Repatriation Tax Holiday Failed to Create Jobs; Growing Businesses Cut Payrolls

October 12 , 2011 - Here are the stories that the WorldatWork Public Policy team are reading today.

Senate Report Says Repatriation Tax Holiday Failed to Create Jobs in US
The Hill
Bernie Becker
A key Senate Democrat has released a report calling a corporate tax holiday a failure that should not be reprised, arguing that a previous go-round did not create the number of jobs proponents had promised. Sen. Carl Levin’s (D-Mich.) report said that, in fact, the corporations who took most advantage of the holiday enacted in 2004 shed jobs in the ensuing years and did not increase their rate of spending on research and development. (Continued.)

Growing Businesses Cut Payrolls, Too
The New York Times
Casey Mulligan
In many industries, sharp employment cuts during the recession cannot be attributed to a lack of demand. The standard narrative of the 2008-9 recession and lack of recovery has been that the financial crisis, housing crash, excessive debt and other factors caused consumers to spend less, and businesses to invest less. With the private sector spending less, employers had a hard time selling their products, so they had to lay workers off, cut back on new hiring, or both. (Continued.)

Sen. Hatch Says Right Shouldn't Expect Supercommittee to Tackle Healthcare Law
The Hill
Maria Trujillo
Conservatives should forget about dismantling the healthcare law through the supercommittee, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Tuesday.
Because half of the new deficit-slashing panel's members are Democrats, Republicans will have to settle for more meager changes — at least for now, Hatch told the conservative Heritage Foundation. (Continued.)

Non-Qualified Plans a Key to Recruiting, Retaining, Senior Employees
Workforce Management
When spirits maker Brown-Forman started to recruit senior talent externally two years ago, it found a competitive gap in the wealth building vehicles the company offered to those executives."We didn't provide enough self-directed programs for senior executives and were worried this would negatively impact our recruiting ability," says Andrew Simon, vice president and director, global compensation, for Louisville, Kentucky-based Brown-Forman, which produces Jack Daniel's and Southern Comfort, among other brands, and employs 4,000 people worldwide. "About a year ago, we implemented a nonqualified plan for approximately 200 senior executives, and it's been very well received." (Continued.)

Lessons of a small-business program
David Rogers
To understand how hard it is for Washington to make a dent in today’s economy, look back at Treasury’s Small Business Lending Fund, a one-year experiment that closed its window last month after failing to use but a fraction of the $30 billion in capital approved by Congress.
Gene Sperling, now President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, had championed the idea when he served in Treasury. Despite fierce Republican opposition, community bankers rallied to the “Main Street” agenda on a bipartisan basis. And like Lucy in Peanuts, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) turned the tide when she famously stood up to the Senate’s old-boy establishment and won a late-night 60-37 vote that saved the initiative in July 2010. (Continued.)