National/International

Lawmakers ponder fate of corporate AMT

Dec 5, 2017

The House and Senate have both passed tax bills cutting the rate that corporations pay. The lawmakers differ though on the details, including what to do with the corporate alternative minimum tax. The House bill repealed it, but after some last minute changes the Senate bill keeps the AMT in place and some businesses aren't too happy about that.

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Why "lost Einsteins" are hurting our economy

Dec 5, 2017

Innovation's one of those economic buzzwords you hear constantly, so much so maybe that it loses some of its impact. But some new work from Stanford economist Raj Chetty about who gets to be innovative in this economy is pretty sobering. Chetty's study, from the Equality of Opportunity Project, finds that women, minorities, people with lower incomes and people from certain regions are all less likely to become inventors.

One of the key parts of the GOP tax reform plan is a cut in the corporate tax rate from the current 35 percent to 20 percent. In the bill passed by the House, that cut would begin next year. The Senate bill delays the cut until 2019. One year may not seem like a big deal. Then again, it could make all the difference. 

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The International Olympic Committee has suspended the Russian Olympic Committee "with immediate effect," essentially banning the country from the upcoming Winter Olympics over Russia's system of state-supported cheating by athletes using performance-enhancing drugs.

Russian athletes can compete in the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the IOC said Tuesday — but the athletes will have to pass strict scrutiny, and instead of wearing their nation's uniform, they will compete under the title "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)."

(Markets Edition) Markets have responded mostly positively to the progress the GOP has made in overhauling America's tax system, but the tech-heavy NASDAQ didn't have the greatest Monday. Gabriela Santos, global market strategist with JP Morgan Asset Management, stopped by to explain why some sectors are going to benefit more from corporate tax reform than others. Afterwards, we'll look at China's fight to be considered a market economy.

Wedding cake case goes to the Supreme Court

Dec 5, 2017

The Supreme Court justices will hear oral arguments today in the case of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex coupleHe said a state law forbidding discrimination on grounds of sexual discrimination forces him to act against his Christian beliefs. Supporters of the couple argue that if you go into business, you have to serve everyone. 

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(U.S. Edition) The Senate is debating a bill that would free some small and midsized banks from regulations that were put in place following the financial crisis. We'll look at whether these looser rules will just mean bigger problems down the line. Afterwards, we'll discuss the Supreme Court's first hearing on a case involving a baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Plus: How one company is letting investors buy a cut of their favorite artists' royalties.

Will only the rich cheat death?

Dec 5, 2017

Some of the biggest names in tech are on a quest to live forever. Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Oracle's Larry Ellison and Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin have invested a lot of money in life-extension technologies, including cryogenics and digitizing our minds and uploading them into robots.

And that has people thinking, will the rich be the only ones who can afford to stick around? And what impact would that have on society? 

Music will rake in $41 billion by 2030, according to a recent report from Goldman Sachs — over 80 percent of that from streaming sites like Spotify or Pandora. Thing is, every time a song is streamed online, somebody’s getting paid royalties. Now a new company is capitalizing on this growth in a novel way. 

12/05/2017: The EU’s paradise blacklist

Dec 5, 2017

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … European Union finance ministers are expected to adopt a blacklist of 20 tax haven nations. We’ll tell you what that could mean for some of the world’s biggest companies. Afterwards, we’ll take you to Tokyo where names like Takata and Kobe Steel once contributed to the country’s sterling corporate reputation…but have more recently helped tarnish that perception. 

Some of tech’s most powerful players are investing money in life-extension technologies. The founders of Amazon, Oracle, and Google are just some of the elite looking to live forever. That has some people wondering, will only the rich be able to escape death? On this episode of Marketplace Tech, host Molly Wood talks to author Stanley Bing. His new sci-fi novel “Immortal Life” looks at how anti-aging technology could shape society.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court will allow the Trump administration to fully enforce its revised ban on allowing entry to the United States by residents of eight countries while legal challenges are heard by a federal appeals court.

Six of the countries — Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad and Somalia — are majority-Muslim nations. The other two are North Korea and Venezuela.

The tax cuts the Senate approved in the wee hours of Saturday morning are expected to add at least $1 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade. That’s according to the Senate’s own Joint Committee on Taxation. And that’s after taking into account a boost to economic growth generated by tax cuts. So what does that mean, exactly, for the economy? And why is it so hard to get people to care?

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What a small business owner makes of the tax overhaul.

Dec 4, 2017

Is the proposed tax overhaul really a boon for small business? We checked in with Austin Golding, co-owner of Golding Barge Line in Vicksburg, Mississippi, to find out his perspective.

"It seems like every time there's a discussion about it, there's a different provision or different nuance to it, but we've definitely been trying to make sure that we are postured to be in the right position to absorb any changes," Golding told Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal.

