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Elizabeth Warren Supports Small Businesses

A blog post discussing the differences between Senator Brown and Elizabeth Warren's positions on small business.

During my career I have worked for and with large multi-national companies as well small entrepreneurial and family businesses.  The needs and concerns of
the three types of entities are dramatically different. I have built my success
by paying attention to what these organizations need and assuring that they
have those needs met in a way that is meaningful to them.

The current Massachusetts Senatorial campaign has two candidates whose views could not be further apart regarding how to help small businesses succeed.  What Senator Brown said in the first debate with Elizabeth Warren vs. the truth and what he voted for on the U.S. Senate floor and lobbied for behind closed doors should match.  Unfortunately, much of it didn’t. 

When things go well and the necessary tools are available, small businesses grow into larger businesses and pump more jobs into the economy which in turn generates additional jobs.  Unfortunately, small businesses have the deck
stacked against them in many ways. 

Small businesses don’t have the buying power in volume to get the same pricing their larger counterparts have; they often are unable to borrow at reasonable rates to grow and smooth out cash flow; and because their resources are often limited, they are forced to do more with less, making them unable to offer their employees the same quality of benefits their larger counterparts can, thus restricting their potential labor pool.

Small businesses don’t receive the large federal subsidies that the oil companies, agribusiness and others receive, and because of the corrupt D.C. lobbing process combined with the cumbersome Federal bidding process and long federal sales cycles, it is often prohibitive for smaller entities to bid on and win the lucrative government contracts that larger companies receive. Unfortunately, these small businesses, like the rest of us, pay the taxes that fund these projects that make other people very rich. 

How is it right that General Electric pays no corporate income tax, but
Joey’s three store Pizzeria chain does? 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, whose statistics Scott Brown
sited three times in that first debate with Elizabeth Warren, is not a
government agency nor does it have any relationship to the local Chambers of
Commerce that help small businesses.  In fact, this organization is the largest lobbying organization in America and their focus is primarily on the Federal Government. They support corporate personhood, outsourcing of jobs, oppose financial regulations that would protect us, and support the DISCLOSE Act which aims to limit foreign influence on U.S. elections. They also oppose mitigating climate change even though they agree that is a real phenomenon. Why would Senator Brown think they would be a valid source of unbiased data for a debate? 
Perhaps he and his staff knew that they wouldn’t be and duplicitously thought
that they might be able to manipulate the viewing audience into believing they
were not a bought and paid for lobbying group.

Most small business owners do NOT fall into the million dollar income category. In fact, very often the income of small business owners is reinvested back into their business to help it grow.  Senator Brown’s unequivocal comments on the radio recently stating that he would hold these tax-paying middle class people
hostage and vote to end the Bush tax cuts for those making under $250,000 a
year if millionaires didn’t receive additional tax breaks, says a great deal
about the man’s lack of understanding regarding job creation in small businesses and his lack of concern for the lives of working class Americans and Massachusetts residents.  It also shows the partisan attitude that is paralyzing Congress and inhibiting meaningful progress for our country and for all of our businesses.

Elizabeth Warren has fought to level the playing field for average Americans and small businesses alike. 

When the big firms failed and were bailed out with the taxes paid by the
little firms, and the economy crashed as a result—why wasn’t Senator Brown
fighting for bailout funds for the small businesses who did nothing wrong and
were forced out of business by the national economic disaster caused by large
banking institutions making bad bets with our money?

Elizabeth Warren has fought for legislation and rules to make sure this never happens again and Senator Brown has fought her every step of the way.  The rich are getting richer and the middle class is disappearing.  Is this the America we want for our children and grandchildren?

I support the middle class, I support small business and I support Elizabeth Warren!

