Amid growing concerns that we are now in a "double dip" recession, President Obama's administration is seriously considering a new stimulus plan. The details of the plan have not yet been determined, but early proposals include a variety of suggestions for tax breaks that would help small businesses and, potentially, taxpayers. Among the suggestions are a payroll tax holiday and a permanent extension of the research-and-development tax credit.
The announcement smacks of election year politics. Obama's administration and the Democratic Party in general have been the targets of criticism that they are insensitive of the needs of small business owners — a criticism that I think is well-placed. Coupled with the oft-repeated charge that President Obama has been virtually ignoring the economy, I think Democrats are going to have a difficult time in November.
Interestingly, even if these tax breaks are passed, some business owners (including Fastsigns CEO Catherine Monson) think that those breaks will be too little, too late. This is especially true if small businesses continue to have difficulty accessing credit (see my other blog entries on this topic). But I for one certainly would applaud a stimulus plan that would actually do some good by helping small businesses and taxpayers (rather than sinking billions into companies that are considered "too big to fail"). Historically, small businesses are responsible for bringing the nation out of past recessions, and I have to believe the reason that we can't seem to get out of the current one is because small businesses are still struggling.
When it comes to small businesses, I think every little bit (tax break) helps.