Trump Shouldn’t Fall for Repatriation Amnesty

Full text is now at

Here’s a new piece on Repatriation Tax Amnesty Windfall:

The publisher wants me to induce clicks, but here are rejected titles and the intro: 

How Trump Gets Jobs without Paying Tax Ransom
How Corporate America Demands $500 Billion Ransom to Create Jobs


President Trump wants to create jobs.  Global corporations want to trick him into giving them a tax cut.  They are holding $2.5 trillion untaxed offshore.  They’ll bring those trillions home and create jobs, they say.  But first, America must give them a $500 billion tax windfall.  No tax break, no jobs.  The President should have three problems with this Repatriation Tax Amnesty:

It doesn’t work.
It mocks his base.
It rewards his enemies.

There is an easier way to “make American great again.”  President Trump can make companies pay the tax without a tax cut, and then watch them bring the money home.


After 7 years of studying taxation of cannabis, I’m repeating myself a lot. So I’m taking a sabbatical, back to my earlier field of international tax.

Dr. Paul Gallis Joins New Revenue Board

I’m happy to announce that my friend and retired policy expert Paul Gallis, Ph.D., has joined the Board of Advisors of the Center for New Revenue. Paul’s unvarnished advice and punchy writing suggestions have helped me informally over the years. I’m delighted to have him agree to join this (still quite informal) Board.

Paul’s illustrious career is described in this Statement in the Congressional Record by Congressman John Tanner of Tennessee: Continue reading “Dr. Paul Gallis Joins New Revenue Board”

Unforced tax error in Colorado

The decision of the Colorado Legislature in 2015 to delay the effective date of the decrease in state’s marijuana retail tax from 10 percent to 8 percent was inexplicable. The industry needs low rates in the early days, not later.

So Gov. Hickenlooper’s call to let the effective date expire meaninglessly, and for an increase to 12 percent, is sensible, and not surprising.  Here’s that story: Continue reading “Unforced tax error in Colorado”

Fake History of 280E

I think this is Fake History: “The original sponsor of 280E, former Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) . . . .” I see that statement that Mr. Stark sponsored 280E, for example, in Brett Stone’s newsgroup,

Mr. Stark now opposes 280E, which well he might, but that doesn’t make him the, or an, “original sponsor.” 280E originated in the Senate Finance Committee in 1982, when Bob Dole chaired it, as the legislative history, from the Joint Committee on Taxation Blue Book indicates:  See also Continue reading “Fake History of 280E”

Do you want your taxes smooth or spiky?

Cliffs, Discontinuities, Thresholds:

Don Marron illustrates that cliffs make  little sense for soda taxes here or at

Cliffs create problems for the income tax here

For marijuana grows, cliffs’ problems are discussed here or at Continue reading “Do you want your taxes smooth or spiky?”

Transfer pricing explained

Transfer pricing explained, by the Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times:

What Oesterlund [a wealthy individual hiding assets during a divorce] had done is known as “transfer pricing,” a practice that has come under growing criticism in recent years. Multinational corporations use it to shift their costs to high-tax countries and their profits to low-tax countries. Often, there is little or no economic reality to these transactions. Continue reading “Transfer pricing explained”