 

© Cheryl Tully Stoll 2012 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

LessIsMore September 25, 2012 at 04:30 PM
I believe that you heart is in the right place but your logic does not hold together. More government regulation does not "level the playing field" for small business. In fact it does the exact opposite. It is the large corporations that can afford to lobby the legislators and regulators to skew the rules to their favor. Joey's Pizzeria can not afford to lobby Washington. Therefore, the more the government is involved the more we lock in the status quo which is an advantage for Large Businesses. Your example of taxes is a classic illustration of this fact. Our tax code is hopelessly complex. One of the primary reasons for this is that over time legislators have added to or modified the code to reward certain behavior or groups. It is large companies that can exert influence on these changes to their benefit. They then can pay experts to exploit the complexity of the code to legally avoid taxes. Joey's Pizzeria can not afford an army of tax experts. In fact, Joey's Pizzeria likely reports and pays its taxes through the personal returns of its owner(s). Therefore, raising the taxes on individuals in the higher income brackets would likely result in a higher tax rate for Joey. I do not have time to refute all your points about the cause of the current financial situation but one should ask themselves why it is the most heavily regulated industries that have the most problems - Insurance, Banking, Healthcare, Auto, etc.
UglyHat September 25, 2012 at 05:13 PM
“When the big firms failed and were bailed out with the taxes paid by the little firms, and the economy crashed as a result—why wasn’t Senator Brown fighting for bailout funds for the small businesses…” I won’t speak for Senator Brown, but I would like to think it is because private businesses should not be bailed out by taxpayers. Ever! Not large business, not small business.
Pete Laird Sr. September 25, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Cheryl Stoll writes "How is it right that General Electric pays no corporate income tax but Joey's three store Pizzeria chain does?" Good observation. But more interestingly, President Obama has selected the Chairman of General Electric Jeffrey Immelt to serve as Chairman of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Hmmm. Pete Laird Sr.
Cheryl Tully Stoll September 25, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Pete, I agree. It's not a choice I would have made.
Dave Lenane September 25, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Umm...as far as I can read GE paid taxes last year. At least I will take CNN and FORTUNE's word that they did.
RS September 25, 2012 at 11:31 PM
You know the often repeated fact that corporate taxes are high (which is true)... but in the same breath, people don't want to mention that the loopholes for large corporations are so large that companies like GE end up with no taxes or a tax refund when all is said and done. I'd sure like to get that sweet deal for my business... if only I could afford to legally bribe congress. A kind word and a donation to Scott Brown's campaign, with a wink that a sweetheart job awaits when he's done being a Senator is all that it would take.
Pete Laird Sr. September 25, 2012 at 11:49 PM
RS - quite a slur against Scott Brown. Not the same man I know.
RS September 25, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Just as regulations can (and have) been designed to favor large corporations with enough money to corrupt congress, so can regulations be designed to level the playing field. Which type of legislation gets written depends on who we elect to write the laws... in the case of Scott Brown, he's already proven that he is an ally of big business (specifically Wall St. and the oil companies). Elizabeth Warren has already demonstrated (with the establishment of the CFPB, for example), that she seeks to level the playing field for everyone. Scott Brown's view of the world is utterly perplexing. On the one hand he says he wants less regulation, but when it comes down to making law, guess what he votes for... (not you and me, and our small businesses).
RS September 26, 2012 at 12:28 AM
How else to explain Scott Brown's votes for things like taking billions of tax dollars and handing them over to oil companies in the form of subsidies. These are the biggest and most profitable companies on the planet - they don't need government help, they don't need our tax dollars, but for some unexplained reason, Scott Brown votes to help them out anyway... it's not a principled stand he's taken at all, something else is driving him and I believe he's already made his deals for what happens after he leaves the Senate - it's not unusual. Most of them do...
arnold September 26, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Wanna guess who actually pays the tab when taxes on corporations are increased? They are going to look to maintain their profit by RAISING the price of their product be that cars, boats, food gasoline etc. to the CONSUMER. The real issue is when do we wake up to the fact that government can never have enough income so there is no limit to their appetite for more. And our supposed representatives will pander to whoever will supply them with the means to keep their place at the public trough. Just look at how many millionaires we have holding public office who never worked in the private sector and did not inherit their wealth. And it doesn't matter what party.
