Thousands of small businesses have been left out to dry because the federal government hasn’t been paying its bills. The General Services Administration (GSA) admits to owing over 1,200 small business contractors $3,108,888.
Employers are facing a barrage of efforts at the state and local levels to enact new mandates. A seemingly endless onslaught of everything from paid leave initiatives to minimum wage increases are keeping state and local chambers and the businesses they represent on their toesaccording to panelists at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce forum on state and local workplace issues, cosponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management.
“The Great Gatsby is my favorite book,” said every freshman English student ever. Alas, my inner freshman lives on, and cliché or not, I can’t resist the call of East and West Egg.
Should your inner freshman have failed you, the “Great American Novel” goes something like this: narrator Nick Carraway takes up with the enigmatic Jay Gatsby, a wealthy man desperate for lost—then found—love Daisy. Spoiler alert, this cautionary tale doesn’t end well, but between the front and back cover is a celebration of excess, of foolishness, and of darkness laced with hope.
The vitality of state economies, like that of the national economy, is directly tied to the success of thousands of small businesses. And state policymakers know this. Every state has policies and programs to encourage entrepreneurship and support small business development and expansion.
America’s 27 million small businesses represent 99% of U.S. employers and account for three-quarters of all new jobs created. The smallest of businesses stand to make the biggest impact on economic growth and job creation.
The U.S. Chamber awarded 300 House and Senate members with its annual Spirit of Enterprise Award for their support of pro-growth legislation during the second session of the 112th Congress.
“In the face of high-stakes politics and difficult choices, legislators from both parties provided America’s job creators with a strong voice in Congress,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “This award recognizes these men and women for consistently demonstrating their support for pro-growth policies.”
Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce appeared on CNBC to talk about the U.S. Chamber’s Seventh Annual Capital Markets Summit, specifically the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
While the aviation industry has weathered the recession and is on pace to be profitable this year, it still faces too many taxes and regulations, unstable energy prices, and an outdated air traffic control system, according to top industry CEOs speaking at the U.S. Chamber’s 12th Annual Aviation Summit (Watch the webcast).
You’ve probably heard that a gaffe in Washington is when someone accidentally tells the truth. Well, there is a pronounced shortage of truth telling in Washington these days.
It’s one thing to differ over philosophy, direction, and approach. That’s democracy. But the routine neglect of basic facts and fundamental realities is something we are seeing with more frequency in our politics and in our governance. And it should concern all of us.
Here are four realities that Washington has a difficult time grasping:
The fight over the constitutionality of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) controversial recess appointments is heating up, and it could go all the way to the Supreme Court.
It started when the president recess appointed Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, and Richard Griffin to the NLRB on January 4, 2012—when the Senate was not actually in recess.
Washington could use a strong dose of reality right now. To solve our problems and seize opportunities, we must face up to some basic facts and fundamental realities.
The first reality is that we can’t do much of anything without economic growth, and you can’t create growth and jobs without the private sector. The debates are often centered around revenue and spending—who’s paying up and who’s getting what. But economic growth is the real force behind opportunity, security, and prosperity.
Rep. Doc Hastings represents Washington State's Fourth Congressional District.
The American Dream has always been based on the idea that our children and grandchildren will have more opportunities and a brighter future than our own. To keep this dream alive, Congress has a responsibility to address the federal government’s out-of-control spending and reduce the crushing burden of debt we are leaving for future generations.
Kudos to Congressman Cory Gardner, who has introduced H.R. 317, the "Judgment Fund Transparency Act of 2013.” This common-sense legislation is an attempt to have Congress and the Executive Branch adhere to the Constitution, as it would require a public accounting of the taxpayer funds distributed via the Judgment Fund to parties who bring successful claims against the Federal government.
But first, we’ll start with the basic question - what is the Judgment Fund and why should the American people care about it?
Join Greg Galdabini, editor-in-chief of FreeEnterprise.com, at 2 pm on Thursday, January 31 for a Google+ Hangout discussion on one of the nation’s most pressing issues – soaring deficits and debt spurred by excessive government spending. What are the drivers of this spending spree? What are the impacts on the economy? And what are the best solutions?
The simplest way to prevent endless fights over increases to the debt ceiling is to reach an agreement on spending. Easier said than done.
While both sides appear committed to preventing a default of the U.S. government, they have yet to address what’s driving the endless debt increases in the first place—overspending.
Getting to “real, meaningful spending cuts” and avoiding default requires Congress to pass a short-term increase in the debt ceiling according to a letter to Members of the House of Representatives sent by Bruce Josten, the U.S. Chamber’s Executive Vice President for Government Affairs.
Small business uncertainty abounds, according to the U.S. Chamber’s quarterly small business survey conducted online by Harris Interactive.
Concerns about the economy, the debt and deficit, and the health care bill are cited as top challenges. More than half (53%) of all small businesses did not hire in the past year, and 64% plan to keep the same number of employees in 2013.
Key findings from the survey include the following:
Small Business Climate Remains Bleak
Technically we went over the fiscal cliff, but it ended up being a semi-soft landing instead of a head-first dive. This is not to say it was a great deal, as the U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue explains:
As President Obama prepares for his inauguration to a second term and a new Congress prepares to get under way, the agenda in Washington will be anything but a clean slate. Many of the critical issues that we have studied and debated in the past—with no successful conclusions—remain.
Yesterday, Congress made two good decisions.
Yes, you read that right. Two. With bipartisan support. While they may not have the fiscal cliff debacle sorted out, the Senate tackled a small but significant regulatory change that makes good, practical sense.
Withdrawals from the Legal System
Remember the adage? “What do law and sausage have in common? You don’t want to watch either being made.” As we watch the sausage-making in Washington surrounding a deal to avoid going over the fiscal cliff--tax increases and spending cuts set to smack the economy starting on January 1, an actual sausage maker stands by waiting:
Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.
by Brian Wingfield
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce won’t support a long-term deal to rein in spending and increase revenue unless it contains provisions to curb spending on entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, the head of the business group says.
A deal without entitlement reform “would never work,” Thomas Donohue, the Chamber’s president and chief executive officer, said at a breakfast in Washington today before a meeting of the group’s board of directors.
“By creating a CFPB that floats above the Constitution’s tripartite design of government, Congress did not merely degrade itself, it injured all Americans.”
Washington Post columnist George Will takes a hard look at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in his column this week, criticizing the agency’s unchecked funding and lack of transparent standards.
David Chavern, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S.
We can no longer use the excuse of an upcoming election to kick the can down the road on the immediate economic and fiscal challenges facing the country. The president and the outgoing Congress must work immediately—this year—to prevent the fiscal cliff and lay the groundwork for a Big Deal to restore our nation’s long-term fiscal balance and boost American energy production.
David Wessel, of the Wall Street Journal, goes out in a suit and tie, finds a cliff, and gets eerily close to the edge to explain the “fiscal cliff,” the automatic tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts set to hit on January 1. It would be a “huge blow to an already-fragile economy,” he says.
“It will not happen.”
Seventy-five days remain until the largest tax increase in American history along with irresponsible automatic spending cuts hits the economy. The Congressional Budget Office warned in August that going over the “fiscal cliff” would cause the economy to go into a recession and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.1%.
Your questions say a lot about what matters to you and how you will vote. With that in mind, if you could ask a question about jobs and the economy at tonight’s Presidential debate, what would it be?
After pitching this to our Twitter followers, we’ve received some great responses. Following are a few that are worth highlighting. We’ll add to the list as more are submitted (remember to use the hashtag #Ask4Business).
Vote for the best question by retweeting it below!
On Tuesday, President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will square off in the second of three planned debates. If you can’t be at Hofstra University for the town hall style event, we’re giving you the opportunity to have your voice heard.
Despite last month’s decline in the unemployment rate, there is plenty of evidence that both the U.S. and world economies remain weak. Policy uncertainty is a significant factor, which should signal Congress and the White House to avoid letting the economy go over the “fiscal cliff.”
Three indicators show signs of global economic weakness:
Two new surveys show continued small business worries due to Washington-generated uncertainty.
The U.S. Chamber has taken the pulse of the nation’s small business leaders and found that the mood is predominantly uncertain.
What’s going on at the Pentagon with regards to the automatic spending cuts set to happen in 2013?
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters [emphasis mine]:
But, very frankly, just the shadow of sequester being out there continually is something that–it basically creates a problem for us as we try to plan for the future. What exactly–what are we going to be facing? How are we going to deal with it?
A new survey of 800 manufacturers, small business owners, and decision makers paints a bleak picture on the state of the economy, with a majority of respondents (55%) saying that compared to three years ago the national economy is in a worse position for American small business owners and manufacturers to succeed.
Nearly half of the projected 2.14 million job losses expected to arise from impending mandatory federal spending cuts would come from small businesses, according to George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller.
Congress will fail to head off drastic defense spending cuts before they are scheduled to automatically begin taking effect in January, and it will continue to hold small and medium sized federal contractors at gunpoint for at least another six months, an expert from the American Enterprise Institute predicts.
U.S. manufacturers have actually become less optimistic, according to a new survey.
The National Association of Manufacturers released its' 3rd Quarter NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers, which revealed that optimism among manufacturers declined for the second consecutive quarter. In fact, the percentage of respondents who were "somewhat negative" nearly doubled from 15.8% in the second quarter to 29.6% in the third quarter.
Fresh off the political conventions, where they test drove their campaign stump speeches before partisan audiences, members of the House and Senate returned to Washington on September 10 to ostensibly address pressing national issues. Don’t hold your breath.
Congress hasn’t created even a pretense of industriousness, scheduling a total of just 29 work days from September through December.
Want proof positive that government policies profoundly impact an economy? Look no further than California. The Golden State has everything going for it—vast natural resources, rich agricultural land, its position as gateway to the Pacific, and innovative high-tech industries. So why has such a blessed state gone from an economic powerhouse to the verge of bankruptcy? Government policy.
When it comes to the competitive spirit, Switzerland usually isn’t the first country that pops into one’s mind. After all, the entire country only scored four medals in this summer’s Olympic games (including a silver for Roger Federer after he fell to Britain’s Andy Murray).
The U.S. government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world. In 2012, prime federal contracts total $240.7 billion. These are valuable opportunities for American businesses, but while the potential rewards are great, securing a government contract can be a complex, time-consuming endeavor. It is one reason why the federal government has failed to meet its small business contracting goals for more than a decade.
By nature, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) is intense and focused, and right now, he’s got a million other places to be. It’s the last day of Senate business before the August recess, and in just a few minutes, the junior senator will dash from his office (formerly occupied by the late Democrat Ted Kennedy) to the Senate floor for votes on a number of bills, including a contentious cybersecurity bill.
Washington lawmakers bolted out of town on August 3 for their annual month-long summer recess, escaping the heat and humidity in the nation’s capital and even more heated rhetoric and partisanship.
Unfortunately, Congress failed to bring closure to a number of bills that would spark economic growth and job creation while alleviate growing uncertainty. Here are Congress’ top 5 biggest failures:
Public attitudes towards big business are on the upswing, according to the results from a new Public Affairs Council survey.
Two-thirds of Americans now have a favorable view of major companies — up from 61% in 2011 — according to the new Public Affairs Pulse survey. Only 29% had unfavorable opinions.
Even more interestingly, young people have a surprisingly positive view towards big business – 71% of members of "Gen Y" (age 18-34) have a favorable opinion of business.
In many respects, Canada’s economy is the envy of the world. Not only did we weather the global economic and financial crisis better than most industrialized countries, but we staged an impressive turnaround. Canada was the first of the G7 countries to recover all the output lost during the recession. Our labour market bounced back, too, recovering all of the jobs lost through the downturn as of early last year.
With a few potent words, the political leaders and statesmen who signed the Declaration of Independence unleashed the power of opportunity and initiative in America. Free enterprise was an important element in their grand experiment in liberty.
The Founders laid the foundation for a free enterprise system in clear, simple terms. They wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
While the national economy is slowly expanding and adding private sector jobs, some states are doing better than others. Still, others are poised for greater future economic success because of pro-growth policies, according to the latest edition of the U.S. Chamber’s annual Enterprising States study.
Two Supreme Court heavyweights headlined the National Chamber Litigation Center (NCLC)’s annual Supreme Court press briefing to discuss the top business cases on the Court’s docket, including the constitutional challenge to the health care law. Video archive of the briefing is available online.
Critics of corporations participating in the political process use work by Harvard Professor John Coates and other scholars to support their rhetorical façade that political spending hurts a corporation’s bottom line. They then use this argument in the shareholder voting process to try to limit corporate political spending.
INTERVIEW: Gov. Heineman Touts Nebraska’s Tax Revolution, Agricultural Advantages As Reasons for Growth
Thanks to increased global demand for agriculture and a domestic energy boom, the Cornhusker state is popping.
But while those external factors are helping Nebraska grow, it’s also pro-business policies that are helping Nebraska become a state of opportunity.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell (D) has a pretty simple prescription for attracting businesses to his state: give them a skilled and educated workforce.
“In the end, education is the most important thing. We’ve been one of the states that spend relatively more per student, but results are in the middle. We want results among the best,” Markell told FreeEnterprise.com in a phone interview.
Today, the U.S. Chamber board of directors elected Edward B. Rust Jr., chairman and CEO of State Farm, to serve a one-year term as chairman, replacing John Ruan III. The board took the opportunity of its meeting to celebrate the Chamber's 100th anniversary. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) today also acknowledged the Chamber's anniversary during remarks on the Senate floor.
Chamber Amicus Brief Defends First Amendment Rights of Organizations to Participate in Public and Political Dialogue
Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a friend-of-the-court brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a Montana Supreme Court decision that upheld a Montana ban on political speech by organizations of all types. The Chamber’s amicus brief argues that the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling is incompatible with the First Amendment and in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.
UPDATED: By a vote of 62-37 the Senate voted to approve a measure that would give the struggling U.S. Postal Service a cash infusion of $11 billion while delaying controversial decisions to close post office and delivery centers and end Saturday delivery. The issue now goes to the House, which has yet to consider a separate version of the bill.
The Senate has begun voting on a bill that would dramatically streamline the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in an effort to save the agency from bankruptcy.
Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.
The Social Security program will exhaust its trust fund in 2035 and have to start reducing benefits to senior citizens unless Congress intervenes, its trustees said.
Though business leaders are exasperated that Congress has made so little progress on issues vital to economic growth and job creation, that is not to say that there are not a number of individual lawmakers who are fighting the good fight. During the U.S. Chamber's "Spirit of Enterprise Award" presentation earlier this month, I caught up with a few award winners to get their thoughts on what must be done to ensure a stronger recovery.
There’s more to be afraid of than today being Friday the Thirteenth or that Tax Day hits us next week. Real fear should be aimed at a tax code that hurts job creation, stymies economic growth, and makes us less globally competitive … and is poised to get much worse.
America’s latest recession is widely regarded as the worst since the Great Depression, but going beyond that, the current economic recovery is historically far less robust. America has never really recovered from the recession, contends Edward Lazear, former chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, in the Wall Street Journal.
It's no secret that Americans are generally displeased with Congress as a whole. Just 9% give Congress positive ratings for the overall job it is doing while 91% give it negative ratings, according to the results of a Harris Poll from earlier this month.
This article is the second in a ten-part series from the National Chamber Foundation titled “American Competitiveness—A National Assessment through the Eyes of Job Creators.” The series explores how well America is positioned to excel in today’s tightly contested global economy through eight questions that job creators ask when determining where to locate, invest, grow, and hire among a world of alternatives.
In The Hunger Games, Panem is a post-apocalyptic country left after drought, famine, and war wreaked havoc on what was North America. Twelve districts, separated by industry, serve the Capitol. The districts and its inhabitants are a farm for the Capitol denizens. They provide goods, like coal and agricultural materials, but also serve as the anticipated annual entertainment that gives the book and movie its title.
