Summing up the Trump budget
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Fidelity’s Abby Johnson is a bitcoin fan, female employees aren’t taking enough vacation, and the Trump budget proposal has serious implications for women. Have a good Wednesday.
• Doing the math. President Trump revealed his 2018 budget request yesterday, triggering a flood of media analysis. Critics found plenty of bones to pick—including wildly optimistic projections for economic growth and a $2 trillion math error—but the most striking aspect of the proposal is its deep cuts to programs aimed at helping the poor.
Obviously, the cuts to WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) and Planned Parenthood would be felt largely by women. In the case of Planned Parenthood, the budget would block participation in any federal program, thereby eliminating government funds for services like cancer screening, Zika virus prevention, HIV/AIDS testing, and sexually transmitted disease and infertility prevention.
But women would also be disproportionately hurt by the scaling back of programs like food stamps and Medicaid; women comprise two-thirds of the adult population of Medicaid beneficiaries, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The budget does contain the promised proposal for a federal program mandating six weeks of paid parental leave. The idea is enticing—and much improved over the version Trump floated during his campaign, which applied only to birth mothers. What remains to be seen is whether the idea can win over Congressional Republicans, and if so, whether it’s actually viable. NPR has a good rundown of the questions that must be answered before we’ll know if the plan has a chance to become a reality. Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Bitcoin booster. Speaking at a conference in New York City, Fidelity Investments CEO Abby Johnson championed the growth of bitcoin and other alternative currencies, a rare plug from an established player in the finance world. While Johnson, whose firm is a major provider of 401(k) services, might seem like a surprising person to tout digital currencies, she was unabashed: “I’m here because I love this stuff…all that the future might hold.” WSJ
• Take a break! While more than half of Americans failed to use all their vacation days last year, one group was particularly likely to avoid taking time off: millennial women. In 2016, 51% of millennial men used all of their vacation time, compared to 44% of their female counterparts. Fortune
• A shoe-in. Fortune‘s Michal Lev-Ram talks to Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon about how she rebuilt her footwear company after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, why she believes there’s a future for brick-and-mortar stores, and which fashion brands she most admires. Intrigued? Stay tuned for Mellon’s appearance at Fortune‘s Most Powerful International Summit in London next month. Fortune
• Social network ‘sextortion.’ The Guardian reports that Facebook had to assess nearly 54,000 potential cases of revenge pornography and “sextortion”—attempts to extort money or other imagery from an individual—on the site in January alone, disabling more than 14,000 accounts. The publication’s source says that Facebook struggles with the task of policing sexual content on the site, noting it’s the category where site moderators make “the most mistakes.” The Guardian
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Apple has promoted Denise Young Smith, its global head of human resources, to a newly created VP position in charge of diversity and inclusion efforts
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• What a life. This New York Times obit shines a light on the fascinating life of Dina Merrill, the actress and aristocrat who died on Monday at age 93. Here’s a preview: Merrill lived in Mar-a-Lago, was an heiress twice over (Post cereal and Colgate-Palmolive), and brought down the head of a Hollywood studio. New York Times
• Park’s plea. Impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye appeared in court for the start of her criminal trial yesterday, where she denied charges of bribery and leaking government secrets. If convicted, she faces a life sentence. Time
• Laid off and pregnant. When reporter Rebecca Gale was pregnant with her first child, she learned that her newsroom was facing layoffs. Not surprisingly, she looked into her options, should she be among the cuts. Here’s what she discovered: Washington Post
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