Bottom Line

2011


The Hammers: Glenn Hamer's Year-End Awards
Dec. 22, 2011

Before we get into the second annual year-end Hammer awards, I want to share with you the following quote that I think makes clear how fortunate we are to live in America. “The easier America makes it for talented foreigners to work and study there, the richer, more powerful, and more respected America will be. America’s ability to absorb the world’s talent is the crucial advantage no other culture can match as long as America doesn’t forfeit this advantage with visa rules written mainly out of fear.”

O Canada!
Dec. 14, 2011

It’s winter again, the snowbirds are back and by this point I’m sure you have already noticed their presence on the freeways, in the malls and at the store. Unless you take a secret road to work or shop inside a secret mall, it’s impossible not to. There is more to the seasonal relationship, though, than meets the eye and this recent increase in visitors makes for a perfect time to reflect on one of our largest providers of snowbirds - and bilateral trade - our great northern neighbor: Canada.

U.S. Majority Whip Visits Arizona, Hears Employers’ Frustrations with Washington
Nov. 28, 2011

I had the privilege last week to moderate a roundtable of businesspeople hosted by Arizona Rep. Ben Quayle and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California. It offered a look at the challenges businesses in Arizona and around the country are facing in this economy and provided welcome insight into how Congress is (or is not) responding to business’ needs from two rising congressional stars.

Order in the Court: Arizona Shines on National Tort Reform Stage
Nov. 17, 2011

I had the privilege last week to moderate a roundtable of businesspeople hosted by Arizona Rep. Ben Quayle and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California. It offered a look at the challenges businesses in Arizona and around the country are facing in this economy and provided welcome insight into how Congress is (or is not) responding to business’ needs from two rising congressional stars.

Reflections on China
Sep. 30, 2011

As I look back on the 10 days I just spent in Asia with a delegation from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Arizona Technology Council, I’m more bullish about the prospects for a peaceful, prosperous world. I am also invigorated by the strength of the concept of the American dream.

Capital gains tax reform poised to provide spark for Arizona economy
Sep. 23, 2011

With the so-called Buffett Rule making its way through tax policy circles, the question of how and whether to tax capital gains is once again on the front burner in Washington, D.C.

Mark Zuckerberg is my hero
Sep. 8, 2011

Arizona’s senior senator stopped by the offices of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry last week. Whenever we get a chance to spend an hour or so talking about the tough issues facing our country with John McCain, it’s always a great reminder of how fortunate we are to call him our senator.

Changing tides in Middle East, spending and education
Aug. 24, 2011

A few thoughts this week about some important changes happening here and abroad…

On the brink
Aug. 11, 2011

To say that these are a difficult times for the world economy is like saying that summer in Arizona can be a little on the warm side. Here are a few thoughts as I consider the rough seas we find ourselves in…

Three percent withholding rule bad for business, state and local government
Aug. 5, 2011

Washington has an uncanny habit of passing laws without fully understanding their contents or grasping their long-term consequences. Think of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s oft-played sound bite referring to the health care overhaul, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”

Watch where we are going, America
Jul. 25, 2011

The Congress of the United States and the White House have collectively amazed and frustrated the American public over their many weeks of gridlock related to the national debt ceiling. Every eye has been drawn to today’s debate and tomorrow’s reversal. The news media is fixated on every angle of the story and its potential catastrophic impact on the economy.

Risks too high for Arizona to take a pass on health care exchange
Jul. 22, 2011

There’s a feeling among some in the state Legislature that putting the wheels in motion to establish a health care exchange, as called for by the Affordable Care Act, is somehow tantamount to endorsing the entire federal health care plan.

Can't commit to California: Clean car cancellation cause for celebration
Jul. 6, 2011

Looking to California for inspiration on public policy usually comes with a big price tag. Thankfully, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has proposed the repeal of such a California-inspired policy: the “Clean Car Standards” rule, also known as the California Low Emission Vehicle Program (CA LEV).

Supreme Court matching funds decision a victory for free speech
Jun. 27, 2011

Today is a great day for the First Amendment. On a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the matching funds portion of Arizona’s publicly funded elections scheme.

