As President Barack Obama has pivoted towards the general election in November, his presumed Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, has come out swinging against him. The latest salvo? Claims by Romney that Obama is “the most anti-small business” president since Jimmy Carter.
What led Romney to say this? While attempts to seek clarification on this most recent criticism by Romney have gone unclarified by his campaign, he has made similar criticisms of Obama in the past. Those were grounded in Romney’s belief that federal regulation and health care reform have been bad for American businesses.
Not surprisingly, Obama’s record on issues relevant to small businesses is mixed. The administration has saved an estimated $10 billion by eliminating certain regulations by federal agencies, and touts a Bloomberg report that Obama has passed 5% fewer regulations than George W. Bush did in his first three years in office.
However, not all attempts to help small businesses have worked out. A tax credit designed to help small firms pay for health care coverage for employees has been criticized as too complex for business owners to understand and implement. And recent job reports have been disappointing news for all parts of the economy, small business included.
Still, though figures aren’t available to fully compare the number of startups created during Carter’s presidency and Obama’s so far, there is still a sense among most political pundits and historians that the economic malaise that dogged Carter’s presidency hasn’t fully poisoned Obama’s yet. In other words, Obama still has hope.
— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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