Business & Economy
Braley Seeks to Expand Help for Job-Creating Entrepreneurs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:57

Introduces legislation expanding tax deduction for small business startup expenses

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) introduced legislation today that seeks to expand a popular tax deduction for small business startup expenses.

Current law allows entrepreneurs starting a small business to claim a $5,000 income tax deduction when total startup business costs do not exceed $50,000. Braley’s Support Our Startups Act would expand that deduction to $10,000, and raise the cap on total startup expenses to $60,000.

Braley said, “Small businesses have generated 65 percent of new jobs in the United States over the last 17 years.  If our economy is going to create new jobs, it’s going to start with small business growth.

Braley continued, “That’s why we need to give potential small business owners the tools they need to turn their dreams into reality.  Economic uncertainty is keeping good ideas grounded on the launching pad.  The Support Our Startups Act will give entrepreneurs greater incentives to get their business ideas off the ground.”

Christian Renaud, Principal at Startup City Des Moines, praised the bill, saying:  “Every day, I work with entrepreneurs  trying to get their big ideas off the ground,” “In this economy, the difference between a startup making it and a startup failing is very narrow.  More than ever, entrepreneurs need to use every tool in their arsenal to make their business successful.  This expanded tax break could be a difference-maker for countless new startups.  It’s an extra shot of adrenaline for entrepreneurs working to get their small business up and running.”

The Support Our Startups Act limits benefits to small businesses entrepreneurs by capping the startup expenses eligible for the credit at $60,000.  Expenses over that amount reduce the potential deduction, meaning large businesses, big corporations, or major investors would likely be ineligible for the tax cut.

According to the US Small Business Administration, small businesses make up over 99 percent of all businesses in the United States and employ half of all private sector employees.

An annual report released by the nonprofit Kaufman Foundation in March showed that the national rate of small business startups dropped 5.9 percent between 2010 and 2011, from an estimated 565,000 new businesses opening per month to 543,000 new businesses opening per month.  The report also showed that Iowa has one of the lowest entrepreneurship rates in the country.

To download a copy of the Support Our Startups Act, click on the following link:

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Progress Iowa to Congressman Latham: 'We Want Our Money Back' PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Matt Sinovic   
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:56

Petition drive launched at to return the $2.4 million borrowed by his family bank and never paid back

DES MOINES, IOWA -- Progress Iowa today launched a petition drive at, calling on Congressman Tom Latham to return the $2.4 million loaned to his family bank, Green Circle Investments, as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). According to his most recent financial disclosure form, Congressman Latham’s personal investment in the bank is worth up to $5 million.

“For weeks Congressman Latham has ducked questions about his involvement in the decision to voluntarily accept a bailout from the taxpayers and never pay it back,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “We’re through waiting for answers, and have just one simple request: we want our money back.”

When Latham’s family bank, Green Circle Investments, accepted their $2.4 million bailout in 2009, it was just one year after Congressman Latham voted against it. He even issued a press release, asking:

“Why is Washington so quick to focus on the needs of Wall Street at the cost of those responsible Iowans who have sacrificed, saved and spent within their means? No wonder real America has lost faith in Washington.”

“Congressman Latham should take his own advice and help restore our faith,” said Sinovic. “Every dollar of the Latham Bailout that remains unpaid is a dollar that can’t be spent on our schools, our roads, our communities. Iowa taxpayers are footing the bill to support an investment for our Congressman, and we’re paying the price for it.”

Green Circle Investments is operated by a board comprised of Latham’s family and friends, including his brother Bob Latham, who is President and Chairman. Nine financial institutions in Iowa have voluntarily received funds from the Capital Purchase Program of TARP. Only three have failed to pay back any of the principal on their loan, including Green Circle Investments.

To learn more about the Latham Bailout, and to sign the petition, visit



Nationwide action RE: Federal Minimum Wage Raise Increase PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by   
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:34

This is a graphic that illustrates how long a minimum wage person has to work to buy a gallon of milk, a staple for most families,vs. a CEO.

1 Gallon of Milk: $3.70
Has to Work
½ Hours
for 1 Gallon of Milk

1 Gallon of Milk: $3.70
Has to Work
13 Minutes
for 1 Gallon of Milk

1 Gallon of Milk: $3.70
Has to Work
.01 Seconds
for 1 Gallon of Milk

Braley Announces $4.7 Million for Hawkeye Rural Electric Cooperative PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:30

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Bruce Braley (IA-01) today announced that Hawkeye Rural Electric Cooperative #2 has been awarded $4,750,547 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Hawkeye REC #2, located in Cresco, is proposing to strengthen 142.7 miles of overhead electrical distribution lines. The funding comes after severe storms, tornadoes, and heavy rains caused destruction in 2008.

“I am pleased FEMA is providing funding to Iowa for the strengthening of our important electrical system after the 2008 storms,” said Braley. “Continued efforts from FEMA to our small communities will help repair the weakened lines and provide strengthened electrical systems.”


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Ongoing questions on federal loan to Fisker Automotive Corporation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:28

Monday, July 23, 2012

Grassley, Thune Continue to Seek Answers on Federal Loan to Luxury Car Maker

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. John Thune today continued their pursuit of information about the Department of Energy’s selection of a luxury automaker –described as “troubled” in various media reports -- for a $529 million federal loan for advanced technology vehicles manufacturing.  The federal government made part of the loan to the Fisker Automotive Corporation, then froze the remaining portion, raising questions about whether the company was vetted properly in the first place.

Grassley and Thune have sought answers from the Energy Department about the loan.  So far, the Energy Department has not provided much of the requested information.  Grassley and Thune today wrote to the Fisker Automotive Corporation, seeking much of the same information they requested from the Energy Department.

“The taxpayers deserve an accounting of what went wrong with the Fisker loan and whether the Administration misled the public about the economic benefits of the loan,” Grassley said.  “The riskiness of loans to companies that may or may not be able to pay them back deserves scrutiny.  The taxpayers can’t and shouldn’t have to subsidize these decisions.”

“There continues to be more questions than answers when it comes to the Obama administration’s decision to loan Fisker Automotive $529 million of taxpayer funds,” said Thune.  “Taxpayers deserve to know what went wrong and why this loan was approved in the first place.  Although taxpayers have already lost millions on bad Obama administration loans, this administration continues to ignore our basic questions on how these risky bets were made.”

The senators’ letter today to the Fisker Automotive Corporation is available here.  The senators’ June 25 letter to the Energy Department available here.  The senators’ initial letter to the Energy Department is available here.  The Energy Department’s response is available here.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 required the creation of a direct loan program from the federal government to car companies through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing incentive program.   Fisker’s two planned vehicles would sell for more than $100,000 and about $50,000.  The high retail prices seem to indicate the vehicles would be out of reach for most Americans, thereby seeming like a questionable choice of investment for a federal program.  Also, the senators questioned whether the company’s vehicle production in Finland diminishes the goal of developing advanced vehicle technology to create jobs in the United States.


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