Build Up in Down Time
The household and business sectors of the economy are both now in a “de-leveraging” process that may just be in the early stages, he said. “We’ve got a whole lot more work to do to get our (national) balance sheet back in order.”
Consumer spending is also being hit by a significant rise in unemployment and fears of future job cuts, observed the NAPL economist. It’s about more than cutting costs, since tight credit means companies need cash, and thinning their labor force is a quick way to conserve what cash they do have on hand.
Government actions are a third key unknown. Not only must the transition to President-elect Barack Obama’s administration be factored into the 2009 outlook, but significant revisions were already being made to measures put in place by the current office holders. The ink on the $700 billion “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” barely had time to dry before Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced a major change in how the money would be used.
A Few ‘Capitol’ Ideas
Lisbeth Lyons, vice president of Government Affairs at PIA, recently put together a list of what the association sees as the top legislative priorities for the 111th Congress. The member alert identified five key areas in which PIA is targeting action:
1) Printers’ foremost legislative concern continues to be the increasingly high cost of healthcare. PIA supports legislation that provides employees greater benefits choices and employers increased flexibility, and will push for measures that increase competition and options in the health insurance market.
2) In the area of labor policy, the greatest concern for printers is the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as card check legislation. This misnamed act would replace secret ballot union organizing elections with an open-petition system.