomics that rebuilt much of the traditional macromodel on rational expectations microfoundations.[23][24] Taylor’s research on monetary policy rules traces back to his undergraduate studies at Princeton.[25][26] He went on in the 1970s and 1980s to explore what types of monetary policy rules would most effectively reduce the social costs of inflation and business cycle fluctuations: should central banks try to control the money supply, the price level, or the interest rate; and should these instruments react to changes in output, unemployment, asset prices, or inflation rates? He showed[27] that there was a tradeoff—later called the Taylor curve[28]—between the volatility of inflation and that of output. Taylor’s 1993 paper in the Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy proposed that a simple and effective central bank policy would manipulate short-term interest rates, raising rates to cool the economy whenever inflation or output growth becomes excessive, and lowering rates when either one falls too low.[7] Taylor’s interest rate equation has come to be known as the Taylor rule, and it is now widely accepted as an effective formula for monetary decision making.[29] A key stipulation of the Taylor rule, sometimes called the Taylor principle,[30] is that the nominal interest rate should increase by more than one percentage point for each one-percent rise in inflation. Some empirical estimates indicate that many central banks today act approximately as the Taylor rule prescribes, but violated the Taylor principle during the inflationary spiral of the 1970s.[31] ## Recent research Taylor’s recent research has been on the financial crisis that began in 2007 and the world economic recession. He finds that the crisis was primarily caused by flawed macroeconomic policies from the U.S. government and other governments. Particularly, he focuses on the Federal Reserve which, under Alan Greenspan, a personal friend of Taylor, created “monetary excesses” in which interest rates were kept too low for too long, which then directly led to the housing boom in his opinion.[32] He also believes that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae spurred on the boom and that the crisis was misdiagnosed as a liquidity rather than a credit risk problem.[33] He wrote that, “government actions and interventions, not any inherent failure or instability of the private economy, caused, prolonged, and worsen the crisis.”[34] Taylor’s research has also examined the impact of fiscal policy in the recent recession. In November 2008, writing for The Wall Street Journal opinion section, he recommended four measures to fight the economic downturn: (a) permanently keeping all income tax ratesthe same, (b) permanently creating a worker’s tax credit equal to 6.2 percent of wages up to$8,000, (c) incorporating “automatic stabilizers” as part of overall fiscal plans, and (d) enacting a short-term stimulus plan that also meets long term objectives against waste and inefficiency. He stated that merely temporary tax cuts would not serve as a good policy tool.[35] His research[36] with John Cogan, Tobias Cwik, and Volcker Wieland showed that the multiplier is much smaller in new Keynesian than in old Keynesian models, a result that was confirmed by researchers at central banks.[37] He evaluated the 2008 and 2009 stimulus packages and argued that they were not effective in stimulating the economy.[38]

In a June 2011 interview on Bloomberg Television, Taylor stressed the importance of long term fiscal reform that sets the U.S. federal budget on a path towards being balanced. He cautioned that the Fed should move away from quantitative easing measures and keep to a more static, stable monetary policy. He also criticized fellow economist Paul Krugman‘s advocacy of additional stimulus programs from Congress, which Taylor said will not help in the long run.[39] In his 2012 book First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity, he endeavors to explain why these reforms are part of a broader set of principles of economic freedom.

## Selected publications

Reprinted in Taylor, John B. (1991), “Staggered wage setting in a macro model”, in Mankiw, N. Gregory; Romer, David, New Keynesian economics, volume 1, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, pp. 233–42, ISBN 9780262631334.
• Taylor, John B. (September 1979). “Estimation and control of a macroeconomic model with rational expectations”. EconometricaWiley47 (5): 1267–86. JSTOR 1911962doi:10.2307/1911962.
• Taylor, John B. (December 1980). “Scale economies, product differentiation, and the pattern of trade”. The American Economic ReviewAmerican Economic Association70 (5): 950–59. JSTOR 1805774.Pdf.
• Taylor, John B. (1986), ‘New econometric approaches to stabilization policy in stochastic models of macroeconomic fluctuations’. Ch. 34 of Handbook of Econometrics, vol. 3, Z. Griliches and M.D. Intriligator, eds. Elsevier Science Publishers.
• Taylor, John B. (December 1993). “Discretion versus policy rules in practice”Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public PolicyElsevier39: 195–214. doi:10.1016/0167-2231(93)90009-L.Pdf.
• Taylor, John B. (1999), “An historical analysis of monetary policy rules”, in Taylor, John B., Monetary policy rules, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 9780226791265.
• Taylor, John B. (2007). Global financial warriors: the untold story of international finance in the post-9/11 world. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780393064483.
• Taylor, John B. (2008), “Housing and monetary policy”, in Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Housing, housing finance, and monetary policy: a symposium sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, August 30-September 1, 2007, Kansas City, Missouri: Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pp. 463–76, OCLC 170267547
• Taylor, John B. (2009), “The financial crisis and the policy response: an empirical analysis of what went wrong”, in Bank of Canada Staff, Festschrift in honour of David Dodge’s contributions to Canadian public policy: proceedings of a conference held by the Bank of Canada, November, 2008, Ottawa: Bank of Canada, pp. 1–18, ISBN 9780660199276.
• Taylor, John B. (2009). Getting off track: how government actions and interventions caused, prolonged, and worsened the financial crisis. Stanford, California: Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 9780817949716.
• Taylor, John B.; Shultz, George P.; Scott, Kenneth, eds. (2009). Ending government bailouts as we know them. Stanford, California: Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 9780817911287.
• Taylor, John B.; Ryan, Paul D. (30 November 2010). “Refocus the Fed on price stability instead of bailing out fiscal policy”Investor’s Business Daily. Archived from the original on 13 April 2011.
• Taylor, John B. (2012). First principles: five keys to restoring America’s prosperity. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780393345452.

## References

1. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (September 24, 2016). “The Statistical Analysis of Policy Rules”economicsone.com. Economics One (A blog by John B. Taylor). Retrieved October 2, 2016.
2. Jump up^ “Hoover Institution Senior Fellow: Biography”Hoover Institution. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
4. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. “Curriculum vitae” (pdf). Stanford University.
5. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (May 1979). “Staggered wage setting in a macro model”. The American Economic ReviewAmerican Economic Association69 (2): 108–113. JSTOR 1801626.
Reprinted in Taylor, John B. (1991), “Staggered wage setting in a macro model”, in Mankiw, N. Gregory; Romer, David, New Keynesian economics, volume 1, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, pp. 233–242, ISBN 9780262631334.
6. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (February 1980). “Aggregate dynamics and staggered contracts”Journal of Political EconomyChicago Journals88 (1): 1–23. JSTOR 1830957doi:10.1086/260845.
7.  Taylor, John B. (December 1993). “Discretion versus policy rules in practice”Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public PolicyElsevier39: 195–214. doi:10.1016/0167-2231(93)90009-L. Pdf.
8. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2007). Global financial warriors: the untold story of international finance in the post-9/11 world. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780393064483.
9. Jump up^ “Hall of ‘citation laureates’ (in economics)”science.thomsonreuters.com. Thomson-Reuters.
10. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (September 1979). “Estimation and control of a macroeconomic model with rational expectations”EconometricaWiley47 (5): 1267–86. JSTOR 1911962doi:10.2307/1911962. Pdf.
Reprinted in Taylor, John B. (1981), “Estimation and control of a macroeconomic model with rational expectations”, in Lucas, Jr., Robert E.; Sargent, Thomas J., Rational expectations and econometric practice, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 9780816610983.
11.  Taylor, John B. (1993). Macroeconomic policy in a world economy: from econometric design to practical operation. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780393963168.
12. Jump up^ Ben Bernanke refers to the “three concepts named after John that are central to understanding our macroeconomic experience of the past three decades—the Taylor curve, the Taylor rule, and the Taylor principle.” in “Opening Remarks,” Conference on John Taylor’s Contributions to Monetary Theory and Policy
13. Jump up^ Bernanke, Ben (2007). Opening Remarks. Remarks at the Conference on John Taylor’s Contributions to Monetary Theory and Policy.
14. Jump up^ Yellen, Janet (2007). Policymaker Roundtable (PDF).Remarks at the Conference on John Taylor’s Contributions to Monetary Theory and Policy.
15. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (October 1975). “Monetary policy during a transition to rational expectations”Journal of Political EconomyChicago Journals83 (5): 1009–22. JSTOR 1830083doi:10.1086/260374.
16. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (September 1979). “Estimation and control of a macroeconomic model with rational expectations”. EconometricaWiley47 (5): 1267–86. JSTOR 1911962doi:10.2307/1911962.
17. Jump up^ Taylor, John B.; Fair, Ray C. (July 1983). “Solution and maximum likelihood estimation of dynamic nonlinear rational expectations models”EconometricaWiley51 (4): 1169–85. JSTOR 1912057doi:10.2307/1912057.
18. Jump up^ Judd, Kenneth; Kubler, Felix; Schmedders, Karl (2003), “Computational methods for dynamic equilibria with heterogeneous agents”, in Dewatripont, Mathias; Hansen, Lars Peter; Turnovsky, Stephen J., Advances in economics and econometrics theory and applications (volume 3), Cambridge, U.K. New York: Cambridge University Press, p. 247, ISBN 9781280163388 and “Eviews Users Guide II.”
19. Jump up^ Taylor, John B.; Phelps, Edmund S. (February 1977). “Stabilizing powers of monetary policy under rational expectations”Journal of Political EconomyChicago Journals85 (1): 163–90. JSTOR 1828334doi:10.1086/260550.
20. Jump up^ Sargent, Thomas; Wallace, Neil (April 1975). “‘Rational’ expectations, the optimal monetary instrument, and the optimal money supply rule”Journal of Political EconomyChicago Journals83 (2): 241–54. JSTOR 1830921doi:10.1086/260321.
21. Jump up^ Blanchard, Olivier (2000), “Epliogue”, in Blanchard, Olivier, Macroeconomics (2nd ed.), Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, p. 543, ISBN 9780130557872.
22. Jump up^ Galbács, Peter (2015). The theory of new classical macroeconomics: a positive critique. Heidelberg / New York / Dordrecht / London: Springer. ISBN 9783319175782doi:10.1007/978-3-319-17578-2.
23. Jump up^ King, Robert G.; Wolman, Alexander (1999), “What should the monetary authority do when prices are sticky?”, in Taylor, John B., Monetary policy rules, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 9780226791265.
24. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (1999), “Staggered price and wage setting in macroeconomics”, in Taylor, John B.; Woodford, Michael, Handbook of macroeconomics, Amsterdam New York: North-Holland Elsevier, pp. 1009–50, ISBN 9780444501585.
25. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (April 1968). Fiscal and monetary stabilization policies in a model of endogenous cyclical growth (BA thesis). Princeton University.
26. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (October 1968). “Fiscal and monetary stabilization policies in a model of endogenous cyclical growth”(pdf). Research Memorandum No. 104. Econometric Research Program, Princeton University. OCLC 22687344.
27. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (September 1979). “Estimation and control of a macroeconomic model with rational expectations”EconometricaWiley47 (5): 1267–86. JSTOR 1911962doi:10.2307/1911962.
28. Jump up^ Bernanke, Ben (2004). The Great Moderation. Remarks at the meeting of the Eastern Economic Association.
29. Jump up^ Orphanides, Athanasios (2007). Taylor rules (pdf). Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007–18. Federal Reserve Board.
30. Jump up^ Davig, Troy; Leeper, Eric M. (June 2007). “Generalizing the Taylor Principle”. The American Economic ReviewAmerican Economic Association97 (3): 607–35. JSTOR 30035014.NBER Working Paper 11874, December 2005.
31. Jump up^ Clarida, Richard; Galí, Jordi; Gertler, Mark (February 2000). “Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: evidence and some theory”Quarterly Journal of EconomicsOxford Journals115 (1): 147–80. doi:10.1162/003355300554692. Pdf.
32. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2008), “Housing and monetary policy”, in Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Housing, housing finance, and monetary policy: a symposium sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, August 30-September 1, 2007, Kansas City, Missouri: Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pp. 463–76, OCLC 170267547
33. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2009), “The financial crisis and the policy response: an empirical analysis of what went wrong (housing and monetary policy)”, in Bank of Canada Staff, Festschrift in honour of David Dodge’s contributions to Canadian public policy: proceedings of a conference held by the Bank of Canada, November, 2008, Ottawa: Bank of Canada, pp. 1–18, ISBN 9780660199276.
34. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (February 9, 2009). “How government created the financial crisis”The Wall Street Journal. p. A19. Pdf.
35. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (November 25, 2008). “Why permanent tax cuts are the best stimulus”The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
36. Jump up^ Taylor, John B.; Cogan, John F.; Cwik, Tobias; Wieland, Volker (March 2010). “New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers”Journal of Economic Dynamics and ControlElsevier34 (3): 281–95. doi:10.1016/j.jedc.2010.01.010.
37. Jump up^ Coenen, Guenter; et al. (September 2011). “Effects of fiscal stimulus in structural models”American Economic Journal: MicroeconomicsAmerican Economic Association4 (1): 22–68. doi:10.1257/mac.4.1.22. Pdf.
38. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (September 2011). “An empirical analysis of the revival of fiscal activism in the 2000s”Journal of Economic LiteratureAmerican Economic Association49 (3): 686–702. JSTOR 23071727doi:10.1257/jel.49.3.686. Pdf.
39. Jump up^ “Taylor Says U.S. Needs Sound’ Monetary, Fiscal Policies”Bloomberg Television thru Washington Post. June 27, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2011.

