It’s a ubiquitous Republican talking point: Congress must keep the top two rates at 33% and 35% — instead of 36% and 39.6% as President Obama wants.
The argument: Many small businesses file taxes under the individual tax code.
“The Republican claim that this is a tax increase on a large fraction of employers is just not true,” said Howard Gleckman, a resident fellow at the Urban Institute.
In sharp contrast to the rhetoric, current data suggests small businesses don’t create an outsized number of jobs, very few small business owners fall into the top two tax brackets, and tax cuts for small businesses are ineffective stimulus measures.
The article goes on to point out that only a tiny amount of “small businesses” make enough money to even fall in those tax brackets, and that 80 percent of small businesses don’t have employees at all (other than the owners). So any Republican saying we can’t return tax rates on the wealthy to historically more reasonable levels because blah-blah-small-businesses-blah is not being honest about the numbers.
That said, I haven’t heard the “small businesses” talking point very much lately; it seems to be falling into relative disuse, likely because pretending to give a damn about small businesses is too taxing a job.
The way I understand it, Republicans are simply claiming that rich people are “job creators,” merely by them being rich. Their money trickles down to the rest of us when they buy yachts or whatever it is they do, and so we should all just shut up and try to get yacht-building jobs. The fact that the rich are getting increasingly richer, and the poor increasingly poorer, would seem to discount that notion handily, but none of it is really meant as serious economic policy. There is only one rule: People and companies who can afford to give large political contributions need to be shielded from taxes. Any taxes, apparently. Everyone else is to shoulder that burden instead.