Reenergizing Our Economy
Congress must focus on rekindling entrepreneurship
By Sam Graves
Reenergizing our economy and rekindling the American spirit of entrepreneurship must be the central focus of the 112th Congress. The small business owners who create the majority of new jobs need a government that will work with them – not against them – to put our nation back on the path to prosperity. As the new Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I am excited to help lead the fight for small business in Congress, and eager to get to work on the challenges facing our nation’s employers.
Entrepreneurship in the United States took a big hit in 2010. The lagging economy and a range of unpopular Washington initiatives created an atmosphere of uncertainty for business owners, causing many to postpone plans for hiring new employees or growing their businesses. As a result, unemployment levels remain high, millions are out of work, and there is a serious lack of confidence in the strength of the private sector that continues to deter investment.
That’s why one of the first issues that the Committee plans to address in 2011 is the health care law’s controversial 1099 reporting mandate. As you may know, the 1099 mandate requires every business to file a 1099 form for each purchase of goods or services of $600 or more per year from another entity. According to the National Taxpayer Advocate, this mandate is expected to dramatically increase compliance costs and paperwork for as many as 40 million businesses.
The questions and confusion surrounding the 1099 reporting rule have put a great deal of strain on small business growth in America. Some employers fear that the mandate could force them to change the way they run their businesses. Members of the House Small Business Committee are advocating for repeal of this burdensome mandate, and will continue to press the Internal Revenue Service for answers on its planned implementation.
Although a small reprieve was granted in December with the passage of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act (H.R. 4853), taxes remain a major concern for entrepreneurs. Small business owners pay more per employee to comply with the tax code, and often can’t afford to hire experts for help. In the coming months, the House Small Business Committee will be looking into a range of tax issues affecting small businesses. In addition to promoting a permanent repeal of the Estate Tax and Alternative Minimum Tax, we plan to examine ways to simplify the tax code, so employers can more easily navigate the filing process.
My colleagues on the the House Small Business Committee and I are ready to put an end to the devastating uncertainty that has plagued entrepreneurs for far too long. Throughout the 112th Congress, I encourage you to stay involved with the Committee’s work by visiting our website at smallbusiness.house.gov. Not only will we be live streaming our hearings through the website, but we will also post all hearing documents, including opening statements, witness testimony and related materials, so that the public can monitor our progress on the issues. You can also sign up to receive email updates at the website. I hope you find these resources helpful and will continue to contribute your thoughts and ideas to us as we work to protect the best interests of our job creators.
About the Author
Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO 6th) is a life long resident of Missouri's Sixth Congressional District. As a small businessman and a sixth-generation, full-time family farmer, Sam spent his life working to make Missouri a better place to live, work, and raise a family. He serves on the Agriculture, Small Business, and Transportation Committees where he continues the fight for the most significant interests of the Sixth District.