Magazine article Insight on the News

Clinton's Business Plan Is a Prescription for Pain

Magazine article Insight on the News

Clinton's Business Plan Is a Prescription for Pain

Article excerpt

President Clinton wants to change the way America does business. He envisions a compatible alliance between government and the private sector, with the former calling all the shots. Businesses should cheerfully underwrite and support Clinton's agenda.

The 1993 tax hike, assorted heavy-handed government regulations that have become law and now a costly employer mandate to pay for health care reform are only phase one of the Clinton administration's "business plan" for the nation's job-producers and risk-takers. Clinton says he "feels our pain" -- his real strength, however, is inflicting it.

To distinguish rhetoric from reality, the Small Business Survival Committee commissioned the Luntz Research Cos. to survey 500 small-business owners. As the results confirm, actions do have consequences. The 1993 tax hike, in particular, created ugly consequences for our nation's small-business owners. Things only will get uglier if Clinton and his allies have their way with health care.

While Clinton touted his 1993 tax increase as a "soak-the-rich" scheme, small-business owners were forced to pay the bulk of his new "contributions." Fully 69 percent of respondents took some action to lessen the pain of the tax hike. The adjustments made by small businesses demonstrate the punishing nature of last year's increase: 28 percent were forced to raise prices, 26 percent postponed expansion plans, 14 percent terminated at least one employee and 9 percent did two of the preceding.

Clinton's taxes (and regulations) explain why the United States is experiencing moderate (and now slowing) economic growth instead of a 1980s-style boom. The president's policies are dragging down a potentially explosive economy and business cycle. A future with "shared responsibility" may amount to "shared death" for a percentage of small businesses. If employer mandates became law, 13 percent of the respondents polled say they will be forced to shut down. This is not a jobs program.

The White House and employer-mandate crusaders maintain that small-business owners are misinformed and unaware of massive subsidies to help pay for the new health care program. The polling data also lay that myth to rest. Because their future livelihood is linked closely to the outcome of health care legislation, small-business owners are very informed. …

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