Who benefits from Trump’s new tax plan
On the campaign trail, Donald Trump gained much praise among his supporters for a tax platform that would slash rates for the middle class while requiring the wealthy to cough up a bigger slice of their earnings. In actuality, the scenario may be flipped, according to academic experts who spoke to NPR. In his first days as president-elect, Trump rolled out a tax-overhaul plan that proposes to reduce the current seven tax-bracket structure to three, and half the benefits from the overall proposed cuts would go to the top 1 percent wealthiest taxpayers.
The Fed braces for the unknown
The future of the Federal Reserve, including Janet Yellen’s job at the helm as chair, appeared to be hanging in limbo and uncertainty in Donald Trump’s initial week as president-elect. The nation’s central bank is bracing for what the New York Times describes as a possible “reckoning” should Trump, during his first 18 months in the White House, exercise his power to either fill its seven-member board with his own nominees or replace the Fed’s structure with something else entirely. While his actual plans are unclear, the concerns, as the NYT explains, stem from a conflict between Trump’s personal interests as a business mogul and his political position in which the advisors he’s surrounded with are some of the Fed’s biggest critics.
Death of the TPP trade deal
Donald Trump’s upset victory Tuesday effectively killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the controversial 12-nation trade pact which effectively fizzled four days later when the Obama administration acknowledged there’s no longer a way forward. The TPP was the largest multi-national deal of its kind in more than a decade, and just a year ago would’ve likely garnered broad support in Congress, according to the Wall Street Journal. But in the months leading up to the election, President Barack Obama’s push for approval faced an increasingly-steep uphill battle on both sides of the political aisle, although for different reasons, as antitrade sentiments broadened in the U.S. electorate.
Toyota’s $3.4 billion settlement over vehicle corrosion
Toyota Motor Corp. agreed last week to cough up a whopping $3.4 billion to settle claims in two states over premature vehicle-frame corrosion in some of its trucks and sport-utility cars, according to paperwork filed with a Los Angeles federal court. The Wall Street Journal characterized it as a “significant settlement for the auto industry,” encompassing 1.5 million Toyota vehicles nationwide during a time of broader stagnation in U.S. auto sales. The settlement also brings some closure for the auto industry, which has been hammered in recent years by a series of other costly agreements by General Motors, Volkswagen and others to fix various safety, quality and emissions issues.