After Blocking Small Business Jobs Bill, Congress Must Do Something to Help Entrepreneurs

The Huffington Post

Lawmakers passed up a golden opportunity recently to shake the recession’s effects and put American small businesses back on the hiring track. Congress has a lot more work to do this summer if they plan to support entrepreneurship. Small businesses across the nation are poised for growth, and now is the time to facilitate their expansion by passing smart jobs legislation and helping them access capital.

Unfortunately, legislators failed on the first of these counts Tuesday when lawmakers in the Senate blocked the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act. The bill would have done two things to help small businesses boost their bottom lines and hire.

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Small Businesses Supported Buffett Rule; Failure Disappointing

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

Original statement issued April 16, 2012:

It was disappointing to see the Paying a Fair Share Act, or the “Buffett Rule,” fail to pass the Senate today. According to national opinion polling, small business owners believe they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to taxes and agree individuals earning more than $1 million should be taxed at a higher rate. The Buffett Rule was in line with their views and could have been an important first step in much-needed comprehensive tax reform.

Some claim raising taxes on the top 1 percent of Americans would hurt small businesses. However, 57 percent of small business owners agree those earning more than $1 million should pay a higher tax rate, and only one small business owner out of 500 polled reported their annual household income to be more than $1 million.

We wish more small business owners were millionaires, but unfortunately it’s just not the case. We hope policymakers continue pushing for comprehensive tax reform and listen to small business owners while they’re crafting legislation.

Opinion Polling Shows Small Business Owners Support Ending Government Subsidies to Oil and Gas Companies

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

Original statement issued on March 29, 2012:

Small business owners strongly support ending government subsidies to gas and oil companies, with 73 percent agreeing tax breaks for oil and gas companies should be eliminated and 60 percent supporting the idea even if it means a small increase in gas prices, according to opinion polling released today by Small Business Majority.

The polling, which was conducted over the past week in six states (Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Virginia and Nevada), comes on the heels of a statement President Obama made in the White House Rose Garden Thursday urging Congress to end tax breaks to the largest oil companies. Despite this strong support, the Senate failed to pass a bill that would do just that in a 51-47 vote Thursday. The majority of senators stood with small businesses to end subsidies, however a 60-vote majority was needed to pass the bill.

Large oil and gas companies have been and continue to post record profits, while our primary job creators are struggling to stay afloat. Instead of providing tax breaks to these large firms we should be focusing on measures that will directly benefit small businesses competing in a modern, innovative, clean energy-based 21st Century economy. Lawmakers need to start listening to what small business owners are saying and act accordingly.

Additional findings include:

  • 41 percent strongly favor eliminating subsidies, while only 10 percent strongly oppose
  • 32 percent strongly favor eliminating subsidies even if it means an increase in gas prices, while only 18 percent strongly oppose

For more information on the poll, visit http://www.smallbusinessmajority.org/small-business-research/clean-energy/

Tax Reform Will Help Level Economic Playing Field for Small Businesses

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

Statement by John Arensmeyer on February 22, 2012:

The president’s tax reform plan announced today is exactly what small business owners have been asking for. It will create a more level financial playing field for small and large firms, promoting healthy competition that stimulates the economy.

The president’s framework for reforming the tax code will eliminate dozens of loopholes that consistently leave small businesses paying an unfair share of taxes. It will also simplify the tax filing process for small business owners, whose valuable time needs to be spent building their business so they can create jobs and grow the economy.

Our national opinion polling found 91 percent of small business owners believe multinational corporations’ use of loopholes to avoid paying taxes is a problem, and three-quarters say their own business suffers when large companies don’t pay their fair share of taxes. When asked what would do the most to create jobs, small business owners chose eliminating incentives to move jobs overseas.

The president’s announcement today shows entrepreneurs’ voices are being heard. If they’re going to live up to their potential as our nation’s leading job creators and put America back to work, lawmakers must help them by leveling the economic playing field.