Since January 2011, the government has knocked 2 percentage points off the payroll tax, which funds Social Security. But even as the economy appears to still be in a rut, there's little appetite to extend the tax holiday and its $95 billion price tag.
By some measures, General Motors is doing fine post-bailout and post-bankruptcy. The company is profitable and makes better cars than it did a generation ago. But its stock price is down sharply, and it still doesn't have a blockbuster car like its competitors Toyota, Honda and Ford.
Subscription-based business models are nothing new. But right now, e-commerce subscriptions are exploding. And in some cases, companies that make a unique pitch about their product line can win customers away from large retailers like Amazon.
Pickup trucks sold briskly last month which is good for the bottom line of Detroit's Big Three. One analyst says "the success of the truck segment is usually seen as the harbinger of the overall economy recovery."
Automakers are proving to be a bright spot in a slow-growing economy. Chrysler led the pack in August sales jumps at 15 percent, with the Ram pickup and Dodge Dart moving briskly. Ford got a boost from pickups and SUVs, with a 13 percent jump in August sales. GM's sales were up 10 percent.
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