Firms are jogging, not running, to prepare for IFRS
New survey ;nds CPAs cautiously optimistic about 2010
Mazars and Weiser mull merger
Letters: More politics, please, and the T100 respond
A veteran’s advice for tax season tyros
IRS loosens Section 7216 rules
New reporting rules for passive activities
Is federal accounting standard-setting independent?
the spirit of accounting
Déjà vu: IFRS convergence and the 150-hour rule
The latest in tax strategies for college saving
Moss Adams merges in Rowling Dold
New regs and threats make data security crucial
Don’t retreat — climb the summit
Gale Crosley on one CPA’s search for his niche
August Aquila on becoming a leader in 2010
Ernst & Young helps students ‘Discover Tax’
Exposing your secrets can be good for business
Generational Viewpoints: How important are soft skills?
20 M&A Watch
23 New Products: Software
24 New Products: Books
27 Resource Center
One year later
Former New York Mayor Edward Koch used to gauge his job performance with the catch phrase, “How’m I doing?” ;roughout his reign in the 1980s, the colorful Koch would repeat the question to the citizenry of the Big Apple, until it almost became synonymous with his tenure.
Roughly one year ago, I touched what was apparently a raw nerve with some readers when I penned
my open letter to then President-elect Obama, congratulating him on his historic victory, but remaining
justi;ably skeptical about his grandiose promises to ;x everything that was apparently wrong under
the previous administration.
;erefore, in a twinge of nostalgia, I decided to apply Hizzoner’s job-approval measure to Obama
following one year in o;ce.
Health care reform, the centerpiece of Obama’s presidency, garnered its much-needed 60th vote in
the Senate — albeit after the Senate majority leader dutifully plied several key
states, such as Louisiana and Nebraska, with stocking stu;ers, dismissing the
blatant largesse as the normal course of doing business along the Beltway. But
hey, what’s another $1 trillion — the expected cost of the health care package
— when you have an unprecedented $3.5 trillion budget?
Roughly one week prior to the Senate vote, we witnessed Congress OK
raising the debt ceiling by nearly $290 billion to ensure that there was enough
leeway for the demands of the $800 billion stimulus package, whose merits
and after-e;ects continue to be widely debated, particularly when national
unemployment ;gures continue comfortably in double digits. Add to that
another $154 billion for the jobs bill and after a time, it all begins to appear
much like Monopoly money — ironically, a colloquialism the president used
last month when he cautioned about the dangers of continuous spending.
Correct me if I’m wrong: If you want to pare down spending, shouldn’t
you, well, stop spending?
But I digress. Tax reform, which to be fair has evaporated in past administrations, appears to be stalled yet again, as the tax subcommittee of the
President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board had, as of this writing, been scheduled to release its
report on tax reform after the New Year. ;e group, headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul
Volcker, asked for comments, and then appeared surprised when hundreds began pouring in. It seems
more than a few people have ideas on how to reform the Tax Code.
Want more good news? ;ough health care reform has garnered the majority of the headlines, let’s
not forget the tax tsunami better known as the 1,300-page Waxman-Markey Clean Energy Bill — more
commonly known as cap-and-trade — that is lurking on the 2010 horizon.
An analysis compiled by the Heritage Foundation concluded that Waxman-Markey would cost a
family of four nearly $2,000 annually by 2020 and nearly $7,000 per year by the year 2035.
On a more positive note, the House Financial Services Committee decided to soften language in an
absurd amendment to the Financial Stability Improvement Act that would have given a systemic risk
regulator the ability to rewrite accounting standards.
Gee, I’m sure that would not have evolved into a political arm-wrestling match. If anyone has any
doubt about that, I direct you to the Financial Accounting Standards Board and fair value.
So, “How’m I doing?”
With an approval rating that was near 70 percent a year ago and is now teetering below the 50 percent
mark and continuing to decline, the president may not want to hear the answer as eagerly as Ed Koch
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