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Obama on Small Business: Words, Words, Words


“You’re the anchors of our Main Streets, small businesses built by folks who live and work in the community and look out for one another, that end up determining success or failure of cities and towns.  They’re the cornerstones of America’s promise, the idea that if you’ve got a dream and you’ve got the work ethic to see it through, you can succeed.  And when our small businesses do well, then America does well.”

Those remarks yesterday could well have come from a local or national official of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or even one of the 85 freshman Republicans elected to the House last fall, many of whom have solid backgrounds in small business. 

Instead they came from President Obama during his appearance at Cleveland State University yesterday.  The occasion was a session billed as the Winning the Future Forum on Small Business.

But while the President said all the right things about small business (“Small businesses that grow into medium-sized and large businesses, that’s the key to the future, because it’s the new products, it’s the new services, things that nobody else thought of before”) and vowed to figure out “how we can help you succeed,” the words just don’t match his actions.

Obama made his remarks in Cleveland less than two weeks after the White House unveiled a budget request for 2012 that would raise the top marginal income tax rate from 35% to 39.6%.  This would hit hardest at the wage earners who are considered the top job creators—many of them small business owners themselves. 

Obama’s budget proposals would strike at those in small business in other ways, including denying companies deductions  on the cost of punitive damages from a lawsuit settlement and capping the value of itemized deductions at the 28% bracket. 

One who was particularly upset by the President’s remarks at the small-business forum was a congressman who had spent most of his adult life in small business, at one point overseeing 40 businesses ranging from a Chevrolet dealership to a minor league baseball team.

Freshman Rep. Jim Renacci (R.-Ohio), whose 16th District is near Cleveland, told HUMAN EVENTS:  “President Obama’s remarks on helping small businesses and reducing taxes continue to be all talk with no results.  Obama forced through $500 billion in tax hikes last year with the passage of ObamaCare.”

Citing Obama’s call for tax hikes on small businesses, Renacci also noted that the President is “employing executive branch agencies, such as the EPA, to circumvent congress and advance job-killing regulations.  His track record on the issue is abysmal and he has yet to demonstrate even the most basic understanding of what a pro-growth policy looks like.