Friday, July 20, 2012

Small Business Tax

An article published in the Austin American Statesman by Republican U.S. Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, is laced with elements of emotional appeal as well as the establishment of credibility as Hutchison tries to persuade the audience that the proposed small business tax increases will be detrimental to the Texas economy. The most obvious source of bias to take note of is Hutchison's political leanings: she is a staunch Republican, serving in the U.S. Senate. Her position as a senator does add to her credibility, though.

Considering the fact that Hutchison's audience is largely composed of liberal, young Austinites who read the Statesman, it is good that she didn't make any direct stabs at the Obama administration. Her argument was not strongly supported; there were virtually no facts, but instead references to individual stories. Even the references to the individual stories did not firmly support her claim because they didn't include any details about how the tax increases would put the individuals out of business or put a strain on them. This unsupported emotional appeal, in my opinion, took away from her credibility.

Her language is quite persuasive, but also quite transparent. When discussing the potential tax increase, she uses the following words: "incomprehensible," "paralyzes," "deprivation," "punishing," etc. (Hutchison). I would have preferred statistical evidence over such flowery, but unsupported language. Persuasive words do not make a claim without the facts to back it up.

I realize that the proposed small business taxes may place a strain on certain businesses, but I am also aware that something needs to be done to improve our economy. Where else will the money come from? I don't think we can take any more from the Texas education system, as the government seems to be so willing to do. So, I think that Hutchison was unnecessarily critical of the tax increase without providing evidence to support her claim or an alternative method of improving the economy.

Source: Hutchison, Kay Bailey. "Serve Texas' Small Businesses by Halting Proposed Tax Hikes." Austin American Statesman, 16 July 2012. Web. 20 July 2012. <>.

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