“The U.S. business community is confronted with a fundamental choice: Ignore Washington or work with it to fix the problems plaguing our economy.”
That's the opinion of William A. Galston, the Ezra Zilkha chair in Governance Studies at Brookings Institution, and Glenn Hutchins, co-founder of Silver Lake, a technology industry investment company, and vice-chairman of the board of the Brookings.
Does falling unemployment, a rising stock market, and greater consumer confidence mean that the economy has finally turned the corner? While the news is welcome, we’re still stuck in the weakest, slowest recovery since the Great Depression. We’re still down about 6 million jobs since the recession ended. And there are still a number of factors beyond our immediate control, such as rapidly rising gas prices or a default in Europe, that could derail our fragile recovery.
The interface between business and government sets the foundation for our nation’s wider economy. It is a vital nexus in these tough economic times and one that is in dire need of innovative approaches.
Entrepreneurship is an American ideal. The Founding Fathers recognized that America’s great promise was the freedom of its citizens to start their own enterprises and pursue their dreams free from an overreaching government. On President’s Day, we celebrate America’s past and present leaders. But which presidents should small business owners celebrate?
Senior presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren have taken to the airwaves recently to argue that entrepreneurs and business owners owe their success to government—more than to their own individual initiative, hard work, and good ideas.
The reviews are in on President Obama’s budget, and it’s rotten tomatoes for the commander in chief.
The $3.8 trillion budget plan calls for increased spending and tax hikes, but does almost nothing to address entitlement spending. The budget landed with a thud on Capitol Hill, drawing the expected Republican opposition but also earning the ire of America’s leading newspapers, which delivered scathing critiques of the plan on their editorial pages. Here's a sampling of editorials:
Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.
Roger Runningen and Brian Faler
President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.8 trillion budget plan today with stimulus spending and tax increases for the wealthiest Americans, spelling out election- year priorities that are certain to draw Republican opposition.
Obama is proposing more money for jobs, highways and bridges, schools, student aid and manufacturing research as well as higher taxes for corporations, banks and oil, natural gas and coal companies.
Assaults on the free enterprise system have gone global. We’ve heard them in the United States for months. But a debate recently erupted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some critics suggested that capitalism was to blame for the European debt crisis, widespread unemployment, and the fragile state of the world’s economy. Some officials in Davos went so far as to call for a complete overhaul of the free market system.
Are they right? Is capitalism broken? Is the free market system failing us? Not on your life.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
All the regulation we might need is already contained in existing statutes. We do not need any more agencies. Existing agencies should be made to perform satisfactorily. More bureaucracy will solve nothing.—Gary Krantz, Longmont, CO
Today, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing to discuss the consequences of the President’s January 4th recess appointments.
By using an unprecedented maneuver to seat these appointees, the President has nearly ensured that the appointments will be challenged on constitutional grounds.
His own Office of Legal Counsel acknowledged that the appointments present a “novel” question, and “the substantial arguments on each side create some litigation risk for such appointments.”
Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said he doesn’t expect President Barack Obama to ask him to stay in office if he’s re-elected, and dismissed Wall Street’s concerns about financial regulations.
Ahead of the State of the Union Address, we published a listener’s guide and highlighted the business community’s plan to grow jobs and strengthen the economy.
Below is how the president's speech rhetoric stack ups up against his record and the U.S. Chamber's jobs plan.
We asked: Will the president say anything on energy and infrastructure?
What message do small business owners want to send to President Obama in advance of tomorrow's State of the Union address? Stay out of the way. According to the Chamber's latest Small Business Outlook Survey, 80% of small business owners do not want handouts, they want less interference from Washington legislators and regulators.
As Congress returns to Washington today, legislators face multiple major issues on economic growth, debt, and taxes, among other things. Tensions between Republicans and Democrats on the Hill remain high, and much of the debate in 2012 will be influenced by the upcoming congressional and presidential elections. President Obama has already said his campaign will run against a “do-nothing” Congress.
It may be an election year, but "do nothing" won't be an option for this Congress, which has its work cut out with mounting pressures to resolve some contentious issues. Most immediately, members of Congress must come to an agreement on how to fund a payroll tax cut—an issue that generated significant debate in December.
Congress has until February 29 to extend the tax break, which cuts workers' payroll taxes from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. The deadline also applies to Congress’ decision to extend a program to prolong unemployment benefits.
With America facing a still sluggish economy and great uncertainty, Washington lawmakers must not take the election year off but, rather, get busy working with business to achieve everyone’s highest priority—putting Americans back to work, said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue during his annual State of American Business address.
The Peoria Journal recently sat down with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO, Tom Donohue to answer some vital questions about the economy and the Chamber’s values before he spoke to the 2011 mid-year graduating class of Bradley University. Below are some highlights from the Peoria Journal interview:
Again, political leaders in Washington narrowly avoided a government shut down. This past Thursday, Congress passed a one trillion dollar spending agreement for 2012’s federal agencies. The agreed-upon legislation contains funding allocations for the Pentagon, Education Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. Discussion about the payroll tax holiday picked up steam late into Thursday night and finally lead to an agreement that avoided the impending shutdown.
This year, the PEW Research Center conducted a national survey of veterans and found that 44% of post 9/11 soldiers have faced difficulty in readjusting to civilian life. As most of our troops make their way home from Iraq, we must show our support and understanding as they struggle to assimilate back to civilian life. Part of that struggle is finding a job in what often seems to be an unrelenting job market.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 64% of Americans believe big government is the largest threat to the country – only 1% below the national record high. Gallup's previous survey data, dating all the way back to 1965, has consistently indicated that Americans are more concerned about big government than they are big business or big labor. The sentiment permeates across political party lines.
The Small Business Innovative Research program coupled with the Small Business Technology Transfer program have recently been reauthorized by House and Senate members in a bipartisan effort to create jobs and improve the economy. These programs have proven to be successful over a 30 year period and were facing their expiration dates.
Small businesses have a lot to overcome in today’s economy, but thankfully as a consequence of the recession, small business have adapted, re-strategized and now have lower-risk loan profiles. Borrowing figures are impressively up, perhaps as a result of small businesses implementing new technological processes and devices to boost productivity and efficiency.
Many of our veterans are hard-pressed to find job opportunity in this country when they return from their service. Shockingly, the nationwide jobless rate among veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq is 12 percent. Military spouses have it worse still, with a 26 percent jobless rate. Kevin Schmiegel, vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's veterans employment program, recently asserted that these statistics represent "a national security issue." In an effort to correct these unacceptable numbers, the U.S.
The Chamber’s Randy Johnson co-wrote an opinion piece on how government agencies are hurting America’s global competitiveness. Also included in the piece are recommendations on how the U.S. can improve its policies and create a more vibrant economy now.
Many entrepreneurs have impressive business aspirations that cannot be realized without some essential training in business foundations. The skills that can be acquired through marketing, advertising and finance courses are priceless assets to an individual looking to start a new company.
Entrepreneurs have the impressive ability to fall down, get back up, fall again a few more times and then take off running. Expert have stated that when small businesses fail, the owner will take a position in an industry they are familiar with. However, for a startup founder the immediate next step is to shut down and start again. According to these experts, this is the fuel that will revive the American economy.
According to the Kauffman Foundation, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mark Warner (D.Va.) introduced new bipartisan legislation that aspires to jumpstart the economy through business development and sustained growth. Political leaders are prioritizing job creation and economic growth in the face of such high unemployment and poor economic confidence. The hope is that legislation aimed at advancing the entrepreneurial pursuits will create meaningful businesses that will come to employ the American work force and bring down unemployment figures.
December marks the return of many of our men and women in uniform. When they return, they will begin a new chapter of their lives and will require the support of their communities, the government and business leaders. Former Navy Petty Officer Ronnie Reum has experienced the support of the American business community first hand.
Editor’s Note: This post by Bill Kovacs, the Chamber’s Senior Vice President for Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S.
Technology entrepreneurs can now look forward to a new, free online resource. Stanford University has done a lot to advance the cause of both entrepreneurs and startup ventures in the U.S. Now the university is gearing up to offer an online Stanford Technology Entrepreneurship class that will provide a blend of in-depth case studies and research on the business development process.
On December 7th, 1941 Japan attacked the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. The following day, the U.S. entered World War II. This date, which will live in infamy, reminds us of the importance of our nation’s military and their families. As a new generation of veterans comes home, many this month, the U.S. Chamber is working to say thank you to them and those who served before them through its Hiring Our Heroes program.
In the face of such severe economic uncertainty, small businesses are reluctant to hire new employees. According to Clarence Otis Jr., CEO of Darden Restaurants, policy and regulatory requirements are making it increasingly difficult for businesses in the restaurant industry to see “why and where creating new jobs makes sense.” Without sincere regulatory reform, job creation in America is likely to remain stagnent. An article written by Clarence Otis Jr.
Editor’s Note: This post by Sean Hackbarth, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Polls, like the Chamber's Small Business Outlook Survey, show small business owners see policy uncertainty as an obstacle to greater job creation and more economic growth. This isn't just perception. When economists take a serious look at this, they indeed find a connection.
According to a recent study from the Kauffman Foundation, engineering and technology firms originally established by immigrants produced $52 billion in sales and came to employ 450,000 workers in the U.S. in the year 2005 alone. The Partnership for a New American Economy also produced a report revealing that more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants (or their children).
NASA has selected 300 small business proposals to enter into negotiations for possible contract awards through the agency's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These competitive awards-based programs encourage U.S. small businesses and research institutions to engage in federal research, development and commercialization. The programs enable teams to explore technological potential while providing the incentive to profit from new commercial products and services.
The November Monthly Jobs Report has been released. Based on these new figures, to reach pre-recession employment levels within 39 months of the end of the recession (September 2012) we will now have to create 627,000 jobs every month. [caption id="attachment_14984" align="aligncenter" width="526" caption="Click to Download"][/caption]
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today applauded the House of Representatives for passing the Regulatory Accountability Act, which would modernize the regulatory process to make it more transparent and accountable. You can read the U.S. Chamber's press release, discussing the positive step forward, here.
Editor’s Note: This post by Sean Hackbarth, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S.
TechCrunch recently posted an interview with Mayor Bloomberg for their series, Founder Stories. In the interview, Mayor Bloomberg shares his incredible journey expressing that he may not have been the smartest guy anywhere he was in life, but he was always the hardest worker.
So many creative entrepreneurs are born and educated in America, yet they are taking their businesses with expansive job creating potential elsewhere. Daniel Shin came to the U.S. from South Korea, attended American schools through college and quit his American job to pursue a career as an entrepreneur in South Korea. Just after 20 months of quitting his job, Shin built the company Ticket Monster with 700 employees and about $25 million a month in revenue. This is unfortunately an example of what will continue to happen if our immigration policies in America aren’t revisited.
For young Americans aspiring to become entrepreneurs, the decision to go to college is a difficult one. The question is, does college adequately prepare you to become an entrepreneur and start your own business?
Steve Case, one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and philanthropists, sat down with Forbes to discuss what do we need to do to create more hot beds of entrepreneurial activity across the country. Check out the interview with Case below and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A wide-ranging report published today offers unique insights into the mood and behavior of entrepreneurs in the United States and Europe as they grapple with economic crisis. They may be losing revenues, losing profit or even losing sleep – but they are not losing determination to succeed.
Are entrepreneurs born or made? CEO of FindTheBest Kevin O'Connor asks himself the same question each time he guest lectures for college entrepreneurial programs across the country. O'Connor’s life experiences and additional research has convinced him that successful entrepreneurs are a little bit of both. Some individuals with innovative passion and drive do not have the same educational resources as others.
Unless our government leaders make smart economic policy decisions our national debt will reach dangerously unsustainable levels. Our slow economic recovery only exacerbates this debt challenge. The Pew Budget Challenge is designed to see how everyday Americans would tackle the problem by offering more than 100 illustrative options to reduce the debt.
UPDATED November 21, 2011
President Obama today signed legislation to repeal a requirement that federal, state, and local governments withhold 3% of payments to their contractors beginning in 2013. The move marks the successful culmination of a years-long lobbying, grassroots, and advertising campaign by the Chamber, its members, and other business groups to erase the onerous mandate.
Editor’s Note: This post by Steve Lutes, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber is hosting the Future of Entrepreneurship Education Summit this week in Washington, DC.
In a political maneuver, the current administration has decided to delay approval of the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline that would run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. In light of this decision, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he must now consider selling oil directly to China instead. As a result of the delay, more than 20,000 jobs will be diverted away from Americans who desperately need them and our country’s energy security will be greatly compromised. Watch U.S.
U.S. Chamber President Calls Delay on Keystone XL Pipeline Decision a Political and Job-Killing Move
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today following the announcement by the State Department to delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline:
Editor’s Note: This post by Kevin Schmiegel, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Over the last two weeks, we’ve asked our fans to answer questions about entrepreneurship and free enterprise. The questions were similar to a survey of high school juniors the National Chamber Foundation and Junior Achievement released in September.
As it turns out, American Free Enterprise fans and high school juniors share strikingly similar views.
Many of our country’s great businesses were started by former members of our armed forces. These are truly remarkable individuals who first gave us their service and then proceeded to give us our jobs. Paige Craig is an ex-marine, founder and CEO of a startup called Betterworks. He explains to Business Insider, “The Marine Corps was one of those foundational things for me.
Editor’s Note: This post by Cheryl Oldham originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Leaders across the world are taking steps to harness the power of entrepreneurship to grow their respective economies. For years, America has been the leader in the development of entrepreneurs, but outdated immigration policies have allowed competing nations to catch up. Now, more than ever, it is vital for America to attract entrepreneurial talent. Our Universities not only offer foreign students the ability to hone their skills, but they also help to foster a level of commitment and desire to contribute their innovative insight to our country.
Will young entrepreneurs save us, economically? Maybe, but they definitely need our support to do it. Ernst & Young and McKinsey & Company have conducted some studies to see what young entrepreneurs are thinking. The research will be used to aid participants in the walk-up G-20 summit of young entrepreneurs where 26 of the top entrepreneurs will meet in Nice, France. According to the research 62 percent of young entrepreneurs in the top 20 economies think innovation should be the top priority among governments and private sectors.
The October Monthly Jobs Report has been released. Based on these new figures, to reach pre-recession employment levels within 39 months of the end of the recession (September 2012) we will now have to create 588,000 jobs every month.
Editor’s Note: This post by Bill Kovacs originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
With job creation in mind, two bills intended to assist small businesses in acquiring capital were approved by the House of Representatives Wednesday, November 2, 2011. The Small Company Capital Formation Act introduced by Rep. David Schweikert, for example, increases the initial-public offering threshold for small businesses from $5 million to $50 million. This marks the first instance in almost twenty years that the Securities and Exchange Commission raised the threshold for these regulated figures.
Editor’s Note: This post by Sean Hackbarth, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S.
There is still a long way to go to reduce economic uncertainty, boost job creation and grow our economy, but there is reason to remain optimistic about our economic futures. A new Gallup poll reveals that in the month of October, job market conditions improved from September’s job creation figures. This increase marks a change in the three-month downward trend seen from July to September.
This past Wednesday, a U.S. House panel came together in a bipartisan effort to back legislation that promises to make it easier for small businesses to attract investments. The legislative deal came in the form of four bills including a measure to permit investments up to $10,000 through online social media platforms designed to raise capital. A separate bill introduced by Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) would require that the SEC admit small, private companies to use advertisements to attract private offerings from potential investors.
Editor’s Note: This post by Bruce Josten, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Yesterday, The White House outlined a new initiative created to assist America’s student population in managing their debt and to encourage them to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career option after graduation.
