Candidates lump small businesses together

The two major presidential candidates say they love small businesses and want to help.

“Now, Gov. Romney and I do share a deep interest in encouraging small-business growth,” President Barack Obama said during his first debate with challenger Mitt Romney. “So at the same time that my tax plan has already lowered taxes for 98 percent of families, I also lowered taxes for small businesses 18 times. And what I want to do is continue the tax rates — the tax cuts that we put into place for small businesses and families.”

Romney claims, however, that Obama’s tax plan would cost businesses 700,000 jobs. His own plan, he said, would “get the rates down, lower deductions and exemptions to create more jobs, because there’s nothing better for getting us to a balanced budget than having more people working, earning more money, paying more taxes.”

Despite all of this love showered on small businesses, a University of North Dakota professor said, they need to explain how they would deal differently with urban and rural firms.

“If that doesn’t happen, the long process of rural depopulation continues and you get these towns dwindling and dwindling,” said David Flynn, chairman of the school’s Economics Department.

Flynn said that the winner of the presidential campaign needs to order agencies to look into differences between rural and urban businesses and develop different plans. “There is such a large difference in what it takes to succeed.”

Even though Obama touts investments made in small businesses in the past four years, Republicans note that the programs producing that investment were in place before Obama took office.

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