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Washington Watch - January 12, 2011

NASE: Self-Employment Keeps the Unemployment Rolls Low

The unemployment rate is now at its lowest level - 9.4 percent - in 19 months despite millions of Americans who would like to go back to work. While this signals a move in the right direction, Americans have become accustomed to a monthly dose of bad news from the Department of Labor. These figures, though gloomy, would be much worse if a significant number of workers were not keeping themselves off of unemployment by finding freelance work and going into business for themselves.

While the economy continues to struggle and so many Americans remain unemployed, a growing number of individuals are putting themselves to work and keeping themselves from becoming an unemployment statistic by joining the ranks of over 23 million self-employed business owners.

These budding entrepreneurs and established self-employed business owners received a critical boost from Uncle Sam in 2010 in the form of tax relief contained within the small business jobs bill and the tax bill. Some of the changes are new deductions, such as the temporary self-employed health insurance deduction. Other relief comes from the extension of certain tax code provisions that were otherwise scheduled to expire.

To read the rest of this article, visit the NASE blog.

Update: Health Care Repeal Vote Postponed

The Republicans have decided to put off the vote for the health care repeal in the wake of the tragedy in the Southwest last week. The decision was made to allow lawmakers to pay tribute to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was shot in the head during a meeting with constituents. Rep. Giffords is in the hospital currently. Unfortunately, five other members of her staff - Gabe Zimmerman, Christina Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, and Dorwan Stoddard - were killed during the altercation. Federal Judge John M. Roll was also killed during the event.

Republicans have resolved to vote at a later time, possibly next week.

Visit Rep. Giffords' page here.

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