# The House Republican tax bill, explained

## It radically cuts taxes on corporations and wealthy heirs.

After months, even years, of outlines and blueprints and “frameworks,” Republicans in the House of Representatives finally released their first attempt at an actual tax reform billon Thursday.

While the broad strokes of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act were telegraphed weeks, if not months, in advance, this is the first time Republicans in any branch of the federal government have described their tax plan in enough detail that it can actually be debated, scored by the Congressional Budget Office so its cost and effects on the rich and poor are known, and voted upon by the House and Senate.

The legislation seeks to dramatically cut taxes on corporations and consolidate benefits like personal exemptions, the standard deduction, and the child credit for individuals. It would eliminate the alternative minimum tax and estate tax, and pare back certain individual deductions. It would also offer a new low tax rate for owners of “pass-through” businesses like LLCs and partnerships, whose income from their businesses is taxed as personal income.

The bill in its current form would almost certainly give disproportionate benefits to wealthy Americans, who tend to benefit from corporate tax cuts more than non-wealthy Americans and who could likely exploit the pass-through rate by setting up dummy corporations. People earning between $400,000 and$1 million would face a significantly lower top income tax rate.

But the bill will almost certainly not remain in its current form. As written, it is almost guaranteed to increase the budget deficit by trillions over 10 years, and quite possibly keep increasing the deficit after 10 years are up.

That’s a big problem: Under Senate rules, some legislation can pass with only 51 votes only if it doesn’t increase the long-run deficit. So the current draft of the legislation would probably need 60 votes instead, meaning significant Democratic support, which Republican leaders haven’t been even trying to court. They need legislation that can pass with 51 votes, and for that, they need the bill to not raise the long-run deficit.

That means the bill needs to change — either the cuts need to get smaller or Republican leaders need to find new ways to raise money, or both. But the bill in its current form at least suggests what GOP leaders want to do.

### The bill would good for corporations and the wealthy

Before delving into the bill’s details, it’s worth taking a moment to consider who, all told, comes out ahead and behind. Here’s who would be better off:

• Corporations, broadly, are the focus of most of the tax cuts. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, as the bill does, costs nearly $1.5 trillion over 10 years. They also gain new, more favorable treatment of income earned abroad, which is either not taxed or taxed at an even lower rate than 20 percent. • Wealthy, particularly ultrawealthy people, who tend to earn a disproportionate share of their income from capital (like stock sales and dividends) and thus benefit from cuts to the corporate tax, which is largely a tax on capital. If the corporate tax also reduces wages, as some conservative economists allege, then corporate cuts still disproportionately help the wealthy, as a huge share of wages go to high earners, not low- or median-wage workers. Additionally, the pass-through cut could enable some wealthy people who either own pass-throughs or create new ones to shelter some of their income from high rates. • People making mid to high sixfigure incomes, who arguably should count as wealthy or rich too. By raising the threshold for the 39.6 percent rate on individual income to$1 million for couples, up from $470,700 today, people with incomes in the$600,000 to $700,000 range will get a sizable reduction, in addition to the low-end tax cut they get because the new 12 percent bracket will apply to income now taxed at 15 or 25 percent. • Pass-through companies, like the Trump Organization, which get a new very low rate. There are some provisions included meant to prevent rich individuals from using this tax break as a way to shelter income, but they only limit the benefit in many cases. The overwhelmingly rich owners of these companies will still come out way ahead. • Heirs and heiresses, as the estate tax is first reduced (by increasing the exemption and applying it to an even smaller sliver of the hyperrich) and then eliminated entirely. ### But the bill would hurt the poor and increase the deficit The GOP’s tax reform proposal would leave other groups worse off: • Blue state residents would pay higher taxes, as the state and local income/sales tax deduction is eliminated and the one for property taxes is somewhat curtailed. That said, wealthy people benefiting from these deductions will likely see this tax hike offset by the other tax cuts in the package. • The housing sector faces a new limit on the mortgage interest deduction. For individual taxpayers, the rate cuts largely make up for this, but it reduces the incentive to buy and build homes, which could affect lenders, construction companies, real estate firms, etc. • Poor families were rumored to be getting a tax cut due to a change in the refundability formula for the child tax credit — but that didn’t make it into the bill. The credit only goes to families with$3,000 in earnings or more, and phases in slowly; some in Congress were pushing to lower the threshold to $0, but they didn’t succeed. Instead, a provision denying the child tax credit to American citizen children whose parents are undocumented immigrants is included. • And it would increase the deficit; the Joint Committee on Taxation has reportedly scored the bill as costing$1.51 trillion over 10 years, about what the House/Senate budget allocated for the bill but still a sizable increase in the public debt.

Here’s the Joint Committee on Taxation’s estimates of what each provision raises and costs in tax revenue:

### Individual income tax rates are consolidated and cut

The new tax reform bill (which, again, draws on plans Trump and congressional Republicans have released going back over a year now) would significantly change individual income tax brackets:

• The seven current individual income tax brackets would be consolidated to four: 12 percent (up from the current bottom rate of 10 percent), 25 percent, 35 percent, and 39.6 percent.
• Keeping the 39.6 percent top rate is a huge change from past Republican plans, which have focused heavily on cutting the maximum rate the richest households pay. However, the plan significantly reduces how many people pay the top rate: The threshold for the last bracket would increase from $470,700 for married couples today to$1 million.
• The 35 percent rate would cover some affluent households currently paying a marginal rate of 33 percent, potentially raising their taxes; and the 12 percent bracket would extend into the income range currently covered by the 25 percent bracket, lowering taxes for many middle- and upper-middle-class households.
• The thresholds for brackets will be adjusted according to chained CPI, a slower-growing measure of inflation than normal CPI, which is used currently; this change raises revenue over time by gradually pushing more and more people into higher tax brackets.
• De facto taxes on some corporate executives would go up: Performance pay and commissions above $1 million would no longer be deductible for the purposes of corporate taxes. ### The standard deduction is increased, personal exemptions are eliminated, and the child tax credit is mildly boosted Standard benefits for families are changed significantly, with an eye toward simplifying the vast array of benefits (standard deductions, personal exemptions, child credits, etc.) currently available: • The standard deduction will be raised to$24,000 for couples and $12,000 for individuals, a near doubling from current levels. • The child tax credit, currently$1,000, will grow to $1,600, and a new$300 credit for parents and other non-child dependents in the house (the $300 credit expires after five years, presumably to save money). • Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have spent months working with Ivanka Trump, and persuaded her to abandon her plan to add a tax deduction for child care in favor of an increased child tax credit. It appears House Speaker Paul Ryan and Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) have adopted this approach — but have fallen short of the$2,000, more refundable credit Rubio and Lee want.
• The child credit would be available for more wealthy households: It would start to phase out at $230,000 in earnings for married couples, as opposed to$110,000 under current law. It would not be expanded for poor families without a tax liability, as Rubio and Lee had proposed.
• The personal exemption (currently offering households $4,050 per person in deductions) is eliminated, replaced in theory by the higher child credit and standard deduction. ### Some deductions are limited, but most remain intact • The mortgage interest deduction is unchanged for current homeowners, but for all future mortgages, the benefit would be capped at a home value of$500,000, down from $1 million under current law. • The deduction for state and local income/sales taxes would be eliminated. • The deduction for state and local property taxes would be capped at$10,000, somewhat curtailing the current tax break.
• A variety of other, much smaller deductions, like the medical expense deduction and the property casualty loss deductions, are repealed.
• Most major tax breaks for individuals — the charitable deduction, retirement incentives like 401(k) and IRA provisions, the tax exclusion for employer-provided health care, the earned income tax credit, and the child and dependent care tax credit — would remain unchanged.

