Candidates Face-Off on Small Business

ELECTION 2012 Illustration
Presidential campaign leaders tout their candidates’ views on taxes, healthcare and Latino businesses


The Small Business Administration estimates that 23 million small businesses are located in the U.S., accounting for 54 percent of all sales and providing 55 percent of all jobs. That small business is the backbone of our nation is one of the few facts neither Republican Mitt Romney nor President Barack Obama disputes.

As the campaign has unfolded, however, how each candidate would support small business has become a point of differentiation between the two presidential candidates.

Romney favors less government interventions and programs instead preferring the private sector take the lead in helping small businesses flourish. Hector Barretto, a chair of the Romney campaign, explains, “At the end of the day what we’re very clear about is that the government doesn’t create jobs. The government doesn’t create wealth. The government doesn’t create new innovation and technology. Small business does that.”

In interviews with Latin Business Today, Barretto and Obama’s Policy Director James Kaavl outlined their candidates’ positions on issues of importance to small businesses including taxes, healthcare costs, jobs and training, and export regulations. They also specifically offered messages to Latino voters.





Reducing Taxes

Right now, Barretto says, taxes on small businesses are too high. He maintains the Obama plan would raise taxes on small businesses, especially those job creators.

However, Kaavl maintains the president has repeatedly reduced taxes on small businesses during his first term. “He cut taxes for small businesses 18 times and is working to keep income taxes low for 97 percent of small businesses,” Kaavl says. “He has proposed additional tax breaks for small businesses that hire and invest, taken steps to simplify taxes for small businesses, and has expanded access to credit.”

Barretto, former chief of the Small Business Administration, thinks it’s still too difficult for small businesses to get the credit they need to grow. “We need to work closer with the banks and make sure that we’re not putting so much bureaucracy, red tape and regulations on them that they’re not able to make those loans,” he explains.


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