Obama’s Small Business Administrator stepping down

posted at 4:01 pm on February 11, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

In the latest announcement of his Cabinet’s second-term reshuffle, President Obama’s Small Business Administration chief Karen Mills revealed that she will be stepping down from her post as soon as the administration can find a successor, via Politico:

Karen Mills, who’s led the Small Business Administration since early 2009, plans to leave her position, she announced Monday.

… In a statement, President Obama thanked “for her outstanding work on behalf of America’s small business owners and entrepreneurs.” “Over the last four years, Karen has made it easier for small businesses to interact with the federal government by reducing paperwork and cutting through red tape,” he said. “She has played a leading role in my administration’s efforts to support start-ups and entrepreneurs.”

Mills was also “instrumental” in passing the Small Business Act, Obama said, and it’s because of Mills’s work that “our small businesses are better positioned to create jobs and our entire economy is stronger.”

The SBA’s main function is to help provide loans, loan guarantees, and other forms and federally-backed assistance and incentives to ostensibly support small businesses; in January of 2012, in yet another of his showy displays of just how very seriously he’s been meaning to focus on jobs and the economy, President Obama elevated the SBA administrator role to a Cabinet-level position — which is all well and good, if you’re willing to accept the premise that piling on even more government bureaucracy and federal interference is the best way to build up the private sector.

All of President Obama’s major legislative ‘achievements’ have done plenty to hurt the small businesses he’s always claiming to want to help, who are least poised to cope with complicated and expensive compliance costs and don’t have the money and resources comparable to bigger businesses to garner political favor in the robust rent-seeking war Obama has actively engendered. As Tim Carney pointed out recently:

The media too often see Washington battles as Big Business vs Big Government. This is usually not the case. Often it’s Big Business & Big Government vs. Small Business.

Brookings scholar and Clinton, Gore, Mondale advisor William Galston wrote a piece today telling liberals that they need to side with Big Business over small business if they really want to increase the government’s role in the economy. Writing in The New Republic, Galston writes:

“The Obama administration will need to recognize the fervent opposition of small businesses to its priorities, while taking advantage of large corporations’ willingness to cooperate.”

Galston is exactly correct about the alignment of interests. Big Business tends to do well when government intervenes. Small business dies.

If President Obama had really wanted to show his fondness for and support of small businesses, perhaps he would have thought a bit more thoroughly about ObamaCare and his impressively high-volume regulatory rollout in the first place, and skipped the mere bureaucratic rearrangements and special-treatment band-aids.

No word yet on a possible replacement for Mills’ feel-good Cabinet position.


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