The Republican Platform and the American Middle Class-Part 2 (Small Business and Entrepreneurship)
This is the second installment of my dissection of the 2012 Republican Platform. I am going to review each section to see how the American Middle Class fairs in the Republican agenda. Section 2 in the GOP Platform is Small Business and Entrepreneurship, catnip to the Republican Party. For as long as I can remember the Republicans have been advocating for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It is like their Viagra or Cialis, an aphrodisiac for right wing passions. But in the fight for small business, does SIZE matter? It always does America!
What is a small business? The GOP would like us to conjure up Victorian Main Street, the grocer, baker and candlestick maker. The “backbone” of America, apple pie, kittens, puppies and the American flag. Let me tell you America small business is “big business”.
|Employment size of Enterprise||Number of Firms||Number Employee’s|
|Census Bureau 2008|
About three quarters of all U.S. business firms have no payroll 21,351,320. Most are self-employed persons operating unincorporated businesses, and may or may not be the owner’s principal source of income. Because non-employers account for only about 3.4 percent of business receipts $962,791,527.00, they are not included in most business statistics, and for example, most reports from the Economic Census.
Clearly when the GOP is advocating for small business and entrepreneurs at the expense of the rest of us, it can’t be for 3.4 percent of business receipts I am guessing? That doesn’t even amount to one billion dollars. Interesting…Let us drill down a little farther.
In 2007 receipts for companies with payrolls was $29,746,741,904.
*Receipts (net of taxes) are defined as the revenue for goods produced, distributed, or services provided, including revenue earned from premiums, commissions and fees, rents, interest, dividends, and royalties. Receipts excludes all revenue collected for local, state, and federal taxes. Receipts are acquired from the Economic Census data for establishments in industries that are in-scope to the Economic Census; receipts are acquired from IRS tax data for single-establishment businesses in industries that are out-of-scope to the Economic Census; payroll-to-receipts ratios are used to estimate receipts for multi-establishment businesses in industries that are out-of-scope to the Economic Census.
Ah now we are getting somewhere…shall we drill down? Let’s. BIG BIGGER BIGGEST…OMG it’s so BIG!
The Republican Platform 2012-Small Business & Entrepreneurship
“[1.] Small Business and Entrepreneurship America’s small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, employing tens of millions of workers. Small businesses create the vast majority of jobs, patents, and U.S. exporters. Under the current Administration, we have the lowest rate of business startups in thirty years. [2.] Small businesses are the leaders in the world’s advances in technology and innovation, and we pledge to strengthen that role and foster small business entrepreneurship. [3.] While small businesses have significantly contributed to the nation’s economic growth, our government has failed to meet its small business goals year after year and failed to overcome burdensome regulatory, contracting, and capital barriers. This impedes their growth. [4.] We will reform the tax code to allow businesses to generate enough capital to grow and create jobs for our families, friends and neighbors all across America. [5.] We will encourage investments in small businesses. We will create an environment where adequate financing and credit are available to spur manufacturing and expansion. We will serve as aggressive advocates for small businesses.”
[1.] Small Business and Entrepreneurship America’s small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, employing tens of millions of workers. Small businesses create the vast majority of jobs, patents, and U.S. exporters. Statistics show that companies with 1-499 employees, employ 59,693,991 people; 500+ employee 61,209,560; and Federal, State, Local and the Military together employ 19,900,880 people (Government doesn’t produce jobs, remember that one?). The US Government considers any company under 500 a small business.
Fact Check: Is Donald Trump a small business?
By the CNN Wire Staff Updated 12:32 PM EDT, Fri October 5, 2012
(CNN) — President Barack Obama invoked Donald Trump’s name during Wednesday’s presidential debate, claiming that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would consider the mogul’s empire a small business.
“Under Governor Romney’s definition, there are a whole bunch of millionaires and billionaires who are small businesses,” President Obama said. “Donald Trump is a small business. Now, I know Donald Trump doesn’t like to think of himself as small anything — but that’s how you define small businesses if you’re getting business income.”
While there is no universally accepted definition of a small business, the federal government defines it as any business that employs fewer than 500 people.