### Corporate taxes are slashed dramatically

• The corporate income tax rate will be lowered from 35 percent to 20 percent.
• The corporate tax will be “territorial”: Foreign income by US companies will be tax-free.
• All untaxed income currently held overseas will immediately be taxed at a fixed rate: 12 percent for money held in liquid assets like stocks and bonds, 5 percent for intangibles like buildings and factories.
• Despite the tax being “territorial” in principle, there will be a 10 percent “minimum tax” imposed on profits above a certain threshold from foreign subsidiaries of US companies in the future, to prevent companies from moving income abroad to avoid taxes.
• Additionally, any money that multinational corporations move from the US abroad will be subject to a new 20 percent tax.
• Instead of having companies “depreciate” investments by deducting them over several years, companies could immediately expense all their investments. This benefit expires after five years, presumably to save money, which dampens any positive effect it has on economic growth.
• Companies paying the corporate income tax would face a limit on how much debt they can deduct from their taxable income, a significant change for highly leveraged companies like banks. They could only deduct interest worth up to 30 percent of earnings before interest/taxes/depreciation/amortization. But real estate firms would be exempt from that limit.
• Two big existing credits for corporations — the research and development tax credit and the low-income housing credit — won’t be repealed. But a deduction for domestic manufacturing is gone.

### Pass-throughs like the Trump Organization win big

“Pass-through” companies like LLCs, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and S corporations, which are overwhelmingly owned by rich individuals like Donald Trump and currently pay normal income tax rates after their earnings are returned to the companies’ owners, would get a huge number of tax cuts too:

• Taxes on pass-through income would be capped at the 25 percent bracket rather than the top individual rate.
• Pass-through companies would still be able to deduct interest on loans in full, unlike C-corporations.
• The 25 percent bracket creates a huge loophole for rich people, who could incorporate as sole proprietorships and “contract” with their employers so their income is pass-through income rather than wages.
• To partially control that, the law would assume that 100 percent of earnings from professional services firms, like law firms and accounting firms, is wages, not pass-through income. For other businesses, people actively involved in the business as more than passive investors would see 70 percent of their income classified as wages and taxed normally, and 30 percent taxed at the pass-through rate.

Two other significant tax provisions are abolished:

• The alternative minimum tax, which increases taxes for certain affluent or upper-middle-class households, is repealed.
• The exemption for the estate and gift tax, the most progressive component of the federal tax code, only paid by extremely rich estates, is doubled, further limiting who pays it, and the whole tax is then gradually abolished.

And a brand new 1.4 percent tax on university endowment income is added.

### The case for the bill

For the public at large, the case for a massive corporate tax cut is sort of hard to grasp. Seventy-three percent of Americans, and 53 percent of Republicans, say they want corporate taxes either kept the same or raised, according to Pew Research Center polling. That the cuts are pared with some tax increases on individuals, like the elimination of the deduction for state and local income taxes and the Social Security Number requirement which kicks some 3 million kids off the child tax credit, makes the choice even more confounding.

But the GOP has a specific economic theory that it claims supports the bill and makes the changes it envisions worthwhile.

The basic idea is that while most economists believe corporate taxes are primarily paid by owners of capital (that is, people who own stock in corporations) in the form of lower profits, a sizable minority, including White House chief economist Kevin Hassett, think that a large share of the tax is paid by workers in the form of lower wages.

In an influential 2006 paper analyzing data in 72 countries across 22 years, he and his American Enterprise Institute colleague Aparna Mathur estimated that a “1 percent increasein corporate tax rates is associated with nearly a 1 percent drop in wage rates.” A second paper in 2010 found a slightly smaller effect (a 0.5 to 0.6 percent decrease in wage rates per 1 percent increase in corporate tax rates) but still concluded that labor was ultimately paying the tax. More than paying it, in fact — they estimate that labor pays 2,200 percent of the tax’s burden, a really extraordinary estimate.

That suggests that cutting corporate taxes would be a very easy way to raise wages for ordinary workers. Hassett has also gone a step further and, with his AEI colleague Alex Brill, argued that cutting the corporate income tax could raise economic growth enough to actually increase revenue: a Laffer effect. They conclude, based on a data set covering rich developed countries from 1980 to 2005, that the revenue-maximizing corporate tax rate is about 26 percent, significantly below the US rate.

Plenty of economists and tax researchers have argued that Hassett’s results in particular are implausible, and reach some absurd conclusions. Jane Gravelle and Thomas Hungerford at the Congressional Research Service noted that the initial Hassett-Mathur study predicted a $1 increase in the corporate tax would reduce wages by between$22 and $26. Their 2010 follow-up predicted a wage loss of$13 per for every additional dollar paid in corporate taxes. But it’s very strange to imagine a corporation responding to an increase in costs like that. The implication is that corporations could have cut wages significantly before the tax hike without negative consequences and simply didn’t.

A more recent survey of the empirical research by Reed College’s Kimberly Clausing found “very little robust evidence linking corporate tax rates and wages.” The consensus in the field remains that most of the tax is paid by capital (as Treasury and the CBO both assume).

But if you believe that corporate tax cuts lead to raises, then corporate taxes should help workers. The biggest beneficiaries will, again, be rich people earning the most wages, but the benefits will trickle down more broadly too.

Other, smaller provisions of the reform package also have reasonable cases for them. The mortgage interest deduction is a huge distortion that leads to fewer people renting than should and hoards benefits among rich homeowners; the bill would reduce that advantage. Opponents of the state and local tax deduction, which the bill would largely eliminate, argue it’s regressive and concentrates benefits on rich states rather than poor ones that actually need the money. The current mix of standard deductions, personal exemptions, and child credit is needlessly duplicative, and the bill simplifies it a bit.

Others are a bit harder to defend. Many economists oppose wealth taxes like the estate tax on the grounds that they penalize savings, but intergenerational transmission of wealth also has huge negative externalities (heirs less willing to work, less equal politics, etc.) that eliminating the estate tax entirely would worsen.

Cutting taxes on pass-through income is particularly hard to defend. Pass-throughs already get a sizable tax advantage relative to other companies. While corporate profits are taxed in two stages — first by the corporate income tax, and then through dividend or capital gains taxes — pass-through income is only taxed once, at the individual level. This change would worsen that advantage.

Pass-throughs will counter that in many cases, people who own stock through 401(k)s and IRAs don’t have to pay capital gains or dividend taxes, and so their profits are only taxed at the corporate rate, which is lower than the top individual rate (and would be much lower under this plan), putting pass-throughs at a potential disadvantage. But analysts who’ve looked at this comparison generally conclude that pass-throughs are taxed less overall, and certainly don’t need another break.

### Where the bill goes from here

As of this writing, the bill has not been officially scored for its cost and distribution, though the Joint Committee on Taxation has reportedly scored it as costing $1.51 trillion, just outside the$1.5 trillion the GOP budget set aside for tax reform.

Given that price tag, it’s hard to imagine the bill not raising the deficit after 10 years. Some provisions phase out, presumably to lower the long-run deficit effects for scoring purposes, but that’s unlikely to be enough. And so long as the legislation still increases the long-run deficit, it’s a nonstarter in the Senate.

What’s likely, then, is that this is an opening entry designed to pass the House and then be worked over, and shrunk in scale, in the Senate.

The legislation will face a lot of pressure to expand or protect certain cuts, and to abandon certain pay-fors. Mortgage lenders and housing builders will push against limiting the mortgage interest deduction, blue-state Republicans will fight the limit on property tax deductions, and just about every business will fight for as much as they can get in corporate tax cuts and pass-through cuts (the fact that lobbying firms are organized as pass-throughs might mean trouble for the rule eliminating pass-through privileges for law firms). Social conservatives and anti-poverty campaigners will fight for a bigger child tax credit, available to more poor families.

All of that makes the bill more expensive, and harder to pass in the Senate. So far, Republican leaders have mostly punted on designing the kinds of pay-fors that would make the plan viable under Senate rules. They can’t keep punting for much longer.

https://www.vox.com/2017/11/2/16596896/house-republican-tax-reform-cuts-trump-ryan-explained

# House GOP tax plan filled with tough tradeoffs

The tax overhaul is Republicans’ top priority ahead of next year’s elections, and lawmakers are desperate for a victory after the Obamacare repeal failed.

Updated

House Republicans unveiled plans Thursday for a sweeping overhaul of the tax system calling for fundamental changes in business and individual taxes, including big cuts in rates and new breaks for families.

It also includes provisions sure to stoke controversy and fierce lobbying, including new limits on the popular mortgage interest deduction. People could only deduct interest on the first $500,000 of loans for newly purchased homes, down from the current$1 million, and lawmakers would eliminate the break for second homes. The bill would also make it harder for people to sell their homes without paying taxes on any capital gains.

And there would be sharply lower limits on a long-standing break for state and local taxes.

While big companies would get a significantly lower 20 percent corporate rate, down from 35 percent, they would face new limits on their ability to deduct interest on their loans, a new global minimum tax on their overseas earnings, and new taxes on U.S. companies heading abroad.

Republicans dropped a contentious plan to curb tax benefits for 401(k) retirement plans, which had GOP lawmakers cheering House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady at a closed door briefing on the plan.

