We all know that politics are primarily hot air contests. In presidential debates, candidates on both sides make huge, sweeping promises without putting forth tangible plans. At this point, saying “I will fix the economy,” with an empty plan equates to a candidate declaring, “I will colonize Mars.” Luckily, most small business owners don’t fall for Washington’s pick-up lines and many have been lashing back at failing government agencies, but these promises are certainly enticing. And Mitt Romney has provided our most recent slew of campaign cant, making sweeping pledges to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Let’s take a closer look at what the real meaning behind his charming words.
Mitt Romney’s Small Business Stance: A Translation
Obama’s policies are “collectively anti-business, anti-investment, and anti-jobs.”
Translation: “Obama’s lame. I’m better.”
Negative attacks are often just as empty and general as campaign promises. As we saw from our analysis of Obama versus Romney’s stance on small businesses, both sides love to make poorly supported attacks. For example, one cannot really just call someone “anti” something. If I dropped my ice cream cone on the ground, I’m not actually anti-ice cream. Calling Obama anti-investment is a bit misleading, since banks have earned more during his tenure than the whole 8 years of the Bush administration, according to Business Insider. As for anti-job, that’s likely impossible, as it looks like Obama wants to keep his job very much.
“I will do everything in my power to stop Obamacare and take that specter away from small business.”
Translation: “I will complain about Obamacare tirelessly, because it doesn’t actually matter.”
This is an empty promise, and Romney probably knows it. At this point, the Affordable Health Care Act is being deliberated in the Supreme Court. This means it’s up to the court—not Mitt Romney—to decide whether the law is constitutional or not. The government’s system of checks and balances has been cleverly designed, and it prevents one part of government from running the whole show. At this point, “Obamacare” has gone through Congress and the Executive Branch, and meets its final maker. When Romney says “everything in my power,” he can actually mean “nothing at all,” since he has very limited legislative power over this act.
“I will lower the top tax rates from 35% to 28%.”
Translation: “Give me money.”
As we have seen time and time again, tax breaks are not actually effective for small businesses. In fact, as we saw in our comparison of both party’s plans, the Republican plan to lower taxes across the board for “small businesses,” would actually benefit huge money makers such as Oprah Winfrey’s company and—you guessed it—Mitt Romney’s hedge fund. Romney’s plan includes fewer deductions and exemptions, but small business tax breaks are often explicitly directed toward hiring and capital growth (such as zero taxes on capital gains and credits for hiring unemployed workers or offering benefits). While Romney says his plan will help small businesses keep capital and focus on hiring, taking away deductions may actually do the exact opposite.