by Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN)
We are losing jobs at an alarming rate. Unemployment is now at 9.5% and is expected to increase, which means more and more families will struggle to make ends meet. In fact, President Obama has now acknowledged that unemployment will continue to “tick up for several months.” This is the most difficult economic situation most of us have seen in our lifetime and I believe Congress and the Administration have missed critical opportunities to address this issue by ignoring the most important component of the solution: small business.
Small businesses are most significant job creators in our economy; responsible for creating nearly seven out of ten new jobs in the United States. If we are going to recover from this recession, small business will lead the way.
For these reasons, I recently introduced legislation requiring the Special Inspector General (SIG) of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which oversees bailout spending, to examine how small businesses are being affected by this spending. It will also address issues facing smaller financial institutions who are left to compete with larger institutions who have received TARP funds. The goal of this legislation is to level the playing field between those who have been bailed out, and the small businesses who have not.
All we ever seem to hear about in Washington is the concept of “too big to fail”. The result has been billions of dollars for major banks and institutions, often at the expense of small businessmen and women across the country. Simply put, we cannot afford to continue overlooking the entrepreneurs that take risks and create jobs every day.
I’ve been pressing for action to help small businesses since taking office and, just last week, the White House announced a proposal that would allow small business to access needed funds that have so far been available only to larger corporations. Make no mistake, we need an exit strategy from the revolving door of bailouts and continued government expansion into the private sector. However, this development is encouraging in that it seems to recognize the importance of small business when it comes to an economic recovery.
As we continue working in Congress, I hope we can finally enact policies to strengthen small business, which will actually put Americans back to work and help families across our nation.