The United States is lacking comprehensive high-skilled immigration reform that will ultimately help contribute to the integrity of local markets and our overall global competitiveness. The United States could jeopardize its role as the world’s leader in entrepreneurial pursuits if it continues to refuse the stay of talented foreign students. An article from Inc. reminds us that Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian immigrant who went on to creatively transform our tech industries.
A new poll from Gallup reveals that 22% of the small business owners they surveyed are most likely to say complying with limiting governmental regulations is the most important problem facing them today.
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Tom Collamore, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Communications and Strategy, and originally appear on Oct. 23. Read more from the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ChamberPost.
Editor’s Note: This guest post is written by Tom Collamore, U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president of Communications and Strategy, and originally appeared in the Washington Post.
The National Chamber Foundation (NCF) and Junior Achievement (JA) survey released last month indicates that the youth of America today look forward to owning their own businesses where they once wanted to become astronauts or movie stars.
Unless you are a government contractor, you may not have heard about 3% withholding. But for Terry Neimeyer, CEO of KCI Technologies Inc., a government contractor, it’s a little-known issue with big implications.
Tucked away in the 2005 tax reconciliation bill, the 3% withholding provision requires federal, state, and certain local governments to start withholding 3% of payment owed to government service providers starting in 2013.
Young businesses are vital to economic prosperity. According to The Economist, companies less than five years old created 40 million net new jobs between the years 1980 and 2005. This is an impressive figure, and if current startups could keep up the same track record, we could see our economy rapidly improving. However, new insights reveal that within the past three years, the number of new companies formed each year has decreased by almost a quarter.
Gallup is out with a new survey this week on students’ entrepreneurial energy. The survey is similar to the National Chamber Foundation (NCF) and Junior Achievement (JA) survey released last month.
Wednesday night the House passed free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. According to a federal commission, these agreements could expand the U.S. economy by $14.4 billion dollars and foster considerable job creation in our country. Watch the CBS news special below to learn more:
Entrepreneurs are not only keenly apt at solving the world’s most challenging problems, but they also look forward to the prospect of encountering a good challenge. In fact, there should be a push for cities to start advertising their distinctive advantages alongside their distinctive problems. Working as partners, both entrepreneurs and cities can overcome regional obstacles that hinder economic and social progress.
Editor’s Note: This post is written by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Thomas J. Donohue. Read more from the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ChamberPost.
High-skilled immigration reform can help America round out its national skillset and increase our overall global competitiveness. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is launching the "Entrepreneurs in Residence" initiative in order to better the visa acquisition process.
Editor’s Note: This post by Abram Olmstead, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Still aren’t entirely clear how the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement will benefit U.S. workers, farmers, and companies? This lunchroom dialogue between two co-workers clears up misconceptions and illustrates why Congress must pass this agreement when it comes up for a vote next week.
Steve Case, Startup America’s Chairman, believes that Washington can help boost entrepreneurship and the job creation it stimulates by reevaluating immigration policy, removing barriers that prevent companies from going public, and maximizing the accessibility of seed funding.
The U.S. Department of State is interested in what you have to say about the Keystone XL pipeline project. White House officials intend to meet today to openly discuss and weigh the pros and cons of its adoption. The official White House announcement explains, "The purpose of the meeting is to give individuals an opportunity to voice their views on whether granting or denying a presidential permit for the pipeline would be in the U.S. national interest.” The U.S.
Our business leaders do so much to help establish a high-quality American existence, yet they are often restricted by excessive regulations. It is undeniable that some regulations stifle business growth and deter potential entrepreneurs from pursuing dreams that will create jobs for Americans. Common-sense regulations are necessary to establish ground rules for business, but many overstep their bounds.
There is a lot to gain from understanding the way startups operate. Startup Foundation was launched recently in major cities like Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Des Moines, and Sao Paulo to develop ecosystems for startup advancement. The Foundation receives funding from the Kauffman Foundation and its programs are well underway for development.
On Monday, the White House sent free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to Congress for approval after years of delay. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been calling for the passage of these free trade agreements for the past four years, emphasizing the fact that they will preserve 400,000 jobs in America and create hundreds of thousands more.
Good news for America’s manufacturing sector – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 61 out of 100 of our country’s largest metropolitan regions created new jobs this past year. Detroit came out on top adding 14,100 jobs to the industry since August 2010.
We know how important education is for an effective and productive workforce. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released new research pointing to the United States’ excellence in university supported research.
Editor’s Note: This post by Katie Denis, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Consumer confidence is at an all-time low with Americans becoming frustrated with a lack of job opportunity. New numbers from a New York based research group, The Conference Board, showed that confidence is the lowest it has been since April 2009. Poor morale can be attributed to a depressing August jobs report, high unemployment rates, plunging stock prices and concern over Europe’s own economic woes. Uncertainty has succeeded in bringing down the spirits of consumers, entrepreneurs, and investors.
Our economic recovery will undoubtedly be carried by the hard work and innovations of our business men and women. There are all sorts of theories for how we can get our economy back on track. The most compelling find ways to effectively tear down barriers that stand in the way of vital business investments.
Focusing on domestic energy production will not only create American jobs, but will also establish significant revenue for state and federal governments. Expanding oil and gas industries closer to home would offer our economy a necessary push, all-the-while reducing our dependence on foreign energy. Industry experts predict that future energy exploration will focus on the Americas, including the U.S.
An infographic developed by LinkedIn and featured on
When economic policies should be focused on promoting innovation and bolstering American businesses, we find that over-regulation continues to cause economic uncertainty and prevent new hires and investment by small business owners. It is clear that regulations, which lack common sense, have severely compromised economic productivity in this country.
A new Gallup poll conducted in mid-September revealed that Americans are still disillusioned about the economy. Results show that 35% of Americans believe that the current economy is no different than it was last year. A larger percentage (42%) believe the economy is in a worse state than a year ago. When asked what they thought the state of the economy would be a year from now, 61% conjectured that the climate would be similar to today's or even worse.
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This post is a transcript of the speech CEO and President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue, gave at the Global Business Forum—Building Foundations on Shifting Sands, today in Canada.
Myron Brilliant, senior vice president for International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, recently discussed how the government can save nearly 400,000 jobs and create hundreds of thousands more by passing the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
Oil and gas companies in America are anxious to hire new workers, if only government leaders would let them. In a previous post, we discussed how focusing on green energy has done little to create jobs in this country. American oil and gas companies now want to take a stab at reducing our high unemployment rates.
According to a survey released this past Tuesday, an overwhelming 70% of small businesses do not plan to change their hiring plans in light of the proposed $447 billion stimulus plan, should it pass. Out of 1,648 respondents, only 11% said they would hire if the jobs plan became law. Some small businesses are also saying that they would prefer to give raises and bonuses to their current employees if eligible for tax relief, as opposed to taking on new employees. Most small businesses are blaming the lack of access to capital as the main inhibiting factor to hiring.
The American millennial generation has been privileged enough to live through some of the most innovative technological advances. They have witnessed young, ambitious entrepreneurs create some of the most successful companies ever made, and in doing so, they have been inspired to help grow our economy and create jobs by starting their own innovative small businesses. Accordingly, Bloomberg Businessweek has spotlighted 25 companies run by founders no older than 25 in their 2011 roundup.
In an interview with Fox Business, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior V.P. Bill Kovacs discussed how EPA regulations are overwhelming American industries. When asked what he thinks the top regulation holding businesses back is, he pointed to the permitting process, “We did a study in March of 2010, and we asked a very simple question: how many energy projects are being held up across the country because they can’t get a permit? And we found out that there were 351 projects that could not get a permit.
Small businesses drive the American job engine, yet by encouraging the exportation of American made products, they could create many more. According to analysts, there is widespread demand for American-made products, and if small businesses could tap into those overseas markets, domestic job creation would be stimulated. In an attempt to help small business owners take advantage of this opportunity, the U.S.
Editors Note: This post originally appeared in Free Enterprise Magazine: News and Views from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In Washington, any single member of Congress can avoid attention by blending in with his or her 534 colleagues. But for the 12 members of the bipartisan congressional supercommittee tasked with trimming $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion from the nation’s debt, the national spotlight and the pressure that comes with it are unavoidable.
On Tuesday, the Startup America Partnership, revealed $330 million worth of product and service commitments created to assist startups. The Startup America Partnership is a nonprofit organization designed to further innovation and create American jobs. CEO, Scott Case, is also in charge of the private sector branch of Startup America which also considers itself “a movement by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.”
In 2009, Gallup conducted a study of 1,010 Americans over the age of fifteen and found that 55% of them are interested in working for themselves, while a much smaller percentage of 36% said they would prefer to work for someone else. The allure of self-employment appears to be that it affords flexibility and freedom that working for someone else does not.
Unpredictable economic times mean businesses are weary to seriously invest. High unemployment rates, low job creation, and meager G.D.P. figures paint a depressing economic picture for America. While most economists view recessions as short run problems in need of quick remedies, there are other economic views that advocate establishing and focusing on policies that cultivate long-term growth.
This opinion piece was authored by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue and originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal.
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Congress recently authorized a significant reconstruction of the national patent system, soon-to-be signed into law by the President. The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act is said to consolidate patent processes in such a way that a valuable number jobs will be created in America. Business insider reveals how the Act will impact you.
All business is not the same business. There are very distinct organizational paths for entrepreneurs, and governmental policies appealing to entrepreneurship should be tailored to these differences and resources should be distributed according to each unique ecosystem. While all individuals who start businesses can rightfully be considered entrepreneurs, not taking into consideration the unique characteristics of entrepreneurial endeavors can ruin public policy that is intended to enable growth and economic recovery.
Small businesses employ over half of the private workforce and are responsible for a large majority of all new jobs created in America. Owners and entrepreneurs contribute an impressive number of cutting-edge patents and are of monumental importance to the American economy. Currently, small business is suffering at the hands of misguided governmental policies and uncertain economic climates that result from them. Slow small business development in recent times means entrepreneurs and small businesses need our support and the removal of obstacles to startup creation more than ever.
With an anemic economic recovery, we need to enact effective policies to create American jobs. Cutting payroll taxes is a productive way to spur job creation and one that has also garnered tentative political agreement. Continued job creation, however, relies on the duration of the cuts. The longer the cuts are in place, the longer we can expect a decrease in disappointing unemployment figures.
In August, small business sentiment shattered across the board, taking the Small Business PESSImism Index down 1.8 points to 88.1. In reports, the NFIB sites the political squabbles between Congress and the current administration over the national deficit as key to breaking business confidence. Economic uncertainty has also plagued small business owners and entrepreneurs who lack the confidence necessary to hire new workers.
Americans cannot help but feel anxious watching job growth come to a complete hault in the month of August and witnessing unemployment rates linger at or above nine percent. The President addressed a joint session of Congress yesterday to discuss potential solutions and to reveal his administration's jobs plan.
The jobs plan that President Obama outlined to a joint session of Congress on Thursday evening falls short of what’s needed to trigger more robust economic growth that will bring down the nation’s stubbornly high unemployment rate, U.S. Chamber officials say.
“A workable jobs plan must genuinely reduce regulatory uncertainty, unshackle promising American industries, and not be overly reliant on government spending and subsidies,” says Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue.
Political leaders in Washington have attempted to cut down on massive unemployment figures. However, some economists believe that these leaders are on the wrong track. Instead, they argue attention should be focused on how to grow the economy. Without competitive markets and a stable demand for goods and services, businesses will continue to be reluctant to hire. Strict and shifting regulatory requirements have been controlling businesses to an economically unhealthy degree. We need a jobs plan that does not rely on quick fixes, and instead is committed to our overall economic growth.
Data from EMSI’s Complete 2011.3 dataset developed an interactive graphic powered by Tableau which illustrates job growth (red) and recession (blue) for all U.S. counties from years 2006 to 2011. By clicking on a county you can even view a percentage breakdown by industry. The U.S.
Increasing domestic energy production will not only make the United States less dependent on foreign energy resources, but will also improve our economy and establish close to a million jobs over the next seven years. The U.S.
In a previous post, we highlighted where you could find the jobs most available in this economy, but not all industries are findings success. Columnist David Brooks explains that despite significant public sector investment, the green energy industry hasn't been able to create significant jobs. This is yet another examples of our current policies failing to stimulate jobs growth. Instead, we need to unleash the power of American Free Enterprise to innovate and create jobs.
The job creation conversation has spiked as the president prepares to address a joint session of Congress on Thursday. Administration officials say the speech will address infrastructure spending; housing aid, including an expanded refinance program and new measures to assist the unemployed. Speeding up infrastructure projects was just one of six steps that U.S.
With a stifling economic climate, over one million self-employed workers have gone under. With small businesses struggling, job creation falters, and unemployment rates inevitably rise. We need a new jobs plan more than ever, and our political leaders are meeting September 8th to reveal a strategy for job creation. The promise is to promote growth by making it "easier" for entrepreneurs to hire.
Editor’s Note: This post by Sean Hackbarth, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The August Monthly Jobs report has been released. Based on these new figures, to reach pre-recession employment levels within 39 months of the end of the recession (September 2012) we will now have to create 527,000 jobs every month.
At the recent Labor Day Briefing, Chamber Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Dr. Martin Regalia spoke about the initial conditions that sparked our recent economic downturn. He explained that job creation will not pick up unless GDP increases significantly. With 70% of the economy being consumption, a decrease in demand means that businesses do not need additional labor. They are meeting demand, or rather a lack of demand, with the employees they have currently. In order to stimulate growth, we need to seriously revisit fiscal policy.
In a previous post, we discussed just how important small businesses are to this country. They create 60-80 percent of all new jobs. The better we can support them, the more jobs we can create.
There is only so much talking about the U.S. and global economy politicians can do. It is important that political leaders become the keepers of their economic promises. Unrelenting political back-and-forth coupled with procrastination is only prolonging job creation in this country. Undoubtedly, it will take significant time to get the economy back on track, but that cannot be a justification for passivity.
Three long awaited trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama have been delayed by political squabbles between the White House and House Republican leaders. Both parties generally agree that the free trade agreements should be passed; however, a significant lack of trust has slowed the process. The Obama Administration has promised to send the trade deals off to Congress as long as Republicans accede the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, a worker retraining program. As long as everyone remains weary, these essential free trade agreements won't get passed.
President Obama launched a national campaign to help Americans start new businesses. Startup America was announced this past January, and the initiative focuses on unlocking access to capital, connecting mentors, reducing barriers, accelerating innovation, and unleashing market opportunities. The Obama Administration recently revealed the program's progress in a comprehensive report. Do you think these strategies will be successful? Have they already impacted your business?
Small businesses are not seeing profits nearly as high as they did in the last year. The economic slump has caused small businesses to stop hiring and to spend more time considering alternative marketing strategies to advance their position. Optimism is also at a considerable low, with businesses concerned with inflation, interest rates, and qualifying for bank loans. In order to turn things around, we need government to move out of the way and put entrepreneurs back in the driving seat.
Representative Adam B. Schiff is working on a bill that would help foreign students, specializing in science and engineering, stay in the U.S. even after they have completed their studies. These students could provide meaningful contributions to the technology sector and help the United States gain an competitive advantage in global markets. Implementing this strategy will result in the development of unique technology startups that will ultimately create American jobs and boost our economy.
Overbearing regulations make it difficult for businesses to get off the ground, especially for entrepreneurs who lack funding and a full understanding of the complex regulatory system. Donna Matias and her colleagues at the Entrepreneurship Clinic at the University of San Diego Law School are trying to change that by providing pro bono legal services to low income San Diego entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurial endeavors create much needed jobs.
