July 31st, 2010
10:50 AM ET
4 years ago

Republican takes on Obama over support for small businesses

Washington (CNN) - Delivering this week's Republican internet and radio address, Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Nebraska, discusses a number of new policies and laws which the GOP says hurt - rather than help - small businesses.

Related: Obama uses weekly address to push small biz bill

"Isn’t it time, Mr. President, to tone down the rhetoric and to govern?," Johanns says in the weekly GOP address.

Johanns adds, "You talk about creating jobs and that sounds good, but your policies just do the opposite – with a fiercely anti-business tone."

(Read Johanns' full remarks after the jump)


Republican Weekly Address
Delivered by Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Nebraska
July 31, 2010

“Hello, I’m Senator Mike Johanns from the great state of Nebraska.

“I begin with a very sincere question for our President.

“Isn’t it time, Mr. President, to tone down the rhetoric and to govern?

“I’m a relatively new member of the U.S. Senate. But, I’ve had an opportunity to serve in the Cabinet; to govern a state; and to serve as the Mayor of a wonderful community.

“And I learned early on that to advance an agenda, a leader needs to pull people together.

“You talk about creating jobs and that sounds good, but your policies just do the opposite – with a fiercely anti-business tone.

“Let’s take an honest look at the impact of your agenda.

“More than 80 percent of jobs are provided by the private sector. Those are the jobs that put food on the table, pay the mortgage, and send our children to college.

“Our small businesses generate 65 percent of the new jobs.

“In Nebraska, we like to call them our Mom and Pop enterprises.

“These are really good people who don’t want to get caught-up in a political debate.

“They want to get up in the morning, head to work and find creative ways to build their businesses.

“And your policies, Mr. President, are hurting them.

“Let me give you an example: embedded in your health care law – under Section 9006 – is a job-crushing provision.

“It affects every business, every church and charity; every state and local government.

“It requires all of them to track their purchases and when they hit $600 with any vendor in a year – for any services or supplies – your health care law requires them to file a 10-99 form with the IRS and with that vendor.

“This will create a mountain of new paperwork – increasing it by as much as 2,000 percent, according to one study.

“One small business owner in Nebraska did an analysis and came to the conclusion it will cost his business an extra $15 thousand dollars a year.

“Now that may not sound like much here in Washington, but to a small business in Nebraska, that would go a long way to putting another American to work.

“Instead, that money will pay for paperwork… and for what purpose, Mr. President?

“Even the National Taxpayer Advocate – a division of the IRS itself – predicts there will be little benefit and a mess of erroneous tax penalties.

“This foolish policy hammers our business community when we should be supporting their job growth.

“It’s only one example of how the Administration’s promise to support small businesses really rings hollow.

“Then there’s the employer mandate in the health care law, which studies confirm will divert money from wages.

“It forces employers to provide government-approved coverage or pay a tax of $2,000 per employee.

“Another example: the new Medicare tax.

“The majority of small businesses pay taxes at the individual level, so this new $210 billion tax will hurt; hitting businesses that employ between 20 and 200 workers especially hard.

“And that’s one-quarter of our workforce.

“To put it simply; your actions thus far, Mr. President, don’t encourage small businesses to hire employees.

“You’re signaling to the business owners that they best be very cautious, not only because of the flurry of new taxes and regulations, but also because a national energy tax is next on your agenda.

“It's time to stop pushing anti-growth policies and start supporting a real job growth agenda.

“After all, what matters most is what we actually do, not what we say.

“I'm Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska. Thank you for your time.”


Filed under: GOP • issues
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. ib

    Hit the nail on the head; Obama is only thinking of ways to raise our taxes to cover his out of controll spending and push HIS agenda.

    July 31, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. Benjamin D'Over

    Spot on with this commentary. Guy is clearly a racist for saying it!

    July 31, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Charlie in Maine

    Then why don't you and your party get the hell out of the way?

    July 31, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. SmallBiz

    Johanns is an idiot. A $70 copy of QuickBooks or some other program (which you should be using anyway) will track all of this for you. Then you'll have to buy some stamps to mail the 1099s. If you can't manage something that simple, your business was going to fail anyway.

    July 31, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. BobH

    Johanns didn't say one word related to his opposition to the pro small business bill he and his party just killed. It was a couple of days ago, so maybe he forgot?

