XCheck status [Hill Street Studios/Stone via GettyImages]
Talk about a mid-week getaway: SpaceX's launch this week will take four civilians 360 miles from Earth for three days. It would be the first civilian-only space mission.
Stocks ticked up yesterday as shares of energy companies rallied. Now, investors have their eyes on Democrats' proposed $3.5T spending plan. We're diving in below.
VIP pug life… A bombshell WSJ report revealed Facebook rolled out the moderation red carpet for at least 5.8M celeb users — including Donald Trump, Elizabeth Warren, soccer star Neymar, and even Doug the Pug. The drama revolves around a secret program known as “XCheck,” which shields millions of VIP users from FB's normal moderation process — kind of like an invisible verified badge.
Reporting politicians... It happens. Famous people get reported more than Berta from Oregon, even if their posts aren't flag-worthy. XCheck was conceived as a quality-control measure for actions taken against these high-profile accounts.
This drama adds fuel to the fire… the big, familiar fire. Social giants like FB and Twitter have been accused of letting abusive content run rampant, not applying moderation policies equally, and acting more like editors than social platforms. The mishandling of XCheck gives ammo to legislators who’ve argued for years that social giants should bear more liability for users' posts. TBD if they ever will.
A taxing weekend… House Democrats proposed a plan to raise up to $2.9T in tax dollars over the next 10 years, the biggest tax hike in decades. The goal: pay for Biden’s ambitious $3.5T plan to expand America’s social safety net and combat climate change. Lawmakers plan to vote this week on the proposals. Whose taxes would be affected:
9 am hike up Capitol Hill… Expect some sweat. Democrats don’t need Republican support to pass the plan — but they’ll need just about every Dem vote. Progressives are committed to the plan, even though the tax hikes aren’t as high as Biden's original pitch. But some moderates like Joe Manchin aren’t sold.
Higher corporate taxes = lower corporate profits… which could mean falling stock prices, at least in the short term. Stocks soared in 2017 when ex-President Trump cut corporate taxes, making companies more profitable overnight. Biden’s tax increase would partially roll back those cuts, reducing the cash companies keep as profit. Since stock prices often reflect investors’ expectations of future returns — think: dividends, cash flow, rising prices — lower profits could mean lower expectations.
Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Disney and Amazon