What a Democrat in the White House Would Mean for Small Business

Date: December 22, 2015

Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley duke it out over tax increases, Obamacare and labor regulations at the third Democratic debate.

The three Democratic candidates vied for America’s attention during their third debate on Saturday, Dec. 19—competing not only against each other but against a big NFL game, a replay of the live performance of The Wiz and a bunch of Christmas movies. 

The debate featured former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and ex-Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

It didn’t take long for the candidates to voice their shared disdain for the controversial Republican frontrunner Donald Trump—this time, Clinton going so far to label Trump “ISIS’s best recruiter.”

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Here’s more on what the candidates said about issues important to small business:

Small Business

Clinton shared her support for small businesses: “I’m particularly keen on creating jobs in small business. My dad was a small businessman, a really small business. I want to do more to help incentivize and create more small businesses.”

Sanders reiterated his stance on taking down Wall Street and restructuring an “economy that works for the middle class, not just a handful of billionaires.”

O’Malley argued that he had the best plan for growing the economy—for businesses of all sizes: “I believe that the way forward for our country is to actually reinvigorate our antitrust department with the directive to promote fair competition. There’s mergers that are happening in every aspect of our country that is bad for competition and it’s bad for upward mobility of wages.”


“From my perspective,” Clinton said, “we have to prevent the Republicans from rolling back the progress that we’ve made. They would repeal the Affordable Care Act, not improve it. They would give more tax breaks to the super-wealthy and corporations, not to the middle class.”

She proposed a $5,000 tax credit to help cover very large out-of-pocket costs and a push to enable Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices.

Sanders, meanwhile, supports a single-payer Medicare system that issues a new tax but doesn’t require deductible or premium costs, claiming it would “lower the cost of healthcare for a middle-class family by thousands of dollars a year.”

Minimum Wage

All three candidates support increasing minimum wages.

Clinton: “At the center of my economic policy is raising incomes, because people haven’t been able to get ahead, and the cost of everything, from college tuition to prescription drugs, has gone up.”

Sanders stood by his plan to “raise the minimum wage to living wage, 15 bucks an hour over the next several years.” 

And O’Malley drew from his successes as former governor of Maryland: “We actually passed a living wage. We raised the minimum wage … I have put forward 15 strategic goals that will make wages go up again for all American families.”

Tax Reform

Clinton confirmed her promise to not raise taxes on families making less than $200,000 a year: “That is a pledge that I’m making. … We’ve got to get back to where people can save money again, where they can invest in their families, and I don’t think a middle-class tax should be part of anybody’s plan right now.”

Sanders countered with, “Now, when Sec. Clinton says, ‘I’m not going raise taxes on the middle class,’ let me tell you what she is saying. She is disagreeing with FDR on Social Security, LBJ on Medicare and with the vast majority of progressive Democrats in the House and the Senate, who today are fighting to end the disgrace of the United States being the only major country on Earth that doesn’t provide paid family and medical leave.”

O’Malley said he couldn’t make the same promise as Clinton. Instead, he touted his successes in balancing tax burdens in Maryland and then proposed a 45 percent marginal tax rate for those earning more than $1 million.

RELATED: What did the candidates say at the second Democratic debate?

*Note: This news coverage does not equate to an endorsement of any candidate by NFIB.


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