Allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families making $250,000 a year would raise $836 billion over the next decade, according to the White House.
The national debt currently exceeds $16 trillion. During each of the first four years of Obama's term, the federal budget deficit topped $1 trillion.
Increasing tax rates on upper-income earners will make little dent in a mountain of debt while undermining job creation at the same time, Republicans say.
They point to research by the Joint Committee on Taxation that shows Curliss and the 940,000 top-end filers with business income account for 53 percent of the total $1.3 trillion in all business income reported by more than 30 million filers across the U.S.
"Raising taxes on small businesses is only going to make it harder for our economy to grow," said House Speaker John Boehner last week. "And if our economy doesn't grow, Americans don't get new jobs, and the debt problem that we have will continue to threaten our children's future. "
Republicans also cite a study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last month which found a small but measureable impact on jobs and economic growth if the existing top tax cuts are allowed to expire.
Higher rates on the top 2 percent of earners would mean 0.1 percent slower annual growth in GDP and the creation of 200,000 fewer jobs than would occur if current rates were extended, CBO found. Progressives call the impact "minimal."
Curliss said regardless of the numbers, his business will be challenged by higher rates, possibly sidelining a budding opportunity to expand production with another Ohio company.
"It takes cash to develop new business opportunities," he said. "It takes cash to put in new manufacturing equipment."
"If somebody's going to tell you they're going to take more money away from you that can't do anything but frustrate you when you're trying to grow business and create job opportunities for people," he said.
Read more about the Fiscal Cliff: