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October 16, 2008

662,000 American Dreams (Kat-Mo)

Out of everything said at the debate last night, the thing that kept going around and around in my mind was Senator Obama's claim that "only 2% of small businesses" would be affected by his plan to raise taxes on incomes of $250,000 or more. As if this had no real impact on the growth of small businesses or the number of people employed.

Small businesses are responsible for 80% of the job creation in the United States every year. While many small businesses only employ the owner, there are literally millions of small businesses that employ 1 to 499 employees. That's the cut off for small businesses that Sen. Obama would like to re-define. He wants to classify single owner, single employee businesses as "not small businesses as we invision them". Exactly what else should they look like if not someone working for themselves? Isn't that the American Dream?

Of course, Sen. Obama's entire purpose is to whittle down this number in the Public's mind so that when he talks about raising taxes he and we can pretend that it isn't really that big of a deal. Well, if it isn't that big of a deal, why do it at all?

The truth is, it is a big deal and it is a lot of money. There are over 662,000 small businesses making more than $250,000 a year in the United States. These are not "fat cat, mega corporations". They range from single owner/employee to small manufacturers with 500 employees or less. Together, they employ millions of Americans.

These are companies like the small manufacturer in New Jersey with 100 employees who makes special ballistic glass inserts for military jets and vehicles that protect our men and women in uniform. They are companies like metal fabrication company right here in Kansas City that employs 50 and makes custom steel parts to any specification for companies all over the world.

Or the plastic manufacturer who employs 150 that contracts with auto manufacturers to make small parts for cars. A manufacturer who is already having to scramble to make ends meet due to the rising cost of fuel and materials, who is trying to find new business to keep his company open and his people employed since the auto manufacturers, his biggest contract, started slowing down and closing their factories.

Or the solar light company, producing solar street lights that have made Iraq and many other small countries with poor electrical infrastructure safer and energy efficient. With better lighting, businesses stay open longer and help developing economies. This is a "small business", but they had an outsized impact on the war. The lights helped bring down the violence in Iraq and make our men and women in uniform safer so they can return home. These same lights are being installed today in cities and villages in Afghanistan. They employ over 100 people in the development and manufacturing of these lights. They are one of the "small businesses" that make over $250,000 a year that Sen. Obama wants to tax.

Then there is the electrician who lives down the street. He doesn't "look like a traditional small business". He doesn't have a "store front". He employs three other electricians. His "store front" is the vans with his company name on the side. Just like Joe the Plumber, he built his business over time with long hours and his own money. Then he "spread the wealth" the right way by employing three other men who earn a decent living and support their families.

These are the "small businesses" that Sen. Obama wants to increase tax on as if they were truly some giant conglomerations owned by cigar smoking, fat cats getting rich off someone else's sweat. These are people who have been trying to build the American Dream and, through their hard work and perseverence, have given other Americans the opportunity to work towards their dreams, too.

In a recent ad, Sen. Obama claimed that a small company that traditionally made the thread for the United States flags moved their jobs overseas because they received "tax breaks" from our government to do it. Talk about dishonest. If Sen. Obama was honest about why that company moved, he would have to tell people that it wasn't because of "tax breaks", but because our government imposes extraordinary tax burdens on small businesses compared to other nations. The same taxes that Sen. Obama wants to raise. The same taxes that drive companies out of business and out of the United States.

Sen. Obama claims that it is "only 2%" of small businesses, but they represent the largest income and employment opportunities of all small businesses. These are the companies that are most likely to expand and create jobs in the United States. These are the small businesses that help keep America's economy going in good times and bad.

These companies represent 662,000 American Dreams.

Does it make sense to tax these companies during an economic down turn when they are already trying to keep their doors open and their people employed? Does it make sense to take money out of their pockets when they could use that money to expand their business and employ more people?

Sen. Obama claims he has the plan to help restore our economy. Instead, his plan looks like an assault on the American Dream.

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posted by xgenghisx at 12:30 PM

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