Some Uncomfortable Truths for Republicans

AFL-CIO Now

 

09/10/2012; William Spriggs

William Spriggs is the chief economist at the AFL-CIO. 

Here is an uncomfortable truth. Republicans’ obstruction of President Obama’s policies means they have gotten the policies they wanted. But, these policies have been least effective in growing jobs.

The Romney campaign argues that the path to American prosperity starts with lowering the taxes on American business and unleashing American entrepreneurial zeal. Republicans complain that President Obama has not cooperated with them to implement this vision. Of course, the truth is more nuanced.  Republicans have won on getting President Obama’s version of helping small business. The Republican version is to give tax cuts to those with high income and then argue that high income and small business are synonyms. So, a hedge fund manager with a Swiss bank account who brokers sending a firm from Kokomo, Ind., to China is equated with the owner of a five-person start-up electronics firm in Newton, Mass. The president has targeted tax cuts to actual small business income and expenses—eight cuts in all, ranging from: the payroll tax holiday that lowers taxes for firms that are hiring workers; to tax credits for hiring workers who were veterans or long-time unemployed; to allowing firms a longer window to credit losses from earlier years onto current profits; to expensing investments in machinery and equipment; to relief on scheduled estimated tax payments allowing companies to hold cash longer; and, to a 75 percent exclusion of capital gains for small businesses. Many of the president’s proposals were included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus that Republicans dismiss as a waste and failure. Many were included in his Small Business Job Act of 2010. Continue reading “Some Uncomfortable Truths for Republicans”