Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Economic Ideas from IL-16

On June 10, 2008, congressional candidate and small business owner Bob Abboud (IL-16) proposed a package of tax incentives and reforms designed to support American small businesses. The incentives would include increased access to affordable health care coverage as well.

Small businesses are the economic engine of our community and our country, Abboud said. They represent more than half of our total workforce and they are drowning. If we don’t help them now, we are putting the entire U.S. economy in serious jeopardy. Little realities that are obvious to many yet Congressmen Don Manzullo (IL-16) and John Shimkus (IL-19) remain clueless to them since they voted against HR 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act. Helping to boost eco-friendly economic development and creating jobs in Illinois must be a bad thing for them.

The two congressmen either do not understand the significance of the following statistics or they simply do not care about their importance:

  • According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses employ 58.6 million workers and are responsible for creating up to 80 percent of new jobs. In 2004, small businesses were responsible for all new job creation. The December 2007 Small Business Research Summary is available to download here.
  • In a recent survey, the National Small Business Association found that sales and profits had dropped, and job growth was at its lowest point in 15 years. The survey also found that 71 percent of business owners have a negative outlook on the economy. In contrast, only 43 percent shared that sentiment a year ago.
Unlike his Republican counterparts from either end of the state, Mr. Abboud said has developed a few proposals to help small businesses prosper in America ’s already struggling economy:
  1. Allow small businesses to pool their resources and buy health insurance as a group. This will (a) lower the cost of health care for business owners and help them attract more skilled workers who see the availability of health care as a deciding factor when looking for employment; and (b) serve as a stop-gap measure until a larger package of complete health care reform is in place which eliminates the insurance problem.
  2. Streamline the federal grant application process and make grants more available. Bring the process completely online, eliminating needless paperwork and the high cost of applications, creating a system for each business owner to monitor the progress of their application. The legislation would also include a simple set of criteria that must be met for small businesses to be considered for these grants.
  3. Invest in renewable energy and green jobs. Provide tax incentives, grant programs and other federal support for this industry to create jobs, move America toward energy independence and help safeguard the environment.
  4. Streamline federal tax code while providing tax incentives for small businesses. (a) Reduce the complexity of federal taxes to help new business owners feel confident in an otherwise risky venture; (b) reduce the complexity of taxes to allow small business owners to focus their energies their businesses; and (c) expand existing tax credits for small businesses and create new incentives to ensure successful small businesses (NOTE: An SBA study found that 1 in 3 businesses fail inside of 2 years.)
  5. Open more government contracts for competitive bidding. In 2007, the federal government issued $122 billion worth of government contracts that were not openly bid upon, including $44 million of no-bid contracts in the 16th District according to USAspending.gov.
  6. Develop more small business incubator facilities. Incubator facilities are an ideal environment for start-up businesses. They provide office space, equipment, tech support, shipping and receiving capabilities, conference rooms, labs and other amenities that would otherwise cost start-up businesses thousand upon thousands of dollars to install themselves.
Don Manzullo and Congress have been ignoring the small business owner so giant corporations can squeeze out a little more profit, Abboud said. I am tired of seeing companies like Exxon and Halliburton get all kinds of government help, patent protection, and tax breaks to do business overseas while we in America are left on our own. The future of the American economy is bound to these brave business owners who risk it all just to make a living. These folks are not multi-millionaires, they are hard working people. It is our responsibility to protect their interest and encourage their enterprise – that is what builds America.

John Shimkus has a prestigious education -- with an MBA no less. Many people can only dream of one day attaining his educational achievements they are so out of reach. Yet, for all the support that he claims to give small businesses (and he does claim very well in his campaign promises), he has never thought of a list like this one from Mr. Abboud in IL-16. Typical. Substance has never been one of his assets. His wasted education is common knowledge in Central and Southern Illinois, and the taxpayers he will never reimburse the taxpayers for his unused engineering degree.

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