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Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis via FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

Corporate taxes are lower, as a percentage of GDP, then they've ever been. And they're likely to stay there, if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to bring any tax-hike bills to the floor.

By the numbers: Before 2018, corporate income taxes had fallen below 1% of GDP only once, for three quarters at the nadir of the Great Recession in 2008-09.

  • Nowadays, that's normal: They've been less than 1% of GDP in five of the past 10 quarters.

Between the lines: A recent paper by Steve Rosenthal and Theo Burke at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center makes the point that corporate taxes are one of the few ways that the U.S. government can effectively levy taxes on foreigners.

  • "Foreigners now hold about 40 percent of total U.S. equity," they write — which means that they also reap much of the benefit from corporate tax cuts.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Nov 20, 2020 - Economy & Business

Robert Smith's image rehab

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Robert Smith on Wednesday made his first public appearance since copping to tax fraud, and agreeing to pay $140 million in back taxes and penalties, appearing on a "Race and Corporate America" panel at the New York Times DealBook Summit.

Why it matters: Smith didn't just get a pass, he got image rehab from his fellow panelists.

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent. 

11 mins ago - Health
Axios Investigates

Documents reveal the secrecy of America's drug pricing matrix

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on prescription drugs, and the bills keep getting bigger. But some of the companies promising to help rein in those costs prevent employers from looking under the hood.

Why it matters: Documents provided to Axios reveal a new layer of secrecy within the maze of American drug pricing — one in which firms that manage drug coverage for hundreds of employers, representing millions of workers, obscure the details of their work and make it difficult to figure out whether they're actually providing a good deal.

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