May 21, 2019

Trump still wants to end the carried interest tax break

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump still wants to end the carried interest tax break, in which certain investment managers pay capital gains rates instead of higher ordinary income rates. But don't expect it to happen anytime soon, if at all.

Driving the news: He made the comments to Fox News host Steve Hilton, who noted that then-candidate Trump had once referred to the current system as "getting away with murder." But then things get fuzzy.

  • Trump told Hilton that he used carried interest as a "negotiating chip" during 2017 tax bill negotiations to get corporate rates down to 21%, saying it otherwise would have been "23 or 24%."
  • Gary Cohn, when still Trump's top economic advisor, told Axios that Trump was asking up until the last minute "if we could still get rid of it." So if Trump was using carried interest as a negotiating chip, no one told Trump.

Between the lines: Cohn at the time blamed lobbyist-driven GOP House members from blue states for the pushback, but said nothing about a tit-for-tat on corporate rates (which the GOP caucus seemed to be in agreement on).

  • Probably because the math isn't anywhere near comparable, with even Trump telling Fox that the carried interest change wouldn't generate "that much money" in new federal revenue.

The bottom line: The House is now controlled by Democrats, who are generally more supportive of this change than are Republicans. But there's no obvious mechanism for how it would now get passed. Trump had his chance, but "negotiated" it away.

Go deeper: What taxing "carried interest" means

Go deeper

Updated 49 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has a single novel coronavirus case after reporting a week of no new infections, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Friday local time.

By the numbers: Nearly 6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 357,000 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.6 million.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,803,416 — Total deaths: 359,791 — Total recoveries — 2,413,576Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,720,613 — Total deaths: 101,573 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. Public health: The mystery of coronavirus superspreaders.
  4. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  5. World: Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S.
  6. 2020: The RNC has issued their proposed safety guidelines for its planned convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  7. Axios on HBO: Science fiction writers tell us how they see the coronavirus pandemic.
  8. 🏃‍♀️Sports: Boston Marathon canceled after initial postponement, asks runners to go virtual.
  9. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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3 hours ago - World

The eye of the COVID-19 storm shifts to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic has moved from China to Europe to the United States and now to Latin America.

Why it matters: Up until now, the pandemic has struck hardest in relatively affluent countries. But it's now spreading fastest in countries where it will be even harder to track, treat and contain.