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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
As small business owners, my family considers it a tremendous responsibility and honor that our company provides great jobs for our valued employees while giving back to the communities that have made us so successful. We take our responsibility as employers and as taxpayers very seriously.
We value the well-being of our employees just as much as we value our customers and our business. Like all Americans, we understand the value of a dollar, and when it comes to taxes, we believe nothing should go to waste. Virginia beer distributors generate more than $334 million in federal, state and local taxes, according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association.
It is critical that our shared tax burden ensures fairness and opportunity for all citizens. For example, our industry depends on the economic well-being of the hard-working residents of this commonwealth. When they do well economically, we do well, too.
U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have worked hard to protect Virginians during the on-going debate over fiscal policy as key members of the Budget Committee. They understand that working families need opportunities to improve their economic well-being too, thus driving economic growth for businesses such as ours. They know how critical it is that all kids have access to healthy foods and access to a good education. All this leads to a healthy and well-educated work force that is critical if we are to compete in a global economy. And they understand how important it is to ensure that our seniors have access to quality health care and a sound retirement.
Unfortunately, some lawmakers have other priorities. They would simply slash most of these services in lieu of other priorities without carefully evaluating the impact over time on our work force. For example, some continue to focus on cutting corporate income taxes for larger corporations, corporations that continue to ship jobs overseas in a rush to enhance their bottom line, resulting in fewer jobs for American and Virginia workers.
We believe that we should renew our commitment to ensuring health care for kids and seniors, and to assisting hard-working families as they climb into the middle class. Instead of spending cuts that hurt working families, we would suggest closing tax loopholes that benefit the largest corporations and certain individuals as a better approach.
None of this implies that we should not continue to work to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in our government. But when we are considering spending cuts, we should carefully evaluate the direct impact on working families and, in the long term, the impact on our workforce and economy.
Examples of programs that save money include Medicaid and two tax credits that work well for Virginians — the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit. These programs have been effective in providing health care for low-income Americans, to include children, parents, seniors and people with disabilities. The result has been cost-effective health care with improved health outcomes while reducing the ranks of uninsured children.
It is important that our elected officials put aside the partisan rhetoric while discussing these important issues. It is apparent that if we are to start to address our fiscal issues in Virginia and in America, both revenue enhancement and spending cuts are in order — that includes important entitlement programs such as Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare.
The question is how we do this while ensuring that we do not solve our so-called fiscal crisis on the backs of the working families of this country. That, too, would be a disaster. Warner and Kaine are fully aware of these factors and continue to work toward reasonable and justified adjustments to these programs while considering other solutions in a nonpartisan fashion.
As Congress continues to debate our fiscal future on these specific issues, my family and I sincerely hope that they also consider this perspective. Hard work, responsibility and a fair shot at the American dream are values that have been important in defining our business. We hope Congress agrees.
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