The question now is this: What do they mean for business types?
Lots of folks are spouting lots of different viewpoints. Here are some of my favorites.
- Financial Executives International has published an exhaustive summary of the implications for business executives. The House and Senate races, the likely actions of the lame-duck 111th Congress and the incoming 112th Congress — all the scenarios are laid out in impressive detail. Read all about it here.
- CCH is focused exclusively on the lame-duck session, and specifically on what action Congress will take on outstanding tax issues like extender provisions, AMT relief, estate taxes and, of course, the fate of the Bush tax cuts. Get details here.
- Speaking of those estate taxes, Forbes’ Hani Sarji says “advocates of estate tax repeal are cheering the results of the midterm elections,” but such a repeal is far from certain at this point.
- Meanwhile, Accounting Today’s Roger Russell says banning the practice of patenting tax strategies might find its way onto the agenda of the lame-duck 111th Congress — a move most CPAs would undoubtedly applaud.
- While optimistic about their post-election prospects for a more friendly regulatory environment, business executives are taking a wait-and-see approach. “How quickly Republicans can translate rhetoric about rolling back President Barack Obama’s regulatory agenda into action isn’t clear, given a divided Congress and opposition from the White House,” Elizabeth Williamson and James R. Hagerty write in the Wall Street Journal. One piece of good news: The Journal reports that, given the election results, President Obama might now be willing to repeal the onerous 1099 reporting requirement found in the health care reform package. We’ll see.
- Kiplinger’s Mark Willen tries to explain exactly what the Republican gains will mean for ordinary Americans. “On the No. 1 issue of spurring economic growth and creating jobs,” Willen claims, “the answer is ‘Not much.'” Beyond that, he tries to explain what the changes mean for health care reform, the Bush tax cuts, government spending, business regulation and more. Get details here.
Here’s my question: Now that voters have turned Washington into a two-party town again, will any meaningful legislation get done during the next two years? And if the answer is no, will that actually be good for business? In this environment, is the best kind of regulation no regulation at all?
It’s going to be an interesting couple of years, isn’t it?