Auto Sales Boom Post Harvey, Supreme Court Considers Gerrymandering
October 03, 2017
Supreme Court hears arguments on gerrymandering case; GOP tax plan hits political opposition; Auto sales boom post Harvey.
- Supreme Court hears arguments on gerrymandering case. A soon to be landmark voting rights case has made its way out of a Wisconsin court of appeals, and will now be argued in front of the US Supreme Court. The court case deals with politically motivated gerrymandering, the practice of manipulating district boundaries in order to skew political advantage. The case will focus on Wisconsin, whose lower courts concluded that the state’s Republican party had so grievously redrawn district boundaries that it violated voters’ constitutional rights. The Court has a 5-4 conservative majority, and existing case law has never overturned district boundaries that were mapped by political, instead of racial, populations. The case is likely to come down to swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has criticized “extreme” partisan gerrymandering. [Reuters]
- GOP tax plan hits political opposition. The President’s newly announced tax plan has encountered political headwinds, as deficit hawks in Congress demand that there be more certainty on how the President plans to pay for significant tax cuts. The President announced he planned to end the tax deduction for state and local taxes, which would strain taxpayers in high tax states like California and New Jersey, but has since shown “softness” on the issue, as NEC Director Gary Cohn indicated that that revenue booster was on the negotiating table. The shift has alarmed more fiscally conservative lawmakers, like Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee (who declared he won’t vote for tax policy that adds “one penny” to the deficit), who are confronted with a tax plan with many tax cuts and no way to offset them. Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has indicated that any tax plan the White House proposes will increase deficits, because that spending is key to sustain 3% economic growth. Lawmakers will likely have to wait for a specific list of exemptions and deductions the President plans to get rid of before they’re able to begin hammering out a bill. [Bloomberg]
Economic Indicators & News
- Auto sales boom post Harvey. Significant damage to vehicles in the wake of Hurricane Harvey spurred significant purchasing spikes for major US automakers, including GM and Toyota. Car sales beat analysts’ estimates of 17.4 million cars this past month, weighing in at 18.1 million vehicles sold. Deliveries went up 15% for Toyota and 12% for GM, and Nissan, Ford and Fiat also posted gains. [Bloomberg]