Business Leaders Say Supercommittee Failure Better Than Permanent Bush Tax Cuts for Wealthy and Job-Killing Budget Cuts

Published in Business for Shared Prosperity

By Bob Keener

Washington, DC, November 21, 2011 – With disagreement over the Bush tax cuts at the heart of Supercommittee failure, business leaders say the tax cuts for high-income Americans have hurt Main Street and small businesses should not suffer more job killing-budget cuts so Wall Street and Big Business CEOs can keep tax cuts. Ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and closing corporate loopholes are essential for economic renewal and job creation, they say.

Frank Knapp, President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chairman of the American Sustainable Business Council, said, “I’m sick of people who wrecked the economy and their defenders in Congress blaming others for killing jobs. The high-end Bush tax cuts are a big part of the problem – not the solution. We need revenue for real job creation and economic renewal, not more job-killing budget cuts, job-killing corporate tax dodging and job-killing millionaires and billionaires not paying their fair share of taxes. Less than 3 percent of the taxpayers who receive the high-end tax cuts actually have any business income, and those taxpayers include hedge fund managers, K Street lobbyists and Big Business CEOs who receive “business” income renting out their vacation homes. It’s obscene to keep slashing infrastructure and services for everybody on Main Street to keep up tax giveaways for millionaires and multinational corporations.”

“We can’t cut our way to economic recovery or keep pretending that more tax cuts for the already prosperous will ‘trickle down,’ said Scott Klinger, tax policy director of Business for Shared Prosperity. “About $1 trillion in tax cuts went to the richest one percent over the last decade. Income tax revenue as a share of GDP is at the lowest level since 1951. If we want an economy with world-class infrastructure, education, research and economic development, we have to pay for it.”

The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, whose more than 500,000 members are mostly small business owners; the 5,000-member South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commercethe American Sustainable Business Council, a partnership of business organizations with more than 300,000 members; the American Made Alliance,and many more business organizations and small business owners across the country have signed a petition organized by Business for Shared Prosperity calling for an end to the Bush tax cuts for high-income taxpayers.

“Demand drives business, not tax cuts,” said Lew Prince, managing partner of Vintage Vinyl, an independent music store in St. Louis, MO and Business for Shared Prosperitymember. “I hire more workers if I think I’ll do more business. The costs of finding, hiring and paying new employees are business expenses. They’re deducted up-front from taxable income. Any business paying taxes on these expenses needs to fire their accountant. The biggest challenge facing my business is the decline in customer demand and the continued hollowing out of our middle class, our infrastructure and our economy. If members of Congress want to help small business, they should choose policies that actually create jobs. St. Louis, like many cities, laid off teachers, first responders and construction workers – the people who spend money locally. The last thing we need is more cutbacks to pay for more tax cuts at the top.”

Paul Egerman, co-founder and former CEO of eScription, said, “We need to ask what kind of country we want to have and who is going to pay for it. We all benefit from public services, infrastructure and research paid for by taxes – everything from roads and emergency response to environmental protection and medical breakthroughs. Instead of reducing our debt by cutting vital services, we need to close two big tax deficits – the deficit from the Bush tax cuts for the affluent and the deficit from large corporations using tax havens to avoid their fair share of taxes. Each is worth a trillion dollars over the next decade.”

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