a service of NPRI

August 25, 2005 
Vol. 1, No. 27


Small Business
Remember the day the death tax died

By Jack Faris

September 6. If you're an American small-business owner, draw a red circle around this date on your calendar. It could be one of the most important dates of your life, the lives of your family and the future existence of your business.

In less than 20 days, on September 6, the United States Senate will reconvene in legislative session and is scheduled to take action on the Death Tax. Which means that between now and then, those elected lawmakers who can determine the survival of small businesses are not in Washington, D.C., but are back home in their states.

Small-business owners need to take this unique opportunity to meet with their senators face-to-face to tell them to vote to repeal one of the most dangerous tax measures ever to see the light of day -- the Death Tax.


All dead
Sarbanes-Oxley: Seriously Misconceived

Given the state of the economy and relatively robust corporate profits, one would expect the stock market to be higher. One factor why it isn't may be the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, enacted in 2002 as a knee-jerk reaction to the corporate scandals of Enron, WorldCom and others, says Bruce Bartlett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Estimates of the cost of the legislation in terms of higher audit fees and lost productivity have risen every year, as companies learn more about how its provisions.


Federal statistics
Democrats need new ideas, not new think tanks

By Kevin A. Hassett

When you weigh the things that have led to Republican political domination in recent years, you can't help but be struck by the dearth of innovative ideas coming from the Democrats.

Even Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Kinsley, no fan of the Republicans, has noticed. “It's true that the Republicans are the party of ideas and the Democrats are the party of reaction,” he wrote earlier this month. “Republicans set the agenda, and Democrats try to talk the country out of it.”

With Democrats faltering in the marketplace of ideas and reeling from electoral losses, a group of financiers has initiated a visible and collective movement to recover--a vast left-wing conspiracy, you might call it.

The Washington Post reported on Aug. 7 that at least 80 liberals have pledged to contribute $1 million apiece to fund a new network of think tanks through an organization known as the Democracy Alliance.


WHY BusinessNevada

Tax Reform
Nevada businesses will enjoy TASC protections

Taxpayer protection measure to offer improvements over Colorado plan

By Steven Miller

The idea of bringing Colorado-style taxpayer protections to the Silver State pleases most Nevada businesspeople.

When they learn how successfully Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) has kept state government growth in check, or they learn that personal income growth in Colorado since TABOR outstripped almost every other state, the common reaction is to say something like, “Great!—Where do I sign up?”

Other business people, however, are a little more cautious. They want to know exactly how a key feature of the Colorado plan—rebating the surplus revenues that come in above the constitutional limit—would work in Nevada.

Many of these businessmen and women point to the behavior of legislative Democrats earlier this year when Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn proposed returning to taxpayers $300 million from massive state revenue surpluses. Under Guinn’s original plan, vehicle owners—the largest group in state databases—would have received a rebate proportional to the registration fees each owner had paid into state coffers in 2004.


Law & Labor
Self-insuring plan
worth the risk to some

By Alana Roberts

Nevada Restaurant Association leaders are touting the benefits of self-insuring workers' compensation benefits. They say that not only did members of their self-insured group save money on their insurance premiums, but also members of the organization's self-insured group were recently refunded more than $1.5 million in dividends.


Tax dollars revive
Maglev project

By Tony Illia
LV Business Press

The newly reauthorized federal transportation bill allocates $45 million for a super high-speed train connecting Las Vegas to Anaheim, a project that was first proposed over 17 years ago.

"I believe the Maglev train will be the future of travel between places like Southern Nevada and Southern California," said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who helped secure funding. "Airports are overburdened with the amount of short-haul flights and we must start reinvesting in train travel."


AFL-CIO Crack-Up
Labor split penetrating individual unions

Carpenters now fighting over
going back into AFL-CIO

By Ken Ritter
Associated Press

Two challengers to carpenter's union leadership said Tuesday they don't expect to succeed in their bid to unseat union President Douglas McCarron.

But United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America presidential challenger Tom Lewandowski and Ken Little, candidate for secretary-treasurer, said they intend to raise issues about members' rights -- and their union's decision pull out of the AFL-CIO in 2001.


The Stem-Cell War

The folks who brought you Silicon Valley want to ignite a biotech boom, and California's Prop. 71, with $3 billion for stem-cell research, was supposed to be the match. They got a political conflagration instead.

By Betsy Morris

Lisa Altman couldn't sleep. On a Thursday night in late July, her husband was traveling, and the novel she'd been reading was keeping her awake.

Scientists create embryonic cells from skin cells

Scientists say they are a step closer to tailored medical treatments without the technical difficulties or the ethical issues of using human embryos.

So At 5 a.m. she gave up, flipped on the television, and, still groggy, began to watch CNN. The news that streamed across the bottom of the screen jolted her out of her stupor. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee had broken with George W. Bush and declared that he would support an expansion of embryonic stem-cell research. Altman sat bolt upright. Then, as Frist began to speak, she hung on every word. "I could just kiss him," she remembers thinking.


In September unions
start financial disclosures

By Carl Horowitz

By the end of September, the Labor Department will require several major unions—including the AFL-CIO national headquarters, the Communications Workers of America and the National Education Association—to submit newly revised financial disclosure forms.

Despite the grousing of union leaders, the new detailed forms are a much-needed improvement that will help workers and government regulators track union expenses and expose illegal activity. Now union members will have a better chance of learning where their dues are spent.

[Download the report]

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