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e-News August 27, 2010


Location: Washington, DC

The Week Just Past: Uncertainty in Jobs and Investment
Unwelcome Health Care Surprise for Seniors
The Good News and Bad News About South Korean Trade
New Administration Defense Posture: Postponement of Critical Investments in Army, Navy and Air Force Programs?
Wharton Canal Day

The Week Just Past: Uncertainty in Jobs and Investment

"Despite the lowest home mortgage interest rates in recent history, sales of existing single-family homes plunged last month to their lowest level since May 1995 - a drop of over 25 percent!

"And that's not the only bad economic news these days.

"Initial claims for unemployment benefits surged to 500,000 this month. This level of first-time requests for jobless benefits seem more typical of an economy in recession than an economy in recovery.

"As I listen to my constituents in New Jersey, I am keenly aware that they do not have to rely on statistics and other economic data to know that the recession is not really over. Continuing uncertainty about additional taxes, government regulation and bureaucratic red-tape is preventing businesses from growing and employers from hiring.

"And now there are indications that ongoing economic uncertainty is affecting our attitude about the stock market. According to a report from a major mutual fund industry trade group, investors withdrew a staggering $33 billion from domestic stock market mutual funds in the first seven months of this year. These are not people attempting to "make a killing' or a fortune in stocks. These are people building a "nest-egg' and preparing -- as they should - for their own retirement.

"People are not going to return to the stock market on a sustained basis until they feel more confident of employment growth and the sustainability of the economic recovery. And that economic growth and recovery will not take place until American business -- especially small business -- is confident that the federal government will not add to their current burden.

"Job creation and opportunity must be our #1 priority. I hope that when Congress returns to Washington in September, President Obama and Speaker Pelosi will make it clear that they intend to put the federal budget on a diet and permanently extend the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003.

"Failing to do that, starting January 1, they will impose a $3.8 trillion tax hike on hard-working Americans. This tax increase will affect every American who pays income taxes through higher tax rates on individuals, families, and small businesses.

"What's worse is that these tax increases are targeting small businesses -- the engines of job creation and economic growth -- for much higher taxes starting next year, at a time when they are struggling just to meet payroll and the unemployment rate remains near 10 percent.

"By avoiding these crippling tax increases or imposing them, the direction of our American

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