Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.