Expanding The Power of U.S. Latinos

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  • 09/12/2017 10:16 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    Small and Hispanic businesses deserve favorable treatment, too.

    ANALYSIS/OPINION:

    Corporate America’s interest in tax reform is obvious and understandable. Similarly, politicians’ interest in boosting our economy through incentives and breaks for large employers is not a mystery. But what about the importance of tax reform for groups who don’t make as many economic headlines (even if they should)? Our leaders should take a closer look at the economic and political advantages of reaching out to two overlapping, economically powerful groups — the Hispanic and small-business communities — when it comes to tax reform.

    Both Hispanics and small-business owners are overdue for some positive attention from their elected officials. Both groups end up, too often, in a political power category that feels like “other” — an afterthought or a talking point. This is both an economic and a political mistake; the right steps on tax reform could begin to rectify it.

    Take, first, the small-business sector. It is underrepresented and misunderstood by politicians, popular culture and the media, in large part because their moniker is tremendously misleading. The word “small” diminishes and mischaracterizes our nation’s entrepreneurs before the conversation can even begin. Yet, small firms create two-thirds of our country’s net new jobs and are responsible for almost half of gross domestic product.

    In spite of representing half the economy, small-business owners, historically, have not been able to compete in the influence business with corporate America. From in-person lobbying to political fundraising, big business persistently dwarfs small business in the corridors of power. It’s a logistical problem with real economic consequences — individual small-business owners don’t have the time or budget to compete in the Washington game, so their critical perspective is often missing from the public policy debate.

    When it comes to tax reform in particular, elected officials are easily distracted by news or speculation about stock market swings and tax inversions, which leads them to focus too heavily on corporate tax rates, not individual rates — the category where small-business owners pay their tax bill. This is dangerous. Tax reform that leaves small, independent businesses exposed to the highest tax rates and crippling complexity will fail to realize the economic benefits our leaders seek.

    Now take another misunderstood and underrepresented group — one that is, coincidentally, uniquely entrepreneurial. I wish more people understood that Latinos are not just their growing population numbers, not just the face of the immigration debate. They are Americans. They are patriots. They are a young, growing, industrious and highly productive part of the U.S. economy. The economic output of our population — right around 55 million people — would actually make the world’s seventh-largest economy. As a Hispanic American, I am most proud of the fact that Latinos are starting small businesses at a faster rate than any other group. Latino’s entrepreneurial spirit and muscle are incredibly important right now, because America’s essential business dynamism is declining.

    Tax reform that encourages and rewards the Hispanic community’s entrepreneurial DNA through lower individual tax rates would show this group that their politicians see them for who they are: a productive and economically powerful group.

    When it comes to tax reform in particular, elected officials are easily distracted by news or speculation about stock market swings and tax inversions, which leads them to focus too heavily on corporate tax rates, not individual rates — the category where small-business owners pay their tax bill. This is dangerous. Tax reform that leaves small, independent businesses exposed to the highest tax rates and crippling complexity will fail to realize the economic benefits our leaders seek.

    Now take another misunderstood and underrepresented group — one that is, coincidentally, uniquely entrepreneurial. I wish more people understood that Latinos are not just their growing population numbers, not just the face of the immigration debate. They are Americans. They are patriots. They are a young, growing, industrious and highly productive part of the U.S. economy. The economic output of our population — right around 55 million people — would actually make the world’s seventh-largest economy. As a Hispanic American, I am most proud of the fact that Latinos are starting small businesses at a faster rate than any other group. Latino’s entrepreneurial spirit and muscle are incredibly important right now, because America’s essential business dynamism is declining.

    Tax reform that encourages and rewards the Hispanic community’s entrepreneurial DNA through lower individual tax rates would show this group that their politicians see them for who they are: a productive and economically powerful group.

  • 09/07/2017 6:28 PM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Latino Coalition (TLC), the leading, national non-partisan advocacy organization representing Hispanic businesses and consumers, issued the following statement regarding the phase out of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):

    "Today, the Trump Administration provided Congress with the opportunity to make immigration law the right way: through legislation, not executive orders. Reaction to this decision is ranging from hyperbole to falsehood – which may score political points, but is detrimental in the genuine effort to develop good, compassionate public policy on immigration," said Hector Barreto, The Latino Coalition Chairman and former U.S. Small Business Administrator.

