How the ultra-wealthy use charitable giving to avoid taxes and exert influence — while ordinary taxpayers foot the bill.
The small-business community is all too familiar with being used as a prop for tax cuts for the wealthy. From estate tax repeal to the corporate income tax cuts, “helping small business” is the go-to fig leaf for Republican tax-slashers.
“It is a tried and true tradition of big business to say they are doing something to help small business when just helping themselves,” says Frank Knapp, president and CEOof the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform. “Small businesses are one of the most appreciated institutions in the nation, in contrast to big business.”
Small-business advocates like to point out that they are the real job-creators in the U.S. economy, having created nearly two-thirds of private-sector jobs since the 2008 economic meltdown. Yet the 2017 Republican Tax Act funnels benefits mainly to big and multinational corporations.
“For my business to do well, my neighborhood has to do well,” says Jim Houser, co-owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic, a neighborhood garage in Portland, Oregon, with 13 employees, celebrating its 35th year in business. “My company prospers when I have more customers who are prosperous, with rising incomes, like pay raises, and declining expenses, like lower health-care costs. This tax giveaway neither raises my customers’ incomes nor cuts their expenses.” In fact, health insurance premiums are rising in Oregon directly because of GOP assaults on health care.
“I’m not opposed to targeted tax cuts and subsidies if they create value,” says Houser. “We have solar panels on the roof of our shop and I got a five-year tax break that made it possible. But tax breaks need to be focused, vetted, reasonable, and scheduled to sunset.”
Read the full article in The American Prospect.