Tag Archives: Congress

Up in smoke in D.C.

WeGrow — a retailer that caters to medical marijuana users — is opening its first East Coast

Marijuana

Marijuana

location in the nation’s capital, according to news reports.

Wow! If you thought we had a do-nothing Congress now, wait till the boys on the hill have easy access to the plant food, grow lights and all that other stuff needed to cultivate their own pot.

Maybe it won’t be so bad after all. Some of those guys could stand to mellow out. It certainly would make for interesting back room deals.

AP: Capital gets garden store for medical pot growers

Photo: In this Jan. 11, 2010 photo, a worker shows a marijuana bud for sale at the Lotus Medical dispensary in Denver, Colorado. (Associated Press files)

A tax even conservatives can like

Now that Congress has passed the payroll tax cut bill maybe it will move quickly to close the online sales tax loophole.

Sen. Lamar Alexander on Thursday urged the Senate to do just that. lamar_alexander.jpgConservative support for Marketplace Fairness Act is building and now is the time to pass the bill, the Tennessee Republican said.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Alexander listed a number of notable conservatives who support closing the loophole that will cost state and local governments $23 billion this year alone. About the only name he didn’t drop was Grover Norquist.

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Value added tax, abolish Congress, more stimulus and other ideas

Here’s an interesting take on what the government really should do to fix the economy. The writer
ETP02.SY.jpgsuggests a little bit of everything.

Can’t say I agree with all of the writer’s ideas, but some — value added tax, infrastructure investment, new stimulus for housing, controlling entitlement costs — make a lot of sense.

U.S. News & World Report: What Bernanke Wants Congress To Do

Bernanke to Washington: Do something helpful

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke today called on Congress and the President to take Jackson hole.jpgthe lead in boosting the economy.

The chairman’s much anticipated message to Washington was clear: set aside short-term political interests and do something helpful for a change.

In a fit of optimisim, investors responded favorably. The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 were all up in afternoon trading.

The $4 trillion question is whether the pols will take Ben’s message to heart. Given the current tone of the presidential primary campaign, that seems unlikely. I hope I’m wrong and the pols can agree on a plan to light a fire under the economy. 

Photo: Federal Reserve chairman Paul Bernanke, right, and Jean-Claude Trichet, of France, president of the European Central Bank, take a morning stroll on the veranda of the Jackson Lake Lodge, before the morning session of the Economic Policy Symposium at Jackson Hole in Moran, Wyo., Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Warren Buffett: Save America, raise taxes on the rich

In a New York Times op-ed piece, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway offers Economy+Leaders.jpgCongress sage advice for solving the fiscal crisis facing the federal government.

In a nutshell, Buffett advises Congress to leave tax rates unchanged for 99.7 percent of Americans, but immediately raise tax rates on the mega-rich.

We hear a lot from the extremists from the political right that raising taxes on the rich would be a job killer,  Buffett exposes that ridiculousness for what it is.

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Alcoa CEO: Spending cuts, revenue increase both needed

A long-term solution to the federal budget deficit must include spending cuts and increased
032610alcoa9_mc12884.JPG revenue,  Alcoa Inc. Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld told the CNBC Squawk Box crew this morning.

Kleinfeld called a downgrade in the US credit rating or a default  “a nuclear option” and urged Congress and the President must come to terms on a plan that “gets us over the hump.”

The current debate is sucking the air out of the economy, Kleinfeld said, but he’s optimistic  a deal will be reached on the debt ceiling before the Aug. 2 deadline.

I’m not so confident a deal beating the deadline, but Kleinfeld is right about one thing it will take spending cuts and increased revenue to solve the deficit problem. Not just one, but both.

Kleinfeld Squawk Box interview: Getting America Back on Track

Is today the day for a debt ceiling deal?

With calls growing for Congress and the President to put aside politics, will the Washington politicians finally reach agreement on the debt ceiling controversy?

I doubt it. Look for a few more days of political theater. The deadline is still a couple weeks away, after all.

Eventually the pols will act. It’s hard for them to ignore political self-interest, but they have to do what’s best for the country, right?

Will they?

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FedEx CEO calls on Congress to pass electric vehicle bill

FedEx CEO Fred Smith has an interesting opinion piece in Fortune today calling on
Approved%20Navistar%20Image.jpgCongress to quit stalling and pass a bill promoting electric vehicles.

“I am not someone who tends to advocate increased government involvement in the private sector. But there is no free market for oil. This is not a market issue — it is a national security issue,” Smith writes.

With oil pushing $100 a barrel and gasoline prices up substantially from a year ago, now would be a good time for Congress to take this issue seriously.

There’s always hope, but I won’t hold my breath. Congress isn’t exactly known for being reasonable.

Read Smith’s commentary: FedEx CEO: Let’s end our need for oil

Photo: FedEx all-electric delivery truck. (FedEx)

Controversial speech perfect start for new Forum

Kelly King got the Knoxville Economics Forum off to a rousing start on Friday, even if some of his assertions were a bit of a stretch. The loquacious chairman of BB&T Corp. brought the right mix of commentary, controversy and insight to the first of what I hope will be a long series of talks by distinguished speakers.

King caught some of those in the Forum’s audience off guard by pushing a political agenda. Clearly, anyone who says voters need to eliminate the “fundamentally socialist” attitude that controls Congress, is being politicial.

At first, I was put off by the tone of King’s remarks. But as I thought about his talk over the weekend it occurred to me that his speech was perfect for the Forum’s first event.

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Kelly King: Economy needs a new Congress

Come spring the economy will be much improved, but only if next month’s midterm elections produce a change in Congress, BB&T Corp. Chairman and CEO Kelly King said today.

Speaking at the inaugural Knoxville Economics Forum breakfast, King said he doesn’t care if voters choose Republicans or Democrats but the “fundamentally socialist” attitude that now controls Congress must be changed.

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