Self Made: NASE's Blog

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Posted by Mike Beene - So the news is that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates at current levels until 2013. Experts are stunned that the Fed would even mention its plans for a date that far into the future. How might this affect the Self-Employed?         Let’s look briefly at the sometimes mysterious Federal Reserve. I find that few people have a true understanding of the institution past some vague recollection from high school civics. Created by congress in 1913, the Federal Reserve System (Fed) is the central bank of the United States. Today it is much more, and ...
Monday, August 15, 2011
Posted by Kristie Arslan - The nation's smallest businesses would like to send our encouragement as you roll up your sleeves to address our nation's debt challenges, including finding $1.5 trillion to cut from the federal budget. That's a big number and no small task - we are writing to ask that you keep the 22 million self-employed and micro-businesses in mind when you take out the red pen. Who are we? We are self-employed and micro-businesses owners and we represent over 95 percent of the small business community. We are businesses with 10 or fewer employees and we directly ...
Friday, August 12, 2011
Posted by Sung Yoo – Last week, Jaime and I attended a hearing about prior approval for health premiums, as covered in a previous blog post. During the hearing, Democrats and Republicans remained split on the reasons for rising health care premiums and how to combat them. While Democrats wanted prior approval in order to give states the right to enact rate-review mechanisms, Republicans claimed Democrats were shifting the blame to insurance companies instead of acknowledging the Affordable Care Act's failure to reign in health care premiums.  Timely enough, a rather interesting brief was just released by the Kaiser Family ...
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Posted by Sung Yoo – In October 2010, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Economic & Statistics Administration prepared a report for the White House Council for Women and Girls. The report examined disparities in the characteristics of businesses owned by women as compared to those owned by men, and focused exclusively on proprietorships, partnerships, or any type of privately-held corporation with one or more owners. Exactly the demographics of NASE Members! Highlights: In 2007, 7.8 million firms were owned by women, accounting for 30% of all non-farm, privately-held firms in the U.S. Women-owned firms had sales/receipts of a ...
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Posted by Jaimie McFarlin - The August 2nd hearing of the Senate Health committee, “Health Reform and Health Insurance Premiums: Empowering States,” addressed efforts to regulate insurance costs since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Starting September 1st, health insurance companies must submit for state review any increase in premiums of 10% or more in the individual and small-group markets. After one year, state-specific thresholds will be defined, depending on their health cost trends. The rule creates transparency for health insurance consumers, and gives them access to information on whether new provisions under the ACA will raise or ...
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Posted by Mike Beene - Now that the debt ceiling debate is behind us, where does the United States stand with its creditors? We hear a lot about the credit rating, but what does that mean in terms of the country? Can we make some sense of this all and understand why it matters? Before we discuss what the credit rating agencies want from the U.S. and whether the debt ceiling raise will satisfy them, let’s look at a little history. For over a century the debt of the U.S. has been rated AAA, confirming the long-held belief that bonds ...
Monday, August 01, 2011
Posted by Jaimie McFarlin - On July 26th, I attended a Ways and Means Committee hearing on consumption taxes. It comes at a time when the future of tax reform is certainly part of the federal debt ceiling negotiations. In this blog entry, I will break down a few of the issues and arguments regarding two types of consumption taxes: the FairTax and the Value Added Tax (VAT). About Consumption Taxes There were two panels of witnesses at this last hearing. The first panel included the former presidential candidate and governor Mike Huckabee, economic experts, Larry Kotlikoff and David G. Tuerck, ...
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Posted by Jaimie McFarlin - Recently, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City-based small-business research organization, unveiled its Startup Act proposal. In the four-part plan, the foundation gave policy recommendations to focus the attention of citizens and policymakers on the central role that high-growth startups must play to assure continued U.S. economic strength. Research by the Kauffman Foundation has documented that companies less than five years old accounted for virtually all new jobs created over the last thirty years. However, the recession has taken a toll on potential high-growth new companies. The unveiling of the Startup Act follows the release of Kauffman data ...
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Posted by Jaimie McFarlin - Last week, I had the opportunity to attend my first bill markup with the House Committee on Small Business. A markup is the process by which a U.S. congressional committee debates, amends, and rewrites proposed legislation. During the markup, the Committee considered two bills, H.R. 527, "The Regulatory Flexibility Improvement Act," and H.R. 585, "The Small Business Size Standards Flexibility Act." Both bills are meant to reform the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA): H.R. 527 strengthens and broadens the powers of the Small Business Agency’s Office of Advocacy, while H.R. 585 authorizes the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the ...

 

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Self Made

A blog on the self-employed and micro-business

Meet the NASE Staff Bloggers


Katie Vlietstra - As Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs, I work to explain how actions on Capitol Hill can impact the self-employed. I love D.C. and have made my home in Capitol Hill, where I live with my husband and black Labrador, Coltrane. We love playing volleyball and softball on the National Mall. 

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