    He devotes the entire speech to inflated estimates of what some small businesses will pay to complete a couple of health care forms. Such estimates, when revisited a year a later and compared to what was actually spent, are invariably wildly exaggerated. If that's not "playing politics" what is?

    July 31, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. Augsbee

    If you don't own a business, if you don't or have never ran a business then you're not going to understand why we small business owners disagree with President Obama on changes and why we are holding back on expanding, hiring. I always recommend people to speak to their boss, contact your CPA, contact the IRS, attend business seminars, read books on business tax laws & running a business, learn how business taxes work along with permits, insurance, etc... so you can understand how changes impact not just the owners but jobs.

    July 31, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    I wonder if this Republican senator had anything to say about these so-called anti-business provisions in the health care law when the bill was being formed. Or, did he just do like the rest of his Republican colleagues and just vote "no," saving this little tid-bit to bash the president with later as he seems to be doing with today's commentary.

    July 31, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. kakaraka

    The argument expressed by morron right wing republican is childish. How file 1099 form can hurt a business? That's is a nonsense raisonning. You republican stop a bill that will lend money to small business expand and create jobs. The american people know how you stop, obstruct everything the President does or want to do to help small businesses and middle classe famillies. Shame on you. We will vote you all republicans out come in November elections. You say no to everything but american people are hurting because of your no, no and nos. Lazy republican senators who don't want to do anything to help middle class families but rather defend riches, big oil, and wall street. You are fired all. Continue with your nonsense, childish arguments to obstruct everything the President does or want to do. You will pay a heavy price for it come this November. So sad.

    July 31, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. djb

    Senator Johanns is right, "After all, what matters most is what we actually do, not what we say."

    So, the Republican senators say "no" to everything and "do" nothing. That is what matters most.

    July 31, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. thor

    Obama is putting additional costs on small businesses and then telling everyone he's their friend.The increased cost associated with the requirement for filing tax forms for every transaction less than $600 is a perfect example.Keeping up with that will be a nightmare.

    July 31, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Augsbee

    To ib: that's mainly because Obama has no experience with businesses, has never owned one nor ran one, remember he was a community organizer & author, he's never ran a city, a state, a department, a county. His wife Michelle is the one with administrative experience, great resume, lots of experience, he has no administrative experience at all.

    July 31, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Another brainless, ignorant Republican spewing crap to try and score political points but offering up NO alternative policies in the same weekly address. This allows fools like "ib" to hop in and dickride with their neo-con rants. All of you Republican tools say the same tired things in your "Weekly Republicant Rant", you just find new ways to say it. Arrogant trogladytes.

    July 31, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. jay in denver

    Under the President's plan, a Nebraskan will have to fill out a tax form! We must stop this anti-corporate insanity before it destroys our country! We must . . . SQUIRREL!

    Gotta love the GOP. They try so hard to look intelligent and competent.

    July 31, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. A disillusioned Republican

    Why don't republicans just shut and try to come up with solutions to solve the mess we are in? Oh, I forgot, these racists just want to try to bring President Obama down because he is black!

    July 31, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. chris

    Why are we talking about the health care bill when we should be explaining to the american people why you and republican cohorts just fillibustered a bipartisan drafted bill mean to help these very same businesses you claim Obama is hurting. Drag the country further so you can win an election, nice strategy!!!

    July 31, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. K. Parks

    I'd like to know how come these same Republicans could not support small businesses in the 6 years they had complete control over both houses of Congress and the White House. I want to know why people keep saying Obama is raising taxes while he has lowered taxes for the middle class, unlike the tax break for the wealthy that is about to expire. How the Republican party has stood in the way of every proposal that the Demcrats have made simply because it didn't come from a Republican? How come they can support spending BILLIONS on a country that does not like the United States but stand against average Americans? How come they pay more attention to wall street, big businesses (who give them millions) as oppose to the tax paying voter?

    July 31, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. Chris

    Isn't time the Republicans tone down the rhetoric and start governing? Every time somone in the GOP opens their mouth, it is just to spew forth some hyper-partisan rhetoric. And mindlessly voting no on every piece of legislation in order to make Obama and the Democrats fail and return themselves to power – that's not what I call governing.

    And the Republicans have alot of gall to lecture others on economic policies. We tried their ideas out for 8 years, and the economy crashed and burned.

