Small Business Owners Bust Myths on Bush Tax Cuts
Small business owners from the NJ Main Street Alliance and working family advocates from NJ Citizen Action and BlueWave NJ, held a press conference today in front of the Newark IRS office to show support for allowing the high-income Bush tax cuts to expire. Small business owners came dressed as millionaires to highlight who the real winners and losers would be should these tax cuts be made permanent.
"What's wrong with this picture?" asked Kelly Conklin, owner of Foley-Waite Associates in Bloomfield, NJ referring to his Daddy Warbucks-esque attire. "Real small business owners are not living a life of luxury. We've had enough of politicians using the good name of small business to support failed economic policies that only help the rich and do nothing for Main Street. Cabinet makers, coffee shop owners, auto mechanics. We are not the folks that stand to benefit from making the high-end Bush tax cuts permanent but that's what's been suggested by our new Republican majority in Congress and soon-to-be-Speaker John Boehner."
The independent Congressional Budget Office has determined that extending the Bush tax cuts would be the least effective of eleven different ways to stimulate economic growth and jumpstart hiring. Allowing the cuts for the top two tax brackets (individuals with income over $200,000/year and families with income over $250,000/year) to expire would free up close to $40 billion in 2011 and over $800 billion over the next decade that could be reinvested in other ways. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, http://www.cbpp.org/files/1-29-10tax.pdf)
"It is time to allow the tax cuts for the top 2 percent of taxpayers to expire," said Adam Sherman, New Jersey Citizen Action's Central Jersey Organizer. "We should be using these funds to create jobs, protect Social Security and Medicare, and pay down the deficit." A jobs tax credit and increased funding for unemployment benefits were also among the suggestions for how the $40 billion could be more wisely invested.
"We as small business owners need more customers, not more tax breaks for the wealthy," said Erick Cedano, owner of Fast Photo Plus in Rahway, NJ. "This money could provide valuable relief for New Jersey to keep teachers and firefighters employed. These people make up the backbone of our communities. With more people employed and our customer base restored, small businesses can return to doing what we do best: growing the local economy and putting people back to work."
Working family advocates also dispelled the myth that allowing the top tier cuts to expire would hamper economic growth, citing that tax rates would revert back to the levels they were between 1993 and 2000, the longest period of economic expansion in U.S. history. "Tax relief for middle income and working families is a good investment," said Marcia Marley, President of BlueWave NJ. "Lower and middle-income individuals and families are more likely than wealthy people to spend the tax savings they receive, which immediately stimulates economic growth and creates jobs."
Participants made clear that allowing the high-income Bush tax cuts to expire on schedule at the end of 2010 will impact only a tiny fraction of New Jersey's businesses, and that there are more effective ways to support small businesses.
Dr. Odette Cohen of Willingboro, NJ had this to say to members of Congress, "If I had a nickel for every time a politician used the name of small business as a smokescreen to support policies that only benefit millionaires I might actually be one. It's time Congress keeps their promises to create jobs and support small business by allowing the top-tier tax cuts to expire."
Congress is expected to debate extending all or a portion of the Bush tax cuts after its return from recess next week. President Obama has stated his support for extending the cuts for low- and middle-income families while allowing the top income brackets of the Bush tax cuts to expire on schedule at year's end.
The NJ Main Street Alliance is a state-wide coalition of over 850 small business owners who are working to have a voice on key policy issues like health care, responsible taxes, and job creation in Trenton and Washington, DC. The NJMSA is a project of NJ Citizen Action and a member of the National Main Street Alliance, a network of state coalitions with over 10,000 members nationwide.*
NJ Citizen Action is the state's largest citizen watchdog coalition representing 60,000 family members and 100 affiliated civic, community, labor, tenant, religious and senior groups statewide.
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