The Trump Organization employs 22,000 people. But Trump also runs a number of other companies that employ fewer than 500, meaning that — under the federal government’s definition — he qualifies as a small business. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, which uses the 500-worker maximum in its definition, such firms employ half of all private-sector workers and pay 44% of the total U.S. private payroll. In 2009, there were 27.5 million businesses in the nation, 99.7% of which were small firms.
IRS data on the highest-income people in the country underscores that small business does not necessarily mean small profits. Of the top 400 people — who got $19.8 billion in S corporation and partnership net income in 2009 — 237 count as small businesses.
An analysis by the Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center finds that extending tax cuts for people who make more than $250,000 per year ($200,000 for single filers) would disproportionately help the richest taxpayers: 82% of the cut would go to people with more than $1 million in adjusted gross income, who would get an average tax cut of $164,000 apiece.
Romney’s plan does not single out small businesses for special treatment. His plan attempts to lower taxes on all businesses — big or small.
Conclusion: While Romney’s plan does not define who is or is not a small business, some of Donald Trump’s companies would qualify as a small business because they have fewer than 500 employees.
CNNMoney’s Small Business Reporter Jose Pagliery and CNN’s Diane Laposta contributed to this report
[2.] Small businesses are the leaders in the world’s advances in technology and innovation, and we pledge to strengthen that role and foster small business entrepreneurship.
The Marketplace Fairness Act will bankrupt small businesses Drex Davis Co-Founder, eMainStreet Alliance
Last month, the Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA), which would force online business to collect and remit sales taxes to remote states. The bill is now under the purview of the House Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (REPUBLICAN-VA).
The eMainStreet Alliance, which I co-founded, is a grassroots group of more than 300 online retailers who have come together to help lawmakers understand the destructiveness of the MFA. Our members have been compiling the cost of implementation for their organizations. In a recent letter to the House Judiciary Committee, we highlighted that these costs range from $20,000 to $300,000 in the first year alone, costs that exceed the annual profits of many of our companies.
Proponents of the MFA, such as Gary Shapiro, the head of the Consumer Electronics Association, say that deciphering, collecting and remitting taxes to more than 9,600 jurisdictions will be “relatively simple” because “technology and innovation will make [it so].” That’s not true. Compliance will be anything but simple.
For example, in Wisconsin, U.S. flags and Wisconsin state flags are sold tax-free, while other flags are subject to sales tax. However, the rules are different when a flag is bundled with a flagpole. There are thousands of examples like this; each jurisdiction has its own idiosyncratic tax laws. A printout of the rates and exemptions for all jurisdictions is 811 pages long — four inches tall when stacked.
If the House passes the MFA, audits will commence. These audits will come from states where we have no physical presence, no political representation and no right to vote. The number of states capable of auditing our businesses will increase from one to as many as 46 (the number of states with sales taxes). Online retailers will then be vulnerable to the sort of tax-agency targeting that has shocked Americans in recent weeks — from 46 different state tax-collection agencies. That’s terrifying.
Penalties for sales tax noncompliance tend to be onerous, and most states can hold a company’s “responsible person(s)” personally liable for any unpaid sales tax liabilities. A state can confiscate our personal possessions in order to collect unpaid sales tax owed by our companies. Unlike Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Home Depot and other big retailers, we do not have armies of accountants and tax attorneys to deal with costly and time-consuming audits from every state. Yet, one innocent mistake could put us out of business and personally bankrupt us.
Proponents of the MFA are blind to this reality. Bill Hughes, a lobbyist for the Retail Industry Leaders Association representing Wal-Mart, Abercrombie & Fitch and others, said, “If you’re over $1 million in sales, you’re big business. We aren’t crushing any mom-and-pop stores with this legislation.” The Small Business Association says that businesses of $30 million or less in annual sales are small businesses. Most members of the eMainStreet Alliance don’t come close to exceeding this threshold and are mom and pops, too. Crushing our businesses is exactly what this legislation does.
Consider that the largest and most powerful online retailers in the world, Amazon.com, currently has a 1% profit margin. A business with annual sales of $1 million with Amazon’s margins makes $10,000 in profit. Factor in the cost of compliance with the MFA starting at about $20,000 and you can see how the MFA threatens online mom and pops.
