Tag Archive | budget crisis

NYT: This Week in Small Business: The Van Halen Principle


(This post originally appeared on the New York Times)


Tom Chiarella says he believes that in business the little things are really the big things. Jordan Weissmann says America’s technology-talent shortage is a myth. And Ezra Klein explains how the Van Halen Principle applies to government.

Washington: Paying Down the Debt

The Treasury will pay down debt for the first time since 2007, and the Federal Reserve decides to keep its stimulus plan in place, saying recent tax increases and spending cuts have hurt the economy. These slides show why taxes should go up. In this video, Allan Madan explains how the federal budget affects your small business; these business owners have ideas for how Washington can help. Here are five sequestration cuts that have not happened. President Obama’s relationship with GOP congressional leaders hits a new low. Small-business contracts with the federal government worth more than $2 billionwill open for competition in the coming months. Read More…


NYT: This Week in Small Business: It’s On


(This post originally appeared on the New York Times)

The Sequester: Already Hurting?

The sequester budget cuts take hold, and Jim Tankersley says it will sock an already vulnerable economy. Scott Sumner explains how we got into this mess. Some feel the sequester cuts are already hurting small businesses. But E. Scott Adler and John Wilkerson say things are bad, but not bad enough, and another blogger says there are nine great things about the sequester. James Walter and Corey Ross say that alternative lending for small businesses will get a boost.

The Economy: Pricing Pressure

Steven Hansen says new home sales in January were “beautiful,” but the economy grew only 0.1 percent in the last quarter. Manufacturing sentiment improved in Richmond, manufacturing activity increased (but at a slower pace) in Texas, and manufacturing activity was down in Chicago. Home Depot’s co-founder says small businesses are struggling. Consumer confidencerebounds but is still at recession levels. New orders for durable goods (pdf)fell but music sales are growing for the first time since Napster. An Ernst & Young report says that pricing pressure is among the biggest risks and opportunities ahead this year.

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Inc.: Nine Great Things About the Looming Sequester


(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

The news has been filled with nothing but gloom and doom about the March 1 sequestration cuts.  Many government agencies will be forced to (gasp!) cut anywhere from three percent to five percent of their spending.  But most business people are familiar with these things called “budgets.”  And many I know are cheered by the upcoming sequestration.  Why?  Here are nine good reasons.

1.   Business travel will be much better.

You’ve been warned that budget cuts will affect airport controllers and cause havoc in security lines.  Can the FAA and TSA cut their multi-billion dollar budgets by five percent without throwing the air travel system into chaos?  Probably, but shhhh–don’t tell anyone!  I want those annoying teenagers and screaming kids and overweight gamblers from Wichita heading to Vegas to just stay home!  I’m sick of fighting for overhead luggage space.  I can’t take any more babies crying.  I hate it when that guy sitting in front of me leans his seat all the way into my lap.  I’m gagging from the smell of that burrito that some idiot in the next row brought on the plane with her.  Keep scaring everyone with stories of long lines at security and airplanes falling out of the sky if sequestration takes effect.  That’ll keep casual travelers away.  And the more they stay away, the more peaceful and efficient airports will be for the business traveler.

2.  I can finally get a seat at the Outback Steakhouse in Bethesda.

Ever been to Outback Steakhouse?  It’s probably easier to overthrow the Syrian government than get a table there on a Friday night.  Ever since the government has been the No. 1 growth industry, the Outback, T.G.I. Friday’s, Applebee’s and every other awesome restaurant in the greater DC area has been a total mob scene.  I don’t live near DC, but I’ve been to enough soccer tournaments in the region to know what it’s like to wait in line for two hours just to eat a dilapidated Bloomin Onion.  So thank God for the sequester.  Now, with less money in their pockets and the prospect of actually finding work in the private sector, all those furloughed government employees who’ve been mobbing every decent place from P.F. Chang’s to the Olive Garden will be forced to stay home and rip open a frozen pizza instead.  That means more tables will open up for me and other visiting soccer parents.  Hooray for sequestration!

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NYT: This Week in Small Business: Dish Mobs


(This post originally appeared on the New York Times)

The State of the Union: ‘Incredibly Ambitious’

The president delivers an “incredibly ambitious” State of the Union address. Republicans respond by taking an awkward water break and saying the speechdims hopes for a deficit-reduction deal. Here’s a summary in graphs. Kent Hoover thinks President Obama gave little attention to small businesses, and John Tozzi explains what happened to his big plans. Preschoolers just find himboring. Here are 17 brilliant faces Joe Biden made during the speech. Professional employer organizations applaud the president’s commitment to lifting burdens on small businesses. As mentioned in the speech, Apple willmake Macs in the United States (but create only 200 jobs). The president andbusiness groups differ on minimum wage, and a business coach explains why folksiness works in speeches.

The Budget: Big Cuts

The United States posts a $3 billion surplus for January and the slowergrowth of health costs is easing the deficit. Tax revenues are expected to double by 2023. Richard Kogan shows just how big the pending automatic sequestration cuts will be, and Catherine Clifford explains how the cuts could affect small businesses.

The Economy: A Gulf in Optimism

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job openings were little changed from the previous month. Gas prices hit a historic high. Small-businessconfidence is still low, and Catherine Rampell reports on the gulf in optimismbetween small and large businesses. Affluent Americans are downbeat on the economy, and even though there’s some consumer optimism, Americans arestruggling to save. Export price deflation continues, and Brian Lane investigates what’s behind the declining number of factories. But machine-tool orders rose in December, and farmers enjoyed their strongest net income in 40 years. Retail sales increased for the third straight month.

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NYT: This Week in Small Business: 1,000 New Bankers


(This post originally appeared on the New York Times)

The Big Story: Four More Years

At his inauguration, President Obama delivers a rallying cry for active government. Rick Newman says the president has given a gift to the stock market. This blogger believes that the speech made things a lot more certainfor small businesses. Here’s the whole speech in just three minutes. These are 22 of the most fabulous Beyoncé moments from the inauguration (and one that’s not-so-fabulous). The president’s daughters seemed to enjoy the day, too.

Finance: Bank of America Hires 1,000 Bankers

Investment professionals are anticipating an influx of income and growth-hungry mom-and-pop “retail” investors. Bank of America reached its goal of hiring 1,000 small-business bankers and extended nearly $8.7 billion in new credit to small businesses in 2012. Companies are keeping stockpiles of foreign cash in the United States. Erik Sherman says you should be wary of any Web site that claims to enable crowdfunded public offerings.

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