Tag Archives: Senate

Buffett Rule: Job killer or reasonable policy?

With the Buffett rule up for a Senate vote next week, the PR machine has moved into high gear as interest groups try to build public support for their side.

Depending on who’s talking, the proposed new tax rate for millionaires would be a massive job killer or a reasonable step toward balancing the federal budget.

Among the press releases landing in my inbox today were missives from the International Franchise Association and a group called United for a Fair Economy.

Guess which one supports raising taxes on rich folks.

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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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Amazon sales tax delay leaves millions on the table


A two-year delay in requiring Amazon to collect Tennessee sales taxes could move a step PAULSON+MONEY.jpgcloser to reality Tuesday with votes scheduled by state House and Senate committees.


Gov. Bill Haslam is pushing for the delay and supports a federal solution to the sales tax issue. Waiting two years to make Amazon collect taxes on sales to Tennessee residents is a whole lot better than never making the online retailer collect state taxes, which was the original deal brokered by his predecessor, Haslam says .

Maybe so, but waiting till 2014 still leaves a lot of money on the table – something like $22 million a year in state sales taxes and $9 million a year in local sales taxes.

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One more reason to pass the small biz lending plan

UPDATE: Politics rears its head, small business loses.

Republicans block small business lending bill

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The National Small Business Association’s mid-year economic report doesn’t offer much encouragement to those looking for reasons to be optimistic about the economy.

But the report offers the best argument yet for passage of the $30 billion small business lending program being considered by the Senate.

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Small biz lending fund clears filibuster — finally

Passage looked pretty dicey earlier this week, but a bill that would increase lending to small businesses cleared the filibuster hurdle late Thursday.

Two Republicans joined the Democrats in a 60-37 vote.

Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker voted against the bill. I doubt if they will support the bill when it comes up for a final vote, but they should.

Although the bill is imperfect, it would provide $30 billion in desperately needed capital to small businesses.

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Small biz keeping an eye on Senate

Small businesses across the country will be watching this month when the Senate takes up the Small Business Lending Fund Act. The House passed its version of the bill last month.

The act would provide $30 billion to community banks to loan to small businesses. But to the small biz community it’s a big deal.

Businesses that have found it next to impossible to borrow money in today’s economy would surely love to have access to a new source of capital. Will the Senate give’em a hand or will politics get in the way?

Click here to read my column on the issue in Sunday’s News Sentinel.