    "America needs comprehensive immigration reform that is developed through the legislative process, that meets the needs and interests of the American people and our national security. We urge Congress to use president Trump's decision to rescind DACA as an opportunity to make positive changes to our nation's broken immigration system. Leaders who really care will work together, across the aisle, instead of using immigration as a wedge issue for political gain – a tactic that is both irresponsible government and bad politics."

    ABOUT THE LATINO COALITION- The Latino Coalition (TLC) was founded in 1995 by a group of Hispanic business owners from across the country to research and develop policies solutions relevant to Latinos. TLC is a non-profit nationwide organization with offices in California, Washington, DC and Guadalajara, Mexico. Established to address and engage on key issues that that directly affect the well-being of Hispanics in the United States, TLC's agenda is to create and promote initiatives and partnerships that will foster economic equivalency and enhance and empower overall business, economic and social development for Latinos. Visit www.thelatinocoalition.com.


  • 09/06/2017 11:44 AM | TLC Team (Administrator)

    Here's why Trump is right to end DACA

    • Ending DACA will not lead to mass deportations. That is not what Trump wants.
    • Winding down the Obama-era program is the perfect time for Congress to develop effective, compassionate policy on immigration – something most Americans strongly agree we need.

    COMMENTARY

      Hector Barreto, chairman of The Latino Coalition

      This week, the Trump Administration provided Congress with an opportunity: to make immigration law the right way, through legislation, not executive orders. Will they seize the moment, or squander it on scoring political points?

      Hyperbolic reactions from the expected special interest groups, and from many politicians, to the Trump Administration's decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (an Obama-era executive order put in place to protect illegal youths from deportation known as DACA) have been predictable and counter-productive. It will continue to be tempting for Democrats in particular to exploit immigration as a political wedge issue – painting Trump and all Republicans as racist and anti-dreamer. (Dreamers are youths who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.) This approach would be both bad government and bad politics.

      The winding down of DACA is the perfect time for Congress to develop effective, compassionate policy on immigration – something most Americans strongly agree we need. The best reforms will be developed through the legislative process, not executive orders – and that's something else both sides can agree on.

      In the meantime, leaders should stay away from inflammatory language and fear mongering. Mass deportations will not happen – it is simply not logistically possible, and it is not what the Trump Administration has called for. It is worth noting how Attorney General Sessions described the government's next steps:

      The Department of Justice has advised the President and the Department of Homeland Security that DHS should begin an orderly, lawful wind down, including the cancellation of the memo that authorized this program. … This [wind down process] will enable DHS to conduct an orderly change and fulfill the desire of this administration to create a time period for Congress to act—should it so choose. We firmly believe this is the responsible path.

      Sessions' words about a "wind down" were rational and calm, indicating an approach that is not drastic or dramatic, not gratuitously painful or overly political. The end of DACA and the beginning of lawful immigration reform can, and should, be handled with this level of maturity and respect – for dreamers for American citizens, and for our nation's tradition of the rule of law.

      There are no easy or simple answers on immigration, and it's okay for our leaders to acknowledge that fact. I believe they can find legislative solutions that strengthen America, recognize our proud immigrant tradition, keep the economy strong, and keep our citizens safe and our borders secure. The core elements of President George W. Bush's immigration reform proposals, for example, met those goals through effective border security, a functioning and humane guest worker program, and a pathway to earned legal status for the undocumented. Given the six-month time frame Congress will have before DACA ends, they would do well to start their work with Bush's already well-developed proposal.

      President Trump even Tweeted on Tuesday that he would revisit the issue if Congress cannot act.


      If the end of DACA is turned into a political screaming match, an opportunity to move forward on immigration reform will be lost. DACA will end roughly and badly. If President Trump's critics encourage and enable this approach, they themselves will be responsible for derailing that which they say they hold dear: fair, compassionate treatment for dreamers.

      Voters, in turn, will punish those who mishandle this moment. They will see it as political malpractice, or worse. Their desire for solutions, and for action, is why Donald Trump was elected president. Americans are weary of bloviating and politics. They want things to get fixed, period.

      And the voters are right: Our immigration laws and enforcement need to be fixed. They are right to expect their representatives to do this, and President Trump is right to encourage Congress to act. The end of DACA can, and should, lead to immigration reform done the right way: through legislating.

      Commentary by Hector Barreto, chairman of The Latino Coalition, one of the largest Latino advocacy groups in the U.S. He is also a member of the board of the United States Chamber of Commerce. He was administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration under President George W. Bush.

      For more insight from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.

      Source: CNBC

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