Unemployment Rate Drops (a little) – The Cause?

President Obama Signs the Small Business Jobs Bill in September

 

Big news this week that the Nation’s Unemployment rate dropped to it’s lowest level in 2 years.

Among the nuggets:

The ADP National Employment Report, which showed an increase of 297,000 private-sector jobs in December, with the bulk of them in small and midsize companies.

That couldn’t possibly have anything to do with this? Passed BTW over Republicans stalwart resistance and fillibustering!

President Obama Signs Small Business Jobs Act – Learn What’s In It

  • A New $30 Billion Small Business Lending Fund:The bill would establish a new $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund which – by providing capital to small banks with incentives to increase small business lending – could support several multiples of that amount in new credit.
  • An Initiative to Strengthen Innovative State Small Business Programs – Supporting Over $15 Billion in Lending:The bill will support at least $15 billion in small business lending through a new State Small Business Credit Initiative, strengthening state small business programs that leverage private-sector lenders to extend additional credit – many of which have been forced to cut back due to budget cuts.
  • Eight New Small Business Tax Cuts – Effective Today, Providing Immediate Incentives to Invest: The President had already signed into law eight small business tax cuts, and on Monday, he is signing into law another eight new tax cuts that go into effect immediately.
    • Zero Taxes on Capital Gains from Key Small Business Investments:Under the Recovery Act, 75 percent of capital gains on key small business investments this year were excluded from taxes. The Small Business Jobs Act temporarily puts in place for the rest of 2010 a provision called for by the President – elimination of all capital gains taxes on these investments if held for five years. Over one million small businesses are eligible to receive investments this year that, if held for five years or longer, could be completely excluded from any capital gains taxation.
    • Extension and Expansion of Small Businesses’ Ability to Immediately Expense Capital Investments: The bill increases for 2010 and 2011 the amount of investments that businesses would be eligible toimmediately write off to $500,000, while raising the level of investments at which the write-off phases out to $2 million. Prior to the passage of the bill, the expensing limit would have been $250,000 this year, and only $25,000 next year.  This provision means that 4.5 million small businesses and individuals will be able to make new business investments today and know that they will earn a larger break on their taxes for this year.
    • Extension of 50% Bonus Depreciation:The bill extends – as the President proposed in his budget – a Recovery Act provision for 50 percent “bonus depreciation” through 2010, providing 2 million businesses, large and small, with the ability to make new investmentstoday and know they can receive a tax cut for this year by accelerating the rate at which they deduct capital expenditures.
    • A New Deduction of Health Insurance Costs for Self-Employed:The bill allows 2 million self-employed to know that on their taxes for this year, they can get a deduction for the cost of health insurance for themselves and their family members in calculating their self-employment taxes. This provision is estimated to provide over $1.9 billion in tax cuts for these entrepreneurs.
    • Tax Relief and Simplification for Cell Phone Deductions:The bill changes rules so that the use of cell phones can be deducted without burdensome extra documentation – making it easier for virtually every small business in America to receive deductions that they are entitled to,beginning on their taxes for this year.
    • An Increase in the Deduction for Entrepreneurs’ Start-Up Expenses:The bill temporarily increases the amount of start-up expenditures entrepreneurs can deductfrom their taxesfor this year from $5,000 to $10,000 (with a phase-out threshold of $60,000 in expenditures), offering an immediate incentive for someone with a new business idea to invest in starting up a new small business today.
    • A Five-Year Carryback Of General Business Credits:The bill would allow certain small businesses to “carry back” their general business credits to offset five years of taxes – providing them with a break on their taxes for this year – while also allowing these credits to offset the Alternative Minimum Tax, reducing taxes for these small businesses.
    • Limitations on Penalties for Errors in Tax Reporting That Disproportionately Affect Small Business:The bill would change, beginning this year, the penalty for failing to report certain tax transactions from a fixed dollar amount – which was criticized for imposing a disproportionately large penalty on small businesses in certain circumstances – to a percentage of the tax benefits from the transaction.

President Obama’s Accomplishments

Why does the right hate President Obama so much?

I mean other than that “color” issue…

The simple fact is, President Obama has accomplished more, in a shorter time than any President since Roosevelt. Handed a country that had been screwed into virtual economic collapse by conservative stupidity, greed, and avarice – he has steadfastly moved the dime forward.

Scary shit for Rethugs and conservatives. A President who actually leaves the country a better place than when he took office.

18 Months into office the catcalls and howls about “accomplishment” are nothing more than political posturing. It took a lot longer than 18 months for Rethugs to drive the country into the dumpster. And it is a fact of life it takes a hell of a lot longer to unscrew something than it took to screw it up in the first place.

