GOP Debate: Where Candidates Stand on Small Business

Date: September 22, 2015

While the Republican primary debate covered little ground on small business, we take a look at what candidates said on key issues that matter to owners.

Though there were memorable moments of humor and tension, critics weren’t too impressed with the second Republican debate. The crowded field made it difficult for the top-tier 11 candidates to carry substantive discussions and, for the second time, small business was hardly mentioned. However, candidates did touch upon issues that matter to small business owners, like taxes, minimum wage and Obamacare.

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Here’s what candidates said on key small business issues:

  • Minimum wage: Ben Carson supports raising the federal minimum wage, which is currently at $7.25. He said he would like to “negotiate a reasonable minimum wage, and index that so that we never have to have this conversation again in the history of America.”
  • Taxes: Donald Trump, who plans to unveil his tax plan in less than two weeks, called for a tax reduction for the middle class and a higher tax for hedge fund managers. Jeb Bush also favors raising the tax rate for money managers and already put forth his tax plan. Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee proposed a “fair tax” on “consumption, rather than a tax on productivity.” Carson and Rand Paul both favor a flat tax rate. However, Carson’s plan is rooted in the Biblical principle of tithing, whereas Paul’s plan is a 14.5 percent rate for all with the elimination of the payroll tax.
  • Obamacare: Trump, Scott Walker (who suspended his campaign yesterday) and Ted Cruz all pointedly said they would repeal Obamacare. Cruz argued: “through regulatory reform, we will repeal every word of Obamacare.”
  • Regulation: Like Cruz, who called for regulatory reform, Bush vowed to “fix the broken regulatory system” as part of his 4-percent growth strategy. Marco Rubio also noted the redundant nature of the federal government’s regulatory powers that “does all kinds of things it’s not supposed to be doing. It regulates bathrooms. It regulates schools that belong to local communities.”

*Note: This news coverage does not equate to an endorsement of any candidate by NFIB.

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