Good Government

I’m so uncertain, I can’t run my business!

Let’s talk about “uncertainty”.
There is a long article in the online USA Today entitled “Q&A: Looming small business tax hike explained“. The highlight is that tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. The cuts were enacted in 2001 and 2003, then extended in 2010. Business owners don’t know if they will be extended again — and this uncertainty is causing them to freeze in their track, unsure whether to expand and hire or not.
We have known since 2001 that these temporary tax cuts were going to expire. Every Republican in Congress, save a few in the Senate, voted to expire these tax cuts and reset tax rates at the end of 2010. The rates were extended in 2010 to expire at the end of 2012.
Where is the uncertainty? The law was passed, the timetable set, the tax rates defined. Why are businessmen not planning to that?
Every business has had 12 years to plan for the expiration of these temporary tax cuts. Is that confusing?
Would we extend this “uncertainty” principle to other laws? How about laws against speeding — the speed limit is set to 55, but we don’t know if this is going to go up or down. I’m so uncertain that I stopped driving.
The law permits the use of marijuana. But there’s a lot of people talking about repealing that law. I don’t know what to do — should I use marijuana, or not?
There something ridiculous about the notion that we have “uncertainty” about a law that has been on the books for over a decade. The expiration date date for these taxes, and the tax rates that will go into effect upon expiration, have been well-defined in the original laws and in their extension. We’ve had 12 years to learn about the original law, and two years to learn about the extension.
If you’re still “uncertain”, then you just aren’t paying attention.
Good Government suggests that a law, once passed, is the law. And that planning based on a law that doesn’t exist is confusing, but that confusion and uncertainty is self-inflicted.

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