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]
Amazon doubled its profits in 2018, to $11.2 billion; the company will receive a $129 million tax rebate for the year.
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Between Trump's massive tax-breaks for the super-rich and rules like California's disastrous Prop 13, our cities perennially cash-starved and have led to the erosion of the same public services that make cities attractive to businesses (for example, the subway, public education, roads, grid and other public services that made NYC so attractive to tax-dodging Amazon […]
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