Washington Gets Small Business, It Just Doesn't Like It

Caroline Baum at Bloomberg tries to put on a “rational” face on this problem:

“Washington doesn’t get it.”

That generic statement is tripping off the tongues of populists and Tea Partiers, business groups and bankers alike. In short, the public is peeved at the politicians.

I heard it this week from William Dunkelberg, chief economist of the National Federation of Independent Business, who used his group’s latest survey to opine on Washington’s deaf ear for helping small business.

The president and Congress “pay lip service to the fact that small business generates half of private-sector GDP and employs 60 percent or more of private-sector workers,” Dunkelberg says. As far as Washington’s efforts to help this sector of the economy, “instead of stimulus, give consumers a tax cut,” he says.

But her second paragraph reveals the problem: small business people are disproportionately represented with populists and Tea Partiers, currently the strongest power challengers the current Administration has.  As I noted last month:

Barack Obama needs to basically break the back of small business to insure a permanent Democrat majority.  That’s because most small business people are Republicans; to pull the rug of funding out from under them would go a long way to ending effective opposition to his party.  It’s an interesting choice between the prosperity of the country and the perpetuation of your political power but, hey, look around and see how other places have made that choice.

If you want to see a liberal really be transformed out of statist liberalism, just make them run a small business.  (That’s what happened with George McGovern.)  Obviously the current administration can’t afford for that to happen too often.  Until get people in power who are open minded in fact rather than just theory, small business is going to get the short end of the stick.

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