Avik Roy Profile picture
8 Jun, 6 tweets, 3 min read
Describing taxes paid as a share of wealth as a "true tax rate" is...untrue, given that the U.S. doesn't have a wealth tax. I appreciate that @ProPublica may support a wealth tax, but this framing is deceptive. As a share of income, the percentages would look much different.
The U.S. actually has the most progressive tax code in the developed world, because we don't have a national sales or consumption tax (i.e., a VAT). freopp.org/6-problems-wit…
Just to correct my initial tweet, the @ProPublica framing is about taxing unrealized capital gains, not total net worth. Still non-factual to describe that as a "true tax rate."
Now, if @ProPublica wanted to do a study of every industrialized country's tax codes, and what percentage of each country's tax revenue is contributed by the top 1% / 10% / 25%, *that* would be useful.
Another useful exercise would be to contemplate how much the @federalreserve's unprecedented monetary expansion has increased wealth inequality. fred.stlouisfed.org/series/WM2NS
As the @WSJ notes, Biden wants to require banks to disclose to the IRS every financial transaction by every single American. It strains credulity to think the IRS could safeguard this private info, given the ease with which @ProPublica obtained it. wsj.com/articles/irs-i…

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More from @Avik

6 Jun
President of El Salvador announced at @TheBitcoinConf that he is introducing a bill to make #bitcoin legal tender in the country. This is a major development in the history of monetary policy.
via @YouTube
There are many reasons why this is significant. 1/ in the US, #bitcoin is treated by the IRS as property, which means that every time you try to spend it it’s a taxable event. If $BTC is now a currency, it can be spent in a non-taxable way just like Euros or British pounds.
If the IRS needs to treat Salvadoran bitcoin as a currency, it makes bitcoin much more viable as a medium of exchange. 2/ because Salvadoran banks will need to allow citizens to deposit & withdraw bitcoin, $BTC becomes much more deeply integrated into the global banking system.
Read 29 tweets
17 Feb
Why are millions of Americans in Texas without power and heat for days amid extreme winter weather? Blame bad energy policy. wsj.com/articles/the-p… via @WSJOpinion
Great follow-up editorial from @WSJOpinion explaining why the unreliability of wind power is a big contributor to the Texas power outages. wsj.com/articles/texas…
The chart that summarizes how wind power failed from @WSJOpinion.
Read 7 tweets
8 Jan
A terrific development. CMS is allowing Tennessee to choose not to include certain drugs on its formularies. This is a simple and obvious market-based reform. I'll explain why. statnews.com/pharmalot/2021… via @statnews
If you follow health policy, you've heard of "essential health benefits," the Obamacare mandate that every insurer cover a certain set of federally-prescribed benefits. Medicaid is even worse—it mandates coverage of *every* FDA-approved drug, irrespective of its price or utility.
Because the Medicaid drug coverage mandate, euphemistically called an "open formulary," forces states to pay for every FDA drug, companies could charge whatever they want for their drugs, effectively treating taxpayers like ATMs.
Read 8 tweets
12 Nov 20
We'll see if Republicans can dig themselves out of the hole. But @JoeNBC is right on the central point: the 2020 electoral college map looks exactly the way you would expect based on demography: GA, NC, & AZ as the new bluish states; OH & TX next. FL the exception due to Cubans.
To those who roll their eyes at TX ever going blue: In 2000, GWB won Texas by 21%. 2004, 23%. 2008, McCain won TX by 12%. 2012, Romney by 16%. In 2016, Trump won it by 9%. In 2020, he won it by only 5%. We are only a couple cycles away, unless something changes.
Now, that change could be better performance by Republicans among Latinos and other minorities! But that is not the *current* GOP coalition, even with Trump's 2020 improvement on his weak 2016 numbers: forbes.com/sites/theapoth…
Read 7 tweets
10 Nov 20
This is 21st century McCarthyism, pure and simple.
I have no problem holding specific people accountable for their actions. But for a Democratic Party official to say that anyone who was appointed to a role in the Trump administration should be blacklisted from employment—that's banana republic level stuff.
Would the country have been better off if important Trump administration jobs had gone unfilled, when the proper functioning of the federal government is essential to the lives and livelihoods of every American? Come on.
Read 4 tweets
19 Oct 20
Please wear masks, friends, especially when you're around others indoors. Masks *do* work. Masks, distancing, and hand-washing are the most important things we can do to limit #COVID19 transmission.
This @Nature article is a useful primer/response to the anti-mask arguments out there: nature.com/articles/d4158…
Here's a useful review from @WSJ on research into the efficacy of different types of face coverings. wsj.com/articles/face-…
Read 5 tweets

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