The unveiling of the 429-page bill — and a summary that runs 82 pages — kicks off what is sure to be a grueling slog to get legislation to President Donald Trump by the end of the year.

Exactly who would lose in the proposal — dubbed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” — has been a closely guarded secret, and many lawmakers will surely be surprised at the scope of changes needed to make the numbers behind the plan work.

Several influential business groups slammed the proposal.

The National Federation of Independent Business announced its opposition, citing restrictions lawmakers included on which small businesses can claim their lower tax rate on unincorporated “pass-through” firms. The issue has been one of the most difficult for lawmakers to work out, and could prove to be one of the most contentious going forward.

Though lawmakers would reduce the rate on those businesses to 25 percent, there would be limits on which firms could take advantage, provisions designed to avoid gaming by wealthy individuals.

Under the proposal, pass-throughs would get the lower rate on 30 percent of their profits, with the remainder taxed at ordinary income tax rates, though there would be circumstances in which businesses could qualify for a bigger share being subject to the special rate. That means, though, that some pass- throughs would actually pay more than 25 percent under the plan.

“This bill leaves too many small businesses behind,” said Juanita Duggan, the group’s president. “We believe that tax reform should provide substantial relief to all small businesses.”

The National Association of Home Builders said the legislation “eviscerates” housing tax benefits, and “abandons middle class taxpayers.”

The National Association of Realtors meanwhile has already begun lobbying against the proposal, running online ads in tax writers’ districts. “Don’t let tax reform become a tax increase for middle-class homeowners,” the ad says.

Other business groups embraced the plan, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable.

“This bold tax reform bill is exactly what our nation needs to get our economy growing faster,” said Neil Bradley, a senior vice president at the Chamber of Commerce. Said Jamie Dimon, head of JP Morgan Chase & Co. and the Business Roundtable: “We support this tax reform effort because it is good for all Americans.”

The plan is Republicans’ top priority ahead of next year’s elections, and lawmakers are desperate for a victory to take to voters after the failed campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans are hoping to move it quickly through the House, with committee action penciled in for next week. Lawmakers aim to forward it on to the Senate later this month. Senate Republicans are working on their own competing plan they aim to unveil next week. Lawmakers hope to land a compromise on Trump’s desk by the end of the year.

House leaders, who have written the plan in secret, have avoided identifying most of the breaks that would be quashed under the proposal in order to keep lobbyists at bay. But many Republicans had little inkling of what’s in the bill, and the strategy means leaders have not had much opportunity to build support among rank-and-file members for controversial proposals.

The bill is loaded with sure-to-be contentious ideas affecting broad swathes of the economy. It would delete a long-standing deduction for people with high medical bills — including those with chronic conditions. People would have to live longer in their homes, under the bill, to qualify for tax-free treatment of capital gains when they sell their houses.

It would also kill a long-standing breaks for adoptions, and for student loan interest costs. Private universities would face a new 1.4 percent tax on their investment earnings from their endowments. The Work Opportunity Credit, which encourages businesses to hire veterans, would be eliminated. So too would the New Markets Tax credit, which encourages investment in poor areas.

Tax benefits related to fringe benefits would be curtailed. It would also dump a long-standing break for casualty losses that allow people to deduct things lost in fires and storms, although it would continue to allow the provision for people hit by hurricanes — no doubt reflecting the influence of Brady, whose Houston-area district was hit by Hurricane Harvey.

Foreign companies operating in the United States would face higher taxes under the proposal, as would companies such as pharmaceutical firms that move overseas and want to sell goods back to the United States.

An official cost estimate of the legislation was not immediately available, though Brady said that would be released Thursday. He said the legislation met his party’s budget stipulating that they could not cut taxes by more than $1.5 trillion. For individuals, the plan would reduce the number of tax brackets to four from the current seven, with the top rate remaining at 39.6 percent. Republicans would more than double the income threshold at which the top rate would kick in to$1 million for married couples. They would simultaneously raise taxes on the rich, though, by limiting their ability to take advantage of their lowest income tax bracket. The 35 percent bracket would begin at $260,000 for married couples, and the threshold for a 25 percent bracket would be$90,000 under the plan.

Republicans would also get rid of personal exemptions, which are designed to adjust tax burdens for family size. The plan would instead double the standard deduction while increasing both the size of the child tax credit to $1,600, from the current$1000, while increasing the income threshold at which it could be claimed. They would also create a new $300 credit for adult dependents as well as another$300 “family flexibility” credit.

The bill would ease the estate tax by doubling the threshold at which it would kick in before eventually repealing it.

But they would face new limits on their ability to deduct interest payments on the money they borrow. They would also face a new 10 percent foreign minimum tax targeting companies that squirrel away money in offshore tax havens. Life insurance companies would lose a number of tax benefits, private activity bonds would be eliminated and tax-exempt bonds could no longer be used to help build professional sports stadiums.

Rachael Bade and Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/02/tax-reform-house-gop-plan-244453

# House GOP Tax Plan Sticks With Big Corporate Cuts

## The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act seeks the biggest transformation of tax code in more than 30 years; leaves top individual tax rate at 39.6%

WASHINGTON—House Republicans, seeking the biggest transformation of the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years, aim to permanently chop the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%, compress the number of individual income tax brackets, and over time repeal the taxes paid by large estates.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/republicans-stick-with-big-corporate-tax-cuts-in-house-bill-1509629510

# Trump picks Jerome Powell to succeed Yellen as Fed chair

• President Donald Trump nominated Jerome Powell to run the Federal Reserve once current Chair Janet Yellen’s term expires in February.
• Powell led a diverse field of potential nominees that included former Governor Kevin Warsh, Stanford economist John Taylor, chief Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn, and Yellen herself.
• Yellen’s term has been marked by a mostly uninterrupted bull market that began in March 2009 and low interest rates even as the Fed has sought to unwind the stimulus initiated during the crisis.

President Trump announces Jerome Powell as next Fed chair nominee

President Donald Trump nominated Jerome Powell to run the Federal Reserve once current Chair Janet Yellen’s term expires, in a move widely expected and one unlikely to disturb the roaring stock market.

Trump made the announcement during a Thursday afternoon ceremony in the Rose Garden.

The move follows an extended period of speculation over who would be named to head the central bank, whose aggressive policies have been considered central to a climate of low interest rates, surging job creation and booming asset prices.

“Today is an important milestone on the path to restoring economic opportunity to the American people,” Trump said with Powell standing to his right and the prospective chairman’s family nearby. The president said the Fed requires “strong, sound and steady leadership” and Powell “will provide exactly that type of leadership.”

“He’s strong, he’s committed and he’s smart, and if he is confirmed by the Senate, Jay will put his considerable talents and experience to work leading our nation’s independent central bank,” Trump added.

Alex Brandon | Reuters
President Donald Trump announces Federal Reserve board member Jerome Powell as his nominee for the next chair of the Federal Reserve in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.

Powell led a diverse field of potential nominees that included former Governor Kevin Warsh, Stanford economist John Taylor, chief Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn, and Yellen herself.

Trump’s relationship with Yellen has evolved; during the 2016 presidential campaign he said the Fed chief should be “ashamed” of the way she has run the Fed, arguing that Yellen kept policy loose for political reasons to boost the fortunes of former President Barack Obama.

Since taking office, though, his views have changed and he offered warm words for her Thursday despite deciding to replace Yellen and make her the briefest-serving Fed chair since G. William Miller from 1978-79.

Yellen’s term has been marked by a mostly uninterrupted bull market run in stocks that began in March 2009 and low interest rates even as the Fed has sought to unwind the stimulus initiated during the crisis. The central bank has hiked its benchmark interest rate four times under Yellen and has taken the first steps in unwinding the $4.5 trillion balance sheet built up during the efforts to spur growth through bond purchases. Yellen is “a wonderful woman who’s done a terrific job,” Trump said. “We have been working together for 10 months and she is absolutely a spectacular person. Janet, thank you very much. We appreciate it.” Though the Powell nomination was widely reported and anticipated for weeks, markets reacted positively to the announcement, with the Dow industrials tacking on about 60 points in the half-hour or so after Trump took the podium. “Jerome Powell is a smart choice for Fed chair,” said Richard Clarida, global strategic advisor at bond giant Pimco. “He is likely to provide monetary policy continuity by adopting Yellen’s framework of gradually normalizing rates and predictably reducing the Fed’s balance sheet. He is also likely to be more receptive to calls for adjusting financial regulation prudently, especially for smaller banks.” Powell had been named to fill an unexpired term in 2012 that won’t end until 2028. He is viewed as a convenient choice, someone who likely will continue the programs of the Yellen Fed but allow Trump a chance to put his own stamp on the central bank. “I’m both honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve our great country,” Powell said. “If I am confirmed by the Senate, I will do everything within my power to achieve our congressional assigned goals of stable prices and maximum employment.” The Fed is in the midst of normalizing the historically accommodative monetary policy it had begun to help pull the U.S. from the throes of the financial crisis and the Great Recession. Under Yellen, the Fed has hiked interest rates four times and is expected to approve another increase in December. In addition, it is unwinding its$4.5 trillion balance sheet, which primarily consists of bonds the Fed purchased in an effort to drive down mortgage rates and push investors to risk assets like stocks and corporate bonds.

Powell has been part of the Fed’s voting consensus since taking his seat, not once veering from the majority’s position.

“I think the president has made a spectacular choice, and I’m really supportive of what the president is doing,” Cohn told the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. earlier in the day.

But the move had some critics, primarily from those worried about Powell’s academic background. Most Fed chairs have been PhDs and have more background in economics than Powell, who has spent much of his career as a lawyer, in investment banking and at the Treasury under former President George H.W. Bush.

