Dec 19, 2017

12/19/2017: Congress eyes the third rail

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“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…

Segments From this episode

Retailers rethink physical stores as online shopping grows

Dec 19, 2017
Retailers are shrinking stores and making them more interactive to make them more attractive to customers.
Nordstrom Local opened in Oct. on Melrose Place in West Hollywood, California. 
Courtesy of Nordstrom

After taxes, what’s next for the GOP?

Dec 19, 2017
Forget the tax overhaul. That’s old news. Republicans are already looking ahead to their next goal: cutting Medicare, Medicaid and other programs like food stamps. They’re calling it “entitlement reform.” Click the audio player above to hear the full story. …

China’s new carbon market will be the biggest in the world

Dec 19, 2017
China’s announcement of its carbon market is long-awaited. It was promised for 2017, and the nation has delivered just under the wire. While it will only cover the power sector for now, it’s still set to be the largest carbon-pollution…

RVs are becoming an alternative to high rents in LA

Dec 19, 2017
As rents rise in the city, some people seek out cheaper alternatives like RVs.
This once-inhabited RV sits on a tow lot in South Los Angeles. If no one claims it, it'll go up for sale. L.A. officials say increasingly, investors buy up RV's like this and rent them out to people who have trouble finding affordable housing. 
Rina Palta/ for Marketplace

Corporate tax cuts could boost shareholders’ balance sheets

Dec 19, 2017
The corporate tax cuts included in the Republican tax bill — including a statutory corporate tax rate reduction to 21 percent from 35 percent, lower rates for pass-through businesses, elimination of the corporate alternative minimum tax and a tax holiday for…

So how's the lawyer/food blogger economy looking?

Dec 19, 2017
He and his wife are comfortable but chipping away at their student debt.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The economy as seen from Trump's Twitter feed

Dec 19, 2017
The president leverages his Twitter feed to promote his economic agenda and narrative.
President Donald Trump.
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

“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?

Music from the episode

Falafel Tom Misch
No Woman Whitney
Gust of Wind Pharrell Williams
Controlla Drake
Need You Now Hot Chip