Sailing over the heads of most reporters covering Wednesday’s televised Twitter forum from the White House, President Barack Obama again trumpeted, “We have provided at least 16 tax cuts to small businesses” in response to a “where are the jobs” tweet from House Speaker John Boehner, observes Grumpy Editor.
The “16 tax cuts to small businesses” boast has been mentioned for months and few reporters ask what they are.
Going back to last fall, an Oct. 30 New York Times blog by Robb Mandelbaum (who did ask) listed these “tax cuts,” as provided by the White House.
• A new small-business health-care tax credit.
• A new tax credit for hiring unemployed workers.
• Bonus depreciation tax incentives to support new investment.
• 75 percent exclusion of small business capital gains.
• Expansion of limits on small business expensing.
• Five-year carryback of net operating losses.
• Reduction of the built-in gains holding period for small businesses from 10 to seven years to allow small business greater flexibility in their investments.
• Temporary small business estimated tax payment relief to allow small businesses to keep needed cash on hand.
• Zero capital gains taxes on key investments in small businesses.
• The highest small business expensing limit ever –- up to $500,000.
• An extension of 50-percent bonus depreciation.
• A new deduction for health care expenses for the self-employed.
• Tax relief and simplification for cell-phone deductions.
• An increase in the deduction for entrepreneurs’ start-up expenses.
• A five-year carryback of general business credits.
• Limitations on penalties for errors in tax reporting that disproportionately affect small business.
Yes, there are 16. But media should ask how many entrepreneurs and small businesses --- such as beauty salon operators, dentists and printers --- are seeing improved bottom lines as a result.
In this week’s Twitter session, Obama also mentioned the December passage of a payroll tax cut “that put an extra $1,000 in the pockets of almost every single American. That means they’re spending money. That means that businesses have customers. And that has helped improve overall growth.”
That “extra $1,000 in the pockets of almost every single American” phrase didn’t raise eyebrows of media, either.
Some folks are still checking their pockets.