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By David Brodwin
Posted on: April 20, 2012
This week Congress dodged debate on the "Buffett Rule" which would require Americans earning more than a million dollars per year to pay tax rates of at least 30 percent. Opponents claim that any tax increase undermines economic growth. Supporters stress equity and the impact on the federal deficit. Truth again lies buried under the polarized rhetoric. Far from discouraging investment, the Buffett Rule—and similar measures—will boost productivity and strengthen the economy. The Buffett Rule is a first step toward reversing a growing income gap that corrodes economic growth and productivity.... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: April 16, 2012
Today the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the Buffett Rule that would require those making over $1 million a year to pay a minimum tax rate of 30% to put them in line with the average middle class American.  Supporters of the proposal say that this is a matter of tax equity requiring the wealthiest to pay their fair share.  Critics say that Buffett Rule seeks to divide the country and punish the wealthy. Well, let’s say that we’re all on a big cruise ship, an appropriate analogy given all the media attention about the Titanic. Our cruise ship has developed a whole in the hull of the ship... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: April 13, 2012
A furious debate rages between those wanting to cut taxes on U.S. corporations and those hoping to raise them. The two sides come armed with opposing and contradictory "facts." Some claim U.S. corporate taxes rank highest in the developed world. Others argue the opposite. When we cut through the rhetoric, a clear but complex answer emerges: Corporate taxes should be increased for most companies—and decreased for a few. The tax structure needs to be repaired to eliminate bad incentives that threaten our economy. Those urging lower taxes are right to argue that our economy stagnates if taxes... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: April 9, 2012
In recent weeks, the Supreme Court heard arguments over whether President Obama’s healthcare legislation is constitutional. It’s easy to get lost in tedious legal details, but let’s not neglect the critical patient at the heart of this case: the U.S. economy. If we don’t take bold steps to reinvent our healthcare system, that patient will decline and die. The current healthcare system threatens our prosperity in three ways: It burdens the overall economy; it undermines individual businesses and the jobs they provide; and it saps the productivity of American workers. These threats confront... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: March 31, 2012
Recently, when Goldman Sachs's executive director Greg Smith resigned, he blasted his former employer's culture as "toxic and destructive." Goldman "rips off" its clients, Smith declared, allowing "morally bankrupt" people to put the firm's trading profits ahead of their clients' needs. Unless you've been living in a cave since 2008, you have to wonder if Mr. Smith isn't the last one to figure this out. While Greg Smith's letter contains little news about Goldman itself, it highlights a widespread and disturbing trend in American society: the death of the culture of professionalism. This... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: March 29, 2012
Small business owners strongly support ending government subsidies to gas and oil companies, with 60 percent supporting the idea even if it means a small increase in gas prices, according to opinion polling released today. These polling results support the policy position taken by American Sustainable Business Council to encourage renewable energy and reduce dependence on coal, oil, and gas. ASBC has opposed the Keystone XL pipeline and supported the EPA’s authority to regulate the pollution that causes climate change. 41 percent strongly favor eliminating subsidies, while only 10 percent... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: March 21, 2012
The U.S. Senate will soon consider a trio of bills passed by the House that aim to gut the federal rule-making process. These bills (the Regulatory Accountability Act, Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, and Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011) aim to sharply curtail federal rule-making capacity, under the rationale that regulations prevent businesses from growing and creating jobs. The reality is far more complex. Some regulations are poorly designed or implemented. Many, though, promote business and job growth by accelerating the pace of innovation and... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: March 16, 2012
Two recent news stories have challenged the universal belief that small businesses are the job creators.  An AP story on February 17 was titled, “The Truth is That Small Businesses Are Not Good At Creating Jobs.”  Seven days later a New York Times story’s heading said, “Small Companies Create More Jobs?  Maybe Not.” But before you swear off shopping with locally-owned small businesses and throw all your support to big box stores, I’ve read these two stories and the data and conclusions have some big problems.First the Times story.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a new analysis of... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: January 31, 2012
Tomorrow the U.S. House Committee on Small Business holds a hearing featuring the results of a Gallup poll conducted in October last year.  The title of the hearing is The Path to Job Creation, but the better title might be The Path to Deceiving Congress.   The issue is the role government regulations play in small business job creation. The GOP mantra this election season is that regulations are hindering job growth and must be eliminated or severely reduced. Last year the House passed numerous bills to do just that. Those bills are now in the Senate where the majority party has a different... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: November 30, 2011
This week the U.S. House is expected to start voting on legislation to turn back regulations and make it nearly impossible for federal agencies to develop new regulations in the future. If that happens, Congress might as well just stop passing any new laws because the rules for implementing them will never be developed. One of the big targets for the anti-regulation crowd is Dodd-Frank, the financial reform that passed last year to try to put regulations of big financial institutions in place so we won’t repeat this great recession. The majority party in the House, spurred on by the big banks... read more

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