The uneasy path to tax reform

The uneasy path to tax reform

Taxes are personal. No one is indifferent to them because they have an immediate and tangible impact. Every person and organization either pays money to the government — or doesn’t — and that makes an impression. Why, then, is the campaign for tax reform so short on specifics? Details matter…

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Don’t leave small businesses behind in reform plan

Our nation’s tax system is structured in a way that benefits the wealthiest Americans and large multinational corporations — leaving the rest of the country, particularly small business owners, to foot the bill. Small Business Majority’s scientific opinion polling found that 90 percent of small business owners believe big corporations are using loopholes to avoid taxes that small businesses have to pay, and 92 percent believe corporations’ use of those loopholes is a problem. We need a tax system that benefits America’s entrepreneurs who are focused on growing their enterprises and making payroll at the end of each month. We agree that small businesses can certainly benefit from a streamlined tax system, less paperwork and a targeted, responsible reduction in their tax rates (changes some congressional leaders are calling for), but this must be accompanied by the elimination of costly loopholes that primarily benefit large corporations, such that the result is revenue-positive or at least revenue-neutral. That’s why we’re troubled by the White House’s previously outlined proposal for tax reform. We believe the proposal would hurt small businesses because it would drastically increase the deficit by lowering the corporate rate to 15 percent without getting rid of corporate tax loopholes. Small businesses are not asking for a lower tax rate in a vacuum, nor are they asking for tax cuts that are going to grow the deficit. Indeed, the White House’s proposal would add a vast $5.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. Instead, small businesses want tax reform that will level the playing field so that they are not stuck footing the bill when large corporations take advantage of loopholes and avoid paying their fair share. While some claim the White House’s proposal to cap the tax rate for pass-through entities to 15 percent would be a boon for small business, in fact, this would impact only a minority of small firms. Nearly seven in 10 pass-through entities already pay a marginal tax rate of 15 percent or less. What’s more, the current top rate is paid by less than 2 percent of pass-through entities, and a mere 4 percent pay more than the 28 percent rate. Instead, this proposal would primarily benefit hedge fund managers, lobbyists, lawyers and investment bankers — not Main Street small businesses. Alternatively, if lawmakers want to help nearly all small businesses, they should look to a “bottom-up” tax reduction approach, which would benefit the majority of small firms by allowing pass-through entities and C-corporations to deduct their first $25,000 of profit. This is a far better option than adopting current top-down proposals to lower the top rate to 20 percent or 15 percent, which will only benefit a select number of the wealthiest businesses and encourage some individuals to game the system by declaring themselves pass-through business entities. This provision should be accompanied by a phase-out for businesses with $150,000-200,000 in income to ensure that it benefits the entities most in need. If President Trump and his allies are serious about wanting to enact tax reforms that will help small business, they need to implement policies that will help all entrepreneurs —from the Main Street restaurants and independent retailers to the consulting firm with 25 employees to the solo-entrepreneur just getting their business off the ground — rather than giving tax breaks to those who need it least. Arensmeyer is the founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, an advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners.

As President Donald Trump and congressional leadership stump for tax reform, it is becoming increasingly clear they do not understand why most small businesses will not benefit from drastically slashed corporate tax rates. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) tax blueprint, for example, calls for reducing the corporate rate to a…

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A tax plan that works for the people, not Wall Street

A tax plan that works for the people, not Wall Street

Working people are tired of hearing how tax giveaways for Wall Street billionaires and corporations will supposedly trickle down to the rest of us. Too many politicians and pundits want us to believe our country is broke, and we have no choice but to demand sacrifices from working people, yet…

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Don’t throw the baby out with the BATwater

Don’t throw the baby out with the BATwater

House Republican leaders feared jettisoning the border adjustment tax (BAT) from their “Better Way” proposal would kill tax reform. They now worry that tax reform will be all but impossible if Congress fails to adopt a fiscal 2018 budget resolution and its all-important reconciliation instructions. Despite their fears, these developments…

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Megyn Kelly Ratings Dragging Everyone Else Down Too, Insiders Say

Megyn Kelly poses on the set of her new show, "Megyn Kelly Today" at NBC Studios on Thursday, Sept, 21, 2017, in New York. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Megyn Kelly poses on the set of her new show, “Megyn Kelly Today” at NBC Studios on Thursday, Sept, 21, 2017, in New York. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File) With Megyn Kelly’s “Today” show ratings off to a slow start, reports say she’s affecting NBC’s morning viewership and execs may consider making…

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