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“If I could talk to Congress, I would tell them to stay away from entitlements,” Mary Black, owner of a UPS franchise in Baton Rouge, La., said in an interview. “I’m willing to pay more taxes if that’s what’s needed to pull up the country, and my business would be okay. But cutting Medicare and Medicaid could have some really bad consequences for small businesses.”
Without government-backed insurance, Black would no longer be in business. During the summer of 2010, her 71-year-old husband fell ill with pneumonia and was hospitalized for more than four weeks, much of it in an intensive care unit. He recovered, but not before the medical bills soared to more than $130,000.
“Had it not been for Medicare, my business would have gone under,” Black said, noting that her business would have likely been the first thing sold to cover the expenses. “No question, I would have had to close the doors.” [...]
“We understand that an end to the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent could be traded off for cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare,” a dozen small business owners who are part of the Main Street Alliance advocacy group recently wrote in a joint letter to leaders in Washington. “This constitutes a bad deal for small businesses – Congress should reject it.”
Despite the constant rhetoric you hear from Republicans, only a small percentage of real small business owners would end up paying higher taxes on their income over $250,000; about eight percent, according to a 2011 analysis by the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis. Of course, how Republicans define "small business" isn't really how any one else defines the term. There might not be anyone in the country outside of Congressional Republicans and the one percent who really think that 237 of the nation’s 400 wealthiest people would meet the definition of a small-business person.
The real small business people? They live in the real world, where they and their customers have to live paycheck to paycheck, and they understand how programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance help to keep their business afloat.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:24 AM PST.