|SITREP - April 19th 2012|
The House put forward and passed a serious twenty percent tax cut this afternoon that will apply only to small businesses. It was contentious.
If you ever wanted an issue to clearly illustrate the philosophical difference between the two parties, you got one today. The vote shows where people stand, but it was the debate over the bill that was particularly telling. I actually went down to the floor and argued for it this morning. Things got a little heated.
I'm still pretty fired up, so I'm going to go ahead and apologize up front that this is going to be a little more partisan in tone and content than I usually like. Here goes:
If you pay attention to politics at all, you know that every day, politicians up here talk about small businesses creating jobs and how the middle class is the source of strength in this country. There is a lot of talk in fact... on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of the Capitol and at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Talk, talk, talk.
But the way most people back home see it, talk doesn't pay the bills. If you're a small business (or most anybody else), you need results. This bill is designed to get those results. It is simple, straightforward, and it is targeted at precisely the group of people that everybody agrees we'll need to get the country moving again. We ought to be able to pass it pretty quickly and get it implemented.
But we can't. House Democrats voted against it, the Senate probably won't vote at all, and even if they do, the President says he'll oppose it.
I honestly don't know how I am going to explain that to the small manufacturers in Central Florida who, under this legislation, would have been able to reduce their taxable income by twenty percent and then reinvest that money to grow their businesses.
Why did they oppose a small business tax cut – knowing full well how much more our small businesses pay in taxes than their competitors in almost every other country? During the debate, the folks on the other side explained their opposition by describing this tax cut as a "giveaway" to the rich.
I can't believe that... Only in Washington – on the other side of the aisle – can allowing somebody to keep more of what they earn be described as "a giveaway" to them.
In my head as I'm listening to this, I'm screaming: "IT'S NOT YOUR MONEY TO GIVE AWAY. It doesn't belong to you!" The Democrats don't get that.
They readily acknowledge that this will help small businesses, but they say they can't support it because some of those small business owners are wealthy and will also benefit from this.
Their contention is that we have no way to guarantee that these wealthy people will continue investing the extra income into their businesses... so it's not worth doing at all. As for the hundreds of thousands of small businesses who will have to keep paying a higher tax rate... too bad. To the Democrats, that is an acceptable cost.
They are so fervent in their desire to punish wealthy people for their success that they are publicly willing to let middle class businesses continue suffering as a consequence. It is ludicrous and I can't explain it to you.
Basically, what we heard today is that if we aren't spending money or raising taxes, their answer is no. This isn't to say that the Republicans haven't been stubborn – of course we have been – but when it comes to small businesses (the people who create 70% of all of the new jobs in this country, year-in, year out), we ought to be able to put all of that aside.
If we had proposed borrowing a bunch of money from China and doling it out to companies like Solyndra, the other side would have been falling all over themselves to vote for it. They acknowledge that the tax cut will help... so support it already.
The fact is, nobody up here knows better than the business owners back home, what those companies need to grow and prosper. This is one of the only things that the government can do to give them a little room to breathe.
All we're saying is: give small companies the freedom to succeed and let the chips fall where they may. We can't pick winners and losers. The federal government has tried and it hasn't work. In the real world, companies compete. The strongest ones survive and grow and continue innovating. Along the way, millions of Americans get hired.
In case anybody has forgotten, that's the way we do it in America.
If lowering the tax burden for a small company is going to give them a little more breathing room to plan their investments for the next few years, then let's pass this small business tax cut and come back next week and figure out what else we can do to actually stand behind our job creators.
Am I crazy here?