Every year at this time, my heart beats a little lighter. All the negativity, bad news, etc. of recent is now “last year’s old news.” I’m looking at a blank slate. No baggage! (Well, maybe I picked up a pound or two with all the Christmas goodies.)
So what are the good things to look forward to on the horizon?
A United Congress should be able to get more done this year on Tax Reform issues such as making the items just recently reenacted as permanent so everybody can plan on them instead of having to wait until December to do any real tax planning. It is important to know what your target is if you want to hit it. I’m talking about a Deduction for Charitable Donations from IRAs; Educator Expense Deduction; Non-business Energy Property Credit; Tuition and Fees Deduction; Deduction of Sales Tax for states like Nevada that do not have Income Tax; Larger Expense Election for Businesses to purchase new equipment; The ability to deduct up to 50% of the cost of new purchases of business assets; etc.
We also can expect a start at discussing how to make our business tax rates more competitive with the world so we don’t see any more good jobs moving out of the US to escape our currently MUCH higher business tax rates. (Did you hear that France has quietly dropped their 75% top tax rate? Just as predicted, it was stifling economic growth and actually lowered total tax revenues.) I have HOPE that politicians are finally learning that when they make the tax rates too high, they actually end up with less total tax collected.
Microsoft should be over the Windows 8 disaster. Expect a better Windows operating system soon. Check your computers to see if any need to be updated to take advantage of it.
Now is a great time for businesses to invest in newer technologies that dramatically improve productivity. The age of robotics has arrived. Fewer and fewer menial jobs. Now employees will have to be more skilled, educated, better problem solvers, etc. That also means higher pay, so look at the current rollout of new robotics as a blessing, not a curse.
Lower oil prices are here for the long haul. That means less cost to operate all kinds of things. Aside from the hit on those businesses that need higher oil prices, the rest of the business world is expecting a BIG help with lowering their cost to operate.
Businesses are starting to have consistent profits. That means they plan on expanding their payrolls. Raises are now back on the table for discussion and hiring more of the still high number of unemployed folks will occur.
Prov 12:11 says, “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.”