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Small Business Council Response to SOTU Address

SBE heard litte that promotes entrepreneurship

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), a nonprofit advocacy and research organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and protecting small businesses, said President Barback Obama’s State of the Union address included a laundry list of expensive ideas, the cost of which would fall on the backs of many entrepreneurs, small employers and people who invest in these businesses. According to SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan, President Obama missed an opportunity to articulate areas of consensus to build bipartisan traction for action. Instead, she said, he focused on partisan ideas that will increase government’s role in everyday life and business.

“Tonight was a missed opportunity to present bold and bipartisan policy ideas to encourage needed business formation and small business growth. Areas for common ground are numerous, but very few made it into the President’s policy address,” said Kerrigan.

Except for trade, and granting the President trade promotion authority (TPA), the address was littered with ideas and proposals that will raise taxes on investors and the private sector and pile costs and regulations on small businesses. Tax reform was given some mention in terms of addressing complexity, but no specifics were offered. However, the President did outline a tax plan outside of business tax reform, which concerns many entrepreneurs.

SBE Council chief economist Raymond J. Keating added: “The President’s proposals to raise taxes on investment, entrepreneurship and business development by further raising the capital gains and dividend taxes are particularly destructive for economic growth and job creation. The poor economy of the past eight years has been overwhelmingly about a dearth of private investment. Such investment has been discouraged by anti-growth tax and regulatory policies, and now President Obama serves up a host of proposals that would make matters worse. If he wants robust economic growth, then President Obama should not be trying to raise taxes on the sources of such growth. Instead, he should advocate for reforms that make our tax system the most competitive in the world to ensure investment dollars stay here, and are attracted to come here.”

On the issue of business creation and startup activity, both Kerrigan and Keating expressed disappointment with the President’s speech. Various government and private sector reports show that entrepreneurship has vastly declined in the U.S. Though improving marginally with a better economy, new business formation still remains flat except in certain areas, such as the energy sector. Fewer new businesses means less job creation and diminished levels of innovation. SBE Council is advocating for a host of tax and regulatory reform measures that will boost entrepreneurship and strengthen small business growth.

“Both the House and Senate have aggressive agendas, and while President Obama continues to issue veto threats on reasonable legislation to help small businesses and our economy, we continue to remain optimistic that meaningful reforms will be enacted this year to help entrepreneurs,” concluded Kerrigan.

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SBE Council is a nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For more than 20 years, SBE Council has positively influenced the ecosystem for entrepreneurship through advocacy and educational initiatives. For more information, please visit www.sbecouncil.org. Follow on twitter: @SBECouncil.
– See more at: http://www.sbecouncil.org/2015/01/21/presidents-sotu-proposals-not-focused-on-small-business-concerns-or-policies-to-boost-entrepreneurship/#sthash.UKRFopbb.dpuf

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