” Powell’s resume is not up to the standards we would expect of a nominee for Fed Chair,” Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at forecasting firm Capital Economics said in a note. “The risk of a serious policy mistake — in either direction — will arguably be higher under Powell’s leadership than under Yellen’s.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/02/trump-picks-jerome-powell-to-succeed-yellen-as-fed-chair.html

# Jerome H. Powell

Jerome H. Powell
16th Chairman of the Federal Reserve
Nominee
Assumed office
February 4, 2018*
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Janet Yellen
Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Assumed office
May 25, 2012
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Frederic Mishkin
Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance
In office
1992–1993
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Robert R. Glauber
Succeeded by Frank N. Newman
Personal details
Born Jerome Hayden Powell
February 4, 1953 (age 64)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Republican[1]
Spouse(s) Elissa Leonard (m. 1985)
Children 3
Residence Chevy Chase, Maryland
Education Princeton University (BA)
Georgetown University (JD)
Net worth $19.7 – 55 million[2][3] *Pending Senate confirmation Jerome Hayden Powell (born February 4, 1953) is a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and has served since 2012. On November 2, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Powell to serve as the Chair of the Federal Reserve.[4] ## Early life and education Jerome H. Powell was born on February 4, 1953 in Washington, D.C., the son of Patricia (Hayden) and Jerome Powell, a lawyer in private practice.[5] His maternal grandfather, James J. Hayden, was Dean of the Columbus School of Law.[6] In 1971, Powell graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School, a Jesuit university-preparatory school. He received a Bachelor of Arts in politics from Princeton University in 1975. In 1975-1976, he spent a year as a legislative assistant to Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania,[7][8] who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Vice President of the United States on a ticket with Ronald Reagan during the primary election in 1976. Powell earned a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University in 1979, where he was editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal.[9] ## Career In 1979, Powell moved to New York City and became a clerk to Judge Ellsworth Van Graafeiland of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. From 1981 to 1983, he was a lawyer with Davis Polk & Wardwell, and from 1983 to 1984, he worked at the firm of Werbel & McMillen.[8] From 1984 to 1990, Powell worked at Dillon, Read & Co., an investment bank, where he concentrated on financing, merchant banking, and mergers and acquisitions, rising to the position of vice president.[8][10] Between 1990 and 1993, Powell worked in the United States Department of the Treasury, at which time Nicholas F. Brady, the former chairman of Dillon, Read & Co., was the United States Secretary of the Treasury. In 1992, Powell became the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance after being nominated by George H. W. Bush.[8][10][7] During his stint at the Treasury, Powell oversaw the investigation and sanctioning of Salomon Brothers after one of its traders submitted false bids for a United States Treasury security.[11] Powell was also involved in the negotiations that made Warren Buffett the chairman of Salomon.[12] In 1993, Powell began working as a managing director for Bankers Trust, but he quit in 1995 after the bank got into trouble after several customers suffered large losses due to derivatives. He then went back to work for Dillon, Read & Co.[10] From 1997 to 2005, Powell was a partner at The Carlyle Group, where he founded and led the Industrial Group within the Carlyle U.S. Buyout Fund.[9][13] After leaving Carlyle, Powell founded Severn Capital Partners, a private investment firm focused on specialty finance and opportunistic investments in the industrial sector.[14] In 2008, Powell became a managing partner of the Global Environment Fund, a private equity and venture capital firm that invests in sustainable energy.[14] Between 2010 and 2012, Powell was a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C., where he worked on getting Congress to raise the United States debt ceiling during the United States debt-ceiling crisis of 2011. Powell presented the implications to the economy and interest rates of a default or a delay in raising the debt ceiling.[13] He worked for a salary of$1 per year.[3]

### Federal Reserve Board of Governors

In December 2011, along with Jeremy C. Stein, Powell was nominated to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors by President Barack Obama. The nomination included two people to help garner bipartisan support for both nominees since Stein’s nomination had previously been filibustered. Powell’s nomination was the first time that a president nominated a member of the opposition party for such a position since 1988.[1] He took office on May 25, 2012, to fill the unexpired term of Frederic Mishkin, who resigned. In January 2014, he was nominated for another term, and, in June 2014, he was confirmed by the United States Senate in a 67-24 vote for a 14-year term ending January 31, 2028.[15]

In 2013, Powell made a speech regarding financial regulation and ending “too big to fail“.[16] In April 2017, he took over oversight of the “too big to fail” banks.[17]

### Nomination as Chair of the Federal Reserve

On November 2, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Powell to serve as the Chair of the Federal Reserve.[4]

## Economic philosophy

#### Monetary policy

A survey of 30 economists in March 2017 noted that Powell was slightly more of a monetary dove than the average member of the Board of Governors. However, The Bloomberg Intelligence Fed Spectrometer rated Powell as neutral (i.e. neither a hawk or a dove). Powell has been a skeptic of round 3 of quantitative easing, initiated in 2012, although he did vote in favor of implementation.

#### Financial regulation

Powell “appears to largely support” the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, although he has stated that ““we can do it more efficiently”.[18]

In an October 2017 speech, Powell stated that higher capital and liquidity requirements and stress tests have made the financial system safer and must be preserved. However, he also stated that the Volcker Rule should be re-written to exclude smaller banks and asked “Can we achieve this safety and soundness objective, this stability objective, at a lower cost to consumers and financial institutions?”[19]

#### Housing finance reform

In a July 2017 speech, Powell said that, in regards to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the status quo is “unacceptable” and that the current situation “may feel comfortable, but it is also unsustainable”. He warned that “the next few years may present our last best chance” to “address the ultimate status of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac” and avoid “repeating the mistakes of the past”. Powell expressed concerns that, in the current situation, the government is responsible for mortgage defaults and that lending standards were too rigid, noting that these can be solved by encouraging “ample amounts of private capital to support housing finance activities”.[20]

## Personal life

In 1985, Powell married Ellissa Leonard.[5] They have 3 children[9] and reside in Chevy Chase Village, Maryland, where Ellissa is vice chair of the board of managers.[21] In 2006, they purchased a house for $3 million.[22] In 2017, Powell reported that he had a net worth of between$19.7 million and $55 million, making him the richest member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.[2][3] Powell has served on the boards of charitable and educational institutions including DC Prep, a public charter school, the Bendheim Center for Finance at Princeton University, and The Nature Conservancy. He was also a founder of the Center City Consortium, a group of 16 parochial schools in the poorest areas of Washington, D.C.[13] Powell is a registered Republican.[1] In 2008, he contributed$30,800 to the 2008 election campaign of John McCain.[23]

## References

1.  APPELBAUM, BINYAMIN (December 27, 2011). “Obama to Nominate Two for Vacancies on Fed Board”The New York Times.
2.  “Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 278e)” (PDF). United States Office of Government Ethics. June 28, 2017.
3.  Long, Heather (October 31, 2017). “Jerome Powell, Trump’s pick to lead Fed, would be the richest chair since the 1940s”The Washington Post.
4.  Gensler, Lauren (November 2, 2017). “Trump Taps Jerome Powell As Next Fed Chair In Call For Continuity”Forbes.
5.  “ELISSA LEONARD WED TO JEROME H. POWELL”The New York Times. September 15, 1985.
6. Jump up^ “Patricia H. Powell’s Obituary on The Washington Post”The Washington Post.
7.  “Nomination of Jerome H. Powell To Be an Under Secretary of the Treasury” (Press release). University of California, Santa Barbara. April 9, 1992.
8.  GREENHOUSE, STEVEN (April 14, 1992). “New Duties Familiar To Treasury Nominee”The New York Times.
9.  “Board Members: Jerome H. Powell”Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
10.  “Banker Joins Dillon, Read”The New York Times. February 17, 1995.
11. Jump up^ Powell, Jerome (October 5, 2017). “Treasury Markets and the TMPG”Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
12. Jump up^ Loomis, Carol J. (October 27, 1997). “Warren Buffett’s Wild Ride at Salomon”Fortune.
13.  “Bipartisan Policy Center: Jerome Powell”Bipartisan Policy Center.
14.  “GEF Adds to Investment Team” (Press release). Business Wire. July 8, 2008.
15. Jump up^ “PN1350 — Jerome H. Powell — Federal Reserve System”United States Senate.
16. Jump up^ Robb, Greg (March 4, 2013). “Fed’s Powell: Ending too big to fail to take years”MarketWatch.
17. Jump up^ Borak, Donna (April 7, 2017). “Fed taps Jerome Powell to head oversight of ‘too big to fail’ banks”CNNMoney.
18. Jump up^ Matthews, Steve (October 5, 2017). “Trump’s Short List for Fed Chair Features These Hawks and Doves”Bloomberg L.P.
19. Jump up^ Price, Michelle; Schroeder, Pete (October 31, 2017). “Good news for overburdened small banks if Powell picked for Fed chair”Reuters.
20. Jump up^ Klein, Matthew C. (July 7, 2017). “Jerome Powell has some curious ideas about housing finance”Financial Times.
21. Jump up^ “Chevy Chase Village: Staff Directory”Chevy Chase Village, Maryland.
22. Jump up^ “Home Sales”The Washington Post. October 12, 2006.
23. Jump up^ “SCHEDULE A (FEC) ITEMIZED RECEIPTS”Federal Election Commission. May 27, 2008.

Government offices
Preceded by
Robert R. Glauber
Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance
1992–1993
Succeeded by
Frank N. Newman
Preceded by
Frederic Mishkin
Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors
2012–present
Incumbent

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_H._Powell

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# Jim Rickards on Keiser Report: We don’t need to worry about a recession; we’re in a depression

Published on May 23, 2013

# Bond market flashing warning sign even as stocks rally to new highs

• Bond pros are watching a phenomenon in the bond market that could signal recession ahead and trouble for the stock market.
• The yield curve is flattening, meaning the spread between 2-year note yields and 10-year yields is narrowing, and at 0.75, it was the lowest since before the financial crisis.
• Even though the move is a warning, strategists say some of the action has to do with the Fed reversing long-term easing policy and may not be a problem for stocks.

Bond market flashing warning sign even as stocks rally to new highs

The bond market is warning that trouble could be on the horizon, either from an economic slowdown or an eventual recession.

The yield curve, a set of interest rates watched closely by bond market pros, has gotten to its flattest level since before the financial crisis. The spread between 2-year note yields and 10-year yields this week reached near the lows, at about 0.75, it has been since before the financial crisis.

“It certainly is giving you some sort of signal in here. The signals are when the yield curve flattens, it tells you that inflation is not a problem and the Fed is doing something at the front end,” said David Ader, Informa Financial Intelligence chief macro strategist. “Historically, it signals a slowdown or recession.”

