Your Evening Briefing
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Fridays are often reserved for “taking out the trash,” as many learned while watching “The West Wing.” It’s a day when unflattering items are released while the public turns its attention to dinner, movies and sleep. Congressional Republicans are planning their own spin on this. They’re releasing a tax plan just days before a vote, the culmination of a process meant to deliver a major policy victory to President Donald Trump before year’s end. With little time to pore over the details, the coming weekend will be, at least for Democrats and some unlucky reporters, more taxing than most. —David E. Rovella
How America’s inequality machine is firing the Dow into orbit in Washington. While unemployment is near a two-decade low, wages have grown slowly by past standards and are nowhere near keeping pace with the asset-price surge. While a rising tide still lifts all boats, the waters are decidedly choppier for most Americans. Under both parties, recoveries have become increasingly lopsided. The current one has helped millions of people find work; it’s also benefited asset-owners far more than people who trade their labor for a paycheck.
Marco Rubio gets his wish. One of the last hurdles faced by the Republicans pushing their massive tax bill was a demand by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Congressional leaders agreed to increase the refundable portion of the child tax credit to $1,400 after Rubio and Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, proposed expanding the credit to make more of it refundable against payroll taxes. Meanwhile, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said he would vote yes, further strengthening the bill's chance of passage.
The tax bill is a trillion-dollar blunder, Michael R. Bloomberg writes for Bloomberg View. “It’s pure fantasy to think that the tax bill will lead to significantly higher wages and growth, as Republicans have promised. Had Congress actually listened to executives, or economists who study these issues carefully, it might have realized that.”
It’s all about the truck. Forget about electric cars with fuzzy prospects for profit or robotaxis that don’t yet exist. Detroit’s real big-money grudge match is over pickup trucks. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler are planning to show redesigned full-size models at the Detroit auto show in January, trying to steal momentum from rival Ford’s F-150 and bigger Super Duty trucks.
Honey, I shrunk the media empire. Rupert Murdoch is retreating from the battlefield, having recognized the existential threat Google and its ilk pose for his aging media business. Selling many of his entertainment assets to Walt Disney for $52.4 billion, including 21st Century Fox’s TV and movies studios, will leave Murdoch and his children a smaller, more manageable company.
Bitcoin-related stocks have outperformed the digital token since Monday, after a dose of optimism brought on by its futures debut on the Cboe exchange spurred a crypto feeding frenzy. The Bitcoin Investment Trust surged 54 percent this week, while MGT Capital Investments and Overstock.com climbed 47 percent and 44 percent, respectively. Bitcoin gained 13 percent.
Ivanka opens a new store—in her father’s building. Ivanka Trump’s new store in New York’s Trump Tower shows that her fashion label is doubling down on plans to reach consumers directly rather than rely on wholesale partners. It’s also about rehabilitating the brand’s image after a year of boycotts and the loss of an early retail partner, Nordstrom, following the election of her father.