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  • Morning Bell: Top 3 Small Business Struggles

    Small businesses are getting a lot of focus from politicians, because they are a key engine of job creation—which has stalled in the U.S. economy. A Republican National Convention theme of “We Built It” continued the political debate over the economy yesterday.

    A survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in July revealed that small businesses’ top three concerns were taxes, regulations, and poor sales. A quick look at these top three small business struggles shows they have every reason to be demoralized.

    1. Taxes

    Small businesses are under enormous threats from looming tax hikes. President Obama is advocating a tax hike on the country’s job creators—the at least 1.2 million small businesses that employ workers and make more than $200,000.  Known as flow-through businesses, these entrepreneurs pay their taxes through the individual income tax. A study by Ernst & Young estimates that this tax hike would kill about 710,000 jobs and cause real wages to drop.

    This tax hike, however, is just a portion of the Taxmageddon crisis scheduled to hit the country on January 1. The Congressional Budget Office has left little doubt that unless Congress and the President prevent Taxmageddon, the country is headed toward a fresh recession next year.

    And Taxmageddon includes only some of Obamacare’s 18 new tax hikes, several of which don’t kick in until 2014 or later. The tax landscape is truly bleak.

    2. Regulations

    Heritage’s James Gattuso and Diane Katz have documented the sea of new regulations that continue to drown America’s businesses. In their detailed report, “Red Tape Rising,” they note: “During the first three years of the Obama Administration, 106 new major federal regulations added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans. Hundreds more regulations are winding through the rulemaking pipeline as a consequence of the Dodd–Frank financial-regulation law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s global warming crusade, threatening to further weaken an anemic economy and job creation.”

    The cost of these regulations strangles economic growth and job creation.

    3. Poor Sales

    In an economy with 8.3 percent unemployment, consumers have to cut back. Struggling sales are no mystery. Higher fuel prices are also hurting small businesses, which must make the no-win decision of passing these costs on to consumers or absorbing the costs themselves.

    Heritage’s Nick Loris explains the impact of fuel costs on the economy : “In a recent poll by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, 40 percent of small businesses responding said they have had to increase their prices. But that approach has a distinct downside. When consumer demand is already down, passing higher costs on to consumers suppresses demand even further, causing lower output, lower income and higher unemployment.”

    To all of this, President Obama has said, “We tried our plan—and it worked.”

    It’s not working for small business owners or for nearly 13 million jobless Americans.

    Congress and the President need to stop Taxmageddon, open access to our energy resources, and reduce regulations that cost more than the benefits they deliver. America needs jobs, and small businesses need relief.

    Quick Hits:

    • Hurricane Isaac knocked out power, flooded Gulf-front roads and pushed water over the top of an 18-mile section of a rural Louisiana levee before dawn Wednesday,” reports CBS/AP.
    • Iran has called on the Non-Aligned Movement, at a summit going on now, to open a war tribunal against Israel.
    • AAA is forecasting the highest gas prices of any Labor Day weekend in history, Bloomberg reports.
    • In a new report, a former deputy prime minister of Russia estimates that “the maintenance of President Vladimir Putin’s residences, jets and cars alone” costs Russian taxpayers $2.5 billion a year.
    • Who wins in the new auto fuel efficiency standards, announced by the Obama Administration yesterday? Certainly not drivers, explains Heritage’s Nick Loris.
    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    42 Responses to Morning Bell: Top 3 Small Business Struggles

    1. Don says:

      actually the top 3 are Obama,Pelosi,Reid–!

    2. David Levenstam says:

      Actually, it's not mom-and-pop small businesses that are the engine of job growth. It's the small businesses that grow into big businesses that are the engine of jobs growth.

    3. Keith Breedlove says:

      Judging by his actions, it appears that the President's plan IS working, if that plan is to create the conditions that we see now. If his plan is to invoke a Cloward-Piven crash, then maybe it IS working.

    4. Jaime Calva says:

      Why is it that the liberals do not comprehend that as they dampen the private sector source of money, the government will continue printing more worthless money resulting in a further devaluation of the dollar. This should be labeled what it really is, a tax, in effect, on everyone, which includes those on welfare.

