The battle over tax relief in Congress has played out — producing a “compromised stimulus package” containing more “compromise” than “stimulus.” Although that package is now law, countless women are still hoping for real tax cuts.

Not long ago the President said, “The best way to come out of a recession is to say to the small business person, we’ll let you keep your own money; to the sole proprietor or the limited partner, it’s your money. Spend it to expand the job base. Hearing that, women entrepreneurs all over America surely cheered.

There are millions of women-owned privately held firms and millions of others in which women are partners. Together these firms employ millions more and generate $1.15 trillion in sales. This is no small section of the economy; women-owned businesses represent 26 percent of all firms and their ranks have been increasing at twice the rate of others.

The overwhelming majority of these female-owned businesses are among the sole proprietorships and limited partnerships that the President described. And under the law, a sole proprietor is not separate from the business she owns and must report all business income on her individual income tax form. The limited partnership is similar; all profits pass through the individual partner’s income tax returns.

What a boon to female entrepreneurship, business growth, and job creation it would be to reduce these individual tax rates now. Americans have lost 1.7 million jobs since March 2001. People need to go back to work. Reductions in tax rates have already been approved in the 2001 Tax Law and are simply waiting to be phased in within the next several years. Why not accelerate those reductions and leave the money where those sole proprietors and limited partners can use it to hire and expand?

Let’s remember the record. The tax rate cuts made by President Kennedy in the 1960s and again by President Reagan in the 1980s — far from being “a tax break for the rich” — led in each case to increased investment, savings, business creation, and jobs.

Here’s a second idea to help female entrepreneurs and stimulate economic growth: Accelerate the repeal of the death tax, now inching its way toward elimination in 2010.

The death tax strangles women-owned businesses and the people who work for them. It often denies these businesses to successive generations, cutting off the time needed to be firmly established.

From tiny start-ups to major operations, women spend about $1000 per month meeting obligations to comply with the death tax, says Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn. Those dollars are usually used to purchase insurance policies that can be cashed in to pay that huge tax which today can seize 50% of assets and must be paid within months of the owner’s death.

To the economy, and to the entrepreneur, those thousands of dollars are lost. Money that the businesswoman would like to use for additional hiring, benefits, or expansion is simply gone. In 2000, the Center for the Study of Taxation asked hundreds of women-owned family businesses about the costs and lost jobs associated with the death tax. The average cost to each business for 5 years was $60,000, and the jobs lost averaged 39. If we want to save those jobs and put that money into economic growth, the death tax is due a speedy death of its own.

Lastly, why not cut the capital gains tax? That move would boost the lagging value of the stocks owned by 72 percent of the women who own and run businesses as well as 58% of working women, instantly increasing each one’s ability to save and invest. In addition, such tax reduction would make money immediately available to the current and future female risk takers who can help this economy grow.

Our weakened economy needs real — and not half-hearted — stimulus. The energy of millions of businesswomen is available to work on economic recovery. To do that we can hardly afford not to cut taxes.