- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just as more and more small businesses are shutting down and laying off workers, President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner recently unveiled their small-business stimulus plan. Their solution? More government.

Mr. Obama is tone-deaf when it comes to the needs of American small-business owners who need relief now. There are 31 million small businesses in the United States. Last year, the Small Business Administration guaranteed a total of 69,434 loans. Mr. Obama’s plan will help less than 3 percent of small-business owners - hardly the economic stimulus we need during the current recession.

To date, American International Group Inc., General Electric Co., Chrysler LLC and Citigroup Inc. combined have received more than $500 billion from the bailout bill passed by congressional Democrats. How much has small business received? Zero.

Small businesses create more than half of all new jobs, and yet states with huge deficits are punishing these job creators with higher fees and taxes. Next year, Mr. Obama plans to increase taxes on small businesses and capital gains. In the meantime, small-business owners are struggling to make payroll, pay income taxes and buy equipment. They need help now.

Republicans at every level of government are proposing stimulus plans that provide immediate relief to small businesses. These plans include: suspending for a year state sales taxes for small businesses; cutting the self-employment tax rate; allowing for full business expensing; uncapping small-business contributions to retirement plans; and cutting the top marginal income-tax rate (nearly all small businesses are taxed at individual income rates).

Republicans are united in their support for small business. They understand that penalizing small business during this economic downturn will only result in fewer jobs and higher unemployment. Unfortunately for small businesses, our president doesn’t understand this.


Severna Park, Md.

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