Rescind, Revisit, and Reinvest

The Trump Administration wants to block agencies from spending $15.4 billion in federal funding. This would be the largest rescission request by a White House, and the first time in about twenty years that a president has said he won’t spend funds already approved by Congress. About half the money would come from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that would lose $7 billion. Another $4.3 billion would come from an Energy Department loan program to support fuel-efficient vehicles. Congress is likely to reject the move, but it may be popular with some anti-government conservatives.

Speaking of revisiting… Former NEC Director Cohn has some thoughts. Gary Cohn, former director of the National Economic Council, told CNBC that a “tax cut 2.0” bill should be Congress’ next priority. A key element: making the 2017 personal income tax cuts permanent. Cohn also called himself a “globalist” who opposes the tariffs that President Trump has been threatening.

Ask not what you can do for banks, but what banks can do for… Senator Sherrod Brown,  a member of both the Senate Finance and Banking committees, wants to know how Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo are going to use their tax windfalls. The Ohio Democrat, who is running for reelection, wants each firm to provide detailed strategies for how they’ll use the windfall from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to reinvest in U.S. workers and their communities.

Tax reform could help sub-Saharan African nations, says the IMF. The International Monetary Fund’s regional economic outlook reports that the countries could increase tax revenue by an average of 5 percent of Gross Domestic Product. The nations could, for example, strengthen their value-added taxes, streamline exemptions, and expand their income tax bases. They also could develop new revenue sources such as property taxes, and improve tax compliance, technology, and information access for taxpayers.

In the United Kingdom, a plan for payments and pensions… The Resolution Foundation has a new report that offers a way to improve inter-generational fairness. The organization argues that to maintain social cohesion, the government should pay £10,000 to all young adults at age 25, reform the property tax system, and require retirees to pay the National Insurance tax. Without action, the organization says, young people would become “increasingly angry.” Anger might come with action, too… but from another group of people.

Speaking of angry: Why do we care about who pays no federal income tax? TPC’s  Vanessa Williamson reviews Racial Taxation by Camille Walsh. Her book looks at why the statistic about the 47 percent of tax filers who paid no federal income tax resonates so strongly: “The term ‘taxpayer’ has often been used in the United States as an exclusive term that defines who deserves access to public goods.” One place where it really mattered: segregated school districts in the Jim Crow south.

If you’d like to tell us about a new research paper or have any comments about the Daily Deduction, TPC’s summary of the day’s tax news, write Renu Zaretsky at [email protected]. You can sign up here to receive the Daily Deduction as an email newsletter every weekday morning (Mondays only when Congress is in recess) at 8:00 am.