Jeff Baron September 26, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Without proof, this is a reckless claim and worthy of no merit. Kind of like calling yourself a Native American to advance your career when you're not really Native American. Go Scott!
RS September 26, 2012 at 02:52 AM
You obviously don't understand how Washington works to consider it a reckless claim worthy of no merit. See this: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57459874/jack-abramoff-the-lobbyists-playbook/%20?tag=contentMain;contentBody So, in my opinion, the way Scott Brown has been voting raises red flags - we'll see what he does when he leaves the Senate next year, and then we'll have a clearer picture. My guess would be that he ends up with some sweet job in the financial sector because he helped those good ole boys avoid some real regulation. As for this sillyness about Elizabeth Warren - can you tell me with a straight face that you've verified your own racial composition to the same extent that you expected her to? I'll answer that for you: very rarely does anyone check their own lineage, because we go on what our parents/family tell us, and that's what happened with her - she got bad info. Also, according to the people that hired her, she never gained from it anyway - so it's a moot point, except for Scott Brown who wants to talk about anything but his voting record.
JT Washington September 26, 2012 at 11:44 AM
RS, Thanks for clarifying what we do and do not understand. Clearly you are the one with all of the answers here. She got bad info? Really? She did not gain from it? Maybe we could look at the applicant pool from when she was hired and see if there was an equally or more qualified minority. I prefer candidates whose qualifications go beyond "an excellent law school professor" who will fight for the hammered middle class. I am still looking for one from the Democratic Party. But again, I appreciate you pointing out how superior you are!
RS September 26, 2012 at 05:15 PM
JT: Yes. I do have answers and I make no apologies for that. If you have a better argument, then now is the time to present it instead of offering void rhetorical statements which have already been answered by her previous employers. But to me, it's quite obvious that Scott Brown cannot win on his record. That's why he opened the debate with a personal attack on Elizabeth Warren. And he is depending on his fellow Republicans to carry the ball on his personal attacks. That's fine - Elizabeth Warren is going to win on what she stands for, while Scott Brown is on the sidelines trying to smear her instead of doing his job.
LessIsMore September 26, 2012 at 07:55 PM
The original article was written to support Elizabeth Warren based on the perception that she would support policies that were good for small business. I believe that this is incorrect and that Mrs. Warren's "large government", pro-regulation position would be detrimental to small businesses. Unfortunately, the comments have descended into an unsupported irrational exercise in character assassination. This is not an unusual reaction from "large government" supporters when an attempt to engage them on the issues and policies they react emotionally with unsupportable accusations and pure vitriol. I believe this is because there logic does not hold together and history does not support their position so they lash out in frustration.
RS September 26, 2012 at 08:29 PM
If Washington can turn on a dime for big business by creating sweet deal legislation such as the financial bailouts, auto bailouts, corporate tax loopholes, lobbyist influence, immunity from criminal prosecution in the financial crisis... to name just a few... then why can't they cut some sweet deals for small business too? Elizabeth Warren thinks they can, and in doing so will help to level the playing field between big and small business.
FindBalance September 26, 2012 at 08:57 PM
How do you make these assertions, RS? The sweet deal legislation you refer to was bipartisan to allegedly stave off an economic collapse. And let's not forget that the auto bailout is was all Obama, and he did it unethically if not illegally. It's almost like, for you, if an R votes for a bailout it is wrong, but if a D votes for the same thing it is right. Please take a step back and try to be at least a little bit objective.
RS September 26, 2012 at 09:12 PM
It's easy to make these allegations: Washington did nothing for small business when they were bailing out the big guys with our tax dollars. Putting someone like Elizabeth Warren into the Senate will add another voice for small business. And, maybe, someday, we'll get some policies that help small business too.
FindBalance September 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM
