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Get a Head Start on Taxes

Government & PoliticsSmall Business Incentives Face a Hard Road in CongressPresident Obama’s incentives for small business to create jobs appear to be foundering at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Those proposals — tax credits for hiring and investment and initiatives to spur lending to small firms — all face strong resistance, and not all of it comes from the Senate. Each chamber has embraced separate elements of the administration’s agenda, and, for the moment, none of those elements overlap.Government & PoliticsU.S. Salary-Increase Budgets Hit 25-Year LowChanges to salary structures... [Read Full Article]

Treasury Getting into the SBA Loan Business

One of the issues that small business owners face when seeking an SBA loan is the need for someone to actually buy the loan once it is made. You go to the bank, you get SBA backing for the loan; the bank gives you the loan and then sells it as part of a package to an investor. One of the reasons banks have been reluctant to make loans to small businesses—with or without the SBA guarantees—has to do with the lack of investors willing to buy up those loans.  /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} Enter the Treasury Department with a brand new idea: Spend $15 billion on... [Read Full Article]

GM Human Resources: Obama Style

Tell me, when was the last time an executive for a private firm, someone not accused of any wrongdoing or convicted of any crime, was forced out of their position by the US government? That is what happened over the weekend at General Motors. Rick Wagoner was forced out by the Obama Administration. By all accounts, Wagoner is a well-respected, hard-working sort who has been working to set a new course for the company. The GM Board of Directors had given him their full confidence and they had gone along with some rather radical changes he made in a company where labor has long had an adversarial relationship with management. Now he is out and the signature on his pink slip is Barack Obama's. True, Wagoner is not the first CEO to lose his job after taking part in a government bailout. The CEOs of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were forced out after the government took over the companies in the fall. Robert Willumstad, the former CEO of American International Group Inc., left the compa... [Read Full Article]

Small Firms Targeted by Stimulus Scammers

  Government and Economy Small Business Stimulus Loan Scams The SBA doesn't give stimulus package loans directly to small businesses, but that hasn't stopped scammers from trying to make you believe otherwise. Auto Suppliers to Receive $5 billion Bailout The Treasury Department is trying to stabilize the auto industry by providing as much as $5 billion in financing to troubled auto parts suppliers linked to Detroit's car makers. [Read Full Article]

Automaker Bailout Part 2: It is Raining Money!

I will give them credit—they cut their white collar payroll, managed to get rid of that union job bank and they came up with restructuring plans—but after doing all of that, they are back with their hands out. Previously, General Motors and Chrysler received $17.4 billion; but now, as part of their restructuring plans, they are looking for a total of  $34 billion to stay out of bankruptcy. What Do They Want, What Will They Give? GM is seeking $30 billion from the Treasury, which is up from previous estimates of $18 billion and includes $13.4 billion the company has already received. GM claims that it could run out of money by March without the additional funds, needing $2 billion next month and another $2.6 billion in April to keep going. Chrysler is looking for a mere $5 billion to keep going. What are they willing to do to get this money? The automakers say they are ready to trim the proverbial fat with plans that call for thousands of additio... [Read Full Article]

Unemployment Surges, Obama Demands Action

Government and Economy Unemployment Surges to 7.6% As if we needed further proof that the nation's employment is deteriorating at a frightening rate, employers eliminated 598,000 jobs in January and pushed the unemployment rate up to 7.6%, the highest unemployment rate since 1974. Obama Demands Action on the Economy President Obama spoke out against what he described as an "inexcusable and irresponsible" delay of his economic recovery legislation in Congress, especially given the fact that an estimated 3.6 million Americans have lost their jobs since the recession began. [Read Full Article]

The Strength of the Family Business

Government and Economy Labor Secretary Nominee Hearing Postponed Over Taxes A Senate committee today abruptly canceled a session to consider Rep. Hilda Solis' nomination for Labor Secretary after news that her husband only just paid about $6,400 to settle tax liens against his business, some of which had been outstanding for 16 years. Treasury Bilked in Bailout Bank Stock Buys A government watchdog group reported that under the $700 billion bailout program, the federal government overpaid for stocks and other assets from financial institutions to the tune of $78 billion. [Read Full Article]

A New World Order We Can Live With

The story in the Sydney Morning Herald begins as follows: KEVIN RUDD has denounced the unfettered capitalism of the past three decades and called for a new era of "social capitalism" in which government intervention and regulation feature heavily. In an essay to be published next week, the Prime Minister is scathing of the neo-liberals who began refashioning the market system in the 1970s, and ultimately brought about the global financial crisis. I have to agree, at least in part. The economic experiments of the past 39 years have, indeed, brought us to this current crisis. There is no question of that. With currency tied to nothing more than the promise that the government won’t print too much of it, there are few, if any real limits on things. Rudd’s answer for that: Regulate! His notion is that heavy government regulation can curb the extremes while allowing a robust free market to exist. My question is this: How? The Main Ingredi... [Read Full Article]

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