It’s no secret that the Obama administration is hostile toward business. We hear it almost every day in the way President Obama scolds the so-called rich — many of whom are small business owners — for not paying enough taxes. And of course, we all know the president doesn’t think much of the achievements of entrepreneurs, which is why he lectures them to give credit to the government. They didn’t build that, after all.
But Obama’s hostility toward small business goes well beyond rhetoric, or even legislation. It can be seen most ominously in the behavior of Obama’s boards and regulatory agencies. Often operating under the radar screen of congressional oversight, let alone any sort of media scrutiny, these boards and agencies are able to run wild with rules and policies that make it almost impossible for many small businesses to operate successfully.
During a recent leg of the Truth Tour, which I have been conducting since early September on behalf of Job Creators Solutions, I spoke with David Burton, who serves as general counsel of the National Small Business Association. David shared some nightmare stories about what the Obama administration is doing to small business.
Here is some of what he told me:
- The National Labor Relations Board has ruled it is illegal for a business to require employees to be courteous to customers, vendors, and colleagues. The NLRB also says you can’t impose the same requirement when employees are speaking online, and that you can’t require employees to respect the confidentiality of employee information.
- The NLRB is trying to rig the union election system — helping unions win these votes by forcing them to happen in as little as 10 days, and allowing the unions to cherry pick the makeup of bargaining units so it will be easier for them to win. In one case, this resulted in a company dealing with separate unions for their 2nd-floor and 5th-floor departments.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is waging an all-out war against companies performing criminal background checks on prospective employees, even though some states actually mandate these checks. This puts companies in a very precarious situation. Consider what would happen if a company sends a cable or HVAC repairman to a residence to make a repair, and the repairman rapes the woman who lives there. Obviously the worst thing here is what happened to the woman, but there would also be obvious legal liability for the company. But the criminal background check that could have prevented the rape in the first place would result in a lawsuit from the EEOC.
- Remember the JOBS Act, which was passed in April with huge bipartisan majorities and signed by President Obama? It was actually a good piece of legislation, designed to open up access to capital markets for small business while reducing the administrative burdens they face. But indications are the Securities and Exchange Commission is getting ready to impose such ridiculous regulations that no one will actually be able to take advantage of its provisions.
I noticed that during his speech in Ames, Iowa, last Friday, Mitt Romney made the point that unlike the Obama administration, he and his team “actually like business.” Indeed.
While Gov. Romney’s experience in the private sector gives him a true understanding of how businesses work and of how they create jobs, the Obama administration views businesses as enemies of the people, and of targets for their regulatory excesses.
You don’t hear about this sort of thing in the media because it’s not as easy to cover as what happens in Congress or in the White House, and also — let’s be honest — because much of the media sympathizes with Obama’s antipathy toward business. That’s too bad, because in an economy that desperately needs to see jobs created, it sure doesn’t help when the government thinks its job is to attack the job creators.
The next time Obama promises to create private-sector jobs, give some thought to how his administration really operates, and ask yourself why any employer would do much hiring in this kind of regulatory environment.
And recognize: Four more years of Obama will give us nothing but more of the same.
Following the conclusion of his presidential campaign, Herman Cain established The Cain Solutions Revolution, an organization whose mission is to educate the public and advocate for the policy solutions that drove his campaign for the presidency. Read more reports from Herman Cain — Click Here Now.
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