The tax debate in Congress may be over for now, but the ad war to win over the public is just beginning. Learning from Democrats’ struggle to shape the narrative for Obamacare, tax ads from both sides of the aisle are being rolled out in anticipation of next year’s midterm elections. Plus, President Donald Trump outlined a national security plan earlier this week labeling China and Russia “rival powers” to the U.S. One area where that rivalry is prominent is in the race for the world’s fastest computer. And what’s it like to be a part of CamperForce, a seasonal swarm of mostly retired folks who live on campsites paid for by Amazon and pack and ship holiday orders at its fulfillment center in Kentucky.
Congress just passed the first major tax bill since 1986 and did it in record time. It's about to land on President Donald Trump's desk, and it will take effect in a couple weeks. So now what? In this special episode, we talk to business owners, economists and families about how they see their futures under the new tax system, while Marketplace contributors answer listener questions along the way.
In an effort to report on the sexual harassment blue-collar workers, specifically women of color, face in the workplace, Susan Chira of the New York Times wrote about what went on at Ford plants in Chicago, even after the company said it had dealt with the problem. And today a major legal action gets underway against oil giants Shell and Itay’s Eni. The two are accused of involvement in a corruption scandal in Nigeria. Plus, you probably share your Netflix passwords with a few people, right? Well, the practice may be on the way out as companies aim to crack down on password sharing.
“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.