If you smelled smoke and saw flames rising from your small business, the first call you’d make would be to your fire department. Well, it’s time to dial Congress’ 911 number. The warning signs are clear—your small business and millions of others could get burned in the Fiscal Cliff negotiations unless you shout for help.
There is no more urgent act you can take today than to personally call your U.S. representatives and senators. Plead with them to answer the bell to protect small businesses from free enterprise opponents who don’t realize that increasing your taxes is like playing with matches.
If the anti-small-business forces in Washington win the fight to let the 2001 and 2003 tax relief measures to expire–if they yank the props from under the estate tax exemption so it falls from $5 million to $1 million and rates skyrocket to 55 percent–if they succeed in raising alternative minimum taxes on 31 million Americans and wiping out many vital small-business tax extenders–the impact on Main Street will be as devastating as a four-alarm fire.
Act now. Over the next few days, this debate will rage on Capitol Hill. Watch it closely so you can remember who your friends are and who could care less if your hard work and sacrifices go up in a puff of political smoke.
Put the election results aside. Concentrate on protecting small business from tax increases. At this stage, it does not matter which party your lawmakers serve in. What matters is that they hear directly from you that now is absolutely the wrong time to raise taxes.
If all tax rates expire, the economic impact will be huge. The Congressional Budget Office has said that this would cost 1.8 million jobs and put the economy back into recession.
If the top two tax rates expire, the impact on those making $250,000 or more won’t be significant, wrongfully claims the president and his allies, fueling the notion that anyone who owns a small business is “rich.” What they conveniently ignore is the fact that raising individual tax rates will scorch most small-business owners, 75 percent of whom pay taxes on business income at individual rates.
Two hundred thousand jobs could vanish in the next year alone if taxes rise. Assure them that this information comes from their own non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. Over the next decade, reports tax advisor Ernst & Young, these proposed tax increases could kill more than 700,000 jobs and drag the economy down by 1.3 percent.
Tell your representatives and senators that you cannot help rebuild America’s economy without their courageous votes to prevent the Fiscal Cliff disaster. Warn them that America will fall back into recession if those who create the greatest share of jobs are further smothered with higher taxes.
Smoke is in the air and the heat is rising. We’ve got to put out this fire before it consumes small businesses everywhere.