Tax Take: How the US Stacks Up

The US senate has passed a tax proposal that would dramatically reshape America’s economy. A final bill isn’t exactly a slam dunk, but it’s got a good shot of passage in the coming weeks. Here are four questions on the issue:

What about the other guys? Trump has complained that the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. That’s only partly true. The rate that’s on the books is higher than in most other countries, but the rate that corporations actually pay, when deductions and other loopholes are factored in, is actually in line with other advanced economies.

What about inequality? Not much. The US already does the least among large industrialized countries to redistribute income via its tax system. The new tax bill doesn’t change that: it’s projected to disproportionately benefit those at the higher end of the income spectrum. Whether you think that’s good or bad is a deeply ideological question that you should definitely bring up at the dinner table.

What about growth? In a survey of professional economists, only 1 out of 42 said they believe growth with be “substantially higher” in decade as a result of the proposed cuts. Business leaders are split on whether a tax cut would impact their hiring and investment decisions.

What’s the hurry? The last major tax reform in the 1980s took years to pull together — but this time around the GOP majority is scrambling to ram this one through.

Microsoft has a long-standing commitment to child online protection. First and foremost, as a technology company, it has a responsibility to create software, devices and services that have safety features built in from the outset. Last week, in furtherance of those commitments, Microsoft shared a grooming detection technique, code name "Project Artemis," by which online predators attempting to lure children for sexual purposes can be detected, addressed and reported. Developed in collaboration with The Meet Group, Roblox, Kik and Thorn, this technique builds off Microsoft patented technology and will be made freely available to qualified online service companies that offer a chat function.

Read more at Microsoft On The Issues.

Meng Wanzhou, CFO of the Chinese tech giant Huawei, is under house arrest in Vancouver and could be extradited to the United States. What is she accused of, and what are the political implications of prosecuting her? Cybersecurity expert Samm Sacks discusses the case with Ian Bremmer.

Since Martin Luther King Jr delivered his iconic "I have a dream" speech in August 1963, the number of Black Americans elected to the United States Congress has dramatically increased. Still, it wasn't until last year, more than half a century later, that the share of Black members serving in the House of Representatives reflected the percentage of Black Americans in the broader population —12 percent. To date, only six states have sent a Black representative to serve in the US Senate, and many states have never elected a Black representative to either house of Congress. Here's a look at Black representation in every US Congress since 1963.

Ian Bremmer breaks down the current situation as China rapidly expands its technology sector and carves its own path globally in cyberspace. He discusses the history of the economic relationship between the two nations, and the geopolitical consequences of the decoupling. While Huawei and the current legal action against its CFO Meng Wanzhou are the biggest tech flashpoints between the U.S. and China at the moment, that is just the tip of a very large iceberg that some analysts believe is a new Cold War.

Vladimir Putin has ruled Russia for twenty years, but he has a problem: his current presidential term ends in 2024, and the constitution prevents him from running for re-election then.

As a result, the question of what he'll do in 2024 has been on the minds of Russia's oligarchs, spooks, bureaucrats, and a lot of ordinary folks, as well. After all, over the past two decades, Putin has made himself, for better and for worse, the indispensable arbiter, boss, and glue of Russia's sprawling and corrupted system of government. As the current speaker of Russia's legislature once said, "Without Putin, there is no Russia." Not as we currently know it, no.