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Why Small Businesses Hate Bidenomics

Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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by Outside Contributor
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If the economy is so good, why do small business leaders feel so bad?

The latest Small Business Optimism Index from the National Federation of Independent Business could hardly be more depressing. It finds that the men and women who run our 33 million small businesses and hire more than half of American workers are in a somber mood. The survey finds that small-business confidence has reached its lowest point in 12 years.

Amazingly, small company CEOs are even more fearful of the future today than during the COVID-19 pandemic, when most businesses were shuttered. The confidence numbers have decreased every year President Joe Biden has been in office. Here are the numbers, according to NFIB:     

       March 2020 – 102.0
        March 2021 – 98.2
        March 2022 – 93.2
        March 2023 – 90.1
        March 2024 – 88.5

Why are small-business owners feeling so dour even at a time when the GDP is growing? I asked that question to David Malpass, former World Bank president and U.S. Treasury undersecretary under former President Donald Trump. Malpass has observed all over the world what factors make small businesses successful and put their owners in a frame of mind to expand.

“Smaller businesses are being crowded out by complex regulations and direct competition from the $35 trillion national debt,” Malpass concludes. “The Treasury borrowed $23 trillion in 2023 alone, much of it in the expensive short maturities needed by smaller businesses for working capital.”

The NFIB data is merely a survey, and sometimes business owners and investors act differently than they say they will. But there is more real data on how small companies are expanding. The latest Federal Reserve data through March shows that commercial and industrial loans, a key resource for small business dynamism, fell over 5% in the last year in nominal terms, down over 8% after adjusting for inflation. Yikes. Without investment, it’s hard for businesses to grow.

I asked Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of the Job Creators Network, which represents tens of thousands of small-business owners, what he sees in terms of the business climate.

“Our members feel as though Biden has declared war on small businesses,” Ortiz says. He also mentioned they’re worried that a second Biden term would mean higher taxes, more regulations and a continuation of high prices.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration seems frustrated and even indignant that more businesses aren’t supporting the White House program. But remember: neither Biden nor nearly any of his top officials have ever started or even worked for a small or medium-sized business. They don’t have any feel for how their own policies impact the nation’s employers.

As an example, the Biden administration wants to put in serious jeopardy the franchise model where thousands of small entrepreneurs can start their own McDonald’s, Arby’s or retail store representing well-known and trusted brands. They want the parent companies to be on alert that they can be sued for violations of labor laws, EPA edicts or federal “diversity” requirements, or can be on the hook for lawsuits against their franchises.

This could be the death of thousands of small, independent-owned franchises. The Labor Department wants small businesses to allow unions to run their stores.

What is so sinister here is that the franchise model for opening new businesses is an almost entirely unique American model of business growth. Entrepreneurial immigrants can come into the country, pool money as a family, then own and operate a Popeyes or a clothing store.

Biden also wants to nearly double the capital gains tax, which will scare away angel investors in small startup companies. If owners of a small or medium-sized business put the profits back into the company so it can expand, Biden would tax the “unrealized capital gains” on that investment.

Meanwhile, Biden is happy to give a big head start in the form of billions of dollars of grants and low-interest loans for large corporations such as General Motors and chipmaker Intel so they can expand their operations on the taxpayers’ dime. These corporate welfare programs tilt the playing field in favor of the sharks, not the small-business minnows.

It’s no wonder that men and women who put their life savings on the line to build their businesses from scratch feel they’re under assault. They are being taxed and regulated to death while too often inflation eats away their modest profits.

No one in Washington is going to be “forgiving” their loans when the business conditions get rough and high interest rates make it tough to get emergency loans. There is no safety net — and no “too big to fail” aid package — for the heroes of our economy, who have become the punching bag of big government.

Stephen Moore is a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a senior economic advisor to Donald Trump. His latest book is: “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Devouring Our Economy.”
COPYRIGHT 2024 CREATORS.COM

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AMAC or AMAC Action.

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LAH
LAH
1 month ago

Very well written article. Once again this administration beats down the small business owners and rewards the corporate giants. This same administration promotes the unions that drive up the cost of operating which in turn increases the costs of goods and services. Something small business owners can not afford. Truth of the matter is as this article explains the small business owners are being regulated out of business.

Jackie
Jackie
1 month ago

Biden and Democrats put forth the attitude that they hate everything about America except themselves!!! They are declaring war on every small business with excessive and unnecessary regulations and costs!! I, personally, support any small businesses I can including Mom and Pop restaurants!!! This administration, if allowed to continue, will ruin America entirely!!!

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 month ago

Small business is a thorn in the eye of a transformed America ,just as intact family, two sexes or functioning schools actually focusing on academic success An independence from government edicts and regulations will not be tolerated

Danny
Danny
1 month ago

Just the price of diesel has effected small business.

uncleferd
uncleferd
1 month ago

“President” Biden clearly does not want businesses, other than those who’s owners sponsor him, to succeed. He is a miniscule man in both intellect and character.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
1 month ago

Joe Biden couldn’t run a hot dog stand.

Bryan K
Bryan K
1 month ago

Just another anti business administration who only believes is government control of everything. So who are the ones that are a danger to America? It’s the marxist dems who hate America

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
1 month ago

Biden sticks it to the small business sides with the big unions that control prices in this country on major purchases we make he wants unions because the wants the votes. Everything he does is for votes not to help the people of this country that you can tell by his border that is open leaving in millions of people from all over the world why would any buddy with half a brain do that to hard working citizens in this country and we need to put a stop to this idea they have of allowing illegals to vote or get social security that did not earn.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 month ago

The reason why everyone hates Bidenomics can, in the words of President Sharp-as-Tack, be summed up in “four little words”: WE BUY THINGS!

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