I do not like to discuss national politics in this forum, however I feel the need to point out how most of the mainstream media has ignored some of the plans proposed by presidential candidate Fred Thompson that would help small businesses. First of all, I should note that I am not an accounting guru, so some of the details proposed by political candidates that relate to the tax code are a bit out of my league. On the other hand, there are at least five issues that the former U.S. senator from Tennessee has offered as part of his campaign platform that make a lot of sense to me as a small business owner.
Fred Thompson, known by many as the district attorney on NBC's "Law & Order " for the past few years, joined the presidential race later than most of the other candidates. For some reason, Mr. Thompson's plans have been overlooked by the national media even though some of his ideas are some of the boldest initiatives presented by any presidential candidate since the "Great Communicator ". (For those of you who were born after 1975, I am referring to former President Ronald Reagan).
Thompson wants to permanently extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Unless Congress acts soon, taxpayers will see a massive tax increase in 2011. In addition, the former senator wants to repeal the "death tax" which will punish small business owners and family farmers beginning in 2010 unless the federal government rewrites the law. Thompson also wants to repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which was originally designed to ensure that high-income Americans could not use deductions and credits to limit their tax liability. But, since the AMT has not been indexed to inflation, some of us middle-class taxpayers have the potential to be penalized by this 30-year-old law unless the rules are changed.
The other two issues that Thompson wants to change involves small business expensing and taxpayer choice. By making expensing of equipment and other business item purchases permanent, more business owners will have the ability to expand their company and/or hire more workers. His plan would also give taxpayers the option to either remain under the current tax system or opt to pay a more simplified flat tax. Under the flat tax proposal, the standard deduction would more than double to $25,000 for joint filers and $12,500 for singles.
I am not ready to endorse any presidential candidate at this time. But I wish someone would pay more attention to a plan that appears to help those who pay the bills, sign the payroll checks, deal with the headaches of running a business and fork over hard-earned money to the government.