    July 31, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. vbscript2

    @ kakaraka :

    Allow me to explain: Having to file a 1099 for every supplier from which you purchase $600 in goods during an entire fiscal year results in a mountain of paperwork for small businesses. That means that every small business will have to keep up with their purchases from every single supplier and file an 1099 for all of them. I work for a small business with about 60 employees. Suppliers from whom we purchase over $600 is ALL of our suppliers (and we have a lot of them.) That's a huge mountain of extra paperwork that we will have to have people working on instead of doing actual work that leads toward growth of our business.

    "You will pay a heavy price for it come this November."
    Yes, regaining control of Congress will be a very heavy price to pay, but the Republicans will try to manage.

    July 31, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. mamacoo

    No Augsbee, we don't understand. We don't understand how the people you expect to buy your products or patronize your business will do so if they don't have jobs. We don't understand why the very people who make you successful in the first place have to be the ones who are $hi! out of luck until things are absolutely perfect for you. We don't understand why you should get all the breaks while the rest of the people are waiting for the jobs you are holding back. We do understand that you are going along with the Republicans who are doing everything they can to protect businesses and corporations while dissing the rest of us. Tax cuts and bail outs have been given to you for the past 12 years. What happened to the jobs the rest of us were told were coming with those tax cuts? You people have had all the benefits you wanted for 12 years and it has done absolutely nothing for average Americans. I could care less about your tax burdens when I am worried about keeping a roof over my head. And especially when I learn that you people are sitting on profits refusing to hire, overworking your employees and underpaying them. And I should be concerned about you paying taxes? At least you have the money to pay. Quite frankly I think you and other "small business "owners are just a bunch of selfish whining people. Oh, and stop ignoring the benefits President Obama's policies will have for you.

    July 31, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Crazy Harry

    Your statement this week confirms that you and your republican buddies are just plain idiots and have no intention of working towards the good of our country. Misstated facts, lies, etc are all that you can offer.

    Go away! And take your fellow band of morons with you. If this country goes in the pot, you can all be happy that you made it happen.

    July 31, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. vbscript2

    "Oh, I forgot, these racists just want to try to bring President Obama down because he is black!"

    LOL! CNN comments sections are always amusing to read. Yes, the people who have always opposed overspending now oppose it only because the person responsible for the largest deficit in the history of the U.S. by almost an entire order of magnitude is of a different race than themselves. Yeah, sure.

    July 31, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. mamacoo

    Augsbee: To ib: that's mainly because Obama has no experience with businesses, has never owned one nor ran one, remember he was a community organizer & author, he's never ran a city, a state, a department, a county

    ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    And you have no experience running a country so what is your point? I mean as if you are an expert on how to run anything. You sound as if just because you run a "small business" you know everything. Perhaps you should run for President.

    As a community organizer he at least has experienced looking after the very people who make your small business a success. Or perhaps that's the reason you are whining so much. Is your business a failure? WOW! that is a reflection on you, right?

    July 31, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. joe

    the GOP has no shame. they are a bunch of losers. nothing they do surprises me anymore. they could care less about the country. all they care about is power and bringing down our president and the country along with him. anybody who votes for this group of whiners, 2 faced hypocrites should have their head examined!!!

    July 31, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  24. Marie MD

    The rethugs need to get a life and go find some other form of work come 2010 and 2012.
    You people are toxic to the country and to the middle class and the poor.
    johanns, I don't know where you have been in the last 18 months but, unlike his predecessor, President Obama is trying to govern. It's very hard to get anything done when your party of NO coninues to put bumps on the road.
    Go play with boner in a tanning booth or mitchell and try to see what happened to his turtle shell since he seems to have lost it.

    July 31, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Dan from Tx

    As a private business owner for 10 years now, I can say this law will not be in any way negative. I will simply track these purchases and move on with my life.
    As a self-employed cancer survivor, I would love to be able to purchase insurance. Here in Texas, preconditions are crushing as I looked at over $15,000 per year (after $2,500 deductible) for basic coverage. That's like buying a new car every year just to stay alive. many companies just deny coverage all together. I would love to see that change but I live in a Republican stronghold so it's doubtful.

    Interesting how, in every debate, Republicans push how complicated and scary measures are based on the amount of work it takes to read / understand the measure. From "It requires another 1099 " to "Oh my, this bill is 2,000 pages!", they always try to dazzle us under the crushing burden of education and work.

    July 31, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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