Saturday, September 18, 2010


I wish this were a weekday or Sunday front-page story in The New York Times, rather than a business-section story on Saturday -- what's noted here about the possible expiration of the Bush tax cuts for wealthy individuals has received far too little attention:

Tax Increase Would Hit Few Small Businesses

... Internal Revenue Service statistics indicate that only 3 percent of small businesses would be subject to the higher tax, and many studies of previous tax increases suggest that it would have minimal impact on hiring.

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, 97 percent of all businesses owners do not earn enough to be subject to the higher rates, which would be levied on income of over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families.

Even among the 750,000 businesses that would be subjected to the higher rates in 20, many are sole proprietors -- a classification so amorphous it can include everyone from corporate executives who earn income on rental property to entertainers, hedge fund managers and investment bankers. Because 80 percent of America's 32 million businesses are sole proprietorships, 90 percent of the tax cut would be derived from businesses without employees....

The righties who insist that this would be a job-killer say the number is not 3% but -- gasp! -- 8%, and that this 8% of businesses "are responsible for nearly half of all business revenue generated in the country." But if thhat includes stinking-rich self-employed hedge-fund managers and the like, if it includes big earners who constitute "small businesses" only technically, and if a huge percentage of these people aren't employing anyone, then let 'em pony up a bit more, just like everyone else who's fortunate enough to make a quarter-mil or more a year in this horrible economy.

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