July 31st, 2010
10:50 AM ET
8 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. Political parties need to be abolished

    And this is why the Republicans voted against a tax-relief bill for Small Business just this past week...because they support small business.

    Oh, and they support health insurance for the first responders and victims of 9/11, too. That's why they voted that bill down.

    Uh-huh, sure.

    Let every business owner and every policeman, fireman, EMT, National Guard member and disaster-recovery worker remember this in November. The Republicans support your careers and livlihoods so much that they refused to give you the help and benefits you deserve. It was more important to fight with Democrats than to actually put you first. And it is proven by their actions, as Christ told us it would be.

    July 31, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Like, apparently, all of the far Left, Obama distrusts anything of any significance that's not under his immediate control, including American businesses.

    July 31, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

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

    Because if the Republicans "got the hell out of the way," the Dems would bankrupt the country.

    July 31, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. lana russell

    I've been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don't want them to succeed. Rush Limbaugh Jan 16th, 2009
    Yes, repubs had their marching orders early on from their leader.
    Now, just sit on your cash and hope he fails.

    July 31, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. son of csm wiggins

    I have a small business and my mother is a (cpa) and senator we disagree with you . There was a article here in Memphis about obama and business in the commercial appeal and a strong John Mcaine ally and campaign contributer Fred Smith (fed Ex CEO) says obama is very pro business. So who am I to believe a politician who is trying score political points or a guy who has created more jobs than any of us ever will. It's kinda like obama being weak on national security the republicans say he soft, but my father who is a Csm in the army who is serving in korea and just left. Afganistan and Iraq says the total opposite. Who should I believe, I think I'm gping with the people with the real first hand knowledge rather than talking heads because my info can be googled have a nice day

    July 31, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. vic

    Obama has to learn that he can’t satisfied republicans

    July 31, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. Is Timothy McVeigh would have been a teabag leader today

    The rightwingnuts dont care about small business.only big business and Wall Treet.

    July 31, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Timothy McVeigh would have been a teabag leader today

    Republicans hate small business,they love a monopoly.

    July 31, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. Augsbee

    to mamacoo: obviously you're an employee. Create a spreadsheet in Excel, list everything from monthly rent, phone, alarm, business insurance, tenant insurance, payroll taxes, office supplies, advertisement, automotive commercial insurance, worker's compensation, office furniture, postage, electricity, water, toilet paper, paper towels, coffee, garbage fee, cleaning service fee, CPA fee, lawyer fee, state taxes, permits, local taxes, internet, etc..... you tell me how much money it takes to keep you employed, perhaps if you weren't so ignorant you spend time talking to your boss and finding out exactly how much money a business needs to make weekly to write you a paycheck and sometime it comes out of our own money if clients are past due with their payments.

    July 31, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. Observer

    Isn't it time for Republicans to do ANYTHING more than say "no"? I wonder if any party has ever attempted less work than the "Party of NO". Can anyone name ONE thing that they have tried to accomplish that didn't consist of more than saying "no"?

    Republicans in Congress just showed their true colors by saying "no" to aid for victims of 9/11. They are consistent. It was Bush who said he wasn't concerned about bin Laden and apparently his party feels the same way about his victims.

    July 31, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Augsbee

    to mamacoo: you definitely are an employee. Community organizer is just that, a community organizer, there's not much involved with that.

    July 31, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. jeremy..Big D..Tx

    We want to see Republican plan to rebuild the economy they crushed down. We are tired of NO and bashing Obama without any objective at all. Republicans,we are likely to lose more come Nov not unless we show leadership than fear and blame. We need workerable conservative plans and not blames or recycled ideas. Talking of experience and leadership. How about Bush who was governor,business operative but grounded us out? His VP was equally experienced and what did they do? Actually even senior Bush and Reagan were experienced but their perfomance were not enough. Like it or not its true.

    July 31, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. mike

    lets see here first the republicans said that the auto bailout was a waste of money then they said that the cash for clunkers wasn't going to work in fact they voted NO for it now after all that crap they threw out to the voters
    its all comes back in there faces now here comes some more crap about small business stop craping in the republican toilet the voters are tired of the smell

    July 31, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Gary

    As a small business owner it`s clear Johanns never had a small business. What we really want is a functioning government. When the Republicans vote no on every proposal, it looks like they don`t care.

