NEW CASTLE —
What do businesses want from government?
Pretty much what the average individual wants. Businesses want reliable services, ranging from plowed streets in the winter to functioning sewer lines.
And they want taxes that are reasonable and don’t take a big bite out of budgets. Money that doesn’t go to government is available for other purposes.
But there’s something else business needs from Washington. And that’s a measure of predictability. They need to know what government has in mind in a variety of areas, not only in terms of what taxes are imposed, but what government intends to buy and programs it intends to pursue.
Plus, businesses need a sense of what sort of rules and regulations will be in place. They need to know the financial and staffing resources they will need to remain compliant with the law.
And that has been a big problem lately. In many ways, businesses are stuck in neutral, unable to properly plan for the future because they aren’t certain of the direction Washington intends to go with taxing and spending policies.
This is a problem for individuals too; we don’t mean to minimize that. But we think it’s safe to say that government fiscal policies have a broader impact on businesses and what they do, compared to the average individual.
Much has been made of the fact the current economic recovery has been anemic. Yes, the unemployment rate is dropping and things are starting to pick up here and there.
And various factors explain this slow growth, including serious economic problems overseas. But one key issue is the listing ship of state directed by the politicians in Washington.
You may have noticed that the stock market reacted favorably to last week’s agreement on tax rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 300 points in a single day.
That was because an element of uncertainty was eliminated. Unfortunately, plenty of other question marks linger into the future. Some are literally weeks away, as Congress still must deal with spending issues. Others involve longer-term questions of the national debt and the health of programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
The benefits of resolving uncertainty in constructive fashion are self evident. Yet Washington appears to be utterly incapable of doing so. Virtually every move Congress makes is steeped in ideological division. Last week’s agreement on taxes ultimately was a relatively straightforward matter that could have been achieved months ago. But political posturing and head butting were deemed to be more important.
Why? One big reason is the way members of Congress are elected today. More on that tomorrow.
NEW CASTLE —
What do businesses want from government?
Our Opinion: Discovery of ancient virus raises concerns
In the 1951 science fiction classic “The Thing from Another World,” a spacecraft crashes in the arctic. A group of humans investigates and discovers an alien buried in ice. Once thawed, the alien poses a threat to the humans, who eventually destroy it.
Our Opinion: Some consumers pay price of changing power suppliers
Choice may be good, but an informed choice is even better. That’s the conclusion we draw from reports here in Lawrence County and elsewhere around Pennsylvania about some residents and businesses receiving electric bills that are substantially higher than normal.
Our Opinion: The West has decisions to make, and Russia may pay price
Let’s begin by acknowledging that the United States will not be sending troops to Ukraine. That country — despite an incursion by Russian troops — is not of vital strategic interest to America, and there is no treaty obligation to defend it.
Our Opinion: Giving Laurel teachers free tuition is inherently unfair
Whenever government hands out perks to its own, red flags are raised. And arguments that they cost taxpayers nothing can ring a little hollow.
Our Opinion:Tax reform proposal sounds good, but may lack support
If there’s one thing that Democrats and Republicans in Washington agree on, it’s that America needs a simpler tax code.
Our Opinion: Obama administration targets junk food ads
We anticipate some controversy over the Obama administration’s proposed new rules regarding schools and junk food. Mainly it will come from those who complain about federal meddling in public education.
Our Opinion: After five years, Jordan Brown case continues — sadly for all
It’s not unusual for newspapers to look back on major news events when key anniversaries come about. So it was that the New Castle News has been running articles on the fifth anniversary of the 2009 slaying of Kenzie Houk, and the subsequent arrest of Jordan Brown for the crime.
Our Opinion: Expanding gambling option falls flat on its face
Perhaps it’s good that every now and then, government gains a glimpse of the real world. And so it is with Pennsylvania’s latest effort to squeeze the goose that lays the golden gambling eggs.
Our Opinion: Examination of Sandusky case hurt by email deletions
How long should government keep records before throwing them away? It’s a question that became more than academic in Pennsylvania, in light of the Jerry Sandusky saga.
Our Opinion: Planning land use can be a difficult process
Whenever a Pennsylvania community considers the creation of a zoning ordinance, it’s an opportunity for self-assessment.
- More Editorials Headlines
- Our Opinion: Discovery of ancient virus raises concerns