Tuesday, August 31, 2010

President Obama Still Doesn't Get It, Says Small Business Advocate

/PRNewswire/ -- A national small business advocate agrees with President Barack Obama when he said a "magic bullet" doesn't exist for solving our current economic woes. However, she is urging the president to understand why businesses are not hiring and holding back on investments. According to Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) President & CEO Karen Kerrigan, perhaps if the President and his economic team get a true grasp of what's holding businesses back, the Administration would depart from its enthusiastic support of legislative and regulatory measures that are working to restrain our free enterprise system and prolong the recession.

"Small business owners feel they are under siege from Washington, and at a moment in time when they are facing the most difficult period in the history of their businesses," said Kerrigan. "Unfortunately, the small business lending bill is not an ample policy solution to leverage the potential of America's small business sector. The concerns and needs of most business owners go much deeper, and this legislation does not address broader issues related to taxes, regulations and excessive spending which threaten to aggravate currently poor economic conditions. At the end of the day, proposed tax hikes along with legislation and regulatory initiatives in the pipeline will drive business costs higher and drain more private capital from our economy. Anti-growth policies have led to low confidence among our nation's entrepreneurs, and it will not get better unless Washington backs off the never-ending stream of proposed tax hikes and intrusive policies that threaten all industries and all businesses," Kerrigan added.

According to Kerrigan, every industry and most businesses are under siege from Washington. Whether its new regulatory initiatives from the Department of Labor that threaten to tie America's workplaces in knots, to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that will drive energy and business costs higher, to the expanded 1099-MISC reporting requirement from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) included in the new health care law and more, there is no business or workplace activity that the federal government has left untouched from burdensome and costly regulation. And then there is the new health care law, which by now most businesses realize is driving their health insurance costs higher and eventually will snatch away the health plans they currently provide despite promises to the contrary by President Obama.

New and proposed regulations in the telecommunications, energy, health care, and financial services sector only add to the uncertainty and anti-business thrust. To the casual observer and average American, it's quite easy to understand why businesses are not hiring and investment is weak. Yet, according to Kerrigan, our elite and well-educated political leaders simply don't get it.

"At this point, it appears that our economy will stay weak and business activity and hiring will remain anemic until business owners see a massive shift in the political environment," observed Kerrigan. "It seems most business owners are done with this Congress, and they are at least hoping that a divided government next year will bring practical, pro-growth governing policies to Washington," she concluded.

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