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.

In the end it wasn't even close. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party won a stunning victory in the UK's snap elections yesterday, taking at least 364 seats out of 650, delivering the Tories their largest majority since 1987.

Johnson read the public mood correctly. After three years of anguish and political uncertainty over the terms of the UK's exit from the European Union, he ran on a simple platform: "Get Brexit Done." In a typically raffish late-campaign move, he even drove a bulldozer through a fake wall of "deadlock." Despite lingering questions about his honesty and his character, Johnson's party gained at least 49 seats (one seat still hasn't been declared yet).

More Show less

This holiday season, how concerned should I be about smart toys and their vulnerability to hacking?

You should be concerned both, that Internet connected toys can be hacked and also that they have shoddy privacy practices. And then the voice files of your kid talking to their teddy bear will end up in the cloud, accessible to all kinds of creepy people. On the other hand, Internet connected toys are great. Kids need to learn about technology. So, tradeoffs.

More Show less

David Miliband: Now that Boris Johnson has won a majority in the House of Commons, what's going to happen to Brexit?

If only Brexit could get done in 60 seconds? Because the result of the general election obviously means that Britain will leave the European Union, but it does nothing to clarify our future relations with the European Union. The Johnson victory is undoubtedly a very strong one, and he will try and interpret it as a victory for himself and for the Conservative Party and the attraction that they offer to Labour voters.

More Show less

Once a widely heralded human rights champion who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for advancing democracy in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has now taken up a different cause: defending her country from accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Yesterday was the court's final day of hearings over that country's military-led crackdown against the Rohingya Muslim minority in 2017, which left thousands dead and forced more than 740,000 people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. Here's what you need to know about the proceedings.

More Show less