- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pushing back against the notion that Republican Donald Trump is the presidential race’s only pro-business candidate, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday rolled out a series of proposals aimed at making it easier for Americans to open and grow their own small businesses.

In a piece posted to LinkedIn, the former first lady said she’ll reduce regulations on small banks and credit unions, allowing them to more easily lend money to start-up companies. She also wants some small business owners, along with those trying to open their own businesses, to be able to put all student loans into a “special status,” where all payments and interest accruals are temporarily on hold.

Mrs. Clinton also said she’ll simplify the tax-filing process by creating one standard deduction for small businesses — similar to the one now available to individual tax filers — to account for overhead costs.

Those steps and others, she argues, will lead to an explosion of small business in America and will drive the economy forward by growing the middle class.

“Together, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure anyone who is willing to work hard can have not only a job that pays well enough to raise a family, but one that makes them excited to get out of bed in the morning — whether it’s being their own boss or doing meaningful work that provides dignity, purpose, and room to grow,” Mrs. Clinton wrote. “So to all of the small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs out there: Let’s make sure this is just the beginning of the conversation. I want to keep hearing how we can help you do what you do best: creating good-paying jobs and driving our economy forward.”

Mrs. Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, will hold a roundtable discussion later Tuesday with small business leaders in Colorado.

Both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Kaine in recent weeks have taken direct shots at Mr. Trump’s business record, arguing that the Republican is interested only in benefiting Wall Street, not the tens of thousands of small businesses across the country.

In her LinkedIn piece, Mrs. Clinton again blasted Mr. Trump for allegedly stiffing subcontractors who worked on his hotels, golf courses and other properties.

“Our next president should believe in supporting small businesses, not stiffing them,” she said.

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