GOP Channels Reagan to Avert Economic Tailspin

Republican Leader Eric Cantor’s Small Business Tax Cut Act is set for a vote Thursday, lending weight to what is sure to be a critical election year debate. In endorsing the plan, flat tax advocate Steve Forbes took to the pages of Politico to point out some potentially disastrous economic times ahead for America, depending upon upcoming events and the results of Election 2012.

At the end of this year, there will be a convergence of events akin to an economic tsunami. The current tax rates are set to go up, the temporary payroll tax cut will expire, “Obamacare” taxes on capital are to kick in and the alternative minimum tax will most likely hammer tens of millions of middle-income Americans. These events could knock the economy into a tailspin.

Taking a page from the GOP's Reagan legacy, with the economy continuing to lag in real terms, the GOP is talking tax cuts, rewarding success and fostering growth, as Obama remains intent on holding to his tax and spend Big Government agenda. With taxes set to go up...and up, again, failure to change the already old change of 2008 could lock America into a devastating economic trend.

Forbes led off a recent conference call on the tax cut plan, before handing it off to Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA.), also joined by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN.). Each had their say, with tax cuts and a pro-growth economic approach as the main theme. Targeting companies with 499 employees, or fewer, Cantor said the small business tax cut is designed to put "job creation center stage" as we move through an election year with major differences between the two parties.

Based upon personal tax rates, American small businesses are taxed at relatively high rates, globally, despite their being America's strongest "engine of job growth." When asked what, if any, opposition to the initiative Democrats may offer, one could sense the battle directly ahead: "Why would they oppose it?" asked Cantor.

For her part, in a shot against Democrats for touting an alleged GOP war on women, Ellmers, loaded with ammunition from the Small Business Administration, made a point of emphasizing the role of women in America's small business sector. Of million dollars businesses, one in five firms is woman-owned, while 3% of women-owned businesses have revenues upwards of a million dollars, versus 6% for men.

Based on additional statistics from 2008-2009, 10.1 million firms are owned by women (50% or more). They employ upwards of 13 million people, generating $1.9 trillion in sales as of 2008. As for her home state, Ellmers also pointed out that the number of women-owned firms in North Carolina currently stands at 256,400. In essence, Cantor's plan isn't simply good for businessmen. Businesswomen are an increasingly important part of a traditionally GOP aligned constituency--job creators and individuals willing to take risks for growth and economic rewards.

Drawing on another Reagan standard, Black of Tennessee stressed the need for government to "get out of the way" as a means of fostering growth and ultimately increased financial prosperity for all Americans. The point was also made that, along with job growth, the tax cut plan is geared toward increasing wage growth as well.

Similar themes were invoked throughout the call, highlighting  not just a potential battle to come via any tax cut debate from Thursday's House vote on the small business tax plan, but one likely to be waged in one form or another repeatedly, as both parties begin establishing their positions, while setting the theme for a debate likely to play out through November 2012.


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