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State of my economy

Americans respond to President Obama's State of the Union address.

'I am frustrated'

real people sotu cathy lee swearengin
  • Name: Cathy Lee Pittman, 51 and Mallory Pittman, 25
  • Place: Springfield, Mo.

No one likes to talk about taxes, but I do think it's a critical part of our economy right now and our recovery. I also wish President Obama had talked more about how small businesses play into the middle class story.

My grandma started Plaza Shoe Store in 1953, and I have only had this one job since I turned 15.

Today I am 51 and manager of our family business. My daughter Mallory and I work very hard to run a good business.

From my vantage point, we have weathered many business storms, but since 2008 retail has completely changed to e-commerce dominating. In our heyday, we had 18 employees. Now, we've cut back to just nine.

We've noticed a big change in how people shop, and I believe Amazon has cornered the market in retail goods. They did this in part, by not charging sales tax in our state, giving them an unfair advantage over brick-and-mortar stores.

There are loopholes in the tax laws, and we want Congress to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act. It would give states the ability to collect sales taxes from online retailers that don't have a physical location in the state.

Our state desperately needs that sales tax money to fund schools and expand and keep employees. I am frustrated and somewhat scared that nothing will be done until its too late.

  @AnnalynKurtz - Last updated January 28 2014 11:39 PM ET

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