WaPo Wrong on Taxes and Wrong on Small Business
There is nothing really positive to say about Steven Pearlstein’s July29th Washington Post article titled Health Reform Threatened by Conservatives’ Anti-Tax Fantasy. Pearlstein opens:
Nothing has been more damaging to rational discourse about economic policy than the notion, peddled relentlessly by Republican conservatives and accepted by too many centrist Democrats, that raising taxes is always and everywhere bad for the economy.
But what Pearlstein fails to tell his readers is that Republicans in Congress have sponsored or co-sponsored no less than three bills that actually raise taxes to help pay for health care reform. It is actually Congressional Democrats, big labor, and the Obama administration who are absolutely refusing to remove the current tax exemption on employee health benefits. This is a revenue raiser that the CBO says will actually reduce health care spending.
But let’s leave that obvious error aside. The real point of Pearlstein’s article is to attack small businesses. He asserts:
For starters, small businesses don’t create all the new jobs, as I explained in a column earlier this month. Job creation goes on at firms of all sizes, with much of it coming from relatively few companies that start small and get big rather fast. The percentage of Americans employed by small business has increased only modestly over time.
But Pearlstein’s old column is just as fact free as this one. In reality, small businesses are vital to job creation, especially coming out of a recession. A recent study by the Kaufman Foundation found that small businesses have led America out of its last seven recessions, generating about two of every three new jobs during a recovery. Considering the economic slump we are in right now, it seems Pearlstein’s readers might want to know that little fact.