For the past decade, American Express has been using Small Business Monitor surveys to track the sentiment of small businesses and their operational leaders. The report they recently released revealed that optimism has not recovered from the Great Recession. Uncertainty about our economic climate is preventing much needed business opportunity. Small Business Labs reports on the optimism recession:
Editor's Note: This post originally appeared in the National Chamber Foundation Blog: The Future of Business. They curate a weekly list of blog posts that touch on emerging issues affecting the American business community.
Promising statistics from the Federal Reserve’s monthly report, measuring real industrial production output, indicate that the manufacturing sector is back on a positive growth path. Free enterprise is essential for continued industrial growth and job creation in our country.
Professor Mark J. Perry posted the following highlights on his blog, Carpe Diem:
Establishing the foundation for a new business is always, in a positive word, a journey. Erratic stock markets, depressing economic narratives and a highly indecisive Congress have all worked to make it even more difficult for entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground. However, even in the thick of all that negativity, business innovators are still walking tall.
Fareed Zakaria writes in today's Washington Post that the president's number one priority should be job creation and that "Obama needs proposals that can get through Congress, not ones that sound good on TV."
We couldn't agree more.
Young entrepreneurs are incredibly valuable to a struggling economy. Neil Blumenthal, co-founder of Warby Parker, journeyed to Capitol Hill to espouse that very sentiment. His talk supported small businesses and emphasized the importance of politicians getting out of the way of necessary economic changes.
New opportunities for commercial space travel are surfacing as a result of developing contractual relationships between NASA and various spaceflight companies. These contracts also bring increased opportunity for research, experimentation, and the fostering of new space technologies. Hope for commercial space travel is a testament to America's ingenuity and has already created significant revenue in response to expected launches in coming years.
For at least the next two years, the Federal Reserve intends to keep interest rates near zero. As a result, interest rates will plausibly increase for small businesses and consumer loans. Current unstable market conditions in the wake of economic downgrade mean banks assume larger risks with small businesses. In turn, small businesses and individuals planning to invest will unfortunately look forward to higher interest rates and higher risk for loan rejection.
Companies want and need to hire new talent, however, they are faced with difficult obstacles that dissuade them from making necessary dips into our unemployment pool. Uncertainty surrounding potential tax increases, mandated employer health care coverage, international trade agreements, and environmental regulations are significant barriers to minimizing the unemployment rate.
Generation Y has proven themselves worthy and able to help clean up our messy economy. Concern for job security has caused many young Americans to build their own startup businesses that have in turn created much needed American jobs. MSNBC reports on organizations such as the Young Entrepreneur Council, Young Invincibles and Our Time that advocate financial security and continued government support for young entrepreneurs.
Finding good economic news right now can seem next to impossible. However, as an article from Cato@Liberty explains, the United States is still on track to doubling exports by 2014. President Obama announced his National Export Initiative in January of 2010 with a goal of doubling exports between 2009 and 2014. Though necessary growth rates will be difficult to sustain in the next few years, it is possible.
What are the best states for entrepreneurship? According to a new report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, New York, Washington, and Massachusetts earn a place at the top of the list.
American Free Enterprise is proud to partner with Our Time, an organization that supports entrepreneurs under 30. This week's video spotlights David Schottenstein, owner of Astor and Black Custom Clothiers, who is working to get American men looking good for less! Check out the video below and hear Schottenstein's thoughts on the importance of determination in business and the role of the government.
When stock markets seem especially unpredictable and economic fears are looming, taking risks and innovating are not the most attractive of options. However, as an article from the Harvard Business Review explains, there are ways to open up future business options even in turbulent economic times. Steven Wukner recommends five ways to increase innovation, intelligently. As we posted earlier, entrepreneurship is vital to restoring our economy.
The United States is often thought of the land of opportunity. Though we are far from achieving an ideal business environment, we continue to host thousands of entrepreneurs from all over the world who are looking to make their startups successful. An article from Entrepreneur tells the story of three entrepreneurs who successfully moved to the United States to secure investors and start a computer customer service business.
There is no question that recent economic uncertainty has taken a toll on small businesses. Unfortunately, the credit downgrade and subsequent stock market relapse reinforces looming fears about America's economic future. However, as an article from the Wall Street Journal shows, while some small business owners halt hiring and decrease wages, others refuse to surrender to the encroaching panic.
A report released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce indicates that varying policies and regulations across the country make some states more employer-friendly than others.
The United States is often thought of as one of the most innovative nations in the world. However, an article from Business Insider, showcasing ten gadgets from overseas, highlights the wealth of talent abroad. As noted on the U.S.
Businesses in all industries have adopted social media as a means to build relationships with customers. However, a debate still exists over the actual value social media contributes to a business. For individuals on the fence, Dave Kerpen's book, Likeable Social Media, explores the value of engaging with customers on social media platforms.
Unfortunately, when the Great Recession hit, banks raised standards for borrowing making it increasingly difficult for small businesses to secure funding. Although lending remains a concern, it may not be the primary problem.
The July Monthly Jobs report has been released. Based on these new figures, to reach pre-recession employment levels within 39 months of the end of the recession (September 2012) we will now have to create 485,000 jobs every month.
Securing funding can be one of the most difficult obstacles to growing or starting a business. However, as an article from the Wall Street Journal explains, an advantageous tax break may make it easier to overcome this barrier. The break, which closes on Dec. 31, gives investors the opportunity to pay zero taxes on gains.
Editor’s Note: This post by Marty Regalia originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Self-employment presents many risks that can seem intimidating to someone used to the corporate lifestyle. One of these risks is giving up the corporate benefits one has access to as a "traditional" employee. However, as employers seek ways to cut back costs, employee benefits are one of the first things to go. An article from Small Business Labs describes how self-employment is becoming increasingly attractive.
Bleak employment statistics continuing in June spark the question: Why can't America create jobs? As sales have begun to increase, hiring has not. An article from the Wall Street Journal discusses why America's job market is struggling to bounce back, and points out that the small business industry, which usually hires early in a recovery, was crippled by the credit bust and is now at the mercy of economic uncertainty.
As the unemployment crisis continues, efforts to spur job creation are more important than ever. OurTime, an organization that supports young business people, is emphasizing the importance of Americans under 30 in job creation. An article from the Huffington Post reports on an event that OurTime hosted in Washington D.C. where young entrepreneurs met with elected officials at the White House, the U.S.
In the fourth quarter of 2007, a Wells Fargo survey indicated that the majority of small business owners expected cash flow to be "somewhat good" or "very good" over the next 12 months. However, as the Great Recession hit, cash flows quickly decreased. As reported by Small Business Trends, small business owners' expectations currently reflect the economic uncertainty in the U.S., with many still not expecting strong cash flow.
Applications for jobless benefits in the United States increased by 10,000 in the last week to 418,000. Employers have been less likely to hire new employees in the last two months because of economic uncertainty and unease over the government's debt ceiling negotiations. An article from Bloomberg lists Goldman Sachs, State Street Corp., and Cisco as large companies still seeking to boost revenue by cutting jobs.
Social media has changed the way we interact with family, friends, strangers and, more so than ever, potential employees. Considering that recruiting quality young talent is crucial to a startup's success, understanding the functionality of social media and how it is used by Gen Y, gives employers a major advantage.
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition have released a video staring the cutest and brightest young advocates of U.S. global leadership. The children present a simple yet persuasive outlook on the benefits of investing in development and diplomacy programs. As illustrated in the video, there is a direct connection between our investments in U.S. global leadership and job creation here in the United States.
Editor’s Note: This post by Bruce Josten, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
There is a very interesting article in today's Op Ed Section of The Wall Street Journal by John B.
Our nation's current financial crisis has affected every demographic in the country. However, unemployment rates have hit certain cities harder than others. Venture for America is a new non-profit out of New York City that seeks to help alleviate this discrepancy and revive struggling cities. The program will send talented college graduates to cities such as New Orleans and Detroit.
A recent report released by Guardian Life Insurance shows that many small business owners fear that they will be unable to retire when they want, if at all. An article by Inc. discussed the difficult decision of leaving your business and turning over the workload to other employees.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners are instrumental in economic growth and prosperity. Needless to say, Egypt is a country that could greatly benefit from developing entrepreneurial talent. An article from entrepreneurship.org discusses Egypt's need to cultivate an innovative spirit and to promote new jobs and ideas. The article explains that over 90% of unemployed Egyptians are younger than 30.
Small Business Labs published the results of a recent study detailing the fundamental differences between small business owners and high-growth entrepreneurs. The results were interesting, highlighting the different demographics that compose the two groups of people.
With budgets tighter than ever and economic uncertainty casting a gloomy outlook on the future, small business owners may find themselves swamped with more work than they can handle. Carol Higgins with Up and Running explains the necessity of prioritizing existing business and finding a balance between available time and the need to grow.
In the midst of economic hardship and widespread auto-sector job losses, Detroit has turned to its creative business owners and entrepreneurs to spur job creation and economic growth. As an article in the Wall Street Journal describes, the Creative Ventures Acceleration Program provides small business owners with the tools to be successful.
Business Groups to Congress, White House: Reach Deal on Debt Limit and Commit to Deficit Reduction Plan
Congress and the White House must increase the debt limit and commit to a deficit reduction plan that is long-term, predictable, and binding, according to a letter sent to President Obama and every member of Congress today by a number of business associations.
Dismal numbers in the past few months show a disheartening stagnancy in job growth. As The Small Business Outlook Survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce indicates, the primary reason small business owners are forgoing adding jobs is economic uncertainty. Issues causing this uncertainty include: federal debt, regulation and taxes.
As the Wall Street Journal reports:
The Jobs for America Summit 2011 is streaming live. Watch it below! Follow #voices4jobs on Twitter to join the conversation.
According to a video produced by Economic Freedom, a project of the Charles Koch Foundation, people living in economic free countries tend to be happier, have more civil rights, earn over 10 times more than countries with less economic freedom, and live on average 20 years longer. These countries also have less corruption, less infant mortality and less unemployment. Over the last decade the U.S.'s ranking has fallen in regards to economic freedom and it is expected to keep falling.
The economic recovery has been underway for a year and a half but the unemployment rate is still high, job creation is low, and workforce participation is at its lowest rate in a quarter of a century. With a projected $112 billion budget shortfall for 2012 in 44 states, governors need to act fast to aid recovery. Luckily, the Chamber of Commerce's 2011 Enterprising States study provides governors with a guide to help overturn this crisis.
As of 2:00 p.m. EDT, President Obama began conducting a first-of-its-kind Twitter town hall. With your help, we can make the President give us an answer about why his administration insists on excessive and costly regulations that harm our economy.
Small business owners are more optimistic about the future of their company and the economy, according to a survey conducted by TD Bank. Philadelphia Business Journal reports that 44% of the 300 companies surveyed said they were optimistic or neutral about the U.S. economy. This survey, conducted in April, looked at companies with annual sales of less than $5 million, on the East coast from Maine to Florida.
Governors of every state are facing similar economic challenges but are taking different steps to grow their state’s economies, create jobs, and compete globally. Free Enterprise recently talked with four governors about what they are doing to tackle unemployment and soaring deficits and what the federal government can do to help.
Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL)
The Free Enterprise magazine was honored to have an exclusive interview with former Indiana Governor and Senator Evan Bayh and former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card after their press conference last week. Bayh and Card were previewing their nationwide tour which will educate Americans on how important it is to restore balance, restraint and common sense to the regulatory process.
Adam Witty is the founder and CEO of Advantage Media, a publishing company that specializes in publishing books from motivational speakers. In addition, Adam Witty travels around the world as a keynote speaker and business consultant. Recently, Witty was celebrated as one of Inc.'s 30 under 30 for entrepreneurship. Witty's innovative spirit makes him one of the top young entrepreneurs of his generation.
In the past year, the world has watched as Greece unraveled politically and economically. Tragically, a country once revered for its innovation and creativity has lost its business flare as the Greek government discouraged entrepreneurship and risk in order to create a society in which employment was guaranteed. Not surprisingly, an economy lacking entrepreneurial innovation and business creation could not sustain itself.
Legislation was passed on Thursday to overhaul the U.S. patent system, changing how patents will be granted from previously "first to invent" to "first to file." Most other countries have to "first to file" system which is said to simplify the patent process for businesses filing applications in multiples countries.
Experts nationwide have differing opinions on the cause and potential solutions to the current financial crisis. Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Education Secretary and Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, discussed how education can revive our economy and create jobs in an interview with Fox Business.
The economic reports of the last few weeks have been anything but encouraging. However, according to Polanchi Inc. research, venture capitalist executives are remaining optimistic. Although they recognize challenges lay ahead, they are more confident in the economic situation then they were at this time last year.
Dr. Jeff Cornwall, with the Entrepreneurial Mind, was more than upset with the Time Magazine cover article downplaying the importance of entrepreneurs to the overall health of the economy. As commented on in an earlier post, Time Magazine cites that it is a myth that entrepreneurs are the foundation of the American Economy. Dr. Cornwall refutes this argument but focuses his attention on rebuilding our economy.
As almost everyone is aware, today's economy is in trouble. Only 54,000 jobs were created in May, which is only a third of what is needed to decrease the 9.1% unemployment rate. The blame has been placed on many people and policies but TIME has identified what they describe "destructive myths" about the economy today in which they assess how our economy has been changing drastically over the past couple of decades in ways that politicians on both sides don't understand.
Unemployment rates are generally seen as a critical factor in determining the overall health of an economy. However, as Small Business Trends reports, these rates may not necessarily reflect reality. For instance, if the economic conditions are so bad that people stop looking for work, the unemployment rate decreases. Moreover, if the conditions stabilize and people begin to search for jobs again, the unemployment rate increases.
Getting a loan from a bank to fund your start-up or small business can be difficult, and the terms can be disheartening. However, it is not the only method of obtaining a loan. An article from the Wall Street Journal shows that peer-to-peer lending is growing substantially in popularity. Sites such as Prosper Marketplace Inc. and Lending Club Corp. are creating a new alternative to lending. However, the risk associated with peer-to-peer lending can be overwhelming.
Earlier today, we reported that women business owners are more optimistic about the economy, but NFIB says that overall, small business owners are less optimistic than last month. The NFIB's Index of Small Business Optimism fell 0.3 points in May to 90.9, marking the third monthly decline in a row.
Time and time again we are reminded of the strangling effect regulations have on job creation and yet the White House's job creation strategy includes tax increases and the formation of another council on jobs. Business owner Bernie Marcus, like many other business owners and entrepreneurs, has had enough of figures in Washington failing to harness the insights of true job creators.
Small business owners in the real world know the challenges of meeting expectations and understanding the rules first hand. Yet, government intervention and regulation continue to exacerbate these challenges.
Watch this video of Andy Card at America's Small Business Summit 2011 as he discusses excessive regulation and the need for economic autonomy.
Starting a small business can be a difficult task- but that is just the beginning. Keeping a small business flourishing is another challenge. While the prospect of growth and success is exciting, it can also require making a few uncomfortable decisions. An article from the Harvard Business Review discusses five areas that are crucial to consider while contemplating expansion.
A Recent Gallup article exposes the underlying factors causing U.S. employers to hold back spring hiring. The results show that though the numbers are better than they were five months ago, that story is incomplete. This article gives insight into the implications of a slow hiring spring.
With the recent discouraging trends in job creation, it is good to know that many industries are picking up speed and their momentum is expected to continue throughout the year. An article from Reuters shows recent data from IBISWorld that identifies the top 10 hiring industries in the United States. As our nation continues to work its way out of recession, industries such as automotive, real estate, and construction are expected to increase hiring.
The devastating economic toll of the recession in the past few years has made raising moral anything but easy. However, recent statistics from the Capital One Small Business Barometer Survey are showing positive signs of relief and confidence.
