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E-News 9/16/11

The Week Just Past:  The ‘Other Shoe’ on the President’s Jobs Plan

Small Business Confidence Hits New Lows

Look In Live at Joint Deficit Reduction Committee

Where Are the “Green Jobs”?  

Replenishing FEMA’s Disaster Assistance Account

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available

New Jersey Beware of Scammers!

Picatinny: “the best of the military’s R&D community!”

The WeekJust Past:  The ‘Other Shoe’ on the President’s Jobs Plan

“Priority #1 for this Congress has to be approval of a pro-growth economic agenda that promotes new jobs.  And while the President spent the week at various ‘campaign’ stops around the country promoting his so-called ‘American Jobs Act’, we are beginning to learn what’s inside his package.

“Of course, as this debate begins, there are potential for areas of agreement.  Clearly, House Republicans are ready to move quickly on the pro-growth measures in the President's plan where there is common ground, including small business tax relief, passing the free trade agreements and regulatory reform. 

“But then, the ‘other shoe’ dropped.  The President disclosed that his temporary $447 billion plan is paid for permanently raising taxes on America’s job creators and working families.

“As the President himself has famously declared, ‘you don’t raise taxes in a recession.’   I agree and so do many members of the President’s own Party.  The Washington Post published a story this week that seemed to forecast bipartisan opposition.  The Post reminds us: ‘In the past, however, Democrats, too, have been wary of the most significant piece of Obama’s tax proposal, the elimination of many tax deductions for the wealthy. When Democrats held Congress, they declined to consider a White House proposal to limit deductions for upper-income taxpayers as a way to pay for health-care reform.’

‘And then there’s the so-called ‘stimulus’ spending in the President’s package. The President is demanding over $200 billion in federal government spending to spur hiring, mostly more public employees with eligibility limited to unionized firms.  We all know how well that worked the last time he tried it.

“It’s time for a new approach and I am willing to work with the President to get our economy moving again.  Our unemployed family members and friends cannot afford to wait.”

Recommended Reading: The Wall Street Journal writes that the President may be “setting up the U.S. economy for one of the biggest tax increases in history.”   Read “The 2013 Tax Cliff, Business had better enjoy the next 16 months” here.

Small Business Confidence Hits New Lows

According to a private survey, confidence among U.S. small businesses dropped to a 13-month low in August as fewer companies projected better economic conditions and improving sales. The National Federation of Independent Business’s (NFIB) survey says the number of small-business owners saying they expected the economy will improve six months from now fell to the lowest level since 1980.

Recommended Reading:Motoko Rich, writes in the New York Times that President Obama’s “American Jobs Act” has “failed to generate any optimism” in the business community.  Read “Employers Say Jobs Plan Won’t Lead to Hiring Spur”  here.

Look In Live at Joint Deficit Reduction Committee

The co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSC), launched the official website for the Committee this week.  The site can be accessed at DeficitReduction.gov.

This public website will allow visitors to view the latest news and notices, live stream hearings and submit suggestions for the Committee’s consideration.

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSC) was created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and is charged with developing an additional $1.5 trillion in budget deficit cuts over the next ten years. The Committee's bipartisan recommendation will receive an up-or-down vote in Congress before December 23.

Where are the “Green Jobs”?

A $39 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama Administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand two years after it started.  The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies.  Read the story in the Thursday Washington Post here.

Recommended Reading: While the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill has not helped spur economic growth, it has helped spawn myriad new businesses to help Wall Street comply — and capitalize — on the hundreds and hundreds of new regulations.  Major beneficiaries include legions of lawyers, corporate accountants, financial consultants, risk management advisers, turnaround artists and technology vendors.  Read “Feasting on Paperwork” in the New York Times here:  

Replenishing FEMA’s Disaster Assistance Account

The House Appropriations Committee will include urgently needed disaster recovery and relief funds through upcoming Continuing Resolution (CR) legislation. This ‘must pass’ legislation will fund the operations of the federal government beyond September 30.

Funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) has reached dangerously low levels, and emergency funding is urgently needed to help New Jersey individuals, families and communities affected by recent disasters – including Hurricane Irene and its devastating floods.

The legislation, H. J. Res. 79, contains a total of $3.65 billion in disaster relief for the thousands of people affected by Hurricane Irene, recent wildfires, the devastating floods and tornados in the Midwest and South. The House passed additional FEMA DRF funding in the Homeland Security Appropriations bill in June, but the Senate has yet to clear the bill.

Recommended Reading:  Read Rodney’s Op Ed piece in the Sunday Morris County Daily Record, “New Jersey’s Two Disasters”:

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to self-employed residents or individuals who worked in New Jersey and are unemployed as a direct result of Hurricane Irene.

The application deadline for DUA in Morris, Essex, Passaic and Somerset counties is October 3. The application deadline in Sussex County is October 7.  Unemployment insurance claims filed after the deadlines may be ineligible for payment.

The first step is to file for unemployment insurance benefits by calling a New Jersey Reemployment Call Center. Individuals who need DUA may call any one of the numbers below, from any county, and a DUA specialist will provide assistance.

201-601-4100

732-761-2020

856-507-2340

If it is determined that a worker or self-employed individual is not eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI), the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program may pay benefits to those whose work has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a disaster.

DUA is designed to cover workers and self-employed individuals such as artists, farmers and farm workers, freelance writers and photographers, and others who normally would not be eligible for UI.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance information is available in Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC). Residents can find the DRC closest to them online at: http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm.

For information on all New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development programs and services, visit http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/index.html.

New Jersey Beware of Scammers!

NJ warns of scam targeting flood victims (News 12 NJ)

Sep. 14, 2011, AP/News 12 NJ

NEWARK (AP) - Consumer affairs officials are warning flood victims in New Jersey to beware of a scam.

Homeowners in Little Falls received a "Financial Recovery Awards" letter in which the "Payment Security Administration" told recipients they'll receive up to $27,500.

Recipients are asked to mail a "processing fee" of $29.97 to Canada.

State Consumer Affairs Consumers Director Thomas Calcagni says those who reply are giving an unknown person access to their bank account or credit card information.

Calcagni says anyone who has received the mailing should contact the Consumer Affairs Division.

The link for contacting the Consumer Affairs Division is: http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/

Picatinny: “the best of the military’s R&D community!”

The Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal earned six out of 10 winning entries in the Army Greatest Inventions Award for 2010.

The achievement is particularly meaningful Army warfighters judge nominations and determine the winners.  A panel of recently-deployed commissioned and non-commissioned officers singled out these inventions:

M992 Infrared Illuminant Cartridge is fired from a 40mm grenade launcher and provides better illumination for troops equipped with night vision gear, allowing them to better identify targets.

5.56mm M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round is a bullet that is more consistent in performance when engaging enemies and is more environmentally friendly because it uses a copper rather than a lead slug.

Green Eyes is a device which gives a soldier more flexibility to acquire and engage targets while inside a vehicle protected by its armor.

Jackal Explosive Hazard Pre-Detonation System was developed to help fight against roadside bombs.

M240L 7.62mm Lightweight Medium Machine Gun is nearly five pounds lighter than a similar machine gun. It uses titanium alloys to lighten the load for soldiers on long patrols in rough terrain.

Dismounted Mortar Fire Control System provides greater accuracy and is designed for quicker and more effective use by soldiers.

“These awards are a testament to hard work and creative thinking of the men and women of Picatinny Arsenal,” Rodney said.  “Once again, the Army has confirmed that Picatinny represents the best of the military’s research and development community!”

In the 2009, three technologies developed at Picatinny Arsenal were named among the 10 greatest Army inventions. Since the Army Greatest Inventions Awards began in 2002, Picatinny teams have won 30 of the 90 greatest inventions awarded through 2010.