Thursday, December 25, 2008

Obama cabinet short on business experience

this new Presidential Cabinet and it's lack of business understanding will have a profound effect on the economy.

the mantra of "they just don't get it" will start resounding loudly during the next 4 years

Already - smaller U. S. toy makers are being put out of business in 2009 by the regulations our Democratic Congress put in place to prevent China from lacing toys with lead and poison paint.

In 2016, all U.S. light bulb production will be gone - another industry lost to overseas, done by Congressional legislation.

The tax package proposed by "our president elect" will shut down or push off shore businesses in the next 4 years. Exxon Mobile is already putting together an exit strategy to leave the U.S.

As more large employers leave the U.S. market, the TAX BURDEN WILL HAVE TO SHIFT TO SMALLER EMPLOYERS.

As more become dependent on government funds, the taxes that pay for those dependents have to increase on those who are not.

That's not just people - states are asking for more monies - Maryland is planning to request more federal funds to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure, because they are loosing tax revenue from existing residents.

The laws of unintended consequences will continue to fracture our economy, and further the recession.

Stay tuned for more on this as it develops.

Business News - Local News

Obama cabinet short on business experience

Baltimore Business Journal - by Kent Hoover Washington Bureau Chief

President-elect Barack Obama’s Cabinet will have a lot less business experience than President Bush’s first round of key appointees.

Bush, the only U.S. president with an MBA, turned to corporate America for several key positions, starting with vice president. Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton Corp., a Houston-based oilfield services company, before joining Bush’s ticket in 2000.

Another Texas oilman, longtime Bush friend Don Evans, was appointed secretary of Commerce. Former Alcoa Chairman and CEO Paul O’Neill was Bush’s first secretary of Treasury, but lasted less than two years.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had served as chairman and CEO of two companies, pharmaceutical giant G.D. Searle & Co. and broadcast technology developer General Instrument Corp. He also chaired Gilead Sciences Inc., a biopharmaceutical company.

Mitch Daniels, who headed the Office of Management and Budget, was a senior vice president at pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co.

Obama, by contrast, largely turned to people with extensive government experience for his Cabinet.

The Commerce Department, for example, will be headed by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who also has served in Congress, as United Nations ambassador and as secretary of Energy. Obama’s pick for secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner, is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and served in the Treasury Department during three administrations.

Obama picked a Maine venture capitalist, Karen Gordon Mills, to lead the Small Business Administration, but it’s not clear whether the SBA administrator will be part of his Cabinet. That post was not part of the Cabinet during the Bush administration.

Not counting Mills, Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, Obama’s pick for secretary of Interior, appears to have the most business experience of anyone in the president-elect’s Cabinet. Salazar, a fifth-generation rancher, and his wife have owned and operated several small businesses, including a Dairy Queen and radio stations in Pueblo and Denver.

Shaun Donovan, Obama’s choice to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development, worked at Prudential Mortgage Capital Co. before becoming New York City housing commissioner. He was a deputy assistant secretary of HUD during the Clinton administration, and also has worked as an architect.

Steven Chu, Obama’s pick to be secretary of Energy, is a Nobel laureate physicist who runs the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a government-supported lab managed by the University of California. He once served on the technical staff at AT&T Bell Labs.

That’s about it as far as business experience goes on Obama’s Cabinet. Should business owners be concerned?

“I don’t think it’s a huge red flag,” said Molly Brogan, vice president of the National Small Business Association. “President-elect Obama spoke out frequently on small business issues during the campaign, and we have no reason to think they won’t continue to be a priority. A lack of business background in Cabinet members can easily be accommodated for by a president taking proactive steps to ensure that small business is at the table.”

Those steps should include making the SBA administrator a Cabinet-level position and hosting a White House Conference on Small Business early in the administration, Brogan said.

“My concern is less with direct business experience than Cabinet members’ history and willingness to work with business leaders,” said Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. “For example, Gov. Richardson’s record on business issues is quite good even though he lacks experience in the trenches.”

Kerrigan is concerned about Obama’s appointees to regulatory agencies “and whether the new leadership will put less of a priority on tools and outreach to help businesses comply with regulation, or whether we’ll see a hostile crackdown with respect to enforcement.”

“Those with business experience would relate to the business owner’s difficulty in understanding regulatory complexity and costs,” she said, “and may lean towards education, tools and efforts to promote voluntary compliance.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

presidential line of succession

This is a list of the current presidential line of succession, as specified by the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C. § 19) and subsequent amendments to include newly created cabinet officers.

# Office Current Officer
1 Vice President and President of the Senate Dick Cheney
2 Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi
3 President pro tempore of the Senate Robert Byrd
4 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
5 Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson
6 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates[1]
7 Attorney General Michael Mukasey
8 Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne
9 Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer
10 Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez (not eligible)
11 Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao (not eligible)
12 Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt
13 Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Steve Preston
14 Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters
15 Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman
16 Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings
17 Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peake
18 Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff


Under existing law, as part of a deal to give up outside income from speeches and other sources, Congress receives an automatic pay raise unless it votes otherwise. In January, Congress will receive a raise of $4,700, this will increase the average Member's pay to about $174,000, or a 2.8 percent increase.

Does Congress deserve a raise this year? A bill was introduced to reject the pay increase, but it died in committee. Tell Congress what you think.