Latest from WH: ‘You didn’t build that’ is code for ‘I love small business’
posted at 12:22 pm on July 26, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
After parsing his ill-fated July 13 remarks six ways from Sunday and still failing to convince voters that the president didn’t mean to insult business owners, the White House has released another ad. This one stars deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter, who asks viewers to let her count the ways in which Obama has already been a friend to small businesses. She mentions the 18 tax cuts he made on their behalf (remember those?) and boasts that he has “invested in our infrastructure,” “doubled Pell Grant funding,” and “committed to expanding broadband access.”
As James Taranto glibly notes, these love songs to the entrepreneurial spirit—roads and bridges, teachers, and the Internet—were all enumerated in Obama’s controversial speech. Except back then, they were cited as the real engines of success, not the jerk wads who thought they had made it on their own by dint of their being “smart” or having “worked hard.”
In the meantime, Obama is working hard himself to persuade business leaders that when he harrumphed that “there are a lot of smart, hardworking people out,” he didn’t mean it to sound as though he was saying, “so don’t think you’re so special.”
At a fundraiser on Monday, he somewhat gruffly accused Mitt Romney of “knowingly twisting my words around to suggest that I don’t value small businesses.” In point of fact, Obama does value small businesses—as a cash cow. You can quantify the extent to which he loves small businesses, which create between 60% and 80% of all new jobs in the country, by measuring the impact of the tax hike he wants to impose on them.
Consider : There are roughly 27 million businesses operating in the U.S. with ten or fewer employees. Many of those businesses are sole proprietorships or freelance companies employing only their owner, who file tax returns as individuals, not corporations. By the most modest estimate, under Obama’s plan to raise taxes on families making more than $250,000, some 3% of those businesses would see a tax increase in the midst of a worsening economy. That’s 810,000 small businesses whose contribution to the economy Obama so values that he wants to crush them with an unfair tax burden.
The president may be earnest in his protestations that he was misunderstood and that he loves small businesses. But considering his plans to “spread their wealth” as part of his pie-in-the-sky dream of growing the economy from the middle up, he’s guilty of tough love if nothing else.
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