Carolyn Kaster / AP

Top White House economic advisor Gary Cohn made the biz network rounds this morning, in support of a tax reform package that remains woefully short on specific details. But one thing Cohn told CNBC could raise economist eyebrows:

We will hire people. When you hire people you compete for labor. When you compete for labor you drive wages.

Reality check: Cohn's statement may sound like Econ 101, but it hasn't proven true lately. Wage growth has been stubbornly sluggish — even declining in recent quarters — compared to where many economists think it should be given current unemployment levels, GDP and corporate cash piles. Part of this is may be tied to slow productivity growth, which Cohn didn't mention in his comments. Moreover, past corporate tax cuts have a mixed record when it comes to creating new jobs.

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Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.

Federal judge blocks DOJ from defending Trump in Carroll rape defamation case

E. Jean Carroll in Warwick, New York. Photo: Eva Deitch for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the Justice Department's attempted intervention on behalf of President Trump in writer E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against him, after she accused him of raping her in a dressing room in the mid-1990s.

Catch up quick: The agency argued that Trump was "acting within the scope of his office" as president when he said in 2019 that Carroll was "lying" about her claim.