business owners

Current Job Market for Teens is the Toughest on Record

Thomas Sowell used his latest piece to address a common misconception regarding the left’s avowed concern for minorities. In his column, the renowned economist pointed out that the educational policies pursued by the left in the name of the poor and the minorities often hurt those they claim to protect.

The same can be said about other policies pursued by Democrats who tend to defend that more interventionism will undoubtedly lead to more opportunities for the poor, the young and the minorities.

According to a Brookings Institute study, teens have been having a harder time finding jobs in recent years. In 2000, research shows that 45% of teens in the U.S. had jobs, now only 26% of teens aged 16 to 19 are employed.

Researchers used Department of Labor and Census data to track youth employment among the 100 largest metro areas in the country. The study shows that 1.8 million teens are either actively looking for a job but are unable to get one or they have part-time jobs, whereas they’d prefer to obtain full-time employment instead. The study refers to this pattern as “underutilization,” which means that teens are not satisfied or financially stable to focus solely on school.

In other words, more teens need to work but are unable to find work.

There’s a big catch in the latest employer mandate delay

Medium-sized businesses owners hoping to qualify for the latest employer mandate enforcement delay will have to certify in filings with IRS that they have not laid off workers or reduced full-timers’ hours to avoid tax penalties (emphasis added):

Companies that have 100 or more full-time workers, defined as employees who work more than 30 hours per week, still will have to begin complying with the mandate to offer such coverage in 2015 or face financial penalties of at least $2,000 and up to $3,000 per worker.

Officials said that any business claiming they are eligible for the new one-year delay because they have fewer than 100 workers must certify, under penalty of perjury, that it had not reduced its workforce merely to qualify for that exemption.

Consider that some small businesses had been laying off workers or cutting hours specifically because of the employer mandate provision. These business owners couldn’t afford to offer health insurance coverage to their workers, so they made decisions necessary to avoid added costs.

This is what these delays have brought. The law clearly states that the employer mandate was to take effect at the beginning of 2014. The administration delayed it for a year because of the negative headlines. Now, with Democrats’ control of the Senate on the line, the administration delayed it again.

Small business owner says Obamacare is driving her to drink

Sheila Salter is a small business owner from North Carolina, founder of early2surg, a marketing company specializing in the surgical device industry. She is not happy that the health plan she had was taken from her and now has to purchase a much more expensive government-approved plan on the Obamacare exchanges.

Salter showed members of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee a chart comparing her pre-Obamacare plan cost her $202 a month and the plan she was offered through the exchange. The plan through the exchange has more than doubled her premiums. With the “essential benefit” mandate, the plan will cost her $584 per month, or more $4,584 each year.

“When I hear people talk about oh, you know, go to the exchanges, shop, shop, shop. You have one plan, okay? That plan includes the benefits listed in the left-hand column. Now you can see Sheila’s plan,” Salter told the committee, chaired by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). “Sheila’s plan was the one that I chose. I chose my services. I’ve done that all these years. I chose those services, chose that deductible for $202 a month.”

“Now, with Obamacare, I have to have those ten essential benefits. Now I challenge anybody in this room to look at the services that I selected for myself, noting that I’m 61. I now I don’t look it, and I have no children or history of alcohol or drug abuse. Yet. Okay, because this is driving me to drink,” she said to laughter in the room. “But does anybody here really think that I need all the services on the left-hand column? I don’t think so.”

Arkansas Democrat, DSCC Lash Out at Small Business Owner

Mark Pryor

When you’re one of the most vulnerable members of the United States Senate, the last thing you want to do is give people a reason to vote against you. That’s a lesson that Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) needs to remember.

The Senate Conservatives Fund is among the groups that is going to dump money into Arkansas to defeat Pryor. They recently dropped an ad in the state that features Bill Shroyer, a small business owner, who criticized Pryor for his vote for ObamaCare.

“When Senator Pryor was the deciding vote for ObamaCare, it was a huge letdown for the state of Arkansas. And people haven’t forgotten that. Washington just doesn’t get it. They don’t understand the consequences of their laws. They feel good when they do them, and they’re all catastrophes,” said Shroyer in the ad. “Look around, Senator Pryor. We used to have about 100 people working here. Now we have 25. The policies that you’re creating in Washington are killing these companies.”

Pryor recently defended his vote for ObamaCare, telling the Arkansas News Bureau that the Republican-controlled legislature’s expansion of Medicaid means that he is “vindicated” for supporting the law. But with insurance premiums expected to rise between 65% and 100% in the state and business owners having to make tough choices — by either cutting back hours, investment and/or staff — Pryor is hardly without blame.

Investors trying to sell off assets before year’s end

stock market

With a compromise on the so-called “fiscal cliff” up in the air, investors are showing signs of worry. According to CNBC, many are working to sell off assets to avoid the coming hikes in the capital gains tax that will come at the beginning of the year:

For many of the wealthy, 2012 is becoming a good year to sell.

They’re worried about the “fiscal cliff,” which is when tax cuts expire and spending cuts are set to go into effect at the end of the year.

Fearing an increase in capital gains and dividend taxes, many of the rich are unloading stocks, businesses and homes before the end of the year.

Wealth advisors say that with capital-gains taxes potentially going to 25 percent from 15 percent, and other possible increases in the dividend tax, estate tax and other taxes, many clients are selling now to save millions in taxes.
If the Bush-era tax cuts expire, taxes on capital gains would revert back to its previous rate of 20 percent from its current 15 percent.  Another 5 percent may be added from health-care levies and changes in itemized deductions, bringing the rate to 25 percent for many high earners.

Taxes on dividends could go from 15 percent to over 43 percent. And the estate tax could go from 35 percent on estates worth more than $5 million to 55 percent on estates over $1 million.

Nancy Pelosi’s “You Didn’t Build That” Moment

Nancy Pelosi

In recent days, Mitt Romney’s campaign has been pushing President Barack Obama’s record of failure on the economy. His team has even released a “presidential accountability  scorecard” highlighting Obama’s poor performance. Business owners, an occupational group with which Obama has an underwater approval rating, have taken umbrage with Obama over his “you didn’t build that” remark last month in Virginia.

The comments show a disdain for the engine of our economy, regardless of “context.” But ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have one-upped Obama. During a press conference yesterday, Pelosi said that those making more than $250,000 per year don’t “get the pie sweetened for them” under President Obama’s tax hike proposal:

In her weekly press briefing, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called President Barack Obama’s tax policy “very clear,” saying that couples bringing in over $250,000 per year do not “get the pie sweetened” for them under his plan.

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