Tag Archive for 'Supreme Court'

The politics of the Supreme Court

By now, you know that one of the great Supreme Court justices in the history of our country passed away unexpectedly. Even those who disagreed with almost every decision Antonin Scalia ever cast had immense regard for him and his work. Indeed, Scalia and his liberal alter ego on the court, Justice Ginsberg, had been best friends for decades, even before they were on the nation’s highest court.

In our online poll this week, we asked you to weigh in on the debate about the process for replacing him. Here were the responses and my comments:

20% - The president should nominate a replacement and the Senate confirm this year.
23% - They should start the process to see if a replacement can be confirmed this year.
16% - The president should not nominate a replacement in his last year in office.
41% - Even if a replacement is nominated, the Senate should not confirm this year.

Only one-in-five of respondents to our first option think the president and Senate should just get along together and do their business this year. But there are circumstances that complicate this logical and Constitutional scenario, like ideological balance of the bench and the impending election to replace the sitting president. Kumbayah will not be part of this scenario

I kinda like the second group, representing almost one-fourth of our sample, because they’re saying, regardless of the politics, both parties should just give it their best shot in the process of doing their job. Everyone knows the president is going to nominate and the Senate is likely going to reject. So quit jawboning and get to work.

The third group is the smallest, with 16%, who think the president should just stand down on this issue, since he’s out the door in less than a year. But even though he likely knows he’s not going to get a nominee confirmed, he will at least be able to use the rejection to help his party. It’s politics, and any president of either party would do it.

The largest group, at 41%, is the most troubled by the imbalance of the Supreme Court. They’re counting on a party change in the White House next year, and maintaining the majority party in the Senate. For now this group, and the Senate, are in the catbird seat.

Just when you thought the political season couldn’t get any weirder or more complicated, with a socialist and a billionaire running for president, the arch-conservative Justice on a tightly divided Court dies, leaving his replacement up to a president who is his polar opposite politically. As I’ve written before, we continue to live the Chinese Curse: May you live in interesting times.

To take this week’s poll on the US economy and your small business sales in Q1, click here.

POLL RESULTS: The Supreme Court and Obamacare

The Question:

The Supreme Court may strike down a major component of Obamacare this month. What do you think?

5% - I like Obamacare and hope they don’t change it.

66% - I don’t like Obamacare and hope they strike it down.

18% - I won’t be impacted either way.


11% - I don’t know.


Jim’s Comments:

As you can see, the Affordable Care Act is not popular among small business owners. The primary reason is it isn’t more affordable than what most of us already had, plus it has added extra regulatory complications to our lives.

But stay tuned, because sometime this coming week the Supreme Court will likely announce their decision on King v Burwell. This case has many implications that I’ve either written about or talked about with experts on my show. Here are the main points to keep in mind:

* If the decision goes against the Obama Administration, it would essentially void many of the law’s key components, making it a shadow of its former self.

* If the decision goes for the President, it would establish that the IRS can interpret laws as they see fit, rather than as written.

This may not be the most significant ruling in the history of the high court, but surely it’s one of them. Say a prayer for the Constitution.

Small Business Advocate Poll: How will Obamacare impact your small Business?

The Question:
The Supreme Court has upheld most of Obamacare, how will this decision impact your small business?

44% - This will hurt my business

4% - This will be good for my business

42% - I don’t know, but I’m afraid of Obamacare

10% - I don’t know, but I’m not worried about it

My Comments:
Obamacare has survived a Supreme Court challenge and been judged to be constitutional. We wanted to know what our small business audience thought about that, so last week, in our online poll, we asked this question: “The Supreme Court has upheld most of Obamacare, how will this decision impact your small business?” Here’s what we learned.

Just 4% of our sample said, “This will be good for my business,” while 10% said “I don’t know, but I’m not worried about it.” But 44% reported that Obamacare, “will hurt my business,” and 42% allowed, “I don’t know, but I’m afraid of Obamacare.”

Obamacare is the law of the land, unless and until the next Congress and a new president repeals it. In fact, part of the narrative in Chief Justice Roberts’ ruling indicated that the ultimate decision about such a sweeping law should rest with the electorate.

There are 26 million small business owners in the U.S. and another 70 million small business employees. That’s a lot of votes that could be influenced by the anti-Obamacare sentiment - 86% - demonstrated in our poll.

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I’ve talked to several people in the last couple of weeks on the impact of the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision on the economy, including Michael Reagan, son of Ronald Reagan and author of The New Reagan Revolution; and Barbara Weltman, small business attorney and author of J.K.Lasser’s Small Business Taxes. Click on the links below to download or listen.

Gobsmacked by SCOTUS with Jim Blasingame

Michael Reagan on the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare with Michael Reagan

Obamacare my be constitutional, but businesses still uncertain with Barbara Weltman

What will Obamacare cost your small business? with Barbara Weltman

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Is ObamaCare good for small businesses?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama two years ago. It was considered the signature accomplishment of the president’s first term.

Obamacare was hailed as comprehensive health care reform that would not increase the deficit and would solve rising insurance costs for small businesses. Two years hence, here is evidence that seem to refute these claims.

  1. The initial price tag for Obamacare was $940 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently reported the new estimate to be $1.76 trillion over 10 years, almost doubling the original claim.
  2. Instead of the lower insurance costs small businesses were promised, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office expects costs for small group and individual insurance purchasers to rise faster now than without Obamacare. And according to the Galen Institute, Obamacare’s early mandates contributed to employer costs rising three times faster last year than they did the year before.

  3. There are at least two parts of Obamacare that are causing small businesses to restrict growth plans and rethink compensation models and employment structure in anticipation of these provisions.
    • The employer mandate requires small businesses with more than 49 employees to provide “government-approved” health insurance or face a $2000 fine per employee, after the first 30. The employer mandate does not apply to part-time employees.
    • Obamacare does include tax credits for employers with fewer than 50 employees, but as the number of full-time employees and average compensation increases, the credits decrease. These provisions seem to be at cross-purposes with much needed jobs and income growth. Also, even if the individual mandate currently being considered by the Supreme Court is struck down, the employer mandate and tax credit restrictions would still apply.

  4. We wanted to know how small business owners feel about Obamacare, so in our online poll recently, we asked this question with three possible answers: “On the 2nd anniversary of Obamacare, where do you stand on this law?” Twelve percent of respondents chose, “I like it and think it will be good for America,” while those who were “Undecided,” represented 10% of our sample. But the rest, 78%, said “I don’t like it and think it should be repealed.”

Write this on a rock… Obamacare is contributing to the economic uncertainty that small business owners are feeling.

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On my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I’ve talked extensively with Grace-Marie Turner, President of the Galen Institute, co-author of Why Obamacare is Wrong for America and staunch advocate of market-based healthcare solutions, about the real cost - in dollars and liberties - of Obamacare.

Click here to listen or download our conversations.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!




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