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The AMT is a flashpoint between the two tax bills

Dec 4, 2017

So now we have two GOP tax plans that must now become one. Among the variations between the House and Senate bills is the individual alternative minimum tax. That’s the idea that there should be some minimum tax rate so the wealthy can't deduct or exempt their way out of taxes entirely. Doing away with the AMT, as it's known, was part of Republicans push to simplify the tax code. But on Friday, the Senate added a version of it back into their plan. What’s going to happen now? 

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How many tax brackets do we need?

Dec 4, 2017

The GOP has promised its tax plan would ultimately create a simpler tax system for individuals. Key to that is a reduction in the number of tax brackets from the current seven. The House bill does that, taking them to four and lowering the rates. The Senate, though, sticks with seven, albeit at slightly lower rates. How would those two approaches shake out for taxpayers – and what might a compromise look like?

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Now that the House and Senate have passed their versions of the tax bill, Republicans are going to start negotiating which items will be included in the final plan. Both the House and Senate would increase the child tax credit and make folks with higher incomes eligible. Critics say lower-income families would be largely left behind. The House would raise the current $1,000 child tax credit to $1,600, and the Senate would raise it to $2,000. But the proposed changes would help upper-income families more than those in low-income brackets.

Trying to deliver on President Donald Trump’s promise of gifting America tax reform this Christmas, the U.S. Congress has so far passed two different tax bills. Now, they have a month to reconcile the two versions — House and Senate — into a final bill.

On Friday, Dec. 1, New York Magazine reported that several women — including former producers, co-hosts and interns — say they experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault and bullying by former Takeaway host John Hockenberry.

The Takeaway is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, which owns this website.

How do you raise the standard of living in the poorest neighborhoods in the country?

That’s what community developers, typically nonprofits that build and finance affordable housing, have tried to do over the last few decades. And yet, despite more than $100 billion going into affordable housing and commercial projects every year, many of these communities remain stuck in poverty. A big part of the problem is a lack of cash, specifically the kind of private investment that attracts new residents and jobs.

What’s next for the tax bill?

Dec 4, 2017

Now that the Republican majority in the Senate has passed its version of a controversial tax bill, a new process begins. And it could be just as complicated and byzantine: melding the two tax bills into one so it can pass both chambers of Congress and go on to President Donald Trump for his signature. 

Now that the House and Senate have each passed their own version of a sweeping tax bill, everyone is going to have to work out what the proposed changes means for the rest of us. And the lawmakers have still to iron out some key differences.

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(Markets Edition) Now that the Senate has passed its version of the tax bill, a new process begins: combining the two bills so Trump can sign it into law. On today's show, we'll preview what's set to be a complicated week ahead for tax policy. Afterwards, we'll chat with economist Julia Coronado about how the markets have been reacting to the Senate's passage of the measure. Hint: They're thrilled. Then to cap off today's show, we'll discuss Trump's plan to significantly shrink Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. That has some groups worried that energy companies will try to move in.

CVS might become your new doctor

Dec 4, 2017

Drugstore chain CVS Health Corp. is buying Aetna Inc., one of the country’s largest health insurance companies, for $69 billion.

At a time when so much in the American health care system is uncertain, this adds another potential game changer. 

The Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah is remote, vast and controversial. Former President Barack Obama designated the 1.35 million acre monument in the last weeks of his presidency. Now, President Donald Trump is set to announce a plan to shrink it significantly along with another Utah monument called Grand Staircase-Escalante.

12/04/2017: A massive health care shakeup

Dec 4, 2017

(U.S. Edition) CVS is purchasing Aetna in a $69 billion merger that could completely alter the health industry. What does each want from the other? Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan, explains what these companies are getting out of this deal. Afterwards, we'll look at the Treasury's decision to phase out myRA, an Obama-era program that allowed people without access to retirement accounts to set up their own with the government.

12/04/2017: Brexit’s big lunch in Brussels

Dec 4, 2017

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service...A big lunch in Brussels: U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May meets with two key EU leaders to see if her country’s made enough progress to get Brexit to its next crucial step. Afterwards, we’ll take a look at an extradition hearing for India’s liquor and airline baron, Vijay Mallya, known for his gold watches, calendar girls and poolside parties. Then, a conversation about why there’s little economic incentive to give up conflict, which escalated over the weekend, in Yemen.

Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods is making a lot of grocery chains rethink their strategies. Albertsons, the country's second-largest grocer (after Walmart), just announced a partnership with the on-demand grocery delivery company Instacart. Kroger is also testing delivery with Instacart. But that isn't the only change in the works.  Grocers have also created something called “click and collect,” where customers order online and then pick up the groceries at the store.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

CVS is preparing to buy the health insurance giant Aetna for $69 billion, the companies say.

Eileen Elibol

A spokeswoman for New York Public Radio says allegations of sexual misconduct against a former host are disturbing and "would clearly violate'' the station's standards and practices. 

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