Taxing “Small Business”

This is really getting tiresome.

Obama and the GOP continue their standoff over the Bush tax cuts. Obama is willing to extend those cuts for taxpayers making less than 250,000 a year, but wants to let the cuts expire for those making more–those in the top 2%. The GOP has fought tooth and nail to protect that 2% from the horror of a return to Clinton-era marginal rates of 39%, and (lacking even a superficially convincing argument for that position) they have deployed a number of rhetorical weapons intended to justify their stance.

First it was “job creators.” Raise the marginal rate to its previous low point and the wealthy won’t create new jobs!┬áSince we have had the historically low Bush rates for nearly a decade, and the jobs have not been forthcoming, voters have begun to see through that one. (Recent studies have confirmed that job creation bears virtually no relationship to tax rates; we have had robust job growth in periods of relatively high rates.)

The curent faux concern is for “small business.” Since many small enterprises choose to be taxed as individuals, Romney and the GOP argue that a higher rate on those making over 250,000 will “target small business.”

Obviously, the word “small” means something different to Romney than it does to most of us. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation found that in 2013, the higher rate would affect just 3.5% of small business–mainly doctors and lawyers. As Harry Ried noted during a recent debate, the GOP’s idea of “small business” evidently includes “fabulously rich so-called small business owners like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.”

The Republicans’ insistence on protecting its wealthy donors from even a modest tax hike sure makes their rhetoric about the deficit ring hollow.


  1. Good grief! Mitten (Stephanie Miller’s nick for him) is so rich that he can’t produce tax returns and doesn’t know where all those tax shelters are? They’re tucked away in Caribbean Islands and Swiss bank accounts, Mitten! This guy is unbelievable!

  2. As I understand it, even those at 250k plus would benefit from Obama’s plan, in that his higher marginal rate for those folks only affects their income ABOVE 250k.
    For the first 250, they’d pay the same rate as the rest of us.

  3. There is a lot of disinformation in this entire Job Creator / Small business nonsense. When most of us think of a small business, we think of the small town plumber or the local gas station / repair shop with 2-12 employees.
    ( I ran such a company during my working career. I can assure you that NOTHING done by the federal government or the tax laws had ANY effect on my business or my hiring decisions)
    If that was what they were REALLY talking about, great. But in the real work, HUGE business enterprises choose to file their taxes in such a way that they are classed by the US Tax laws as “Small Business”. These companies have hundres or thousands of emplyees.
    There is NOTHING small about them at all. The truth is out there but you will not hear it from Mitten.
    Good old Mitten: Draft dodger in the 60’s, Tax dodger now. How about all the Off shore bank accounts. How many Swiss accounts? Is Mitten one of these Small Business guys we are worried about. Yikes.

  4. If the rapture over collectivism in government included the participation by all to pay for it, then I would be as enthusiastic in support as in participating in food co-ops or choir festivals.

    Instead, when the suggestion is brought-up to have an across-the-board tax increase of 1% (roughly $250\yr at poverty level, $10K for a million in taxable income): the room goes quiet. If you really want to hear crickets chirping, dare to suggest an across-the-board reduction in government spending. This is in a country where being poor typically means you still have housing, food, medical care, air conditioning, and cable tv.

    I appreciate Osama Bin Laden being gone on President Obama’s watch. Neither presidential candidate is a saint, particularly in full disclosure of birth, health, educational, political, and financial records. Romney is not anybody’s first choice as President.

    But, while spending over $4B each business day we don’t have, with unemployment really not improving, approximately as many not paying federal taxes as do, health care annexed even though unaffordable, and more people signing up for disability than new jobs, I don’t think it’s nuts to elect somebody with more experience in making the engine of government thrive: business.

  5. How astute of voters (after 10 years or so) to begin seeing Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy hasn’t created jobs; they probably also realize that continuing these tax cuts won’t create jobs in the next 10 years. I am sick to death of this whining, puling, overpaid, overindulged 2% complaining about paying a fair share of taxes on their millions – or billions. I want to thank Sheila for pointing out in a previous article that we at the bottom of the income scale do pay taxes on utiities, cable, gas, credit cards, sales tax, etc., and pay the same rate at those who make millions. We also pay the same rates for utilities, cable, gas, food, drink, medications, books & magazines, in restaurants, movie theaters, and on and on. I must admit I get a $1 senior discount on my occasional haircut at Great Clips. My income is too low to file income taxes but, please don’t think this is an advantage and don’t think you with the money are paying for anything for me with your tax rate. My Social Security check is $767 monthly and PERF $277.62; that PERF check disqualifies me for any type of public assistance but I wouldn’t apply for it anyway as there are many not as fortunate as I am to have an income. I am 75, deaf, disabled, have COPD and have had to pay for all of my hearing aids, eyeglasses, dentures, walkers and canes myself. If I did have millions – or billions – I would whine, cry, piss and moan about taxes but would faithfully pay them and realize I am fortunate to live in this country and be able to do so. The NO party is holding this country at gunpoint and backed by the NRA and Koch brothers, etc., with Rove writing the rules, will continue to so unless we stop them in November by filling Congress with ACTIVE Democrats. I hope and pray fervently we will last till November without riots, bloodshed, and/or financial collapse.

  6. I’m a small business – I’m self-employed as a marriage and family therapist. I pay the regular tax rate for my income bracket PLUS self-employment tax. The only policy that would have any positive effect on my business would be universal single payer health care, because a 39-year-old fat woman with a few utterly average health issues I address with appropriate medical care is never going to be able to self-insure through an insurance company for a reasonable amount of money. What prevents me from going back into business full-time for myself (and “creating a job”) after years of full-time employment? Lack of health care.

  7. “Neither presidential candidate is a saint, particularly in full disclosure of birth…” Sorry Dave but once I read that ‘birth’ word, your post lost all credibility.
    Really? Birth? You’re one of them? Come on. Today Congress voted for the 33rd time to overturn “Obamacare” and you are worried about the candidates birth? gaaaaaa

  8. If President Obama and former Governor Romney have nothing to hide, then I would think they would cooperate with full disclosure of their records.

    It’s unfortunate they can’t have the privacy of a typical citizen, but I think they knew they were giving that up when they starting running for President.

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