April 26th, 2010
11:38 AM ET
8 years ago

How a capital gains tax break could get cash to startups

New York (CNNMoney.com) - To motivate the well-off to funnel more of their cash into small businesses, should the federal government offer investors new tax breaks?

President Obama thinks so. He's thrown his support behind a proposal to eliminate capital gains taxes on investments made in 2010 and 2011 in qualifying small businesses. The House of Representatives has already passed the legislation; the Senate has yet to take it up.

"We should eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment so these folks can get the capital they need to grow and create jobs," Obama said at a February town hall meeting in Nashua, N.H. "That's particularly critical right now, because bank lending standards have tightened since the financial crisis and many small businesses are still struggling to get loans."

It's a message he's repeated often in recent months, and one that resonates with entrepreneurs: Nearly 60% of the 500 small business owners polled in February by PNC Financial Services Group think their business would benefit from the move.

Here's a look at what the tax break would do - and who would benefit:

Learn more

Filed under: CNNMoney.com • President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Republicans should support this. If there is anything they do like, it's tax breaks. But since the President is proposing this, they'll vote against it. I can't wait til Novmber gets here to vote republicans out.

    April 26, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. All the news that is fit to omit

    Gee Barry and CNN, who has been screaming for this for MONTHS.........................................................

    The party of real and smart ideas, Republicans.

    Republicans for all their faults know how to MAKE money, Democrats only know how to TAKE money........

    Stimulus according to CNN's own site and according to ECONOMISTS DID NOT WORK, DID NOT WORK.

    Republicans again, said that we should have had an income tax grace period to PUT MONEY IN THE PEOPLE'S hands instead of "gubment" and again, they were proven right.

    Owebama you are on a roll dude, I can see November from my house loser.

    April 26, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. JaneMarsee

    Mr. Bush is a loyal American and that is much more than I can say for Obama, an avowed Marxist. I would say that Obama is a traitor to America, but you have to be a citizen before you can be a traitor. He is the Mancurian Candidate and King Saud of Saudia Abrabia is running America now. Obama should be impeached!

    April 26, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Keep It Simple Stupid

    Why is no journalist pushing this question? Not on Fox, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, or PBS

    Hedge fund managers salaries are not taxed as income. They are taxed a preferential "Capital Gains" tax rates which are far lower.

    Why are RICH people that are being paid tens and hundreds-of-millions of dollars in salary for doing nothing that adds to America's Gross Domestic Production (GDP) getting an unfair tax break?

    A plumber earning $70K pays a higher RATE than a rich guy making $70M.

    1st Ammendment privaledges come with responsibility to the truth.

    April 26, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    This is a step in the right direction and I can't say there is any problem with it. However, the greatest challenge for any small business is always the same. Cash flow. Why do small businesses not hire more workers even though they might have huge orders to fill? Cash flow. It seems as though instead of extending unemployment insurance over and over, that money may be better used to create permanent jobs with small businesses by giving them some help with cash flow.

    April 26, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Darko

    How about we lower the capital gains taxes on ALL business so that there is NO INCENTIVE FOR THEM TO MOVE OVERSEAS. It will bring back manufacturing, jobs and billions in tax revenue.

    Ask Cal, NY and NJ what happens when you keep increasing taxes on the rich...THEY LEAVE. So instead of getting that measly 2% increase, you get absolutely NOTHING. GE, Exxon and countless other fortune 500's paid absolutely zero in US income taxes because they've moved their profitable branches to tax friendly countries like Ireland.

    Lower the capital gains tax back to the 20% range and it will be cost prohibitive to move business overseas. There won't be any value in hiding profits offshore. Heck, we might even pick up some foreign business. Companies don't leave the US because of greed, they do it because DC is forcing them out.

    April 26, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Bedtime for Obonzo

    If it's a good idea in 2010 and 2011, then it's simply a good idea. Make it permanent.

    April 26, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. sheena canada

    and you Jane Marsee should leave the United States

    April 26, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    We have formed a group, we are going to try our best to vote all republicans out of office come November, I am so tired of hearing wait until November, then what. Why would anybody want these lazy, grandstanding losers running our country is beyond me.

    April 26, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. Donnatella

    We have formed a group, we are promoting voting against all republicans come November, I am so tired of hearing wait until November then what. I can't for life of me understand why anybody would vote for those lazy, racist, grandstanding republicans, that fiscal responsibility is a bunch of crap.

    April 26, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Sarcastic

    darko that still isn't enough for them, maybe if we revoke minimium wage, child labor laws, building codes, bring back sweat shops, and return to the gilded age they MIGHT care...

    Nah China still is cheaper.

    Slap them with tariffs instead.

    April 26, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What the H*** did Bush/Cheney and the Republicans do for 8 years while they were paid? Would somebody please answer that question other than just saying they started a War, what did they do?

    April 26, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. Steve

    I though Capital Gains were for the "OWNER" as they sold and were to Recapture, depreciation and equity upon sale? How the heck does this support a lender or a buyer?

    Im looking to buy a Business right now with at least 500K in equity and recaputurable monies. The last 2 years it has 125K in depreciation. The Company MUST recapture this and pay capital gains on it. How does this benefit me? Im the buyer, I might be missing the concept but I have no idea how it helps a financial institutuin or the buyer??? Maybe we can deduct this from the sales price? Lower the price to reflect the tax to be paid otherwise?

    Someone need a great place to stick $250K Please email me if interested in Oilfield businesses, its been around 28 years in June! I returned last week with the P&Ls from the last 3 years.


    April 26, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Lance

    I don't know where those commenting on the impact of the stimulus are getting their information (perhaps from Fake News, or some other conservative, Obama-hating, talking heads) but according to most economists surveyed, the impact of the stimulus is accounting for 1 to 3% of economic growth in the second quarter where, they estimate, growth would have been 0% to negative. Check with any reputable business news source.

