Oct 2, 2017

10/02/2017: How is this economy doing, really?

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As the police and FBI in Las Vegas try to figure out the "whys" of last night — not that there can really ever be an answer to that question — we're going to stay in our lane today and just note that President Trump will make a trip to the city Wednesday. Before that he'll travel to Puerto Rico, bringing with him news of a $13 billion request to Congress for emergency assistance. FEMA director Brock Long pointedly defended the federal response amid mounting criticism, adding that Washington's trying to get the private sector more involved. Then, onto tax reform: There's a disconnect between Republicans, who are pushing tax cuts to spur growth, and the Federal Reserve, which says things are doing just fine. Plus, what you need to know about the unrest in Spain.

Segments From this episode

DC and Marvel duke it out in "Slugfest"

Oct 2, 2017
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a multibillion-dollar industry getting even bigger!
Like the Incredible Hulk (Marvel) and Superman (DC), the comic book publishers have very different personalities. DC is more "buttoned down" and Marvel is "free flowing."
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Catalans voted to separate from Spain. Now what?

Oct 2, 2017
Ninety percent of the nearly 2.5 million votes were in favor of independence.
A man waving a pro-independence flag near a polling station in Barcelona.
Pau Barrena/Getty Images

FEMA chief said helping Puerto Rico must be a public and private effort

Oct 2, 2017
The Trump Administration plans to ask Congress for around $13 billion in new aid for Puerto Rico, according to news reports. The president is expected to visit tomorrow. Large parts of the island are still without electricity and clean drinking water after Hurricane Maria made landfall nearly two weeks ago. Yesterday, FEMA’s administrator pointedly defended […]

Are we about to see a showdown between Congress and the Fed?

Oct 2, 2017
The Federal Reserve Bank’s message for a while now has been, broadly speaking, “the economy’s doing pretty well.” The central bank has also said it’s time to phase out the extraordinary support that it put in place during the financial crisis, like ultra-low interest rates. As the unemployment rate has dropped, there are real worries […]

Coal and nuclear power stand to gain from new Department of Energy moves

Oct 2, 2017
The Trump administration is asking for new regulations in the name of grid reliability. Specifically, it wants to support coal and nuclear power to make sure the U.S. always has a  supply on-hand for possible times of need. But skeptics wonder if this is all a back-door bailout for power plants that simply can’t compete […]

Uber is trafficking in a lot of drama these days

Oct 2, 2017
Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick has been stripped of his position as CEO, but he still retains enough power at the ride-sharing company to make things difficult for the new CEO.  It’s a common problem at tech companies, where voting shares are often concentrated in the hands of founders and early investors.   Click the audio player […]

Why so much of the U.S. tax code is social policy

Oct 2, 2017
Our tax code supports a whole lot of social programs. No wonder it's complicated.
Piles of tax forms at the 58th Street Library in New York City.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

As the police and FBI in Las Vegas try to figure out the “whys” of last night — not that there can really ever be an answer to that question — we’re going to stay in our lane today and just note that President Trump will make a trip to the city Wednesday. Before that he’ll travel to Puerto Rico, bringing with him news of a $13 billion request to Congress for emergency assistance. FEMA director Brock Long pointedly defended the federal response amid mounting criticism, adding that Washington’s trying to get the private sector more involved. Then, onto tax reform: There’s a disconnect between Republicans, who are pushing tax cuts to spur growth, and the Federal Reserve, which says things are doing just fine. Plus, what you need to know about the unrest in Spain.

Music from the episode

Tidal Waves The Shacks
Airfield Javelin
Star Roving Slowdive
Dilettante St. Vincent