Proponents of the law say that without the MFA, Internet companies will put brick-and-mortar retailers out of business. Don’t be misled. The truth is that online sales are already dominated by brick-and-mortar businesses. According to James S. Gilmore III, the former chairman of the Congressional Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, 83% of all online sales are by big-box retailers, and their share of online sales is growing.
Big-box retailers see the MFA as a way to put online mom and pops out of business, just as they’ve put your local mom and pops out of business.
should stand with small business — the backbone of economic growth — and oppose the MFA.
Drex Davis is a co-owner of Scrapbook.com and co-founder of the eMainStreet Alliance, a grassroots organization consisting of more than 300 small online retailers. Connect with him at eMainStreet.org.
[3.] While small businesses have significantly contributed to the nation’s economic growth, our government has failed to meet its small business goals year after year and failed to overcome burdensome regulatory, contracting, and capital barriers. This impedes their growth.
Regulations, taxes aren’t killing small business, owners say
Rip Daniels, a businessman in Gulfport, Mississippi, says government regulation is not hurting his radio and real estate business, rising insurance costs are. It’s a topic overlooked by politicians who claim taxes and regulation are choking job creation. | MBR/Biloxi Sun Herald/MCT
Kevin G. Hall | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Politicians and business groups often blame excessive regulation and fear of higher taxes for tepid hiring in the economy. However, little evidence of that emerged when McClatchy canvassed a random sample of small business owners across the nation.
“Government regulations are not ‘choking’ our business, the hospitality business,” Bernard Wolfson, the president of Hospitality Operations in Miami, told The Miami Herald. “In order to do business in today’s environment, government regulations are necessary and we must deal with them. The health and safety of our guests depend on regulations. It is the government regulations that help keep things in order.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is among the most vocal critics of the Obama administration, blaming excessive regulation and the administration’s overhaul of health care laws for creating an environment of uncertainty that’s hampering job creation.
When it’s asked what specific regulations harm small businesses _which account for about 65 percent of U.S. jobs — the Chamber of Commerce points to health care, banking and national labor. Yet all these issues weigh much more heavily on big corporations than on small business.
“When you look at regulations in many respects, what a lot of people don’t take into account is their secondary impacts,” said Giovanni Coratolo, the vice president of small business policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “They pay the price, regardless of whether they are primarily the recipient of the regulation or they are secondarily getting the impact of it. They pay the price in higher costs, whether it is fuel or health care or whether it’s being able to find access to capital.”
McClatchy reached out to owners of small businesses, many of them mom-and-pop operations, to find out whether they indeed were being choked by regulation, whether uncertainty over taxes affected their hiring plans and whether the health care overhaul was helping or hurting their business.
Their response was surprising.
None of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it. Some pointed to the lack of regulation in mortgage lending as a principal cause of the financial crisis that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-09 and its grim aftermath.
Wolfson’s firm is readying to open a Hampton Inn this year in Miami on land purchased from a condo developer during the housing downturn. His business could be in line for higher taxes if President Barack Obama allows the current, lower rates on the richest Americans to expire in 2012 and return to previous levels.
That didn’t seem to bother Wolfson, who through his partnership declares profit and loss as a pass-through on his personal income taxes, as many small businesses do.
“Higher taxes are not good for business, but some of the loopholes and deductions should be looked at,” he said.
The answer from Rick Douglas — the owner of Minit Maids, a cleaning service with 17 employees in Charlotte, N.C. — was more blunt.
“I think the rich have to be taxed, sorry,” Douglas said. He added that he isn’t facing a sea of new regulations but that he does struggle with an old issue, workers’ compensation claims.
Douglas told The Charlotte Observer that he’s hired more workers this year, citing pent-up demand from customers.
“My theory is that the people that do have jobs are working harder and they have less time to clean. People were holding back for such a long time, and then they started spending a little more,” he said.
Then there’s Rip Daniels. He owns four businesses in Gulfport, Miss.: real estate ventures, a radio station and a boutique hotel/bistro. He said his problem wasn’t regulation.
