David Dayen

David Dayen is the executive editor of The American Prospect. His work has appeared in The Intercept, The New RepublicHuffPostThe Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and more. His first book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, winner of the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize, was released by The New Press in 2016. His email is ddayen@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Gutting the AMT

Just to be sure that no wealthy taxpayer is left behind, the Tax Act destroys the Alternative Minimum Tax.

This article appears in the Summer 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . The Trump tax cuts have been categorized as a war on blue America. Limiting the state and local tax (SALT) deduction to $10,000 punishes residents of high-tax liberal states willing to pay for good services in places like New York, California, and Maryland. An additional cap on the mortgage interest deduction for loans above $750,000 raises taxes on homeowners in pricey areas, also typically along the coasts. But while blue states are certainly singled out in the tax law, officials have downplayed exactly who gets targeted—those wealthy enough to itemize deductions in the first place. Numbers from the Joint Committee on Taxation show that 70 percent of SALT deductions flow to households making more than $200,000 a year. And that very group—well-off people from high-tax states—also benefits from one of the most obscure but wide-ranging individual perks in the bill: the...

The EU Leads the Way to Internet Privacy Over Profit

We should be rooting for the success of the General Data Protection Regulation.

(Yui Mok, AP Images)
Today begins a revolution in how personal data is collected and managed online. The European Union implements its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), empowering web users to opt out of having their information gathered by websites, with high penalties for non-compliance. Dominant companies have built business models on surveilling and profiling users from every corner of the internet. Nearly all revenue is derived from it, mostly from delivering valuable targeting information to advertisers. The platforms know how much money you make, what you spend it on, what you watch and listen to, whom you owe money to, and what you’re feeling, on a moment-by-moment basis. GDPR could threaten that strategy. “It will require such a rethinking of the way Facebook and Google work, I don’t know what they will do,” says Jonathan Taplin, author of Move Fast and Break Things , a book that’s critical of the platform economy. But last month, The Wall Street Journal and...

To Bring Drug Prices Down, Trump Proposes -- Nothing, Really

Eschewing policies to lower costs here, the president tells drug companies to raise their prices abroad. (We’re not making this up.)

(Sipa USA via AP)
In 1974, President Gerald Ford announced a plan to alleviate rising consumer prices. “We must whip inflation right now,” Ford proclaimed , holding up a button with the acronym WIN. Ford had no concrete policies to convey, no government price controls or monetary proposals. But he did have the buttons, along with a few recommendations for people to plant vegetable gardens or carpool to save money. The Whip Inflation Now campaign was one of the biggest public relations failures in American history, a slogan in search of an idea. And I couldn’t help but recall WIN when watching President Trump in the Rose Garden on Friday, in front of a sign reading “Lower Drug Prices for Americans.” There were no buttons, but the message was just as empty: a plan to lower drug prices based mostly on mouthing the words “we will lower drug prices.” It’s no wonder drug company stocks climbed higher even while Trump was talking. The fact that this speech was...

Trump Moves to Gut the Post Office

His war on Amazon expands to include the right-wing’s campaign to abolish America’s oldest—and still successful—public service.

(John Rucosky/The Tribune-Democrat via AP)
Some may be inclined to think that Donald Trump’s executive order Thursday night establishing a task force to recommend reforms for the U.S. Postal Service reflects another salvo in the president’s war against Amazon. Trump’s attack on Amazon , a clear byproduct of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s ownership of The Washington Post , included the suggestion that the online retailer was “ripping off the post office” by securing a special deal for the USPS to ship packages the last mile. By reviewing the finances of the post office, Trump’s task force could demand increases to that shipping contract, possibly costing Amazon billions of dollars. Whether Amazon actually is getting a special deal on shipping is open to intense debate . The company also happens to enjoy a discount on stamps , which they then mark up to their own marketplace sellers, a pure arbitrage deal to earn profits from a publicly issued product. But these issues have almost nothing to do...

Wells Fargo’s Overseer -- Make That Over-Looker -- Has Just Been Promoted

The leader of the San Francisco Fed has been tapped to head the New York Fed, the nation’s frontline bank supervisor. That doesn’t augur well.

John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, will reportedly be handed the job at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It may seem like a lateral move, but it’s definitely a promotion. New York Fed presidents have a permanent seat on the interest-rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee, making them the eighth Fed governor in all respects. The New York Fed also serves as the first line of defense against Wall Street’s powerful banking sector. And long-suffering Puerto Rico sits in the New York Fed’s district. For all these reasons, it’s one of the most important economic policymaking positions in the nation. The vital nature of the appointment makes the outcome—and more important, the process behind it—so disappointing. While serving at the San Francisco Fed, Williams failed to detect the tsunami of scandal and fraud at Wells Fargo—and now will be rewarded with the lead supervisory role for a host of other big...

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