Republicans in the U.S. House decide to be either Santa or the Grinch this holiday season when they vote later today on whether to agree with the Senate’s bipartisan plan to extend payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits for two months.
This is a big deal for small businesses. If working Americans see less money in their paychecks in January, spending on Main Street will slow down. That might be good for the GOP’s ambition to win back the White House but it will be a disaster for small businesses.
Don’t be fooled by Speaker Boehner’s concerns over “certainty” for “job creators” and the unemployed. Small businesses want this payroll tax cut to continue whether it is for two months or 12. The same goes for continuing unemployment benefits because that’s money being spent on Main Street.
What we don’t need is more partisan politics in Washington making life even more difficult for us. The House should pass the Senate plan and fight about it again next February. During the interim, our Congressional folks ought to go back home and see how the latest bank lending news is negatively affecting small business.
New federal data show that the number of small bank loans to business has fallen to the lowest point in more than a decade, cutting the flow of money to a sector that’s usually a job-creation powerhouse…. An analysis of recently released Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data by the Investigative Reporting Workshop shows that overall commercial and industrial lending by banks has increased for five straight quarters, but small loans to business of $1 million or less have been shrinking consistently since June 2008.
But fixing the small business lending problem is difficult. Our GOP friends in the House apparently prefer to do what is easy…create partisan gridlock regardless of the pain to small business it yields.