Politics Straight, No Chaser: Both parties foes of small businesses
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 02:10
Both Democrats and Republicans advertise themselves as being advocates of small businesses. Democrats like to hop around in front of “green” businesses and tout their support of such ventures. Republicans prefer photo ops in front of construction companies and diners, just so voters can be sure they understand the plight of blue-collar workers. Politicians from both parties know “supporting” small businesses is pretty good public relations.
Americans have always had a thing for underdog success stories. The events of this past week prove the support of small businesses from our federal politicians in nothing more than a self-serving facade. The Affordable Care Act is bound to be a nightmare for small businesses, but House Republicans’ refusal to pass a budget poses equal threat.
Let’s start with Democrats. The Affordable Care Act demands that employers with the equivalent of 50 or more full-time employees offer health coverage to their employees. If they do not follow this regulation, these businesses will be fined $2,000 per employee that does not receive coverage. New health care regulations have certainly given businesses a disincentive to expand. It looks like there are going to be a lot of businesses with 49 employees next year. The federal health care wizards also deemed a full-time employee one who works 30 hours or more per week. Perhaps a 29-hour work week will become the new norm.
These are only a sampling of the rules and regulations small businesses must trudge through in order to remain within the law. Without the kind of dedicated human resource staff found in large corporations, this burden falls hard on business owners. The Affordable Care Act isn’t the friend to small business Democrats claim it to be.
Republicans have also shown themselves to be an obstacle to the success of small business this week. The refusal of the House to pass a budget or work toward a debt ceiling resolution has cast a cloud of uncertainty across the entire nation.
Like it or not, a good portion of our nation’s economy depends upon the government’s ability to pay its bills. When “non-essential” employees are put on furlough, which many already have been, they stop spending as much money. When consumers spend less money, business suffers. There are also businesses like defense contractors that directly service the government.
The breakdown of civility in Washington certainly affects its ability to pay its employees. Furthermore, if our government can’t work together well enough to pay the bills we have already racked up, why should anyone invest in our economy? I guess no one learned from our last go around with the debt ceiling. In order for businesses to be successful, they must exist in a stable political environment. House Republicans have managed to make the future of our economy foggier than ever.
In the United States, we have two political parties that see themselves as advocates for small business. Yet, neither seems to be doing a very good job actually delivering that promise. I say the next time a Republican or Democrat makes a campaign trail stop at a diner or high-tech startup they learn a thing or two from the people who actually know how to get a job done. Unlike politicians, business owners personally suffer or succeed based on their ability to provide what they’ve promised.