Feb 22, 2017

Big in Business: Gas tax hikes coming to a state near you

A dozen states are considering raising gas taxes. That's after close to twenty other states have instituted hikes in recent years to pay for infrastructure. CBO data shows that even as inflation-adjusted federal spending on infrastructure fell 14% between 2010 and 2014, state and local spending fell even faster. That both sources of funding appear set to rise can only be a positive for economic growth.

Fake data accusations overblown? So says High Frequency Economics' Jim O'Sullivan, who argues in a research note that the uproar over a proposed change by the Trump Administration in how the U.S. Trade Representative compiles trade-deficit data is making a mountain of a molehill. O'Sullivan says that this is about making more data available that will paint a more sophisticated picture of U.S. trade, not asking the Census Bureau to stop reporting official trade deficits.

Earnings to watch: 1) Toll Brothers, which reports before the bell, illustrates headwinds the homebuilding sector still faces. 2) The stock market values Tesla Motors at $45 billion, or $5 billion less than Ford and $12 billion less than GM. That's despite selling just 76,000 vehicles last year to Ford's 2.6 million and GM's 3 million.

Go deeper

Protests for George Floyd continue for 10th day

Thousands of protesters march over the Brooklyn Bridge on June 4 in New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: Crowds gathered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday evening and in Atlanta, Georgia, despite the rain. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined demonstrators on Thursday. Demonstrators in Washington, D.C. dispersed following a thunderstorm and rain warning for the region.

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

3 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.