According to Capital One's Survey
Initial public offerings of the technology sector have been more frequent than in any other U.S. industry. Venture Beat discusses this good news for the technology industry. During the spring of this year companies such as Zipcar, LinkedIn, Yandex NV, and Freescale Semiconductor Holdings went public. This article predicts that other technological companies such as Zillow, Kayak Software, HomeAway and Pandora will make public offerings soon.
There is no doubt that over the past year the economy has begun to create new jobs. The problem is that the pace of new job growth is remarkably slow. The question is why?
Last month’s jobs numbers were indeed disappointing. Employment numbers do vary month to month, but the real issue is why, when month to month results are averaged out, job growth is about half of what was anticipated by the administration and other top tier economists.
Unfortunately, job creation in May slowed significantly. Dr. Jeff Cornwall, with The Entrepreneurial Mind, indicates the continued need for increased business to create more jobs. Though progress has been made in the past few months, it seems as though there is still much room for growth.
According to Entrepreneurial Mind,
Do you think that small businesses have enough power in Washington? According to the Wall Street Journal and Harris Interactive, more than 90% of people believe that small businesses are undermined. In a poll of 1,000 adults, most people felt that small businesses don't have a big enough voice in Washington, D.C.
In the May 30th The New York Times, Nobel prize winning economist, Paul Krugman, advises that governments around the world are failing to seriously attack the unemployment issue. He argues that essentially governments have given up on the idea of taking short-term action to create new jobs and, instead, are focusing on long-term structur
With unemployment at 9% it could take until 2016 to reach its natural level, the theoretical measure of what share of the workforce would be unemployed under ideal conditions in relation to the structure of the economy. Unfortunately, economists have suggested that this "natural" rate of unemployment has shifted up. This means that Americans looking for work will have an increasingly hard time finding it. According to an article in Yahoo!
A sweeping tax withholding requirement intended to close the government contractor tax gap will instead have a negative impact on millions of honest taxpaying businesses, farmers, doctors and hospitals, as well as state and local governments, according the U.S. Chamber and a coalition of supporters.
The Campaign For Free Enterprise's Center For Entrepreneurship has released its 2011 Legislative Age
Editor’s Note: This post by Tom Donahue, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Donahue is president and CEO.
Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, economic issues have dominated Americans' concerns. Now, three in four Americans have identified some form of economic issue as the "most important problem" we face today, representing a two year high. Since an all-time high 86 percent concern for economic issues in February 2009 Americans have generally been more concerned about economic issues than non-economic ones.
First the good news; the U.S. GDP, of about $13.5 trillion, has returned to pre-financial crisis levels. Now the bad news; the production of goods and services that have returned the U.S. GDP to these levels has been achieved with 7 million fewer workers. The reasons for this are twofold; one, technology has produced significant efficiencies across industries and two, globalization has introduced a labor force 400 million people strong willing to manufacture products for significantly less money. Essentially, the economy can now grow without sizable hiring in the U.S.
Many of the brightest minds from across the world travel thousands of miles to enroll in American universities. They make the journey fully aware that the education they are about to receive will set them up for a very successful career in their chosen field. Whilst these international students invest their tuition dollars in the university system, significant investments in the students are often made in the form of scholarships, research grants and corporate-sponsored initiatives.
As the debate over the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama heats up this year, some of the perennial arguments against trade agreements are being heard anew. Let’s look at the charges and the facts:
In January, President Obama created the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to help jumpstart America's economic recovery. The council aims to provide support for small business growth, strengthen U.S. competitiveness and help increase job creation.
Chesapeake Bay Candle Company, known for its inexpensive fragrant candles commonly sold at Kohl's and Target, recently decided to build its newest factory in the United States rather than adding an additional to the three it already operates in Asia. Founders, Mei Xu and David Wang, thought the project would only take about nine months and $2.5 million to build.
Editor’s Note: This post by Margaret Spellings, originally appeared in ChamberPost, the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
At the Campaign for Free Enterprise, we understand that some level of regulation is necessary in order to maintain citizen’s health and safety, but we believe that currently, there are too many regulations. The excessive regulatory power of the government impedes innovation, progress, job creation and overall economic growth. It’s time to fix what’s broken by restoring badly needed balance, restraint, and common sense to the process.
It would appear that rising anti-immigrant sentiment has contributed to a worrying decline in entrepreneurial talent here in the U.S. Skilled immigrant entrepreneurs are increasingly opting to return home to places like China and India where they continue to innovate. The immigrants who are leaving for what they see as greener pastures are not simply individuals who have been denied visas, they also include U.S. permanent resident and naturalized citizens.
At the Campaign for Free Enterprise, we understand that some level of regulations are necessary in order to maintain citizen’s health and safety, but we believe that currently, there are too many regulations. The excessive regulatory power of the government impedes innovation, progress, job creation and overall economic growth.
At the Campaign for Free Enterprise, we understand that some level of regulations are necessary in order to maintain citizen's health and safety, but we believe that currently, there are too many regulations. The excessive regulatory power of the government impedes innovation, progress, job creation and overall economic growth.
According to a report released last week by the Kauffman Foundation and Brink Lindsey, senior scholar in research and policy, economic growth is more reliant on free, competitive markets now than it ever was before. Frontier Economics: Why Entrepreneurial Capitalism is Needed Now More than Ever argues that for the economy to grow and evolve, the policy environment must be favorable to new business and innovation.
You ever wonder how much impact a single person has on the economy? Yesterday the Phoenix Center reported that on average, “eliminating the job of a single regulator grows the American economy by $6.2 million and nearly 100 private sector jobs annually.” Hard to believe that a single nameless, faceless Washington bureaucrat holds that much sway over our economy.
Regulations are a controversial subject, especially following the budget battle in Congress. At the Campaign for Free Enterprise, we understand that some level of regulation is necessary. However, our government must learn to balance their regulatory power with America's dire need for economic growth. We believe the government's excessive amount of regulation is impeding American innovation, progress and job creation.
From health care to small business to veterans’ issues, voices from all across the Chamber filled the airwaves of Minnesota this morning thanks to longtime Chamber ally Dan “the Ox” Ochsner. The radio host from KNSI 1450-AM in St. Cloud, MN traveled to Washington with a contingent from the St. Cloud Chamber and broadcast his radio show live this morning from the Chamber’s Communications Operations Center.
Today, the CFE wondered (in a blog post) if raising taxes would hurt small businesses? Kudos as always to the CFE for picking up on such an important issue, especially as we continue to ponder deficits and tax reform.
This past Friday, Laura Tyson, current professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and former chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton, had a noteworthy article on cutting corporate taxes in the New York Times.
Regulations are a controversial subject in our society. At the Campaign for Free Enterprise, we understand that some level of regulation is necessary; however, our government must learn to balance their regulatory power with the dire need for economic growth. We believe there is an excessive amount of regulation that is impeding American innovation, progress and job creation.
In a video titled "The Path to Prosperity: America's two futures, visualized," Rep. Paul Ryan explains his new budget proposal and why spending cuts are necessary.
Watch the video on the American Free Enterprise Facebook page.
This past week, representatives in the House reviewed the patent-reform bill that would change the patent process to a first-to-file system from a first-to-invent system and allow the patent offices to keep filing fees. Filed by House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R., Texas), the proposed changes aim to speed up the patent process and allow for increased innovation.
Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented the 2010 Spirit of Enterprise Award to pro-business members of Congress. Greg Galdabini, director of executive communications for the chamber, interviewed the award winners on the state of American Free Enterprise and the need for the creation of U.S. jobs. Watch the video and let us know if you agree with their assessments.
“It is true of the nation, as of the individual, that the greatest doer must also be a great dreamer.”- Theodore Roosevelt
Former government employee and U.S. Army veteran Tony Jimenez had to overcome self-doubts and fears to start his own IT firm. “Everyone who starts a company tells you how hard it is, and everyone else talks about the failures. Those stories are everywhere. Success stories are more rare,” Jimenez says.
And although MicroTech is now one of those success stories, it wasn’t always smooth sailing.
In its survey of 800 "likely" voters from across the country, The Tarrance Group has produced findings which indicate that American voters are largely against increased government regulation.
Regulations are a controversial subject. At the Campaign for Free Enterprise, we understand that some level of common-sense regulations are necessary, but we believe that there are currently too many regulations that impede innovation, progress and job creation.
In today’s regulation one-pager, we explore how unreasonable regulation deadlines are inhibiting economic growth. Check it out below. Don’t forget that you can help reduce excessive regulation by visiting www.uschamber.com/regulations.
Regulations are a controversial subject. At the Campaign for Free Enterprise, we understand that some level of common-sense regulations are necessary, but we believe that there are currently too many regulations that impede innovation, progress and job creation.
In today's regulation one-pager, we explore how regulations impact wind power. Check it out below. Don't forget that you can help reduce excessive regulation by visiting www.uschamber.com/regulations.
One year ago today, the health care bill was quickly pushed through Congress and signed into law by President Obama. The President and his PR team are now setting out around the country in an attempt to defend this law and hide its high costs and excessive regulations that are severely damaging American businesses and their ability to hire.
Last week Senators Kerry, (D-MA), Lugar (R-IN) and Udall (D-CO) introduced the StartUp Visa Act of 2011.
Earlier today, we reported that small businesses are planning to spend money to invest in growth. Despite this good news, Americans are still worried about the economy. This worry is driven largely by rising gas prices and the federal budget concerns. Economic worries hit their highest level in 12 months, but are still lower than the February 2009 peak.
This press release was posted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce yesterday. To view the latest releases visit the U.S. Chamber media center.
Samuel Adams used storytelling, complete with characters and a plot, to help Americans understand his arguments during the Revolutionary War. Today, the Public Affairs Council wrote on their blog that the Campaign for Free Enterprise is using a similar strategy to inform Americans about the power of free enterprise.
This post was originally appeared in ChamberPost, written by Tom Collamore, Senior Vice President, Communications and Strategy and Counselor to the President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
This op-ed by Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, appeared in USA Today.
Today, we updated the jobs chart that shows how many jobs we'll need to create in order to reach pre-recession employment figures within 39 months of the recession's end. (The worst performing recovery in the post-WWII era took 39 months to get back to prerecession employment levels, so we are comparing our recovery to that timeframe.)
This post was written by John Murphy, Vice President and head of International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
At their meeting in Paris on February 18-19, ministers of finance and central bank governors of G20 major economies discussed their bread-and-butter issues related to the stressed monetary system and the interplay between public finances and private financial markets. In addition, they had to debate something that until recently was largely off their table – food, fuel and other down-to-earth inputs of the global economy.
President Obama met with entrepreneurs and small business owners yesterday in Cleveland, Ohio to celebrate their integral part in stimulating economic growth and job creation. He also looked to gain their insight and ideas on action the government can take in order to grow entrepreneurship, education and innovation.
Earlier this year, Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, kicked off the Chamber's 2011 priorities with his annual State of American Business address. The primary focus of Donohue's speech was the need for a jobs recovery.
What’s black and white and red all over? The President’s FY2012 budget…. It’s black and white and is certain to make businesses’ bleed red all over.
On February 18 Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner will join his counterparts from the G-20 countries in Paris to discuss the implementation of the ambitious global agenda that was last affirmed at the G-20 Summit in Seoul.
Small business optimism increased in January, but only slightly according to the NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism. The major concerns for entrepreneurs and small business owners still linger: lower taxes and decreased regulations. These problems continue to impact small business owner's willingness to hire and even spend.
Wayne Crews of Forbes recently wrote an opinion piece based on a report by Nicole and Mark Crain for the Small Business Administration. Their report found that regulations cost around $1.75 trillion annually, which was half of our government's 2010 spending. Our government has over 3,000 regulations coming from over 60 departments, agencies and commissions each year.
Editor's note: The following post was written by Megan Bloomgren of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
Last week, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy unveiled a plan for a more secure energy future. The plan includes five critical areas that policymakers need to address to meet America’s energy needs.
The Congressional Budget Office announced Monday that the federal government recorded a $53 billion budget deficit in January. The federal government has incurred a $424 billion deficit through the first four months of fiscal 2011.
The following article from the Wall Street Journal describes the state of the federal government's deficit:
Governors from around the country are all working to accomplish the same goal: reduce spending without increasing taxes. According to the Wall Street Journal, governors from both parties are attempting to erase the deficit by making big cuts to shrink state budgets.
It has become common knowledge that factories are closing around the country and American jobs are moving overseas. China's rapid industrial growth is on the mind of government officials and American workers alike.
Update: You can also watch the remarks live on CNBC and C-Span in your local area.
This post was originally posted on ChamberPost.
The pursuit of success in the current business climate is an uphill battle. Nevertheless, innovation and ambition amongst the American people is as present now as it ever was. For many, one ingredient is missing: mentoring. For 10 lucky entrepreneurs chosen as participants in TechStars, mentoring is available in abundance.
According to President Obama, America has entered into an entrepreneurial arms race with the world. Steven Martin, entrepreneur and author, recently wrote an Op-Ed for Mashable talking about this issue. He believes America needs national support for entrepreneurship in order to improve the economy as well as advance our global standing in technology, education and innovation.
We've argued that the U.S. must double exports in 5 years, and then double them again in order to help create the jobs Americans need. With 95 percent of the world's customers living outside of the U.S., there is a big market for U.S. exports outside of the country.
We need to create 20 million jobs in order to create all of the jobs that Americans need. We've heard different strategies for creating jobs, and all of these ideas are welcomed.
This article was originally posted in Free Enterprise Magazine.
By Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
January 25, 2011
During his January 25 State of the Union address, President Obama offered a number of proposals designed to jumpstart the sluggish economy, create more U.S. jobs, and sharpen U.S. competitiveness. Below are the key proposals and the Chamber’s reaction.
Yesterday's Executive Order from the President is requiring federal agencies to review all regulations that could slow job creation and hinder our economy's competitiveness.
With unemployment still hovering at 9.4% and the underemployment at 19%, plenty of Americans are looking for work. Gallup's recent poll confirms that the number one issue on the minds of Americans is job creation and reducing unemployment.
Have you been hoping to start a business, but just haven't felt like it's the right time? Well, 2011 just might be your year. Plenty of new businesses are started each year, but we might seen a boom in 2011. With favorable taxes and a building economic recovery, the Wall Street Journal thinks that this is the best year to start your business. The free enterprise system means that every entrepreneur can follow their dream and start their own business.
Starting a business is a great adventure, but one of the risks involved is a potential lawsuit. While lawsuit reform is controversial in political circles,there are a few things you can do to help minimize the risks of a lawsuit for your business. Forbes offers tips from their vast experience in business.
This article was originally posted at Chamber Post.
As the 112th Congress begins today, it’s important to remind lawmakers--notably the large freshmen class--that international trade and investment are critical to America’s prosperity. But don’t just take our word for it, look at the numbers. Here, with apologies to Letterman, are the top ten reasons why pro-growth trade and investment policies and agreements are good for America:
As part of a new partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Latino Coalition (TLC) will host a “B2B National Procurement Matchmaking” event during the 2011 America’s Small Business Summit that will connect hundreds of small business owners with procurement officers from government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.
US Chamber blogger, Bryan Goettel, writes about the benefits of the tax bill for small business:
In Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Scott Shane argues that although Europe has a reputation for high taxes, excessive public spending, and poor debt management, our policymakers can take some lessons from Europe in improving support for small business. Scott says that 61 percent of Americans say they would prefer self-employment to working for someone else, a higher share than in 25 European countries, but that small business is a bigger part of the economy of most European nations than in the U.S.
2010 was a tough year for most small businesses, and the latest NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism reflects these sentiments. Dr. Jeff Cornwall of Belmont University writes that small business hiring hasn't dramatically improved, so he expects optimism to be low.
