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Energy Saving This Year Could Lead to Tax Savings Next Year

The recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARRA) of 2009 contained a number of either new or expanded tax benefits on expenditures to reduce energy use or create new energy sources. The IRS encourages individuals and businesses to explore their eligibility for any of the new energy tax provisions. More information on the wide range of energy items is available on the special Recovery section of For a larger listing of ARRA’s energy-related tax benefits, see Fact Sheet 2009-10.  Tax Credits for Home Energy Efficiency Improvements Increase Homeowners can get bigger tax credits for making energy efficiency improvements or installing alternative energy equipment.  The IRS also announced homeowners seeking these tax credits can temporarily rely on existing manufacturer certif... [Read Full Article]

Small Biz Tip: Going Green: Saving Energy

Tips from Tuesday, April 7, 2009 The Small Business tips today will be about going green in your office by saving energy. When you paint your office put Insuladd in your paint to save over 20% on energy costs. Developed with NASA technology. Use compact fluorescent bulbs, which are more energy-efficient than standard light bulbs. Buy a laptop instead of a desktop computer. Laptops use 15-25 watts while desktops use 150 watts during average use. Mom taught me if you’re not using it, turn it off: lights, gadgets, all technology. Daily Overview: You can take steps to save energy without having to make drastic changes to your routine. Start today! [Read Full Article]

How Cap and Trade Affects Your Small Business

“Those price increases are essential to the success of a cap-and-trade program.” Those were the words of Peter Orszag the new White House budget director. He spoke them at a congressional hearing last year, answering a question about how the costs imposed by such a program would eventually hit consumers.  Here is how a system like that works. The government creates a scarce new commodity, carbon credits, in this case, and then makes a law that businesses buy it. There is then a competition for these credits among corporations large and small and their cost rises as high as the market will allow. Now you will be hit by these costs. Your energy bill will increase, or you will have to pay the government for the carbon you produce. However, as with sales taxes, you won’t pay this money yourself. No, the costs would inevitably be passed on to your customers in the form of higher prices.  Now, if we were discussing a fixed amount, a given percentage, then we would... [Read Full Article]

Consumer Borrowing Drops, So Do Gas Prices

Government and Economy Consumers Unexpectedly Trimmed Borrowing in OctoberWASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. consumers unexpectedly cut back on their borrowing in October as the economy sunk deeper into recession. The Federal Reserve says consumer credit fell at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in October. That compares with a 3.1 percent growth rate logged in September Kashkari: Taxpayers Will See Return From BailoutWASHINGTON (AP) - Taxpayers will get money back from the government program providing up to $250 billion in capital to banks around the country, said Neel Kashkari, the director of Treasury's Office of Financial Stability. [Read Full Article]

The Holy Trinity of Economic Ruin: High Taxes, High Energy, High Labor

Tomorrow is Election Day here in the US, the day we find out who will be heading up the Free World, who's ideas have resonated with the people, the kind of system we will be living under. It will be a real watershed moment in American history and everyone should stay up and watch the results to the bitter end—and one way or another, the end will be very bitter—because it is that important. That said, from some of the responses I have been getting from the Left recently regarding my misgivings over the Obama economic plan, it seems that some of the folks out there have missed the point when it comes to The One, so here it is in very plain language: If Obama wins and if his economic policies are enacted, the economy will tip from recession into depression. There it is. The economy will do this because you do not strengthen a weak economy by increasing the cost of doing business. Leaving aside the ideologically-driven populist, class-warfare arguments that have dominated the e... [Read Full Article]

Domestic Energy Production Fight Continues

October First of this year was hailed as Energy Independence Day. The seminal event was the Congress allowing the various drilling bans that have led to huge amounts of American wealth being sent overseas and grotesquely high gas prices to lapse. Even Nancy Pelosi recognizes political suicide when she is staring it in the face. So the bans dropped away and now we can “drill, baby, drill” and become energy independent and an economic powerhouse once more, right? Not quite. Arrayed against Americans seeking prosperity and security are a powerful consortium of people determined to keep American oil and natural gas as far underground as possible: Radical Environmentalists and their lawyers. We live in a society with free and open access to the judiciary, ironically its best and worst feature, even for radical environmentalists determined to force their ideas down the throats of average Americans whether they like it or not. The tactic makes perfect sense: Lose in the Congress, t... [Read Full Article]

Reid Loses—You Win!

I know that we are supposed to expect a level of duplicity and shadiness from what is shaping up to be one of the worst Congresses on record, but even this was a new low. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-WV) introduced a $56 billion economic stimulus package that would have spread all sorts of money all over (sorry folks, no checks coming back in this one), while the following language was buried in the midst of it: SEC. 1602. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including section 152 of division A of H.R. 2638 (110th Congress), the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009, the terms and conditions contained in section 433 of division F of Public Law 110–161 shall remain in effect for the 19 fiscal year ending September 30, 2009. In layman’s terms, Reid tried to extend the ban on shale oil exploration and development in the Ro... [Read Full Article]

Small Business Boost from the U.S. Senate? Don’t forget Energy!

We all know that the Small Business Administration (SBA) is one of the most helpful of all Federal agencies. Since 2001, the SBA has provided $114 billion in guaranteed loans to small businesses through its programs promoting entrepreneurship and $15 billion in direct loans to homeowners, renters, and businesses that were victims of disasters. The SBA has also facilitated greater access for small businesses to compete for Federal contracts, reaching nearly $397 billion of Federal contracts through 2006; and they have done all this in a manner that strengthens free market competition. In his 2009 budget, President Bush acknowledges this legacy of success and makes some solid proposals to build on that success. However, does he go far enough? Some folks in the Senate don’t think so. The United States Senate is pushing a program that will go well beyond what the President is calling for to help small business. The sponsors, Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and John Kerry (D-Mass.), the Chair... [Read Full Article]

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