The man who would usher in an era of ‘hope and change’ with his election in 2008, begins 2012 having practically eliminated any hope for small business owners.
The recent release of the Small Business Optimism Index bears this out, with uncertainty reaching new record highs, even following a first term already marked predominantly by economic and regulatory uncertainties.
From four years past and four years of a future filled with looming taxes, stifling regulations, and the uber-burdensome bill known as Obamacare, the President’s main platform seems to be one of crushing small businesses, and by extension, crushing the American dream.
To start, results from the latest Optimism Index indicate record levels of uncertainty that exceed even the darkest days of the Carter presidency.
A report from Fox Business indicates:
“Uncertainty about the direction of business conditions in six months reached 23% of respondents, easily surpassing a pre-recession record of 15% that was reported during the Jimmy Carter administration.”
Despite the administration’s constant drum-beating of the word ‘recovery’, the optimism index remains at rates more synonymous with another ‘R’ word – recession.
Several factors have created the pessimistic mindset running rampant amongst business owners; the looming fiscal cliff, the constant threat of higher costs, higher taxes, and of course, a downward trend in sales numbers.
“Weak sales remained the primary business concern for 22% of surveyed owners. The net percent, seasonally adjusted, of all small business owners reporting higher nominal sales over the past three months is negative 15%, two points worse than September.”
These factors have a major effect on business hiring which, despite what you will hear from the White House, remains markedly lower than before Barack Obama became President. National employment currently stands at four million fewer workers in this country than were seen during the first quarter of 2008.
Further stagnating the business economy is an unwillingness of small business owners to invest in capital because of these many concerns. One example of this comes from Bill Keith, president of Indiana-based SunRise Solar, who found more hope in investing in loans to other projects than putting further capital into his own business.
“I see the loans as a better investment than myself, which is sad,’ Keith said, adding that his level of optimism dropped after the election. ‘I planned on investing capital if Mitt Romney was going to win, but I stopped short of doing that because that’s no way to run a business.”
Amidst the myriad of concerns, the administration seems to take the opinions of small business owners with little or no regard. In fact, if the President is indeed concerned how small business perceives his policies, he has a strange way of showing it.
For instance, Obama’s fiscal cliff plan for raising taxes on the ‘wealthy’ would directly impact small business owners, with higher taxes being paid by nearly 900,000 businesses making just over $250,000 annually. Despite that fact, administration talks regarding the fiscal cliff have involved labor leaders, congressional leaders, CEO’s of major corporations … but nobody representing small business.
Further eroding the confidence of these business leaders is the economic horror show known as Obamacare. With implementation of the President’s health care overhaul inching ever closer, small business owners are facing record health care costs, and having to cut employee hours in an attempt to avoid even further penalties.
The day after the election, FreedomWorks noted several businesses that were committing to layoffs almost immediately, citing Obamacare taxes as the main reason.
But we also delved into several businesses that were slashing their employee’s hours in an effort to remain compliant with the plan’s requirements for full-time status. According to the New American, Obamacare “requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees — with ‘full time’ defined as working at least 30 hours per week — to offer ‘affordable’ health insurance to those employees.”
The result? Businesses are trying to drop below the 50 full-time employee level by either eliminating jobs, or eliminating hours. In other words, the whole of Obamacare is a tax-happy prescription for small business disaster.
While larger businesses may be able to absorb all of the negative economic impacts coming from this administration, many smaller ones will end up shutting their doors. The President’s policies have wasted little time in strangling small business, and eliminating any glimmer of hope they may have once had prior to the election.
Cross-posted at FreedomWorks
Where would you want to celebrate Independence Day? Somewhere relatively close to home, at a local park or beach, taking in the fireworks?
Not only is the Obama campaign team planning to spend Independence Day outside of the U.S., but they’re spending it in a surrender-happy country who’s only major military victory came during their civil war.
Apparently tiring of US soil as a source of campaign dollars, the Obama campaign is headed overseas — with its celebrity friends in tow. The European Obama campaign starts next week in Paris on July 4 with a reception organized by various fundraising heavy-hitters. Independence Day fundraisers in Paris – now that’s a flag-waving campaign.
