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Two Harvard economists say tax law won't pay for itself

Donald Trump preparing to sign new tax law and a job bill
Donald Trump speaking on the newly signed tax law. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Harvard economists Robert Barro and Jason Furman say an increase in productivity stemming from President Trump's new tax law will not be enough to offset revenue losses from those same tax cuts, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“This is yet more evidence that the law would not come close to paying for itself."
— Jason Furman in an interview with WSJ.

Why it matters: In December, the Treasury Department admitted that the tax plan may not be revenue neutral, despite Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and other administration officials having said it would be. Barro and Furman's findings is further evidence pointing in that direction.

By the numbers :

  • Their research determined that the United States' GDP would increase by 0.4% by the end of the decade.
  • Yes, but: They also determined that the net cost to the Treasury could reach $1.2 trillion in that same time span.
Mike Allen 4 hours ago
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Why Trump added a streetfighter to his legal team

Screenshot via Fox News

A new addition to President Trump's legal team — Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney who is well-known in Washington and has argued for the president on Fox News — reflects three White House realities.

The state of play: (1) The White House is digging in for a fight that looks to be longer and messier than officials had expected. (2) This is another example of the president responding to televised cues. Trump has spent most of his adult life in litigation, and obsesses about legal positioning in the same way that he is consumed by his press coverage. (3) It's another pugilistic voice at the table, and suggests that this weekend's attacks on Mueller won't be the last.

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Facebook reaches a tipping point

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Of all the news crises Facebook has faced during the past year, the Cambridge Analytica scandal is playing out to be the worst and most damaging.

Why it matters: It's not that the reports reveal anything particularly new about how Facebook's back end works — developers have understood the vulnerabilities of Facebook's interface for years. But stakeholders crucial to the company's success — as well as the public seem less willing to listen to its side of the story this time around.