But what about Main Street? How will Ryan’s views play with entrepreneurs, and if his policies are woven into a winning ticket in November, how would they impact small businesses across the country.
Here’s a look at where the Republican vice presidential candidate stands on the issues that matter most to small business owners.
On the overall tax code:
Ryan is best known for his latest budget proposal, dubbed the “Path to Prosperity,” which would simplify the nation’s tax code by creating just two individual rates (down from the current six) of 10 percent and 25 percent. The plan would also bring the corporate rate down from 35 percent to 25 percent.
Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan wrote that he would counter lost government revenue (all $2 trillion of it, compared to the President Obama’s plan) by closing tax loopholes; however, he hasn’t specified which ones — important details given that breaks on investment and mortgage taxes could be on the table.
“The President’s vision of higher tax rates for small businesses and more complexity in the tax code would exacerbate the problems with the current code and lead to economic decline,” Ryan wrote in the budget, suggesting that many business owners would be among those paying higher rates under the Democratic plan.
An analysis of Ryan’s proposal by the Tax Policy Center suggested it would give a $265,000 tax break on average to Americans earning more than $1 million each year. Small business advocates and economists have come down on both sides of the resulting debate, some arguing that continued tax relief for the wealthy would promote hiring and investments by business owners, while others say such breaks should be reserved for low-income earners and the middle class.
On capital gains:
Ryan has long pushed for lower capital gains and dividend taxes, which could prompt more investment activity and help business owners secure the financing they need to get off the ground or expand their companies. His 2013 budget would eliminate taxes on corporate income, estates, dividends, interest and capital gains.
In years past, Ryan twice attempted to lower the capital gains rate from 20 percent to 15 percent before President Bush did it himself in 2003, and a year later, the congressman introduced a bill that would have made those cuts permanent.
On small business lending:
Back in June 2010, Ryan voted against the Small Business Jobs Act, which later passed through Congress and was eventually signed into law by President Obama. The measure vastly expanded the Small Business Administration’s lending powers, introduced a handful of targeted tax cuts and created additional contracting opportunities for small firms.