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Warren writes: "Washington politicians line up 10-deep to claim they support small businesses, but they avoid talking about a harsh reality: The system is rigged against small business."

Democratic candidate for the Massachusetts Senate Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Democratic candidate for the Massachusetts Senate Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Stop Rigging System Against Small Business

By Elizabeth Warren, Politico

06 August 12


meant what I said.

I stood before a group of voters in Massachusetts last year and talked about what it would take to move forward as a nation. I laid out how we all needed to invest in our country, to build a strong foundation for our families today and make sure the next kid with the great idea has the chance to succeed.

But too often that kid can't succeed because the system is rigged against him.

Small-business owners bust their tails every day. They're the first ones in and the last to leave, six and often seven days a week. That's how my Aunt Alice ran her small restaurant, where I worked as a kid. My brother and my daughter both started small businesses. And I've visited and talked with small-business owners across Massachusetts. From the insurance agency in Brockton to the coffee shop in Greenfield and the manufacturing plant in Lawrence - all started and run by people with good ideas and a determination to succeed.

I believe in small businesses. They're the heart and soul of our economy. They create jobs and opportunities for the future.

Washington politicians line up 10-deep to claim they support small businesses, but they avoid talking about a harsh reality: The system is rigged against small business. These owners can't afford armies of lobbyists in D.C., but the big corporations can. It's those armies of lobbyists that create the loopholes and special breaks that let big corporations off the hook for paying taxes. While small businesses are left to pay the bills.

We've got to close those loopholes and end the special breaks - so small businesses have a level playing field and a fair chance to succeed.

When small businesses grow and flourish, we should applaud their success, and the companies should benefit from their hard work and clever ideas. But here's my point: If a business makes it big, the reward shouldn't be the ability to rig the system to stop the next guy.

If a business takes its profits to the Cayman Islands, ships its jobs overseas or finds a loophole to avoid paying its fair share of taxes, then that business now has a leg up over every small business and start up that can't take advantage of those loopholes. Sometimes the big can get bigger not because they are better but because they can work the system better. That's bad for every small business in America.

Asked recently about news that Mitt Romney had money in offshore tax havens, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, "It's really American to avoid paying taxes, legally.... It's a game we play. ... I see nothing wrong with playing the game because we set it up to be a game."

Graham is right about one thing - it's a game for some. It's a rigged game that benefits big corporations and billionaires who can deploy armies of lobbyists and lawyers to create those tax loopholes and then exploit them.

The game is rigged to work for profitable oil companies, who made $137 billion in profits last year - and still collected billions of dollars' worth of government subsidies. The game is rigged to work for big multinational corporations, which get tax breaks to ship U.S. jobs overseas and park investments abroad. The game is rigged to work for hedge fund managers and billionaires, who pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Meanwhile, their Republican allies are making sure the rules stay rigged in their favor.

But for the tens of millions of working families and small businesses left holding the bag - it's not a game. For the small businesses that can't spend millions of dollars to hire lobbyists who get them special deals or hire armies of lawyers to move their money overseas or restructure their operations to take advantage of every loophole, it isn't a game.

Washington is rigged to work against their interests with real-life consequences. They compete against the big companies, working hard to hold on to the American dream of providing a better life for their kids and grandkids. They see how the game is rigged.

We face a real choice in this country between the Republicans' "I've got mine," approach and the belief that, as a nation, we reward success and hard work - keeping the playing field level so that everyone with a good idea, a dream of making it big and plenty of determination has a chance to make it.

We must be committed to the American dream, the approach that made us the most prosperous and strongest country in the world and built a future of opportunity for our children and grandchildren.

The choice is ours.

Elizabeth Warren is running as a Democrat for the Senate in Massachusetts, against Republican Sen. Scott Brown. She served as chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP and as assistant to the president and special adviser to the treasury secretary for the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. your social media marketing partner


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+94 # papabob 2012-08-06 17:19
We don’t need Elizabeth Warren in the Senate. We don’t need her small voice stifled by the leaders of the “game” we see at the work.

Where we need her is where she CAN'T be stilled.

