by Ron Busby
Let’s face it… Black America has too much experience living on the edge of the cliff, fiscal or otherwise, and Black business owners occupy the most precarious position in America’s market place. Fortunately, President Obama’s second term agenda is designed to create much-needed jobs and restore middle class security by investing in small business, manufacturing, education, and clean energy. I can assure you, he looks forward to getting down to business and working with Congress — in a bipartisan way– to help the middle class.
You’ve heard by now that unless Congress acts to extend middle class tax cuts by the end of the year, most families will see their federal income tax bill rise by a little more than $2,000. At the same time, taxes will stay low on every business owner’s first $250,000 of income. But if Congress fails to act, a small business owner making $120,000, for example, could see up to a $4,600 tax increase.
It should be clear that we’ve got a little more work to do, even after the election. We’ve
got to contact our U.S. Representatives and Senators and let them know we want them to work closely with the administration to hold the line on tax increases. And, we want them to focus sharply on ways to cut unnecessary spending from the federal budget.
The President has long supported the need for both new revenue and spending cuts to reduce the deficit in a balanced way. Fortunately for us (not everybody is as experienced as us at living on the edge!) there are encouraging signs that Republicans and Democrats in Washington are open to a bipartisan solution. That’s significant.
The President’s plan targets small businesses. Small businesses create two out of every three net new private sector jobs. You’ve heard us say that if all the nearly 1.8 million of America’s sole-proprietor Black businesses could hire just one new employee, we’d just about wipe out unemployment in our communities. President Obama’s work to protect these business owners’ earnings from tax increases is helping spur economic development in communities across our country and giving millions of families and individuals the opportunity to achieve the American dream. If Congress agrees – and acts – it will keep taxes low for 97 percent of small businesses and it will create j-o-b-s! From the mom-and-pop storefront shops to the high-tech startups that keep America on the cutting edge, small businesses are the backbone of our economy. In his second term, the President plans to build on the 18 small business tax breaks he already signed into law, but first we need to find common ground and compromise to keep taxes from going up on 97 percent of small businesses on Jan. 1.
It’s a no-brainer for us… Since the President’s approach to the “fiscal cliff” reduces the deficit in a balanced way by $4 trillion by asking the wealthy to pay their fair share and preserves the investments we need to grow the economy, what’s the problem? The $1 trillion in spending cuts President Obama has already signed should signal to both Democrats and Republicans how committed he is to a balanced approach to further reduce our deficit.
Here’s your assignment: Call, write, email, tweet using #My2K, post on facebook or send up smoke signals! Let Congress hear the voice of Black Business on the President’s tax plan.
(Ron Busby is president of U.S. Black Chamber, Inc.)