Tax cuts for the rich bad for small business
— Lew Prince is managing partner of Vintage Vinyl, an independent music store in St. Louis. He is also a member of Business for Shared Prosperity, which has circulated a petition against extending the Bush-era tax cuts. The views expressed are his own. —
As a small business owner for more than 30 years, I have to be reality based.
I budget and make decisions that consider both short- and long-term realities. My company wouldn’t last a week if we kept repeating mistakes.
The Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans were a big mistake. We should let them expire, not repeat the mistake by extending them. It’s an illusion that it will be easier to end them after a two-year extension.
High-end tax cuts haven’t trickled down as job creation. President Bush had the worst job creation record since 1939. The only thing trickling down was economic meltdown, foreclosures, unemployment, business closures and budget cuts.
Contrary to myth, my tax rate doesn’t affect hiring. If I think I can do more business, I hire more workers. The costs of finding, hiring and paying new employees are business expenses. They’re deducted up-front from our taxable income.
We won’t heal our economy by repeating the toxic policies that are harming it.
Fewer than 3 percent of taxpayers with any business income have yearly incomes above $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (individuals). Most high-enders aren’t who you think of as small business owners. They include hedge fund managers, CEOs getting paid to sit on the boards of their buddies’ corporations and partners in wealthy real estate or law firms. These are the people whining that eliminating tax cuts will kill jobs at small businesses. What a crock.
Small business owners don’t need more tax cuts. We need more customers. Rewarding the quick-buck artists who trashed our economy and ripped off homeowners, ordinary investors and pension funds by selling worthless mortgages and derivatives is wrong. They were bailed out and didn’t even have the decency to thank us. Instead, they poured their taxpayer bailouts and profits into obscene bonuses, more speculation and lobbying. They’ll do the same with their tax-cut windfall.
My company’s success or failure depends on the economic health of our 24 employees, our customers, our community, our state and our country. If Congress wants to help my company create jobs, it should support policies that strengthen our economic foundation and boost broad-based consumer income and spending, which would mean more people walking into my store – and into the neighborhood restaurant, realtor, grocery, contractor, auto dealer and other businesses that make up our economy.
We shouldn’t borrow billions more dollars from China and Saudi Arabia to give to the wealthy. Instead the wealthy should pay their fair share. We need adequate tax revenue to invest in our economy. More tax cuts at the top won’t create jobs. But we will create jobs and strengthen our economy by rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, public transit, levees and water and gas pipelines. We will save and create jobs by investing in education and clean energy research and manufacturing now growing much more rapidly in other countries.
If we give more tax cuts to the wealthy, we’ll see many more cutbacks in what really strengthens our economy.
Read Kelly Phillips Erb’s post: “Extending tax cuts eliminates uncertainty“.