Politics & Policy

The Corner

Tax Reform Could Create Obstacles for Infrastructure Push

A recent Politico story suggests that the Trump administration may have some trouble convincing congressional Democrats to go along with an infrastructure plan. There are many reasons for this — some partisan, some policy. One of the major hang-ups could be the funding of this plan. The Trump administration is considering paying for this infrastructure plan with cuts to other domestic-spending initiatives, a proposal that repels many Democrats.

Early on in 2017, some on both sides of the aisle had proposed paying for an infrastructure plan through the repatriation of profits held abroad. Large American corporations have trillions of dollars parked overseas, and a repatriation measure could allow businesses to bring in these foreign profits at a reduced rate. The repatriation of these foreign assets would be an injection of revenue, which could be spent on a variety of proposals (including infrastructure).

However, the current effort at tax reform uses the repatriation of foreign profits as a way of offsetting tax cuts elsewhere in the legislation. How much revenue could be generated through repatriation remains up for dispute, and we won’t know for sure until congressional Republicans release their final plan. It could be a significant amount of money. The Joint Committee on Taxation, for instance, estimated that the Senate’s repatriation provisions could generate $298 billion in revenue over the next decade.

As the old adage goes, “To govern is to choose.” Republicans could have chosen to use repatriation revenue as a significant down-payment on infrastructure; instead, they decided to bundle it in with tax reform. But now their choices on how to fund infrastructure get harder.

Fred Bauer — Fred Bauer is a writer from New England. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including The Weekly Standard and The Daily Caller. He also blogs at ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More