New Report Shows 112th Congress, Leadership and "Super Committee” Members Have Substantial Ties to Family Business
Family businesses are a pipeline to jobs but are often victims of bad policy
Washington, D.C. -- What do House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, and one-third of the members of the new Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction have in common?
They all have either worked for or have ties to a family business. According to a new report released today by Family Enterprise USA, the 112th Congress has high percentages of members with direct or indirect ties to family business—a total of 155 members of the U.S. House of Representatives (118 Republicans and 37 Democrats) and 37 U.S. Senators (23 Republicans and 14 Democrats).
Why is this important? Because family businesses are a pipeline to job creation, retention and sustained economic growth. Family businesses have long been a critical part of the U.S. economy. Studies show that family businesses employ 63% of the U.S. workforce and generate 57% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. And they are longer-lived than nonfamily firms. With 5.5 million family businesses, it’s no wonder that there is a significant portion of the U.S. Congress who have experience running their own business or who have family members dependent on the success of a business.
"If lawmakers are looking for new ways to create jobs, pursuing policies that will help family businesses thrive would be a great place to start,” said FEUSA President Ann Kinkade. "Unfortunately, current tax and regulatory policy have created a lot of uncertainty for families seeking to expand a business or keep it alive in the community for generations.”
The FEUSA report "U.S. Congress: The Face of Family Business" offers a complete analysis of members with a direct or indirect stake in a family business with a complete table of the member, district and family business tie. The FEUSA report was derived from an extensive review of publicly-available information about Members of Congress and the U.S. Senate, including their public biographies, public statements, and financial disclosure information provided in accordance with House and Senate rules.
Family businesses have leadership tenure four to five times their non-family counterparts, are slower to reduce their workforce in a down economy, and carry much greater equity as they identify debt as an unjust burden on the next generation. Unfortunately, threats to increase individual income tax rates – the vast majority of family businesses are organized as "pass through entities” for tax purposes – and uncertainty surrounding the estate tax have caused many families to withhold new business investment.
"There are ready answers to the question of how to create jobs and economic growth in America. In fact, many Members of Congress need look no further than their own kitchen table to find them,” said Kinkade.
Click here for the full report.