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Small Business Owners Oppose Cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

A new poll from Small Business Majority shows that small business owners oppose suggested benefit cuts to social safety net lifelines, The Washington Post reports. The poll shows that 80% oppose cuts to Social Security, while nearly 75% oppose cuts to Medicare and about 66% oppose cuts to Medicaid.

"In any effort to deal with the deficit, small business owners aren’t interested in methods that are going to pull money out of the economy or negatively impact the middle class,” John Arensmeyer, founder and chief executive of Small Business Majority, said in an interview. “They can’t afford for the government to start cutting benefits on Medicare and Social Security.”

Furthermore, the majority of respondents favored closing tax loopholes for large corporations, eliminating tax breaks for firms that move manufacturing jobs overseas and ending government subsidies for oil and gas companies. The majority also favor "scrapping the cap" on how much income is taxed for Social Security benefits, a number currently set at just $113,700. Income above that number is not taxed for Social Security purposes.

Mike Roach, who owns Paloma Clothing in Portland, Ore., said:

If you start hacking away at programs like Medicare and Social Security, you’re going to damage that little bit of confidence our customers have finally been developing after five hard years. The short- and long-term deficit issues are by no means non-existent, but the priority right now should be improving the state of the economy, and for that, we need a strong base of consumers.

Small Business Majority, a lobbying group, said its findings were based on the responses from 500 business owners across the country who have fewer than 100 employees. The majority of respondents (52%) identified as Republican, while only 34% called themselves Democrats.

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