January 25, 2012 |
President Obama preached a message of hope to factory workers on Wednesday as he began a sales pitch for his plan to boost U.S. manufacturing through changes to the tax code. Speaking to employees and owners of a conveyor belt plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Obama talked about the rising cost of doing business in China and predicted that more American companies will see the wisdom of setting up shop at home. "Wages are going up," Obama said of the Chinese economy, and it "starts becoming cost-prohibitive" to operate there.
January 12, 2012 |
As Mitt Romney defends his record running a private equity firm, he frequently points to a fast-growing Indiana steel company, financed in part by Bain Capital, that now employs 6,000 workers. What Romney doesn't mention is that Steel Dynamics also received generous tax breaks and other subsidies provided by the state of Indiana and the residents of DeKalb County, where the company's first mill was built. The story of Bain and Steel Dynamics illustrates how Romney, during his business career, made avid use of public-private partnerships, something that many conservatives consider to be "corporate welfare.
March 9, 2011 |
With its lush mountains, tropical rain forest and sugar-white beaches, Puerto Rico has long prided itself as a "paradise of locations" for filmmaking. But the U.S. territory has never been ranked in the top tier of filming destinations, in part because it had only a small pool of money allocated for its tax-credit program. That could change now that the Caribbean archipelago wants to grab a larger share of Hollywood's production pie. Last week, Puerto Rico Gov. Luis G. Fortuño signed into law a new package of film incentives aimed at making his commonwealth competitive with some of the top production hubs in the U.S. The new law broadens the existing 40% production tax credit to include TV programs and documentaries, and for the first time allows producers to claim a 20% tax credit for hiring nonresidents, including actors' salaries.
February 28, 2011 |
Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what your country has done for you lately. With apologies to John F. Kennedy, that's what concerned citizens should be doing to get their heads around the debate in Washington about the appropriate size and role of government. Despite how riveted we are by Washington blood sports, average citizens don't always understand what "government" means. That's not because they're dumb; it's because the nature of government ? especially the programs it pays for that affect most Americans ?
January 26, 2011 |
A "double dip" in home prices appears to be underway in the nation's biggest cities, jeopardizing the tepid U.S. economic recovery. The widely followed Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Index, which tracks the real estate market in 20 major U.S. cities, showed that prices dropped 1.6% in November from the same month a year earlier, the second consecutive year-over-year decline. What's more, the index fell 1% in November from October, marking the fourth consecutive monthly decline. Last year, a recovery in housing prices seemed to be on track.
October 24, 2010 |
Could the forthcoming report of a bipartisan presidential deficit-reduction commission ? due Dec. 1 ? lead to fundamental changes in the way that homeownership is treated by the federal tax system? For decades the political rule on Capitol Hill has been that nobody messes with homeowner tax benefits ? mortgage interest deductions, capital gains exclusions, property tax write-offs ? even if they cost the government hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue a year and increase the federal deficit.
October 7, 2010 |
Tough economic times are providing the backdrop this week as television executives swarm Cannes in the south of France for their industry's largest international sales festival. European broadcasters, like their counterparts in the U.S., have been reeling from a steep fall-off drop in advertising revenue. Even more so than in the U.S., the uncertain economic climate in Europe has meant less money for independent TV producers, who are jostling one another to place their shows on the air. Michael Murphy is a longtime TV executive who launched a channel in Ireland in 2006, only to sell it two years later ?
June 18, 2010 |
Fueled by tax incentives, California home sales rose in May, helping lift the Golden State's median home price by 20.9% from its year-earlier mark. The median was $278,000 last month, MDA DataQuick of San Diego said, a 9% increase from April. But that reflects less a rise in the actual valuation of homes than a continued shift in sales away from cheaper, inland areas of the state toward more coastal markets. That shift is being driven partly by an increasing willingness of owners in pricier neighborhoods to sell at a lower price, DataQuick has said.
June 16, 2010 |
The Southland's housing market surged in May with the median home price soaring 22.5% from its year-earlier level as tax incentives for buyers and rock-bottom interest rates ignited sales, a real estate research firm reported Tuesday. The median hit $305,000, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego, putting the closely watched figure above $300,000 for the first time since October 2008, when valuations were declining rapidly amid the fallout from the subprime mortgage debacle, credit crunch and financial crisis.
June 2, 2010 |
The Autobots and Decepticons are back in town. Director and executive producer Michael Bay has begun filming the third installment in the "Transformers" franchise in Los Angeles, where the production economy has been buffeted by the loss of such big studio features to other cities offering more generous film tax incentives. The DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures production has been shooting on a sound stage at the former Spruce Goose Howard Hughes hangar at Playa Vista and will film exterior shots throughout the L.A. area over the next several weeks, including Long Beach, West Hollywood, Century City and Malibu.