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Ms. VELÁZQUEZ. I thank the ranking member for yielding.
I rise in opposition to this ill-conceived measure which will do nothing to promote small business growth. Small businesses everywhere need help. They require affordable credit and greater demand for their services. Yet today we are focused on legislation that does nothing to address these challenges and, instead, pushes an extreme agenda.
Despite what some assert, regulation is not among entrepreneurs' top concerns. In fact, surveys note that 85 percent of small business owners believe regulation is necessary. And I have with me a survey that was conducted last February by the American Sustainable Business Council, and I will enter this survey into the Record.
Opinion Polling: The Economic State of Small Business
(By the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance, and Small Business Majority)
In January and February 2012, the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority released polling that asked small employers across the country about key issues impacting the small business community. These included access to credit; proposals in the American Jobs Act to boost the economy; regulations; taxes; and money in politics. Respondents were politically diverse: 50% identified as Republican, 32% as Democrat and 15% as independent.
The poll found nine in 10 small business owners have a negative view of the role money plays in politics. The results showed 90% of small business owners see the availability of credit as a problem for small business and they strongly favor increasing the lending authority of community banks and credit unions. We also learned that entrepreneurs support current proposals being debated in Congress that aim to boost the economy and create jobs, particularly investments in infrastructure.
The polling revealed that consumer demand--not regulation--is small business owners' greatest concern. In fact, 86% see regulation as a necessary part of a modern economy and three-quarters believe it is necessary to level the playing field between small and large businesses. Lastly, 90% of small business owners believe large corporations use loopholes to avoid taxes that small businesses have to pay, and three-quarters say their own business suffers because of it.
Below are the extended main findings of the poll.
The poll reflects an Internet survey of 500 small business owners across the country, conducted by Lake Research. It has a margin of error of +/-4.4%. The survey was conducted between December 8, 2011 and January 4, 2012. Researchers used a random sample of small business owners obtained from Harris Interactive, with additional samples from InfoUSA.
MONEY IN POLITICS
Polling results that revealed small business owners' attitudes toward money in politics and the Citizens United decision were released on Jan. 18.
Small business owners view the Citizens United decision as bad for small business: 66% of those surveyed said the two-year-old ruling that gives corporations unlimited spending power in elections is bad for small businesses. Only 9% said it was good for small business.
Small business owners have a negative view of the role money plays in politics overall: 88% of respondents view the role money plays in politics negatively; 68% view it very negatively.
ACCESS TO CREDIT AND PROPOSALS TO BOOST THE ECONOMY
Poll results that revealed small business owners' attitudes toward credit availability were released on Jan. 26, 2012 in conjunction with results showing their views on proposals in the American Jobs Act.
Small business owners say access to credit is a problem: 90% of respondents agree the availability of small business loans is a problem, and 60% have faced difficulty themselves when trying to obtain loans that would grow their businesses.
Small business owners agree it is harder now to obtain loans: 61% of respondents say it is harder now than it was four years ago to get a loan.
Small business owners support making it easier for community banks and credit unions to lend more: 90% of owners support making it easier for community banks and credit unions to lend to small businesses, and more than three-quarters, or 77%, support creating incentives for community banks to lend more. By more than a 2:1 ratio, respondents support increasing credit unions' lending cap from 12.25% to 27.5% of a credit union's assets.
Support for reforming and regulating credit cards is extremely high among small business owners: 82% support tighter credit card regulations, such as clearer disclosure of terms and caps on interest rates, including 47% who strongly support these regulations; 52% of entrepreneurs have used credit cards to help finance their own business.
Respondents favor reducing collateral requirements: 60% of small business owners support reducing collateral requirements so loans can become more accessible.
The housing and mortgage crisis has harmed consumer demand for small businesses: Almost three-quarters of small business owners, or 73%, feel their business has been hurt by a drop in consumer demand stemming from the housing and mortgage meltdown.
Small business owners believe reducing the principal on underwater mortgages will boost spending: 57% of respondents agree reducing the principal on underwater mortgages to the current market value would boost consumer spending, helping small businesses regain their vigor through increased profits.
Small business owners strongly support investment in infrastructure: 69% favor investing $50 billion in infrastructure projects that would create jobs.
Entrepreneurs favor creating a nationwide wireless network: 59% of those surveyed are in support of creating this kind of network and expanding access to high-speed wireless services.
Polling results that revealed small business owners' attitudes toward government regulations were released on Feb. 1, 2012.
Weak demand is small business owners' biggest problem: 34% of respondents said weak demand is their biggest problem, while 15% cited the cost of health coverage and other benefits. Only 14% said it is the level of government regulation. The level of taxes came in fourth place with 12% and competition with larger companies garnered 10%.
