The New President and Small Business

What will the new president do for small businesses? That’s no idle question. The number of small businesses in America has grown almost 50% since 1992, according to the Small Business Administration. And the Wall Street Journal notes that “one quarter of U.S. households are starting a business, own a business, or are investing in someone else’s business.” With figures like these, small-business concerns should be matters of importance to the new president. President George W. Bush, a former businessman, supports programs and initiatives that encourage entrepreneurship and business growth. He favors:

  • Reducing the top tax rate from 39.6% to 33%.

  • Eliminating estate taxes (by phasing them out over several years).

  • Changing the federal rules governing the accrual method of accounting.

  • Making health insurance more affordable for small businesses and their employees, by letting them purchase health care coverage from multi-state trade groups (such as the Chamber of Commerce) through Association Health Plans. Currently, about 60% of all workers without health insurance are employed by small businesses.

  • Medical savings accounts that let small businesses deduct health insurance costs.

  • Encouraging e-commerce, a new fixed-year ban on taxes for Internet retail sales, and a ban on Internet access charges.

  • Limiting the amount of damages in verdicts against businesses.

  • Raising the minimum wage, as long as states have the right of opting not to do so.