But with the Federal Reserve set to raise interest rates in December, and uncertainty about who the next Fed chief will be, there are also other concerns in the market, including that a new Fed head could be more hawkish and set the Fed on a more rapid rate-hiking course.

“It’s also telling you there could be a policy error in the Fed’s hiking particularly if they accelerate it,” said Ader. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s monthly fund manager survey showed that fund managers in October believe the biggest risk for markets is a central bank policy misstep.

Treasurys on the move

Some strategists say ignore it at your own peril, but others point to the fact that stocks can still rally when longer-duration interest rates are low but the short-term rate is rising.

The fear is that a flattening yield curve could lead to an inversion, meaning the short-end rate would actually go higher than the longer-end yield. That is typically viewed as a recession signal, and the flattening curve is a warning of that.

“Typically you eventually get to a much flatter yield that could lead to a recession,” said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst with the Lindsey Group. “Right now it’s hard to get to inversion because of how actually low short-term interest rates are. You don’t need to get to the inversion this time.”

Jeff Gundlach, CEO of DoubleLine, weighed in on Twitter, pointing out that stock market bulls point to low rates as a positive, yet rates are climbing. The 2-year yield was at a new nine-year high Wednesday, touching 1.57 percent, while the 10-year was at 2.34 percent.

2 year Tsy yield back on the rise. Should accelerate w/ a close above 1.56%. Keep hearing SPX P/E OK due to low rates. But they are rising.

Strategists say years of quantitative easing by global central banks and extreme low interest rates cast doubt on some of the conventional wisdom about bond behavior. For instance, the Fed is also slowing down its purchases of Treasurys, mostly at the short end, and that could be influencing the behavior of the curve.

“I think it’s the expectation that further Fed tightening, whether it’s on the short end or it’s the quantitative tightening, is eventually going to slow the U.S. economy, and that’s what the yield curve is saying, while the stock market is drunk on hopes for tax reform,” Boockvar said. At the same time, expectations for a Fed rate hike at its December meeting continue to rise.

Wealth manager: Bond markets are creating the ‘biggest financial crisis of our lifetime’

Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan said the low rate of the 10-year may not be because of easy financial conditions. “That may be a sign of worry about future growth,” Kaplan told reporters after participating on a panel with New York Fed President William Dudley about regional economic trends.

Source: Strategas Research

Todd Sohn, technical analyst at Strategas, looked at the behavior of the stock market during periods of flattening yield curves, and he found that until the curve actually inverted, stocks performed very well. In some cases, it took awhile for stocks to react when the curve inverted.

“It’s on our mind,” he said. “But until you get the inversion I don’t think we should put too much weight on it. Equity performance is still positive.”

Sohn said as the curve flattened between August 1977 and August 1978, for example, the S&P 500 gained 7 percent. But after the curve inverted in August 1978, the S&P corrected, falling about 14 percent from September to mid-November.

As the curve flattened between July 1988 and January 1989, the S&P was up 9 percent. But Sohn said after the curve inverted in January 1989, the S&P went uninterrupted until October 1989, when it corrected about 10 percent through February 1990. Then it saw a 20 percent correction from July 1990 to October 1990.

“The curve inversion in June 1998 saw a sharp 19 percent S&P correction from mid-July 1998 and the end of August 1998… before the race higher into the March 2000 peak,” he noted.

Just ahead of the financial crisis, the curve inverted in January 2006. There was a shallow 8 percent correction from May to June 2006, and stocks moved higher until October 2007.

“It’s very case-by-case but curve inversion does typically lead to some form of a correction,” Sohn noted. “We’re not there yet but just something worth keeping in mind.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/18/bond-market-flashing-warning-sign-even-as-stocks-rally-to-new-highs.html

# Here’s how the Fed is flattening the yield curve

Published: Oct 18, 2017 2:42 p.m. ET

‘There is a sense that the market is getting ahead of itself’: BMO

## By SUNNYOH

Traders betting on a steeper yield curve are being thwarted by two factors: a Federal Reserve intent on raising rates and lackluster inflation. This potent combination is making for the flattest yield curve by one measure in nearly a decade.

The yield curve is a line plotting the yields across Treasury maturities from the shortest dated to the longest, and can reflect investor expectations for growth and inflation. A flatter curve is seen as a sign investors are worried about growth.

After four rate increases in the current hiking cycle, the spread between the 5-year yield TMUBMUSD05Y, +2.22%   and the 30-year yield TMUBMUSD30Y, +1.78%   one way to assess the curve’s steepness, narrowed to 0.86 percentage point. The curve has flattened steadily since Donald Trump’s presidential election victory last November sparked a selloff in long-dated Treasurys on fears that his pro-growth agenda would spur inflation. Yields and bond prices move in opposite directions.

The dramatic speed of the flattening has surprised investors. In the past four tightening cycles, the gap between the 5-year yield and the 30-year yield narrowed on average by 0.98 percentage point. But after peaking at 3.02 percentage points in November 2010, the spread has tightened by 2.18 percentage points.

“There is a sense that the market is getting ahead of itself in the aggressiveness of the flattening currently underway,” wrote Ian Lyngen and Aaron Kohli, fixed-income strategists at BMO Capital Markets.

Traders tend to concentrate on the spread between the 5-year yield and the 30-year yield versus other measures of the curve. The 5-year yield can serve as a more accurate reflection of market expectations for short-term rates than the 2-year yieldTMUBMUSD02Y, +2.41%  , which is largely under the central bank’s control, said Tim Alt, director of currencies and rates at Aviva Investors.

At the long end of the curve, the 30-year yield has slipped as inflation expectations weaken. Investors demand more of a yield premium when they fear inflation is on the rise because inflation erodes the purchasing power of future cash flows.

“It is the lack of inflation and anemic term premium that are exaggerating the move,” wrote Lyngen and Kohli. The term premium refers to the extra yield investors need to be compensated for buying a long-dated bond if short-term yields do not develop as expected.

The narrowing term premium reflects the newfound transparency of the Federal Reserve under Chairwoman Janet Yellen and former chairman Ben Bernanke, said Marvin Loh, senior fixed-income strategist at BNY Mellon.

Since the Fed’s September policy meeting, investors have been inundated with speeches from central bankers. Every voting member of the Fed’s interest-rate setting body has delivered public remarks, many more than once, giving market participants a clear idea of the central bank’s plans, as well as factors that could forestall the current tightening path.

On the flip side, the central bank’s push to telegraph its intentions have also helped power short-dated yields TMUBMUSD02Y, +2.41%   to their highest level since the recession. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan highlighted this trend, saying the central bank should raise rates one more time this year on Tuesday. The Federal Reserve has signaled further rate rises on the assumption that tightness in labor markets will spur wage growth and, in turn, inflation.

But inflation has been absent in recent months. The Fed’s preferred inflation measure, known as the personal consumption expenditures deflator, was 1.43% year-over-year in August, a steady descent from the five-year high of 2.18% notched in February.

Nonetheless, Yellen has tried to get ahead of the curve, adding to investors’ concerns that a lack of price pressures will not put off the central bank’s plan to see interest rates move higher.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-how-the-fed-is-flattening-the-yield-curve-2017-10-18

# One Of These 3 Black Swans Will Likely Trigger A Global Recession By End Of 2018

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Shutterstock

Exactly ten years ago, we were months way from a world-shaking financial crisis.

By late 2006, we had an inverted yield curve steep to be a high-probability indicator of recession. I estimated at that time that the losses would be $400 billion at a minimum. Yet, most of my readers and fellow analysts told me I was way too bearish. Turned out the losses topped well over$2 trillion and triggered the financial crisis and Great Recession.

Conditions in the financial markets needed only a spark from the subprime crisis to start a firestorm all over the world. Plenty of things were waiting to go wrong, and it seemed like they all did at the same time.

We don’t have an inverted yield curve now. But when the central bank artificially holds down short-term rates, it is difficult, if not almost impossible, for the yield curve to invert.

We have effectively suppressed the biggest warning signal.

But there is another recession in our future (there is always another recession), which I think will ensue by the end of 2018. And it’s going to be at least as bad as the last one was in terms of the global pain it causes.

Below are three scenarios that may turn out to be fateful black swans. But remember this: A harmless white swan can look black in the right lighting conditions. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to start a panic.

Black Swan #1: Yellen Overshoots

It is clear that the U.S. economy is not taking off like the rocket some predicted after the election:

• President Trump and the Republicans haven’t been able to pass any of the fiscal stimulus measures we hoped to see.
• Banks and energy companies are getting some regulatory relief, and that helps, but it’s a far cry from the sweeping health care reform, tax cuts and infrastructure spending we were promised.
• Consumer spending is still weak, so people may be less confident than the sentiment surveys suggest. Inflation has perked up in certain segments like health care and housing, but otherwise it’s still low to nonexistent.

Is this, by any stretch of the imagination, the kind of economy in which the Federal Reserve should be tightening monetary policy? No—yet the Fed is doing so.

It’s in part because they waited too long to end QE and to begin reducing their balance sheet. FOMC members know they are behind the curve, and they want to pay lip service to doing something before their terms end.

Plus, Janet Yellen, Stanley Fischer and the other FOMC members are religiously devoted to the Phillips curve.

The black-swan risk here is that the Fed will tighten too much, too soon.

We know from recent FOMC minutes that some members have turned hawkish in part because they wanted to offset expected fiscal stimulus from the incoming administration. That stimulus has not been coming, but the FOMC is still acting as if it will be.

What happens when the Fed raises interest rates in the early, uncertain stages of a recession instead of lowering them? Logic suggests the Fed will curb any inflation pressure that exists and push the economy into outright deflation.

Deflation in an economy as debt-burdened as ours could be catastrophic.

Let me make an uncomfortable prediction: I think the Trump Fed—and since Trump will appoint at least six members of the FOMC in the coming year, it will be his Fed—will take us back down the path of massive quantitative easing and perhaps even to negative rates if we enter a recession.

