Economy & Business

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What happened to the GOP’s deficit hawks?

Oct 17, 2017

The Senate is pushing ahead on a budget vote this week. That framework would move the GOP a step closer to the tax overhaul it has promised. The Senate plan allows for as much as $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over the decade. Those cuts could blow a $2.4 trillion hole in the budget, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates. There are a few on the right who are sounding the alarm about national deficits and debt. Republican Sen. Rand Paul in an interview today said he is prepared to vote no on the budget if leaders don't agree to cut billions in spending from the plan.

How the GOP tax plan could hurt charities

Oct 17, 2017

In its tax framework, the GOP leadership has promised to keep some of the most popular personal deductions, including the charitable deduction. But the value of that deduction could be limited by other changes to the tax code. 

To explain, let's start with a tradition that you, dear public radio supporter, are likely familiar with: the pledge drive. A few times a year, member stations around the country ask for donations, often touting their tax deductability. 

It's been almost two months since Hurricane Harvey covered southeast Texas with 50 inches of rain, left hundreds of thousands of residents with flooded homes and disrupted lives. As of October 16, about 870,000 households had applied for direct financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and about 300,000 have been approved. Only U.S. citizens or legal residents are eligible for those direct deposits of relief funds from FEMA. The more than half a million undocumented people living in greater Houston have to find financial relief in other ways.  

Senate budget battle likely as vote looms

Oct 17, 2017

The Senate is expected to take up a budget framework this week. If it passes, the GOP will be one step closer to the tax overhaul it so desperately wants. President Donald Trump promised yesterday in a Rose Garden press conference with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the tax plan is on track. But the outcome of the pending budget vote is far from predictable.

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Can Congress make consumer data safer?

Oct 17, 2017

The Senate Banking committee meets today for another hearing about the Equifax data breach. With the major credit reporting agencies woven deeply into the fabric of our financial system, what can Congress actually do here?

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A move from natural gas to electricity for homes

Oct 17, 2017

Not long ago natural gas – the fuel that probably gave you your hot shower this morning – was being hailed as the clean “bridge” fuel, because it polluted less than other alternatives. For some purposes it still is, such as when it replaces diesel fuel in buses. But in our homes, some now believe natural gas should be phased out in favor of electric appliances, for climate reasons.

10/17/2017: The fight to become Amazon's next home

Oct 17, 2017

(U.S. Edition) Canadian jet manufacturer Bombardier has been in an ongoing trade fight with America's Boeing. Well, now Bombardier is selling the majority stake of its C-series plane to the French company Airbus. We'll report on why the Canadian company went through with the deal and how it may be able to sidestep a high U.S. tariff as a result. Afterwards, we'll discuss whether Congress can help make consumer data safer, and then  look at Seattle's bid to become home to Amazon's second headquarters. 

Two dozen people zigzag through Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, footsteps crunching on pavement and gravel. A local blog called The Urbanist organized the tour about the history of this neighborhood — the location of Amazon’s first headquarters.

In a few years, the view around HQ1 has morphed from low-slung warehouses to tall, modern apartment buildings and cranes that poke out of construction sites around every bend.

“It looks like a millennial paradise,” said Seattle resident Anthony Bridgewater, who took the tour.

(Global Edition) From the BBC's World Service ... The partnership sees Airbus take a majority stake in Bombardier's C-Series jet and analysts say it could have huge implications for the industry. The planes can be assembled inside the U.S., potentially avoiding the crippling 300 percent import tariff the U.S. government wants to see imposed. The deal hasn't been welcomed by U.S. rival Boeing — they complain that the firms receive too much state support. In China, preparations are underway for the Communist Party Congress, which begins tomorrow.

In the past few years, venture capitalists have invested more than $1.6 billion into companies working with low-earth orbit technology. Some of those companies are making small satellites that orbit closer to Earth than traditional ones. The goal: to blanket Earth with broadband internet and gather data on the planet. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks to the innovators behind this mission.

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Belgian researchers have identified a vulnerability in the way most of us connect wirelessly to the internet. The weakness even has a name: Krack. If exploited (and luckily that has not yet happened, as far as anyone can tell), information like our credit cards, passwords, basically anything we type is at risk for being seen and stolen. For businesses trying to keep their data and yours safe, this opens up a whole new front in the cybersecurity war. 

My Economy: Anxious about medical bills down the road

Oct 16, 2017

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

Today’s installment is from Irwin Kwan, a user experience designer in Massachusetts.

It sounds like a joke, but, well — keep reading.

In December 2015, 64-year-old Daniel Rushing had just dropped off a friend at chemotherapy and was driving home an older woman from his church who worked at the 7-Eleven and would otherwise walk the 2 miles home.

The White House released a paper today laying out the argument that a corporate tax cut will give a $4,000 boost to the average household. The studies being used to back up its assertion come from reputable places like the Kansas City Fed and Harvard, although there are plenty of other studies that say otherwise. The merits of the corporate tax cut and who it benefits is setting up to be a battle of the academics over some complex models predicting how companies might behave.

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