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New spending and new taxes do not a jobs plan make

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U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison
October 7, 2011 | 1,635 views | 1 comment

President Obama has been crisscrossing the country (including a recent stop in Texas) to try to rally support for his latest economic stimulus plan. Unfortunately, his plan relies -- again -- on increased government spending and higher taxes to boost the economy.

The Obama administration should have learned a very expensive (for taxpayers) lesson about the effects of massive government spending on job creation. There are 1.7 million fewer jobs since the first nearly $1 trillion wave of stimulus spending the President obtained more than two years ago.

The President’s latest “jobs” proposal calls for about $450 billion in new taxes. The bulk of the proposed new taxes would fall on job-creators -- small businesses and those who invest in new technology and fund business start-ups.

Why are small businesses crucial? They account for more than one-half of all private sector jobs, and almost all new jobs. Start-ups in the technology sector are particularly important. Of the top ten private employers in Texas, a third are in the tech industry. One of our state’s largest private sector employers, Dell Computer, is a high-tech company that traces its start to a college dorm room at the University of Texas less than 30 years ago. Today, approximately a half a million Texans work in the tech industry, second only to California. Last year, the high-tech industry in Texas had a combined payroll of $38.7 billion, with an average wage of $84,800 per employee. These are good jobs that support families and communities across Texas.

How would the President’s tax hikes specifically impact small businesses and tech start-ups in Texas?

What the White House has erroneously described as a “millionaire’s tax,” would fall on small business owners who file their businesses’ income taxes as individuals.

The President’s tax hike plan would also change the tax rate on capital gains for those critical investors who supply necessary capital for entrepreneurs. This would effectively decrease the pool of financial capital available for early-stage investments in start up businesses. A lower capital gains tax rate is what attracts and enables investors to take risks on small start-up companies, particularly those in the high-tech industry.

Investors put their money into a wide range of companies, knowing that some will fail and hoping that some may become the next Dell Computer. The earnings from the companies that are successful must be enough to balance their investors’ losses and thus enable them to continue funding more start-up businesses. This cycle allows entrepreneurs to flourish and to create jobs. The Obama tax hike would guarantee a lower rate of return for investors, which would ensure that fewer entrepreneurs will have a shot at innovating, starting a business, and creating jobs.

The President’s insistence on hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes on private sector investment contained in his economic proposals demonstrates how he continues to be tone deaf to common sense. As Charles Schwab noted just last week in the Wall Street Journal, “Behind every job is an entrepreneur.” Limiting investors’ ability to provide the capital to fuel the innovation of our entrepreneurs is the last thing leaders in Washington should be doing during this struggling economy.

While no industry has been unscathed by the recession, the tech industry has been resilient and continues to be one of the strongest sectors of our economy, particularly in the state of Texas.

Maintaining our competitive advantage globally and ensuring we remain on the cutting edge of technological innovation requires a competitive tax system. Rather than bludgeoning small businesses with higher taxes, the President should champion comprehensive tax reform to simplify the tax code, remove special interest provisions, and make income tax rates lower, flatter, and fairer. Private sector investment in innovation is what will help pull our economy out of the doldrums and get Americans back to work. Ultimately, a plan that would make it more difficult for entrepreneurs to start and grow a business is simply not a jobs plan, nor a debt reduction plan.

Kay Bailey Hutchison is the senior U.S. Senator from Texas
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Elaine K.  
October 7, 2011 1:00pm
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