    5. B. Kirch says:

      I own a small business in Chicago (God help me) and I would actually be able to deal with #3 if it were not for #'s 1 & 2 gutting my business. There is not a week that goes by that I do not receive a letter form a tax agency (City / County / State / or… Federal) that is in error – demanding payments (not due), penelties (not accrued), or just plain not for my business (?!?!). I spend several extra hours a week, not in training staff, helping customers, or dealing with vendors… I spend hours dealing with tax agencies and improper taxing… Seriously I spend 20% of my working 70 hour week just on the phone with the county & city.
      I won't even tell you how much time I've spent with my Corp Lawyer in lines at City Hall in the last five years… just to be properly licensed as a simple 3000 sq ft. retail establishment in a retail zone. Seriously gov't wtf? I'm on the fence about closing the doors and putting 10 people out of work because the Gov't will not let me run my business. Ugh.

    6. sdfultz says:

      Actually its number 3, demand is the key to business, you don't get to the other 2 if sales aren't there.
      Taxes lowest in 50 years, regulation, what regulation is Mom and Pop suffering from?

      Now the Kock Bros listed as small business, yes regulation might be an issue for them, but dumping waste products would be a problem for Mom and Pop down stream from the Kock and Oil fracking sites.

      This small business misnomer is fooling people, many multi billion dollar businesses are listed as small business corporations and the people don't understand.

      • Clearhead says:

        And you seem to be a prime example of the people who don't understand. Try opening a small business yourself, and see if your philosophy changes.

      • Bobbie says:

        as Guest points out it's more than TAXES! It's the unconstitutional intervention of government that is overburdening ALL businesses that aren't the president's favorites. ALL INDEPENDENT self governing business are his targets! The only credit the government Obama gets regarding businesses built by Americans, is the bankrupting part. Narrow minded thinking, sdfultz!

      • Joseph McKennan says:

        When I read this post my first thought was " This guy majored in ' how to get more at the welfare office' in college. An education paid for in part by government grants and part by a student loan which you defaulted on. This got you to where you are now– an Obama advisor on budget and finance.

      • Scott Carver says:

        You are obviously uneducated as to how Oil Fracking works. Take it from someone who's spent most of his life in the oilfields. Oil Fracking is injecting very small particles of sand or "manufactured sand", suspended in a fluid that is either inert or close to it, into oil producing formations that are THOUSANDS OF FEET UNDERGROUND. Fracking is by far the most environmentally safe, sound, and efficient way to increase oil production in the world. And as for any "waste" product of Fracking, there are specialized facilities all over the country that treat this product. I currently live next to one such facility. Waste water is brought here by truck, where it is run through a centrifuge that extracts any hydrocarbons(oil), and separates the water from the solids. The solids are then treated and turned into, guess what, topsoil. The remaining water is disposed of by injecting it down a disposal well into a sand formation, which is also THOUSANDS OF FEET UNDERGROUND. The water migrates upward through the various formations of earth, being cleaned and purified on the way. By the time any of this water makes it high enough to reach any viable aquifer, it is as pure as the water already there.

        Nest time, before you try to denigrate an industry, learn something about it first.

    7. Along that same line, when you do finally figure out the tax plan, the rules keep changing, especially with the estate tax. How does an owner plan? Just don't die. That's the best solution. Or maybe if they will look at alternatives, not just rates and exemptions, another means to eviscerate the tax.

    8. Pastori Balele says:

      The position of president needs attention all the time without distractions of a constituently sick first lady. Ann Romney told us she has breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. A person with MS is always sick and needs constant help and pity. That means if ever elected Mitt will spend time attending his wife in the hospital and at home. Santorum quit WH race because his daughter was always ill. Santorum was interrupted all the time to attend his sick daughter. This is very tough country to lead. Romney will have no time to lead – but worrying about his sick wife at home. We don’t want a president who has distractions of his sick wife. Let’s vote for Michelle Obama husband on November 6. President Obama does not have that distraction. Michelle Obama is a healthy First Lady.

      • Clearhead says:

        Your convoluted 'reasoning' is absolutely unbelievable. Have you ever had a "sick" family member? Well. just consider that Mrs. obama is married to one.

      • Guest says:

        Indeed, Michelle is so healthy that she spends most of her time on million dollar taxpayer supported vacations and Barack has been so successful at his job that he has had time to play more golf than any other president in history. Seriously?!?! You think that the best reason to re-elect Obama is that Romney wouldn't be able to focus because of his wife's MS? Wow, you really don't get it. I fear that there may be other folks out there may be so out of it that they might actually agree with your logic and vote accordingly, Yikes!

