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Andrew Harnik / AP

The Trump Administration has no plans to pay for its proposed tax cuts, according to revealing comments made Thursday by top White House officials Gary Cohn and Steve Mnuchin at an Institute of International Finance conference. There will be no border adjustment tax — the trillion-dollar hike on imports raised in Paul Ryan's plan — nor any other big new revenue generators.

Both Cohn and Mnuchin said economic growth would be the primary way to pay for corporate and individual tax cuts, while fewer deductions and tax simplification would also play roles. It is not an opinion that is widely shared by on Capitol Hill, including among Republicans.

"These are huge numbers," said Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. "You could have as high as $2 trillion difference in revenues over a 10 year period depending on what you think is going to be the growth function. The plan will pay for itself with growth."

Trump economic advisor Cohn was slightly more cautious, saying that "running a big deficit in the tax code would potentially make it not permanent." But, like Mnuchin, he emphasized the importance of dynamic scoring (i.e., aggressive growth assumptions based on Trump's economic policies).

Not all Republicans are warming to what some describe dismissively as a "magical" supply-sider approach. After Mnuchin's speech, a Republican intimately involved in tax reform emailed Axios: "Believing in $2 trillion in dynamic scoring is the legislative equivalent of believing in the tooth fairy. Aside from blowing a hole through the deficit, it does not provide the certainty that U.S. businesses need to make long-term investment decisions. That is one of the stated goals for tax reform."

Go deeper

"No-code" miracle for startups

Expand chart
Data: Interactive Advertising Bureau; Table: Axios Visuals

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in its shift from the industrial economy — one that relied on the buildout of hardware — to an information economy that relies on the transfer, storage and implementation of data, according to a new report.

Why it matters: This shift towards a data and information-based economy has allowed more businesses to establish themselves and scale quickly and at a very low cost. As such, the number of jobs created by the commercial internet has more than tripled since 2012.

Amazon's small business shield

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Amazon is touting the success of small sellers on its platform through the pandemic — and warning that antitrust legislation could jeopardize that success and blow up its open-marketplace model.

Why it matters: As online shopping became a lifeline for both businesses and consumers during the pandemic, Amazon reaped big benefits, but also saw its regulatory risk grow.

The new cold war panic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The world has seen a power struggle between nuclear powers before, and has seen those countries inch closer to military conflict. But it's never before seen a cold war between two countries as interconnected — with each other and with the rest of the globe — as the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Escalating antagonism between the world's two superpowers is likely to hinder global cooperation to fight climate change, divert resources to costly arms and tech races, complicate diplomacy for U.S. allies, and victimize Chinese and American citizens living in each other's countries.