Why Are Republicans Making Tax Reform So Hard?
In the aftermath of the health care blowup, President Trump and the Republicans need a legislative victory. Tax reform probably should have gone first, but now is the time to move it forward with urgency. According to a New York Times opinion piece by Steve Forbes, Larry Kudlow, Arthur B. Laffer, and Stephen Moore, one sure lesson from the health care setback is the old admonition “Keep it simple, stupid.” The Republicans tried to fix the trillion-dollar health insurance market instead of keeping the focus on repealing Obamacare. They have a chance to make amends with a new tax bill and still hit the August deadline. We advised President Trump during his election campaign and we believe the Republican Party’s lesson for tax reform is this: Don’t try to rewrite the entire tax code in one bill. Republicans should abandon the so-called border-adjustable tax. A border tax is a poison pill for the tax plan: It divides the very business groups that the party needs to rally behind tax reform. The best way to bring jobs back to America is to simply lower tax rates now while rolling back anti-jobs regulations, such as rules that inhibit American energy production. Read the rest of their opinion piece here.
Mercedes Hints at New Styling with Sedan Concept
Mercedes-Benz said its Concept A Sedan hints at another model in its compact-car range and previews a new design language for the brand. According to Automotive News, the concept likely previews a sedan that will be more practical in production form than the coupe-proportioned CLA four-door model. Unveiling the car on Wednesday at the auto show in Shanghai, Gorden Wagener, head of design for Mercedes parent Daimler, said the concept has the potential to introduce a new Mercedes design era with fewer lines and more rounded surfaces. "The time of creases is over," Wagener said in a statement. The concept measures 180 inches long, 75 inches high and 58 inches wide. The roofline curves like a coupe but has the dimensions and look of a sedan, Mercedes said. Its short front and rear overhangs give it a sporty look, but the upright C-pillar is much more sedan-like. The concept is fitted with large, 20-inch wheels. For more on Mercedes’ new sedan concept, and what it could mean for future design, click here.
Toyota to Test Hydrogen Cargo Truck at Port of Los Angeles
Toyota plans to test a heavy-duty truck powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell system at the Port of Los Angeles as part of a feasibility study beginning this summer, reports Automotive News. Toyota made the announcement of “Project Portal” in Los Angeles with representatives of the port, the California Air Resources Board, and the California Energy Commission. “The zero-emission truck proof of concept will take part in a feasibility study examining the potential of fuel cell technology in heavy-duty applications,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday. A Toyota spokeswoman noted that the test subject is a Kenworth truck "with Toyota fuel cell guts." Project Portal is a fully functioning heavy-duty truck with the power and torque to conduct port duties while emitting nothing but water vapor, much like the Mirai fuel-cell sedan that Toyota sells and leases in a swath of southern California where re-charging stations are available. For more on Toyota’s hydrogen cargo truck test, click here.
Will Autonomous Driving Kill the Sports Car?
The robot drivers are coming. Virtually every brand in the auto industry is bragging about its autonomous driving capabilities, reports The Detroit News. In four years, some Fords will even skip the steering wheel entirely. But at least two big names aren’t jumping on the bandwagon just yet. When it comes to “the future of transportation,” Mazda and Porsche got the memo they just decided to go another way. Mazda, for one, is sticking to its mantra: “Driving Matters” and doubling down on transmissions tied to stick shifts. Porsche, meanwhile, sold more than 15,000 two-door sports cars in the U.S. last year, 28 percent of its transactions. The Detroit News sat down with the North American CEOs for both brands – Mazda’s Masahiro Moro and Porsche’s Klaus Zellmer – to figure out where robots fit in at companies built on steering, speed, and passion. Click here to read more.
Which Cars Will Most Likely Last for 200,000 Miles?
If you want a vehicle that can make it to 200,000 miles, what should you buy? Probably not a sedan, according to CBS News. A new study finds that large SUVs are the likeliest to keep going to that mileage marker and beyond. Research from iSeeCars.com found that the Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia are four times as likely and the Chevrolet Suburban 3.5 times as likely as the average vehicle to be still on the road at 200,000 miles. The study looked at the 13 million used cars sold last year ranging from 1981 models to 2017. Overall, 1.3 percent of average vehicles made it to 200,000, while the percentage for the Ford Expedition was 5.7, with the Toyota Sequoia at 5.6 and the Chevrolet Suburban at 4.8. Of the 14 vehicles that had more than 2 percent above the 200,000-mile mark, there are only two sedans and one minivan. The Toyota Avalon, Honda Accord and Honda Odyssey minivan all met that standard. When SUVs and pickups were excluded, almost all the top performers were from Japanese automakers, with two exceptions: the Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala. For more on the longest-lasting vehicles on the road, click here.
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