Driving the Day: 3/20/12

Mar 20, 2012

As Health Care Law’s Trial Approaches, Two-Thirds Say Ditch Individual Mandate – ABC News

Two-thirds of Americans believe that the U.S. Supreme Court should throw out either the individual mandate portion of the federal health care law or the law in its entirety, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. This update finds a strong sense that opponents of the Affordable Health Care Act are dominating the debate, as 70% of Americans report hearing mainly negative things about the law lately. Intensity of sentiment is more negative: 41% of Americans strongly oppose the law, while only 25% strongly support it. This news comes as the Supreme Court prepares for hearings o the law’s constitutionality next week.

U.S. Governors Urge Congress to Renew Export-Import Bank – Businessweek

A bipartisan group of U.S. governors, including Republican Jan Brewer of Arizona and Democrat Jerry Brown of California, sent letters to congressional leaders calling for the reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. The Senate is set to vote today on a four-year reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank, and the governors urged lawmakers to raise the bank's loan limit to no less than $135 billion, 35% higher than the current cap. The bank guarantees loans from U.S. banks to finance export sales to international buyers, supporting American business competitiveness and job growth.

American Entrepreneurial Activity on the Decline? – The Washington Post

Entrepreneurship slowed last year but continues to move along faster than in the years leading up to the recession, according to the Kauffman Foundation’s 2011 Index of Entrepreneurial Activity released on Tuesday. Approximately 543,000 new firms were created each month throughout 2011, with men creating businesses at twice the rate of females. Entrepreneurship activity dropped in all geographic regions except the Northeast. Robert Litan, vice president of research at the Kauffman Foundation, said that the Great Recession has pushed individuals into business ownership as an answer to the high unemployment rates. “However, economic uncertainty likely has made them more cautious, and they prefer to start sole proprietorships rather than more costly employer firms. This ‘jobless entrepreneurship’ trend negatively effects job creation and the larger economic recovery,” Litan said in a statement.

House GOP Budget to Slash Taxes – The Hill

House Republicans plan to release their fiscal 2013 budget proposal on Tuesday. The plan will slash personal income taxes to a 25% top rate and a 10% lower rate, as well as lower the top corporate tax rate to 25% and scrap the Alternative Minimum Tax. This proposal represents an aggressive push by House Republicans to focus on economic issues and the future of the Bush-era tax rates during the election year. The plan is expected to lay out a clearer vision of how Republicans want to overhaul the tax code, an idea that has been embraced by officials on both sides of the political aisle.

A Guide to the Supreme Court Challenges to Obama’s Health Care Law – The New York Times

The Supreme Court will hear three days of arguments this month about the constitutionality of the Obama Administration's signature health care law. The heart of the matter is whether the individual mandate to acquire health insurance or face a penalty is constitutional. Key questions for the Supreme Court include: Are the individual mandate and the law's expansion of the Medicaid program constitutional? Is it too early to consider the mandate because the law's penalties for not acquiring health insurance do not begin until 2014? And if the individual mandate is found unconstitutional, can it be separated from the rest of the health care law or would the entire law need to be repealed?

In other news…

The Entrepreneur in the Next Cubicle – Forbes

Net Economy in G-20 Nations to Reach $4.2 Trillion – San Francisco Chronicle

Upcoming FCC Decisions to Shape Spectrum Policy – CNET

Funding Access Triples Likelihood of Business Start-Up Plans – GALLUP 

SXSW 2012: 8 Crucial Takeaways – The Huffington Post

Durbin, Dem Colleagues at Odds Over House Bill to Ease Corporate Regulations – The Hill

Economists Offer More Pessimistic View on Manufacturing in Upcoming Report – The Washington Post

The Anti-Jobs Lobby – The Wall Street Journal [Subscription Required]

The Health Care Tax Credit Few Are Taking – CNNMoney

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