May 28,2010

Grassley: Portrayal of Small Business Help from Administration, Democratic Leaders is Misleading


To:       Reporters and Editors
Re:       Small business help
Da:       Friday, May 28, 2010

Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, with exclusive Senate jurisdiction over tax policy, today made the following comment on efforts by the Administration and Democratic majority in Congress to portray help for small business.

“Small business continues to be left out of policies from the Administration and Democratic majority in Congress.  Bailouts for banks and automakers and stimulus dollars included next to nothing for small business, even though small business creates 70 percent of all jobs.  Regardless, the Administration is trying to cast itself as helpful.  The Internal Revenue Service mailed postcards – using taxpayer dollars – to four million small businesses informing them about the recently enacted small business tax credit for health insurance.  The chief executive officer of the largest organization representing small business – the National Federation of Independent Business – questioned the effectiveness of this tax credit.  Now, the IRS is telling small business that the government subsidy provided to former employees electing COBRA health coverage is a ‘special tax incentive for small business.’ This is a complete mischaracterization.  In fact, the COBRA subsidy directly benefits a former employee, not the employer.  A small business gets no benefit.  It fronts the cost of the subsidy to be reimbursed by the government later, every four months, in most cases.  The Administration should be honest with small business.  And if the Administration and congressional Democrats really want to help, they should enact policies that will benefit small businesses broadly and create certainty in the law.  A good start would be my Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2009, which doubles expensing for new equipment purchases and helps protect small business owners from the Alternative Minimum Tax, among many other job-creating provisions.”