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Graves' Statement on Tax Day and the Small Business Tax Burden

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:00am
Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today released the following statement on Tax Day and the effects of tax policies on small businesses:

“Every year, the tax burden becomes more costly for America’s 28 million small businesses. The tax code is increasingly complicated and changes often. Most small businesses spend 40 hours or more preparing their taxes, and four out of ten businesses spend two full workweeks on compliance. That is a high cost in lost time and productivity for a small business. One in three small firms spends $10,000 on compliance. Jobs are still scarce, and the combined burdens of complex taxes and high rates are obstacles to growth. The jobs-stifling tax code is not just a Tax Day problem for small companies, but a year-round burden on their budgets that can impact their entrepreneurial decisions. Small businesses overwhelmingly support sensible reforms for lower rates, simpler preparation and clearer guidelines.”

Last week, the Small Business Committee examined these very challenges for small businesses. The growing number of tax provisions means that owners must spend significant resources on compliance that could otherwise be spent growing their companies. According to the Internal Revenue Service’s own National Taxpayer Advocate, there were over 500 changes to the tax code in 2010 alone, an average of more than one per day. And the steep tax rates mean small firms have less capital to invest back into hiring or expanding.

The National Small Business Association released a survey on April 9, 2014, in conjunction with the testimony of NSBA member Tim Reynolds, a small business executive. The growing complexity of the tax process causes 86 percent of small businesses to pay tax preparers.

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Opportunities and Challenges for Improving Truck Safety on our Highways

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security will hold a hearing on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 3 p.m. titled, “Opportunities and Challenges for Improving Truck Safety on our Highways.” Ahead of the surface transportation reauthorization, this hearing will focus on opportunities and challenges to address truck safety on our highways. In light of several major truck crashes and increases in truck fatalities, the hearing wi...

Executive Session

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller, IV, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today announced that the Committee will hold an Executive Session on Wednesday, July 23, at 2:30 p.m.

Please note the hearing will be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee website. Refresh the Commerce Committee homepage 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to automatically begin streaming the webcast.

Individuals with disabilities who require an auxi...

Monday Morning Mojo: Decisive

InteroMojo - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 11:26am

Hmmm…should I do it or shouldn’t I?

I’m going to wait and think about it for a while before I make my decision…I need to get more information.

I will get back to you on it.

I will do it tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.

Yeah right…sure you will. Just like the 2,000 emails in your inbox you are going to reply to…right? Does this sound familiar? Does it sound like you?

Well, this is how most people make decisions. They don’t make them at all because they are risk averse. Afraid of making the wrong decision, afraid of change. They just wait and wait and wait and never actually decide to do anything. That is why they continue to get what they have always gotten in life and don’t get what it is they really want.

Not being decisive and making quick decisions is one of the biggest success killers in life and business because one of the most important components to getting what you want is making a lot of decisions quickly with very little information. It’s about going with your instinct. Successful people understand that to get what you want you must operate with a strong sense of urgency. Because to get what you want, especially in this day and age, you must accelerate in all aspects of your life, even if it means living with a few more ragged edges.

You have to be 100% focused on action.

Successful people don’t get bogged down in endless preparation and evaluation trying to get things perfect before making a decision. Of course making smart decisions and high quality is crucial, but it must come quickly. You can’t sacrifice speed. Learn to fail fast, fix it, and race on. This is how you create radical breakthroughs.

Not only does being decisive get you in action toward accomplishing your goals, but it gets it out of your head. Think how many unmade decisions you have floating around in your head right now that are taking up space and your time. Instead of making a decision and then actually doing something productive to accomplish your goals, you are debating all of those unmade decisions in your head all of the time whether you know it or not. Unmade decisions are the parking brake of life, let it go!

Imagine how much more productive and happy you would be if you would just make the commitment to be decisive and not waffle ever again.

Freedom.

Here is a great piece of advice someone gave me several years ago. Don’t go with your head and don’t go with your heart because more times than not they are in conflict with one another and you will never be able to make the decision. Go with your gut. Don’t over think it because your first instinct is almost always right. If it feels right just do it, and do it with focus and intensity. What does your gut tell you to do about each of those unmade decisions floating around in your head right now? Quit procrastinating. Just do it.

And yes if you think I am writing this to you, I am.

Make is a powerful week!!!!!

Categories: Latest News

The Cruise Passenger Protection Act (S.1340): Improving Consumer Protections for Cruise Passengers

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller, IV, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today announced a Full Committee hearing on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. titled, “The Cruise Passenger Protection Act (S.1340): Improving Consumer Protections for Cruise Passengers.”

Please note the hearing will be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee website. Refresh the Commerce Committee homepage 10 minutes prior to the scheduled st...

