Sunday, October 27, 2019

This is Why You Need to Just Cut Taxes Across the Board, Instead of Setting Up....

Michael Milken

...specially designed tax cuts to promote "economic growth."

Such tax cuts end up benefitting mostly just those close to power.

The New York Times reports:
Mr. [Michael] Milken, it turns out, is in a position to personally gain from some of the changes that his institute has urged the Trump administration to enact. In one case, the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, directly intervened in a way that benefited Mr. Milken, his longtime friend...

It is a vivid illustration of the power that Mr. Milken, who was barred from the securities industry and fined $600 million as part of his 1990 felony conviction, has amassed in President Trump’s Washington. In addition to the favorable tax-policy changes, some of Mr. Trump’s closest advisers — including Mr. Mnuchin, Jared Kushner and Rudolph W. Giuliani — have lobbied the president to pardon Mr. Milken for his crimes, or supported that effort, according to people familiar with the effort.

While the Milken Institute’s advocacy of opportunity zones is public, Mr. Milken’s financial stake in the outcome is not.

The former “junk bond king” has investments in at least two major real estate projects inside federally designated opportunity zones in Nevada, near Mr. Milken’s Lake Tahoe vacation home, according to public records reviewed by The New York Times.

One of those developments, inside an industrial park, is a nearly 700-acre site in which Mr. Milken is a major investor. Last year, after pressure from Mr. Milken’s business partner and other landowners, the Treasury Department ignored its own guidelines on how to select opportunity zones and made the area eligible for the tax break, according to people involved in the discussions and records reviewed by The Times.

The unusual decision was made at the personal instruction of Mr. Mnuchin, according to internal Treasury Department emails. It came shortly after he had spent time with Mr. Milken at an event his institute hosted...

Investors and others — including Mr. Milken’s institute — have been pushing the Treasury Department to write the rules governing opportunity zones in ways that would make it easier to qualify for the tax break. That campaign worked, and Mr. Milken is among the potential beneficiaries.
I don't have a problem with tax cuts but it should be understood that designed tax cuts only benefit those who have influence. Those in power creating these types of tax cuts are not helping the "people."

If you want to help the masses, you simply say, "I am reducing taxes across the board from current levels by X%."



  1. Wow, what a tangled web this appears to be. I agree with RW, the best policy is always tax cuts across the board. However, it is interesting to note that Giuliani prosecuted Milken, put him in jail and fined him $600 million for the non-crime of insider trading. Actually I think the crime was a technical violation of "money parking" rules. Milken's junk bond business arguably helped to liberate crony assets by funding more entrepreneurial investor/managers and put them to more productive use. The conviction of Milken was pure politics by crony businessmen hurt by Milkens success (see the book Payback by Daniel Fischel). The idea that Giuliani would lobby for a policy to benefit Milken seems bizarre. The fact that it is the NYT reporting this leaves me doubtful of its veracity. The NYT seems more likely to publish anything no matter the facts if it casts a shadow on Trump. No honor among thieves.

  2. If it's not an even tax cut accross the board then it is not really a tax cut, it is a payout.