“Absolutely, positively not. What is choking my business is insurance. What’s choking all business is insurance. You cannot go into business, any business — small business or large business — unless you can afford insurance,” he told Biloxi’s Sun Herald.
Since 2008, Daniels has opened one business and expanded another, hiring as many as 15 people thanks to lower labor costs and an abundance of overqualified job candidates. He credits the federal stimulus effort with helping to keep some smaller firms afloat.
“It allowed those folks to spend and have money and pay for the essentials,” said Daniels, whose business pays corporate taxes. He grudgingly supports closing some business tax deductions to reduce the federal budget deficit.
“Who wants to pay more? I certainly don’t. I want to pay my fair share, and I do,” Daniels said, adding that he wouldn’t resist loophole closures to cut deficits.
For Zajic Appliance in south Sacramento, California’s capital city, business also has picked up. The company hired two workers this year, bringing the total to 18, said Christopher Zajic, who manages the family business.
One odd reason for his improving business: sales of bank-owned properties in a city that’s among those hardest hit by the housing crash. When these houses sell, he said, their new owners generally replace appliances.
California used some of its federal stimulus money to pay for a “Cash for Appliances” program last year, a rebate program for purchases of energy-efficient washing machines and refrigerators.
“It spiked sales,” Zajic told The Sacramento Bee, adding that he thinks the effort simply compressed sales into a shorter time period rather than created new demand.
For many small businesses, their chief problem is an old one: navigating the bureaucracy of the Small Business Administration to secure government-backed loans.
“My biggest problem is the current status of the banking system and how it’s being over-regulated,” Dennis Sweeney, a co-owner of Summit Sportswear Inc., told The Kansas City Star. “I want to grow this business, and I’m using the same credit line that I’ve been using for five years.”
Kansas City-based Summit, 20 years old, supplies college-licensed clothing to university bookstores in four Midwestern states. Sweeney hired his fourth employee in August. He’s adding licenses to sell apparel to colleges in the Southeast and Atlantic region, but his company doesn’t have inventory or other collateral that bankers usually want to secure loans.
And the small local banks Summit deals with frown on the red tape required for SBA loans, after a loan he got in 2008 took three months of nightmarish documentation.
“It was only $35,000,” Sweeney said. “Our bank basically said it would never do that again.”
Other small firms say their problem is simply a lack of customers.
“I think the business climate is so shaky that I would not want to undergo any expansion or outlay capital,” said Andy Weingarten, who owns Almar Auto Repair in Charlotte. He’s thinking about hiring one more mechanic.
Added Barry Grant, the regional president of Meritage Homes Corp., in California, “It starts with jobs. … There’s an awful lot of people sitting on the fence; they’re waiting for a sign.”
One reason hiring remains dampened is the prolonged slump in the housing sector, a driver of the pre-crisis economy. Meritage builds homes in California and six other states. It’ll build fewer than 1,000 homes in the Golden State this year, well below the 2,500 annually it built during boom times.
Another cause of sagging demand for new houses, Grant told The Sacramento Bee, is the planned October change to loan limits in order for a homeowner to qualify for a federal government-insured home loan. It was boosted to as high as $769,000 in parts of the country during the financial crisis, but Republicans in Congress have pushed for a return to lower limits and less government involvement in the housing market.
In Sacramento County, the change would mean a new loan limit of $474,000 to qualify, well below the current $580,000. Around the nation, the loan-limit change has created uncertainty.
“Any uncertainty in the market makes people hold off,” said Grant. “It builds a certain level of uncertainty.”
Sometimes a small business’s struggle has nothing to do with government at all.
Lynn Swager, a co-owner of Brass on Ivory in Edgewater, Md., sells, rents and repairs musical instruments. She faces a completely different sort of challenge.
“The thing that chokes us, believe or not, is the Internet. There are so many things that are accessible on the Internet that they can purchase for less than I can purchase from my distributor,” Swager told McClatchy. “Everybody thinks the Internet is this great thing that is happening to the world, but it is really, I think, killing a lot of small business. People that we talk to that are no longer in business say the same thing exactly.”
