Small Business Group’s Response to President Obama’s State of the Union

In response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and protecting small business issued the following response:

“Entrepreneurs are heartened to hear that President Obama wants to make the U.S. the best place on earth to do business. Indeed, across the globe, nations are cutting taxes, simplifying their tax systems and reducing regulations to make it easier to start up and grow a business. Developed and emerging countries alike have quickly adapted to the competitive environment and are reaping rewards in their aggressive efforts to attract capital and business investment. President Obama has awoken to this realization, and mere rhetoric alone will not change the competitive dynamic. Entrepreneurs and investors must now see dramatic changes on the policy front. This means, immediately locking in a pro-growth tax system, restraining the regulatory tide that is sweeping over every sector of our economy and reducing government spending,” said Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) President & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

SBE Council chief economist Raymond J. Keating added: “While the President’s pro-business rhetoric is encouraging, other specifics in his speech were disappointing. First, his explicit call for a tax increase on upper-income earners showed that he still fails to grasp that such a tax hike on entrepreneurs and investors would be bad for the economy. Second, his call, in effect, for higher taxes on oil companies in order to subsidize other energy sources reveals a desire for politics to overrule markets, with the result being higher costs in the end. And third, he took one step forward on trade, by urging Congress to approve the South Korea trade deal, but two steps back by failing to push ahead now with the Panama and Colombia accords.”

Kerrigan concluded: “We look forward to working with President Obama and Congress in the critical areas of reducing regulation and simplifying the tax system. Leadership and action are desperately needed on these issues if the U.S. is to become more competitive in the global economy. Furthermore, small business owners have substantive ideas for improving the health care overhaul bill that was enacted into law. We only hope the Administration will listen to our solutions this time around.”

SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy and research organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship.

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