Unless Congress acts, 97% of small businesses will pay $2,000 more in taxes next year. Here, a few small business owners share why they're standing with President Obama:
“$2,000 could get a much-needed computer for our small business. It could subsidize the expenditures for gas as we travel to meet with clients and prospective new clients. It could mean that many of our out-of-pocket prescription drugs could be paid for. I look at our budgets—as a small business and as a family, in this recovering but still-fragile economy—and I don't really know how we will cut enough expenditures to make up for the $2,000 if the tax cuts are not extended for the middle class.”
“As a microbusiness owner, $2,000 is a huge portion of my budget. That's another opportunity to promote my handmade cookies at a trade show where I can gain more customers, which will in turn allows me to hire staff.”
Seniors join President Obama in urging Congress to stop taxes from going up on middle-class Americans:
"I am 72 years old, taking care of my 93-year-old husband who has Alzheimer's. Since we have two small pensions, my husband's Social Security, and savings, we are paying federal and state taxes. If we have to pay another $2,000 annually in taxes, it will put us closer to the day we can't carry our expenses anymore. My husband's out-of-pocket health expenses are high. It's important to me to avoid putting him in an institution and on Medicaid. Keeping that $2,000 annually helps us both stay in our own home and not become a further expense to the government. Financially secure seniors are a boon to society. Please don't make it more difficult for us to stay that way."
"A stroller, car seats, and cribs for my growing twin grandbabies."
"$2,000 is groceries for 3.5 months; it is two thirds of the insurance on our home and autos; it would be about a year's worth of insurance; it is dental exams and cleaning for two people for a year; it is almost cable/internet/phone for a year; it is birthday/Christmas presents for our eleven grandchildren. $2,000 is a lot of things—from absolutely necessary to nice to be able to do."
—Sherry, North Carolina
If Congress fails to act, taxes will go up for working Americans. What would paying $2,000 more in taxes mean to families across the country? Here are just a few responses:
"My wife and I have twin boys. We are thrilled to be adding a new baby to our family in April! However, I'm a teacher and she is a professional musician. We love what we do, but with our current salaries, we couldn't possibly afford the costs that will come with the birth if we lost $2,000. My income went down slightly because my district dropped dental insurance, so we now pay it on our own. We love what we do, love helping educate kids and provide for the community but as you can see, couldn't withstand a $2,000 tax hike; not with a baby on the way."
"It could mean Christmas presents for my three kids and my extended family. Or it could mean a year of after school activities—dance lessons and piano lessons and art lessons. Or it could mean paying for our life insurance policies, which make sure that our kids are taken care of if anything happens to us. It's a lot."
—Abigail, New York
Students and their families share why Congress needs to act now to keep taxes low for middle-class Americans:
"I am a former foster youth who emancipated from foster care two years ago. Now, I am a college student at San Francisco State University and working while I am in college. What does $2,000 mean to me? I could use it to pay for my tuition, books, and college expenses while I don't have any family to pay for my education. It could be an investment for me in the future. It could help me get a degree and earn a college education. This can help my future endeavor to have a better job and pay more taxes to create more jobs for Americans to sustain our economy and growth."
"It means paying down my student loans and the small amount of debt from being a student health care worker."
Supporters across the country are joining President Obama in urging Congress to keep taxes low for middle-class families. Here's what $2,000 a year would mean to just a few of the folks who have shared their stories.
"I delivered my first child in September and I am a full-time college student. Diapers, formula, books, tuition, and contributing toward my family's future potential is what $2,000 will help accomplish!"
"I'm working on getting a Masters degree so I can compete in this job market. Increasing my tax burden would make it a lot tougher to purchase my own health insurance when I turn 26 (this June), work on repaying my various debts, and save money for my distant wedding. I don't mind paying my fair share to get our country back on its feet, it's just difficult to do when we're still not on our own feet."
"As someone with several medical conditions requiring prescription drugs, I spend nearly $150 a month on copays alone. Each month, I struggle to meet these expenses; raising my taxes would make this even more difficult."
"I want the American people to urge Congress soon, in the next week, the next two weeks, to begin the work we have by doing what we all agree on. Both parties agree that we should extend the middle-class tax cuts. We've got some disagreements about the high-end tax cuts, right? Republicans don’t want to raise taxes on folks like me; I think I can pay a little bit more to make sure that kids can go to college and we can build roads and invest in NIH so that we're finding cures for Alzheimer's. And that’s a disagreement that we're going to have and we've got to sort out.
"But we already all agree, we say, on making sure middle-class taxes don’t go up, so let's get that done. Let's go ahead and take the fear out for the vast majority of American families so they don’t have to worry about $2,000 coming out of their pockets starting next year."—President Obama speaking in Hatfield, Pennsylvania today
"If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year—starting January 1st, every family in America will see their taxes go up. A typical middle-class family of four would see its income taxes go up by $2,200.
"$2,200 out of people's pockets. That means less money for buying groceries, less money for filling prescriptions, less money for buying diapers. It means a tougher choice between paying the rent and paying tuition. And middle-class families just can't afford that right now."
—President Obama at the White House earlier today
A new report from the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers takes a look at what the consequences could be for retailers and consumer spending if Congress doesn't stop taxes from going up for most working families and small businesses at the end of the year.
According to the report:
If Congress fails to act, every American family’s taxes will automatically go up—including the 98% of Americans who make less than $250,000 a year and the 97% of small businesses that earn less than $250,000 a year. A typical middle-class family of four would see its taxes rise by $2,200.Read More…