States have a tax problem. The most consistently profitable companies in the Fortune 500 only pay about half the statutory federal income tax rate—a fourth pay less than 10 percent. Some even get refunds from Uncle Sam—despite making over $160 billion in pre-tax profits, an astounding 30 companies have enjoyed a negative income tax rate in the past three years.
The United States has been an economic powerhouse in the world since 1920, but has the implementation of taxes stymied its growth whatsoever? Congress recently reviewed tax policies, with extensive changes on the capital gains tax, a tax on assets that have accrued value over time when sold, regardless of when the gains had been accrued. The federal income tax does not tax all capital gains. For example, if a stock is purchased in 2010 at $100 and sold in 2020 at $150, the tax would be on the $50 accrued value in the current year. Economists believe that capital gains tax rates have resulted in economic prosperity and stability in the United States for nearly a century since 2016.
Tax cuts are generally a very popular policy. As then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and other proponents of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act argued, who doesn’t want their government to “giv[e] the people their money back”? President Donald Trump went even further, claiming that the “…huge tax cut will be rocket fuel for [the] economy” by creating new investment, raising workers’ wages and bonuses, and increasing growth.