Evan Vucci / AP

A big part of the "Trump rally" in stocks has been a consensus belief that corporate tax reform of some sort will occur in 2017. Now that belief is being severely tested.

The problem: Trump and Congressional Republicans put healthcare ahead of taxes, because doing the latter without a baseline from the former is mathematically nonsensical. Healthcare, however, is proving far more difficult to get done than the GOP expected, judging by the postponement of Thursday's planned House vote. Every day (or week) that passes without healthcare getting done is another day (or week) that tax reform has to wait, and Congress isn't actually in session all that often. The calendar is tyrannical.

The (bigger) problem: If Republicans can't agree on healthcare reform, it isn't entirely clear that taxes will be much easier. Even within the White House there is a major split over the proposed border adjustment tax, and that doesn't even address Trump's plans for a 15% corporate tax rate that could give deficit hawks a minor aneurysm. The White House calls Trump "the closer," but his struggles in the ninth on healthcare could raise new questions about his ability to deliver on tax promises. And tax reform is the air that a lot of current stock prices are floating upon.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 mins ago - Economy & Business

A white-collar crime crackdown

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

America has waited a decade for an aggressive government crackdown on white-collar crime. Now, just before the election, and in the middle of a bull market, it has arrived.

Why it matters: When times are good, investors become more trusting and more greedy. That makes them more likely to put their money into fraudulent or criminal enterprises.

  • After a decade-long bull market, there is no shortage of those frauds to prosecute.
30 mins ago - Technology

Lawyers crystal-ball the Google antitrust case

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Justice Department's antitrust suit against Google is a strong, straightforward monopoly case, competition lawyers and experts tell Axios. But that doesn't mean it'll be an easy journey for the government.

The big picture: Winning any antitrust case is a heavy lift. It's even more of a challenge to pull off victory in a future-looking case that seeks to make room for potential new competition to flourish.

The pandemic is getting worse again

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Due to a database error, Missouri had a 3 day gap in reporting from Oct. 11-13; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Every available piece of data proves it: The coronavirus pandemic is getting worse again, all across America.

The big picture: As the death toll ticks past 212,000, at a moment when containing the virus ought to be easier and more urgent than ever, we are instead giving it a bigger foothold to grow from.

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