President Obama loves to complain that he inherited an economic mess. That may be true, but his wrong-headed policies have only made matters worse, taking actions that hurt businesses and stunt job growth.
1. Obamacare costs
Obamacare will impose a new cost on many small businesses that currently do not provide health insurance for their employees and will pressure many to shift workers to part-time status to get below the measure‚??s ‚??50-worker‚?Ě loophole. It also means all companies will have to re-evaluate their health care coverage and make changes to come into compliance with federal guidelines or pay fines of up to $3,000 per worker. The Congressional Budget Office says the bill will lead to 800,000 fewer jobs by 2020.
2. Small business tax hikes
The expiration of the Bush tax cuts for individuals making over $200,000, or families making $250,000, will hit many small business owners, an increase that will hit as those same owners are still trying to dig out of the recession. Considering that small businesses are the main creator of jobs in the nation, every dollar taken from them in tax hikes is that many fewer dollars available for expanding employment.
3. EPA‚??s burdensome regulations
Regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency put a tremendous burden on businesses, making job creation more difficult. The agency‚??s rules on air quality standards are curtailing energy produced from coal-fired electrical plants, causing a rise in electricity prices and making scarce a major resource that is abundant in America.
4. Keystone XL Pipeline postponed
Even Obama‚??s union supporters expressed outrage over his decision to indefinitely postpone construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would transport oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico. The president‚??s decision cost thousands of jobs and lost a possible source of energy from North America, as China was soon knocking on Canada‚??s door. But at least Obama‚??s Hollywood environmental backers were placated.
5. Boeing battle
When Boeing wanted to build a new $750 million assembly plant in South Carolina, creating thousand of jobs in the process, the National Labor Relations board stepped in, saying the move violated federal law because S.C. is a right-to-work state. The board, whose balance tipped toward labor with Obama appointees, finally dropped the case after the union representing Boeing workers withdrew its objections.
6. Capital-gains ‚??fairness‚??
When he was running for president in 2008, Obama said he would increase the capital gains rate, even if it meant bringing in less tax revenue for the government, out of the notion of ‚??fairness.‚?Ě He is still on the same quest as the expiration of the Bush tax cuts would increase the capital gains tax rate by 33 percent. This time ‚??fairness‚?Ě will likely mean hurting the middle class, as the hike looms in January as part of the so-called taxmaggedon that could tip the economy back into a recession.
7. Off-shore drilling moratorium
After the BP oil spill in 2010, Obama placed a moratorium on deep-water drilling, devastating the off-shore oil and gas industry in the gulf coast states. While Obama seems to constantly throw up road blocks that inhibit development of U.S. energy resources‚??including slowing the permit process for new oil drilling sites‚??after his moratorium, he gave assistance to off-shore drilling efforts in Brazil, creating jobs there, not here
8. Dodd-Frank ‚??financial reform‚??
By signing the Dodd-Frank financial ‚??reform‚?Ě measure into law, Obama placed yet another heavy cost on the business community. Passed in 2010 without a single Republican vote in the House, the measure mandates, among many requirements, an enormous paperwork burden that will mainly help employ accountants and lawyers.
Interesting that the politicians with their names attached to this bill did as much as any to protect and encourage Fannie Mae‚??s contribution to the 2008 financial meltdown.
9. Anti-business rhetoric
Obama‚??s ‚??You-didn‚??t-build-that‚?Ě mentality diminishes the accomplishments of business entrepreneurs while exalting the role of government. His class-warfare political strategy includes demonizing Wall Street, insurance companies, bankers, pharmaceuticals, Big Oil, and ‚??millionaires and billionaires.‚?Ě The presidency is a ‚??Bully Pulpit‚?Ě and Obama‚??s misuse of it only gives ammunition to the anti-capitalist Occupy crowd.
10. Business climate uncertainty
U.S. companies are sitting on trillions of dollars of cash but are not spending it to expand business or hire new workers because of the uncertainty about what government is going to do next. With tax hikes looming, along with rising health care costs associated with Obamacare, and the constant strangulation by bureaucratic red tape, corporations are in a waiting mode before opening their spigot of cash‚??waiting until we get a new president.