Circumquacking the Lame Duck

A news roundup, in other words…

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Edmond Sun
, “Obama’s policies stifle economic growth“: “EDMOND — In less than five weeks, tax hikes will go into effect for virtually all tax brackets unless Congress takes action. Despite public and bipartisan support for maintaining the current tax rates, President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress have repeatedly refused to bring the issue to a vote. President Obama insists that his plan to raise taxes on the highest tax brackets will not affect job creators, but the facts indicate otherwise.” The Congressman cites the recent WSJ op-ed by John Engler and Jerry Howard, “Tax Hikes and the Small Business Job Machine.” Thank you.

Bloomberg, “Return of Estate Tax Looms as Final Impediment to Extending Bush Tax Cuts“: “In the past year trade groups such as the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Association of Manufacturers, alarmed by the possibility of a 55 percent rate in 2011, have pivoted toward urging lawmakers to adopt the approach favored by Kyl and Lincoln.” That’s an accurate assessment.

The Senate voted 61-35 on Tuesday for a motion by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) to suspend the expansions of IRS 1099 reporting requirements imposed by the new health care law, but he needed 67 votes for the measure to proceed. Bloomberg reports the NAM’s opposition in its coverage, “Repeal of Health Law’s ‘Onerous’ Business-Expenses Rule Fails“: “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, both based in Washington, and the Nashville- based National Federation of Independent Business supported repeal of the 1099 rule, saying the requirement would be cumbersome for business owners.” Cumbersome, yes. Stupidly, insanely burdensome and costly, as well.

A related motion by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) to get rid of the 1099 reporting requirement failed 44-53.

Investor’s Business Daily,As EPA Goes Green, Businesses See Red From Lack Of Guidance“: “Big business is bracing for a series of Environmental Protection Agency regulations set to begin in January. The problem is, it doesn’t really know what those regulations are going to be. Neither does the EPA, which has essentially punted that responsibility down to the states.” Meanwhile, Administrator Jackson celebrates the 40th anniversary of the EPA. We suggest the slogan, “Regulatory Excess since the Nixon Era!”

As Singapore Goes, So Goes Spain. Isn’t that a strange concept? The Daily Record of Scotland reports, “Spanish manufacturers ordered to make chewing gum ‘less sticky’“: “Manufacturers have been ordered to change their formula so the gum is easier to clean from pavements. The problem was considered so serious that PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero held a cabinet meeting to tackle the issue.” We await the bureaucratic battle here in the United States to address the problems: FDA or EPA? What with the streets and nuisance and all, it might make Transportation Secretary LaHood’s priority list, too. Bicyclists hate getting gum on their gumwall tires.

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