John Kane is a Job Creators Alliance member and chairman and CEO of Kane Realty Corporation, a leading East Coast property development company.
This past week was an important one in the life of our nation—the presidential inauguration. Just the 57th in our nation’s history, it is still a political event unrivaled in the world and truly a remarkable tradition that celebrates the best of our American democracy. This week’s inauguration had all the pomp and pageantry, and many media outlets noted President Obama’s second inaugural address and its fiery defense of political liberalism.
Yet for the entrepreneurs and small business owners represented by Job Creators Alliance, the speech was more notable for what it did not address: the unsustainable government taxing, spending, and regulation that is stifling American job creation and economic growth.
As unique as the American form of government and its peaceful transfers (or continuation) of power may be, equally as admired is its free enterprise system. For the job creators in this country, this past week represents a lost opportunity for those two things to overlap. Yet the president’s silence was deafening.
Despite the fact that the unemployment rate is as high today as it was when he took office, and with over 12 million people without work, President Obama mentioned “jobs” just three times—and none of these mentions were in the context of creating jobs or growing the economy.
No wonder the vast majority of small business owners in America believe that the policies coming from Washington have become more hostile to free enterprise in recent years—not less.
President Obama didn’t mention the national debt once, nor did he address our country’s soaring deficits and unprecedented government spending. Yet our nation’s job creators know that when the federal government spends too much, it will inevitably tax too much with the burden falling disproportionately on them.
It is also worth noting that for all the debate about a so-called political “war on women,” female entrepreneurs and small business owners agree that Washington has been an adversary to free enterprise and job creation. Given that women-owned businesses are projected to create over 5 million new jobs by 2018, this D.C.-driven war on women is one that we simply cannot afford.
Entrepreneurs are, by nature, an optimistic lot. Hope springs eternal that the president will not continue to ignore job creators, or allow the federal government to continue to antagonize small businesses with more regulations and taxes. Let us hope that when President Obama lays out his policy priorities in next month’s State of the Union, he will more appropriately address the state of our national economy and what will truly jumpstart the American economy. What job creators are looking for is real leadership that will come together to enact commonsense, progrowth policy: tax, regulatory, and spending reform.