Tuesday, September 21, 2010

“Small” Business

The Republicans say that letting the Bush tax cuts expire would place an unbearable burden on small businesses, which they say are the lifeblood of the American economy. Okay, but let’s define “small business.” To most of us, that’s something like a company that employs maybe twenty or thirty people, like a machine shop, a lawn-care business, maybe a restaurant or a window and door distributor. Except they don’t make enough to qualify for the higher tax rate should it come back — according to the House Democrats, 97% of small businesses wouldn’t get hit with it.

Well, according to the Washington Post, the Republicans’ idea of a “small business” is a company like the Bechtel Corporation, the fifth-largest private corporation in the U.S.; PricewaterhouseCoopers, the eighth-largest; and most major law firms around the country. They get around the corporate tax rules by filing as a “pass-through,” reporting profits on the individual tax returns of the owners or shareholders, much the same way a mom-and-pop business would. Heck, if I made any money as a blogger and filed my taxes that way, I’d be a small business just like Bechtel.

Oh, did I mention that most major lobbying firms are considered “small businesses”? I’ll bet you figured that out already.

HT to TPM.