Debate 3: Candidates Aren’t Asked, Talk Small Biz Anyway (Yahoo! Small Biz Vote)


Debate 3: Candidates Aren’t Asked, Talk Small Biz Anyway (Yahoo! Small Biz Vote)

Katie Vlietstra, Director of Government Affairs for the National Association of the Self Employed, who live-Tweeted the debate at @GAatNASE, called the event entertaining television but frustrating for small business owners. Considering that the self-employed account for at least 76 percent of small businesses, Vlietstra said, "It seems to me that both candidates and campaigns are missing the boat when talking about small business."


Vlietstra found Romney's explanation of is idea for a tax deduction "bucket" to be "interesting" but, she said, "You're talking about a self-employed person making $60,000. They don't have that much in deductions. Instead, they want to know, are they able to deduct their health insurance like any other employer?"

Romney's suggestion that middle-income or many self-employed taxpayers would benefit from being exempt from paying any tax on interest on savings dividends or capital gains also seemed a bit out of touch. Most middle-income taxpayers don't have such savings so that the exemption would mean anything to them, Vlietstra said.

There's still hope that the candidates could give small business owners more to chew on before they vote. NASE is waiting for responses to questions it posed to each campaign. And although next week's debate will ask the candidates to discuss foreign policy, "10 days out from the election they'll probably spin their answers out to domestic issues," Vlietstra said.

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