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Figures representing small business people vs. large corporation.
Those real job creators, small business people, have a message for Congress and the White House. Yes, tax rates do have an impact on them, but they're just as, if not more, concerned about maintaining Medicare and Medicaid.
“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.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  medicare-for-all for small business (34+ / 0-)

    That's a good story, and shows exactly why single payer would be good for small businesses. Most small businesses aren't lucky enough to qualify for Medicare if a medical emergency happens.

    •  There would be millions of new small businesses. (27+ / 0-)

      Think about all the workers trapped in dead-end jobs who could leave if purchasing individual health insurance wasn't such a burden. Even without preexisting condition exclusions the cost is often prohibitive.

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:48:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is the argument that spooks wingnuts most (15+ / 0-)

        This is my go-to argument with Republican business colleagues and (the few) friends. It is the argument that pulls them up short.

        They can't deny that these people exist. They know them.

        They can't deny that creating more entrepreneurs is a good idea. That is their conservative, up by the bootstraps, mantra.

        "Let me think about that"

        Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

        by grapes on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:02:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  an unprecedented creative explosion, (8+ / 0-)

        both in new small businesses and in creative transformation of the economy and culture.

        I don't know which Republican creation myth is more odious:  the 6000-year-old earth, or the one about rich people who just need more money to motivate them.

        Republicans whine and Republicans bitch: "Our rich are too poor, and our poor are too rich!" -- Ferguson Foont

        by this just in on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:05:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  As a small Business owner (14+ / 0-)

        I would agree with that. Not only for workers trapped in crappy jobs because of crappy Health Care benefits, but profits are so hard to come by , along with positive cash flow, anything that would reduce the burden health Insurance places on Small Business would be like an ignition switched to ON for a rebuilt rocket   economic engine.

        There's many small business owners who are forced to close just to get into a group policy , so they go out and get a crappy job. When family premiums go up to $3,000 a month with $5,000 deductibles, a small business can't afford to have a "dead" month. There's many small Business owners who are forced to go naked. Giving benefits to employees is virtually out of the question unless it is a business like debt recovery , funeral (I'm guessing here. Maybe people are doing discount funerals these days) , bankruptcy , debt consolidation etc et. al. ad. Nauseum.

        It's real  hard for us to make anything anymore. That means build things along with profits. From 2007 until now, I have watched sales drop 60% . People just can't afford  things that fall under the category of  elective purchases. I was surprised to see people still rushing out for Black Friday. I have a feeling returns will be huge this year.

        Consumers along with Business are being hit hard by the financial industry not only in Health, but in Property and Casualty, Auto, Life, Disability while input costs keep increasing. Loans? Ha. I had a $6,000 printer go out on me. I had to go the change drawer of 35 years to get another one.

        Most of us are treading water at nose level. One extended small to medium size wave   and we're dead. With us, goes the economy. Individually, one illness and the company is history. Big Business is never going to be the answer for economic vitality. Hell they are the major cause of this depression. I wish people would stop elevating those overpaid assholes to God Like status and shout them off the national stage.

        Big Business is  literally strip mining the entire country and we are getting down to towards the bottom. This quarter was one of the worst for Large Company profits. They have been bullshitting us for a long time as they are run out of ways to keep their stock floating on air.  That's all that matters is keeping the stock up.

      •  That's exactly why they want to kill (6+ / 0-)

        ... or cripple Medicare. If it provides high quality care at low cost, their campaign-funders in the private insurance industry can't compete (or at least can't rake in tractor trailer loads of profit).

        In addition, a government program that works, is efficient, and effective is exactly the kind of thing they must destroy in their quest to turn their claims that government can't "do" anything into a self-fulfilling prophesy.

        •  Hence the fear of the ACA. Between the massive... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, DSPS owl

          expansion of Medicaid and the potential for individual states to get waivers and experiment with real solutions, there's significant room to demonstrate the effectiveness of socialized health insurance.

          "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

          by 2020adam on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 09:14:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Pernicious effects of linking medical insurance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        2020adam

        to employment run through the economy in all sorts of ways.  Anyone who doesn't know someone working a job they would otherwise quit because it is the means by which their family gets health insurance isn't looking very hard.  That's wasted potential, and common as dirt.  Creating an economic system that routinely throws away the nation's largest resource, our educated and motivated people, may be beneficial to plutocrats but it sure hurts Main Street.

