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Small Business Owners Support Higher Taxes on the Wealthy

Michael Lipsky

Small business owners, it turns out, are like everybody else. They are Democrats and Independents as well as Republicans. A few make a lot of money; others not nearly so much.

They are also all over the map in their policy preferences. In a new poll, Small Business Majority reports that over half of small business owners think that taxes should be raised on wealthy individuals, and nearly 60 percent recognize that government plays an important role in helping small businesses thrive.

These findings contradict the conservative mantra that small business owners think that taxes are too high and government regulation too stringent.

Why would one believe Small Business Majority, when the conservative machine would have you think that small business owners are implacably opposed to active government policies? The simple reason is that its polls gather opinion from a representative sample of all small business owners, while the National Federation of Independent Business, the conservative organization that purports to represent them and is typically the source for the alternative view, at best reflects the views only of its members.

There are approximately six million small business owners in the United States. The NFIB, substantially funded by supporters of low-tax perspectives, at best represents a self-selected 17 percent of all small business owners.