The urge to “do something,” or at least be seen as trying to do something, is just going to be too strong.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnmauldin/2017/07/27/one-of-these-3-black-swans-will-likely-trigger-a-global-recession-by-end-of-2018/#520a1131875f

# 4 Non-Reasons For Recession In 2018

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Forecasts of a recession next year are nothing new. In early 2016, I noticed analysts saying we might are already be in recession. One source quoted perennial bear Peter Schiff, another interviewed Jim Grant, and gold bug David Haggith wrote that we definitely were in recession. Not only did 2016 turn out to be not a recession, but it looks like 2017 won’t be either.

Dr. Bill Conerly based on Wall Street Journal survey.

Risk of Recession

Recessions don’t just happen randomly, nor do they occur because the expansion is old, nor do they come about because a certain person is in the White House. There is always a trigger, so we’ll go through the usual causes of recession.

1. Overly tight monetary policy is the most common cause of recession, but is unlikely right now. Here in the United States, the Federal Reserve caused or played a large role in the recessions of 1973-74, 1980, 1982, 1990 and 2001. I’ve heard it argued monetary policy was overly tight in 2008, but I don’t buy that as the cause of that recession, but perhaps the cause of the anemic recovery.

Could monetary policy be tight enough to trigger a recession in 2018? Keep in mind that monetary policy acts with long time lags, so a December rate hike wouldn’t do much damage in the following year. The Fed’s rate hikes this year total one-half a percentage point, with perhaps one or two more on the way. (That’s the Fed’s own guess; mine is no more rate hikes this year.)

When the Fed moves strongly, it pushes short-term interest rates about three percentage points in a year. (1969, 1973, 1979, 1981, 1989) In the past six months, short-term interest rates have risen three-quarters of a percent—hardly a recessionary change.

Dr. Bill Conerly based on Federal Reserve data.

Yield curve June 2017 and 2016

The yield curve is a common expression of monetary policy and works pretty well as a predictive indicator. When interest rates are plotted against time to maturity—one month Treasury notes on the left and 30-year bonds on the right—then the shape of the curve is a good leading indicator. The normal shape is for the curve to rise, meaning higher interest rates are paid on bonds of longer maturity. Recessions are frequently preceded by an inverted yield curve, meaning short-term interest rates are higher than long-term interest rates. Right now the curve is very normal, and the last year’s shift upward has been an almost parallel move, with little change in the relationship between short-term rates and long-term rates. I see no recession coming from tight monetary policy, at least in the usual way.

The unusual way relates to the Fed’s reduction of its holdings of long-term securities, which will push interest rates up. This is uncharted territory. As the Fed had never before engaged in massive quantitative easing, it also never unwound a past massive easing. Two considerations are in order. First, the Fed won’t be too aggressive in its unwinding. If they see their actions pushing up long-term interest rates too quickly, they will hold off on further asset sales. Worrying about time lags—that the Fed won’t see their errors soon enough to ward off recession—makes senses, but it’s not certain.

The second consideration is that long-term interest rates are determined globally, by the world’s demand for credit compared to its supply of savings. The U.S is a big part of the global financial market, but it’s not the whole thing.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/billconerly/2017/07/19/4-non-reasons-for-recession-in-2018/#19da4731616c

# The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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# $20 Trillion: U.S. Debt Crisis | Peter Schiff and Stefan Molyneux # U.S. Debt Clock # http://www.usdebtclock.org/ # Trump’s tax cuts won’t pay for themselves: David Stockman # Congress not likely to tackle tax reform without spending cuts? # Milton Friedman – Why Tax Reform Is Impossible # When Did America Stop Caring About Anything Critical? # When Did America Stop Caring About Anything Critical? # Revenue Neutral # Sen. McConnell to soften on revenue-neutral tax plan: Gasparino # McConnell Seeks Revenue-Neutral Tax Reform This Congress # Rand Paul’s Frustration with “Revenue Neutral” Tax Cuts! # The American People Want The FairTax # Especially The New Improved Version — Fair Tax Less # Demand Fair Tax Less From Your Elected Representatives and President Trump # FairTax: Fire Up Our Economic Engine (Official HD) # FairTax: Fire Up Our Economic Engine (Official HD) # FairTax or Fair Tax Less — It Is Time # Bill Gates: Don’t tax my income, tax my consumption # Flat Tax vs. National Sales Tax # Why is the FairTax better than a flat income tax? # Freedom from the IRS! – FairTax Explained in Detail # Congressman Pence – FairTax and FlatTax # Pence on the Fair Tax # Congressman Woodall Discusses the FairTax # Rob Woodall Floor Speech: The FairTax will bring jobs back to America # Rep. Woodall Discusses FairTax with Colleagues on House Floor # The Fair Tax # Congressman King Speaks in Favor of FairTax # Rep. Woodall Discusses FairTax on House Floor # Sen. Moran Discusses FairTax Legislation on U.S. Senate Floor # Why is the FairTax better than other tax reform efforts? # AIRtax-What is It? Replaces income tax and payroll tax with sales tax # Why is the FairTax better than a flat income tax? # What is the FairTax legislation? # Does the FairTax protect privacy and other civil liberties? # How is the FairTax collected? # How does the FairTax affect the economy? # How does the FairTax impact interest rates? # Are any significant economies funded by a sales tax? # Is consumption a reliable source of revenue? # How will used goods be taxed? # What assumptions does the FairTax make about government spending? # Will the FairTax lead to a massive underground economy? # Can’t Americans just cross the border to avoid the FairTax # Will the FairTax drive the economy down if people stop buying? # How does the FairTax impact savings? # How does the FairTax impact the middle class? # How will the FairTax impact seniors? # How will Social Security payments be calculated under the FairTax? # How will the FairTax impact people who don’t file income taxes? # How will the FairTax help people who don’t hire an accountant? # How does the FairTax affect compliance costs? # How does the FairTax impact tax free bonds? # What will happen to cities who depend on tax free bonds? # What is the impact of the FairTax on business? # How does the FairTax impact retailers? # How does the FairTax affect tax preparers and CPAs? # Will the FairTax tax services? # Can I pretend to be a business to avoid the sales tax? # If people bring home their whole paychecks how can prices fall? # What is the Prebate? # How does the “prebate” work? # Is the FairTax truly progressive? # Wouldn’t it be more fair to exempt food and medicine from the FairTax? # How is the FairTax different from a Value Added Tax (VAT)? # Is it fair for rich people to get the same prebate as poor people? # Will the prebate create a massive new entitlement system? # How does the FairTax impact the middle class? # How do we keep exemptions and exclusions from undermining the FairTax? # How does the FairTax impact charitable giving? # Will the FairTax hurt home ownership with no mortgage interest deduction? # Will bartering present a compliance problem under the FairTax? # How does the FairTax affect illegal immigration? # How does the FairTax rate compare to today’s? # Wouldn’t it be more fair to exempt food and medicine from the FairTax? # Is education taxed under the FairTax? # Will government pay taxes under the FairTax? # How can you tax life saving medical treatment? # Will the FairTax hurt home ownership with no mortgage interest deduction? # What will the transition be like from the income tax to the FairTax? # Isn’t it a stretch to say the IRS will go away? # The Fair Tax – It’s Time # FairTax Prebate Explained # The FairTax… For a better America # Is the Fair Tax Act Fair? # Is America’s Tax System Fair? # Sen. Moran Discusses FairTax Legislation on U.S. Senate Floor # Pence on the Fair Tax # #30 The FAIRtax and President Elect Trump # Elvis Presley – Its Now Or Never 1960 # Elvis – It’s Now Or Never (O Sole Mio) # Elvis Presley – My Way (High Quality) # Frank Sinatra .My Way # Trump’s tax plan is ALREADY in trouble with his own party as plan to axe state and local tax deduction comes under fire from Republicans • The White House’s tax plan proposes to raise$1 trillion over 10 years by eliminating the deduction for the state and local income taxes people pay
• That’s drawing howls of protest from Republicans whose states charge high income tax rates
• Seven states have no income taxes, meaning their citizens wouldn’t be affected
• But some states charge up to 13.3 per cent on top of federal taxes
• A family in Los Angeles earning $100,000 would have to fork over roughly an additional$1,800 to Washington if the longstanding deduction goes away
• Trump is pitching his tax plan to the National Association of Manufacturers on Friday

As President Trump prepares to sell his tax plan to the nation’s manufacturing lobby on Friday, his best-laid tax plans have already drawn objections from some fellow Republicans who are fuming over the decision to end deductions for state and local income taxes.

The situation will pit the White House against members of Congress from states that pile high income taxes on top of what the federal government takes from paychecks.

High-income Californians, for instance, pay as much as 13.3 per cent of their income to the state in addition to their federal taxes. New Yorkers can pay up to 8.82 per cent.

Just seven U.S. states have no personal income taxes, including Texas, Florida and Nevada.

As President Trump pushes his tax plan, House Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady (right) says he’ll listen to congressmen from states that would be affected most if citizens lose deductions for state and local income taxes

State income tax rates vary widely; seven states (in gray) don’t collect any, and the highest rates (dark blue) can go as high as 13.3 per cent

Under the Trump tax reform plan, a family earning $100,000 in Los Angeles pays about$6,000 in state and local income taxes. Losing the ability to deduct that expense would cost the hypothetical taxpayers around $1,800. The GOP is working on a way to pacify legislators whose constituents would wind up paying more. ‘The members with concerns from high-tax states have to be accommodated,’ Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam told The Wall Street Journal. Roskam is a senior member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. ‘So, you can imagine a soft landing on this that creative people are putting much time and energy into.’ The White House has shown no sign that it’s willing to budge on eliminating the deduction for state and local taxes since it would bring in about$1 trillion over a 10-year period.

With the prospect of persuading Democrats to go along with a new tax play already slim, the GOP will need every Republican vote it can get.

The Journal reports that the nine states whose citizens use the deduction, measured as a percentage of income, are represented by 33 House Republicans.

If Republicans lose more than 22 votes, Trump’s tax plan is effective dead.

Ways and Means member Peter Roskam, and Illinois Republican, says tax code-writers are finding a ‘soft landing’ for states that pay the most income tax to their local governments

White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn briefed the press at the White House on Thursday but wouldn’t promise that every middle-class U.S. family would get a tax cut

APRIL 13, 2016

# High-income Americans pay most income taxes, but enough to be ‘fair’?

Tax-deadline season isn’t many people’s favorite time of the year, but most Americans are OK with the amount of tax they pay. It’s what other people pay, or don’t pay, that bothers them.

