Tag Archive for 'Presidential policies'

Small Business Advocate Poll: Is Climate Change that Important?

The Question:
The President said climate change will be a major focus of his second term. What do you think?

6% - I agree. Climate change is our greatest problem.

38% - He should focus on economy recovery more than climate change.

56% - He should focus on the deficit and debt more than climate change.

My Comments:
Clearly, President Obama and small business owners are not watching the same ballgame. Small business owners voted overwhelmingly - 94% to 6% - that the president should focus on two much more important issues other than climate change in his second term. I’ll have more to say about this next week.

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Take this week’s poll HERE!

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Whose policies are responsible for the slow economy?

The end of this month is the second anniversary of the technical end of the Great Recession.  Alas, what I have called the not-so-great recovery has been so not-great that for many, the technical end date is nothing more than a data-point with little correspondence to what’s happening in real life.

Some of the unemployment stats are at or near records, with millions of Americans cyclically or structurally out of work, many chronically so. One-fourth of homeowners with mortgages are upside-down, a term for when you owe more than the underlying asset. And now, almost three years after the financial meltdown of 2008, the economy is softening to the point that some talking heads are talking another recession - the dreaded “double dip.”

Clearly, many of our problems have been brought on by digital greed and not a little marketplace malfeasance. As that legendary possum philosopher, Pogo, once said, “We have seen the enemy, and he is us.” But it’s just as clear that the political class has to answer for their bumblings, bad policies and political non-leadership.

We wanted to know how our audience felt about how much of our pain can be attributed to that person upon whose desk the Harry Truman buck stops.  So last week, in our poll question on the website and in the Newsletter, we asked, “Whose policies do you think are more responsible for the current painfully slow economy?”

Those who thought our economic woes were “… more of a residual of President Bush’s policies,” represented 15% of our respondents.  A little less than 40% said, “After 2.5 years, this is President Obama’s economy.”  But the big number - almost half - said, “I blame the policies of both administrations.”

One of the ways politicians get re-elected is to make us feel that they have the answers to our problems and, given the chance, will fix them. But that sword has two edges and the other side cuts deeper with accountability for perceived, if not real, mistakes.

In Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony’s eulogy of Caesar includes this passage: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”

And so it is to this day.

Click here to take this week’s poll on government regulations.

The small business response to President Obama’s State of the Union Speech

In President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union speech he identified a number of issues that he apparently believed would appeal to Main Street small business owners. Alas, for the most part, his list merely revealed how out of touch he is with the challenges America’s small firms are facing today. Here are two of those points followed by my explanation of why the president needs better advisors when it comes to talking with small business owners.

$30 billion for community banks to loan to small business: On its face, this sound great, but as I have reported for almost two years, community banks don’t have a cash-for-loans problem; they have plenty of cash already and don’t want money - or the associated hassle - from the government. Nor do independent banks need more incentive to make small business loans. The overarching small business credit problem is not supply, but rather, demand. The condition of the economy is resulting in very little loan demand by small businesses. Wise up, Mr. President.

Eliminate capital gains for small business: It wouldn’t take a long conversation with any small business owner to discover that capital gains tax is their absolute least challenge as it virtually NEVER comes into play in the operation of their business, and any jobs creation as a result would be impossible to measure. In the list of the top 20 things that wake a small business owner up at night, capital gains tax wouldn’t appear. Mr. President, this is embarrassing.

Recently, on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked in greater detail about these and other issues in my small business response to President Obama’s state of the union speech. Take a few minutes to listen and let me know your thoughts on Obama’s plan for helping small businesses. Listen Live! Download, Too!

What I liked about Obama’s State of the Union Speech

During President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union speech he identified a number of issues that I give him high marks for. Here is my list:

Tax incentives for new hires:  The president proposed tax credits for new hiring by businesses. This is a great idea, but it’s about a year late so he needs to get this passed right away.

Free trade:  He included the need for more free trade agreements, including the one with Columbia that has been stuck in Congress for years.  He’ll have to fight forces in his own party to get this done.

Energy:  I give President Obama a high-five for proposing more nuclear power in America’s future, plus more drilling for our sovereign oil and gas deposits.  Again, he’ll have to deal with his own folks to make this happen.

Iran:  Mr Obama fired a shot across the bow of Iran; I have already predicted he would get a chance to make good on this stance in 2010.  If I’m right, we won’t have to wait long to see if Obama has the stones to back-up his rhetoric with action.

Recently, on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked about all of these issues.  Take a few minutes to listen and let me know what you thought about this speech. Listen Live! Download, Too!




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