But then, France may be the ideal place for a President who’s main platform seems to be one of Anti-Americanism.
While the crux of his predecessor’s low approval ratings were in fighting an ‘unpopular war’, President Obama is watching his own approval ratings stagnate due to an unpopular, well, everything else. His record has been so blatantly in contrast to the will of this nation, that it could very nearly be defined as anti-American.
The most obvious example of this has been the force-feeding of the health care reform bill down the collective throats of a nation. There has been a consistently strong opposition to Obamacare even prior to it being signed into law. The Supreme Court decision to uphold the law did nothing to change the negative perception, as 50% of Americans in a recent poll opposed the court’s decision, to 39% who supported the ruling.
This isn’t the only example of the President supporting policies that the rest of America opposes.
- In 2010, the President voiced what CNN called ‘incoherent’ support for the building of the Ground Zero Mosque, something a massive 70% of America objected to.
- The U.S. Justice Department’s decision to fight the Arizona immigration law through the courts; a law that 59 percent of U.S. voters would like to have seen enacted in their very own state. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, a CBS News Poll showed most Americans (52%) considered the law to be “about right”. In addition to that, another 11% said the law did not go far enough, while a mere 33% said it went too far.
- The President killed the job creating Keystone pipeline, while Americans at a 2-1 margin thought the project should have been approved. Another energy independence issue involved the BP oil spill. After the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, Obama issued a ban on deepwater oil drilling, a policy that nearly three quarters of Americans opposed.
And it isn’t just these more recent actions that are contributing to the President’s perception as being anti-American. Lost in the more current list of unpopular moves are some of the early attempts at implementing policies which were equally unpopular. They include…
- An early term executive order that gave federal funding to family planning organizations that provide abortions, opposed by 58 percent of Americans.
- A subsequently embarrassing mark on the president’s record involving an executive order to close the prison in Guantanamo Bay. The goal was to shut down the prison within one year, and was opposed by a 50-44 percent margin. Despite the President’s efforts, the prison remains open.
- On that same note, the DOJ’s decision to investigate the treatment and possible torture of terrorists during the Bush administration was considered wrong by a 49-36 percent tally. These same interrogation tactics were later proven to have led to the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
- The announcement that terrorists, including September 11th mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, would be tried in New York City, was roundly rejected by the American public 51-29 percent. This particular move may have been the hallmark of the anti-American presidency, granting rights afforded our citizens to a terrorist with single-minded designs on destroying those very same citizens, speaks volumes.
Isn’t it about time that the president of the United States started implementing pro-American policies? Isn’t it about time that he listen to the people that elected him?
Then again, that would require abandoning his liberal agenda and start accepting what America is – a predominantly conservative nation.
Via the New York Times:
A relentless political survivor who fought through years of corruption allegations to briefly hold one of the most powerful political positions in New York State, Mr. Espada joins a long list of state lawmakers, including others from his own hard-luck district, convicted of corruption-related charges in recent years. He and his son are accused of using hundreds of thousands of dollars from Soundview to support their lavish lifestyle.Witness after witness testified about purchases large and small that Mr. Espada made with money from the nonprofit that was supposed to be used for the health needs of one of the poorest parts of the city. Instead, $100,000 in lobster, sushi and other meals was charged to a corporate credit card. Soundview money also went to private family parties, school tuition and luxury car payments.
As is typical of the Democrat party, Espada himself started playing the victim card, instead of taking responsibility for his actions. The Times continues (emphasis mine)…
A self-styled man of the people, Mr. Espada, who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx, relied on the same defense in his trial that he so often turned to during his three decades in public life — maintaining that the allegations against him were the work of political enemies.
Toward the end of the trial, in an indication that he was preparing to argue the same thing about his anticipated conviction, he stopped paying attention to proceedings, instead paging through a book that argues that black people cannot find justice in the American legal system.
Espada may not have felt he could find justice, but the poor families who needed his network’s healthcare services have finally found it.