Homepage / Currency / This should be the GOP's priority for tax reform
Facebook takes another shot at grabbing social media stars from YouTube UK says it is happy with Rupert Murdoch's Sky News commitments related to bid for parent company Apple CEO Tim Cook says separating immigrant children at US border is 'inhumane' In the short history of Trump trade conflicts, it has paid to buy the market dip Danny Meyer stands by cashless push: 'We're unaware of any federal law' that requires accepting cash Express Scripts boots another online pharmacy — CareZone — from its network Home Depot and two other Dow stocks look ripe for a buy, says technician Snap shares plunge after analyst says users are less engaged White House's Navarro on China trade talks: No knowledge of Apple iPhone exemption Merkel, Macron agree on euro zone budget Walgreens and Humana are partnering to create senior health hubs Sarepta Therapeutics shares soar 50% on positive preliminary results for muscular dystrophy gene therapy Verizon pledges to stop some selling of phone-location data There's one Dow stock having a great day: Verizon Europe's IPO market heats up, and unicorns are getting in line Amazon wants a hand in all your deliveries, unveils last-step option for FedEx, UPS and private mail Soybean prices drop to two-year low on US-China trade war fears Cramer: US-China trade fight 'is not serious' right now; Trump has upper hand China has a limited number of weapons to use in a trade war with the US Laws governing medical marijuana could soon be relaxed in the UK The flip phone is about to make a big comeback as foldable screen nears reality Here is what a student could have made if they invested their 2014 summer earnings in FANG stocks VW names interim Audi boss, seeking to steady brand after its CEO's arrest Here’s the fundamental error in Trump’s trade strategy Chip stocks dive on trade war fears as industry gets a majority of its revenue from China New home construction booms to a near 11-year high in May A dangerous dot-com era phenomenon is back and it's going to inflict pain, Jim Paulsen warns Netflix gets a $500 price target, the highest on Wall Street Apple is the big tech firm most at risk from a US-China trade war AT&T promises fewer ads, tailored programming after merger with Time Warner Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: VZ, TSLA, AAPL, WFC, T, SIRI & more Billionaire Howard Marks: Computers won't put the best human investors out of business CVS introduces prescription drug delivery as it braces for Amazon's possible entry Former turnaround exec Bozoma Saint John: Uber was 'the poster child for everything gone wrong' Trump told Tim Cook that US would not place tariffs on iPhones, but Apple's still worried Amazon's Alexa will now be your butler at Marriott hotels Billionaire investor Jim Mellon: Sharp sell-off in US stocks is the start of a 'very major correction' South Africa will avoid a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to currency weakness, central bank deputy says Dow futures tumble as China responds to latest Trump threat North Korea's Kim visits Beijing as South Korea and the US halt military drills 'Belligerent' US trade stance could hurt America's iconic companies the most, Jim O'Neill says Irish central banker says it's too early for the ECB to discuss future rate hikes All global currencies will become cryptocurrencies, Circle CEO says Abu Dhabi Financial Group unit offers to buy Abraaj's investment management arm Beijing subways could get facial recognition and palm scanning tech, Chinese media reports Roche agrees to pay $2.4 billion to buy the rest of Foundation Medicine Japanese e-commerce company Mercari surges more than 70% in Tokyo debut European markets seen sharply lower as Trump threatens new tariffs China's central bank delivers surprise stimulus as trade spat with US worsens Shares of China's ZTE sink 23% after US Senate targets company in new bill Has a US-China trade war begun? Experts weigh in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in China on a two-day visit: Chinese state media China pledges it will fight back firmly if Trump goes ahead and publishes list of additional tariffs Trump reportedly told Apple's Tim Cook that iPhones will be spared from China tariffs Smartphone maker Xiaomi to postpone mainland China listing until after Hong Kong IPO Asian shares poised to edge higher despite trade jitters; oil prices rise Senate passes military funding bill that would reimpose sanctions on Chinese telecom ZTE Cramer Remix: Tariff headlines have investors flocking to these stocks Cramer's warning on recent tech IPOs: Be careful with their sky-high valuations Elon Musk sends company email about 'extensive and damaging sabotage' by employee Elon Musk sent an email to Tesla employees about another fire in its factory on Sunday Microsoft condemns 'forcible separation' of children from families after criticism of work with ICE Snap CEO Evan Spiegel says even his wife, Miranda Kerr, hated the app’s redesign UBS CEO: Blockchain technology almost a must have for business Bitcoin jumps after New York approves Square's Cash app for crypto trading Apple is worried about Chinese tariff retaliation that could hamstring its supply chain Elon Musk tells shorts on Twitter they have 3 weeks to cover Watch these drones string power lines along poles high above the ground SurveyMonkey confidentially files for IPO President Trump signs space junk directive aimed at cleaning up the cosmos Dropbox rises more than 8% adding to last week's gains President Trump directs Defense Department to 'immediately begin the process' of establishing 'Space Force' as sixth military branch Elon Musk hung out in the Netscape lobby in the '90s hoping to get a job Square gets regulatory green light for cryptocurrency trading in New York Domo drops below billion-dollar valuation in lead-up to IPO Russia cuts Treasury holdings in half as foreigners start losing appetite for US debt With Twitch, Amazon tightens its grip on live streams of video games This fitness app wants you to have a personal trainer in your pocket Intel shares fall after small Wall Street firm downgrades chipmaker, predicting slower growth Rent-A-Center shares surge 22% in single day on buyout Snap CEO Evan Spiegel on Facebook imitations: 'The innovators win in the long run' Amazon to add over 1,000 jobs in Ireland in country's biggest staff boost this year Supreme Court mulls Apple's App Store commissions in antitrust case JP Morgan says buy Micron into earnings due to ‘robust’ cloud computing spending Germany's Merkel given two weeks to reach EU deal on migrants Disney is expected to add cash to its bid for Twenty-First Century Fox assets: Sources How to play rising interest rates based on your age Microsoft acquires education start-up Flipgrid in latest challenge to Google BJ's Wholesale expects its IPO to price at $15 to $17 a share Don't even think about investing without a diversification strategy: Advisor Boeing sell-off looks like the beginning of a correction, technical analyst says Mass facial recognition boom led by the Chinese government will mean big money for Nvidia, UBS says Goldman Sachs still sees oil rallying over $80 despite market concerns over key OPEC meeting Disney shares downgraded to sell on concern the battle for Fox has placed company in an unwinnable situation Chipmaker Mellanox nears truce with activist investor Starboard over board seats Rates are on the rise, but don’t fear for the stock market — yet We’re seeing the greatest asset inflation bubble in 20 years, fund manager warns Apple will automatically share a user's location with emergency services when they call 911 Investors still love equities but ‘market fragility’ could be ahead in the second half of 2018 Munich prosecutors say Audi CEO arrested on risk he may suppress evidence

