Sep 7, 2010
05:45 PMThe Wind Machine
Congress is set to reconvene on Monday, September 13. Given weekends, religious observances, and the usual political derailments, there will be few substantial legislative opportunities between next Monday and when members leave sometime in mid-October for the final sprint of this year’s election campaign.
President Obama is calling for major new tax incentives to jolt the economy to life. Republicans, with an eye to November 2, say they will block any measure that does not extend all of President Bush’s tax cuts.
While this high-stakes tax game is over my head, I did spend time today participating in a conference call—led by a tax policy expert, Brian Reardon of Venn Strategies in Washington, D.C.—of a national coalition of companies and associations interested in IC-DISCs (Interest Charge-Domestic International Sales Corporation). Some companies in our Pacific Northwest tree fruit industry use this provision of the federal tax code to help reduce their tax liability tied to export sales. Senators Murray and Cantwell are pivotal members of the U.S. Senate on this arcane issue, one of importance to small exporters (publicly traded companies are not eligible for the benefits of IC-DISCs). With the Administration and the Minority Party both interested in expanding exports and rebuilding the nation’s anemic economy, it would seem to make sense to keep this export incentive available for use by the country’s small businesses, including our apple, pear and cherry shippers.
However, my guess is that good sense is unlikely to emanate from Washington, D.C., over the next several weeks.
● POLITICAL FRUIT: “Go back to Obama’s recent Oval Office speech…. if encomiums to both American and Iraqi troops were deleted, it went for only 1,948 words, which meant that about one-quarter of it was mush. Yes, indeed we love all the troops – apple pie and momma too.” Richard Cohen in The Washington Post (9/7/2010).