Small Business Urges President to Change Direction in Big Speech Thursday


Harrisburg, PA – The best way for President Obama to revive the anesthetized economy is to tell Congress and the nation Thursday night that he will abandon plans to raise taxes and start chopping back the jungle of red tape that is choking off investment, growth and jobs, according to the local chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

“The small business sector is gasping for air because owners can’t predict their expenses,” said State Director Kevin Shivers.  “Whether it’s income taxes, health care premiums or energy costs, it’s impossible to calculate the cost of the Obama agenda, and that has our members worried.”

Shivers made his remarks in response to the federal jobs report Friday, which showed zero growth and problems in nearly every sector.  NFIB produces a monthly economic report as well that focuses on small businesses.  The Small Business Economic Trends report, due out next week, is expected to show similarly disappointing results.

“The President hasn’t really stopped campaigning for higher income taxes, which hits small businesses directly.  The new health care law is driving premiums higher and his energy regulations are a real threat to consumers, especially small businesses,” he said.

The President has scheduled a prime-time address to Congress Thursday night during which he’ll propose his latest jobs plan.  But it will likely land with a thud, said Shivers, if small business owners aren’t convinced that he understands why they’re nervous.

“If he starts his speech with a tribute to small businesses and the private sector, and then renews his call for higher taxes and more rules, it’s going to sound empty,” said Shivers.  “Our members want to hear that he understands their concerns, and among their highest concerns is the excessive cost and influence of the federal government.”

Shivers noted that in Pennsylvania, more than half of all employees work for a small business and that three quarters of small business owners pay their taxes as individual filers.

“His policies need to be as good for the general store as they are for General Electric,” he said.  “He can’t expect small businesses to make jobs if they can’t make money.”

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