Small Businesses, Public Health, and Scientific Integrity: Whose Interests Does the Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration Serve?

This report examines the activities of an independent office within the Small Business Administration: the Office of Advocacy. The Office of Advocacy has responsibility for ensuring that federal agencies evaluate the small business impacts of the rules they adopt. Scientific assessments are not “rules” and do not regulate small business, yet the Office of Advocacy decided to comment on technical, scientific assessments of the cancer risks of formaldehyde, styrene, and chromium. By its own admission, Advocacy lacks the scientific expertise to evaluate the merits of such assessments.

The report analyzes correspondence and materials received through a Freedom of Information Act request made by staff at the Center for Effective Government. Our inquiry was driven by two questions. Why did the Office of Advocacy get involved in the debate over scientific assessments that do not regulate small business? Whose interests does the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration actually serve? Continue reading “Small Businesses, Public Health, and Scientific Integrity: Whose Interests Does the Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration Serve?”

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”