Everyone knows that reforming America’s tax system is among the tougher tasks lawmakers consider every year, which is why our tax code has undergone few significant changes over the last two decades. This slow pace of progress, however, is deeply harmful to small businesses that are consistently held back by tax rules that favor large corporations while hindering small firms.
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and create the vast majority of new jobs, yet as these poll findings make clear, small business owners believe large corporations and wealthy Americans pay less than their fair share of taxes. Poll respondents support specific reforms to address the problem.
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.
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.
Lawmakers dodged an economic bullet at the end of 2012 when they came to an 11th hour agreement on the highly publicized “fiscal cliff” issue. Not two months later, policymakers have yet another obstacle in their path that could have dire consequences for small business and the economy: what’s known in D.C. parlance as “sequestration.” The sequester is a host of automatic spending cuts set to begin March 1 because lawmakers haven’t agreed on a deal to reduce the deficit by their self-imposed deadline.
There are many complex policy issues that have a major impact on the small business community. Each week, we’re going to help break one of those issues down so small business owners can stay in the know and remain aware of their stake in these national issues. This week’s Issue Q&A is on tax reform.
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.