Trump's multi-trillion-dollar giveaway to the richest Americans and largest US corporations led to a rise in GDP, but it was a short-lived sugar-high: the major effect was a trillion dollars in stock buybacks that padded the bottom lines of super-rich investors who barely touch the real economy (you can only own so many super-yachts and operating costs are funneled through offshore flags-of-convenience anyway).
But investment in "factories, software and new equipment" only rose modestly for a single quarter, and has now fallen again.
"There hasn't been a huge surge in response to tax reform," said Eric Zwick, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business who studies the interaction between public policy and corporate behavior.
Real nonresidential fixed investment increased by just 2.5% in the third quarter, a sharp slowdown compared to 8.7% in the second quarter and 11.5% in the first quarter.
It's not that business spending is weak. It's just not booming.
"It now appears the investment recovery was short-lived," Ethan Harris, global economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote in a report last week titled, "The investment boom that wasn't."
The tax cut investment 'boom' is already over. Some say it never really started [Matt Egan/CNN]
Trump's 2017 #taxscam transferred more than a trillion dollars to the richest people in America, but when Trump talks about it, he likes to tout the bill's "opportunity zone" provisions that provided massive tax breaks to investors who put money into places that would supposedly create jobs and housing for poor Americans.
In most countries, you don't have to pay an accountant to prepare your tax return: the government already knows how much you made, so every year they just send you a pre-filled in form to check over and sign.
The Trump #taxscam was supposed to create jobs by handing $1 trillion in cuts to multinational corporations and one percenters, who, we were promised, would put that money into R&D, business development, and other job-creating initiatives.
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