Other Views

Time to support small businesses, not burden them

Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its February 2011 job report. The economy added 192,000 jobs, while more than 15 million people are without a job.

While I find these numbers encouraging, I still feel measures need to be taken to help create jobs. These employment numbers released last week do not address the underemployment issue in our country. Underemployment represents workers who are willing to work full time, but employers can only afford to hire them part-time. These statistics also do not discuss the many able-bodied workers who have given up looking for a job. I feel the issue is more serious than these numbers reflect.

Talking with many of you in the district validates these sentiments.

Now, I know what you are thinking: "Well, Joe, what do you suggest? What are you doing in Washington to help with the creation of jobs here in Beaufort, Hilton Head Island, Allendale and everywhere else in the district?" And that is a legitimate question. After all, if your own elected representatives will not fight for your best interests in government, who will? I continue to champion the rights of small businesses. I realize they are the backbone of our economy.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4, the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011. This legislation is commonly referred to as the 1099 Repeal Bill. This meticulous provision was included as a part of the irresponsible Obamacare government takeover.

As a co-sponsor of the 1099 Repeal Bill, let me assure you this legislation is designed to protect small businesses, their employees and the American taxpayer. The 1099 Repeal Bill reduces the overburdening tax paperwork and expensive regulations that prevent small businesses from helping with job creation and economic growth. In addition, it reduces federal spending by $20 billion over 10 years and reduces taxes by $19.7 billion. This repeal bill is a prime example of how House Republicans are trying to enable economic growth with sound policy and commonsense legislation.

Before the 1099 Repeal Bill was passed, more than 37 million businesses would have been required to fill out paperwork for routine purchases of goods and services that exceed $600 in a year. For example, if a construction company expensed more than $600 worth of company automotive and equipment repairs at Earl's Body Shop in Beaufort, he or she would have had to file a form with the IRS and then send one to the repair shop itself. For a sole proprietor, that kind of paperwork is a tremendous burden. It not only takes time to keep up with that amount of paperwork, but also money to hire an accounting professional to ensure you are on the right side of the law.

Regulations like these force business owners to worry about compliance instead of focusing on expanding their businesses. These reasons are why some businesses in the district cannot hire new employees or are forced to keep people underemployed. With the passage of the 1099 Repeal Bill, I am optimistic small businesses will now be able to turn their attention to growing their businesses and lead to the hiring of workers.

The early months of the new Congress have been filled with new legislation. House Republicans have looked to create jobs not only by limiting the growth of government, stopping Obamacare and reducing spending to the tune of $100 Billion, but also by making life a little easier for small businesses with H.R. 4.

I firmly believe out-of-control government spending does not create jobs. Rather, it is the small businesses in this country that will set us back on the road to prosperity. It is government's job to stay out of the way.