Good morning. In the coming weeks, the House and Senate will consider my proposals
to speed up economic growth and generate new jobs for American workers. Part
of that plan is designed to help America's small businesses, in particular,
which create millions of jobs each year and account for about half the nation's
Small business owners represent the enterprise of the whole nation and the diverse
talents of our people. Nearly 40 percent of small firms are owned by women.
Close to 15 percent of America's small business owners come from minority groups,
and the trend of minority ownership is accelerating. These minority- owned firms,
more than 3 million strong, provide opportunities and give life to local economies
To help small business, government should not try to manage the economy from
Washington. Government's role is to create an environment in which employers
succeed and hire new people.
My jobs and growth plan will help in several specific ways. I am proposing tax
relief for everyone who pays federal income taxes. Two years ago, Congress approved
income tax reductions that will not go into full effect until 2006. My plan
would make these reductions effective immediately, to boost the economy in the
short-term and help insure long-term growth. If tax relief is good enough for
Americans three years from now, it is even more necessary today, when our recovery
is not as strong as it should be.
Small businesses stand to gain a great deal from this measure. After all, more
than two-thirds of taxpayers who pay the highest marginal tax rates are small
business owners who include their profits when they file their individual tax
returns with the IRS. All together, the tax relief I propose will give 23 million
small business owners an average tax cut of $2,042 this year. And I'm asking
Congress to make those reductions permanent, so that America's entrepreneurs
can plan for the future, add more employees and invest in our economy.
I will also ask Congress to raise the amount of money small businesses can deduct
from their taxes for investment in new equipment, such as machinery and computers.
Right now, the maximum deduction is $25,000. We should triple that amount to
$75,000, and adjust it for inflation. This reform would give small businesses
a further incentive to make the investments on which our economy depends.
Our commitment to small businesses will take other forms, as well. We will streamline
business regulations and make sure that the concerns of small businesses are
heard in Washington.
I'm also urging Congress to enact legal reform to curtail the frivolous lawsuits
that impose unfair costs on businesses and their customers. And I will continue
to seek a permanent end to the death tax, so that America's small business owners
can pass along their life's work to the next generation.
America's economy can thrive only when our small businesses thrive. My growth
and jobs proposal will encourage America's entrepreneurs and help to reward
their efforts. By reducing taxes, encouraging investment and removing obstacles
to growth, we will create a platform for future prosperity, so that small business
can flourish, and every American who seeks work can find a job.