There is general agreement that today it is necessary to help small businesses in order to create jobs. However, actions erase rhetoric and electoral strategies have predominated in Congress over formulating a public policy that helps the country emerge from its economic troubles.
That is what happened with some proposals sponsored by Senate Democrats to provide tax cuts to small companies, which were defeated by the Republicans through a parliamentary procedure.
First, an amendment to extend a series of tax deductions, even for capital investment expenses, lost in a 57-41 vote. Also, the final bill that granted a 10% tax credit to companies that hire employees and make capital investments had a 53-44 vote. In both cases, there were GOP lawmakers who voted for the bills, so the majority of votes were in favor. But a parliamentary maneuver by opposition leaders meant that 60 votes were required to approve a bill and make it filibuster proof.
You would think that cutting taxes for the private sector is an issue that really interests Republicans, but that is not the case in this year’s fierce presidential campaign.
For the GOP, it is unthinkable to consider giving President Obama a victory that might benefit him-even at the expense of helping small businesses.
To be fair, we must also recognize that a GOP bill to give small businesses a 20% tax cut was also rejected during the same session. Although that bill, previously approved by the House of Representatives, was so extremist that even almost half of the Republican caucus-except for the leaders-voted to set it aside.
It is impossible to remove political maneuvering from the Legislature in a presidential election year. But the high unemployment demands that Congress takes on a leadership role that puts the interests of Americans above electoral immediacy. The country demands positive action and not bets to win based on economic deterioration at the expense of the unemployed.