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

How to Replace the Trump Tax Cuts Is the Story of 2020

Democrats need to be specific about repealing the Trump tax cuts. 

Gerald Herbert/AP Photo
On Tuesday, Kamala Harris became the first 2020 candidate to call for the full repeal of the Trump tax cuts, taking aim at an unpopular law which delivered a large share of its benefits to the wealthy and corporations. She wants to re-channel revenue from that law into the LIFT Act, a lower- and middle-class tax credit for families making up to $100,000 per year. This trade-out of a regressive tax cut for a progressive tax credit highlights something that every 2020 candidate is going to have to explain. Democratic voters will not expect a Democratic government to stick with a tax code change that has been rightly bashed since its introduction. They’re going to expect candidates who uniformly voted against that bill to call for its repeal. And they’re going to want to know what the candidates plan to do with the proceeds instead. Among other things, this gets so-called big-government liberals out of a familiar box. Harris, in her Tuesday speech in Detroit, sneered at the...

Resisting Trump’s Politicization of the Census

Trump’s intention is to undercount noncitizens, and Supreme Court conservatives appear on board.

Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo
I don’t want to be a pessimist, but a cursory look at oral arguments in the Supreme Court case over whether the Trump administration can pose a citizenship question on the 2020 census offers no room for hope. It just seems likely that the Roberts Court is sufficiently political to waive aside whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross acted illegally in demanding the question. The only number you need to know is 6.5 million: That’s the projected number of people, both citizen and noncitizen, that a Census Bureau analysis predicted would go uncounted if the question was included on the 2020 form. That number would come mainly from immigrants who are afraid to turn in the forms and expose themselves or a family member to possible deportation. Career officials at the Census Bureau warned Ross about this likely undercount, but of course that’s the whole point—to shortchange immigrant-rich areas for federal dollars and electoral apportionment, the raw material used to...

How Private Equity Ate Hollywood—and Why Writers Are Fighting Back

Now largely owned by private equity firms, the big talent agencies have turned to producing films and shows—both representing and employing writers. That, say the writers, doesn’t work.

Jerzy Dabrowski/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Hollywood is smoldering this week, after the 13,000 members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) prepared to fire their agents , the upshot of the termination of a 43-year-old agreement between the union and the Association of Talent Agents trade group. On Saturday, the WGA ordered members to part ways with agents who didn’t subscribe to a revised code of conduct , which rank-and-file writers approved with 95.3 percent support. The form letters informing agents of their firing, which well-known writers have been posting on Twitter , will be delivered later this week. This isn’t a strike or lockout; as much as you might like your favorite television shows to pause to catch up on your DVR, they will in all likelihood continue with minimal disruption. But the battle between writers and agents represents another example of the monopolization and financialization of our economy, and how organized, unified workers can fight back. While the lead antagonists on the stage are...

Forcing Corporations to Pay At Least Some Tax

Warren’s creative breakthrough against corporate scofflaws

Sipa USA via AP
Sipa USA via AP Presidential candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, speaks at a campaign rally in Glendale, California, February 18, 2019. Elizabeth Warren has been dominating the ideas primary since entering the race for president. Today, on the eve of the April tax deadline, she’s turning her attention to the only major legislation passed since Republicans regained control of government—the Trump tax scam. Warren’s proposal, announced this morning, would place a 7 percent surtax on large and profitable corporations. It would raise over a trillion dollars in the next decade, and restore some fairness to a tax code tilted toward corporations that can afford high-priced accountants to work their magic. As the Prospect has reported , the prize of the Trump tax scam was large corporate tax cuts , which did not spur investment but got leaked out to executives and investors through mechanisms like stock buybacks . This gave corporations an enormous return on their...

Trump’s Damaged NAFTA Deal

It looks like the post-NAFTA accord is going down. What then?

A major unanswered question for this Congress was how House Democrats would handle the U.S./Mexico/Canada Agreement (USMCA), the successor to NAFTA. Trade was not a meaningful topic in the midterm elections, clouding the positions of new members. You could imagine Republicans, centrist Democrats, and freshmen with unknown views coming together to pass one of Trump’s bigger geopolitical accomplishments. Those hopes are D-E-A-D dead. Democrats appear bitterly opposed to USMCA, citing protections for Big Pharma and unenforceable labor standards. The Trump administration is running out of time to make the necessary changes for passage, before elections in Canada and the U.S. shut down the process. And perhaps most important, one major USMCA measure that could actually entice liberals has moved to a separate venue for reform, reducing hopes for a salvage operation. USMCA bears many resemblances to NAFTA, which has been cited as a driver of low-wage corporate outsourcing. But Trump...

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