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By Michael Stumo
Posted on: July 13, 2017
The US imported $500 billion more goods and services than it exported last year. We are the biggest trade deficit country in the world, absorbing the oversupply of a few major countries such as China, Germany, Japan and South Korea (surplus countries). This causes US growth stagnation, wage stagnation, under employment and an eroding middle class. ASBC member businesses struggle more than they would if the economy, wages and consumer spending were growing.Because there is so much misinformation in the press, I would like to give you a structure to think about trade. First, the volume of... read more
By Connie Evans
Posted on: July 3, 2017
President Trump released his full Fiscal Year 2018 budget yesterday, and it calls for a reduction in the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund from $248 million to a paltry $14 million. This essentially amounts to elimination of the crucial fund, which would be a heavy blow to small businesses in distressed rural and urban areas. The administration’s reasoning behind their decision is that the program has been so successful that it is no longer necessary. The first part of that statement is accurate. The last part is dangerous.The CDFI Fund supports hundreds of mission-focused... read more
By John O'Neill
Posted on: June 26, 2017
Don’t expect the budget before Congress to make the economy more sustainable.Budget negotiations are hung up in Congress, where Republicans can’t agree on what they want. Still, the budget the president released on May 23 set the tone and direction.The president’s budget was anti-business, if you define business as companies with U.S. employees and sales that want to remain viable. His budget would reduce consumer spending, boost tax breaks for U.S. multinationals, and slash important business regulations.The budget’s proposed cuts to Medicaid would result in less healthcare and more strain... read more
By Jim Davidson
Posted on: June 15, 2017
On May 4, the House voted 217 to 213 in favor of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) which will “repeal and replace Obamacare.” The Senate is currently drafting an alternate bill to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).The House bill has many moving parts but key are eliminations of taxes and penalties, the replacement of income-based subsidies with age-based tax credits, and significant reductions to funding of Medicaid. It also provides options for states to seek waivers of coverage and pre- existing condition mandates. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the net effect will be... read more
By Eric Nitzberg
Posted on: June 9, 2017
Ethical breaches are all too commonplace in leadership today--even expected. It is especially disturbing in the public sector, where principles like truthfulness, public service and transparency are eroding to such a bewildering extent in the Trump Administration. Just one result is the recent conflict between officials in the White House and the Office of Government Ethics, which led to the disclosure of ethics wavers. It seems we are on a path to ever lower standards of ethical behavior at the highest levels of our government.In the private sector, bad ethics are bad for business. Consider... read more
By Matthew Dillon Richard Eidlin
Posted on: May 30, 2017
Organic crop and farm bill discussions wait for no man. Even as U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue gets settled into his new role, Congress is talking about agriculture policy and listening to stakeholders. A key emerging theme is that many food producers and rural communities are struggling. At a transitional moment such as this, it’s important to remember that organic agriculture leads to more profitable farms and job creation.A recent study from Pennsylvania State University shows that when there is a density of organic operations, annual median household income increases by more than... read more
By Leslie Samuelrich
Posted on: May 22, 2017
The Trump administration is beginning to act on its dangerous promises to roll back environmental regulations and undermine EPA’s ability to develop rules and quantify the benefits of regulations, as well as its authority and enforcement capabilities. As the administration continues to follow up on its rhetoric with regulatory action, more people are looking for ways to take an active role to protect environmental safeguards and promote the transition toward a more low-carbon, sustainable economy.Utilizing the financial markets is one way businesses and individuals can vote with their dollars... read more
By Patrick Duggan
Posted on: May 15, 2017
The availability of “good jobs” had been diminishing for decades even before America’s job market bottomed out in the Great Recession. Since then, our economy has produced more than 14 million jobs and unemployment has dropped below 5%. That sounds great on paper, but most new jobs have been in low-wage retail and fast-food occupations, and many parts of the country have been skipped over altogether.Some companies are creating good jobs by offering benefits like paid family leave/sick days, child care, retirement programs and even an ownership stake for employees. These high-road practices... read more
By Mitch Rofsky
Posted on: April 25, 2017
President Trump says he will release his tax reform agenda this week.What a multi-tasker. It’s not easy to be early and late at the same time.While he’s behind in announcing his reforms—just barely squeezing his program (which isn’t even in legislative form) into the 1st Hundred Days, he’s actually rushing it. He still hasn’t provided the American people with the information we need to decide whether to provide our support: his tax returns.And, for once, the response is bi-partisan. Twelve Republican senators have now joined with Democrats calling for Trump to release his tax returns.There’s... read more
By Andrew Winston
Posted on: April 13, 2017
In September 2014, hundreds of thousands of people marched through the streets of New York City to raise awareness about climate change. Among them were leaders from major companies and business associations who saw the opportunity to show the pivotal role businesses can play in tackling climate change. The People’s Climate Movement is gathering citizens again in a few weeks, but this time in Washington, DC. Their collective voices will demonstrate to our elected officials the scale of demand for action.Business leaders should show up in force, whether physically or virtually. For companies,... read more

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