L.A. Area Chamber

    TUESDAY | Feb. 17, 2009





Coming up
at the Chamber

View all upcoming events on our Web calendar.

THU | Feb. 19
Jobs & Business Growth Committee Meeting
more info

THU | Feb. 19
Education & Workforce Development Committee Meeting
more info

TUE | Feb. 24
Referral Network
Grow Your Business
more info

TUE | Feb. 24
L.A. Export Series - Session 4
International Matchmaking
more info

TUE | Feb. 24
Energy, Water & Environment Committee Meeting
more info

FRI | Feb. 27
Land Use, Construction & Housing Committee Meeting
more info

FRI | Feb. 27
Accenture Pancakes & Politics Breakfast Speaker Series
Featuring Assembly Speaker Karen Bass
more info

TUE | March 3
U.S.-Korea Green Tech Business Forum Luncheon
more info

THU | March 5
Trade Finance Tools for Exporting in an Economic Downturn
more info

MON-THU | March 9-12
Southern California On The Hill - Access Washington, D.C.
more info

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit

350 S. Bixel St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 tel
213.580.7511 fax


President Obama signed the American Recovery & Investment Act into law today – just one of many critical steps towards our economic recovery. The stimulus package cannot be expected to provide instant relief, but it is an important step and a signal that Congress plans to act and not sit on the sidelines. It is worth noting that although the financial crisis that led to the Great Depression occurred in October 1929, unemployment did not peak until 1933 when it hit 25 percent. The goal today is to act swifter and begin the recovery much faster. We cannot let "perfect" be the enemy of "good" – and there is much good in this important stimulus legislation.

For America's workers, this legislation provides much-needed assistance through targeted tax cuts and increases in unemployment benefits. The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce strongly advocated for the $1.2 billion in funding to create one million summer jobs for young people and expand Pell Grants for higher education. The stimulus package provides tax incentives for first time homebuyers and purchasers of new automobiles. And it will save millions of Americans from being sucked into the Alternative Minimum Tax – an outdated relic of past tax codes.

The legislation is also a signal that it is time to begin rebuilding America. Billions will be invested in roads, highways, mass transit, schools and public works projects throughout the country. Those "shovel-ready" projects create immediate jobs and will help reverse the half-century drought in infrastructure investment. The Chamber wanted more dollars committed to infrastructure projects, but for now, we encourage Congress and state and local officials to put the money to work immediately.

Businesses are also encouraged to invest. The package includes faster write-offs for equipment purchased in 2009 and incentives for companies that produce and invest in renewable resources such as solar and wind power. Tax burdens will be eased on companies and buyout firms that restructure debt in order to avoid bankruptcy.

Even though this legislation has many detractors and its supporters acknowledge that it is not perfect, we commend President Obama and Congress for taking action. They heeded the wise words of President Franklin Roosevelt: "It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."

Nowhere is this mantra needed more than Sacramento, where our state budget is eight months overdue. California is the 8th largest economy in the world and nearly insolvent. We hope today’s passage of the American Recovery & Investment Act will serve as inspiration to state lawmakers to once and for all get our fiscal house in order. Now is the time to act.

And that's The Business Perspective.

Gary L. Toebben
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

The Business Perspective is a weekly opinion piece by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, produced with the input of Samuel Garrison, Vice President of Public Policy.
by Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce


L.A. Business

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Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 350 S. Bixel St., Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 | fax: 213.580.7511 | info@lachamber.com | www.lachamber.com

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