Cowen has a note this morning saying the path ahead for tax legislation has grown more muddled in the past two weeks as Republicans tie themselves in knots over how to proceed with Obamacare repeal/replace/repair. Analyst Chris Krueger lays out the five now likely scenarios on taxes:

  1. Tax overhaul following GOP's "Better Way" plan including border adjustment (note: border-tax opponents have been winning lately)
  2. Rehash of the George W. Bush tax cuts with a 10-year sunset
  3. Combination of Obamacare and taxes in one giant bill
  4. Nothing
  5. A "Middle of Road" tax and infrastructure bill

The easiest route is #2 to get a tax-cut win and deal with the cost later. Krueger calls it the "In Emergency, Break Glass Option."

The more the legislative process breaks down on Capitol Hill, the more likely we suspect this option heads to the very top of the probability list ... Everyone is waiting to get ObamaCare off the mat and Trump to get in the ring.

Go deeper

Apple's antitrust fight turns Epic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Millions of angry gamers may soon join the chorus of voices calling for an antitrust crackdown on Apple, as the iPhone giant faces a new lawsuit and PR blitz from Epic Games, maker of mega-hit Fortnite.

Why it matters: Apple is one of several Big Tech firms accused of violating the spirit, if not the letter, of antitrust law. A high-profile lawsuit could become a roadmap for either building a case against tech titans under existing antitrust laws or writing new ones better suited to the digital economy.

Survey: Fears grow about Social Security’s future

Data: AARP survey of 1,441 U.S. adults conducted July 14–27, 2020 a ±3.4% margin of error at the 95% confidence level; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Younger Americans are increasingly concerned that Social Security won't be enough to wholly fall back on once they retire, according to a survey conducted by AARP — in honor of today's 85th anniversary of the program — given first to Axios.

Why it matters: Young people's concerns about financial insecurity once they're on a restricted income are rising — and that generation is worried the program, which currently pays out to 65 million beneficiaries, won't be enough to sustain them.

Axios-SurveyMonkey poll: Doubts over fair election results

SurveyMonkey poll of 2,847 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 11–12, 2020 with ±3% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

One in four Americans is worried their ballot won't be accurately counted this year, and four in 10 worry mail-in voting could yield less reliable results, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

The big picture: Partisan identification is a massive driver of distrust in both categories — and the stakes are huge this year.