Quit with the “small business” rhetoric

Are you tired of hearing all the newly elected confessing their love for small businesses, how everything they will do is for small business, how they live and die to please small business? I’m sick of it already.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the attention but it would be meaningful if all the talk was being backed up by action that actually helped small business.

In Governor-elect Nikki Haley’s first sit-down interview with a reporter (Robert Behre of The Post and Courier) she mentioned “small business” ten times. She even said, “I’m very passionate about small businesses.”

But what does she say she will do to help small business? She wants to strengthen us by giving us “cash flow” by cutting government, lowering government mandates and lowering taxes.

First, the state has already cut government by 25% in the last couple years and the economy still sucks. All those people out of work aren’t in our main street shops spending money. If we cut state government another 25%, we’ll just have fewer customers and an even worse economy. No cash flow boost here.

Second, the only government mandate that Ms. Haley talks about is the non-existent mandate in the new federal health care law. She states that she will “fight off these health care mandates that are going to be detrimental to our small businesses”. Ms. Haley, 97% of the businesses in South Carolina (those with 50 or fewer employees) are not mandated to offer health insurance under the law. There is no penalty if they don’t, just a health insurance tax credit available to 53,000 small businesses if they do. No cash flow boost here either.

Third, lowering taxes on small businesses might be nice (unless it means state government shutting down resulting in even a weaker economy with fewer customers) but Ms. Haley doesn’t propose lowering the income tax on small businesses. She only wants the corporate income tax paid by big business C-corporations to be reduced and eliminated. So we get the potential downside without the benefits. No cash flow boost here either.

I’m not sure what exactly Ms. Haley means when she says that she is “passionate about small businesses”. But as of right now, the passion only seems to be for evoking the name of small business for advancing a political agenda that holds no real benefits for small business.

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