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Why must small businesses suffer?

Posted Nov.7, 2008

Jennifer Kitzmann
LV Life Editor

I was listening to NPR the other day, and a small business owner in real estate called in to discuss his concern about the taxes that face small business owners now that Barack Obama is President. He said that he didn’t make more than $250,000 but was concerned about what would happen if he ever did.

The businessman said that the only way he would be able to break even would be if he raised rent on the buildings that he owned in order to meet the standards and up-keep of his properties.

He also questioned what would happen to his renters because he was aware that they could not just go to their employer and ask for a raise or cash advance for their increase of rent.

No matter what happens, if small business owners are given another tax increase, everyone will be affected, even the middle to lower class individuals.

Obama's tax plan proposes to raise rates on couples making more than $250,000 or singles earning more than $200,000 per year. Some small business owners do not earn enough to be affected by any of these tax increases, but several hundred thousand small business owners do have incomes high enough to be affected by the higher rates on income, capital gains and dividends that Obama proposes.

I come from a family of small business owners and have seen how hard they have worked all of these years to stay ahead of the game. I am worried about the tax attachments, inheritance taxes and all the other taxes that make it seem as if the government will not let you get ahead no matter what. This makes me question Obama’s new tax deal even more.

Small businesses already have to pay a heavy tax on the amount they make on income every year. Why do small business owners have to pay for those who will not work or don’t know how? Will they have to be the ones to pay for everyone else’s college education, grants, loans and however else the new president plans on spreading the wealth?

However, others have argued that the “trickle down effect” does not work. But if you look at all the businesses that are closing today, and how many jobs are being lost, I would think they are wrong. Didn’t anyone in Congress take an economics class? The “trickle-down theory” provides tax cuts or other benefits to businesses, which is believed to indirectly benefit the broad population. I know we are far from the Great Depression; but this time money was appropriated for the higher ups (the banks) in hopes that it will trickle down and lead to more goods at lower prices, and create more jobs for middle and lower class and individuals.

Will young people want to make so much money so they can give it all back to the government? I thought that’s why we give to charities. I think charities will be in trouble too. Just because a portion of United States citizens do not give to them does not mean the rest of the world should be penalized.

I think everyone will feel the effect from small business owners being taxed more. I think small businesses are going to be hurt no matter what and will either have to shut down or take their money elsewhere. Maybe it will be safer to keep their money under their pillows. My grandma always said, “You would be surprised how much money adds up if you just hide it from yourself and others.”

Jennifer Kitzmann, a senior journalism major, is LV Life editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at jennifer.kitzmann@laverne.edu.