Currency

This should be the GOP's priority for tax reform

Economists all agree that tax reform is pro-growth if it broadens the base (such as by eliminating deductions) while reducing marginal tax rates. There is less agreement on other aspects of the issue, such as which types of households should see tax cuts, whether a lower corporate rate would benefit workers or shareholders the most, and whether it would be a good idea for the government to bring in less tax revenue overall.

Given all this, what type of tax reform should be our highest priority? In our current situation of low economic growth, the answer appears to be lower rates.

Your marginal income-tax rate is the percentage you pay in taxes on your last (or next) dollar of income. If you’re in the 25 percent tax bracket, for example, your marginal rate is 25 percent — you lose 25 cents of each additional dollar you make, even though your average tax rate will likely be closer to 10 percent of your total income after deductions, credits, and exemptions are applied. Lower marginal rates help boost growth because they increase individuals’ incentive to work harder and businesses’ incentive to invest in new opportunities. While people debate how big this effect is, it is a consensus belief that lower rates are pro-growth even when coupled with base-broadening measures that ensure the same amount of tax revenue is collected.

More from National Review:
A conservative tax hike
Trump’s incentive-packed tax plan
Kevin Hassett takes on the tax policy center

When it comes to the corporate income tax, rate cuts not only spur growth but raise wages as well. Glenn Hubbard, dean of the Columbia Business School and a former head of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, has written that 70 percent of corporate tax cuts may go to higher wages instead of payouts to shareholders. Other research has suggested a range of 45 to 75 percent.

This idea, that cutting taxes on corporations actually benefits workers along with shareholders, is more controversial and much less appreciated. However, among experts in the field it seems to be a reasonably well-shared and non-partisan view. This is important because the more middle-class workers benefit from cuts to corporate tax rates, the more such cuts are consistent with the ideals of a progressive tax system.

What about the idea of bringing in less tax revenue overall, providing a stimulus to the economy by letting people keep more of their money? A bevy of central-bank research economists from around the world studied the effects of fiscal stimulus (including tax cuts and deficit spending) in the wake of the most recent recession. Their research shows that larger deficits don’t stimulate the economy much, particularly when the deficits are seen as permanent (as they would be from a tax cut) and when the Federal Reserve is not accommodating. Accommodation from the Fed typically involves interest-rate cuts, in contrast to the Fed’s current posture of slowly increasing rates. Given that the Fed is unlikely to meet this tax-reform package with monetary accommodation, central-bank models suggest that the size of the tax cut will not determine how pro-growth tax reform is; it is rate cuts that matter.

To be sure, government spending is bad for the economy. It leads to a misallocation of resources, creating favored industries that are too big and disfavored sectors that are too small relative to the size they would be in a free market. Tax cuts that slowed spending would be good — but we are far more likely to see tax cuts that simply increase the deficit, which politicians show few signs of caring about. A tax cut that doesn’t shrink spending does not boost growth by much.

Thus, the ideal approach to our current situation would be to reduce marginal rates while eliminating deductions and credits and closing loopholes. This would give us a simpler tax code and lead to less government intrusion in our decision-making, both of which should also be pro-growth.

While a lower overall tax burden would be nice, lower marginal rates are better if you want to jump-start growth. Therefore, Republicans should prioritize rate cuts: Get the marginal rates for individuals and corporations down so that we can get back to more normal levels of economic growth, and broaden the base enough to make the changes revenue-neutral or at least close to it.

Commentary by Jeffrey Dorfman, a professor of economics at the University of Georgia and a senior fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. Follow him on Twitter @DorfmanJeffrey.

For more insight from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.

©2017 National Review. Used with permission.

Source: cnbc economy
This should be the GOP's priority for tax reform

Comments are closed.