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RNC Demonstrates GOP Support for Small Business

By    |   Thursday, 30 August 2012 10:04 AM

I was honored to have been invited to appear in Tampa during the Republican National Convention on a panel together with Rep. Darrell Issa of California titled Government and Entrepreneurship. However, Hurricane Isaac caused the session to be cancelled.

Yet, the topic intrigued me. When discussing how entrepreneurship and government should intersect, the easy answer is … not at all. The last thing that entrepreneurs and small businesses need is more government interaction.

As an entrepreneur, I’ve seen enough intersection with government when it comes to taxes, health insurance, regulation, deficits and a lack of support for free and fair trade.

Do entrepreneurs matter to the government? They certainly should. According to a Pew Research Center study from 2010, small business was the most trusted institution in America. And that perception crossed party lines: 72 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of independents said small businesses have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country.

You know who should have read that study? Our current president, whose approach to any problem is to throw money at it. Throughout his administration, President Barack Obama has shown a disdain for small business and for successful businesses in general. It’s as if the only companies he’s interested in are those that are failing, like GM and Solyndra.

For the innovative, hardworking entrepreneurs that create over 70 percent of U.S. jobs, Obama has nothing positive to say.

If you want to contrast the attitudes of the Republican Party and Obama on small business, take a look at the RNC.

For starters, although Obama and his cabinet have virtually no business experience, we know that Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney successfully founded and ran a thriving business for years, creating thousands of net new jobs.

What is less known is that on his way to becoming a congressman from his hometown of Janesville, Wisc., Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan worked in a small business — a construction company with roots that reach back to the firm that his great-grandfather started in 1884.

This adds yet another dose of credibility to the GOP ticket. We have two candidates who understand the problems and challenges that small businesses face and are prepared to help them succeed.

During the convention, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell gave a speech in prime time on small business and the economy. This says it all about the importance the GOP gives to small business.

If you want another example, Steve Cohen, president of a small manufacturing company in Ohio, was given an opportunity to address the RNC on small business and entrepreneurs. He’s my kind of guy because like me, his company’s growth is tied to a robust export market.

In a pre-RNC interview, he said, "We have to go where there is business. American companies can absolutely compete abroad. The president needs to have a good sense about how business is done."

The GOP support of small business should come as no surprise. If you recall, in April, the House approved the Small Business Tax Cut Act by a vote of 235-173, which would allow businesses with fewer than 500 employees to deduct up to 20 percent of their profits this year.
The Washington Post at the time quoted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., who sponsored the bill, as saying, “Our bill puts more money into the hands of small business owners so they can reinvest those funds to retain and create more jobs and grow their businesses — plain and simple.”
Yet, the bill has no chance of being enacted … unless we change the makeup of the senate and current administration.
Ask any entrepreneur what they want from government and the answer is always the same: “Nothing.” We don’t want government handouts. What we want is to let us run our businesses without the yoke of overtaxation and overregulation. Let us hire more workers and start to whittle down the 25 million Americans who are underemployed or unemployed.

If you care about the future of the country and the success of small business, I hope you watched the RNC and came away with a sense of optimism that this country is headed in a new, more positive direction this November.

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Thursday, 30 August 2012 10:04 AM
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