The U.S. Chamber is stepping up its efforts in a sweeping coast-to-coast legal reform campaign.
The Latest from FreeEnterprise.com
Dr. Martin Regalia
It has been a tumultuous few months since we last examined the state of the economy. So for this month's column, I'll leave the current developments in AMT reform and tax policy aside and focus on our economic outlook.
Small Businesses to Benefit
Ramesh A. Lakshmi-Ratan, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Direct Marketing Association
Marketing technology is not new. In 1440, Johann Gutenberg started the ball rolling. And ever since, business owners have been searching for tools to help them reach customers more quickly, efficiently, and directly.
U.S. Chamber Advances Business Agenda
U.S. Chamber Chairman Paul S. Speranza Jr. (left) briefs Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) on health care priorities while a staff member looks on.
The Chamber in 2007 moved the ball forward on a number of policy issues essential for continued economic prosperity, job creation, and competitiveness. Below are some highlights.
Businesses Gain From Community Involvement
Businesses involved in their communities find that giving has its own rewards, as illustrated by this year's finalists for the Corporate Stewardship Award for Small/Midsize Business presented by the U.S. Chamber's Business Civic Leadership Center. (See the cover story to learn about award winner ChoicePoint Inc.)
During December, peoples' thoughts turn to eggnog and holiday gifts, and if they're a small business owner, hopefully to year-end tax planning.
Small business owners should be aware that they can expense an even greater amount of business purchases on their 2007 tax return due to an extension and expansion of Section 179 capital asset expensing provisions.
Business Development Center Works-Businesses assisted by the Arkansas Small Business Development Center generated more than $154 million in increased sales in 2006, according to a Mississippi State University study. More than $14.3 million in tax revenues were also generated by such businesses.
Source: Arkansas News Bureau
Disclosure Requirements Could Hurt Small Businesses
By Harold Jackson
There have been tremendous efforts to provide incentives for small business owners to establish and maintain retirement plans. However, additional fee disclosure requirements could possibly undo this progress.
First, a heavier administrative burden would disproportionately impact small businesses, which don't have dedicated human resources staff like larger companies.
U.S. Legal System Has Run Amok
By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Sadly, America has adopted a culture where everyone is a victim, where suing is the first—not the last—resort, and where any misfortune in life must always be someone's fault.
We see some courts, juries, prosecutors, attorneys general, and regulators using the legal system not to enforce the law but to make the law. We see troubling attacks on the due process rights guaranteed to every American by ambitious prosecutors.
Chamber Honors Corporate Citizens
The U.S. Chamber's Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) hosted its eighth annual Corporate Citizenship Awards Dinner on November 7 to honor businesses and organizations of all sizes for the extraordinary contributions they make to their communities.
The U.S. Chamber will honor exceptional businesses that demonstrate the spirit of enterprise at America's Small Business Summit 2008, April 16-18, in Washington, D.C.
Follow these steps to apply or to nominate a business:
1. Download an application or nomination form at www.uschambersummit.com.
2. Show how your business stands out.
3. Submit applications to the Chamber by mail no later than February 8, 2007.
A U.S. District judge considered arguments last week in a case brought by immigration rights and business groups, including the U.S. Chamber's National Chamber Litigation Center, opposed to Arizona's new anti-immigration law.
The Chamber's National Chamber Foundation brought together key industry leaders, lawmakers and the media to explore the enormous economic and societal benefits of nanotechnology, and explore ways to respond to critics who are calling for a moratorium on products containing this revolutionary technology.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Co-Chair of the Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus and John H. Marburger, Science Advisor to the President and Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy spoke during the all-day event at the Chamber's Washington headquarters.
By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
November 20, 2007—Overall prices for consumer goods rose 0.3% in October while the core CPI increased 0.2%. Concurrently, producer prices grew 0.1% as the core PPI went unchanged. Retail sales were weak in October, increasing a modest 0.2% while industrial production decreased 0.5%. Last, business inventories rose 0.4% in September.
Latino, Business Community Protest Casino Bill
Latino community leaders and business people are criticizing Gov. Deval Patrick's (D) casino legislation, saying it is unfair to Western Massachusetts. Patrick originally pledged to license three casinos in the state, including one in Western Massachusetts. However, the introduced legislation lumps western and central Massachusetts together as one region. The three resort casinos would generate 20,000 jobs and $400 million dollars in annual revenue, according to the governor's office.
The Senate went on recess last week without passing legislation to prevent the alternative minimum tax from impacting approximately 21 million tax payers next year, thereby delaying an inevitable showdown with the House over how to pay for the one-year "patch" until December.
Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the second part of a study further illustrating the negative economic impact that increasing taxes on carried interest could have on America's ability to grow and compete in a global economy. In addition, according to the study, the tax increases would bring in approximately $23 billion less than Congress has calculated as more businesses change their business model to avoid the higher taxes.
The study by Dr. John Rutledge finds that the currently proposed increase would:
The presidential race is still up for grabs and could go either way, according to two popular political commentators who spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this morning. "Things that normally couldn't happen are happening," said Charlie Cook, publisher of The Cook Political Report. "We are in a strongly changed environment," agreed Stuart Rothenberg, editor of The Rothenberg Political Report.
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