Despite "Pledge" Hubbub, Republicans Still Vote Against Small Businesses

September 23, 2010 6:02 pm ET — Alan Pyke

On the day that several major provisions of the health care bill went into effect and Democrats approved a $12 billion tax break for small businesses, Washington can't stop talking about the "Pledge To America," the GOP's campaign vehicle that's turning out to be a lemon.

It's classic conservative media manipulation. Instead of talking about the myriad positive impacts of the Affordable Care Act, journalists and lawmakers alike are buzzing over the Republicans' solemn vow to return to Bush policies in the middle of a weak economy brought on by Bush policies.

And when Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) repeated the single most dishonest GOP talking point about tax cuts at the "Pledge" unveiling this morning, nobody pointed out to him that the Joint Committee on Taxation report does not, in fact, say that "President Obama's proposal will increase taxes on 50 percent of small business income."

Maybe instead of dwelling on empty promises from Republicans, we should take a moment to examine their hypocritical posturing around small businesses.

They lie about what sorts of businesses pay income taxes in the top brackets. They insist Democrats don't understand business, and that President Obama doesn't believe in capitalism. And when Democrats propose legislation to help actual small businesses, they oppose it. Eighty-eight percent of the time.

Steve Benen sums it up pretty well:

In their "Pledge to America," House Republicans reference small businesses 18 times. In case that was too subtle, John Boehner & Co. unveiled their plan at a small business in a D.C.-area suburb, suggesting it's outlets like the Tart Lumber Company that would benefit from the GOP agenda.

It's a curious argument. Over the last 20 months, Democrats have approved eight separate measures intended to help small businesses, and Republicans opposed all of them.

Indeed, in an ironic twist, House GOP leaders left a small business this morning to hustle back to Capitol Hill in order to vote against small businesses.

This is probably part of what Rep. Boehner was talking about when he promised this morning that his GOP is "not going to be any different than we have been."