(Mark Davis of The Kansas City Star, Doug Hanks and Hannah Sampson of The Miami Herald, Donna Harris of the Biloxi Sun Herald; Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee and Eleanor Kennedy of The Charlotte Observer contributed to this article.)
MORE FROM MCCLATCHY
Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/09/01/122865/regulations-taxes-arent-killing.html#storylink=cpy
[4.]. We will reform the tax code to allow businesses to generate enough capital to grow and create jobs for our families, friends and neighbors all across America.
Small Business Baloney…GOP tax claims should be fact checked
FAIR Fair and Accuracy In Reporting, July 12, 2012
Barack Obama’s July 9 announcement that he would extend the Bush tax cuts for income below $250,000 prompted the expected response from Republican politicians and presidential candidate Mitt Romney: This is a tax increase on “small businesses.”
That is false. But most news reports won’t say so.
The New York Times (7/10/12) told readers that Obama
said that 98 percent of households and 97 percent of small businesses would receive a tax cut under his plan. But Republicans said the president’s proposal would amount to a broad tax on small businesses because many business owners report their profits as personal income.
In the Washington Post (7/10/12), readers learned that Republicans “charged that the president’s plan would raise taxes on small-business owners.” That point was illustrated by quotes from House Speaker John Boehner and and a representative for the Romney campaign, which were balanced with the statement that “Obama said his plan would cover 98 percent of the working public and 97 percent of small-business owners.”
The headline of a USA Today story (7/10/12) captured the same spirit: “Obama Seeks to Extend Tax Cuts for Middle Class; GOP Critics Say Plan Will Hurt Small Business.”
On ABC‘s Good Morning America, Jonathan Karl (7/10/12) reported, “Romney says raising taxes on those with higher incomes means raising taxes on small businesses.”
Newspaper stories the following day followed a similar pattern: Republicans say this is a tax on small businesses, while Obama says it is not. In the Washington Post (7/11/12), Romney “said the president’s plan would keep taxes at the same level for many Americans while raising taxes on what he called ‘job creators and small businesses.'”
The Los Angeles Times (7/11/12) added another layer of inaccuracy by reporting that Obama’s plan “would extend George W. Bush-era tax cuts for those making up to $250,000 a year but not for upper-income Americans.” That is incorrect; wealthy Americans will also receive a tax cut on the income they earn up to the $250,000 level (Citizens for Tax Justice, 6/20/12; NYMag.com, 7/9/12).
This Republican small business argument is a familiar one; in 2010 Republicans sought to portray any increase in taxes on income above $250,000 as a tax on small-business owners (FAIR Action Alert, 9/13/10).
Then, as now, the argument is almost entirely bogus. The share of filers who could qualify as small business owners is tiny–about 2 percent of small business owners, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. The increase would affect, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, about 3 percent of filers who claim any business income (Think Progress, 7/9/12).
So why don’t reporters just say that? Some who try to put the numbers in context seem afraid to call out one side for being deceptive. On CBS Evening News (7/9/12), Norah O’Donnell reported the story this way:
Mitt Romney said today that the president’s proposal would mean a massive tax increase on job-creators and small businesses. Many of those small businesses pay at an individual tax rate. But the president said it would affect just 3 percent of small businesses. Still, Scott that would affect about 250,000 small businesses.
Turning the tiny percentage into a number that sounds impressive seems a pretty clear attempt to make viewers think the Romney campaign had a point.
One part of the newspaper did explain the dispute clearly: The New York Times editorial page (7/10/12), which called the Republican argument about small business “nonsense.”
But the corporate media’s bias toward giving credence to official claims from both political parties means you have to treat that question of fact as a matter of opinion–which, of course, is a problem, if you think that separating fact from misinformation is a key part of a journalist’s job.
And the failure to challenge Republican distortions gives them no reason to stop making them. As the Los Angeles Times reported (7/10/12), “Polls also show that Republicans do better when they frame upper-income tax increases as a threat to small businesses, a group that voters tend to like.”
That is especially true when media don’t tell the public that the claim is almost entirely bogus.
[5.] We will encourage investments in small businesses. We will create an environment where adequate financing and credit are available to spur manufacturing and expansion. We will serve as aggressive advocates for small businesses.
