NSBA Reaction to State of the Union Address

January 24, 2012

The National Small Business Association was pleased to hear President Barack Obama mention the importance of entrepreneurship, the need to eliminate regulations that don’t make sense and the overriding need to reduce the deficit during this evening’s State of the Union address. However, the President provided few specifics and said little about the critical role of small business.

“The President’s call to address the deficit was a welcome one,” stated Todd McCracken, NSBA president and CEO. “However he failed to tell us how he would get there and he missed a critical opportunity to call for broad tax reform which could kick-start the economy—thereby reducing the deficit—while lessening the single biggest regulatory burden our economy faces: the tax code.”

On the issue of fairness, President Obama referenced easing restrictions on how small businesses can raise capital, something NSBA has been urging for some time. He went on to underscore his support of streamlining regulations, pointing to his call on federal agencies to conduct a regulatory review, however offered nothing new, such as an NSBA-supported provision to require that regulations be written in plain language.

Obama also stated that most new jobs are created by small businesses and start-ups, and underscored the need to address the tax code, yet failed to acknowledge the vast differences between small and large companies. NSBA had hoped that broad tax reform—and not just those taxes focusing primarily on large, multinational companies—would have been mentioned given that the overwhelming majority of small-business owners pay taxes at the individual income level.
Addressing exporting, Obama discussed the NSBA-supported and recently enacted Free Trade Agreements, but failed to mention the importance to small exporters of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. which currently is bogged down without a much needed long-term reauthorization and increase to their exposure cap.

“As the U.S. economy begins to show signs of life, we must all pay attention to the country’s largest employer, small business” stated NSBA Chair Chris Holman, CEO of Michigan Business Network.com and President of The Greater Lansing Business Monthly. “As has been the case in every past recession, small business will be the driving force out of this recession.”

NSBA is committed to working with policymakers to ensure that small-business priorities continue to be of paramount concern.