Tag Archive for 'President Obama'

Poll Results: What grade would you give President Obama?

The Question:
From the standpoint of the impact on your business, what grade would you give President Obama for his time in office?

5% - A
6% - B
6% - C
9% - D
74% - F

Jim’s Comments:
As you can see, President Obama is a failure to three-fourths of our small business audience. It’s been clear from day one that the president has been ambivalent to the Main Street economy atbest, and against us at worst. In seven years in office, the only policy he’s proposed that looks anything like pro-business is the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal he cut last year.

On the other side of the coin, the anti-business stuff is a long list, which I’m going to innumerate in an article in the near future. Stay tuned. Thanks for participating.

And thanks for your abiding support of our poll each week. Check out our new one on how you would vote today, click here.

To listen to more about these poll results, click on the link below.

Small business owners have give Obama a grade

SBA Poll Results: President Obama and Executive Orders

The Question:
President Obama is frustrated with Congress and plans to use more Executive Orders to govern. What do you think?

2% - He should use this tactic as often as necessary.

11% - He should use Executive orders, but only when constitutional.

68% - He should be stopped from using unconstitutional Executive Orders.

18% - He should move to the center and work with Republicans.

My Comments:
One of my predictions for 2014 was that Congressional Republicans would resort to lawsuits to reign in President Obama’s practice of issuing executive orders for policies that even casual observers would consider outside of his constitutional boundaries.

And then, in his State of the Union address, the president doubled down on this practice by telling Congress to their faces, as a guest in their house, that he would essentially be sticking his finger in their eye with even more executive orders. As you can see, when we asked our audience about this, only 2% agree with the president, with the other 98% essentially wanting him to follow the Constitution.

What’s it look like when a U.S. president, any president, does the executive equivalent of breaking the law by violating the Constitution? How far does Congress allow a president to go before they take action? With the now declared defiant position of President Obama, I believe these and other constitutional questions being posed will be debated in court over the remainder of his presidency. And time will tell whether this activity will be good or bad for America.

SBA Poll Results: Minimum Wage Increase

The Question:
If the federal minimum wage is increased, how will it affect your business?

70% - It won’t impact my business at all.

11% - The increased payroll expense could put my business in jeopardy.

5% - It will prevent me from expanding.

14% - I will start replacing employees with technology.

My Question:
The response to last week’s poll reflects a sea-change in the workplace on Main Street. Not that long ago, more small businesses would have been significantly impacted by an increase in the minimum wage. Indeed, in the 1970s, a minimum wage increase was inflationary. But today things are different: responses to our poll indicates that only 16% think a minimum wage increase will affect them negatively. Two major reasons are:

• Fewer small businesses pay their employees minimum wage.

• More small businesses accomplish growth by buying technology rather than hiring workers.

But just because the impact isn’t as negative as it once was doesn’t mean raising minimum wage is a good thing. Past experience shows that only a tiny percentage of American workers will actually benefit from this increase, but many more will be harmed because businesses now have other options. Raising minimum wage has never been about income equality. Since the 1930s, when it first went into effect, the national minimum wage has been nothing but a political device used to appeal to low wage earners to get their votes, and to unions members, whose contract wages are calculated as a percentage of the federal minimum wage.

Raising minimum wage is no longer a big negative for most small businesses, but it is for economic growth and the ability of businesses to manage their expenses based on marketplace factors, instead of by government fiat.

Any politician who proposes an increase in any minimum wage-federal, state or local-is misguided at best, and disingenuous at worst.

SBA Poll: Constitutional limits and the president

The Question:
Constitutional limits can be troublesome for any president. How do you think Obama is treating it?

0% - Obama has done nothing to abuse the Constitution.

81% - Obama’s Constitutional abuses are unprecedented.

19% - Obama is not doing anything other president haven’t done.

My Comments:
It’s not good when 100% of our respondents think the current President of the United States is either abusing the Constitution in an unprecedented way, or no worse than any other President. Both responses should trouble all Americans, regardless of their political affiliations or ideology.

This isn’t a political party problem, my friends. It’s an American problem. We must fix it.

Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Which candidate is best for small business?

As a leading voice for small business success, one of the factors I track and report on is public policy. In my advocacy role, I support those issues that benefit small business and oppose those that don’t, regardless of party origin.

Every four years since 2000 I have compared the policies of the two presidential candidates with regard to their alignment with small business success. Here are comparisons for the top small business issues:

Jobs = customers
President Obama’s economic recovery plan – including spending hundreds of billions on a government approach to economic growth – has failed as a jobs creator. And yet he continues to advocate more government “investment” in the economy. Mitt Romney has stated that the best way to grow the economy is to support small businesses in their efforts to grow jobs and thus create more customers for everyone.

The largest drain on a small business’s precious working capital is taxes. President Obama thinks of tax reform as a way to redistribute wealth from “millionaires and billionaires,” but small businesses will become collateral damage. Mitt Romney proposes tax reform where job creators pay higher taxes based on their success, plus a broader tax base so more Americans have a vested interest in our country’s future.

Health care
Obamacare will cost double the initial estimate, plus impose new fines, new taxes and onerous compliance requirements on small businesses – without benefiting them. But perhaps the worst of this law is it puts small business owners in conflict with their employees and their own growth plans.

President Obama is committed to his namesake law. Mitt Romney promises to repeal Obamacare. When we polled small business owners about Obamacare, 78% agreed with Romney.

Fuel prices
Gasoline costs small businesses and their customers almost twice what it did when Barack Obama took office.

All of the increase isn’t Obama’s fault, but presidents can influence oil prices. When crude topped $140 a barrel in 2008, President Bush simply announced he wanted to remove the offshore drilling ban and oil prices dropped like a stone.

President Obama has taken no steps to reduce oil prices – rejecting the Keystone pipeline, for example – because his alternative energy policies only work when the cost of carbon fuel is high. Mitt Romney has promised to pursue the full potential of America’s domestic energy sources.

Mitt Romney is the only presidential candidate who knows what it takes to make a payroll every Friday.


On my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked more about my comparison of the two Presidential candidates based on issues important to the future of small business. Click here to download or listen.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Small business advice for the President

In recent campaign speeches, President Obama made remarks that caused small business owners to blink. Since the SBA estimates there are almost 28 million small businesses in America, that’s a lot of blinking.

And since the small business sector is one of the groups most likely to show up on election day, it’s easy to see that troubling these folks could be politically troubling. Consequently, I would like to offer the president some campaign advice to avoid future missteps when talking to, or about small businesses.

Dear President Obama:

Earlier this year you said, “The more fortunate among us can afford to pay a little more.” Perhaps you didn’t realize your definition of “fortunate” includes millions of small business owners.

But you might be surprised to learn that my advice is not whether you should talk about raising taxes, but rather, about calling small business owners fortunate. All Americans are fortunate because we have the liberty to pursue our dreams. But liberty does not guarantee success.

So, Mr. President, if small business owners ever have to pay the new tax rate you propose, they will want you to recognize that it was because against all odds, their considerable effort, investment, and risk made them successful, not because they are fortunate.

More recently, Mr. President, trying to convey the completely accurate reminder that we’ve all had help getting to where we are in life, you used the following words that got you into hot water: “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own … somebody else invested in roads and bridges; if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that – somebody else made that happen.”

Some think, Mr. President, that you literally meant, “you didn’t build your business.” I think you were taken out of context and meant, “You didn’t build the roads and bridges that serve your business; the government did.”

But even if I’m correct about your meaning, sir, your statement is still ill-advised. Because regardless of who built those road and bridges, they were funded by taxes paid in part by America’s small businesses and employees.

So, Mr. President, here is my campaign advice:

  1. If you want small business owners to pay more taxes, recognize it will come from their successful efforts, not because they are more fortunate.
  2. Recognize that tax revenue to fund things the government builds comes partially from what entrepreneurs built first.

All Americans are fortunate to have the liberty to pursue and create their own success.


I talked more about the hard work of small business owners and the contributions they make to America on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. Click here to download or listen.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

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