Just over half (54%) of Americans surveyed in fall by Pew Research Center said they pay about the right amount in taxes considering what they get from the federal government, versus 40% who said they pay more than their fair share. But in a separate 2015 surveyby the Center, some six-in-ten Americans said they were bothered a lot by the feeling that “some wealthy people” and “some corporations” don’t pay their fair share.

It’s true that corporations are funding a smaller share of overall government operations than they used to. In fiscal 2015, the federal government collected $343.8 billion from corporate income taxes, or 10.6% of its total revenue. Back in the 1950s, corporate income tax generated between a quarter and a third of federal revenues (though payroll taxes have grown considerably over that period). Nor have corporate tax receipts kept pace with the overall growth of the U.S. economy. Inflation-adjusted gross domestic product has risen 153% since 1980, while inflation-adjusted corporate tax receipts were 115% higher in fiscal 2015 than in fiscal 1980, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. There have been a lot of ups and downs over that period, as corporate tax receipts tend to rise during expansions and drop off in recessions. In fiscal 2007, for instance, corporate taxes hit$370.2 billion (in current dollars), only to plunge to $138.2 billion in 2009 as businesses felt the impact of the Great Recession. Corporations also employ battalions of tax lawyers to find ways to reduce their tax bills, from running income through subsidiaries in low-tax foreign countries to moving overseas entirely, in what’s known as a corporate inversion (a practice the Treasury Department has moved to discourage). But in Tax Land, the line between corporations and people can be fuzzy. While most major corporations (“C corporations” in tax lingo) pay according to the corporate tax laws, many other kinds of businesses – sole proprietorships, partnerships and closely held “S corporations” – fall under the individual income tax code, because their profits and losses are passed through to individuals. And by design, wealthier Americans pay most of the nation’s total individual income taxes. In 2014, people with adjusted gross income, or AGI, above$250,000 paid just over half (51.6%) of all individual income taxes, though they accounted for only 2.7% of all returns filed, according to our analysis of preliminary IRS data. Their average tax rate (total taxes paid divided by cumulative AGI) was 25.7%. By contrast, people with incomes of less than $50,000 accounted for 62.3% of all individual returns filed, but they paid just 5.7% of total taxes. Their average tax rate was 4.3%. The relative tax burdens borne by different income groups changes over time, due both to economic conditions and the constantly shifting provisions of tax law. For example, using more comprehensive IRS data covering tax years 2000 through 2011, we found that people who made between$100,000 and $200,000 paid 23.8% of the total tax liability in 2011, up from 18.8% in 2000. Filers in the$50,000-to-$75,000 group, on the other hand, paid 12% of the total liability in 2000 but only 9.1% in 2011. (The tax liability figures include a few taxes, such as self-employment tax and the “nanny tax,” that people typically pay along with their income taxes.) All told, individual income taxes accounted for a little less than half (47.4%) of government revenue, a share that’s been roughly constant since World War II. The federal government collected$1.54 trillion from individual income taxes in fiscal 2015, making it the national government’s single-biggest revenue source. (Other sources of federal revenue include corporate income taxes, the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare, excise taxes such as those on gasoline and cigarettes, estate taxes, customs duties and payments from the Federal Reserve.) Until the 1940s, when the income tax was expanded to help fund the war effort, generally only the very wealthy paid it.

Since the 1970s, the segment of federal revenues that has grown the most is the payroll tax – those line items on your pay stub that go to pay for Social Security and Medicare. For most people, in fact, payroll taxes take a bigger bite out of their paycheck than federal income tax. Why? The 6.2% Social Security withholding tax only applies to wages up to $118,500. For example, a worker earning$40,000 will pay $2,480 (6.2%) in Social Security tax, but an executive earning$400,000 will pay $7,347 (6.2% of$118,500), for an effective rate of just 1.8%. By contrast, the 1.45% Medicare tax has no upper limit, and in fact high earners pay an extra 0.9%.

All but the top-earning 20% of American families pay more in payroll taxes than in federal income taxes, according to a Treasury Department analysis.

Still, that analysis confirms that, after all federal taxes are factored in, the U.S. tax system as a whole is progressive. The top 0.1% of families pay the equivalent of 39.2% and the bottom 20% have negative tax rates (that is, they get more money back from the government in the form of refundable tax credits than they pay in taxes).

Of course, people can and will differ on whether any of this constitutes a “fair” tax system. Depending on their politics and personal situations, some would argue for a more steeply progressive structure, others for a flatter one. Finding the right balance can be challenging to the point of impossibility: As Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV’s finance minister, is said to have remarked: “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.”

Note: This is an update of an earlier post published March 24, 2015.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/13/high-income-americans-pay-most-income-taxes-but-enough-to-be-fair/

# Distrust of Senate grows within GOP

A day after the GOP presented a united front around the rollout of President Trump’s tax plan, House Republicans are expressing deep reservations about the Senate’s ability to get the job done.

Lawmakers stung over the failure to pass ObamaCare repeal worry the same fate could befall the tax measure if a handful of senators raise objections.

Donald Trump won with an electoral landside and his three big campaign points were ObamaCare repeal, tax reform and border security. For a handful of senators to derail that agenda is very frustrating,” said Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas).

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who is close to the House GOP leadership, says colleagues are frustrated with a handful of senators “overruling the will of the entire House.”

“We do need to see them step up and actually deliver for a change. We have over 200 bills sitting stalled over there. They haven’t been able to deliver on [health care] reform and they all ran on it and now we have a do-or-die moment on tax reform,” he said.

There’s also a sense among House Republicans that their Senate brethren aren’t under the same pressure to get results — perhaps because the GOP’s majority in the Senate is seen as safer in the 2018 midterm elections than the House majority.

“They put our majority in jeopardy with their failure on health care, more than they did their own,” Cole said.

While Republicans have a bigger majority in the House than in the Senate, the political map favors the Senate GOP in 2018.

Republicans only have to defend nine seats next year, and only one — held by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) — is in a state won by 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Democrats are defending more than 20 seats, including 10 in states won by Trump.

In the House, Republicans represent 23 districts carried by Clinton, just shy of what Democrats would need to win to take back the majority.

Republicans are excited about moving to tax reform, and Trump’s plan received enthusiastic support at a half-day private retreat the House GOP held Wednesday to review it.

The president’s proposals to eliminate the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax received ovations.

But the mood turned more somber when Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) stood up to ask if the Senate could be counted on to pass tax legislation, according to people familiar with the meeting.

A spokesman for Poliquin did not respond to a request for comment.

“A lot of House members trust a lot of senators to introduce their own tax reform bills,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), alluding to how senators seek to show independence by offering their own bills.

House Republicans say they can easily see GOP Sens. Susan Collins(Maine), John McCain (Ariz.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who all voted against a slimmed-down ObamaCare repeal bill in July, bucking the leadership again.SPONSORED BY NEXT ADVISOR

“I do not understand what motivates John McCain,” King said. “I don’t know what goes on in the minds of folks from Maine.”

Earlier this year, in an illustration of the frustration House Republicans hold for the Senate hold-outs, Farenthold joked about challenging Collins to a duel. He later apologized.

McCain later told The Hill that the health-care bill was doomed because it’s virtually impossible to tackle something as huge as reform as health care on a partisan basis.

“If you’re going to pass a major reform, you got to have bipartisan support,” he said.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is making the case that Senate Republicans are more likely to come through on tax reform because McConnell and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have already negotiated a tax reform framework with the administration and House leaders.

“What we did differently in this go around is we spent the last four months basically working together, the Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee and the White House, making sure that we’re on the same page,” Ryan told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday morning.

But he also acknowledged that House Republicans have just about run out of patience with the Senate after the collapse of health care reform this week.

“We’re really frustrated. Look, we passed 373 bills here in the House — 270-some are still in the Senate,” he said.

Already there are doubts that Senate Republicans will stick to the plan on taxes.

Hatch, who heads the Senate’s tax writing panel, told reporters Thursday afternoon that he would like to keep in place the deduction for state and local taxes, which the administration wants to eliminate to provide revenue for lower rates.

A spokeswoman for the Finance Committee said, “Chairman Hatch recognizes that every major provision within the tax code has an important constituency and consequence.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/352999-distrust-of-senate-grows-within-gop

# Tax Freedom Day 2017 is April 23rd

## Key Findings

• This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 23rd, 113 days into the year.
• Tax Freedom Day is a significant date for taxpayers and lawmakers because it represents how long Americans as a whole have to work in order to pay the nation’s tax burden.

## What Taxes Do We Pay?

This year, Americans will work the longest—46 days—to pay federal, state, and local individual income taxes. Payroll taxes will take 26 days to pay, followed by sales and excise taxes (15 days), corporate income taxes (10 days), and property taxes (10 days). The remaining six days are spent paying estate and inheritance taxes, customs duties, and other taxes.

## By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 13, 2017 | 4:28 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) – The federal government collected record total tax revenues through the first eleven months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through the end of August), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Through August, the federal government collected approximately $2,966,172,000,000 in total tax revenues. That was$8,450,680,000 more (in constant 2017 dollars) than the previous record of $2,957,721,320,000 in total tax revenues (in 2017 dollars) that the federal government collected in the first eleven months of fiscal 2016. At the same time that the federal government was collecting a record$2,966,172,000,000 in tax revenues, it was spending $3,639,882,000,000—and, thus, running a deficit of$673,711,000,000.

Individual income taxes have provided the largest share (47.9 percent) of federal revenues so far this fiscal year. From Oct. 1 through the end of August, the Treasury collected $1,421,997,000,000 in individual income taxes. Payroll taxes provided the second largest share (35.9 percent), with the Treasury collecting$1,065,751,000,000 in these taxes.

The $233,631 in corporate income taxes collected in the first eleven months of fiscal 2017 equaled only 8.6 percent of total tax collections. The$21,172,000,000 collected in estate and gift taxes equaled only 0.71 percent of total taxes collected this fiscal year.

(Tax revenues were adjusted to constant 2017 using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.)