Members of Congress – both Democratic and Republican – have long touted the merits of America’s small businesses. The value of small businesses as job creators and pillars of the local community are one of the few views shared by both parties. However, Republicans are demonstrating that their affection for small businesses is not deep enough to warrant any action beyond hollow rhetoric.
With the deadline to raise the debt limit looming, Republicans have been holding the economy hostage and threatening to let the nation default unless President Obama and Democrats give in to right-wing demands. In 2011, the mere threat of default caused significant damage for small businesses and the economy; an actual default – attributable solely to Republican intransigence – would be catastrophic, rivaling the 2008 economic crisis. Yet many conservatives dismiss the potential consequences of their actions, and have convinced Speaker Boehner to follow them down this perilous path.
Although Republicans have justified their opposition to the Affordable Care Act by falsely claiming that it will hurt small businesses and kill jobs, their decision to shut down the government in a desperate attempt to stop the health care law has led to actual suffering for small businesses. The Republican shutdown has created crippling uncertainty in the form of cancelled ongoing work, delayed payments, collapsed consumer confidence, and Small Business Administration loans “in limbo.” But Republicans show no signs of concern for the small business owners they purport to defend.Read more after the jump.