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AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File

As the corporate tax battle begins to heat up in D.C., a group led by conservative tax activist Grover Norquist is staking out ground against one of Donald Trump's campaign promises: To close the carried interest tax loophole.

But its argument doesn't hold water.

Facts matter: What is carried interest and how is it taxed?

What Norquist says: Americans for Tax Reform wrote on Tuesday that carried interest should continue to be treated as a capital gain. In addition to arguing that carried interest is "indistinguishable from any other type of capital," it adds:

"While supporters of higher taxes on carried interest capital gains say it takes aim at 'hedge fund guys,' it would also hurt pension funds, charities, and colleges that depend on these investment partnerships as part of their savings goals. In addition, small businesses would find themselves increasingly shut out from investment money available to them from these partnerships."

Oh really? For starters, none of the tax increase would directly affect pension funds, charities or colleges (most of which are tax exempt anyway). So perhaps this would be an indirect cost, in that successful hedge fund and private equity fund managers will take their balls and go home. If so, ATR provides no evidence to support the claim.

I recall asking this very question a couple of years ago to my tens of thousands of newsletter readers in the PE/VC space, and I got exactly two affirmative replies. And before you dismiss the lack of response, recall that top capital gains rate increases from a few years back (from 15% to 20%) didn't put a dent in new fund formation.

Further comment: Axios reached out to the post's author, Alexander Hendrie, but he did not respond.

Go deeper

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From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 13 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 14 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.