Small business owners believe eliminating incentives to move jobs overseas would do the most to create jobs: 24% of small business owners said eliminating incentives for employers to move jobs overseas would do the most to create jobs, and 14% called for tax cuts. Thirteen percent of respondents said increasing consumer purchasing would be the biggest job creator and 12% believe jobs lie in improving infrastructure like roads and bridges. Only 10% of respondents said reducing regulation would do the most to create jobs.
Small business owners see regulations as a necessary part of a modern economy and believe they can live with them if they're fair and reasonable: 86% of small business owners agree some regulation of business is necessary for a modern economy, and 93% of them agree their business can live with some regulation if it is fair, manageable and reasonable.
Small businesses believe some regulations are needed to level the playing field with big business and that enforcement should be just as tough on large corporations as it is on small businesses: 78% of respondents said some regulations are important to protect small businesses from unfair competition and to level the playing field with big businesses. Additionally, 95% believe the enforcement of regulations should be at least as tough on large corporations as it is on small businesses. Another 76% of respondents believe regulations on the books should be enforced.
Respondents feel strongly that specific regulations play an important role: 78% believe policies are needed to hold health insurance companies accountable so they don't increase insurance rates by excessive amounts; 84% support policies that ensure food safety for businesses and customers that buy or sell food products and 80% support disclosure and regulation of toxic materials.
Small business owners support clean energy policies: 79% of small business owners support having clean air and water in their community in order to keep their family, employees and customers healthy, and 61% support standards that move the country towards energy efficiency and clean energy.
Small business owners believe in streamlining the process for regulatory compliance and documentation: 73% of respondents believe we should allow for one-stop electronic filing of government paperwork.
Polling results that revealed small business owners' attitudes toward taxes were released on Feb. 6.
Small business owners overwhelmingly believe big corporations use loopholes to avoid taxes that small businesses have to pay: a sweeping 90% believe this to be true; 92% say big corporations' use of such loopholes is a problem.
Nine out of 10 small business owners say U.S. multinational corporations using accounting loopholes to shift their U.S. profits to offshore subsidiaries to avoid taxes is a problem: 91% of respondents agreed it is a problem, with 55% saying it is a very serious problem.
Majority of small business owners say their business is harmed when big corporations use loopholes to avoid taxes: Three-quarters of respondents agree that their small business is harmed when loopholes allow big corporations to avoid taxes. More than one-third say it harms their business a lot.
Small business owners say big corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes: 67% believe big corporations pay less than their fair share of taxes. An even bigger majority, 73%, says multinational corporations pay less than their fair share.
Small business owners say households making more than $1 million a year pay less than their fair share in taxes: 58% of owners say households whose annual income exceeds $1 million pay less than their fair share.
Small business owners support a higher tax rate for individuals earning more than $1 million a year: 57% of respondents agree that individuals earning more than $1 million a year should pay a higher tax rate on the income over $1 million. Only one small business owner out of 500 polled reported their annual household income to be more than $1 million.
Four out of five small business owners disapprove of the ``carried interest'' loophole that gives hedge fund managers a big break on their taxes: 81% of small business owners favor hedge fund managers paying taxes at the ordinary income tax rate, with a top bracket rate currently set at 35%, rather than the 15% capital gains rate--with 61% strongly supporting this change.
A majority of small business owners believe Congress should let tax cuts expire on taxable household income exceeding $250,000 a year: 51% of respondents believe Congress should let tax cuts on taxable household income exceeding $250,000 a year expire (40% said they should be extended).
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONS
American Sustainable Business Council
The American Sustainable Business Council is a network of business organizations representing over 100,000 companies and 200,000 business leaders. ASBC advocates for public policies that meet the realities of the 21st century global economy including strategic investments in workforce and infrastructure; standards and safeguards that promote innovation, prevent abuse and protect critical resources; and a new sustainable economic model that fosters a growing, economically-secure middle class. www.asbcouncil.org
Main Street Alliance
The Main Street Alliance is a national network of small business coalitions. MSA creates opportunities for small business owners to speak for themselves to advance public policies that benefit business owners, their employees, and the communities they serve. Making health reform work for small businesses is a top priority of the MSA network and its state coalitions.
Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority is a national nonpartisan small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners, and focused on solving the biggest problems facing America's 28 million small businesses. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with small business owners, policy experts and elected officials nationwide to bring small business voices to the public policy table.
This survey says that eight out of 10 think regulations have a role to play in leveling the playing field between small businesses and larger competitors that seek an unfair advantage.
Even surveys by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, who, themselves are vehemently against regulation, they find that small businesses rank economic uncertainty and poor sales, respectively, as the most important concerns, not regulation.
There are a number of proposals that this House could pass to generate demand for small company services and empower them to hire. Tax credits for new employees, expanding payroll tax cuts, and extending tax cuts for working families all come to mind.
Let's reject this legislation and move on to a real small business jobs act.
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