A Brief Guide to U.S. Corporate Tax Reform


The U.S. Congress is back in session this week, and corporate tax reform is reportedly among the top items on the agenda. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s likely to happen. While nearly everyone agrees reform is needed, individual aspects of the tax code often benefit specific companies and industries, which makes passing legislation difficult. Nonetheless, many experts agree in principle on some of the major problems with the U.S. corporate tax code, and even to some degree on how it could be improved. Here are the major issues, from how the system works today, to what reform might look like. 

How does the U.S. tax corporations?

The U.S. federal government taxes corporate profits at rates starting at 15% and rising to 35%, with most corporate income eligible for the top rate. Additionally, 44 U.S. states levy their own corporate taxes. Unlike most countries,

Continue reading "A Brief Guide to U.S. Corporate Tax Reform"

A Nightmare

I don’t know why we call them Dreamers. Because they get to pursue the American Dream? Don’t we all?

These kids, or adults as many are now, were brought to America by their parents and have lived here for most of it.

That we would even think that they should not be here is abhorrent to me.

We can talk about their parents, who came to the US illegally, but we should not be talking about their kids.

These people did nothing wrong, broke no laws.

As my partner Albert, an immigrant, wrote on his blog yesterday:

The blame for this situation though rests with Congress and past Presidents who have failed to make any meaningful progress on immigration reform. Right now, it is worth remembering now that the DREAM act has been around for 16 years. There have been multiple attempts to pass it with at varying times

Continue reading "A Nightmare"

Research: Opposition to Federal Spending Is Driven by Racial Resentment


Conflicts over federal government spending have been a defining feature of 21st-century American politics. It is not surprising that a general uptick in opposition to spending should follow a global economic crisis like the Great Recession. But the dynamics of the conflict are curious — in particular, fierce critiques of spending have come from areas of the U.S. that rely more heavily on federal money.

In a paper recently published in American Politics Research, we document and analyze this phenomenon, which we call the federal spending paradox. We began by calculating each state’s ratio of spending to taxes, dividing the average amount of federal money received by each state per year from 2001 to 2010 by the average taxes paid by each state per year over that decade. We used data on spending from the Census Bureau’s Consolidated Federal Funds Report and data on taxes from the Internal Revenue Service. States with

Continue reading "Research: Opposition to Federal Spending Is Driven by Racial Resentment"

The U.S. Needs Tax Reform, Not Tax Cuts


The current U.S. presidential administration and congressional leadership have spent months talking about tax reform. The next several months will determine whether such a reform will materialize and what it might include. Unfortunately, the prospects for reform are not promising. Instead of reform, we may see a tax cut — and that is not the same thing.

The two central questions in tax policy are how much revenue to raise and how to allocate the tax burden among income groups. The answer to the first question determines how much of the nation’s resources will be devoted to public purchases — such as defense, infrastructure, public health, education, and social safety net programs — and how much to private uses.

These are political choices, not just economic ones, though economists can help educate policy makers about the trade-offs they face. We can estimate the budgetary and distributional effects of various tax changes.

Continue reading "The U.S. Needs Tax Reform, Not Tax Cuts"

Elucd’s polling pushes for greater community accountability for police

 From his time working as the wunderkind pollster for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign to the launch of his new startup, Elucd, Michael Simon has believed in the power of community feedback. At Elucd, which is graduating from the latest batch of Y Combinator startups, Simon is looking to take the skills he’d honed on the campaign trail and apply them to one of the… Read More

Video Of The Week: Who Has The Right To Police The Internet?

This week our portfolio company Cloudflare made news when they made an exception to their long-standing policy of not terminating customers for hate speech and terminated The Daily Stormer.

In this interview with Bloomberg, Cloudflare’s CEO Matthew Prince explains why he made that decision and why it bothers him so much that he and other CEOs have that power.


Albert Wenger — August 18, 2017
Taking a Break

Nick Grossman — August 17, 2017
Who should police content on the internet?