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Washington, D.C. – The National Small Business Association (NSBA) was pleased to hear President Barack Obama talk about the need for comprehensive tax reform tonight during his State of the Union address as a way to bring down the deficit as well as ease tax complexity for small business—a key priority for small business.
Perhaps the most important message President Obama delivered was his call for lawmakers to work together and set aside party interests to pass a budget. Given the negative impact of Congress’ failure to move forward on meaningful deficit reduction—both on small business confidence and U.S. economic stability—leaders on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue must put aside partisan politics and get back to the business of governing.
“The number one issue facing America’s small business is economic insecurity, making the deficit the number one thing they want policymakers to address,” stated Todd McCracken, NSBA president and CEO. “While much of his agenda tonight emphasized economic growth, he missed an opportunity to lay out a clear path forward to fiscal sustainability.”
Obama outlined the major flaws with the blunt spending cuts known as sequestration, something that could be devastating to small federal contractors. While NSBA believes firmly in the need to reduce spending and was pleased that Obama put entitlement reform on the table, sequestration is the wrong way to go and will result in small business contracts being bundled or eliminated altogether.
Addressing immigration, Obama outlined the need for comprehensive reform and highlighted the need to attract highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers—something NSBA supports. He stopped short, however, of urging lawmakers to tread carefully when it comes to proposals to mandate E-Verify or a similar program which could mean unfair burdens and penalties for small business.
“There is no doubt that small business is key to a sustainable economic recovery,” said NSBA Chair David Ickert of Air Tractor, Inc. in Olney, Texas. “We applaud the President’s focus on key issues of importance to small business and urge him and all of Congress to pursue policies that truly encourage free enterprise.”
Among the other issues NSBA was pleased to hear was support for expanding U.S. exporting, specifically an effort to begin talks on a trade partnership with the European Union. Unfortunately, Obama also proposed an increase to the federal minimum wage up to $9.00/hour—something that could be very problematic for segments of a struggling small-business community.
On Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 1:00 p.m. EST, NSBA will be hosting a teleconference for members and guests to provide expert analysis on the address. The call will feature American City Business Journals Washington Bureau Chief Kent Hoover discussing the politics of the 113th Congress, NSBA President Todd McCracken with a detailed analysis of the address, and NSBA Chair David Ickert outlining NSBA’s priorities for the coming months. If you missed the registration cut-off deadline (12:00 noon, EST Feb. 13), click here to listen to a podcast of the call.
Celebrating more than 75 years in operation, NSBA is a staunchly nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. NSBA’s 65,000 members represent every state and every industry in the U.S., and we are proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization. Please visit www.nsba.biz or @NSBAAdvocate.