        Then, consider the problems of economic development across America.  Large corporations don't grow rapidly, and as the NY Times recently reminds us, often use their power to exact tribute at the expense of local and state governments and concessions from labor as the primary means of inflating their bottom lines.  It is a form of parasitism.  In a more dynamic, dispersed economy, their ability to demand a race to the bottom for everyone else would be curtailed - perhaps dramatically.  There will be no single cure for the growing gulf between the haves and the rest of us, but releasing the entrepreneurial spirit of our nation is surely a big part of what we need to do.

        •  It's quite interesting to learn just how... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          salmo

          accidental this linkage was. It points quite directly to our system of government's inability to dramatically reform any entrenched system in our country. This wasn't some specific program championed by a particular set of interests. Insurance was simply a way for hospitals to bring in patients by offering an installment plan, then for employers to attract labor when there was a short-term shortage of it. Its tax preferred status was barely an afterthought.

          And yet here we are, stuck with it, as it drags down the economy.

          "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

          by 2020adam on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 11:25:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  "Medicare for Microbiz" Was My 08 Campaign Theme (5+ / 0-)

      here and in messages to the Obama campaign and later the transition team.

      Being a self employed artisan, I know that health insurance is the only major factor in millions of talented people who moonlight for themselves while holding a wage job, deciding whether to quit and take Personal Responsibility™ to become self employed entrepreneurs. There are probably 10 to 100 people of my passion and talents --and better-- who never take my path of doing my work for a living, for lack of ability to arrange health care.

      I argued that Medicare for Microbiz would be difficult for Republicans to fight because it would encourage business startups, move millions of people into the owner class, and it would be for --well-- business.

      And I argued that once microbiz got Medicare, the rest of businesses would become jealous and begin petitioning for the same relief from employer-provided health care.

      Moonlighters are found across the full economic ladder; there are minimum wage workers moonlighting at home repairs, child care, seamstress, mechanic, --you name it, all the way up thru clerical work and white collar work. But they have to hang onto a day job to get their health care.

      Gawd was I an idiot.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:28:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We are competing against companies from other (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, DSPS owl, yellowtv, salmo

        countries that provide universal health care. Why are our businesses being put at a global disadvantage against competitors that are free from healthcare benefit costs?

        Most small businesses are local, but the disadvantage is real. I know we could hire a couple more employees with the amount our small operation spends on healthcare premiums each year.  I'd much rather have more employees bringing in more revenue than sending thousands of dollars into the insurance maw.

        The road to excess leads to the palace of Wisdom, I must not have excessed enough

        by JenS on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 09:26:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. Small business could compete for the BEST (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, DSPS owl, laurnj

      minds and workers if they could offer competitive health care benefits.

  •  For a Republican, any business that makes under (23+ / 0-)

    $250,000 in net profit is not a small business.  In fact, it does not exist at all.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:48:39 AM PST

  •  Time to aggressively change (13+ / 0-)
    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.
    any and all laws, regulations, or tax codes which have this nonsenical definition embedded.

    Definitions based on numbers of employees and net revenue should be involved, NOT arbitrary selection of what legal vehicles you choose or what filing status is available.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:56:42 AM PST

    •  I guess it's a matter of POV (5+ / 0-)
      Definitions based on numbers of employees and net revenue should be involved, NOT arbitrary selection of what legal vehicles you choose or what filing status is available.
      From the SBA
      What is SBA's definition of a small business concern?

       SBA defines a small business concern as one that is independently owned and operated, is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field. Depending on the industry, size standard eligibility is based on the average number of employees for the preceding twelve months or on sales volume averaged over a three-year period. Examples of SBA general size standards include the following:
       •     Manufacturing: Maximum number of employees may range from 500 to 1500, depending on the type of product manufactured;
       •    Wholesaling: Maximum number of employees may range from 100 to 500 depending on the particular product being provided;
       •     Services: Annual receipts may not exceed $2.5 to $21.5 million, depending on the particular service being provided;
       •     Retailing: Annual receipts may not exceed $5.0 to $21.0 million, depending on the particular product being provided;
       •     General and Heavy Construction: General construction annual receipts may not exceed $13.5 to $17 million, depending on the type of construction;
       •     Special Trade Construction: Annual receipts may not exceed $7 million; and
       •     Agriculture: Annual receipts may not exceed $0.5 to $9.0 million, depending on the agricultural product.

