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Mon Jan 23, 2012, 01:21 PM

When Romney and Gingrich Defend Big and Small Business Tax Breaks They Really Mean Their Own

January 23, 2012

Taking Up Taxes on the Campaign Trail

Republican politicians talk a great deal about saving small businesses, and routinely play the mom-and-pop card when arguing against raising taxes, or charging a decent minimum wage, or providing everyone with access to health insurance. Last year, when the Senate was debating how to pay for a renewal of the payroll tax cut, Democrats proposed a surcharge on incomes over $1 million a year. Republicans screamed that this would hurt small businesses, and hence the economy, because small businesses are “job creators.”

They want to conjure the image of a haberdashery passed down from generation to generation, or of a guy who had a great idea for a gizmo and built a small company to make it. Those enterprises are well worth nurturing, and they do provide jobs. But new research shows that a mere 1 percent of small business owners (there’s that pesky 1 percent again) make more than $1 million a year and only a fourth of the nation’s small businesses pay any wages at all.

So what do those Republicans mean by “small business job creator”? They’re using a conveniently overbroad definition that includes partnerships and S-corporations – like hedge funds, accounting firms, law and lobbying practices and other often very big enterprises in terms of revenue or number of employees. Many of these would be “hurt” by higher taxes only in the sense that their very rich owners would be affected by them. The family farm isn’t on the line . . .

So here we have the Republican front-runners: The millionaire “small business” owner (Leroy) that Republicans are really trying to protecting when they sloganeer about job creators, and the even richer millionaire (Willard) who pays less than the “small business” owner in taxes.

read more: http://loyalopposition.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/23/taking-up-taxes-on-the-campaign-trail/

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