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 Richmans' Trade and Taxes Blog

European Union Loots Intel - we're published in today's American thinker
Howard Richman, 6/30/2017

We conclude:

The Europeans are taking away future inventions from the United States. They are bleeding the American geese that would have laid American golden eggs. The American government did nothing when Microsoft and Intel were looted. This is economic warfare, but only one side is fighting!

In 2016, the United States had a $93 billion trade deficit in goods and services with the European Union, partly produced through actions like this looting. Balancing our trade deficit with Europe would create about 700,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs. At the very least, we should promulgate a retaliatory trade-balancing tariff against European Union products.

Also, we are negotiating a multi-country treaty with the Europeans called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). We need to tell the European Union that we considers fines levied on U.S. multi-nationals on the basis of sales outside of Europe to be invalid and that such fines must be returned as a pre-condition for further negotiations.

The United States desperately needs a government that fights back against foreign looting of American companies. We protect Europe, while they loot us. We need to let the Europeans know that we are mad as hell and will not be taking this any more.

To read it, go to:


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Real Corporate Tax Reform: Treat Corporate Earnings as Personal Income -- Ray was published in today's American Thinker
Howard Richman, 6/15/2017

Here's the link:


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Trump Actions on Trade
Jesse Richman, 6/12/2017

Writing in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog, trade economist Chad Bown recently examined the early evidence on Trump's trade policy.  Bown argues that Trump's trade actions are increasing protectionism and trade enforcement across a range of different trading partners.  China is a major focus, but not the only one.  The article is at:


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Tax Corporate Earnings As Personal Income; That Would Be Real Reform
Raymond Richman, 6/9/2017

The administration and the Congress are considering reform of the federal government’s corporate income tax by reducing the top rate of the corporate income tax from 35% to as low as15%. Real corporate tax reform would treat corporations the same as partnerships are currently treated, namely, to tax the earnings of corporations as the personal income of shareholders just as partnership earnings are taxed as the personal income of their partners. Corporations are simply limited liability partnerships. The distinction of limited liability no longer since most States enable partnerships to register as limited liability enterprises. So the first real major reform would be to eliminate the corporate income tax and to tax corporate earnings as the personal income of the shareholders. There is precedent for taxing corporate earnings as personal income. The earnings of partnerships, individual proprietorships, and “S” corporations are already taxed as personal income. Moreover, there are many other good reasons to tax corporate earnings under the personal income tax.

Economists have long considered the corporate income tax a bad tax. It violates the principle that persons in equal economic circumstances should receive equal treatment. The corporate income tax falls with the same weight on the earnings of the very wealthy as it does on shareholders with lower incomes. Shareholders in lower tax brackets bear the same tax rate on corporate earnings as millionaires and billionaires. As a result their incomes at retirement are much less than they would be if their share of corporate earnings were taxed at personal income tax rates.

It violates the principle of progressivity, that those with higher incomes should pay a higher rate of tax than those of lower incomes. The case for progressivity rests on the fact that incomes are unequally distributed. The personal income of most individuals with very high incomes is attributable to monopoly power caused by differences in personal ability, to different degrees of monopoly power inherent in a free market economy, to real and sometimes illusory product differences, to location, and even serendipity. Such differences are called economic rents and progressively taxing economic rents has little or no negative economic effects.

Economists have long pointed out the negative economic effects of the corporate income tax that the personal income tax does not have. These include encouragement of corporations to rely more heavily on borrowed capital rather than equity capital because the former is deductible as an expense. Other distortions include that fact corporations are encouraged to buy-back their stock instead of paying dividends. The former creates capital gains which are taxed at a lower rate than dividends. ...


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  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

    Journal of Economic Literature:

  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

    Atlantic Economic Journal:

  • In Trading Away Our Future   Richman ... advocates the immediate adoption of a set of public policy proposal designed to reduce the trade deficit and increase domestic savings.... the set of public policy proposals is a wake-up call... [February 17, 2009 review by T.H. Cate]