Cover Story

Business and the Obama Agenda


THE ECONOMYState of Play: High unemployment and foreclosures feed fears the stimulus package is too slow to take hold.

What's Ahead: More stimulus funds should hit consumer and corporate coffers in the second half.

What Business Thinks: Despite the stimulus, many CEOs want Washington to step up efforts to get the economy moving.

FINANCIAL REFORMSState of Play: The Administration proposes regulation for derivatives, executive pay, and consumer protection.

What's Ahead: Strong opposition has already forced the House to postpone one vote on the consumer agency.

What Business Thinks: Financial firms hope the government entrusts consumer protection to friendlier bank regulators.

HEALTH CAREState of Play: Democrats want a public insurer, and surtaxes on the rich and companies that don't cover employees.

What's Ahead: A tax on health-care benefits is still possible. The big fight will be over whether to retain the public option.

What Business Thinks: Business would be willing to swallow the changes if Congress took a serious swipe at health-care costs.

ENERGYState of Play: A House bill caps emissions of greenhouse gases and requires an 83% cut in emissions by 2050.

What's Ahead: The GOP and its business allies say that the bill would create a massive job-killing tax.

What Business Thinks: Many manufacturers oppose anything that raises energy prices. Utilities are more amenable.

CORPORATE TAXESState of Play: In March, Treasury proposed limiting U.S. companies' ability to defer taxes on income earned abroad.

What's Ahead: Big tax changes won't return to the agenda until late 2009 or 2010, when the Bush tax cuts expire.

What Business Thinks: U.S. companies want to tie any end to specific breaks to a drop in the overall U.S. corporate tax rate.

Data: BusinessWeek

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