Saturday, November 19, 2016

Cubs Win World Series, Trump Triumphs, What's Next? Tax Cuts, Faster Growth, and More U.S. Investment

For the first time in 108 years, the Cubs won the World Series and U.S. voters elected its first president to have never held political office, nor served in the military. What's next, "Browns Win Super Bowl?"

While much is unknown regarding the Trump presidency, several changes are very likely. One change that I place at 99.9% likely is a significant tax cut on corporate earnings of U.S. firms held overseas. Currently these earnings are not taxed by the IRS until they are brought home or repatriated.

According to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the total untaxed earnings of U.S. corporations held abroad is approximately $2.6 trillion with Apple alone stowing $181 billion in foreign financial vaults. These earnings would likely flow back to the U.S. with firms increasing investment in plant and equipment or rewarding investors with cash dividends or stock buybacks.

Regardless of the usage, the taxes, investment, or dividends would be a significant stimulus to the U.S. economy potentially exceeding the impact of the Obama 2009 Stimulus Package. Goldman Sachs estimated that reducing the rate to 14% from the current 35% levy would add $240 billion to the federal coffers over and above the gains for state tax collections.

However, for my agriculture colleagues and friends, this action, as it did in 2005, tends to push up the value of the U.S. dollar and leads to lower farm commodity prices.

Even so, it should be done; it will be done.
Ernie Goss

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