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Dold Schneider Debate

Dionne Young / MEDILL

10th District Congressional candidates U.S. Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) and Brad Schneider have emphasized their staunch commitment to small business throughout the campaign.

10th District candidates both say they support small business

by Justin Voccola
Oct 31, 2012

10th Congressional District candidates U.S. Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) and Democratic challenger Brad Schneider,both say they are proponents of small business, but split on increasing taxes on the wealthy.

The district encompasses a wide range of communities, some with numerous small businesses and wealthy residents and one big one with a large blue-collar population with a median income below the national average.

The 10th District includes exclusive suburbs like Deerfield, where the median income is $131,534. At the northern tip is the district’s largest community, Waukegan, where the median household income is just $42,681, nearly $8,000 below the national median of $50,054. And Deerfield’s population of 18,405 is dwarfed by Waukegan’s 92,734, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures..

The size and income disparities mean tax and business policies resonate differently in each community.

The manufacturing industry dominates in Waukegan, employing20.4 percent of the civilian work force, according to U.S. Census Bureau. Waukegan has its share of small businesses, but there is only one for each 18 residents. In contrast, Deerfield with 3,183 small businesses, has one for every six people, according to the Manta Media Inc., an online community for small business. So a pro-small business stance will have more impact in the smaller community and a lower tax policy may have more meaning in the larger city.

Schneider, who lives in Deerfield, runs his own consulting business, which he says gives him an understanding of small business owners.

"We need to help small businesses. We need to provide them with incentives to hire new employees. We need to make capital affordable by working with the SBA," said Schneider in a recent television debate.

Dold says that Schneider's support for President Obama’s proposal to increase income taxes on households earning more than $250,000 would hurt small business owners, not help them.

Schneider responded that the tax proposal is about household income, not business income.

"We need to raise taxes on people earning over $250,000 per year to address the challenges we face. But we are not talking about small business owners’ taxes," Schneider said.

Dold says that he would continue the Bush-era tax cuts with no change in taxes for earners over $250,000 per year, but that there are bigger economic issues than taxes on high earners.

"In many ways, the 10th District is unique, but like almost everywhere else in the country, voters in the 10th District share a common concern for the uncertain state of our economy and the high rate of unemployment,” said John McGovern, Dold’s campaign spokesman. “Congressman Dold believes strongly in articulating his support for fiscal policies that will help grow our economy, allow the private sector to expand, and encourage investment and job creation," McGovern said.