The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — When John Arensmeyer owned a high-tech company, he didn’t feel that the organizations that lobbied on behalf of small business really represented him — or many other business owners.
“They put forth a monolithic view of what small business wants,” says Arensmeyer. “I felt they were overly partisan and overly ideological and didn’t really look pragmatically at what small businesses need. So I felt there was an opportunity and a need for a new voice.” Continue reading
Small business owners are not some sort of single-minded monolith, but they are often treated that way. Stories pop up frequently with bold, broad-stroked claims like “small business optimism is soaring,” “small businesses get hefty tax cut in Trump plan” and “the president changed, so has small business’ confidence.” Now, the latest round of stories on the Republican attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act give the impression that America’s small businesses will be glad to see the ACA go if and when Congress manages to repeal it. While most small business owners agree there are portions of the ACA that can and should be improved, polling shows that a majority of small businesses actually prefer the current law over the GOP replacement plan, and that key provisions of the ACA are helping entrepreneurs succeed.
Entrepreneurs in the United States have a long wishlist of things they would like to see lawmakers do that would help improve their businesses. From tax reform to healthcare changes, there are plenty of ways politicians could make life better for America’s job creators. During this year’s National Small Business Week, however, Congress decided to ignore that list and ended up giving two really lousy gifts to small businesses: the first step toward repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the revocation of a rule that makes it easier for states to establish retirement savings plans that benefit small businesses.
Now that National Small Business Week is here, lots of lawmakers will be telling us about the importance of fighting for the interests of America’s job creators. It is hard to take some of those claims seriously, however, since politicians in Washington, D.C. are close to killing a federal rule that makes it easier for states to establish retirement savings plans that benefit small businesses.
During the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Labor gave more options to small businesses that don’t offer retirement programs by permitting states to create a public/private partnership that allows private-sector employees to contribute to an individual retirement savings account through modest payroll deductions. This is critical for small businesses that often lack the resources to offer these retirement savings options themselves.
Everyone knows that reforming America’s tax system is among the tougher tasks lawmakers consider every year, which is why our tax code has undergone few significant changes over the last two decades. This slow pace of progress, however, is deeply harmful to small businesses that are consistently held back by tax rules that favor large corporations while hindering small firms. On this Tax Day, I offer politicians a common-sense proposal that would correct this problem: eliminate wasteful corporate loopholes while lowering corporate tax rates in a manner that ensures a net revenue increase to bring down our deficit and fund key programs.
President Donald Trump has said repeatedly that he wants to create a paid maternity leave program. During a recent address to Congress he even went a step further, pledging to work with both parties to craft legislation that would benefit new dads as well as new moms. If the new administration is serious about advancing paid parental leave, it should get behind proposed legislation that would create a national paid family and medical leave program, which small businesses overwhelmingly support based on the results of a new survey. Continue reading