Stimulus Package Good For Tech, But Could Do More - InformationWeek

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2/13/2009
01:52 PM
K.C. Jones
K.C. Jones
Commentary
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Stimulus Package Good For Tech, But Could Do More

As the economic stimulus package is nearing completion, IT groups and tech groups say they're pleased with the package, but it could do a bit more for the industry.

As the economic stimulus package is nearing completion, IT groups and tech groups say they're pleased with the package, but it could do a bit more for the industry.The Computing Technology Industry Association said that the economic stimulus plan may be flawed, but it gets high marks for prominently featuring IT spending as a means to boost the American economy.

"We believe that the recovery package, though imperfect, gives Americans much hope and powerful new tools to surmount the challenges of our weakened economy," said Bob Kramer, VP of public policy for CompTIA. "The IT industry and its nearly 13 million workers eagerly await the important work ahead, helping America, via IT tools and know-how, weather the storm in order to remain the most dynamic, competitive, and innovative economy in the world. "

The group praised federal lawmakers for extending Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits and training opportunities to service workers who have lost jobs to outsourcing; putting nearly $20 billion into health information technology; and providing about $20 billion in tax incentives for energy efficiency and development of green technology, which CompTIA says will help create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The group expressed disappointment that training under the Workforce Investment Act has not been reauthorized or modernized to focus on IT skills. It also wanted tax benefits for equipment expenses and accelerated depreciation to become permanent.

As the final touches are put on the economic stimulus package, CompTIA urged lawmakers to address those shortfalls and help small businesses benefit from opportunities created within the plan. Finally, it urged full repeal of a 3% withholding for government contracts, instead of a one-year extension.

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