TRENTON – The best way for President Obama to revive the U.S. economy is to tell Congress and the nation Thursday night that he will abandon plans to raise taxes and start chopping back the jungle of red tape that is choking off investment, growth and jobs, according to the local chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
“The small business sector is shutting down because owners can’t predict their tax obligations, their health care premiums or their regulatory expenses,” said State Director Laurie Ehlbeck. “All of that is the result of the administration’s hyperactivity.”
Ehlbeck made her remarks in response to the federal jobs report Friday, which showed zero growth and problems in nearly every sector.
“He’s been pushing for higher income taxes for the past three years. Nobody knows how much the health care law will cost. His EPA has made higher energy prices an actual policy objective. And the rest of the bureaucracy is busy right now dreaming up hundreds of new rules on every activity that will make it costlier, less efficient, more dangerous and less profitable to run a small business in New Jersey,” she said.
The President has scheduled a prime-time address to Congress Thursday night during which he’ll propose his latest jobs plan. But it will likely land with a thud, said Ehlbeck, if small business owners aren’t convinced that he understands why they’re nervous.
“He can’t preface his speech with a few pretty words about small business and entrepreneurship and then go right back to demanding higher income taxes,” said Ehlbeck. “And unless he acknowledges that his regulatory agenda is an impediment, the small business sector isn’t going to be persuaded.”
Ehlbeck noted that in New Jersey, more than half of all employees work for a small business and that three quarters of small business owners pay their taxes as individual filers.
“Corporate tax breaks are great for big corporations, and that would make limited sense,” she said. “But if he keeps banging the war drums for higher income taxes then most small business owners in New Jersey are going to hear that as a signal to take cover.
“He can’t say to small business owners, ‘I want you to make jobs but I don’t want you to make money.’ That’s not how you encourage investment and hiring.”
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