|Bush Proposes Changes to
|1/7. President Bush
made several proposals, particularly with respect to taxation, that are intended
to increase the level of economic activity. He proposed ending the taxation of
dividend income; he proposed accelerating the effective dates of several tax
reductions that were included in legislation passed in 2001; he proposed raising
the amount of equipment purchases that small businesses can expense; and, he
proposed extending unemployment benefits and creating new re-employment accounts
for displaced workers.
Phil Bond, who is Under Secretary of Commerce for
Technology, and hence, a member of the Bush administration, stated that "The
technology community will continue to play a leading role in our economic
recovery and today's stimulus package will give them the tools they need to
increase investment and create new jobs." He continued that "This
Administration is committed to maintaining American leadership in a
knowledge-based economy. Today's growth package is designed to create a
pro-technology, pro-growth economy both in the near-term and the long-term".
Dividend Income. Bush gave a
speech in Chicago, Illinois, in which he discussed his proposals. He
addressed dividend taxation at length. He emphasized the equitable treatment of
dividend income, rather that the effect that his proposal might have on
investment and economic performance.
He stated that "We are increasingly a nation of owners, who invest for
retirement and the other financial challenges of life. One-half of American
households own stock, either directly or through pension funds. And we have an
obligation to make sure -- now more than ever -- that American investors are
treated fairly. We can begin by treating investors fairly and equally in our tax
laws. As it is now, many investments are taxed not once, but twice. First, the
IRS taxes a company on its profit. Then it taxes the investors who receive the
profits as dividends." He added that "Double taxation is wrong. Double
taxation falls especially hard on retired people."
Bush also argued that
"Double taxation is bad for our
economy. ... The benefits of this tax relief will be felt throughout the economy.
Abolishing double taxation of dividends will leave nearly 35 million Americans
with more of their own money to spend and invest, which will promote savings and
return as much as $20 billion this year to the private economy. By ending this
investment penalty we will strengthen investor confidence.
See, by ending double taxation of dividends, we will increase the return on
investing, which will draw more money into the markets to provide capital to
build factories, to buy equipment, hire more people."
Small Business Expenses. Bush stated that "Currently, tax law permits
small firms to write off as expenses up to $25,000 worth of equipment -- like
computers or machinery that they need. I'm asking the Congress to raise that
limit to $75,000, and index that number for inflation. This change, together
with the faster rate reductions, will benefit more than 23 million small
business owners. My view is this economy can thrive only if our small businesses
thrive. And we will provide them every incentive to grow and create more jobs."
Acceleration of 2001 Tax Cuts. President Bush also stated in his
Chicago speech that "I'm asking Congress to speed
up three other tax reductions promised in 2001 -- tax reductions that will
help our middle-income families. Instead of slowly reducing the marriage
penalty until 2009, we should do it now, to help 35 million married couples.
Instead of waiting until 2008 to move more taxpayers from the 15 percent
bracket to the lowest bracket of 10 percent, we should make that change now
and help 2 million working Americans. And instead of gradually raising the
child tax credit from $600 to $1,000 per child by the year of 2010, for the
benefit of 26 million families, we should raise it now."
See also, White House press office
Sen. Paul Sarbanes
(D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the Senate
Banking Committee, stated that "A stimulus should be focused on the short
run and it ought not to center on
long run problems ... The Bush proposal is just the reverse of that. There is
not much in the short run, there is a large amount in the long run, which is
creating all kinds of problems for us down the road when we ought to be
addressing the growing deficit problem, the future demands on Social Security,
on Medicare, on education, and on all these pressing needs we have as a country."
Sen. Sarbanes added, "Who would argue that the Bush Administration's
proposal is prudent and wise
when we are confronted with a war on terrorism abroad, with a homeland security
issue, and with a growing likelihood of a military operation with Iraq to commit
away your resources the way the Bush plan does." He concluded that "This plan is
lacking in prudence and demonstrates the reckless fiscal course the
Administration is pursuing".
U.S. Telecom Association (USTA) President
Walter McCormick released a
statement in which
he praised the proposal. He said “We applaud President Bush for his bold economic
stimulus plan and his strong
efforts to revitalize the nation's economy. In particular, the President’s call
for elimination of redundant double-taxation of dividends, accelerated
depreciation for investments and the permanent repeal of the death tax are
critical to increasing consumer confidence and job creation."
