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Congress is back in session and tax reform plans are expected this month. It's been 31 years since the tax system was rewritten, and Donald Trump has promised a 15% corporate tax rate and big, across-the-board cuts to individual income taxes.

Expand chart
Data: Office of Management and Budget; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios
Why it matters:

The government makes its money from taxes to fund the 430 departments, agencies and subagencies, millions of employees, health care and various other initiatives and programs. Big tax cuts give the government less money to budget with, and could add trillions of dollars to the deficit. Traditionally, Republicans have supported both lower taxes and at least balancing the budget (if not attempting to tackle our national debt), but Trump's original tax plan was estimated to add $7.2 trillion to the national debt, according to Forbes.

The facts:
  • Individual and corporate taxes make up about 60% of the government's revenue, but individual income taxes make up the bulk of that.
  • Today, the government makes more from Social Security taxes than it does from corporate taxes. Corporate taxes already make up a fairly small portion of the government's income.
  • Before 1940, excise tax — taxes on specific purchases like gasoline, gambling, alcohol, tobacco, airline tickets, etc. — provided most of the government's income.
  • "Other" includes controversial taxes like the gift tax and the "death tax."
  • The last president to balance the budget was Bill Clinton with a Republican House and Senate in 2001.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.

Ina Fried, author of Login
39 mins ago - Technology

Intel CEO blames predecessors for manufacturing woes

Axios on HBO

When it comes to Intel's recent manufacturing problems, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger places the blame squarely on his predecessors — many of whom he notes were not engineers deeply steeped in chip technology, as he is.

Why it matters: Gelsinger has announced a broad plan to reinvigorate Intel by doubling down on manufacturing. However, the strategy depends on the venerable semiconductor giant recovering from recent stumbles.

Marketing to Generation Alpha

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Marketers are pouring money into figuring out the tastes and habits of Generation Alpha — kids born from 2010 through 2024 — who are unprecedented in the extent they're growing up online.

Why it matters: They're weaned on TikTok, Amazon and in-app purchases. They're learning from their millennial parents to hold brands accountable for causes like social justice and sustainability. And no prior age cohort will be as large in size or marketing power.