She belongs where everyone can hear her voice. She belongs where she can point out that the small guy, who is being led around by a ring in his nose by those who get the tax breaks, those that ship the jobs away, and those that send their investments somewhere else.

She belongs in the Cabinet where she can help steer the country toward the level playing field that America so desperately needs.

America needs somebody like her with her brand of good sense – and we need it now!
+46 # jky1291 2012-08-07 02:52
Elizabeth Warren as an outspoken ally with Bernie Sanders in the Senate cannot be silenced by anyone as she could be in the cabinet. She is a brilliant, strong, and truthful leader, who with some Senate experience need not be in a subservient position to anyone in this country or in the world while she fights tirelessly for the survival of the middle class for the benefit of our nation and the entire world.
0 # DavePrice 2012-08-09 15:07
Agree! Problem is... There is no Corporations that will bribe enough to make Obama appoint her... you really dont think he would do something like that just because it is right do you?
+66 # pietheyn07 2012-08-06 22:44
As a small business owner, I often argue with our local Chamber of Commerce about their support of politicians and Federal and State legislation that is detrimental to their interests, without much success. They fall into the same category as those that rail against social programs that enhance their life style, and in some cases, their survival.
+22 # barbaratodish 2012-08-07 03:42
The "camber of Commerce" is more like the Chamber (poop) Pot of Commerce" it's full of (corruption) s**t!
+94 # Byronator 2012-08-06 22:46
We need Elizabeth Warren in the White House in 2017 -- then she can pick her own Cabinet.
+51 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-08-06 23:12
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, "It's really American to avoid paying taxes, legally.... It's a game we play. ... I see nothing wrong with playing the game because we set it up to be a game."
Here is the real story! Lindsey Graham is so arrogant, has so much disdain for America, the Senate, and the American people, that he has spilled the beans for all to see and hear. He thinks the whole thing is a GAME! He thinks that boys will be boys and that the Big Boys are just playing like Big Boys do.
He has admitted, to all who care to listen, that 'we' (meaning the current crop of game masters) have set the game up like a well managed casino, where the 'house' always wins, because they make the 'rules.' The rest of us are the 'suckers born every day.'

This quote should be in every ad, in every race where a Republican is running for office. That's all that is needed...just the quote, nothing more. Let it go viral on all the social media. Once it gets going, it's free ad space from then to the finish line.

The Golden Egg is cracked, and the GOP goose is dead!

Talk about letting the cat out of the bag...this is big!!

"Oops" is all that Graham can muster to say. Boy, is he in trouble with the home office.

+3 # Jim Young 2012-08-07 11:50
I accept that the real casinos will always win, though the better ones keep the percentage they take from impoverishing the customers. There is only so much excess they can skim without lowering the take by hurting the customers' ability to produce more "disposable" income.

What if everybody tried to live off of gambling income and nobody was left to do the real work?
+6 # lin96 2012-08-08 06:53
Then we need ask the Internal Revenue to audit on Lindsay Grahams returns. He's exactly the type of politician we need to remove from the Senate.
+34 # Unca Mikey 2012-08-07 02:31
Elizabeth Wrren will be a great Senator and a great POTUS.
+37 # WestWinds 2012-08-07 02:38
Elizabeth would make a great president. She is in touch with America and working Americans. I second this thought; Elizabeth for president in 2017.
+28 # Barbara K 2012-08-07 06:40
Go Elizabeth! We need you and we support you. You Rock!! You will go far and we shall go with you.
+29 # jlg 2012-08-07 06:46
Part of the 'rigging' is that the IRS (see can harass small companies with impunity, especially so since we cannot afford to employ attorneys to deal with them. You have right to an Appeal. This is heard by a department of the IRS, and deprives you of 'your day in court' to prove your case against them. Our small business was trashed by the IRS, who ignored our responses, put a lien on our bank account and stole money owing to others despite our Appeal being mailed within the time limit specified. And our money goes where - to fight illegal wars??? Warren for President in 2016, if only to stop the war against small business.
+35 # Eliza D 2012-08-07 06:47
Senator Graham's words about fat cats gaming the system for their own profit need to be broadcast around the country until EVERY citizen understands that working stiffs really don't have a chance.There are people who actually admire MItt Romney for making his money the old fashioned way. Nothing could be further from the truth. They don't understand that Bain Capital descended on struggling companies like vultures,broke them up, fired all their employees and gobbled up millions in profits,throwin g hundreds of workers onto the streets. We need to broadcast the words and actions of Frank Lucas who proposed the legislation that will give Monsanto carte blanche to virtually control farming in this country and spread their terminator genes throughout the land, forcing small farmers into a even more vicious cycle of borrowing and groveling for contracts from their captors. Expose John Boehner,Mitch McConnell, Jack King,et al. for the soulless bloodsuckers they are. Then maybe we can begin to end the tyranny of these self-congratula ting mountebanks who are mortgaging away our future.
+10 # mdhome 2012-08-07 13:23
Yeah. Mitt got his money the old-fashioned way....HE STOLE IT
+23 # video4315 2012-08-07 06:56
Elizabeth Warren is the most clear-thinking person running for office. It's critical that she win, and then let her outshine those around her as she points the light on the issues that matter.

