I meant to link to this opinion piece by Krugman before, but it's interesting for his theory as to why the Trump tax cuts haven't achieved much. The key section, I think, is this:
Now, proponents of the tax cut, including Trump’s own economists, made a big deal about how we now have a global capital market, in which money flows to wherever it gets the highest after-tax return. And they pointed to countries with low corporate taxes, like Ireland, which appear to attract lots of foreign investment.
The key word here is, however, “appear.” Corporations do have a strong incentive to cook their books — I’m sorry, manage their internal pricing — in such a way that reported profits pop up in low-tax jurisdictions, and this in turn leads on paper to large overseas investments.
But there’s much less to these investments than meets the eye. For example, the vast sums corporations have supposedly invested in Ireland have yielded remarkably few jobs and remarkably little income for the Irish themselves — because most of that huge investment in Ireland is nothing more than an accounting fiction.
Now you know why the money U.S. companies reported moving home after taxes were cut hasn’t shown up in jobs, wages and investment: Nothing really moved. Overseas subsidiaries transferred some assets back to their parent companies, but this was just an accounting maneuver, with almost no impact on anything real.
So the basic result of lower taxes on corporations is that corporations pay less in taxes — full stop. Which brings me to the problem with conservative economic doctrine.
That doctrine is all about the supposed need to give the already privileged incentives to do nice things for the rest of us. We must, the right says, cut taxes on the wealthy to induce them to work hard, and cut taxes on corporations to induce them to invest in America.
But this doctrine keeps failing in practice. President George W. Bush’s tax cuts didn’t produce a boom; President Barack Obama’s tax hike didn’t cause a depression. Tax cuts in Kansas didn’t jump-start the state’s economy; tax hikes in California didn’t slow growth.
And with the Trump tax cut, the doctrine has failed again. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get politicians to understand something when their campaign contributions depend on their not understanding it.I wonder if this is being challenged by anyone credible (ie, not a Laffer zombie).