Happy new year, NFIB members!
Small business owners won a hard-fought victory in 2015 with
permanent “small business expensing,” a major tax benefit that NFIB research predicts will
create hundreds of thousands of new jobs over the years. Rarely has Congress changed the tax code in a
way that benefits small business, and we’re very proud to have been the leading
advocate on this issue. Very few
observers expect Congress to be nearly as productive in 2016, when every House
seat, a third of the Senate and the presidency are all up for election.
The presidential election will, of course, take center
stage. In a few short weeks, primary
voters in Iowa (February 1) and New Hampshire (February 9) will be casting the
first ballots in what has been a long and unusual presidential primary season
for both parties. Then it’s on to South
Carolina and Nevada, and from there to the pivotal Super Tuesday contest (March
1), when voters in 12 states, mostly in the South, will go to the polls.
On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton is a heavy favorite to wrap up the nomination quickly. Although Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders remains
the nominal front-runner in New Hampshire, according to the Real Clear Politics
average of polls. In the Republican
race, a more crowded and more widely covered contest, Texas Senator Ted Cruz
has quietly built a small lead over billionaire businessman Donald Trump. Mr. Trump leads comfortably, however, in New
Hampshire and South Carolina.
A few weeks is a long time in politics, and things could
change quickly. All of the candidates
are sprinting to the finish, and anyone can stumble. So hang on to your hats! In the meantime, there’s no question about
whether small business will be a factor in 2016.
While it’s highly unlikely that Congress will undertake any
major tax reform in a presidential election year, you can bet that the issue
will divide the candidates. Mandatory
paid family leave and minimum wage will be central to the Democratic nominee’s
campaign, and you can count on President Obama for an assist, as they’ve been
major themes for him as well.
It’s also very likely that the President will try to force
through major environmental and labor regulations before he leaves office. His regulatory agenda has been especially
aggressive, driving up the cost of energy, land use and many other business
activities. As you may know, the NFIB Small Business Legal Center is currently litigating several important cases in the federal
courts, and we expect action on those in the coming months.
As always, NFIB will track the issues, analyze
the policies and defend the interests of small business owners in what promises
to be a very interesting year.
Dan Danner, NFIB President & CEO