David Dayen

David Dayen is the executive editor of The American Prospect. His work has appeared in The Intercept, The New RepublicHuffPost, The 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.

Recent Articles

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...

Congress’s New Progressives Take On the Banks

The House Financial Services Committee—long a landing place for pro-bank Democrats—now includes AOC and a flock of leftists. And Maxine Waters is its new chair.

This is a preview of the Spring issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . The day before Valentine’s Day, the House Financial Services Committee convened its first hearing of the 116th Congress. For the prior eight years, when Republicans controlled the House, hearings were typically reserved for the majority’s demands that Wall Street be relieved from the shackles of regulation. Proposed deregulatory changes were deliberately buried under technical jargon impenetrable to the average American so almost nobody outside the financial industry would comprehend the committee’s giveaways. But that was then. This year, Maxine Waters (D-CA), who assumed the chair after the Democratic midterm triumph, signaled a break with that past with her first hearing topic: homelessness in America . “In the richest country in the world, it is simply unacceptable that we have people living in the streets,” Waters said in her opening statement, noting that over...

Democracy Needs the National Popular Vote

Want to force presidential candidates to build a real, nationwide base of support? Then ditch the Electoral College.

The next Iraqi presidential election should be exciting, because while we know Muqtada al-Sadr’s Saairun party will pick up most of the electoral votes in the Shiite south, the Forward Alliance has a good shot to take the electoral vote-rich Baghdad governorate, and— Hang on, I’ve been told that’s not how Iraqi elections work. Apparently, Iraq’s American-written constitution doesn’t include an Electoral College system of choosing its president, but a parliamentary proportional representation setup, where the unicameral Parliament then chooses its president (a figurehead) and prime minister. Not only that, but every other country where America directly intervened and rewrote its constitution, from Germany and Japan after World War II to Afghanistan after the 2001 invasion, doesn’t use the Electoral College either. If America is a shining city on the hill, with its perfect, preserved-in-amber system of government, why is it that we never...

Beto and Friends

The blank slate that is Beto O’Rourke looks good to a Wall Street vulture capitalist. 

What passes for much “campaign-finance” reporting in America typically follows the flow of cash from big bundlers to particular candidates, treating the whole thing like a competition over who “got” what rich person to invest in them. Rarely is the central question asked of how that rich person earned their money, and what effect that will have on the candidate’s outlook. In other words, it’s not just the power of Big Money, but what specific kind of Big Money, that often gets overlooked. Yesterday presented a perfect example. Mark Gallogly, a founder and managing partner of Centerbridge Partners, indicated to friends that he would support former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke as his 2020 candidate, according to CNBC. Gallogly is enthusiastically described as an “Obama bundler” who raised at least $500,000 for the former president in 2012. Centerbridge is merely noted as an “investment firm,” with no indication of,...

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