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The Government’s Never-Ending War on Small Business

In a recent campaign speech attacking entrepreneurs and business owners, President Barack Obama scolded these job creators by saying they couldn’t have made it without the help of government.

“If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own,” the president said. “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” To which Jack Gilchrist, owner of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating Company, responded in a new Mitt Romney ad:

“My father’s hands didn’t build this company? My hands didn’t build this company? My son’s hands aren’t building this company? Did somebody else take out the loan on my father’s house to finance the equipment? Did somebody else make payroll every week or figure out where it’s coming from? President Obama, you’re killing us out here. Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. Why are you demonizing us for it? We are the solution, not the problem.”

Indeed, if politicians really wanted to create jobs, they’d bear in mind this famous quote: “You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.” And yet, pulling down the job creators is exactly what government does over and over and over again. Some recent examples:

• Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller did an end-run around the Legislature to repeal by fiat an exemption from the state’s anti-business business license fee for some 60,000 small, home-based businesses that tried to protect themselves from slip-and-spill ambulance chasers by incorporating.

• In a recent transportation bill, Congress, at the bidding of Big Tobacco, essentially put out of business hundreds of small do-it-yourself/roll-your-own cigarette operations, sending thousands of workers to the unemployment lines.

• The Nevada State Tax Commission, without legislative approval, recently declared that restaurants have to begin remitting sales taxes on meals they give away to customers, charities and employees. Think about that: Restaurants now have to pay sales tax on items they didn’t even…SELL!

• The Clark County Commission told Dotty’s Taverns that it had to install bars with poker machines built into them even though Dotty’s customers prefer to sit at stand-alone poker machines on the floor. Nevertheless, the Commission forced Dotty’s to retrofit its stores, at the cost of millions of dollars, RETROACTIVELY.

• Meanwhile, the Reno City Council is considering “creating an origination fee on new alcohol related business license applications and an increase of up to 100 percent (100%) on alcohol license fees.” A 100% tax increase!

So to be fair, it’s not just Barack Obama who is killing small businesses; it’s a combination of ill-informed elected officials and over-zealous government bureaucrats. If you really want to create jobs in America, don’t turn to government; turn to people who have actually done it.