From The Entrepreneurial Mind (Dr. Cornwall):
Many start-ups aren't aware of the intellectual property risks associated with starting a business. While these risks should deter you from opening up shop, they are important to consider. A Freedom to Operate (FTO) analysis is a good way to help mitigate risk.
Majority Leader-Elect Eric Cantor today released the House Congressional Calendar for the first session of the 112th Congress today. The calendar was assembled by the Republican transition team and encompasses substantial input from both sides of the aisle.
by Adam Salerno
At the U.S. Chamber's global supply summit today, government and private industry experts - including Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Commissioner Alan Bersin of U.S. Customs for Border Protection - focused on global supply chain security, predictability, and solutions while emphasizing risk management principles and global cooperation.
Tell Congress to Let Business Get Back to the Business of Creating Jobs and Getting the Economy on the Road to Recovery
We here at the Campaign for Free Enterprise have been educating you for a while about the detrimental effects on the economy of a failure to extend the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax rates and allowing taxes to increase in general, so we hope we have riled you up for action. Here’s your chance to tell Congress what you think!
Hear from business owners how tax increases will hurt people of all incomes.
Overregulation not only puts a burden on businesses in terms of time and resources, but can also equate to substantial cost burdens (read more in this post). These burdens are a lot for anyone to deal with, but are heightened for small businesses.
Dr. Jeff Cornall at The Entrepreneurial Mind lists out a few highlights from a report done by the Small Business Adminstration about the costs of regulations to small businesses:
One of the major achievements of the Department of Labor under the Bush Administration was significant enhancement of union financial disclosure rules. Organized labor made repeal of these rules among their top priorities during the Obama transition and among the first acts of the new Administration was freezing those rules that had not gone into effect yet.
The conversation continues about whether or not Congress should extend tax breaks, and if doing so will help stimulate the economy or not. With what we know about free enterprise, the answer should be quite clear. But if wealthy entrepreneurs like Warren Buffet are practically asking the government to raise their taxes, what are we to think?
This Friday, Fast Company will host a talk with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and they want your questions!
To prove the point that not all regulations are helpful, and that in fact, too much regulation can stifle business growth entirely, the U.S.
All You Ever Wanted to Know About the Impending 2001 and 2003 Tax Hikes But Were Afraid to Ask – Part II
It's Global Entrepreneurship Week! Today, the Wall Street Journal discusses the best countries for entrepreneurship and breaks down some of the key numbers:
What's the best place in the world to start a business? Denmark.
What country has the biggest share of women who launch new businesses? Peru.
Small and big businesses have long helped strengthen the U.S. economy and each other. Today, U.S. businesses of all sizes are struggling to recover from the world financial crisis and great recession. A paramount challenge for our government is to put in place policies to help all American businesses boost their sales and thereby boost their hiring and capital investment.
US News and World Report: The administration is running out of time to lower unemployment and fix the economy
Mashable writes that Twitter has hired Adam Sharp, Sen. Mary L. Landrieu’s (D-LA) former deputy chief of staff, to help teach our elected representatives how to use Twitter to communicate with constituents:
As some of the final results are being worked out, the conversation in Washington is beginning to turn from the hustle and bustle of Tuesday's election to what will happen during the lame duck session. The AP notes:
The current Congress returns Nov. 15 for a post-election session dominated by tax and spending issues. Rarely has such a big pile of work faced lawmakers when the party in power has suffered so much at the ballot box.
Jeff Cornwall posts on why he's not so sure the results of the election this week are the start of a fundamental change:
"The back and forth of power between the two major parties are like waves on a beach. While each wave gives the illusion of change as it drives the water in and out, the level of the sea changes ever so slowly with the ebb and flow of the tides.
The wave that was this year's election was certainly a large one that crashed loudly onto the beach.
With the economic situation at the forefront of voters’ minds, Forbes' Brian Wingfield takes a look at what entrepreneurs are thinking about the road ahead:
The health of the free enterprise system depends on several elements--availibility of capital, a sensible tax and regulatory structure, a robust education system, etc. Among these critical elements is also open trade. With pending free trade agreements with other countries currently awaiting action, the U.S. is missing key opportunities to build economic growth.
The Cato blog puts the election spin on the question of trade in this post:
Some of the changes that have been coming out of Washington may be intended to solve some of our nation's biggest problems--but are they actually creating more problems for our job creators? Regulations are a good--indeed, necessary--part of our society. But regulations that don't fix problems may end up costing more in terms of money and resources, preventing our small businesses from doing what they need to in order to grow.
According to Portfolio.com, the majority of non-incumbant candidates running for House seats in this election are small business owners--beating out state and local officials and attorneys, traditionally the most common occupation of candidates.
As we approach Election Day and the ensuing lame duck session, discussions are swirling about what policies have been enacted this year and which are forthcoming in the near future. This post on SmallBusinessTrends.com looks at how some policies and actions--or inactions--will affect the small business community in particular.
The article rounds up several areas of notable concern for small businesses and provides tips on the following:
When we talk about trade, we often think about it in an international context. But over at the Cato blog, they're celebrating the fact that a protectionist law in Minnesota was lifted, allowing interstate trade and effectively saving the future of some local businesses.
Rich Karlgaard asks what it will take to get the U.S. economy growing again at a 3.3% rate--which is what Karlgaard says will make investors, employers, and consumers feel financially confident again. The answer, Karlgaard says, came during an interview with Kauffman Foundation CEO and President Carl Schramm, in which he said:
“The single most important contributor to a nation’s economic growth is the number of startups that grow to a billion dollars in revenue within 20 years.”
While reflecting on his view of the U.S. as a child growing up in India, Fareed Zakaria looks at the economic climate in the U.S. and the sentiment of the middle class in this Time magazine article. Zakaria examines what's causing weaknesses in the American economy and offers solutions that he believes will help restore the country to the levels of everyday prosperity he remembers. But he acknowledges that his suggestions may not be welcomed by everyone:
During election season, there is certainly no shortage of communication coming from candidates--television ads, flyers, postcards in the mail, etc. In this blog post, Personal Liberty highlights the efforts of the Campaign for Free Enterprise in offering a method of communication that goes the other way--from voters to candidates. The article notes that the Campaign:
Mallory Factor and his guests discuss their view of the role of free enterprise and government in economic recovery. Check out what they have to say in this video:
Reason.com reports that in the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, the United States ranks eighth out of 179 countries, falling from sixth one year ago. This slip in the U.S. ranking echoes the very reason the Campaign for Free Enterprise exists--because free enterprise, the system that created the greatest economy the world has ever known--is threatened.
Mallory Factor sat down with a few politicians and the head of a policy research organization to ask them about the role of government vs. free enterprise in rebuilding our nation. See what they had to say:
Following on the article highlighting Governor Bob McDonnell's efforts to reduce state spending in Virginia, here is an excerpt from an op-ed penned by the Governor himself and Executive Vice President of the U.S. Chamber and former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. In September, they co-hosted a Campaign for Free Enterprise roundtable with business leaders and to discuss what's going on in Virginia.
A message from Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
With unemployment near 10%, the economy still sluggish, and poverty on the rise, millions of unemployed Americans continue to ask where the recovery stands. Washington’s policy prescriptions—more taxing, spending, and government control of the economy—haven’t worked. It’s time to re-embrace the free enterprise principles that made America the most prosperous nation in history.
Tim Berry thinks so,
"That’s trend number 11 of 20, titled “You no longer need cash to start a business.”
In a Wall Street Journal piece about reducing state spending, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell offers his thoughts on the right way to manage government budgets and what his team has accomplished in Virginia over the past 10 months. In an effort to avoid a substantial tax increase for Virginia residents, McDonnell opted to cut spending.
In a New York Times article, Harvard professor and author Gregory Mankiw offers a brief case study on the impact of the expiration of tax cuts on a particular sample of the high-income population - himself.
Dr. Jeff Cornwall of Belmont Univeristy writes,
As the Campaign for Free Enterprise approaches its first anniversary, The Huffington Post takes a look at the impact of the Staggers Act, legislation that privatized America's railroad system 30 years ago this month. The article explains how the current railroad system is not only an affordable option for transporting freight, but also a source of job creation.
"A weaker dollar has helped manufacturing muddle through, and Huether says it is a clear catalyst for four-straight quarters of double-digit export growth. While the fall of the greenback has aided manufacturing, a free fall of the American currency is a double-edged sword. 'No one wants the dollar to fall drastically,' Huether says. 'What we need is that there are no sudden movements' and less uncertainty over the economy, he adds.
From Small Business Trends:
"Economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) have decided that June 2009 marked the end of the Great Recession, putting us over a year into the economic recovery in the United States.
Regardless of what the NBER economists say, few small business owners think the economy is very good right now.
But what do the numbers say? How does the small business economy compare to what it was like before the recession?
From the Wall Street Journal:
"The U.S. economy continued to lose jobs last month as small gains in the private sector failed to offset big cuts in government workers, pointing to a still sluggish recovery.
Private-sector employers added only 64,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department said Friday. Overall, nonfarm payrolls fell by 95,000 as temporary census workers were let go and state and local governments also cut employment.
With today's jobs report showing that the economy shed 95,000 in September, the Wall Street Journal takes the pulse of business in light of the report and a look at what may lie ahead in terms of government action.
America's job machine continued to sputter in September as a wave of government layoffs, including a move by cash-strapped localities to shed teachers, overwhelmed modest gains in the private sector.
From Yahoo! News:
"Applications for unemployment benefits fell last week for the fourth time in five weeks, a sign that layoffs are declining.
The Labor Department said Thursday that initial claims for jobless aid dropped by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 445,000. It's the lowest level since the week ending July 10.
Small businesses fear a double-dip recession. From the Wall Street Journal:
"Small businesses, known for jump-starting economies, aren't upholding their reputation.
National Review Online looks at the climbing interest rates on our debt, and what that means for balancing our deficit:
According to Forbes, the emerging markets are where the growth is, and those who do not embrace this idea will be left behind:
"The pace of this U.S. economic recovery is unlike any other that we've experienced in the wake of any recession in our lifetime. One moment we're talking restoration, the next moment we fear a double dip. Unfortunately, the data supports the former.
Rep. Bill Cassidy writes in Politico today:
President Barack Obama again talked about small businesses last week. “Government can’t create jobs to replace the millions that we lost in the recession,” the president said at the White House, “but it can create the conditions for small businesses to hire more people, through steps like tax breaks.”
Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, writes that a 2010 report by the SBA's Office of Advocacy reveals that regulations place a disproportionately greater economic burden on small business than large businesses. While most agree that small businesses are the engine of economic growth and are trusted to lead us out of this recession, the burdens they face dampen their ability to grow and hire.
Tomorrow, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue will be the keynote speaker at the Heartland Partnership's annual meeting in Peoria, IL. In his speech, Donohue will point to several of Peoria's accomplishments and successes as examples that other cities across the country can learn from and emulate. Donohue spoke with a reporter from the Journal Star about the content of his upcoming speech.
"The future for cities all across America is to do some of the things you're doing in Peoria," said Donohue in a telephone interview.
The Hill takes a hard look at the impact of Congress's decision to adjourn without addressing the tax cuts that are due to expire at the end of this year, and what will happen if nothing is done during the lame duck session. According to The Hill, inactivity on these tax issues will lead to the following:
Dear Congress and Mr. President:
America is tired. We can’t take anymore bad news. We are as depressed as our economy. Americans are tired of losing our jobs, of slow housing markets, and credit shortages. Americans embraced hope and change. We embraced your promise for a better tomorrow. And you won’t even act on something as simple as extending all of our current tax rates today. It’s simple. Give us some certainty on taxes so we can make informed business decisions and try and grow and prosper.
A warning from Daniel Hannan:
The SBA Office of Advocacy has released an update for 2008 of three previous reports analyzing the cost of regulations on small and large firms. Depressing stuff, from the Executive Summary:
Arthur Brooks writes at AEI:
...our government is incurring trillions of dollars of new debt and enacting heavy-handed regulation on the business enterprises that could otherwise provide the way out of our current woes (and provide the taxes that make government programs possible in the first place). The truth is that current government actions are not correcting market failures. Rather, they are short-circuiting markets.
Going on now, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and NCF head Margaret Spellings Indiana business leaders talking jobs and Free Enterprise. Watch here.
First Bill Sarubbi in PanOrient News:
The single biggest factor affecting the market is US governmental policies. The administration continues its war on free enterprise...This quote sums the situation up:
In this great post Megan McArdle explains:
Small Business owner's talk taxes and health care:
Dr. Jeff Cornwall comments on NFIB's Index of Small Business Optimism which saw a slight improvement in August reminding us:
A picture is worth a thousand words (click for larger version):
Five answers to five questions from five voices of Free Enterprise
The Washington Post reports today on how large deficits and a weakened financial system have made the United States less competitive in the global economy according to World Economic Forum's annual review of the competitiveness of countries.
A Classic Liberal has a laugh:
Unfortunately, business license and permit violations occur all the time leading to costly penalties, tax problems, and even the closure of your operation. So if you are starting a company – be sure not to overlook federal, state and local licensing requirements for you business or industry. Here are some tools and resources you can put to work for you to ensure you are compliant from the get-go. (AllBusiness)
Going on now Creating Jobs Through Free Enterprise: Business Leader Discussion with Governor Bob McDonnell
Watch the live webcast.
That is essentially the crux of this WaPo editorial entitled, "Troubled Marriage," subtitled, "Feeling scorned by the president, big business is turning to the GOP How fair is that?"
How fair, indeed.
When the U.S. Chamber opposes a suggested law or regulation the immediate reaction from its supporters is that we oppose the effort's declared intent. In most cases this is not true, our opposition stems from our informed belief that the suggested law or regulation is not an effective way to achieve the declared intent. On the other side when the U.S. Chamber supports spending or taxes in certain areas we get accused of being hypocrites for not supporting spending or fees in every single instance.
Snips from two great letters today in the Wall Street Journal:
National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones (ret.) writes in the Wall Street Journal:
A business owner explains:
Intel chief executive Paul Otellini offered a depressing set of observations about the economy and the Obama administration Monday evening, coupled with a dark commentary on the future of the technology industry if nothing changes...Unless government policies are altered, he predicted, "the next big thing will not be invented here. Jobs will not be created here."
A simple question gets complicated:
The U.S. Chamber launched a major issue advocacy program in California today by releasing a new report that highlights the state’s spiraling deficit, rising taxes, and growing regulations, and offers a state economic growth plan.
Ryan Young writes on The Daily Caller:
On Friday, the 2010 Federal Register eclipsed the 50,000-page mark...it stands at 50,842 pages as of August 16. Assuming 250 working days in a year, it is on pace for 80,447 pages. This is barely shy of the Bush administration’s unadjusted page count of 80,700. That was set in 2008 with a flurry of midnight regulations passed shortly before President Bush left office.
A reminder from California of several things --compensation is more than just salary for instance-- but mostly about the short-sightedness and inefficiency of government:
Yesterday the AP ran:
Public distrust of government is limiting the push for tighter federal regulations even in the wake of regulatory lapses that contributed to the financial meltdown, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and April’s deadly coal mine explosion. These disasters would seem likely candidates for nudging the public’s appetite for regulation, which typically ebbs and flows, toward the pro-oversight side.
Our Chief Economist, Dr. Martin Regalia, issued the following statement today on data showing that U.S. economic growth slowed to an annual rate of 2.4% in the second quarter of this year from a revised first quarter growth rate of 3.7%:
The data for real growth released today confirms the belief that the economy is slowing sharply.
by Adam Salerno
Businesses Reengineering the Supply Chain for 100 Percent Screening
“For-profit institutions play a vital role in training young people and adults for jobs and for-profits will continue to help families secure a better future for themselves,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in remarks he made during a May 2010 DeVry policy forum.
