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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

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

Our make-believe economy is here to stay

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Federal Reserve and global central banks are remaking the world's economy in an effort to save it, but have created something of a monster.

Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Why Trump may still fire Barr

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Attorney General Barr may be fired or resign, as President Trump seethes about Barr's statement this week that no widespread voter fraud has been found.

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the president's thinking tells Axios that Trump remains frustrated with what he sees as the lack of a vigorous investigation into his election conspiracy theories.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - World

Scoop: Trump's spy chief plans dire China warning

Xi Jinping reviews troops during a military parade in Beijing last year. Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Thursday will publicly warn that China's threat to the U.S. is a defining issue of our time, a senior administration official tells Axios.

Why it matters: It's exceedingly rare for the head of the U.S. intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power.