Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Trump administration just halted this Obama-era rule to shrink the gender wage gap

By Danielle Paquette

President Trump speaks at a rally in Phoenix. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The Trump administration has halted a rule that would have required large companies to report to the government what they pay employees by race and gender — an Obama-era policy that aimed to close what economists call the wage gap.

The decision landed Tuesday evening, prompting outrage from groups who note that women and minorities still aren’t receiving equal pay for equal work. Some of the furor was directed at Ivanka Trump, who has previously spoken out against wage disparities and workplace discrimination.

Fatima Goss Graves, president of the National Women’s Law Center, said the move contradicts President Trump’s claim that he wants prosperity for every American.

“It’s not enough to say ‘equal pay,” Grave said. “It matters what policies you stand behind.”

[Ivanka Trump and the World Bank have a new idea to help women globally]

In a letter sent Tuesday to Victoria Lipnic, acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Neomi Rao, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs said the Office of Management and Budget had paused the government’s pay data collection process to review it.

“OMB is concerned that some aspects of the revised collection of information lack practical utility, are unnecessarily burdensome, and do not adequately address privacy and confidentiality issues,” Rao wrote, according to documents obtained by the Post.

Ivanka Trump released a statement hours later.

“Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results,” she said. “We look forward to continuing to work with EEOC, OMB, Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.”

A source close to Ivanka Trump, who works as an unpaid adviser to …read more


Trump says a corporate tax cut would create more jobs. Economists aren’t so sure.

By Danielle Paquette

President Trump holds the state flag of Texas outside of the Annaville Fire Department after attending a briefing on Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi, Tex., on Tuesday. (Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

President Trump is slated to land in Missouri on Wednesday to give a much-awaited speech about his plans for tax reform, the next target on his legislative agenda.

Few details of his speech were available in advance, but the address is expected to fire up the debate about who really wins when taxes are slashed.

The president has previously proposed cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent a move budget experts project would cost the country $2.4 trillion over a decade. The reduction, he has argued, would encourage companies to stay and grow and hire in the United States.

“There’s no reason for them to leave anymore because your taxes are going to be at the very, very low end,” Trump said last December in a visit to an Indianapolis factory.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has also said job growth is the primary goal of tax reform. “We want to make sure that companies bring back that money onshore to reinvest in American equipment and American jobs,” he told CNBC in a June interview.

Economists have long clashed over whether tax cuts lead to jobs growth. Businesses tend to be chiefly motivated by profit, and there’s no guarantee the cash they keep from Uncle Sam would go toward hiring people on American soil. But some argue lowering the country’s corporate tax rate, among the world’s highest, would encourage companies to come here, and stay here, and so generate more employment.

A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank in the District, comes down solidly against that argument, asserting companies that …read more


The most powerful business lobby has no ideas for tax reform

By Steven Pearlstein

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put Congress on notice. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday once again put the members of Congress on notice that if they can’t pass a tax reform bill this session, it will use its considerable stash of political cash to buy a new Congress that will.

The threat, delivered in an interview on C-Span — conducted by my colleague Heather Long and Sahil Kapur of Bloomberg News — of the business lobby’s grandly titled Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley, echoed the message delivered to Capital Hill earlier in the summer by the business lobby’s longtime president, Thomas Donohue, who chastised the lawmakers for their inability to govern by striking compromises and making hard choices. “Members of Congress be warned,” Donohue declared in the final sentence of his missive, “failure is not an option.”

Imagine my surprise, then, when I went to the Chamber’s web site looking for its tax reform proposal — or, if not a full-blown proposal, at least some hint of the economic trade-offs and hard political choices its members are willing to accept — only to come up empty-handed.

Will the Chamber, which has been wringing its hands over federal deficits for decades, insist that any reformed tax code raise as much revenue for the government as the current, unreformed tax code? The Chamber won’t say.

[Is the most powerful lobbyist in Washington losing its grip?]

Will it be willing to pay for lower rates on corporations and individuals by closing some of those loopholes that its corporate members have fought so hard to create and protect all these years — and if so, which ones? The Chamber won’t say.

Chamber officials cheered when the Trump administration earlier this …read more