“Third-rail programs,” or those you usually just don’t touch — benefits for low- and middle-income Americans like Medicare, disability benefits and Social Security — will be on the chopping block in 2018. With the tax plan all but passed, Congress will be faced with the question: cut programs or raise more money to pay for them? Plus, we take closer look at the president’s oeuvre of tweets and what they’ve led the world to believe about the American economy. And the world’s most polluting nation, China, is starting a carbon market to lower its emissions. It will be the largest program in the world to do so, but will it make a dent in carbon emissions for other nations?
But instead of physics, we’re talking about tax policy. With the tax bill nearer to reality, states are starting to grapple with the fact that under the new policy, taxpayers won’t be able to deduct as much from their state and local taxes. That means lawmakers are looking to create loopholes by converting non-deductible taxes into deductible taxes. And those are just short-term fixes — we also discuss what the long-term debate might look like. Plus, the rise of “reverse commuting” in American cities, and reports from Puerto Rico, where companies like Bacardi are still recovering from Hurricane Maria, and Athens, where we look at the lingering effects of the European debt crisis.
While Republicans in Congress celebrate the final version of the tax bill, we’re asking: How are they going to pay for this thing? The Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell and Rachel Abrams from The New York Times weigh in on that and the week’s economic news. Yesterday’s big regulation rollback was net neutrality; today, Homeland Security said it will end an Obama-era regulation that allowed the spouses of H-1B visa holders to legally work in the U.S. Plus, '90s kids came of age on AIM, AOL’s instant messaging service, and today it’s shutting down forever. Marketplace’s Reema Khrais tells AIM’s origin story and logs off one last time.
The Federal Communications Commission rolled back Obama-era regulations today, ruling that internet providers are no longer required to treat all internet content equally. But what will that look like? And the holiday season is officially upon us, so we check in with the people keeping the $400 billion online shopping industry afloat: an item “picker” at a fulfillment warehouse and package deliverers struggling to meet deadlines with volume up 17 percent this year. Plus, we discuss what companies will do with the trillions of dollars in cash that will come rushing back when the corporate tax is cut to 21 percent, and director Errol Morris tells us about his new genre-defying film.
“Delayed absorption as provided by OxyContin tablets, is believed to reduce the abuse liability of a drug.” That’s a sentence from OxyContin’s original label, and after months of investigation, Marketplace podcast The Uncertain Hour has found it an important factor in setting off the opioid crisis. And today we break down Janet Yellen’s last news conference and review the deal the House and Senate struck to move the tax bill along. Plus, deep dives into how 100-year-old magazine publisher Condé Nast is keeping up with millennials and how a Texas community is struggling to find temporary housing after the most expensive Atlantic hurricane season in U.S. history.
In the aftermath of CVS’ $69 billion deal to buy health insurance giant Aetna, the company wants to turn its MinuteClinics into health care hubs where people can get even more of their basic needs met. But what would it take for this to happen? And since we can’t go one day without talking taxes, we discuss the Treasury Department’s one-page analysis of the bill with Politico’s Ben White. Plus, President Donald Trump signed a bill granting nearly $700 billion in military spending today, Europe’s largest commercial landlord is buying mall operator Westfield for $16 billion, and marriage is half as common for low-income couples as it is for middle- and upper-class adults, making us wonder: What's the effect on children?