      Hmmmm.

      “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

      by RJDixon74135 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:18:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good Lord (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, RJDixon74135, lgmcp

        We can't even aspire to those numbers. I guess we need a category like: Puny business. Mini-micro business...

        The road to excess leads to the palace of Wisdom, I must not have excessed enough

        by JenS on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 09:29:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  To put it in perspective (0+ / 0-)

        the biggest plumbing company in our mid-size city has perhaps 50 plumbers working for it.  My calcs indicate that if those guys work 10 hours a day for 5 days a week pulling down gross receipts of $90/hr, the company takes in about $1 million per year.  

        Putting them under SBA rules, in the Construction category, they could be SEVENTEEN TIMES bigger and still be a small business.   Perhaps no behemoth in terms of multinational conglomerates, but still enormous in the context of the competition.  

        To me they are a small business now, but only just.  Double in size and they wouldn't be.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:47:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  So much of the can't tax the rich meme is bs (17+ / 0-)

    Don't forget, people, the tax is not on business income, it's on profit. Profit that is not being rolled back into the firm. Profit. So you run a small business, you take a basic salary and at the end of the year you expense everything under the sun and what's left is profit. If after taking a salary, plus a ton of personal expenses charge to the firm, you still have $300K in taxable earnings, the $2300 bucks is not a big deal.

    •  not if its capital intensive. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      profit and cash flow diverge sharply if we're talking about sectors with lotsa capital expenditures.

      •  I am not an accountant, but, as I understand it, (0+ / 0-)

        that cash flow is not taxed unless it's held and not fed back into the business. If the small business owner is holding a chunk of money over the end of the tax year while building toward an expansion, it's likely to be taxed the same as if it were taken as income. Otherwise, money spent on expansion is a business expense, and deducted from taxes.
              That's why the whole "high tax rates will hurt job creation" argument never held water for most situations. Low tax rates actually make it more attractive to pull more money from the business. If the small business person has to pay higher taxes on income, it becomes more attractive to put money back into the business to build future value, rather than taking the short-term gain as present income.  
              Of course, that assumes that the potential for growth exists. That seems to be why so many large businesses are holding huge cash reserves or buying back stock: they don't see enough demand yet to justify expanding their present level of activity.

        -7.25, -6.26

        We are men of action; lies do not become us.

        by ER Doc on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:57:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well everybody knows (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62, 417els, DSPS owl, laurnj

    that when Republicans talk about "small business," they're really just talking about ExxonMobil.

    28, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:50:31 PM PST

  •  & Murray & Cantwell WON'T Sell Us Out? ha ha ha (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dburn

    I'm sure the Queen Anne set will come up some Great Reasons for Some Grand Bargain to fuck all us know no bodies, as they've been doing for years.

    at least if I had voted for the fascists, I would have been lied to so they could rip me off ...

    and 0bama and his f'king sell outs ain't gonna sell me out with Medicare 67? bullshit.

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:53:46 PM PST

  •  Exactly. Good job. (5+ / 0-)

    Medicare and SS -- self employed and small business' light at the end of the tunnel.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:56:00 PM PST

    •  Exactly (7+ / 0-)

      My husband and I are depending on Medicare being there for us. The whole Ryan plan of sticking it to those of us under 55 (and we are JUST under the magic number) infuriates me.  There is NO way we could pay healthcare premiums once we retire.

      AND...We pay all our employees' healthcare premiums, full pop. So kiss my ass, Papa John.

      The road to excess leads to the palace of Wisdom, I must not have excessed enough

      by JenS on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:09:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Half of the people where my housemate works were (6+ / 0-)

    told today that they won't be having jobs next month, including every other person covered by their company health plan.  This means that even though she is still employed (so far) she won't be covered through the company any more.  With fibro and very frequent migraines, as well as an as yet unspecified auto-immune issue, any plan that might do her any good that she can get solo is going to cost the earth.  Single payer is what she needs.

  •  Tax brackets (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62

    Taxation should be progressive of course, and tax brackets should be expressed in terms of the national median family income.  E.g., maybe the highest marginal tax rate begins at say, five times the national median.  So, if you are a high earner, you get some tax relief when the rest of the country does well.  

