Friday, April 7, 2017

The Political Page, T+76 -- April 7, 2017

Jobs report for March: incredibly bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. Trump made same mistake Obama did. Trump started with "Repeal and Replace" instead of tax reform.

Original Post

If Congress won't repeal it, the market will: Aetna to stop selling Iowans individual plans. Follows Blue Cross / Blue Shield's decision not to sell new individual health insurance plans in 2018.
A second major health-insurer has decided to quit selling individual policies in Iowa, raising fears that tens of thousands of Iowans will have no options for coverage next year.
Aetna informed Iowa regulators Thursday that it had decided to stop selling such policies, which cover people who lack access to employer-provided coverage or government plans. The move would affect 36,205 customers, the company told regulators.
Gorsuch vote "begins" 11:30 a.m. EDT.

Global support for Trump action against Syria: only dissenters -- Paul Rand, Syria, and Russia.

2013, chemical weapons used in Syria: where was Obama? That's the question folks in the Mideast are asking today. Maybe the era of "leading from behind" is over.

If it moves, tax it: California legislature goes along with governor's proposal -- increases gasoline excise tax at the pump; raises vehicle fees by $5.2 billion / year for road repairs (wink, wink) and rapid transit (i.e., the bullet train). Anyone who thinks this is about potholes and not the bullet train has not been following the news (money is fungible). Data points:
  • gasoline excise tax: up 12 cents/gallon; will bring it to 30 cents/gallon -- one of the highest in the nation -- but not the highest; wiggle room for another increase down the road
  • another "variable" tax: will be set at 17 cents
  • diesel fuel excise tax: up 20 cents/gallon plus sales tax on diesel will go up four percentage points
  • EVs: fees will go to $100 annually
  • other cars, annual fees:
    • valued under $5,000: $25
    • valued more than $60,000: $175
  • spending:
  • $34 billion of the first $52 billion raise will go to roads, bridges, highways, culverts
  • $7 billion over the first decade will go to mass transit projects
  • other money to fund trade corridors, including the roads serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
  • And then this: the Senate also proposed a measure for the June 2018 ballot that would prohibit borrowing the new money for non-transportation spending

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