U.S. visa policy building Great Wall around Chinese tourism, investment
Jun. 22, 2011

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce last month announced its participation in the Discover America Partnership, a broad coalition to advance visa and entry reforms for international travelers and enhance the United States’ position as an international travel destination.

Congressman gives Chamber audience an economic wake-up call
Jun. 3, 2011

Congressman David Schweikert stopped by the offices of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry on May 19 for a briefing on America’s fiscal health and the state of the federal budget.

Business community makes big strides in legislative session, but work left to be done
May 6, 2011

After 100 days, the first regular session of the 50th Legislature adjourned sine die on April 21 capping off what was a successful legislative session for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Arizona Manufacturers Council. A number of priority bills identified in the 2011 Business Agenda have been signed into law, marking this session as the Chamber’s most successful in years.

NLRB Action Against Boeing Chills Job Growth
Apr. 28, 2011

While the Obama administration touts the importance of job creation in getting our economy back on solid footing, the National Labor Relations Board apparently hasn’t gotten the memo.

Air quality bill needed to hold off federal sanctions, economic pain
Apr. 14, 2011

I realize that the tussle between the state and the federal government over Maricopa County's dust mitigation plan isn’t earning screaming headlines or 60 Minutes investigations. And no, I haven’t received any calls about the issue from members of the international media like I did when immigration was the hot topic of the day. But the debate over air quality regulation is on par in importance with the other issues that have defined this almost-concluded legislative session.

Repeal of onerous 1099 rule a victory for business, but more rules hurting job creators
Apr. 7, 2011

Buried deep in the thousands of pages of legislation that gave birth to the federal health care overhaul last year was a provision that had businesspeople of all political stripes steamed.

An immigration car wreck
Mar. 17, 2011

When I was a sophomore in high school, my driver’s education teacher was a big believer in the “scared straight” method of preparing teenagers to get behind the wheel. He made it a point to show his classes accident scene photos to drill into our young brains the gravity of the responsibility of operating a motor vehicle.

Business community comes together to craft sensible unemployment insurance fix
Mar. 10, 2011

The Great Recession has taken its toll on Arizona’s Unemployment Insurance Fund. In fact, the demands placed on the fund have been so great due to high job losses that the fund last year became insolvent.

Competitiveness package gives Arizona new economic development tools
Feb. 24, 2011

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and over 40 other chambers of commerce hailed last week's passage and the governor's signing of an economic competitiveness package as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to attract and retain good jobs.

Pension reform bill solidifies system, protects taxpayers
Feb. 11, 2011

Speaker of the House Kirk Adams is walking the talk at the Capitol with his calls for major reforms to the state’s pension system. The speaker has already withdrawn from the Elected Officials Retirement Plan, and this week he introduced House Bill 2726 (public retirement systems; plan design) which aims to put the state’s public retirement plans back on stable footing.

Reform package will help ease Arizona's labor pains
Feb. 3, 2011

Most weeks I talk about the ingredients that go into a state's economic development mix. Its tax code, education system and legal environment are all critical to whether a state attracts jobs or sends companies looking elsewhere.

Arizona ready to answer president's challenge on education reform
Jan. 27, 2011

I'm writing this week from Washington, D.C., where I find myself snowed-in. I was supposed to be home Wednesday night, but Mother Nature had other plans. I'm now more familiar with Reagan National Airport's dining options than I ever thought I would be.

Appeal Bond Caps Protect Defendants' Due Process
Jan. 20, 2011

Recovering the nearly 300,000 jobs the state has lost in this Great Recession is at the top of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry's legislative agenda in 2011.We're working with legislative leaders and the governor to help craft a package that will create an environment that helps attract and retain jobs.

Public and workplace safety critical component of medical marijuana law implementation
Jan. 13, 2011

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry last week submitted comments in response to draft regulations published by the Arizona Department of Health Services regarding the management of the distribution and use of medical marijuana in our state under the Medical Marijuana Act.

Minimum Wage: The gift that keeps on hurting
Jan. 5, 2011

I started off the first business day of the New Year on Monday by turning to the opinion page of The Arizona Republic, where writer Alicia Russell rang in 2011 by cheering the recent $.10 hike in the hourly minimum wage. Russell was the treasurer for the 2006 ballot campaign that allowed for an annual raise based on an increase in the Consumer Price Index.