    July 31, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Augsbee

    to mamacoo: Community organizers take from us businesses because they function on our donations, they don't produce business, they take from us businesses to help those who are in need in communities. You definitely are ignorant even in what President Obama was doing for the community.

    July 31, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Kathryn

    @ K. Parks: I would like to know why people think the rich get a tax break? It's simple math. Their tax brackets are higher than mine (I make less than $30K a year and pay roughly 23% in "taxes" including FICA & state taxes). A person making $1 million a year will *ALWAYS* pay significantly more taxes than I do, simply b/c they make significantly more than I do. Why do we have this mindset that they aren't paying "their fare share" when, mathematically, they pay more than I do? The more you make, the more you pay. That's the way it always has been.

    And you "pay your fair share" people are the ones who think a flat tax is wrong, b/c it "unfairly" penalizes people who don't make much. A flat tax of 10% – whether you make $10,000 or $10 million – will always result in the rich paying a much higher amount for taxes than the poor – but everyone will pay "their fair share."

    What ticks me off about taxation is those fine upstanding citizens among us who get a tax refund – and never paid a cent in taxes! Ask your accountant how often that happens – my accountant processes refunds like that all the time. His fee is $135 for tax preparation – if these idiots weren't getting more than that back in a tax refund, they wouldn't be paying his fee. Do the math on THAT and how much THAT costs every year.

    But that's Democrat economics – don't worry about it, Lazy Bones. We'll make the rich take care of you – it's only "fair." And how do the "rich" take care of you? We tax the hell out of them. We make the "rich" small business owner spend ridiculous amounts of money on health insurance premiums they can't afford – on crappy insurance their employees can't afford – and then force them to file mountains of paperwork every year which only drives up the cost of operating that business – forcing them to cut costs somewhere – which usually ends up being their payroll ...

    July 31, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. kat

    As a small business owner, I can tell you that everything this Prez is doing is hurting us. We don't need loans. We don't want to spend anything. Just hanging on to what we have until this clown is out of office.

    July 31, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. R Low

    Republicans don't know what it means to tone done anything, including caustic rhetoric, messages of hate, intolerance, and the word no to anyone but the wealthy. Please just shut up and let our
    President fix the horrible mistakes your party has brought on the American people.

    July 31, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. Di Morgan

    So who is doing the $15 thousand in paperwork...THAT is a job!

    July 31, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. Rick

    Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC July 31st, 2010 11:51 am ET

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

    Because if the Republicans "got the hell out of the way," the Dems would bankrupt the country.

    Sorry to inform you Mr. Miller but the Republicans and George Bush already have.

    It takes a Democrat to fis the problem.

    July 31, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. The Truth Will Set All FREE

    After voting NO to every bill that would have allowed the country to be on a path closer to coming out of this recession, suddenly, the GOP is concerned about the American people? What a joke! Not only does this sound suspect, but it also smell more like political games. I can only hope and pray that Americans will not be FOOLED again by the GOP. I do hope we, the American people have our ears and our eyes WIDE OPEN and remember the actions from the GOP for the last 18 months (actions speak a lot louder than words). The GOP are heartless towards the American people and are greedy for power & $$$$s.

    July 31, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Larry

    Obama has done more in the past 18 months to help this country and it's people, than the Republicans have done in 18 years

    And they claim Obame should start to govern



    July 31, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. Steve in North Carolina

    Obama is clearly out of his element and should have stuck with his career as a community organizer. Our economy is on the brink and business (big and small) are afraid of what this Administration is going to do next.

    We need to get balance back into congress in 2010 to stop his initiatives before he ruins this country.

    July 31, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. The Truth Please...I Just Want The Truth

    "If you tell a big enough lie, and repeat it often enough, people will eventually come to believe it be the truth."

    Herr Goebells would be proud of you Senator.

    July 31, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. bill


    July 31, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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