News Shorts June 8th 2010

Heavy News:

Caterpillar, Inc., the Peoria, Ill.-based heavy equipment maker, came out in opposition to a huge package of tax breaks, unemployment benefit extensions and other provisions today, citing $14.5 billion in proposed tax increases on multinational’s overseas operations. While supportive of provisions like an extension of the research and development tax credit and deferred taxes on overseas lending activities, Caterpillar CEO James Owens said the negatives outweighed the positives. “Regrettably, the international revenue raisers in the bill will hurt the U.S. economy and jobs,” Owens wrote to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus and ranking member Charles Grassley. He wrote that the provisions would make it harder for Caterpillar, dependent on exports, to compete abroad. Owens’ letter was delivered at the same time the National Association of Manufacturers also weighed in with senators to strip the international tax increases, although the NAM letter did not say specifically the group would oppose the bill if the tax hikes were not removed.

Primary Colors:

It’s the largest primary day of the year, with 11 states casting ballots. Among the high-profile contests, Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., gets Democratic voters’ verdict tonight in her run-off with Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. Both Senate Majority Leader Reid in Nevada and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., will find out who their Republican opponents will be in November as they face tough re-election battles. And in Georgia, voters will choose the newest member of Congress when they pick between former state GOP Rep. Tom Graves and former state GOP Sen. Lee Hawkins in a special election runoff to replace former GOP Rep. Nathan Deal, who is running for governor.

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