***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Subcommittee to Examine Regulatory Structure of Federal Wage and Hour Law

Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:00am

On Wednesday, July 23 at 10:00 a.m., the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, chaired by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), will hold a hearing entitled, “Improving the Federal Wage and Hour Regulatory Structure.” The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets forth federal wage and hour protections for public- and private-sector workers. The Department of Labor estimates more than 130 million workers are affected by the law. A patchwork of conflicting interpretations and a complex regulatory structure have created an environment of legal uncertainty among employers and employees. A report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) found a significant increase in FLSA-related litigation. The GAO recommended the department develop a systematic approach to identifying areas of confusion and improve administrative guidance for employers and employees. 

Wednesday’s hearing will provide members an opportunity to examine the growth of FLSA-related litigation and current compliance assistance efforts. To learn more about the hearing, visit http://edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.

# # #

WITNESS LIST

Ms. Judith Conti
Federal Advocacy Coordinator
National Employment Law Project
Washington, D.C.

The Honorable Paul DeCamp
Shareholder
Jackson Lewis P.C.
Washington, D.C.

Ms. Nancy McKeague
Senior Vice President of Employer and Community Strategies, and Chief Human Resources Officer
Michigan Health and Hospital Association
Okemos, MI
**Testifying on behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management**

Dr. Andrew Sherrill
Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Washington, D.C. 

 

President Signs Bipartisan, Bicameral Job Training Reform Agreement

Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:00am

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) released the following statement after President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act:

Today's achievement is the result of a lot of hard work and compromise by Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate. We rejected petty politics and put the best interests of working families first. Now we have a new law that will protect taxpayers and help put more Americans back to work. The American people deserve to see more of these bipartisan accomplishments. It is time to get back to work and find other areas of common ground that will help expand opportunity and prosperity for working families.

To learn more about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, click here.

# # #

Monday Morning Mojo: Decisive

InteroMojo - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 11:32pm

Hmmm…should I do it or shouldn’t I?

I’m going to wait and think about it for a while before I make my decision…I need to get more information.

I will get back to you on it.

I will do it tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.

Yeah right…sure you will. Just like the 2,000 emails in your inbox you are going to reply to…right?  Does this sound familiar?  Does it sound like you?

Well, this is how most people make decisions. They don’t make them at all because they are risk averse. Afraid of making the wrong decision, afraid of change. They just wait and wait and wait and never actually decide to do anything. That is why they continue to get what they have always gotten in life and don’t get what it is they really want.

Not being decisive and making quick decisions is one of the biggest success killers in life and business because one of the most important components to getting what you want is making a lot of decisions quickly with very little information. It’s about going with your instinct.  Successful people understand that to get what you want you must operate with a strong sense of urgency. Because to get what you want, especially in this day and age, you must accelerate in all aspects of your life, even if it means living with a few more ragged edges.

You have to be 100% focused on action.

Successful people don’t get bogged down in endless preparation and evaluation trying to get things perfect before making a decision. Of course making smart decisions and high quality is crucial, but it must come quickly.  You can’t sacrifice speed. Learn to fail fast, fix it, and race on. This is how you create radical breakthroughs.

Not only does being decisive get you in action toward accomplishing your goals, but it gets it out of your head.  Think how many unmade decisions you have floating around in your head right now that are taking up space and your time. Instead of making a decision and then actually doing something productive to accomplish your goals, you are debating all of those unmade decisions in your head all of the time whether you know it or not. Unmade decisions are the parking brake of life, let it go!

Imagine how much more productive and happy you would be if you would just make the commitment to be decisive and not waffle ever again.

Freedom.

Here is a great piece of advice someone gave me several years ago.  Don’t go with your head and don’t go with your heart because more times than not they are in conflict with one another and you will never be able to make the decision.

Go with your gut. Don’t over think it because your first instinct is almost always right. If it feels right just do it. and do it with focus and intensity. What does your gut tell you to do about each of those unmade decisions floating around in your head right now?  Quit procrastinating. Just do it.

And yes if you think I am writing this to you, I am.

Make is a powerful week!!!!!

Categories: Latest News

Weekend Wellness: Wind

InteroMojo - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 9:00am

As I was driving into work the other day, the wind had the flags flying at full extension. The trees were leaning a few degrees and there were leaves scattered everywhere.

As an outdoor enthusiast, wind is one element I have a hard time with. I’d rather hike, run, cycle, even water ski in the rain vs. the wind.

As I was noticing the wind, I recalled how many times I’ve been on my bike in some pretty serious weather finding these to be my most challenging rides. However, when you are on a bike, or out for a run and the wind kicks up, you have no choice other than persevering and finishing. You won’t change the wind, you can’t change that you are out in the elements and you certainly can’t quit (especially if you have no one to pick you up!) Part of the mistake is not looking at the weather report earlier and seeing what the wind conditions are…this could have avoided a lot of issues!