This week Paul Gigot had Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan Henninger, assistant editorial page editor James Freeman and Washington columnist Kim Strassel on "The Journal Editorial Report." One from each:
Marty Robins had a great op-ed the other day on AOL News. It highlighted the fact that the current Administration's policies are discouraging the risk-taking, investing and entrepreneurial activity that is needed to fuel job creation, and may well be depriving the government of revenue by suppressing economic activity.
Over at the National Journal Meghan McCarthy asks:
Should Congress or new authorities created by the law take additional steps to reduce the deficit through policy changes? Should certain provisions be abandoned, even if it means less federal savings?
When the federal government announced that it allocated a massive amount of money to stimulate the economy, elected officials, business owners, and community leaders began evaluating ways to benefit from the program. The most successful communities were able to secure federal assistance by relying on strong, structured, public-private partnerships. With a combined five decades in local government, and a commitment to economic development that transcends party or ideology, we have learned a great deal about what strengthens private-public collaboration, and what weakens it.
Good intentions leave the Beltway and meet the real world. First, Lauren Valentino a recent graduate from Wesleyan University has this piece in today's Hartford Courant:
Since it is graduation season, time for a Thomas Sowell classic on free enterprise:
Glenn Reynolds reads this (from the Washington Post):
A "little learning" from Susan Gardner at the Daily Kos yesterday:
Tomorrow, the National Mediation Board (NMB) will publish new rules making it easier to unionize in the airline and railroad industries.
We’ve discussed the significant substantive and procedural defects in this proposal before, and will have much to say in the coming days after we fully review the 103-page justification for the rule.
"A few days ago," Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty relates, "I was having breakfast with my wife, my 91-year-old mother-in-law and daughters, 17 and 13. On TV there was a news report about the financial situation in Greece. Out of the blue, my 13-year-old said, 'This is going to be us pretty soon.' I almost dropped my fork. This is an eighth-grader."
You may have read that the SEC "coincidentally" announced its highly unusual and problematic case against Goldman Sachs on the very same day that an IG report was released on the SEC’s day-late-and-dollar-short response to the Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme. This now buried and ignored report was, not surprisingly, highly critical of the SEC’s management and the Enforcement Division. In particular, there was clear evidence in the report that local SEC offices were pressured to ignore Ponzi schemes and other hard,
When it comes to transportation policy, you usually hear the Chamber talking about the fixed infrastructure in the U.S. – roads, rails, runways – or about smoothing the bumps in supply chains by creating more reliable, dependable transportation networks or minimizing regulatory costs to the truck drivers or airlines that get people and goods to their final destinations.
In a stunning display of cerebral disconnect, EPA has decided to launch a contest seeking videos that promote increased federal regulation. Yes, you read that correctly – EPA is seeking videos from the public that explain why federal regulations are so good for everyone and why we need lots more government regulations in our lives. In its announcement of the contest, EPA states:
by Steven Bipes
Yesterday, the Chamber filed comments with the Department of Labor in opposition to the Department's proposed rollback of financial disclosure rules governing union trusts. In 2008, the Labor Department had finalized new rules for union trusts, which include things like training and apprenticeship funds, educational institutions, banks, and job targeting funds.
Bloomberg reports that the Obama administration is focusing on three candidates to succeed Justice Stevens - U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan and federal appellate judges Diane Wood and Merrick Garland. Kagan and Wood interviewed with Obama last year before he appointed Sonia Sotomayor. Garland, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, is perhaps the most conservative of the trio.
Small business owners, local chambers, and citizens have sent more than 200,000 letters Congress expressing their strong opposition to the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA)
As we have enumerated many, many times Craig Becker is not a suitable candidate for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Twenty associations made this point again yesterday in a letter to President Obama urging him not to disregard the bipartisan Senate vote against moving forward with the nomination of Mr. Becker through a recess appointment. As the letter points out:
Since our 100-year quest for universal health coverage is over (the hopefully not 100-year quest for choice and affordability in health coverage has just begun) let's see what candidate Woodrow Wilson thought about Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive Party run in 1912:
CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, via Real Time Economics:
From the Bismarck Tribune:
William McGurn, writing in the Wall Street Journal, thinks that prior to Thursday "Day of Action to Defend Public Education" protestors and California education officials:
On his very first full day in office, President Obama sent a memorandum to his executive agencies extolling the virtues of transparency and open government and directing them to facilitate public access to information. To further that directive, Obama issued a second memorandum encouraging agencies to “adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure” when responding to public requests under the Fr
It is often said that the budget is a statement of priorities. If that’s the case, the Obama administration’s FY 2011 budget should give the American people reason to worry. The proposals, if enacted, would significantly expand an already swollen deficit, dramatically increase taxes amidst a weak economy, and undermine job creation while the unemployment rate stands at 9.7%. Let’s take a look at what this budget means for businesses and families.
Some highlights (lowlights?) from the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, a joint project of The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. As the title makes clear the index "analyzes just how economically 'free' a country is":
- Sovereign Debt, Hither and Yon – You Know, Like Japan
- Is America Korea or Japan? - "the export exit strategy is potentially there for the taking"
- Social Security Trust Fund, 2009 Full Year Results, Ugh! - and double ugh!
Marty Regalia writes:
With the worst recession since the Great Depression robbing the federal coffers of tax revenue and the needed stimulus spending and federal transfer payments—such as unemployment insurance—swelling federal spending, the federal budget deficit reached a whopping $1.4 trillion, or 9.9% of GDP, in 2009.
In his inaugural address President Obama stated "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works..." NBC and the Wall Street Journal ask again:
From Heritage words and pictures:
Kevin Ferris writes in the Philly Inquirer:
"That is the true genius of America, a faith ... that we can say what we think, write what we think ... that we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution. ..."
- State Sen. Obama, July 27, 2004
Edward M. Levy from Cincinnati writes to the Wall Street Journal:
Today, the National Mediation Board (NMB) published a proposal that will make union organizing in the airline and railroad industries easier.
I like lists and I certainly like doing my part to improve our country, so I was kind of excited last night when I saw a post on Huffington Post by Michael Moore with 15 things every American can do right now...but then I read it.
Vanuatuan Torethy Frank via Bjørn Lomborg via the Wall Street Journal:
A history lesson today via a letter to the editors of the Wall Street Journal:
Tom Donohue today on RealClearPolitics:
From the front page of the Washington Post:
by Mike Eastman
Today, the Department of Labor completed its first regulatory action to decrease transparency in union financial disclosure.
Late in the last Administration, the Labor Department sought additional measures to ensure that labor organizations complied with financial disclosure obligations in a more transparent manner, making it harder to hide income received by labor officials. One of the first acts of the new administration was to seek repeal of this regulation.
Tony Cordesman on Afghanistan: "One of America’s growing problems in public policy is that it increasingly confuses concepts with strategy."
Is it just me or could you replace "Afghanistan" with almost any other challenge we are facing and have this be true.
Early yesterday The Hill published an article on new language contained in the Senate financial services and general government appropriations bill that would loosen a ban on federal contracts for companies that put most of their operations outside the U.S. for tax purposes. It contained this passage:
Friday afternoons is the time in Washington when Departments and Agencies release what they perceive as being bad news. Last Friday afternoon, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") issued some news for small business which is good.
Your country needs you, or at least these folks do:
President Obama has asked the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) to develop options for tax reform. The members of the tax subcommittee are preparing ideas to be considered by the board and would like to give anyone a chance to have input into the process on this important issue...
I love this ad. Learn more and take action at stopthecfpa.com
First up Gallup:
While most of the public policy debate over labor policy issues has been focused on organized labor’s top priority, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), the Labor Department and other agencies in the Administration have begun the process of promulgating pro-union regulations.
In today's Wall Street Journal Daniel Henninger takes a looks at electorates who are "casting a global no-confidence vote in their leaderships." Read the whole thing, here are some snips:
Despite legal pressure from the U.S. Chamber and other trade groups, a federal court has given the go ahead to a new Department of Homeland Security rule requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to electronically verify the legal status of their employees.
As supporters of government-run health care ramp up the efforts, let’s look at the government decision process:
Acts have consequences, and it’s the unintended ones that get you in the end.
Over the past several months, we have seen the Obama Administration and Congress use executive compensation and corporate governance as their Ace in the hole when the chips are down.
He's being called the greatest senator of our time, the "Lion of the Senate," and the last of an extraordinary generation of Kennedy's who transfixed the public and changed the world. The end of Camelot -- Sen. Ted Kennedy, dead at 77.
The proposed proxy access rules proposed by the SEC represent the most drastic restructuring of corporate governance in the economic history of the United States. The Chamber filed its comment letter last week and worked with many Chamber members to do the same. The comment period closed on Monday, August 17th.
Rep. Ed Royce yesterday in the Washington Times:
The US Chamber's role in the health care and regulatory reform fights is profiled in an AP story.
by Bill Kovacs
It seems as though the number of new and duplicative laws Congress can propose is only limited by its unsteady imagination! And to think that just a decade or so ago it was common wisdom to believe that “everyone is presumed to know the law.” Today we have so many new, complex, mind-numbingly huge laws that common wisdom can only conclude that some of the proposals are literally the tales told by an idiot to ensure that economic progress cannot continue.
Congress, this is stupid stuff: you normally spend our money fast enough; but your stimulus rules didn't make much sense and now we suffer consequence. From Bloomberg:
President Barack Obama's stimulus spending has run into a problem: A shortage of General Electric Co. water filters. GE makes them in Canada. Under the program's ‘Buy American' rules, that means the filters can't be used for work paid for by the $787 billion fund.
Essentially, the Buy American clause could destroy our business. The end result of Buy American would, at a minimum, add significant costs to our products in the U.S. marketplace if we could find a way to supply them. And it would virtually eliminate our ability to ship U.S. products into the Canadian marketplace.
Small businesses won a record $93.3 billion in federal prime contracts in Fiscal Year 2008, an increase of almost $10 billion from 2007, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration's third annual small business procurement scorecard.
However, small business contracts as a percentage of total contracting fell short of the government's goal. Small business contracts represented 21.5% of all government contracting, missing the 23% goal as mandated by Congress. Small businesses won 22% of federal contracts in fiscal 2007.
A couple of good comments on James Gelfand’s post outlining new burdens on employers in the House health bill. Roy Hunt wrote:
Our company is an 87 year old entity. We have provided health insurance for our employees since 1950. Until recently, we paid the entire premium. There is no way we can afford the proposed House health care proposal…
Getting caught on non-health news:
The House Financial Services Committee just approved legislation that would allow regulators to ban incentive pay at banks, and allow shareholders to vote on bonuses. (NPR)
From the Wall Street Journal (my italics):
As the debate spins up on plans to "protect" consumers from financial products, NAM reminds us of some of the problems caused by poorly written legislative protection. In this instance the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
by Brad Peck
"Don't blush folks, it's nothing to be ashamed of."
From the Wall Street Journal:
Health care. Just as Democrats began building up a head of steam toward passage of their health care plans, the Congressional Budget Office is letting some of the air out. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said the legislation would not rein in spiraling health care costs and, at least initially, isn't likely to significantly lower premiums for the majority of Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance.
Last week David Chavern reminded us --and apparently some do need reminding-- that loans aren't toasters. Today Peter Wallison addresses the same issue and asks in the Washington Post: "Are consumers 'protected' when they are denied the opportunity to buy products and services that are available to others?"
From the NY Times today:
The idea of a financial product safety commission comes from Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law professor and the chairwoman of Congress's oversight panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. She says that such a commission is necessary because consumers cannot buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of exploding, but they can get a subprime mortgage that has a one-in-five chance of ending in foreclosure. (Wall Street Journal)
Which is why you need to read more from Matt Welch in Reason:
The USA Today reports: "Under pressure to spend stimulus money quickly, many states are using the federal funds for short-term projects and to fill budget gaps rather than spending on long-term improvements, according to a report by congressional investigators."
On the National Journal's Education Experts blog, Arthur Rothkopf looks at mayors and schools, two selections:
Joel Kotkin lists five contenders for the biggest culprit behind California's turn from a "state that once boasted the seventh-largest gross domestic product in the world" to "a fiscal basket case along the lines of Argentina or Latvia."
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
As reported in the Wall Street Journal:
It is more important that health-care legislation inject stiff competition among insurance plans than it is for Congress to create a pure government-run option, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said Monday. "The goal is to have a means and a mechanism to keep the private insurers honest," he said in an interview. "The goal is non-negotiable; the path is" negotiable.
As previously posted the Chamber strongly supports comprehensive legislation to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases while providing for a strong American economy -- instead we got an unrealistic approach that could further harm the economy and shed American jobs.
In an op-ed in The New York Times today, Richard Posner calls the administration’s financial overhaul plan "premature, overambitious, obsessed with reorganization, [and] afflicted by Roosevelt envy." He says regulators failed to prevent the financial collapse not because they lacked adequate powers but because they lacked information, a culture of inquiry, and a contingency plan.
As I posted earlier, today we petitioned the EPA for an "on the record" formal hearing, before a neutral party, to openly review the data the agency is using to justify its endangerment proposal. If this is the greatest issue of day*, we surely need overwhelming transparency on the science. So what do we have now? Bill Kovacs explains below -- our comments, the petition, and supporting documentation are here.
Over the last 6 years, the Labor Department took several important steps to improve the financial disclosure rules that apply to labor unions. The newest round of improvements was finalized in January and was set to be implemented early this year. However, one of the first acts of the new administration was to delay the effective date of the latest enhanced disclosure requirements and now the Labor Department has proposed repealing these revisions altogether.
A seasoned patent attorney with over twenty years experience in various intellectual property roles, David Kappos would be a strong Director for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. As the nominee for Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, Mr. Kappos would bring an impressive resume and a proven track record of success to the job.
In case you missed it it, John Tierney on Roger Pielke on climate change:
The Wall Street Journal examines just how deeply government has embedded itself into the private sector:
"The massive intervention has shifted the way companies do business in a host of ways -- not all of them intended by the government. Increasingly, companies big and small are competing on the basis of their ability to tap government money.
Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on Bank of America's purchase of Merrill Lynch, with Bank of America's Chief Executive Officer as the sole witness. The purpose of the hearing, as stated by Chairmen Towns and Kucinich, was to learn how "the BofA-Merrill deal...quickly became a deal hinged on the receipt of taxpayer dollars" and to consider the "dispute over Mr. Lewis' claim that the Federal government pressured BofA into acquiring Merrill Lynch after BofA learned of deteriorating conditions at Merrill."
There has been, and will continue to be, a lot of debate about whether Indiana's pension funds were right to challenge the way secured creditors were treated in the structured Chrysler-FIAT bankruptcy/merger. At a minimum there should be agreement that there are serious legal questions at stake, as the Supreme Court acknowledged, and very troubling precedents that could have long term implications for companies' ability to issue debt and raise capital.
Ending four days of intense, round-the-clock and high-stakes legal maneuvering in the Supreme Court, the Justices on Tuesday evening without dissent removed a legal obstacle to sale of the troubled auto industry giant, Chrysler.
In a decision that shocked the Obama administration and other court observers, Justice Ginsberg ordered a stay of the sale of Chrysler to Fiat, saying she wanted the full court to examine the merits of the arguments made by some Indiana pension funds that call the expedited bankruptcy unconstitutional; "And Congress is beginning to stir. Legislation is being drafted to reverse decisions by Chrysler and GM to close thousands of dealerships."
In the Wall Street Journal yesterday Claudia Rosett remembers a question asked of her in Tiananmen Square 20 years ago: "I know what China is dreaming. What is America dreaming?" Her answer:
Bloomberg has an article about how the Chamber has begun court action to challenge state cap-and-trade programs that sell pollution rights at auction even as Congress works on a national plan that gives most permits to industry for free. The article says the Chamber is urging a New York judge to strike down the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate program in the Northeast that has raised more than $260 million through carbon dioxide permit auctions. From the article:
James Kwak writes in the Washington Post:
We had our say this morning, and will have more to say later, meanwhile, here is more on the Motown meltdown.
