Jim Brown, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, released the following statement today in advance of President Obama’s appearance in Nashville:
“The White House says President Obama is coming to Nashville to talk about jobs, but if the State of the Union is any indication, the president still doesn’t get it.
“President Obama says he wants to raise the federal minimum wage–a gimmick he hopes will score some easy political points in an election year–but he’s skipping over the fact that raising the cost of labor will hurt the very people he says he wants to help.
“Economists say that raising the minimum wage invariably reduces opportunities for young people, first-time workers and those with limited skills. Small-business owners have known that for years: When the cost of labor goes up, you can’t hire as many workers.
“Since he took office, the actions coming out of his administration have had a devastating effect on the economy as a whole and small business in particular.
“Tennessee’s small businesses are facing a tremendous amount of uncertainty as a direct result of the policies generated by Washington, starting with the health-care law. Obamacare is saddling small businesses with higher taxes even as the cost of coverage continues to climb.
“There’s also an avalanche of new rules and regulations coming out of the Obama administration. If the president is serious about jobs, he should start by passing sensible regulations rather than playing ‘gotcha’ by enacting rules that appear intended only to trip up employers who can’t possibly keep up with the paperwork coming out of Washington.
“It’s time the president stops playing politics with small business and start adopting commonsense policies that actually encourage small businesses to grow and create jobs and lead the economy toward prosperity again.”
NFIB/Tennessee is the state’s leading small-business association, with 8,000 dues-paying members representing a cross section of Tennessee’s economy.