Top 2% not just the wealthy

Published On: Dec 10 2012 09:40:37 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 11 2012 08:40:37 AM CST

A national day of action led to a small group protesting outside of Democratic Congressman Ron Kind's office in downtown La Crosse.

The message to leaders in Washington is to get a deal done on the fiscal cliff now.

Sue Conard, the President of AFSCME'S Retirees Sub-Chapter, says she thinks lawmakers should let tax breaks for the top 2% expire.

"We've seen that they aren't working anymore so we need to find a different way," said Conard.

She was one of the protestors questioning the effectiveness of tax breaks for those earning more than $250,000 a year.

"They were designed to expire for a reason and that was because at the time, they were needed to promote the economy. Today, we don't need that to promote the economy," said Conard.

It's not just the rich, however, that fall into the top 2%.

The U.S. Treasury Department estimates small business owners make up between 10 - 24% of the group. A portion of those fall into the 2% percent because of how they file their taxes.

"People that operate independently (and are) not working for a large chain operation. It would be small companies that have their own name on it, like insurance agencies and jewelry stores," said Dick Granchalek, president of the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce.

Granchalek says the uncertainty over the fiscal cliff is already impacting how businesses are operating.

"They're afraid and that forces people to reduce spending, avoid taking risks, avoid adding any people to their payroll," said Granchalek.

"All of those things effect the economics of our country,"  he added.