Sen. Warren, small business owners say: Stop pretending tax plan helps small business

Senator Elizabeth Warren and Main Street Alliance small business owners held a joint event at the Center for American Progress today called “Small businesses and America can’t afford the Republican Tax Deal.”

WASHINGTON, DC -- For months, Republican leaders in Congress have promoted their tax plan as a benefit to small business and Main Street communities. Senator Elizabeth Warren joined Main Street Alliance small business owners today to talk about the truth behind these tax bills. Far from helping small businesses, the GOP tax plan is a thinly-veiled tax giveaway to multinational corporations and the richest one percent of taxpayers.

“Getting rid of the loopholes in the tax code and making it a fair fight, that’s something I can stand behind,” said Senator Warren. “But the Republican tax plan doesn’t do that, it doesn’t even come close. The loopholes for giant corporations are preserved in the tax code that the Republicans are putting forward, and even the so-called small business tax breaks are really just giveaways for huge companies in disguise. Republicans have a handful of proposals out there for what they’re calling the small business tax cuts, but it’s clear their hearts are really in it for the big businesses.” 

Small business owners say the Republican tax plan leaves them with fewer customers while also making it harder for them to compete. The tax plan features changes to the pass-through business rate that give huge businesses, hedge fund managers, and corporate lawyers a new loophole, while also encouraging multinational corporations to stash money overseas rather than pay a fair tax on it in the United States. Furthermore, the elimination of key middle-class deductions like the state and local tax deduction directly hurt the people who patronize Main Street small businesses the most often. All of these huge tax giveaways for the very wealthy come with a deficit-exploding price tag that Republicans are already using to justify deep cuts to social programs that bolster Main Street like Medicaid, Medicare, and education.

“I need more customers more than anything. Eliminating the deduction for [state and local tax] takes money directly out of the pockets of our customers, most of whom earn about $40 - $150,000 a year,” said David Borris, owner of Hel’s Kitchen Catering in Northbrook, Illinois and an Executive Committee Member of Main Street Alliance. “I don’t begrudge people the opportunity to make as money as they can in our capitalist system. But I do begrudge them dodging their responsibilities to the greater society who helped them make their money.”

"Tax fairness. Making sure that we’re all paying our fair share of taxes, that the burden isn't on small business owners. Closing the corporate tax loopholes, bringing all the money that's off shore back into our country. These are the things that will really help level the playing field for small business,” said Deborah Field, co-owner of Paperjam Press in Portland, Oregon and a member of Main Street Alliance.

The claim that tax cuts for big businesses and the wealthy will spur economic growth is built on the myth of trickle-down economics that politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike, have decried for decades. As far back as 1979, President George Bush dubbed this debunked theory “voodoo economics.”

“It’s the same trickle-down economics plan that hasn’t worked in the past. I’m not sure why they think it will work now,” said ReShonda Young, owner of Popcorn Heaven in Waterloo, Iowa and an Executive Committee Member of Main Street Alliance.

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