In the Washington Post, Brookings Institute’s William Gale pens an article entitled, “Five myths about the Bush tax cuts.”
In it, he writes: “2. Allowing the high-income tax cuts to expire would hurt small businesses.
One of the most common objections to letting the cuts expire for those in the highest tax brackets is that it would hurt small businesses. As Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) recently put it, allowing the cuts to lapse would amount to "a job-killing tax hike on small business during tough economic times."
This claim is misleading.
If, as proposed, the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire for the highest earners, the vast majority of small businesses will be unaffected. Less than 2 percent of tax returns reporting small-business income are filed by taxpayers in the top two income brackets — individuals earning more than about $170,000 a year and families earning more than about $210,000 a year.
And just as most small businesses aren't owned by people in the top income brackets, most people in the top income brackets don't rely mainly on small-business income: According to the Tax Policy Center, such proceeds make up a majority of income for about 40 percent of households in the top income bracket and a third of households in the second-highest bracket. If the objective is to help small businesses, continuing the Bush tax cuts on high-income taxpayers isn't the way to go -- it would miss more than 98 percent of small-business owners and would primarily help people who don't make most of their money off those businesses.”
I’m not sure where Mr. Gale gets his numbers from, but perhaps he should look at the Joint Committee on Taxation for some guidance. In a report for the Senate finance committee the JCT did an analysis entitled, “PRESENT LAW AND THE PRESIDENT’S FISCAL YEAR 2011 BUDGET PROPOSALS RELATED TO SELECTED INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX PROVISONS SCHEDULED TO EXPIRE UNDER THE SUNSET PROVISIONS OF THE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND TAX RELIEF RECONCILIATION ACT OF 2001.”