Too many moderate-sized businesses fit into what most people would consider the small category.
SBA defines a small business concern as one that is independently owned and operated, is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field. Depending on the industry, size standard eligibility is based on the average number of employees for the preceding twelve months or on sales volume averaged over a three-year period.
•Manufacturing: Maximum number of employees may range from 500 to 1500, depending on the type of product manufactured;
• Wholesaling: Maximum number of employees may range from 100 to 500 depending on the particular product being provided;
• Services: Annual receipts may not exceed $2.5 to $21.5 million, depending on the particular service being provided;
• Retailing: Annual receipts may not exceed $5.0 to $21.0 million, depending on the particular product being provided;
• General and Heavy Construction: General construction annual receipts may not exceed $13.5 to $17 million, depending on the type of construction;
• Special Trade Construction: Annual receipts may not exceed $7 million; and
• Agriculture: Annual receipts may not exceed $0.5 to $9.0 million, depending on the agricultural product.
-46 # chirostv 2012-08-07 08:15
Wait a minute... From what the current POTUS said I did not create my business, I had help. Certainly with Warrens Native American Ancesrty (what a load of crap!) she will only serve to help me further. Thank goodness for Warren and Obama. Without them I would be nothing and could do nothing.
+25 # Bill Clements 2012-08-07 09:39
Of course, you "out" yourself as either a non-thinking sycophant of the Republican propaganda machine or as a deliberate bootlicker working for said machine! Everyone knows that Obama's comments were intentionally taken out of context by Rombot in a very desperate and totally pathetic attempt to exploit an advantage in his thoroughly unethical campaign to smear his way into the White House!

Why not try something different next time and do some of your own thinking instead of being a GOP parrot pushing their odious propaganda?
+20 # Bill Clements 2012-08-07 09:58
Elizabeth Warren is clearly a rarity at this time in American politics, which, on it's face, is such a truly sad, even tragic, state of affairs. How many other politicians (or prospective candidates running for office), aside from a small handful (like Bernie Sanders), have her integrity, her intelligence and clarity of thought, as well as her compassion and empathy?

It says a lot (volumes and volumes) not only about our thoroughly broken system, but about how ethically bankrupt our politicians are. The two go hand in hand, feeding each other.

