Small businesses have become a key weapon in politicians’ arsenals when arguing for practically any policy that has an economic impact. Policies associated with the current tax debate are no exception. Countless rounds of legislative battles have been and will continue to be fought over whether small businesses will be hurt if tax breaks for high income earners are allowed to expire at the end of 2012.
For the second time since the summer of 2011, Congress is debating whether or not to raise the federal debt ceiling—the legal limit on how much the federal government can borrow. While addressing our debt is an important issue that carries weight for small business and the economy, some politicians have been misusing the debt ceiling as a mechanism for furthering their own partisan agendas. Short-term solutions lead to uncertainty for small businesses and our job creators want our leaders to put this issue to rest.
As small business owners prepare to close the books on 2012, our country is fast approaching the edge of what’s been dubbed the “fiscal cliff.” This critical situation—created by a host of tax cuts set to expire at the end of 2012, coupled with billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts that will be triggered if Congress and the president can’t agree on a way to reduce the deficit by year’s end—has dire consequences for small businesses. Many of the tax provisions set to expire benefit small businesses and the middle class, small businesses’ core customer base.
Every year around this time, we think about what the year ahead might bring and how we can make it better than the last. To make 2014 a success, we must find ways to bolster our still-recovering economy. Supporting the middle class is one way to do that. A recent study indicates income inequality is at the highest it’s been in 100 years, with the top 10 percent of earners taking more than half the country’s total income in 2012.
Small business owners make hard decisions every day. They compromise on things they sometimes wish they didn’t have to, but they do it for the good of their business, their employees and their families. They do it because they have to if they want to continue running a successful business.
The small business community and the nation breathed a sigh of relief today as lawmakers reached a bi-partisan 11th hour deal to avert the “fiscal cliff,” while taking significant steps to reduce our budget deficit. However, more work must be done to put our country on a responsible path toward long-term economic growth and fiscal sustainability.
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.