    So e.g. If the national median is 50K and the highest tax rate begins at five times the median, 250K,  and the next year the national median increases to 50.5K, the top tax bracket then begins at 252.5K.  Someone earning 300K+ now has an actual visible, if small, monetary incentive for the rest of the country to do better.

  •  The One Two Punch (8+ / 0-)

    Most small business owners I've talked to KNOW that the one, two punch for family small "independent" business success is to have one person working in a job that provides health benefits and a pension while the other keeps the small business going and growing. It's a story the Democrats should quietly tell voters.

    Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

    by tikkun on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:03:12 PM PST

  •  My wife and I run a small business (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62, winsock, ER Doc, DSPS owl, salmo

    A real SME, not a fake one like Bain Capital.  We feel exactly the same way as these folks.  Taxing the Adelsons and Buffets of this country a bit more won't make any difference to them of any consequence, but cutting Medicare and Social Security will have devastating consequences on the real small business people.  My catastrophic insurance policy, I always tell my wife, is from S&W38 or the more humane equivalent now that WA has permitted the terminally ill to terminate voluntarily instead of being forced into a useless and ruinous hospitalization.  I refuse to bankrupt us and leave her in poverty.  Period.

    America needs a UNION NEWS channel. We (unions) have the money, we have the talent. Don't buy 30 second time slots on corporate media, union leaders; fund your own cable news channel and tell the real story 24/7/365

    by monkeybrainpolitics on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:15:56 PM PST

  •  Those who rely on SS and Medicare (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winsock, 417els, ER Doc, DSPS owl

    as a general rule don't have a lot of disposable income and any benefit cuts are going to impact those they do business with too.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:17:06 PM PST

  •  I was always the one with the job (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62, Shippo1776, winsock, 417els, JenS, ER Doc

    that had insurance so my husband could do his free lance work.  It works that way for lots of people.  My sister retired @ 54, but her husband worked enough to keep insurance for the next 11 years.  Once I got divorced I had to have a job with insurance in order to cover the kids.  Now I'm just waiting for the next 11 months to pass so I can retire - when Medicare will kick in.  Can't retire without insurance, can't afford COBRA.

    How many decisions regarding where, how much and how long we work revolve around health insurance?  I'll bet it's at least 75%.  Imagine not having to worry about that?  How much innovation, green technology, and increased employment could this county have if we didn't have to worry about insurance all the time?

    •  This is nothing new. (0+ / 0-)

      My dad died in '71 an employee at Boeing.  He had the means and ideas to start his own business, except for health insurance.  

      "How many decisions regarding where, how much and how long we work revolve around health insurance?"
      This is nothing new.

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 02:05:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Underestimating the average American (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JenS, ER Doc, DSPS owl

    I think if you ask most people, they are prepared to take a hit for the country. I'm in the 2% (which covers a lot of folks on this site), meaning that I may be hit by the president's proposals. That on top of trying to dodge the AMT.

    Millionaires, billionaires, CEOs, small business owners have stepped up and said raise our taxes. When 'urban America' re-elected President Obama, we knew that our taxes may go up (looking at you New York!), but it was the patriotic thing to do, to get the country out of this mess.

    So you have to wonder who are the interest that the GOP defending? The people who love this country are ready to do what is right.

    Maybe OT, but when is MSM going to come out and say that John Boehner is no Tip O'Neill or even a Newt Gingrich. President does not have a real negotiating partner: Boehner is absolutely useless. He can't corral his caucus and is looking over his shoulder at the ambitious Eric Cantor. There is no deal if Boehner can't bring his caucus.

    "I feel like I'm still waiting to meet my true self. I'm assuming it's gonna be in a dark alley and there's gonna be a fight." ---Rachel Maddow

    by never forget 2000 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 09:06:27 PM PST

  •  IF Republicans Cut Social Security and Medicare (0+ / 0-)

    They'll lose small business owners for a generation.

  •  I don't like to be in agreement with a... (0+ / 0-)

    Louisianan.  I consider them to always be wrong so please find a different voice and rewrite your diary.

    "When you think about the money spent/on defense by the government/& the weapons of destruction we've built/we're so sure that we need/then you think of the millions that money could feed/How long?" J Browne

    by rainmanjr on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 12:43:15 AM PST

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