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Madam Speaker, the taxacrats are at it again, cooking up new taxes to try to pay for the government takeover of health care. This time they want to raise taxes on small businesses. The so-called rich the taxacrats are targeting are America's entrepreneurs, the engine of the American economy.
Madam Speaker, taxes are the root of all Federal mischief. Businesses with less than 500 employees produce half of America's gross national product and account for the majority of our jobs. The taxacrats want to force these small businesses to buy health insurance for all of their employees, whether they can afford it or not. And if they don't, they will have to pay stiff fines, and of course, that will kill jobs.
The taxacrats also want to take $540 billion in taxes out of budgets of small businesses to pay for their nationalized health care boondoggle. Small businesses need a tax break, not a tax hike.
Madam Speaker, it has always been the American entrepreneurial spirit creating new small businesses that have made this country work. There is an ebb and flow of businesses closing and new ones opening up. But these days, more are closing than opening. By the end of May, commercial bankruptcies were up 52 percent this year compared to the first five months of last year.
Eva Christian owns a popular European-style restaurant called Cafe Boulevard in Dayton, Ohio. She is one of the 8,300 businesses that have already filed for bankruptcy protection this year. Eva is trying to keep her cafe open and her workers employed while she tries to work things out with creditors. She says that the rising cost of food and energy combined with local unemployment have made it tough because her regular customers don't come around anymore. She cannot afford to be forced to give health care coverage to her employees, and her ability to bounce back will be smothered by the taxacrat not only health care proposals but new taxes on small businesses. So she will just close up.
Making matters worse, the high cost of energy is making everything cost more. The taxacrats refuse to expand the drilling for oil and natural gas here at home that would bring not only prices down but create millions of American jobs and not send them to Saudi Arabia. They want to kill the coal industry that supplies most of our electricity. They don't want to build more nuclear power plants that provide limitless clean energy. Their solution is to tax energy consumption on all Americans. All that will do is decrease the energy supply and cause energy costs to go up. There is no transition fuel and no energy source to transition to for at least 10 more years. That's not going to power our industries or fill anybody's gas tank so they can even get to work.
When the government took over General Motors and put it into bankruptcy, the small businesses nationwide that supplied the auto industry took a big hit. Seat belt manufacturers, floor mats, rearview mirrors, spark plugs, windshield wiper blades and electrical wires and washers, including hoses, belts and gaskets, all of the parts and pieces that come together to make automobiles, were losing jobs.
When big business files for bankruptcy, it affects the small businesses that supply them--small businesses, as you may recall, Madam Speaker, that got no bailout. They weren't important enough to keep from failing or politically influential with this administration, so they just went out of business. When the