Obama plans this fall to give Republicans a thorough and nearly daily thrashing for blocking a relatively minor Senate bill that would aid small businesses. He did it repeatedly before heading up to Martha’s Vineyard to save the lobster industry and is at it again now that he’s back. Here’s what he said in the Rose Garden this afternoon.
Unfortunately, this bill has been languishing in the Senate for months, held up by partisan minority that won’t even allow it to go to a vote. That makes no sense.
Obama implies it’s all petty politics, and that Republicans are spiteful children holding up a bill to deny him and poor Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a victory.
The legislation would provide some tax credits while producing a $30 billion fund to help small banks lend to small businesses.
Let’s just start with some child-like logic. THE WASHINGTON SMALL BUSINESS LOBBY IS THE BEST FRIEND THE REPUBLICANS HAVE.
Why would Republicans want to piss off their best friend? Do you like to piss off your best friend, particularly if said friend provides you lots of money?
Republicans are angry because they say Reid has refused to allow them to offer the amendments they want. And many are concerned out of principle about providing a huge pile of dough for banks to play with, believing that THERE IS RECENT PRECEDENT THAT SHOWS YOU CAN CREATE PROBLEMS BY MAKING IT TOO EASY FOR BANKS TO LEND.
Even Republicans officially certified by the White House as sane, such as Olympia Snowe of Maine, oppose going forward.
So small business leaders must be sitting in their offices squeezing rubber balls and growling in a low voice “Republican are traitors. Republicans are traitors. Republicans are traitors. And Jerks.” Right? Hardly
Here’s what the National Federation of Independent Business, by far the nation’s largest small business lobby says about the bill.
While there are some positive provisions in this bill, it does not address the most pressing problems facing small business owners today. The primary problem facing small business owners right now in terms of job creation is not access to credit, it’s a lack of sales, customers and confidence. Small business owners are unlikely to invest in hiring or expanding their businesses when sales and profits remain weak. For these business owners to start hiring again, demand must pick up and confidence in the economy must be restored.
Currently small business optimism in the economy is very low. Small business owners are worried about the threat of increased taxes, new healthcare mandates, higher energy costs and more regulations from Washington. Small businesses need to know if the individual tax rates are going to remain at current levels or increase. They need to plan for the estate tax. And now they have to calculate how much the new healthcare law will cost their business. All of these issues make it that much harder for businesses to survive and grow.
What they are pointing to here is the rank hypocrisy of Obama crusading as the savior of small business while enacting policies that will be undeniably damaging to mom and pop shops. Under Obama, small businesses will be mandated to provide health insurance and have their taxes increased as the Bush tax cuts for high earners – many pay the individual rate – are rescinded at the end of the year – among other problems.
One may argue that these are, or are not, good policies. But let’s not pretend they are good for small business, and that Obama is looking out first for Main Street.