Small Businesses Worried about Debt, Obamacare, Says Chamber Study

Policies promoted by news media are major cause for concern among small business owners.

The media keep saying that the economy is recovering, that austerity NOT debt is a problem, and that the arguments against Obamacare are “weak.”  But many of this nation’s job creators completely disagree. Small business owners are still nervous about hiring, and concerned about federal debt and regulations (especially the administration’s health care law).

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Outlook Survey (Q1), released on April 16, 83 percent of small business owners think the U.S. economy is “off on the wrong track.” Seventy-six percent also disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the economy, in contrast to the mainstream media. None of the three broadcast evening news programs mentioned the survey that night.

The media have spun bad economic news or given it little coverage in order to shield the Obama administration. NBC even used an outdated poll that showed Obama’s overall approval ratings at 47 percent on Dec. 27, 2011, even though they had dipped slightly in a newer poll.

A large majority, 73 percent, of the small business owners said the business climate has “worsened” in the past two years. The same number said federal regulations on small businesses were “unreasonable.” In contrast, reporters and anchors call for or support calls for regulation all the time: food regulation, environmental regulation, financial regulation and more.

Of course, Obama’s mammoth health care law is probably the biggest regulation passed under his presidency. The media have favored Obamacare. After the Supreme Court took up the case regarding the individual health insurance mandate, The New York Times headline read: “A Health Law At Risk Gives Insurers Pause.” The Times quoted nine different people who argued a defeat of Obamacare would hurt U.S. health care, and only one who thought such a decision would be good.

Both CNN and a blog on The New York Times have called the view that an individual mandate for health insurance is unconstitutional weak.”

Once again, the mainstream media take a very different view than small business owners. A huge number, 72 percent, of those owners agreed with the statement: “The recent healthcare law makes it much harder for my business to hire more employees.”

What do small businesses say would help them right now? Majorities said that more certainty would be beneficial. So would Washington getting “out of the way.”