That's incorrect, RS, the bank bailout was allegedly precisely so business - small and large - would not lose their access to credit, which is their life blood. And again, bank bailouts were bi-partisan. Do you really think if Warren was Senator that she would have done anything differently, and gone against the Dems who supported the bailouts, including Pres Obama? In fact, her method is to create more rules and regulations against the "big banks and corporations", but the unintended consequence of that is that it puts too much burden on small companies to comply, which puts more small companies out of business and discourages new businesses from being created. An example of this is when, in her role at the new Consumer Protection Dept, she made a reg that capped how much credit card companies could charge stores for a transaction. To make up for the revenue, BoA increased fees to credit card holders by $5/mo. Was that good for customers, the littlest guys of them all? Warren tries to put 10 pound of potatos in a 5 pound bag - when she pushes down in one place, the potatos pop out in another. Either she doesn't know what she's doing (does she even know anything about economics?), or she doesn't care.
RS September 27, 2012 at 03:07 PM
If the banks had been adequately regulated, none of this would have happened. But you don't believe in common sense regulations that could and did threaten our country, that took us to the brink. Small business got stuck with the economic fallout, and we are still feeling it. Big corporations are sitting on a huge pile of cash and are doing better than ever - take a look at the stock market. And you think everything is fine. Seriously?
LessIsMore September 27, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Banks did not cause the financial crisis. It was not small or big business that failed to make payments on their debt nearly causing our financial system to grind to a halt. It was primarily individuals who failed to make payments on their mortgage debt. What created this situation? Many of these people were able to secure loans that they never should have received. You don't hear this much because politicians do not get elected by calling potential voters deadbeats. The banks have been scapegoated. Did they make bad loans? Yes. However, this was in response to constant pressure from regulators and outside special interest groups. Regulations such as the Community Reinvestment Act were used as a hammer to push banks into making sub-prime loans. In addition, government sponsored entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac contributed mightily by providing an avenue for banks and regulators to hide the tremendous risk inherent in these assets and free up capital to continue making these loans. If left alone banks would not have put themselves in this position. In fact, even if they attempted to do so the market would not have allowed them to do so by removing their access to capital(Fannie and Freddie removed this check on bad behavior). It was not under-regulation that created the financial crisis it was an over-abundance of government involvement that created the problem. Mrs. Warrren's policies will increase the likelihood of repeating these mistakes.
FindBalance September 27, 2012 at 05:35 PM
RS - You faill to see that the Dems, lead by Barney Frank, actually *encouraged* banks to behave irresponsibly, by first pressuring them to give loans to people who could not pay themm back, then backing these loans with Fannie/Freddie, and finally not overseeing them like they were responsible to do - Frank was Chair of the House Finance committee and Dodd of the Senate Finance committee in the years right before the meltdown - it was their responsibility (and SEC) to understand what was going on with these Credit Default Swaps, etc., and they didn't. And I absolutely believe in common sense regulations for the banks - the right regulation. Bring back a variation of Glas-Stegal, not this give-regulators-unbridled-power-to-do-anything-they-want-without-Congressional-approval law that Frank-Dodd is. If Warren is elected to the Senate, I have no doubt she will pressure regulators to make rules and regs that will mess things up even more. And small business is still feeling the effects of the economic fallout unnecessarily because of the climate of uncertainty and over-burdening rules and regs that Pres Obama has created for small business especially - Obamacare is a burden to small business, taxes increasing on people/business making over $250k is a damper on small business starting or expanding, etc., etc.
FindBalance September 27, 2012 at 05:43 PM
You also said, RS: "Big corporations are sitting on a huge pile of cash and are doing better than ever - take a look at the stock market. And you think everything is fine. Seriously?" No, I don't think everything is fine. If Romney is elected President, I think he will entice corp money to come back to America, by reducing the corp tax (and closing the loopholes, too, I hope), which is the highest in the industrialized world. (Of course, Dems will criticize him for giving a tax cut to corporations, even though this is exactly what is needed to bring that money back to America!) That will stimulate private sector job growth for both large corps and small businesses (though not the only things that can and will be done by Romney for the small business climate). We know, though, if Pres Obama is re-elected, the corp money will not come back to America, and he will continue to push the idea that meaningful job growth should come from govt spending; that is a losing idea.

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