Economy

Brian Moran's Plan: Investments in Small Business, Job Creation

(-- promoted by code)

Brian Moran Rolls Out Economic Recovery PlanIt takes a strong combination of Democratic leadership to be the best-managed state in the nation, to save and maintain Virginia's AAA bond rating, and to keep Virginia the best state for business, three years running.

Making obvious that he's got the experience to step right in where Governors Warner and Kaine left off, Brian Moran released his Economic Recovery Plan today, "talking up tax relief as a way to help small and minority businesses through the economic crisis", as the Richmond Times-Dispatch put it. "Creating local jobs by cutting taxes", adds the Washington Post.

Brian’s plan focuses on stimulating the economy through investments in small business and job creation, including a tax credit for job creation. Brian will focus on small businesses because he knows that they represent more than 97% of the Commonwealth’s employers and make up approximately half of the private workforce in Virginia. "We must stimulate job creation by giving a tax credit to those who create more jobs," said Moran. "That job creation will stimulate our economy and get us back on the right footing."

Specifically, he will create a small business job creation tax credit of $2,000 per new employee for small businesses that hire new employees and retain them for at least one year. He will eliminate the corporate income tax for small businesses making less than $200,000 per year. Brian Moran will create a Stimulus Watchdog to coordinate the federal dollars flowing into Virginia and ensure that they are invested wisely, not wasted.

Republicans Joking Us on Business and the Economy

Mantras and social conservative core values won't produce a single private sector job. Yet somehow the Republicans maintain the mantle of business acumen and get away with highway robbery by playing on their audience's naiveté. And those among us with no business background defer to them. Wrong answer!

So-called conservatives also like to throw out all kinds of economics pablum picked up in some cutely illustrated paperback to justify their ruinous policies. I have said this before and it's always worth repeating: I do not want to pay taxes. But then there is reality. Take the Laffer curve or, as my old antitrust economics professor Dr. John M. Kuhlman has termed it: the "laugher" curve. Sum up the idea: lower taxes will produce more tax revenue. Actually, greater economic activity will produce more tax revenue even with lower taxes. More investment will produce greater economic activity and/or more skilled labor will increase productivity. Any combination of either of those will increase the tempo of economic activity. But lower taxes will not ensure greater investment any more than it will ensure better wages and better wages do not ensure a more skilled work force. Lower taxes might result in higher dividends or bonuses for executives, making it all an economic wash. Nothing is certain. But in microeconomics, the source of the simplistic models and which has nothing much to do with the macroeconomic behavior attributed, just about everything is held certain other than two variables. Then they march some career public servant, some unaccomplished heir, or talk radio host out as the spokesperson for capitalist theory. I'm not laffing.

Health Care Reform as Key to Economic Reform

I've seen the commercial about 2 dozen times now and I just could not be happier about it. I've been railing about this for over a year and I think the ad is spot on effective and the key to so much more. Once you get people off the cliff that we have the least healthy, most expensive and least competitive health care system in the world and must have drastic reform (which is the absolute truth), the only option left is universal, single payer health care (but don't use the "U" word until we get them off the cliff). That would then make the Employee Free Choice Act possible and the green jobs we need to clean up the environment. I'm just so used to complaining about stuff that is wrong or not working. I don't know what to do with my self when I see things that are being done properly. Damn, the commercial is running again now. That's twice while I wrote this.

Six Diverse Groups Unite in Nationwide Call for Health Care Reform as Key to Economic Reform
http://www.seiu.org/2009/01/six-diverse-groups-unite-in-nationwide-call-...

Obama’s Joe

Tavis Smiley wonders who will be Obama’s Douglass. One must also wonder who will be his Joe. If there is to be a foil to keep Obama on Lincoln’s rails, it may be as much or more important there be as nefarious a character as Kennedy in this administration to undo the damage done by the “free marketeers” and set the conditions to right the economy, drawing the full FDR parallel. It will take someone who understands the husksters who dismantled the regulations that held the financial sector steady and facilitated the confidence in its institutions necessary to recover from the last bloody economic disaster this nation was rendered by incompetent (kindest of all possible adjectives) Republicans.

When newspaper front pages (Virginian Pilot) are dominated by stories of spiraling foreclosures and financial sections (Richmond Times Dispatch) set aside stock recommendations for bankruptcy guidance, you can be certain the economy is in the process of landing with a sorry splat. A thump might promise a bounce. Instead, it looks to be a long, tortuous climb back from the depths.

The Battle of Coles Hill

Last night was the first skirmish in what will undoubtedly become known as the Battle of Coles Hill. Chatham residents turned out in the hundreds for a community forum on uranium mining at a site just outside town, which is apparently the largest untapped uranium deposit in America.

Good for Virginia, good for Republicans

That might seem like an odd title for a post on something called "Blue Commonwealth," but stay with me. Cross-posted on Equality Loudoun.

This is great news. Delegate Tom Rust (R-86) has introduced a bill (HB 1726) that would permit "coverage under a group life insurance policy to be extended to insure any class of persons as may mutually be agreed upon by the insurer and the group policyholder."

