Small busi­nesses feel­ing con­fi­dent with econ­omy

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY S.A. MILLER

Small-busi­ness own­ers have grown more con­fi­dent in the econ­omy since Pres­i­dent Trump took of­fice, ac­cord­ing to a na­tional trade as­so­ci­a­tion, but they are closely watch­ing Washington and grow­ing im­pa­tient for progress on the pres­i­dent’s agenda.

The Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of In­de­pen­dent Busi­nesses’ In­dex of Small Busi­ness Op­ti­mism ticked up 1.6 points last month to 105.2, pre­serv­ing the surge in op­ti­mism that started the day af­ter Mr. Trump’s up­set win in Novem­ber.

The busi­nesses in the sur­vey re­ported in­creased con­fi­dence on nearly ev­ery front, say­ing they ex­pected higher sales and planned to hire more work­ers, in­crease in­ven­to­ries and ex­pand their busi­ness.

“Those are all signs of good health. It’s driven mostly by strong con­sumer de­mand,” said Jack Mo­zloom, com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor for NFIB.

The bustling econ­omy has been Mr. Trump’s chief claim to a suc­cess as his leg­isla­tive agenda re­mains mired in Congress.

The stock mar­ket closed down Wed­nes­day amid fears of global un­rest a day af­ter Mr. Trump vowed to hit North Korea with “fire and fury” if the rogue na­tion con­tin­ued its threat­en­ing be­hav­ior.

Still, NFIB mem­bers strongly fa­vor Mr. Trump’s agenda for dereg­u­la­tion, tax re­form and re­peal­ing Oba­macare, and they are painfully aware of the lack of progress of ev­ery­thing but reg­u­la­tions, said Mr. Mo­zloom.

“Our mem­bers re­sponded mea­sur­ably to his agenda, but that op­ti­mism will fade if there’s no real ac­tion,” he said. “Tax re­form is our mem­bers’ top pri­or­ity. They strongly sup­port his plan, which calls for a lower, sin­gle tax rate for all busi­nesses.”

Cor­po­ra­tions are cur­rently taxed at a lower top rate than pass-through busi­nesses, which ac­count for 75 per­cent of small busi­nesses. They pay the same tax rates as any other worker.

Mr. Trump pro­posed a sim­pler tax code with fewer in­come brack­ets, lower rates and fewer de­duc­tions. He would slash rates to 15 per­cent for a va­ri­ety of earn­ers, in­clud­ing pass-through busi­nesses. That’s the same rate he pro­posed for cor­po­ra­tions.

Capi­tol Hill Repub­li­cans con­tinue to fi­nal­ize the tax re­form plan. How­ever, there are doubts about the GOP-run Congress’ abil­ity to push through ma­jor re­forms af­ter the death of the health care bill in the Se­nate.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.