Kevin Williamson at NRO on how the carried-interest provision in our tax code is not a "loophole":What inspired Ivanka to make the leap from informal advisor to formal employee? It was probably the letter sent today by Elizabeth Warren and Tom Carper to the Office of Government Ethics wondering how Trump would “voluntarily” comply with ethics rules she wasn’t technically bound by. With Democrats sniffing around and the White House facing a needless distraction, they decided to resolve the ethics ambiguity by bringing her aboard as an official assistant. As for how she’ll reconcile her business interest under the trust with her government duties, a clause in the trust gives her the option to veto a deal the company is working on because it conflicts with her White House role or to recuse herself from any official White House business that might affect the company. It’ll be interesting to see how she decides which option to choose in a given case. Is it a simple matter of preferring recusal if the deal her company’s pursuing is lucrative enough?I think a formal role is for the best because, let’s face it, she’s going to go on operating as a de facto formal advisor, replete with sitting in on meetings with Angela Merkel and Shinzo Abe, no matter what. Better to at least have her under an umbrella of federal ethics rules than in that previous gray zone. With Ivanka now an official White House presence and Jared Kushner being given more and more responsibility, from overseeing the Israeli/Palestinian peace process(!) to heading up a new agency designed to streamline the federal government(!!), the two of them are quite probably the most powerful couple in the world. That’s why the standard critique flying around on Twitter this afternoon — “how would Republicans feel if President Hillary gave Chelsea a role like this?!” — doesn’t quite work. Kushner and Ivanka have considerably more power than Chelsea Clinton would have had in a Clinton administration even under the most pessimistic scenarios. And as John Zieglerpoints out, at least Chelsea would be acting according to her mother’s vision. The Kushners are more liberal than the average Trump fan is, on everything from climate change to federal maternity-leave policies.Exit question: Would Ivanka be a feminist hero if her name were Ivanka Clinton?
If you open a dry-cleaner business and your rich uncle invests $20,000 in the project to get you started, the profit you realize 20 years later when you sell your successful chain of cleaners is treated as a long-term capital gain for tax purposes, in spite of the fact that you didn’t have any of your own money at risk. You didn’t invest money: You invested time, work, knowledge, and innovation, and you bore the opportunity costs for all the other things you might have done with your time and labor. You are every bit as much of an investor as is a guy who buys 20 shares of GM and parks them in his retirement account for 20 years. More of one, some might say.Opposition to carried interest is, like everything hat motivates the Left, driven by envy and other feeeeeelings:
The broader discussion about taxes and fairness and — odious phrase — “social justice” is a waste of time. Taxes are not an instrument of justice: They are an instrument of revenue. The federal government requires x dollars to do the things we demand of it, and the only end of tax policy should be raising those dollars in a way that causes as little economic disruption as possible and invades our privacy as little as possible. At the moment, our model is lots of disruption and maximal invasion of privacy — and all of it handled by the incompetent, corrupt, politicized agents of the Internal Revenue Service.
Those are the tax-code problems we should be addressing. Instead, we are addressing some unhappy Americans’ envy and resentment. That isn’t tax policy — it’s psychotherapy.
And it’s bad medicine.
This is really happening: Twitter derision of Mike Pence for saying he won't eat dinner alone with any woman who is not his wife.