It is National Small Business Week, which is a good reminder that we need to be doing everything we can to help small businesses get back in the game. Last week, while meeting with small business owners at a D.C. sandwich shop, President Obama said, “We think it's so important for Congress to act right now," he said. "The economy is recovering, but we've still got a long way to go. Too many folks are still out of work.” It is important for Congress to act and that is why the House continues to pass measures that will directly help small businesses grow and hire.
Unfortunately, the President’s actions to spur small business growth have amounted to little more than a series of empty gestures, including a cumbersome tax credit, opposing a House-passed measure to help small businesses compete for government contracts, and stalling the House-passed 20% tax cut for small businesses. The President's actions need to match his rhetoric and work in earnest to help small businesses create jobs.
Today In History: A massive wagon train, made up of 2,000 settlers and cattle, set off down the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri. Known as the "Great Emigration," the expedition came two years after the first modest party of settlers made the long, overland journey to Oregon.
Birthdays: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Jay Carney, Tim Cummings, T. Boone Pickens, Ginnifer Goodwin, Naomi Campbell, Apolo Ohno
Here are the Top 6 things you need to know today…
1. State Of Play: Due To President Obama’s Failed Economic Policies, 30% Of Americans Say They Are Worse Off. Americans are nearly twice as likely to say they’ve gotten worse off as better off under Barack Obama’s presidency, a prosperity shortfall resembling the one that cost the first President Bush his job in 1992…Only 16 percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say their financial situation has improved since Obama took office, while 30 percent say they’re worse off. It’s one reason the public disapproves of the president’s handling of the economy by 55-42 percent…Obama’s overall job approval rating, now back under 50 percent (47 percent approve, 49 percent disapprove) after hitting the halfway mark last month for just the second time since the killing of Osama bin Laden. ABC News
2. Female Focus: Republican Women Form New Policy Committee, Focus On Issues That Matter Most To Small Businesses & Working Families. Republican women in the House have formed a new congressional caucus called the Women’s Policy Committee, a group House Speaker John Boehner said would add “a new perspective” on a variety issues facing the nation’s lawmakers. Chaired by California Rep. Mary Bono Mack, the policy committee includes all 24 GOP women now serving in the House from 17 states...“As mothers, grandmothers, daughters, wives and sisters, women often see things in a different context,” Bono Mack said in the statement. “Today, our nation is confronting historic challenges — from a $15 trillion national debt to a sluggish economy that has suffered through 39 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent. As Republican women, we have some really unique ideas for moving our nation forward, and we’re excited about working together to find solutions." NewsMax
3. Small Biz: Contradicting His Own Small Biz Rhetoric, President Obama Opposes House Small Business Contracting Measure. Among the many objections that the Obama administration has raised to the National Defense Authorization Act, a Republican bill that passed the House Friday with a broadly bipartisan margin, 299 to 120, was one that might take small-business owners by surprise: The White House opposes a section of the bill that would direct more government contracts to small companies. The federal government has a goal of awarding 23 percent of most federal contracting dollars to small businesses. The defense bill would raise that goal to 25 percent and increase the small-business goal for subcontracts to 40 percent, from 35.9 percent. The provision also would require that the small-business goal for each agency be at least 25 percent — currently some agencies’ goals are below the government wide goal and some are above, but they average out to 23 percent. New York Times
4. Obamanomics: Despite Administration Predictions, Just 170,300 Small Firms Claimed ObamaCare Tax Credit. Despite administration predictions that millions of small businesses would claim ObamaCare's health insurance tax credit, actual usage has been a trickle because it's not big enough to justify the lengthy compliance hurdles, a new Government Accountability Office report found. Just 170,300 small businesses claimed the credit in 2010, Internal Revenue Service records show. The Obama administration's Council of Economic Advisers predicted 4 million businesses would claim it. The Small Business Administration forecast 2.6 million. But the credit was too small to spur firms that didn't previously provide employee insurance to begin offering it, the GAO report said. That's in part because the credit was too complex for business owners… Many employers did not have the number of hours worked for each employee readily available to calculate the number of full-time employees and their average wages. "Small-business owners generally do not want to spend the time or money to gather the necessary information to calculate the credit, given that the credit will likely be insubstantial," according to the GAO report. The IRS did not get any complaints about Form 8941 for the tax credit. But it did hear complaints that the instructions and the accompanying seven worksheets were "too long and cumbersome." Investor’s Business Daily
5. Pro-Growth: Virginia’s Pro-Business Environment Receives High Marks From Small Business Owners. Virginia has received high marks — again — for its business-friendly environment. This time, however, the accolades come from the horse's mouth, as it were: businesses themselves. Thumbtack.com recently partnered with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to survey more than 6,000 small businesses across the country about the states they operate in regarding zoning, regulation, licensing and more. Virginia earned an A — in sharp contrast to its northern neighbor, Maryland, which received a C-minus… One finding from the Thumbtack/Kauffman survey bears special note: When rating states for business friendliness, it says, "small businesses care almost twice as much about licensing regulations as they do about tax rates." Taxes can make it harder to keep a business afloat — but licensing and other barriers to entry can prevent an entrepreneur from launching one in the first place. Richmond Times-Dispatch
6. Keeping Tabs: President Obama’s War On Coal, House Natural Resources Committee Investigates Job-Destroying Regulation. For more than a year, the Obama Administration has refused to cooperate with a House Committee investigating Administration efforts to rewrite coal regulations in a way lawmakers say would kill the industry. Chairman Doc Hastings said, “New coal regulations that they know will cost thousands of American jobs. The President has not hidden his anti-coal views.”…The Administration refused to provide records of its deliberations. The committee, however, obtained recordings elsewhere of meetings between the Office of Service Mining and contractors hired to assess the impact of the proposed regulations. The contractor was fired after writing conclusions such as this one, saying one version of the proposed regulation would have a quote, “devastating impact on the small mining companies, 100% elimination of the service mining across the U.S.” Another document called the impact “catastrophic.” That is especially true for states such as Ohio which relies on coal for 80% of its power…The initial analysis predicted the loss of about 7,000 jobs. though a private analysis puts the losses much higher as much as much as 79,000 jobs, more than 64,000 of them in Appalachia, a region that includes parts of Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. All of that would do little to save streams, the stated intention of the regulation. In one session with the contractor, officials were flabbergasted to learn that after spending millions of dollars to produce 160 pages of new rules the gains would be meager. FOX News Channel
Off The Beaten Path:
Amazing Photos Of The Eclipse
Infographic: Small Business, BIG IMPACT
Belated Birthday Wishes: Tribute In Honor Of YouTube’s 7th Birthday