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February 8, 2010

Tax Cuts HURT Small And Medium Businesses

-- by Dave Johnson

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF). I am a Fellow with CAF.

Much of the public believes that tax cuts "create jobs." A recent Rasmussen poll found that 59% of voters believe cutting taxes is better than increasing government spending as a job-creation tool. This proves that repeating a slogan over and over can effect what people believe.

But here is some news: Corporate taxes are on profits. So a tax cut means that the more profitable companies -- the Wal-Marts, Exxons, and other giants -- benefit. They pay back less to the government for their use of the roads, schools, courts, police, fire & military protection and all the other services that helped them get so big and powerful. So the giant monopolistic corporations that are chewing up small businesses, destroying local and regional retailers, take those tax cuts and use them to turn themselves into even better small-business-destroying machines.

For example, giants like Wal-Mart are destroying local and regional retailers. But it is the Wal-Marts, not the local and regional retailers that are the beneficiaries of tax cuts. They already have every advantage in the world and tax cuts are just more ammunition helping them destroy the small and medium businesses that are the job engine of our economy. This is why the "usual suspects," the politicians who get their campaign funds from the giant companies and work with lobbyists for the largest corporations and the right-wing talk show hosts who always advocate what the largest companies want are the ones who always advocate corporate tax cuts as the solution to everything.

Meanwhile, since smaller businesses that are struggling don't pay taxes, the tax cuts do nothing for them. They're already being walloped by these giants, then walloped by the government giving their competitors even more advantage with these tax cuts, and then they get the infrastructure they depend on cut out from under them. When taxes are cut the infrastructure that supports building new businesses is weakened. The services these companies need are cut back. The schools get worse, the government services are cut back.

If you ask the managers of a small or medium business, they will tell you they want customers, not tax cuts. Customers cause companies to hire people, not tax cuts. All the tax cuts in the world won't "create" a job, if there aren't enough customers coming through the door or ordering products because there is nothing for the new employee to do. And if there are more customers and orders the company will hire people whether they get a tax cut or not. (A job-creating tax credit for small businesses like President Obama is proposing is a different story, and will incentivize hiring.)

So remember, businesses need customers not tax cuts.

Posted by Dave Johnson at February 8, 2010 3:52 PM


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