McCormick also used the occasion to urge regulatory relief for the incumbent
local exchange carriers. He said that "The telecommunications industry has
experienced today's economic challenges
first-hand and we welcome President Bush’s stimulus plan. However, as a
principal engine of the U.S. economy, the telecom industry continues to be
hobbled by outdated regulations that stifle capital investment. We stand ready
to work with the Administration and the new Congress to implement
growth-oriented policies that remove roadblocks to needed national investment
and encourage renewed expansion of the U.S. economy and telecom sector."
|Bush Nominates Judges
|1/7. President Bush nominated numerous persons to be federal judges,
including many persons whom he had also nominated in 2001. See,
White House release.
In the previous Congress, the Democrats held a majority in the Senate, and
on the Senate Judiciary Committee,
which reviews judicial nominees. Sen.
Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Chairman of the Committee in the 107th Congress,
held up many key nominees, especially those picked for the Courts of Appeals,
by taking no, or little, action on their nominations. The Republicans regained
control of the Senate in the November 2002 elections.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will return as
Chairman of the Committee.
Consequently, President Bush has renominated many persons who had been held
up or rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee in the last Congress.
It was a regular component of President Bush's campaign speeches
leading up to the November elections to ask voters to elect a Republican
Senator so that he could get his judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate.
He most frequently focused on the nomination of Judge Priscilla Owen, who was
rejected by the Committee on a party line vote. Bush renominated her to be a
judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (5thCir). Bush also renominated Judge
Charles Pickering for a seat on the Fifth Circuit. He too was rejected on a
party line vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Bush also renominated Miguel Estrada (DC Circuit), who received only a
hearing in the last Congress. He also renominated John Roberts (DC Circuit)
who did not even receive a hearing last time around. Other key renominations
include Jay Bybee (9th Circuit) and Carolyn Kuhl (9th Circuit).
The President also nominated Deborah Cook (Sixth
Circuit), Richard Griffin (Sixth Circuit), David McKeague (Sixth Circuit), Susan Neilson
(Sixth Circuit), Henry Saad (Sixth Circuit), and Jeffrey Sutton (Sixth
Circuit). Bush also nominated Terrence Boyle (Fourth Circuit) and Timothy Tymkovich
Bush also nominated numerous persons to be U.S. District Court Judges: John Adams
(ND Ohio), Daniel Breen (WD Tennessee), Cormac Carney (CD California), James Dever
(ED North Carolina), Ralph Erickson (North Dakota), Sandra Feuerstein (ED New York),
(SD Ohio), Maurice Hicks (WD Louisiana), Richard Holwell (SD New York), Robert Junell
(WD Texas), Thomas Ludington (ED Michigan), James Otero (CD California), William Quarles
(Maryland), Frederick Rohlfing (Hawaii), Thomas Varlan (ED Tennessee), and William Steele
President Bush also nominated Timothy Stanceu to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of
International Trade. He also made several nominations for 15 year terms
on the Court of Federal Claims: Susan Braden, Marian Horn, Charles Lettow, Mary Ellen Coster,
and Victor Wolski. See,
White House release.
Many of President Bush's nominees, particularly Court of Appeals nominees,
will be opposed by liberal groups such as the National
Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). NARAL's Kate Michelman said in a
release after the November 7 elections that President Bush "is moving
aggressively to pack the courts with conservative ideologues in order to
appeal to the far right wing of his party. With the White House and Congress
now both in anti-choice hands, the President's move to stack the courts
represents an attempt to fundamentally realign our entire federal government.
The consequences, if left unchallenged, will be profound and real for
generations to come."
During the 107th Congress very few technology related issues were addressed
in Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on judicial nominations. Moreover, few
of the nominees have backgrounds representing technology interests, or in
fields of law that are important to the technology sector.
|Bush Names Three to New Department of
|1/7. President Bush nominated
(at right) to be Secretary of Homeland Security. See,
House release. Ridge has been Bush's homeland security advisor since October
of 2001. He was Governor of Pennsylvania from 1995 through 2001. Before that he
was a seven term Congressman from Erie, Pennsylvania. Before that he was
prosecutor. He is also a decorated Viet Nam combat veteran.
On November 25, 2002, President Bush signed
(Public Law No: 107-296), the bill creating the new Department of Homeland
President Bush announced his
intention to appoint Steven Cooper to be the
Chief Information Officer at the Department of Homeland Security. He is currently
Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for
Information Integration in the Office of Homeland Security. He previously
worked at Corning. Before that, he worked for Eli Lilly. See,
White House release.