So in the moment…you accept it. That’s what you do, you recognize that you are in a tough moment, accept it safely and prevail. You put one leg in front of the other and eventually you get to your destination. One can also get strategic and head towards the hills to get out of the head wind. The key is “what can I do to reduce the pain as much as possible and make the event more enjoyable”?

I then thought about some of my clients who step on the scale or try on a pair of pants in the morning and they’ve gained a pound or their pants are tight. They let it ruin their whole day. They probably made some questionable choices the day or two before and are now feeling the results.

I have been there, I understand this thought process…but does it change the reality? No! They failed to look at the wind report, so to speak. Accept the reality and decide what can be done moving forward in a safe and healthy way so that the day is more enjoyable!

We fight things (I do too) that we can’t change. We resist the force of nature instead of seeing the realness of what we are in (or might have avoided). And you know what…all this does is cause us pain.

Next time you are going out in your “wind”, find a way to accept it, pedal on and find a way to detour a little so it don’t ruin your day; instead learn from it and look towards your destination.

Categories: Latest News

Rockefeller Questions GM CEO on Behalf of West Virginia Family That Tragically Lost Son in Accident Involving Recalled GM Vehicle

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, yesterday questioned the CEO of General Motors on behalf of Sam and Belinda Spencer of West Virginia who tragically lost their son, Leslie, in an automobile crash along US-460 in a 2007 Chevy Cobalt – one of the models subject to GM’s recalls because of the defective ignition switch. The Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance, yesterday held a hearing to examine the GM recalls.

According to the...

Cool Apps: Canva: It Was Made For Real Estate

InteroMojo - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 9:00am

This past May I introduced you to Canva, the pretty awesome site that gives you the tools to design beautiful eye catching web posts for facebook, pinterest, blogs, twitter and more.

I’m bringing it back today because the site just released a great blog on how to use their pieces specifically for Real Estate. That’s right, this site was made just for you!

You have to check it out as they have some great suggestions on what to post, how to connect with your audience and make it worth your while.

Read the Blog HERE

 

Categories: Latest News

Thursday’s Thoughts on Leadership: Jack Welch

InteroMojo - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 9:00am

This week during my morning workouts, I’ve been listening to a great interview that Darren Hardy of SUCCESS Magazine did with Jack Welch earlier this year. It was featured in the magazine’s Change Maker issue that came out last month. I have always had a special place in my heart for Jack Welch because his first job at GE in 1960, was as a junior engineer in my hometown of Pittsfield, Mass., making $10,500 a year.

As Hardy says, Mr. Welch “isn’t a change maker because he took General Electric’s revenue from 25 billion to 130 billion, grew it’s income 10 fold and its market capitalization 30 fold under his 21 year leadership. He’s a change maker for how he’s done it.” He’s reinvented what the standard is for business everywhere. Even as a retired man, he still focuses on how he can change things through his various outlets.

In this particular interview, Welch outlines some of the tactics he’s developed throughout his career and features in his book, Winning (I’ll share more about that book next week). He also gives some great suggestions in finding success by looking outside the business for ideas, showing respect and caring for your people, and understanding that everyone is a mentor. All of these suggestions are great to keep in mind no matter what stage of business you’re at.

The part of this interview I love the most is where he talks about managers giving their team credit for their ideas. Jack says “managers grow from the reflective glory of what their people do. They will have no problem building great teams, hiring great people and the results will speak for themselves.”

There really is some great insight throughout the interview. If you’re interested in hearing the whole thing, you can subscribe to SUCCESS magazine HERE. You can also read the article that was included in last month’s issue to learn more about Jack Welch HERE. You’ll definitely walk away enriched.

 

Categories: Latest News

Thune Questions GM and Delphi Executives on Ignition Switch Recall

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, questioned top executives at General Motors (GM) and Delphi about their failures resulting in the GM ignition switch recall at today’s Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance Subcommittee hearing.

“GM has admitted, via a consent order that it failed to report this safety-related defect to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a timely manner,” said Thune. “The internal report prepar...

The Federal Research Portfolio: Capitalizing on Investments in R&D

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing titled, “The Federal Research Portfolio: Capitalizing on Investments in R&D,” on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 2 p.m. 

Please note the hearing will be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee website. Refresh the Commerce Committee homepage 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to automatically begin streaming the webcast.

Individuals with disabilities who require a...

GSA's Maintenance Repair & Operations Strategic Sourcing Solution Gets Green Light

GSA news releases - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 1:00am
Combined Expertise Will Shape New Strategically Sourced Contract Vehicle

Rockefeller, Thune Statement on STELA Reauthorization

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senators John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) and John Thune (R-SD), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today issued the following statement regarding the committee’s plans to reauthorize expiring provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) of 2010:

“The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will consider and report legislation during the Senate’s September work period, including the reauthorization of expiring provisions of the Sa...

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