Driving the Day: 11/19/12

Nov 19, 2012

Need to know…

  • Obamacare Forces Business Owners to Consider Layoffs, Cutting Hours. Business owners across the United States are threatening to lay off workers, slash employee hours, or add surcharges to their services to deal with higher costs of doing business once the provisions of Obamacare kick in. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 requires companies with more than 50 workers to provide health insurance to employees who work at least 30 hours a week, starting in January 2014. If they don’t, they must pay the government $2,000 a year for each full-time worker, not including the first 30 employees.
  • Corporate Tax Breaks on the Chopping Block. The Financial Times reports that “Corporate tax breaks worth more than $150 billion over a decade could be threatened in U.S. budget negotiations ... Some of these tax preferences could be trimmed in a two-step agreement, which is the likely framework for a deal that includes a down payment on deficit reduction upfront, including new revenues, before instructions for broader tax and spending reform are set for 2013. … Among the tax preferences at risk include $28 billion in deductions benefiting fossil fuel companies. … The application of low capital gains tax rates to private equity, hedge fund, venture capital, and real estate profits — known as carried interest – could also be curtailed, for a $13 billion gain to federal coffers.”
  • China Makes 73 Arrests for Producing and Exporting Fake Goods. Chinese police, working with U.S. authorities, arrested 73 people for manufacturing and exporting fake international brands including Louis Vuitton and Coach. Police also confiscated more than 20,000 counterfeit bags and closed 37 illegal sites used for the production and sale of the bags. Foreign governments, including the United States, have for years urged China to take a stronger stand against violations of intellectual property rights on products including medicines, software, and DVD movies.
  • House Approves Russian Trade Legislation. The House voted 365-43 on Friday to end a long-standing trade restriction with Russia, overwhelmingly passing a bill that promises to spur trade but drew Moscow’s anger for a provision targeting Russian human-rights failures. Granting Russia the trade status is a step the United States needs to take if it is going to benefit from the concessions Russia made when it entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in August. The Senate is likely to pass similar legislation before year’s end.

Worth the read…

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