Death Of Another Right-Wing Meme


Regulations, taxes aren’t killing small business, owners say

By Kevin G. Hall | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Politicians and business groups often blame excessive regulation and fear of higher taxes for tepid hiring in the economy. However, little evidence of that emerged when McClatchy canvassed a random sample of small business owners across the nation.

“Government regulations are not ‘choking’ our business, the hospitality business,” Bernard Wolfson, the president of Hospitality Operations in Miami, told The Miami Herald. “In order to do business in today’s environment, government regulations are necessary and we must deal with them. The health and safety of our guests depend on regulations. It is the government regulations that help keep things in order.”

What’s that, you say? Surely this person must be some kind of Dirty Fucking Hippie or a big Democratic Party donor or something. Just an isolated case, right?! Nope:

McClatchy reached out to owners of small businesses, many of them mom-and-pop operations, to find out whether they indeed were being choked by regulation, whether uncertainty over taxes affected their hiring plans and whether the health care overhaul was helping or hurting their business.

Their response was surprising.

None of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it. Some pointed to the lack of regulation in mortgage lending as a principal cause of the financial crisis that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-09 and its grim aftermath.

Wolfson’s firm is readying to open a Hampton Inn this year in Miami on land purchased from a condo developer during the housing downturn. His business could be in line for higher taxes if President Barack Obama allows the current, lower rates on the richest Americans to expire in 2012 and return to previous levels.

That didn’t seem to bother Wolfson, who through his partnership declares profit and loss as a pass-through on his personal income taxes, as many small businesses do.

“Higher taxes are not good for business, but some of the loopholes and deductions should be looked at,” he said.

The answer from Rick Douglas — the owner of Minit Maids, a cleaning service with 17 employees in Charlotte, N.C. — was more blunt.

“I think the rich have to be taxed, sorry,” Douglas said. He added that he isn’t facing a sea of new regulations but that he does struggle with an old issue, workers’ compensation claims.

Douglas told The Charlotte Observer that he’s hired more workers this year, citing pent-up demand from customers.

“My theory is that the people that do have jobs are working harder and they have less time to clean. People were holding back for such a long time, and then they started spending a little more,” he said.

Then there’s Rip Daniels. He owns four businesses in Gulfport, Miss.: real estate ventures, a radio station and a boutique hotel/bistro. He said his problem wasn’t regulation.

“Absolutely, positively not. What is choking my business is insurance. What’s choking all business is insurance. You cannot go into business, any business — small business or large business — unless you can afford insurance,” he told Biloxi’s Sun Herald.

To look at how this “regulations and taxes are choking small businesses” meme has taken off in the national discourse, we need to look at who’s spreading it: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And they don’t represent small businesses, they represent large corporations, as does the Republican Party in general.

In fact, McClatchy asked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which specific regulations are choking small businesses:

When it’s asked what specific regulations harm small businesses – which account for about 65 percent of U.S. jobs — the Chamber of Commerce points to health care, banking and national labor. Yet all these issues weigh much more heavily on big corporations than on small business.

It’s a good story; go read it. Clearly one of the biggest problems this country is facing is the tyranny of multinational corporations, who rule our politics and our discourse. Perhaps we can all get together and tackle that issue together, whaddya think?


Filed under corporations, economy, taxes, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

6 responses to “Death Of Another Right-Wing Meme

  1. Yutsano

    Yesbut…there’s still a nigra in the White House. All will be well as soon as that aberration of the social order is corrected, the economy will boom, and businesses will no longer be crushed under massive regulatory schemes. Unless you’re saying FOX is lying to me!

    (if anyone is curious/oblivious, yes this is snark. Sad I have to caveat that.)

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  3. ThresherK

    Gird yourself for the next misdirected vintage whine from our right-wingers.

    Your Nutmeg correspondent reminds all and sundry that 1) Insurance companies don’t like paying claims, and 2) When they have to pay claims, everyone’s insurance for everything will likely go up.

    But I’m sure there’s a cup of hot coffee which the GOP will blame for it all.

  4. Excerpted from my popular post, Deregulation, A Primer.

    3. As you can imagine, much like pool safety rules and regulations, regulation of industry is supposed to guard and protect the consumer against fraud, abuse and certain eventualities or outcomes that can prove very negative to the consumer. They are usually written by the good guys. They are not needless Lilliputian constraints place upon business as conservatives would have you believe. These are the laws that protect you and me from harm.

    4. Deregulation is popular with conservatives, because it usually means businesses can get away with murder. Witness the deregulation of electricity in California. Good regulation could have easily prevented this crisis.

    And as the hospitality entrepreneur points out, regulations also protect our health and safety. I never really thought about conservatives complaining about sanitation codes or safety standards or safe food handling as job-killers, but I guess they might consider these types of important measures constraining as well. Certainly Massey Energy would be a good example.

  5. Right wing lies never die. They just turn into zombies, and go on eating brains for decades. That is how and why Reaganomics rose from the grave in 2001. It is how we get “job-killing taxes.”

    It’s why WASF,

  6. Regulation is only good when it applies to making it more difficult for women to choose, gays to marry or poor people to get healthcare.