No small differences over Obama’s treatment of small business
U.S. budgets can really bring out the passion in people. So much so that it’s no wonder it’s hard for anyone to agree on how Washington should tax and spend.
When it was released on Thursday, the budget President Barack Obama unveiled sparked a war of words all over the capital. The disagreements were so profound, it’s almost as if people were looking at two entirely different documents.
Take the impact of Obama’s budget on small businesses which, like many in the United States, are reeling from the deep economic recession.
“It is not just misguided, but dangerous to raise taxes on small businesses and families that can’t afford to pay,” warned Eric Cantor, the number-two Republican in the House of Representatives.
His fellow conservative, Representative Mike Pence agreed. “The administration’s budget raises taxes on almost every American. America’s hard-working small businesses, family farms…,” he said.
Obama’s budget calls for raising taxes on those with annual incomes over $250,000.
But Robert Greenstein, executive director of the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said not so fast.
“This budget is very good for small business. The claim that it hurts small business…is often repeated but inaccurate.”
Greenstein cited data that only nine percent of people with small businesses have incomes over $250,000 a year. And most of those people, he said, “are wealthy investors who invest in the businesses, not those who operate them.”
Instead of reeling from Obama’s budget proposals, Greenstein said small businesses will fall in love with it.
Among benefits he cited: around 90 percent of small business owners would benefit from Obama’s proposed middle-class tax cuts and they also would revel in the elimination of the capital gains tax for small businesses.
Greenstein also said small businesses would benefit from Obama’s plan to expand health insurance to those who cannot afford it.
– Photo credit: Reuters/Stelios Varias (Copies of Obama’s budget outline.)