Finally, President Bush nominated
Gordon England (at right) to be Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. See,
House release. England is currently Secretary of the Navy. England was
previously EVP of General Dynamics, where he was responsible for information
systems. Before that, he was EVP of the Combat Systems Group at General
Dynamics. His undergraduate degree is in electrical engineering.
|1/3. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) once again extended the deadline to submit reply comments to its
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [15 pages in PDF] in its proceeding
titled "In the Matter of Digital Broadcast Copy Protection". This NPRM
proposes that the FCC promulgate a broadcast flag rule, and seeks comment on
this, and related questions. This is MB Docket No. 02-230. See,
FCC release [PDF] and
Order [PDF] of October 11, 2002 extending deadlines. See also,
[PDF] of January 3, 2003 further extending the reply deadline.
12/20. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (2ndCir) issued its
v. Bovina Music, a case involving federal court jurisdiction in
cases involving disputes over music copyright interests.
Tech Law Journal is instituting several new practices and procedures with the
New Year. All of these changes have one central purpose -- protecting the rights
of the author, David Carney.
The Tech Law Journal web site and the Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
(TLJ Alert) are both authored and published by David Carney. This is a business.
The sole source of revenue for this business is subscription payments for the
TLJ Alert. Yet, it is currently being widely infringed.
This is undermining the financial viability of the business.
from the Publisher,
which summarizes the new practices and procedures.
Subscription Information page for price schedule, methods of payment, and
regarding "E-Mail Monitoring".
regarding "Disclosure of Information to Third Parties".
to law students explaining why free subscriptions for law students will end
after the January 17 issue.
of state officials' subscriptions" explaining why free subscriptions for
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Form and Contract (for
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And finally, see revised
|Wednesday, January 8
|10:00 AM. The House Commerce
Committee will hold a hearing on the national "Do Not Call" telemarketing
list. Timothy Muris, Chairman of the Federal
Trade Commission, will testify. See,
notice. The event will be webcast. Media contact: Ken Johnson or Jon Tripp
at 202 225-5735. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.
2:30 - 4:30 PM. The Federal Communications
Commission's (FCC) WRC-03 Advisory Committee will meet. For more
information, contact Alexander Roytblat at 202 418-7501. See,
notice in the
Federal Register. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, SW.
3:00 - 5:00 PM. The National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) will meet
telephonically to continue its deliberations on comments to be delivered to
President Bush concerning the draft
National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. The speakers will include John Tritak,
Richard Clarke, Richard Davidson, and John Chambers. Persons interested in attending by telephone should call (toll
free) 1-899-7785 or (toll) 1-913-312-4169 and, when prompted, enter
pass code 1468517. See,
notice in the Federal Register, December 24, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 247, at
EXTENDED TO JAN. 31.
Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the
in response to its requests for comments regarding whether to revise, clarify
or adopt any additional rules in order to more effectively carry out
Congress's directives in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA).
This is CG Docket No. 02-278. See, original
in the Federal Register, and
of extension [PDF].
|Friday, January 10
|12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar
Association's (FCBA) Wireless Telecommunications Committee will host a
luncheon. The topic will be "What's Up for the Coming Year in the Auctions &
Industry Analysis, Public Safety & Private Wireless, Commercial Wireless &
Policy Divisions". The speakers will be Division Chiefs at the FCC's Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau Division. The price to attend is $15. RSVP to Wendy
Parish at email@example.com. Location:
Austin, 1501 K St., NW, Confr. Rm. 6E.
|Monday, January 13
|The Supreme Court will return from the recess that it began on December
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The Heritage
Foundation will host a panel discussion
titled "Harnessing Information Technology to Improve Homeland Security".
The speakers include James Gilmore (Chairman, Advisory Panel to Assess
Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass
Destruction), Lee Holcomb (Office of Homeland Security), Tom Richey (Director
of Homeland Security, Microsoft), Tom Gann (VP & GM, Siebel Systems), and
Peter Brookes (Heritage). See,
Heritage, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE.
|Tuesday, January 14
|9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce
Committee will hold a hearing titled the "State of the Competition in
the Telecom Industry". Media contact: Andy Davis (Hollings) at 202
224-6654. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir)
will hear oral argument in Peninsula Communications v. FCC, No.
01-1273. Petitioner is a radio broadcaster operating on the Kenai Peninsula in
south central Alaska. Judges Henderson, Randolph and Garland will preside.
Location: 333 Constitution Ave., NW.
Deadline to submit comments to the USPTO
to assist it in writing a report to the Congress regarding technological
protection systems for digitized copyrighted works and to prevent
infringement. This report is required by the Technology, Education and
Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002 (TEACH). See,
notice in the Federal Register, December 9, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 236, at
Pages 72920 - 72921. For more information, contact Michael Shapiro at 703
305-9300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|About Tech Law Journal
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