NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

AT A MINIMUM

January 11, 2007

Knowing that minimum wage legislation will hit a Republican roadblock in the Senate, some Democratic senators support attaching a package of small-business tax breaks to the Senate's version of the bill, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

Some of the proposals include:

  • Letting businesses with fewer than 100 employees offer "association health care plans" on a nationwide basis, shielded from state regulation, which would give small relief from rising insurance costs by spreading risk over a larger pool of employees.
  • Repeal of both the Alternative Minimum Tax and the Estate Tax, which hurt small businesses disproportionately. 
  • Increasing the small-business expensing limit to $200,000; it's now at $100,000 but will revert to $25,000 after 2009 if Congress fails to act.
  • Eliminating the "temporary" Federal Unemployment Tax Act unemployment surtax, passed in 1976, by cutting FUTA taxes themselves and scrapping the wasteful federal-state unemployment insurance system those taxes pay for so that responsibility for unemployment benefits can return to the states.

Small business has been the engine for the spectacular job growth under Bush and the GOP Congress, says IBD, and some Democrats do realize this.  In Senate Finance Committee hearings, new panel chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) noted:

  • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees represent more than 99.9 percent of all American businesses.
  • They pay nearly half of the total American private payroll.
  • They have generated 60 percent to 80 percent of the new jobs annually over the last decade, and they employ 41 percent of high-tech workers.

Source: Editorial, "At a minimum," Investor's Business Daily, January 11, 2007.

 

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