The reason all those Rethugs running for office are shouting all those coded, and not so coded racist comments is the brutal fact that not a single conservative policy initiative during the entire 8 year Bushit Administration fully supported in lockstep by a Rethugly majority Congress and Senate…

Was a success.

History repeats itself for conservatives in that when you have failed when elected to positions of power…

Run on race, and the always dependable racism of a segment of the American populace, and the fears of another.

A coalition of bigots and cowards.

Spike Lee – “BP, Oil Companies, the Government – They All In Cahoots”!

Mr President -

“One time, go off!” director Spike Lee urged on CNN’s “AC 360°.” “If there’s any one time to go off, this is it, because this is a disaster.”

Here’s the deal. This United States ship of state has been reduced to a leaky old scow by years of mismanagement, “Starve the Beast”, the fallacy of smaller government, and disastrous deregulation. At this point in time, to keep it afloat – EVERYBODY needs to be rowing, bailing, or patching the holes.

It isn’t just BP you need to “go off on” Mr President…

It’s those Republicans who keep trying to drill more holes.

Back after Katrina, Republicans argued it wasn’t the Federal Government’s job to help the states. This from Uncle Tommie Sowell after Katrina -

“The Federal Government should not give bail out money. People should get private insurance. Because the government causes people to live in dangerous areas. If the market could decide without government intervention, people would be less likely to live in disaster prone areas.

He lives in an earthquake prone area and feels if his house is destroyed, that he does not have a right to have taxpayers in other parts of the country paying to rebuild his house.”

The states in the Gulf region have encouraged oil development with low (or no) taxes, favorable laws, and have turned a blind eye to the risks and environmental damage…

By Uncle Tommie’s logic – the taxpayers in other parts of the country aren’t responsible for the Gulf States foolishness…

That IS after all – what “small government” means.

Another Republican Failure – U.S. Ranks in Top 5 in Worst Food Safety Culprits

Within two hours of Bush’s swearing-in on Jan. 20, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card halted publication of most new regulations in the Federal Register and postponed for 60 days the start of rules already published. To figure out which food rules should stay and which should go, members of the Bush administration are calling each of the USDA’s 29 agencies looking for food-related proposals, executive orders and announcements for review. Veneman and a team of Bush’s top policy advisers will decide which rules they like and which ones they want to change or toss out entirely.

The conservative “gub’ment deregulation fever” led to the deaths of hundreds of Americans, and sickening nearly 70 million a year. After 8 years of the Bushit destroying Food Safety, the United States now ranks near the bottom -

A new international food safety monitoring tool has been developed to track food safety offenses by country, and the results don’t look good for the U.S. It joins China, Turkey, Iran, and Spain as the five countries with the worst records of food safety.

The new tool uses massive amounts of food recall data collected from 2003 to 2008 to make it’s calculations, and it’s all available online in a user-friendly format for anyone to see, even if it is still obviously geared towards researchers. According to one of the tool’s developers, D. P. Naughton, “No other system can reflect the complexity of this information in a snapshot form.” This advanced level of food safety analysis should prove particularly useful to developing countries, many of which still don’t have comprehensive food safety programs.

This is perhaps the first time such a massive amount of food recall data has been compiled and analyzed in this way, and the results should wake America up. Why is the richest nation in the world doing such a terrible job protecting its citizens from food contamination?

The answer to that question is complex, but a two simple things are clear: Our industrial system that prioritizes speed and low cost is dangerous, and we need to do something about it now.

Will the HNIC Snatch Defeat From the Jaws of Victory in Virginia

If I was McDonnell, running for Governor in Virginia, I couldn’t think of anything worse than a visible visit by the HNIC right now…Should be good for a 5 point drop in the polls, and undermine Sheila Johnson’s support.

more about “Will the HNIC Snatch Defeat From the …“, posted with vodpod

 

Beware of Public Beaches!

Why conservatism fails…

more about “Beware of Public Beaches!“, posted with vodpod

Teen Pregnacy and STDs Rise During Bush Administration

Another in a long list of conservative failures -

Babies Making Babies, and Babies Sick

A Time Magazine Cover from 1985 covering the epidemic in Teen Age pregnancy. After years of turning this around, it's on the rise again, along with the rate of deadly STDs among children because of policies of the Bush Administration.

Teenage pregnancies and syphilis have risen sharply among a generation of American school girls who were urged to avoid sex before marriage under George Bush’s evangelically-driven education policy, according to a new report by the US’s major public health body.
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