Morning Ebrief
May 19, 2017

FEATURED STORY OF THE DAY

Obamacare Tax Cuts Won’t Help Tax Reform Baseline
Brian Riedl, E21

Republicans frequently claim that eliminating Obamacare taxes as part of health insurance reform will make future tax reform legislation easier by “lowering the tax baseline.”

The theory seems intuitive at first. Over the next decade, Washington is projected to collect $43.1 trillion in tax revenues. Thus, tax reformers seeking revenue-neutrality must design a system raising $43.1 trillion. But if Congress first repeals ObamaCare’s $600 billion in taxes (without revenue offsets), it would lower the baseline to $42.5 trillion – and put future tax reformers on the hook for $600 billion less in revenue. Read more here....

POINT/COUNTERPOINT

Is there a debt crisis?

YES  Household Debt Could Signal Trouble Ahead – Steve Liesman, CNBC
NO  Seeing a Debt Crisis That Isn’t Really There – Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg View

DECONSTRUCTION ZONE

Energy Department Hasn't Accomplished Much in 40 Years
Mark Mills, The Hill
 
The True Trade Deficit (subs.)
Baily and Looney, Wall Street Journal
 
Chicago Suburbs Say No Thanks To $13 Minimum Wage
Ed Rensi, Forbes

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