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Recap: Biden, Ryan Debate Small Business Issues

Miss the vice presidential debate? Catch up on what the candidates said were issues facing small businesses.

While last night's vice presidential debate was not totally focused on domestic policy, the candidates did discuss the U.S. economy--specifically issues pertaining to small businesses.

One particularly heated part of the debate concerned how the Democratic proposal to let Bush-era tax cuts expire would affect small businesses. Congressman Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate, said that if enacted, the tax increase would have a detrimental effect on small business resulting in 710,000 fewer jobs.

"We think that government taking 28% of a family and business's income is enough," Ryan said. "President Obama thinks that the government ought to be able to take as much as 44.8% of a small business's income. ... There aren't enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending."

Ryan added that small businesses account for two-thirds of new jobs and that the new taxes would affect 53% of all small business income.

Vice President Joe Biden countered by saying that 97% of all small businesses make less than $250,000 annually and would therefore be exempt from the proposed tax increases.

Ryan said last night that the taxes would reach 1 million small businesses.

In last week's presidential debate, Mitt Romney said that the 3% of small businesses whose income is greater than $250,000 employ half of all small business workers and 25% of the entire U.S. workforce.

Last updated: Oct 12, 2012


John McDermott is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Playboy and on He recently moved from Chicago to Brooklyn, New York, to work for

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