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        anne Romney is a great example of a lot of women who don't lay around moaning and groaning. She has NEVER held Mitt back from his job, she is a strong, self reliant woman like the most of us. Try raising 5 sons, I did, actually raised 7 plus 2 daughters, I also worked when we needed extra money or wanted a vacation. I am 80 YO and STILL WORK, I do day care, try it once, taking care of someone besides yourself, I mean someone who depends on you to keep them clean and fed, IT"S WORK.

      • Zmannw says:

        Attentive President? Are you kidding me? Obama spends more time playing golf, going on vacation and (especially this year) fund raising than anyone I've ever known. His time in the Whitehouse and meeting with his advisors has been far less than any effective CEO. Romney knows how to get things done and deal with the any personal issues that come up and he has proven it. Time for a real leader.

      • John Michaud says:

        Pastori, I understand your point, but you make a sadly weak argument. It's obvious that you would vote for Obama even if he were to personally confiscate all your wealth, because you believe that, somehow, it would benefit you more in his hands! You believe that Obama is and would continue to do a better job as President than could Mitt Romney, regardless of how poorly our economy is running or how eroded becomes our standing and respect in the world. Michelle Obama is a healthy First Lady? That's what matters to you? How about all the vacations she's taken at our expense? :http://emptysuit.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/the-obamas-vacation-list/
        And speaking of expense: Hawaii – $500K, Spain – $500K (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/20/obama-hawaii-vacation-cos_n_1158825.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/michelle…. She might be healthy, but she's too darned expensive!

      • annie says:

        My niece has MS, and although she has a treatment every week, she works full-time and is not always ill and needing help at her home. And why do you think people with MS need constant pity? You DO NOT know what you are talking about!! My niece NEVER talks about her condition – she wants no pity. Ann & Mitt Romney are a tough couple. They'll do fine. Lame excuse for not voting for Romney.

      • Bobbie says:

        a person with ms is always sick? My mother in law was diagnosed before I met my husband. I observed a terrible month she had but fully recovered with ms still attached. My husband and I have been married for over 20 years and that's the only time I witnessed her physically disabled by it. What you write here "a person with ms is always sick and needs constant help and PITY??? What kind of government derangement are you under??

        There has never been a sign of worry from Mitt or his wife? It was mentioned to prove they aren't perfect as the democrat party portrays them. Get off yourself. How do you know what distracts the president when he hides and lies what we want to know about him?? That's the standard of a man you want running this country? What has he done in favor of America to avoid crisis? He's too busy avoiding his duty to call out social injustices that don't exist or only exist because of the controls in government. He's in total disregard to his oath of office! And that's the standard of A PERSON you want running this country?

      • I am the ultimate person to contradict your asinine comments. My father run a business with from seven to eight employees, was volunteer fire chief and was the father of four children. My brother was born with eczema and was wrapped in bandages from his neck down to his feet and wore a fitted white cap on his head in order to keep medicine on his head. It seems to me (I was only twelve or thirteen years old) he cried twenty four hours a day. Daddy never got home from a day that started about 6:00 o'clock a.m. until around 6:30 p.m. I remember my Father rocking my brother while my mother cooked and cleaned! My father carried a heavy load as well as my mother. For you to make such a summation as you have made….shows you walk in darkness!!!!
        Pastori Balele….for you to print those atrocious comments about something you are only spewing ignorance about…..makes you unworthy of any authority to comment!!! You just made an a~~hole of yourself!

      • Joseph McKennan says:

        What is a constituently sick first lady- or are you trying to slotter (wink) the English language.

      • madmath1 says:

        What are you talking about, jacka$$? You demonstrate to me what is truly leading this country to ruin: one man, one vote. You prove from your stupid and evil comment, God knows there are million more like you, that some people should not be allowed to vote. I will start with the stupid like you. You think sick people always need constant care, how about most highest maintained sick people of all: liberals. They're always angry, always miserable and frankly, they're all mentally ill. By your reasoning, and perhaps rightfully so, liberals shouldn't be allowed to run for office. It sure would get rid of all the encumbrance that small business and many citizens have to go through with this ever bloating government.

    9. MJF in CT says:

      [To all of this, President Obama has said, “We tried our plan—and it worked.”]

      Please show us where it worked? the simple question when you go to the voting booth in November is "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?".

      • Guest says:

        His plan all along had been to cripple the country and take us back to being a pre-colonial power. He has spent money with reckless abandon, passed regulations that have led to massive capital flight, outsourcing jobs like we've never seen and future tax rates that will choke off whatever's left. Obama's plan is to destroy America and it is indeed working.