Republicans, however, stand head and shoulders above the Democrats when it comes to their respective world views. Of course, I'm being thoroughly ironic here. Could they make it anymore clearer what they stand for and who they support? Their allegiance and loyalty is with the corporations and the super rich. How rare, at this time (or any time), to have someone like Elizabeth Warren speaking up for the American people. We desperately need others like her to fight for us, to stand with us. It's not just America that's at risk, it's the entire planet because Republican policies are simply destructive.
+15 # Lois 2012-08-07 09:23
We need Elizabeth Warren in the Senate. One more Senator who really votes for the people.
+17 # reiverpacific 2012-08-07 10:04
Thank Gawd for SOMEBODY, FINALLY addressing and speaking up for the small-business community, who have no lobbyists, or Super-PAC's and therefore no power or representation but who been decimated by the "Winner take all" mentality bred by this plutocracy and it's corporate domination.
Small businesses shoulder more of the tax burden than these monopolistic monsters and their owners work harder for less than any CEO, don't have off-shore tax havens and have to LOVE what they do.
They also BUILD community rather than drag it down.
Thanks Ms. Warren -I'd contribute to y'r campaign if I wasn't so strapped in these times of bare survival.
+18 # Bill Clements 2012-08-07 10:15
I failed to mention, though it should have been implicit in my last post, that this woman would not only make a great senator, but a great president! Why? Because she would take on the special interests and the corruption. She would fight for the American people, something few politicians are doing these days. In short, she possesses all the hallmarks of a great leader. America needs someone like this today. The worlds needs someone like this today.

When you think about Romney, you realize how thoroughly bankrupt the Republican Party is... that THIS is their candidate? An ignoble man who would only double down on the damage and the policies of the GOP? That's the best man they could field?The GOP today is like a cancerous tumor on the body politic and Romney is just as diseased.
-13 # Majikman 2012-08-07 10:38
I can't resist this: would anyone dare not call Elizabeth Warren a feminist?
+11 # AMLLLLL 2012-08-07 14:20
Here is a GOP tool to conflate what they need to protect: SMALL BUSINESS = a tax term used to separate a private business from a publicly traded business.

short list of 'small businesses':

Koch Industries
Chicago Tribune
Ferrell Gas

In 2007 the IRS had 1.5 million small business clients earning over $250k/yr., who, incidentally have their own lobbying firm, S Corp

These folks report their company's earnings on their personal income tax filings. The biggest earn in the billions.

The people Warren refers to are the true mom-and -pop companies (97%) who make less than $250k/yr.

You will hear the GOP whiniing about protecting 'small businesses' and they are talking about the top 3%.

When the Bush Tax cuts expire, we should protect the 97%
+12 # Buddha 2012-08-07 15:08
The problem is that it isn't just a handful of rich Plutarchs with their claws into our government while the rest look on in futile anger. It isn't huge rich multinational corporations able to play by a set of rules that our small businesses can't. The problem is that a large swath of our population, people who are poor and "middle-class", have been brainwashed to believe that their "prosperity" is dependant on the selective enrichment of those Plutarchs and special treatment for those multinational corporations. So, you have lots of people voting against their economic self-interest, and too unaware to realize that they are even doing so. You have lots of people opposing and hating on Occupy protests, when such protests are actually fighting for THEM as well.
+4 # enoughofus 2012-08-07 17:20
Just a small note. The caption under Elizabeth Warren's photo is incorrect. She is a candidate for the UNITED STATES SENATE from Massachusetts, not a candidate for the Masssachusetts Senate.
+1 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-08-07 23:26
Good eye, Ellis. With Warren, I never read the captions, because the image is so recognizable to me, by now.
What's your take on the substance of her statement, and the comments so far? Has your keen eye picked up anything interesting?
+5 # lin96 2012-08-08 06:50
Elizabeth Warren is so right. Corporations have put one small business out of business since this outsourcing began. They want everyone to shop at Walmart and never have to go to another store. It's so easy for her to speak the truth and be honest while we listen to our Presidential race, shaking our heads, and saying SHE is who we need running for President instead of all the shenanigans that we have to endure, and a candidate who won't release the same amount of taxes as President Obama released. It's only fair. We need to know NOW if Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years and allowed the middle class to pay his share of the taxes. His plan is to RAISE taxes on the middleclass and continue tax breaks for the rich. This seems to be like double dipping. Cutting all programs for the middle class, asking them to pay more, banks taking their homes, and resulting in no more middle class. It's so inspiring to know there is an Elizabeth Warren out there who is out there for the people and who would make a great President.
+1 # bingers 2012-08-09 18:27
One Elizabeth Warren is worth a thousand Republican parties and 60 million Republican enablers. (voters)

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