By By U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee
Sharon Young owns a small business in Oxford. In 2008, her business had 11 employees and was growing. Today, she is down to six, and is concerned about the future. “There is no incentive for me to grow my small business and create jobs because I am taxed and regulated to death,” she says.
Sharon’s story is not unique, in fact it is far too common and that is why our economy is still struggling. Losing five jobs at a small business in Oxford, seven more jobs lost somewhere else, 23 in another place has added up to 41 months of unemployment over 8 percent.
In the process, the number of Americans on food stamps has doubled.
This recovery is weaker and slower than any since the Great Depression.
Nevertheless, President Barack Obama has decided that now is the time to raise taxes on small business owners. The accounting firm Ernst and Young has calculated that this tax hike would cost our economy an additional 700,000 jobs.
A tax hike would cripple Sharon Young’s business, possibly putting all of her employees out of work. This is not just wrong, it is unfair and counterproductive. Why would we want to enact policies that take more people off of payrolls and put them on the unemployment rolls?
High-ranking Democrats who support this tax hike, including President Obama, have stated that if they do not get their way they will allow current tax rates to expire at the end of the year, which would raise taxes on every single American taxpayer. This would be a $4,138 annual tax for working families, and an $857 annual tax increase for retirees. Such a tax increase would risk pushing the economy back into recession.
Kim and Kelly Lovorn of Calhoun City understand the impact of such a tax hike. Their business, Southern Bell Original Screen Printing, employs about 30 people full time. Kim says she would expand, but her tax burden is holding her back. “Taxes are just draining us,” she says. And a tax hike would be even worse, “If our taxes go up, we may have to lay people off.”
This week, I voted, with bipartisan support, to prevent the massive tax increase by extending current tax rates for one year while we work on pro-growth tax reform. Our tax code is a complicated, unfair mess that far too often is rigged in favor of people who can afford high-priced lobbyists to get them a special exemption from the rules the rest of us have to follow.
Sharon Young and the Lovorns do not have lobbyists. What they deserve is a tax code that is simple and fair.
If we clean out the breaks, deductions and loopholes, we can afford to lower rates for everybody.
The president and his allies have a view of the world with which Mississippians cannot relate.
Obama seems to believe that the government has first claim on your money, and you should be grateful for whatever amount the government allows you to keep.
His recent remarks that business owners did not build their own companies revealed that attitude.
Young, the Lovorns and others who started their businesses and struggle to meet a payroll would strongly dispute the notion that they did not build them.
I believe that hard-working people should be allowed to keep more of what they earn, and the only way to get the economy moving again is to unleash the power of the American people to grow their businesses and create new jobs.
Chasing endless government borrowing and spending with ever higher taxes is a path to disaster.
U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, a Republican from Tupelo, represents the 1st Congressional District. Contact him through Jordan Russell – firstname.lastname@example.org.