MADISON, Wis. – Today, Wisconsin small business owner Melissa Bucholz penned an op-ed in the Cap Times slamming Ron Johnson for voting against crucial pro-business legislation like the American Rescue Plan while prioritizing tax handouts for the ultra wealthy.
The Cap Times: Opinion | Ron Johnson Votes To Help The Rich, Not Small Business
For many Wisconsinites, Tax Day is just the deadline to file your taxes and avoid any penalties from the IRS.
For small business owners, Tax Day is also a reminder of all the ways in which tax policies at every level play a crucial role in either increasing the likelihood of survival for our businesses or making it harder to succeed. As the owner of Odd Duck restaurant for nearly a decade and having recently moved to our new location at 939 S. 2nd St. in Milwaukee, I have experienced all the ups and downs of operating a business. And when facing those ups and downs, you come into direct contact with those policies that will affect the course of your business for better or for worse.
I know firsthand what it means to have a tax credit that is meaningful to my business as opposed to a tax giveaway to the rich that makes competing as a small business even harder. When Sen. Ron Johnson voted against the American Rescue Plan last March, he voted against expansions to the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Both are important to the success of my restaurant and small businesses across this state.
The expanded Child Tax Credit made more Wisconsin families eligible for the credit, increased the size of the credit, and made payments to parents monthly, which was huge for my employees who are raising children. When their kids are not in school, these monthly payments made child care more affordable, making it easier on them to continue working. And as small businesses like mine can attest in Wisconsin and across the country, getting more people into the workforce is critical for our business and the economy as a whole.
Additionally, the American Rescue Plan temporarily made the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit more generous and potentially refundable up to $8,000 for two or more young children or other dependents for 2021. Combined with the temporary increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for workers without dependents in 2021, and expanded eligibility for the EITC reaching younger and older workers alike, these tax credits are putting more money into people’s pockets at a time they need it most in the face of rising costs. This boost for families is often the difference between paying the bills on time or wondering how they will make ends meet, and our elected officials should be working to make these temporary provisions permanent.
In light of this, I cannot understand the great pride Johnson takes in voting against these policies while touting his support for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, where the average tax cut amounted to $30 for the poorest Wisconsinites, less than $700 for Wisconsinites making up to $113,800 in 2020, but nearly $40,000 for the richest 1% in our state. For Johnson to stand behind these tax giveaways to the rich, pretend they are uniformly benefiting us all, then argue we can’t afford to make health care and child care more affordable and accessible for the parents on my team and the families we serve every day makes clear that his priority is not looking out for “Main Street,” as he claims.
Too often, politicians use Main Street as a shield to pass policies that favor their wealthy donors while corporate interests use small businesses as pawns to protect their power and profits. As we marked another Tax Day this week, I wanted to be sure you all heard from an actual small business that knows it does better when the families that are just getting by can get a little more breathing room, not when the rich can buy a bigger yacht.