“…What the hell is he doing asking for another four years?”
Governor Chris Christie (R-New Jersey) was speaking on behalf of Mitt Romney in Virginia last week. He was talking about, and to, Barack Obama. “…If you don’t think you can change Washington from inside the White House, let’s give you the plane ticket back to Chicago you’ve earned.” With President Obama and his challenger running so close – and with so many states in-play – fiery rhetoric from the campaign trail is to be expected.
Yet Governor Christie raises a legitimate question. Besides the obvious reasons – first term Presidents are eligible to run for a second term (and most of them to), and President Obama thinks he is better suited to be President than Mitt Romney –what, really, is another four years of Barack Obama supposed to be about?
Americans who are the least bit interested in anything remotely resembling economic recovery and prosperity – yes, even Democrat Americans – should take a look at the facts. The evidence is overwhelming that President Obama’s policies over the last three and a half years are stifling our economy now, and will likely send us in to a slowdown in 2013.
That’s not mere partisan political rhetoric. Last week Reuters business news reported that Americans will face a “tougher 2013,” economically speaking, and they identified two of President Obama’s policies as the direct reason for the added difficulty.
For one, payroll taxes are set to rise on January 1. President Obama agreed to a temporary payroll tax cut back in 2009, but he insists that it needs to be raised again, and has insisted that he’ll let this lower payroll tax rate expire at the end of this year. According to the analysis reported by Reuters, this will take an estimated $125 billion out of our private sector economy, and will likely mean less consumer spending, less profitability for businesses, and a lower GDP.
And then there’s Obamacare. The President himself isn’t even trying any longer to pretend that his “health reform” law isn’t a tax, and thoughtful analysts in the world of business news can’t pretend either. According to Reuters, the new taxes on healthcare providers, insurance companies, and employers that provide health insurance to their workers will cause healthcare costs to shoot up nearly 7% in 2013 alone. This, combined with already stagnant wages, and the estimated $125 billion taken out of private household budgets because of the President’s payroll tax increase, all add up to more economic hardship for middle and lower income Americans.
In the same week, CNN Money published a report entitled “Entrepreneurship Is Weaker Than Ever.” The report noted that across the country, local government regulations are damaging small businesses and new start-ups. But it also claimed that “uncertainty in the market” – fears of rising taxes, IRS agents penalizing individuals and businesses for alleged Obamacare violations, and the lack of investment capital – were creating huge disincentives for would-be business owners to jump in.
And then there was The Atlantic, and Yahoo! Finance, that both jointly published an in-depth article with a striking title: “What Kills Small Business? Let’s Ask Them.”
The article states that “69 percent of small business owners and managers say that complicated government regulations are ‘major impediments; to the creation of new jobs.” The article also provided this analysis:
“When over two-thirds of job creators tell us how to create jobs in an economy that desperately needs them, candidates and elected officials should not only listen, they should also tell us precisely where they stand on these ideas. How government regulates commerce -- and not just whether government regulates commerce -- should be a major issue in this election. It would tell us a lot about how the candidates, if elected, would make critical day-to-day decisions that shape law, regulation, and, ultimately, the economy.”
These are some powerful words. And they are not emanating from “conservative” media outlets – if The Atlantic has any ideological leanings, it’s generally regarded as “left of center.” And while Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is well known for her unquestioning support of President Obama and the Democrat Party, even the business news division of her media content operation can’t ignore that the President that she has helped to bankroll is doing serious damage to the economy (that’s how bad things have become).
Back in January of 2011 (after the President’s self-described “shellacking” at the polls in November of 2010), President Obama spoke at a General Electric plant in Schenectady, NY and tried to convey that he really does support free market enterprise, stating that “we’re going back to Thomas Edison’s principles… We’re going to build stuff and invent stuff…” The sad irony was that the speech was made days before the Obama Administration officially outlawed one of Thomas Edison’s greatest inventions, the incandescent light bulb.
Now, as he campaigns for re-election, the President clings to his “Forward” and “We can’t go back” phrases, and reminds us that he killed Osama bin Laden. Yet the stifling of our economy from the Obama Administration’s legacy of threats and fees and fines and taxes and bans on businesses, is undeniable.
Entrepreneurs and business owners are crying-out to be saved from the Obama oppression. Do American voters care?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.