        • sdfultz says:

          No, that was the last Administration, they want America broke, That way only the oligarchs will have money and control, it's a very 3rd world approach to control.

      • sdfultz says:

        Yes, my investments have returned 100%

      • Bobbie says:

        instead of "are you better off now than you were four years ago?" should be restated to say "Is America better off now than four years ago" because those government programs are running for people that may not suffer or ARE better off.

        When America is better off the government term "minority" will identify government program recipients as the only "minority" in the country. No need to belittle people minorities according to human skin color…

      • sdfultz says:

        Stock market 100% recovered

    10. Oscar Brown says:

      To achieve what you want, THIS president and THIS Senate Leader have got to be replaced. They salivate over the coming collapse. It's who they are.

    11. Frank Luarde says:

      I am currently reading the two books by David Limbaugh about our prestigious leader (leader is stated with tongue in cheek). The way to solve the problems that have been created in this country is to eliminate the problem as Don pointed out: Obama, Pelosi and Reid. Gov. Chris Christie put it correctly, tell the voters the truth and explain how to go about fixing what is wrong. It's been done in several states, and that needs to carry over to the U. S.. The voters need to understand what will be done for them will last a lifetime and will not be government controlled. What is being done presently is fleeting and demeaning. They will forever be controlled by government pols not by their own abilities which are much more potential. Frank

    12. Jeanne Stotler says:

      I retired from nursing due to a back injury BUT I don't like doing nothing, there are just so many hours making curtains, crocheting items, etc., so I started a day care in my home, I only take 3 or 4 but I start at 6 weeks, usually I am turning people away. In the last few years this has not been the case, I've gone several weeks with out a call and at present down to 1 toddler, REASON: Jobs are scarce, gas is over $3.70 a gal,( need gas to go seek a job), food cost is up and Mom's need more than minum. wage to afford day care at $150.00 a week. A grandson has been out of work since Feb., 24 YO and he puts in apps everday, Businesses need to see people in person not just a paper. Let's face it people, times are bad and if we do not turn this around they will be worse. see 2016, Obama's America

    13. John Michaud says:

      I enjoyed the article. However, in section 3, you neglected to mention the affect of the failing value of the U.S. dollar, as induced by the Obama administration directing the Treasury to print money like their producing so much toilet tissue. In your final statement, you mention that we need to "open access to our energy resources". I agree completely but, regardless of how much oil we extract domestically, the exportation of dervative fuels (gasoline, heating oil, etc.) to other world markets in which the price is even higher, will do nothing to increase domestic supply of those fuels and not relieve U.S. prices. What are we going to do, restrict free trade by curtailing the exportation of fuel products? Hardly a conservative value. We must increase both the value of our currency and our capacity to REFINE petroleum fuels to a level adequate to satisfy both domestic and export demand before U.S. Citizens will see a significant drop in price, yes?

      • pragmatic says:

        " However, in section 3, you neglected to mention the affect of the failing value of the U.S. dollar, as induced by the Obama administration directing the Treasury to print money like their producing so much toilet tissue."

        This isn't true. The President has no control over how much money is printed.

        The part of your post however is spot on and well said

      • ThomNJ says:

        Refineries – YES – that is something that we sorely need. Just look at the spike in gasoline prioces because of a somewhat "minor" hurricane last week. It is a poor infrastructure that can be so easily affected by a storm.

    14. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Money is the #1 complaint of every business.

    15. Greg says:

      Regarding your last paragraph: And the moon should be made of edible green cheese.

    16. kenezen says:

      Are you aware BofA & Jp Morgan are reportedly shifting massive accounts High billion's possibly trillions from internal accounts containing reportedly Sovereicn CDS and other to Tax Payer protected accounts??

    17. Joseph McKennan says:

      I recently read an email forwarded to me in which Dick Morris– WJ Clinton's right hand man– was speaking to his wealthy liberal friends about the dangers in this administration's plans. He was trying to warn them that this tax increase will affect THEM too. Why don't these supporters understand this? If BHO is re-elected there is nothing to stop him..

    18. GRACE E. PRATTI says:


    19. John says:

      We have to make a change now. The first order of business is voting Obama out of office or all these arguments don't mean anything. I never thought I would believe this, but I honestly think Obama's policies aren't because he is clueless, but by design, to cut America down to size. D'Souza makes a lot of sense out of Obama's senseless actions since he became president.

    20. Business Money Today says:

      While they all talk about the benefits of small businesses on this economy and local communities, few do anything to promote them. Small business owners need to unite.

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