“And finally, today I am directing federal agencies to do more to account for—and reduce—the burdens regulations may place on small businesses. Small firms drive growth and create most new jobs in this country. We need to make sure nothing stands in their way.”
—President Obama, Wall Street Journal op-ed, January 18, 2011
A new Gallup survey released last week reveals some interesting insights to the concerns of America’s small businesses. The survey was based on interviews with 604 small business owners having $20 million or less of sales or revenues. Safe to say this is a representative sample of the economic sector that everyone, including President Obama and Democrats in Congress, claim to support as engines of job creation. Why, then, do the Obama administration and congressional Democrats stand in the way of making things easier for these small business owners to thrive?
When asked what they think is the most important problem facing small business owners today, participants’ leading response was, “complying with government regulations.” That answer was supported by 22 percent of the respondents. Gallup included this in its summary of the results: “Small-business owners' assertion that government regulations are the most important problem facing them today is consistent with another recent Gallup poll (Oct. 6-9) in which 14 percent of Americans volunteered that reduced government regulation is the best way to create jobs in the U.S.”
Interestingly, President Obama’s Senate-defeated “American Jobs Act” included a provision that would offer small businesses special hiring tax credits if they hire individuals who have been unemployed for at least 6 months, which would increase the deficit by $8 billion. Yet the Gallup survey asked what would be a primary motivation or reason for hiring any new employees in 2012, and, not surprisingly, small business owners answered “increased revenues” (27 percent) or “an improving economy” (20 percent). Only 7 percent offered “having tax credits for hiring unemployed workers” as a response, once again proving that the majority of job creators understand the futility of the president’s re-packaged, failed stimulus proposals. It is unfortunate that the president refuses to listen to those in the private sector who have created 65 percent of net new jobs in the last 18 years.
What are House Republicans doing?
House Republicans are focused on continuing efforts to turn around the Obama economy by passing major elements of the House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators. This week, the House will consider two bills that would change and update Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations to promote, rather than hinder, small business access to equity financing.
Additionally, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) recently introduced H.R. 3068, the Regulatory Sunset and Review Act of 2011. The bill would require federal agencies to regularly review their rules that have a $100 million annual economic impact to determine whether they should be modified, consolidated, or terminated. The bill would also create a petition process that allows the public and appropriate congressional committees to request that non-significant rules be reviewed in the same manner as significant rules.