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Mr. PAULSEN. Mr. Speaker, I also rise today in opposition to the rule, and here is why. I offered three amendments before the Rules Committee and cosponsored a fourth. Sadly, none of them were made in order for today's bill.
My top concern and the concern of my constituents continues to be jobs. I believe everything Congress does should be looked at through the prism of is it helping or hurting job growth, and is it going to put Americans back to work. Unfortunately, Washington has not pursued a pro-jobs agenda over the last few years. In fact, since the stimulus was signed, we have lost about 3 million jobs, and we continue to spend and grow our Nation's debt to a larger and larger percentage of our GDP.
Mr. Speaker, small businesses have created about two of every three net new jobs in the United States since the early 1970s. Small businesses are also responsible for roughly half of the privately generated GDP in the United States. This is where our jobs are going to come from in the future. This is where our recovery is going to come from in the future. But what has Congress done in terms of focusing on small business? Unfortunately, not much.
That is why I offered a specific amendment in the nature of a substitute which would have allowed subchapter-S and LLCs to defer their income tax on any money that is reinvested in their company or their business. Instead, they would have to pay the tax only once on the money that is withdrawn from the company. If small businesses receive tax relief and they could reinvest that money in their company to hire workers, that would be a true economic stimulus to put people back to work.
More than two-thirds of all small business income is taxed at the top two individual tax rates, and now the majority party is going to let those rates rise at the end of this year, forcing small businesses to shoulder an even higher tax burden. So this amendment would have provided real incentives for small businesses to grow without creating another bailout-style fund of borrowing and spending even more government money.
I also offered an amendment that would have stricken the section of the legislation that would treat S-corporations differently. Why should a small business or a small business corporation be targeted for higher interest rates? A study that was sponsored by the SBA demonstrated that they already shoulder the highest effective tax burden of any business structure. If anything, they should be offered lower rates.
Finally, I cosponsored an amendment with the gentlewoman from Illinois (Mrs. Biggert), and it was also not made in order, and that amendment would have prevented any provisions of this legislation, the underlying bill, from taking effect until certain tax provisions that benefit small businesses are extended until 2012.
Mr. Speaker, the number one issue I really hear about is jobs, it is small business help, and how can we help them, and the uncertainty small businesses face right now coming from Congress. The Biggert amendment is a much better approach because it would have addressed that level of uncertainty, focusing time and attention on the needs and concerns of small businesses, and making sure that they know with certainty what they can do in terms of providing, where they are going to deploy their capital.
Mr. Speaker, these are the amendments that I think would have provided more direction to Congress to focus on true small business growth. It would be a targeted approach. It would have been smart. It would have been strategic. I urge a ``no'' vote on the rule because these amendments were not included as an option.
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