Small business was one of the most frequently used buzz words this election cycle. Everyone is justifiably concerned about the fate of small businesses in this less than optimal economy.
Small business not only is how many American's make lives from themselves, but the ethereal concept of small business represents the American dream. Fleeing from a land of oppression, a young immigrant remakes their life with their own two hands. Using his unparalleled ability for bicycle making (or what have you), he opens a bicycle store and his small business, that he created with his ingenuity and hard work, grants him and his family a better life.
Small business is thus both an economic sector and a rhetorical concept, and any accusation of harming small business is implicitly an accusation of hindering the pursuit of happiness and the American dream.
It is no wonder, then, that both candidates tried to hammer the other for the hypothetical harm that they would cause small business. And it is no further wonder that the GOP is continuing to claim that the president is trying to dismantle small business, the backbone of the U.S. economy.
But does the president's tax plan actually affect small business? Not according to some sources. Talking Points Memo estimates that Obama's tax plan will affect a mere 3.5% of small businesses. In fact, it is widely understood that the president is proposing 18 small business tax cuts. Although the true tax break characteristics in these cuts has been questioned, there are certainly no explicit initiatives to raise taxes on small business.
The problem is that small business and the middle class have been rhetorically linked and the "middle class" now pretty much means everyone except the top 1% of the income bracket. So with a category so wide and undefined, there will always be multiple interpretations of economic "facts." As the Huffington Post says, "As long as voters associate small business interests with the interests of middle-class Americans, candidates will continue to treat small business advocacy like the modern-day equivalent of kissing a baby. "