Congratulations, gentle readers, you own a car company! Today is the big day for GM…the once impregnable bastion of American capitalism is headed for bankruptcy this morning. The storied enterprise will be split into two, with its good assets sailing through a pre-packaged, government-backed bankruptcy and the so-called "old" GM that will be wound down and liquidated by turnaround executive Al Koch of AlixPartners.
Of all the proposals floating around the health reform debate to expand insurance coverage, there is one in particular that should give American businesses pause: the employer pay-or-play mandate. Businesses would be required to offer either health insurance coverage to their employees or pay them (or a government entity) a prescribed amount toward their care. This would turn employer-sponsored care from a voluntary benefit, which it has been for more than 60 years, into a federal requirement. This is not only bad policy, it is currently illegal.
I know a lot of comedians were dismayed with the departure of the Bush Administration but columnist David Brooks shows you can still bring the funny:
There is nothing so inspiring as public service, so I’ve been incredibly moved over the past few weeks to watch squads of corporate executives come to the White House so President Obama could announce that he was giving away their money.
It both confuses and amuses me that many of the same people who reject intelligent design in matters of theology fully embrace it when it comes to public policy. That is to say the concept of an all-powerful God is deemed unrealistic, yet Omnipotent Todd the Technocrat* is considered a viable savior. Omni-Todd will direct your medical care, buy your car, set your salary and benefits, select the toys for your children and the food for your table -- all while adjusting the temperature of your water heater.
There was a superb piece by John Steele Gordon in the Wall Street Journal about why we should never expect the government to be successful at running businesses. It is well worth a read – if only to emphasize the point that government has NEVER done well at commerce, and really is fundamentally unfit for the task. Even bad business men and women do better than good bureaucrats at creating jobs and prosperity.
As Roll Call reported this morning, on Friday it was announced that from now on only natural gas will be used for heating U.S. Capitol buildings and water.
The American Enterprise Institute's Arthur Brooks has an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today saying the real cultural schism in American today is not over abortion or same-sex marriages, but instead centers on free enterprise. He writes:
Our good friend Sen. Jim DeMint has made the odd accusation that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is no longer a champion of free enterprise. Just to be clear, our organization was founded nearly a century ago with the sole purpose of "advancing human progress through an economic, political, and social system based on individual freedom, incentive, initiative, opportunity, and responsibility." That sounds like free enterprise to us!
The budget process moves to the Senate after the conference report cleared the House on a party-line vote. Here is Bruce Josten's Key Vote letter to the Senate which "strongly opposes S. Con. Res. 13, the fiscal year 2010 budget resolution conference report"
Bill Kovacs, the Chamber's vice president of Environment, Technology, and Regulatory Affairs, in batting cleanup today in testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. His complete testimony is available here. Before heading up to the Hill, he released this statement:
One of the most dangerous ideas to come out of our current economic crisis is the dream that a shared prosperity is best achieved by punishing success. Last month the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy sought to build on this theme by suggesting that the best way to help the poor and minority populations in our country is to punish generosity. Not all kindness, mind you, just charity which they don’t find acceptable.
President Obama responded to written questions from Fortune magazine’s Nina Easton in which he struck a decidedly conciliatory tone. On if he believes corporate America alone is at fault for the recession, Obama said:
"Addressing this crisis will require change across the spectrum, not just from corporate America but from Washington and Main Street as well."
The U.S. Chamber represents business, and business likes things that work efficiently and effectively.
Yesterday, the Washington Post carried an op/ed by George Will condemning a radical legal decision by the Illinois Supreme Court that allows the government to transfer income from a business to other projects, in violation of the Constitution's "Takings Clause." Will rightly observed that the Illinois Supreme Court's decision invites all sorts of political mischief, including ‘predatory taxation' – schemes that take money from disfavored businesses and transfer that money to p
Columnist Victor Davis Hanson says it’s hard to decide who is more at fault for the financial crisis, Democrats or Republicans. After recounting how each party made fatal mistakes, he ultimately decides the fault lies in us. He writes:
In case you were watching basketball, here was SNL's Pres. Obama making "some tough business decisions":
Today's Wall Street Journal looks at a fight between the business community and the White House over Obama's proposal to raise taxes on overseas profits. At issue is allowing multinationals to avoid U.S.
As representatives from the world’s leading economies gather for the G20 Summit on April 2, it’s worth remembering the last time London hosted a summit with the aim of reviving a slumping global economy and collapsing trade flows. As the BBC reminds us, "In June 1933, delegates from 66 countries gathered in London to try and agree plans to revive the world economy in the midst of the Great Depression."
The U.S. Chamber has asked the IRS "to mitigate and minimize the impact" of a burdensome new tax policy scheduled to hit government contractors beginning January 1, 2012.
On that date, federal, state, and local governments will begin withholding 3% of their payments for goods and services provided by private businesses as required by federal law.
Yesterday Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger notes that Congressional Democrats have bid adieu to the business community, they have become entirely disconnected from any understanding of how the private sector works. He wrote:
Reaction to Secretary Geithner's ambitious plans to reform financial regulations got mixed reactions among members of Congress and the business community. Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus had a very lukewarm response, saying it was "unacceptable" to have the government subsidize the cost of "resolving" troubled institutions, and that he hoped there would be more hearings to discuss the issue.
President Obama's $3.6 trillion budget continues to take heat from both sides of the aisle. House budget leaders on the Democratic side have unveiled their own version of an FY2010 budget blueprint that slices off more than $100 billion from Obama's proposal. They may seek further cuts in light of the public's concern about spending and debt levels.
A few highlights from the President’s news conference last night … Obama said:
The letter to Congress in full, below, just the conclusion:
Warning received via email:
We have just sent a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Budget Committees strongly opposing:
"the limitation or repeal of deferral in the budget resolution. Limiting or ending deferral would hamper the global competitiveness of U.S. companies, impede growth in the U.S. economy, and result in the loss of jobs at home."
Video of Bruce Josten's opening statement on our budget conference call yesterday at the bottom. First up a wrap of the call, told in vivid build-a-story.
President Barack Obama may try to push through Congress a health-care overhaul, energy proposals and tax increases by using a partisan tactic that would thwart Republican efforts to block the measures. The administration and congressional Democrats are debating whether to use a parliamentary procedure called reconciliation to advance some of the biggest items on the president’s agenda. (Bloomberg)
Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk was confirmed by the Senate today to be the 16th United States Trade Representative. There was no drama — his supporters won the vote by the lopsided margin of 92 to five. As Chamber President Tom Donohue said when his nomination was announced in December:
On Capitol Hill yesterday, lawmakers appeared to wring a concession from FASB’s Robert Herz that his agency would issue guidance in three weeks loosening mark-to-market accounting requirements. A regional banker who testified at the hearing said FASB should allow banks to add credit analysis to their assessment of securities valuations, which currently depend on what some observers call highly conservative dealer quotes.
President Obama is turning his attention to the upcoming G-20 summit this weekend. He said he'd like to advance two objectives: better coordinated actions to resuscitate global economic growth (i.e. getting the Europeans to spend more) and forming a new financial regulatory framework.
Every business relies on well functioning and transparent capital markets to grow and thrive. We need to replace our outdated, broken regulatory structure with a more effective, comprehensive, streamlined structure.
Roger Cohen opens a column examining President Obama's approach to government with one of my favorite stories:
The French writer François Mauriac once said during the cold war that he loved Germany so much, he was glad there were two of them.
At the White House summit on health care yesterday, President Obama reiterated his call for a comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. health care system, warning that soaring medical costs present "one of the greatest threats not just to the well-being of our families…but to the very foundation of our economy."
The (almost) reality of implementation, from the Washington Post.
Over the weekend I finished "With Wings Like Eagles," a brief history of the Battle of Britain. Author Michael Korda takes no small effort to detail the tactical differences that existed between Air Chief Marshal Dowding and others in the Royal Air Force, and the politicking by the later against the former. Korda defends Dowding with vigor, but nowhere in the defense does he imply that Dowding’s detractors somehow shared a different objective.
President Obama on Saturday said he expects special interest groups and others to move heaven and earth to oppose his sweeping budget plan. To paraphrase another president, his response was, essentially, "bring it on."
Members of the U.S. Chamber's small and mid-market business councils participated in President Obama's interactive town hall meeting on March 26 and asked questions on taxes and government contracting.
Tom Sawner of Arlington, VA-based Educational Options, and Carlos Del Toro, CEO of SBG Technology Solutions, were invited by the Chamber to join a live audience of some 100 people in the East Wing of the White House.
The AP performs a "fact check" on the impact of the proposed budget on small businesses and comes to the conclusion that the impact is slight because only 663,000 of the people who save, invest, and create jobs would be affected. Though this number of affected small businesses may appear small, they are the most successful of the businesses and the effects of increasing taxes will be significant.
The Detroit News' editorial "Obama can't win war on business" succinctly captures the negative impact the President's programs could have on recovery and growth:
There was plenty of reaction to President Obama’s proposed budget as interested parties dug deeper into the details yesterday. We’ll begin with some numbers -- $3.6 trillion for FY 2010 and an increase to $3.9 trillion for the current fiscal year. That’s nearly $12,000 in spending for every single American -- or $25,500 per taxpayer. Total deficit for this year?
While we have not seen all the details, the president's disappointing budget proposal appears to move in exactly the wrong direction. More taxes, heavy-handed regulations, and command-and-control government will not hasten recovery. Instead, it will delay it and do so at a terrible cost to taxpayers, businesses, and working families. You don't build a house by blowing up its foundation. Small businesses and the entrepreneurs who lead them have been the primary drivers of job growth over the past decade.
According to numerous news organizations, the administration’s budget – to be unveiled today -- will propose the following: Further tax increases on the so-called rich to fund a $634 billion health care "reserve fund," including a cap on itemized tax deductions for high-income people and higher Medicare premiums; use proceeds from a new cap-and-trade program to pay for an extension of a two-year tax credit that benefits low and middle-income individuals; implement competitive
Our $2.2 trillion health care system represents 16% of our economy. While polls consistently find that health care is a top national concern, many Americans are increasingly frustrated that nothing is being done. The truth is there are many changes taking place under the radar, and not all of them are good.
Happy Presidents’ Day; or Happy Washington’s Birthday to be exact. A day off following a day off in some states for Lincoln’s Birthday -- those states rock.
Why Washington and Lincoln? Quite obvious, but if you need convincing they are second and first in C-SPAN's second Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership. Dead last? Buchanan. An argument against inaction, appeasement, and perhaps, bachelorhood.
Just a few weeks into a new year and already Americans are facing challenges that this nation has not faced in generations. As the new leadership assumes power in Washington and works to develop solutions to these economic and environmental challenges, it is important to remember that the solutions developed in Washington will not solve all of the problems facing local communities across the country. Ultimately the responsibility to promote growth and development strategies falls on the local communities themselves.
You’ve heard me say it before—Congress must pass an economic stimulus package as soon as possible to help jumpstart the economy, get credit flowing again, and create jobs. The U.S. Chamber agrees with President Obama, members of Congress, and most economic experts that a timely, targeted, and temporary stimulus bill could help blunt the impact of the current recession and put us on a path toward growth. But, as always, the devil is in the details!
As the festivities die down from Barack Obama's historic inauguration, his new development team is starting to take shape. BCLC is committed to keeping you informed of the latest nominations, confirmations and appointments that relate to our programming.
by Bill Kovacs
Promising "a new era of openness," President Obama signed executive orders yesterday freezing salaries of White House staff that make more than $100,000 a year and imposing strict new lobbying rules.
After flubbing the oath of office, Obama and Chief Justice Roberts tried it again, just to make sure there were no Constitutional challenges to Obama’s authority.
Here was the early morning view, front and back, from the silver section today as Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States. A very good speech on a very cold day. So congratulations to the new President and best wishes for now former-President Bush, with a thank you for his service.
House Democrats unveiled the single most expensive piece of legislation in history – an $825 billion stimulus package. One aspect that is no longer supersized is the tax cuts, which have shrunk from about $310 billion to just $275 billion. The loss carryback provision and bonus depreciation survived, but the tax relief would not apply to companies receiving TARP funds.
- Plane crashes in NYC river after bird cuts engines - "No deaths or serious injuries were immediately reported."
- Letter to Schwarzenegger on Unemployment Insurance - Wow
The Washington Post reports that Obama's economic team is overhauling the $700 billion financial rescue package to broaden its scope beyond Wall Street to include aid to municipalities, small businesses, homeowners, and other consumers. Experts say Geithner has little hope of winning congressional approval to use the remainder of the $700 billion without retooling the program, including stricter limits on executive compensation.
I just read a fascinating – and scary – book with the provocative title of "Just How Stupid are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter." The author is George Mason University historian Rick Shenkman. As you might guess, the premise of the book is that huge numbers of American voters lack even the most basic knowledge about government and critical policy issues. It really shoots straight at the popular premise that the aggregate judgment of the Ame
William McGurn offers the lesson of New Jersey:
When Barack Obama makes his New Year's resolutions, at the top of his list ought to be the following: "I will not allow America to become New Jersey."
I am reading hundreds of our posts trying to pull together some "best of " lists -- hey, if you can't navel gaze at the end of the year when can you -- but I keep getting distracted by other great posts going up elsewhere. So I am going to take a break, and give you some superior takedowns:
The Washington Post this morning reports that "California Democrats will assume pivotal roles in the new Congress and White House, giving the state an outsize influence over federal policy and increasing the likelihood that its culture of activist regulation will be imported to Washington," or as Senator Boxer puts it "It's like the EPA has been asleep for eight years.
At the risk of sounding defensive -- insecurity is unattractive -- I would like to point out Robert Samuelson review of lobbying myths today in the Washington Post:
Six from Sebastian Mallaby (my bold):
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Professional Services Council (PSC) held a forum today examining the "squeeze" in government contracting facing companies that do business with the federal government. The phenomenon known in the procurement world as the "mid-tier squeeze" occurs when a company grows beyond its small business standard and finds itself having to compete with industry giants for government contracts.
Chamber member Pug Gutridge discussed the mid-tier squeeze in government contracting at a December 2 event.
Mid-sized government contractors are being "squeezed" out of lucrative contracts because they are not small enough to qualify for federal set-asides but are too small to effectively compete against industry giants for large contracts, according to panelists at a December 2 event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Keeping with the giving thanks theme, we are thankful that our post election survey shows:
Fully 88% of registered voters agree that "businesses large and small contribute to the U.S. in a positive way by providing jobs, growing our economy, and investing in our communities."
U.S. Chamber president and CEO Tom Donohue was in Denver yesterday talking politics and business; from the dispatches:
Business leaders should put aside objections to government financial and regulatory help for key industries or be prepared to face massive unemployment and economic "disaster" for the United States, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Thomas J. Donohue, said in Denver Tuesday.
Barack Obama’s sweeping victory on Tuesday was the biggest win for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson’s in 1964. During the long campaign he made promises and offered positions in many areas, but the election wasn’t really about them. It was his theme of "change" that resonated with voters who were tired of the gridlock and finger pointing that have characterized so much of our recent politics. His challenge now is to deliver that change.
New York Times coverage of our press briefing this morning:
U.S. Chamber president and CEO Tom Donohue has sent the following congratulatory letter to President-elect Barack Obama.
Dear Mr. President-elect:
In a spectacular tribute to form over substance, Senate Majority Leader Reid intends to spend the last remaining legislative days of 2008 pushing an omnibus federal land-grab bill that will severely hamstring our energy independence and signif