There are riots in Greece. The economies of Britain, Italy and Spain are not bouncing back from the Great Recession like they did after the Great Depression. Why? Because the governments in these countries opted for austerity and deficit reduction instead of investing in jobs as a way out of the recession.
Which brings us to President Obama’s proposed 2013 budget released yesterday.
As you might recall, I serve as Vice Chair of the American Sustainable Business Council. That organization and Business for Shared Prosperity put out a press release yesterday to discuss some of the President’s budget items. The release (below) was picked up by some of the national media (here and here).
Happy Valentine’s Day!
February 13, 2012
Small Business Owners Support President’s Budget on Taxes, Infrastructure
Majorities favor higher taxes on wealthy, closing corporate loopholes, investing in infrastructure
Washington, DC – Small business owners favor key provisions of the President’s 2013 budget designed to support domestic job creation, modernize infrastructure and raise needed revenue with fairer taxes. These include increasing taxes on the wealthy, eliminating hedge fund manager tax breaks, ending tax deductions for shipping jobs overseas, closing corporate loopholes, investing in infrastructure, and keeping first responders and teachers on the job.
"Small business owners struggled through a recession we didn't cause yet we still lead the economy in job creation. So it's good to see the President propose steps that small business owners know will really jumpstart the economy – investing in infrastructure to create blue-collar jobs, keeping valuable service providers on the job, bringing manufacturing jobs back home and covering the cost by asking the wealthiest and big corporations to pay their fair share in taxes,” said Frank Knapp, President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chair of the American Sustainable Business Council. “Austerity plans, like those that are causing riots in Europe, are wrong for America. We need investment in job growth. We are the 'job creators' – listen to us."
Small business owners made their views clear on taxes and investment in a recent nationwide survey in which 50 percent of respondents identified as Republican or independent-leaning Republican; 32 percent as Democrat or independent-leaning Democratic; and 15 percent as independent. Majorities in the scientific poll commissioned by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority, said the following:
· 57 percent said individuals earning more than $1 million a year should pay a higher tax rate on the income over $1 million.
· 81 percent favor hedge fund managers paying taxes at the ordinary income tax rate, which currently tops out at 35 percent, rather than the 15 percent capital gains rate they pay now.
· 91 percent said that U.S. multinational corporations’ use of accounting loopholes to shift their U.S. profits to their offshore subsidiaries to avoid taxes is a problem.
· When asked what would do the most to create jobs, small business owners chose eliminating incentives to move jobs overseas.
· 51 percent say tax cuts on taxable household income over $250,000 a year should expire (only 40 percent believe they should be extended).
Infrastructure and other Investment
· 69 percent of small business owners support committing $50 billion to new and existing infrastructure projects that would generate jobs—such as making improvements to road, bridge and water systems.
· 59 percent favor creating a nationwide wireless network and improving the accessibility of high-speed wireless services.
· 59 percent support creating a National Infrastructure Bank to help fund infrastructure, like roads, bridges, and water systems, via private and public capital.
· 53 percent favor spending $35 billion to prevent layoffs of police officers, teachers, and firefighters.
Read the poll reports here:
“The American Sustainable Business Council supports the sensible tax and investment provisions in the President’s budget,” said David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council. “The smart use of public funds for job creation, education, infrastructure and scientific research is crucial to restoring American leadership in world-class innovation, services and manufacturing.”
“As a successful corporate executive, I recognize that our tax code is unfair and replete with tax shelters and loopholes favoring the wealthy,” said Jack Kintslinger, chairman emeritus of KCI Technologies, Inc. and a member of Business for Shared Prosperity. “Most wealthy business executives I know are prepared to contribute more in taxes if the additional revenues are spent wisely. They know that they can spare paying higher taxes and that the nation desperately needs more revenue for essential services.”
“The combination of a hurting middle class, crumbling infrastructure and irresponsibly low taxes on the biggest corporations and richest Americans is no recipe for innovation, employment and national success,” said Jody Gorran, owner of Aquatherm Industries Inc., a manufacturer in New Jersey. “It’s time for big corporations and wealthy Americans to stop passing the buck, pay their fair share in taxes, create jobs here at home and invest in our nation’s future.”
Poll results reported in this statement represent findings from a scientific nationwide survey of 500 small business owners, commissioned by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority, and conducted by Lake Research Partners. The survey was conducted in December 2011 and January 2012. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.
The American Sustainable Business Council is a growing coalition of business networks representing over 100,000 companies and 200,000 business leaders. ASBC advocates for public policies that meet the realities of the 21st century global economy. www.asbcouncil.org
Business for Shared Prosperity is a national network of forward-thinking business owners, executives and investors. BSP is a member of the American Sustainable Business Council. www.businessforsharedprosperity.org