SWC’s Fast Five

Stunning news of President Trump testing positive for COVID-19 overshadows all other news which in today’s Fast Five includes airlines furloughing tens of thousands, how few of us pay taxes, the little-known man at FOX who calls the election for the news outlet and some nonsense about Crocs.

So, here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1 President tests positive for COVID-19.

President Trump’s positive test also means that others at the highest levels of the U.S. government have been exposed and may have to quarantine, too. A White House official said early on Friday that contact tracing was under way.

2 American, United furlough 32,000. Delta and Southwest hold steady.

Critics say airlines should not get special treatment and that subsidizing their workforces will only delay companies’ need to adjust to the downturn in travel which even airline trade groups think will last three or four years. U.S. air travel remains down nearly 70 percent from a year ago.

3 Wealthy people have perfectly legal ways to lower their income tax bill and many of the rest of us don’t pay at all.

Real estate depreciation, expense deductions and a tax rate of about half that on earned income for capital gains are some of the reasons the wealthy are able to lower their tax bill. There are about 75.5 million Americans, or 43 percent of tax-filing households that don’t pay any income tax; the majority of these are low-income filers and that is a “feature, not a bug, of the revenue code,” according to the Tax Policy Center.

4 The man who calls the election at FOX News.

Arnon Mishkin runs Fox News’s “decision desk,” the team responsible for telling Fox viewers who won the election.

5 So, Crocs are having a year.

At a time when U.S. retail sales of footwear are down 20 percent when compared to the same period in 2019, sales of Crocs are up 48 percent, according to Matt Powell, an analyst at the NPD Group, a market research firm. Designs the company created with the Grateful Dead and Post Malone all sold out within an hour. Other recent Crocs collaborations, including one with Kentucky Fried Chicken, have been similarly popular.