    To JaneMarsee: Do you even know what the word impeach means? I doubt it. But that should be no surprise considering you are a birther. Perhaps you believe in bigfoot, UFO's, 911 conspiracies and Santa Claus too? When you say that the President of The United States of America is an avowed Marxist, tell us where he has EVER said that he is a Marxist. Why don't you present facts to support your hate-filled comments. People like you add nothing to the effort to get our country back on it's feet.

    April 26, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. Wisconsinite

    @ All the news that is fit to omit

    Really?? The Republicans have been "screaming for this for MONTHS" Really. Soooo where's the bill proposed by ANY Republican for this?? Just because they're the minority in congress doesn't mean they can't put forth bills! Where ist been if they've been "screaming" about it for so long??

    That's the problem with Republicans AND their supporters. ALL "screaming", NO doing!!

    April 26, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. vette gal

    JaneMarsee April 26 2010 12:03 ET

    "Mr. Bush is a loyal American and that is much more than I can say for Obama, an avowed Marxist. I would say that Obama is a traitor to America, but you have to be a citizen before you can be a traitor. He is the Mancurian Candidate and King Saud of Saudia Abrabia is running America now. Obama should be impeached!"

    Where do you get your information from, Fox, Hannity and Beck? I doubt you even know what a true Marxist is and for you to say our President is not a citizen is downright illiterate. He is neither Marxist nor Socialist! Impeached for what? Should he be impeached for striving to make our country better, Our economy is improving (at least in my area) and as a realtor, I can tell you people are again buying and selling homes. He's been successful in getting at least the beginning of a national health coverage bill passed and is now trying to tackle the deregulations that got our country in this huge mess.

    You should be impeached as an American Citizen who obviouisly doesn't do their research but only thinks based on what they hear from the far right talking heads.

    April 26, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Wisconsinite


    Define "marxist". If you can't, which I'm sure is the case, go post on Fox's website (or some other site-for-dummies) and leave us alone, please.

    April 26, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. John independent from NY

    What about individual capital gains. Isn't it a good idea to encourage investment and savings rather than discouraging it. Raise the income tax if you must but lower capital gains across the board.

    April 26, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. Dan, TX

    JaneMarsee – you are sick. How can you say those lies in public?

    All the news that is fit to omit – Republicans are against taxes, until poor people stop having to pay. Then those who pay no taxes are called free-loaders. Glenn Beck proposes to raise taxes on the poor and lower taxes on the rich. That about sums up the republican "ideas" that you talk about as being so great.

    April 26, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. Frank in valparaiso indiana

    90% tax on all income over $10 million. NO EXCEPTIONS, people, corporations, trust funds, whatever. The ONLY deduction is salaries and creation of new business. Get a 1:1 tax write off. You want to support an animal shelter, homeless shelter, low income housing, small business start ups, free clinics for cities, back a start up what ever you want to do, but its salaries and business expenses..

    April 26, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Tim

    Leave my pocket book alone, creep.

    April 26, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. All the news that is fit to omit

    Dude- let me debunk that myth that Repubs make money and
    Dems just take money–

    When Katrina struck the RED states of TX, LA and MS– Big Gov stepped in with tons of aid. The recipients GORGED on the herculean-esq bounties.

    Cash, free food and water, cooked meals, subsidies, vouchers, reimbursements, legal aid, housing, FEMA trailors, tax breaks, low interest loans, Road Home money and loads more.

    Let me tell you, your pals came to the trough in droves, as far as the eye could see, arms extended and palms turned upwards. The vultures inhaled and sucked the largress dry– belched and didn't look back.

    And then had the gall to bellow that government was too big and intrusive and Dems are parasitical on the public's dole'.

    This is almost as hypocritical as the 'sm business' operatives who oppose Obama on every front, but who will LUSTFULLY accept a tax break in the name of prosperity for the country. HYPOCRITES!!

    So, when your slinging your barbs–best yell DUCK–
    cause you might hit a gazillion of your own kind!

    April 26, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. El Gordo

    Lowering taxes is an experiment tried by Reagan and Bush. There was no positive effect on the economy as a result.

    However, Reagan and Bush both signed budgets that contained unprecedented levels of deficit spending (Reagan $1.5 trillion, Bush1 $1.5 trillion, Bush2 $5.5 trillion).

    How about we pay off the Republican debt first, then lower taxes? Don't we have a responsibility to our children and grandchildren to save them from Conservative incompetence?

    April 26, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. El Gordo

    JaneMarsee wrote: "Mr. Bush is a loyal American and that is much more than I can say for Obama, an avowed Marxist. I would say that Obama is a traitor to America, but you have to be a citizen before you can be a traitor. He is the Mancurian Candidate and King Saud of Saudia Abrabia is running America now. Obama should be impeached!"

    Jane Marsee: You lie!

    1. Obama is not an "avowed" Marxist and I'll bet next month's rent that you cannot define Marxism.

    2. The Supreme Court and the government of Hawaii says that Obama is a native-born citizen. Five million Republicans with high school education disagree.

    3. Impeachment talk like yours comes much closer to treason than anything Obama has ever done. You are seeking to use impeachment just to further your lunatic right-wing agenda and prevent the Constitutionally elected government of the US from solving national problems.

    With comments like hers, I always wonder, "Is she really foolish enough to believe what she says, or is she just lying?"

    April 26, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. Gary

    Oh no! There goes that radical, extremist liberal President suggesting we cut taxes again. First, taxes are lowest that they've been in years, and now capital gains taxes are going to be cut for investors. What will the Tea Baggers have to say about this!

    April 26, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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