Is Virginia really in bad shape?

With the $2.9 billion biennial budget shortfall hanging over our heads, I have to ask the question is Virginia really in bad shape? At least from where I sit in NoVA, the economic situation does not appear to be dire. So, I went about looking up some economic indicators for the state of Virginia. Below are my findings and my thoughts about our fiscal situation.

My Two Cents: A Metaphor for What’s Wrong With Our Nation’s Failed Economy

In a story unfortunately relegated to The Current (New River Valley Supplement) section of the Roanoke Times (December 13, 2008), we learn from reporter Tim Thornton that yet another university, this time Radford, has fallen for the notion that wealthy or corporate benefactors should dictate university business curricula. In a strings-attached world, some universities would be better off running for cover. And, because of the story's implications for the future health of our economy, it’s a subject that should not be buried in The Current.

I'd like to hear from you

I wanted to take a moment to welcome the Blue Commonwealth community and give you an update on what we’ve been up to since Election Day.

First, thank you to everyone who helped out during our campaign for the U.S. Senate. Your support led to an historic victory, and we couldn't have done it without you. I look forward to hearing from this community in the years to come as we work together to get our country back on the right track.

In the weeks since the election, I've had an opportunity to talk to folks around the state to get a sense of what they would like to see from our leaders in Washington.

If this election has proven anything, it's that Virginians and Americans want leaders who focus less on partisan ideology and more on finding solutions that produce results that will get this economy back on the right track.

In my conversations across the state, I've heard from community, academic and business leaders who are all focused on the economic downturn and who have all shared new ideas and insight that I am eager to bring to the U.S. Senate.

State and local officials have discussed the proposed economic stimulus package, which could improve our infrastructure and create jobs here in Virginia. Our university leaders are working on exciting research into alternative energy, which could create thousands of new "green" economy jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And several of Virginia's largest employers are thinking of innovative ways we can work together so they remain competitive in the global economy.

Health care, Economy, Environment: All Connected

Ice melting across globe at accelerating rate, NASA says
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/12/16/melting.ice/index.html?eref=r...

As our economic crisis and news of increased global warming collide, we need to focus on how fixing both of these problems are connected. In order to fix our economy, we must create new jobs. To clean our environment and achieve energy independence we must create new green-collar jobs to do the work. To create and keep new jobs in the US we must dramatically lower health care costs. They are all connected. We can't do one without the other. So how do we leverage each of these major issues to fix all of our major problems? Many people are focused on health care reform, others are focused more on the economy, others are focused on cleaning the environment and some are focused on achieving energy independence. If we continue to compete with each other for political clout, none of us will get very far, but if we work together, we can fix all of these major problems together. The case needs to be made to each supporting group that all of these issues are connected and that we need to work together to fix them all.

Appomattox, Boones Mill lose 200 jobs

From WDBJ7's newscast tonight: More bad news for Southside's job market today, as North American Homes laid off about 40 people in Boones Mill. Appomattox lost about 160 jobs total when Thomasville Furniture cut production.

GOP Unveils "Look as out of touch as possible" strategy for 2010 & beyond

Cross posted to 220 South

As the economy continues its spiral of doom following two of the biggest electoral thrashings in recent memory, last night's failed auto bailout begs the question: just what, exactly, are they thinking?

From NYT today:
“It sounds like the U.A.W. blew it up,” said Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana.

Clouded Transparency on Paulson's Bailout (Stabilization) Fund

If you have been uneasy about Hank Paulson and Ben Bernancke and their manipulations with the $700 Billion “Emergency Economic Stabilization Funds” (otherwise known as “The Bailout Money”) be comforted: you are not alone. Remember the Congressional Oversight Panel for Economic Stabilization that was to keep an eagle eye on the money? They really do exist, and issued their first report on Wednesday the 10th of December. Mirabile dictu! Transparency at last! Or, on second thought, not so much. The 38-page report’s Introduction provides a simple, condensed snapshot of the US economy at one recent moment, and the rest consists of 10 questions to the Secretary of the Treasury, every one of which asks, in effect: what the hell are you doing, please explain.

Over and over one detects a plaintive note, and what sounds more like an excuse than a demand, for information to which “the American people” are entitled because it is their money, after all. Here are the 10 Questions from COP (Congressional Oversight Panel), plus a few comments from me [in brackets] as we go along:

Data Says - Obama Doing Just Fine - Counters Early Critics

Countering the increasing, and predictable din from right-wing controlled media, new polling data from USA Today Gallup shows that the Obama transition team is doing just fine with the recent National Security picks for his Cabinet. Media Matters captures the emerging meme from right wingers trying to foment some political mischief, claiming a lack of support by left wingers.

Looking at the hard data, it seems that lefties and centrists are actually quite happy with Obama's early progress; in building an experienced, pragmatic, result-oriented crew. Why are we not surprised ... by both in the early results of the Obama Team's efforts, and the predictable attempts by Fox & Company to begin the early assault on the new Administration.