Grim Reapers: How Republicans Are Killing Small Business in America
Sanjay Sanghoee, Huffington Post, Posted: 03/01/2013 4:28 pm
One thing we know for sure is that the Republican Party is pro-business, right? Wrong. The Republican Party is not pro-business, it’s pro-BIG-business; and as for small businesses – those little engines of enterprise and innovation that collectively embody and drive the American dream – the GOP is more than happy to kill them off.
If that sounds extreme, consider the following facts.
Despite President Obama’s repeated calls to settle the sequester debate by letting revenues be considered as part of the equation with spending cuts, the Republicans have stubbornly refused to consider any compromise, and now the Senate has even rejected a proposal to give the president some control in administering the automatic spending cuts. As a result, our nation will fall into an $85 billion abyss with all the forethought and caution that a 3-year old applies while crossing the road.
Everyone from our soldiers to the federal workforce will take the hit for this irresponsibility, but the small business sector will suffer particularly badly. According to government estimates, the sequester would reduce loan guarantees to small businesses by up to $902 million. For small businesses, who have been struggling ever since the financial crisis and for whom the availability of capital is essential for day-to-day survival, let alone growth and hiring, this sudden lending crunch will add insult to injury.
Small business lending in 2011 already declined by 6.9 percent from the previous year and big banks, usually the mainstay of lending to the sector, have pulled back. In addition, the spending cuts in the sequester will hamper jobs, wages, and therefore consumption, which is a body blow to commerce and puts even more pressure on businesses to borrow money.
All this leaves the small business sector at the mercy of alternative lenders, who typically charge double the interest rates of traditional lenders and impose onerous terms on companies. What the sequester will do, in effect, is raise the cost of capital dramatically for small businesses, and by doing so, force them to fire workers, downsize operations, or even shut down completely – all of which will derail our already-fragile economic recovery.
Despite this, the Republicans don’t seem to care. In fact, the only thing they do care about is preserving tax breaks for the richest Americans (who are generally not the small business owners whom the GOP uses as examples for their anti-tax arguments), fighting the closure of tax loopholes that enable major corporations to shield their money from the IRS (but which small businesses get no benefit from), and trying to gut the public infrastructure that small businesses depend on heavily to transact their trade.
And the biggest irony is that this is the same political party that spends most of its time criticizing the president for not caring about small businesses and pretending to be champions of the sector.
The problem is that the GOP is not a party of stability and prosperity but a party of strife. Jamie Dimon, the controversial CEO of JP Morgan Chase, recently said that the bank does well in times of adversity. That seems to be true of the Republicans as well, who are never as happy as when they can throw a monkey wrench into the works and then win elections on the promise of fixing whatever was broken! Mitt Romney ran his entire campaign on this theme without once acknowledging that the very reasons for our economic meltdown were the lack of regulatory oversight favored by his own party as well as non-stop obstructionism by House Republicans to President Obama’s economic agenda.
This dysfunction must stop. The small business sector has historically made up more than 50% of our economy but has been steadily declining. Even more disturbing is the fact that this decline is accelerating fast. Republican propaganda over tax breaks and the fantasy of trickle-down economics hide the fact that the majority of tax breaks that are in play will only benefit big companies and uber-wealthy individuals, and that the spending cuts the conservatives want will hurt small businesses, who rely on public infrastructure and lending, disproportionately.
The Republican stance on the sequester and beyond is an abomination and needs to be repudiated. Otherwise we can kiss America’s cherished small businesses goodbye, and with it, our economic future.
SANJAY SANGHOEE has worked at leading investment banks Lazard Freres and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein as well as at a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School.
As far as I can tell the Republican Party is no friend of Small Business, they seem to advocate for Large Companies at the expense of Small Business America if push comes to shove. Small Business is indeed Main Street USA, but make no mistake, the Republican Party is all about WALL STREET and BIG BUSINESS! When they do advocate for small business it is for the Donald Trump Inc. types…not for Mr and Mrs. Mainstreet or the Independent Contractor as they would have you believe…In the world of DC Republican politics….SIZE DOES MATTER! Small Business needs to remind the GOP it’s not how big it is but how you use it…