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A victor for common sense

By Staff | Apr 21, 2011

I grew up working in asmall business learning from my grandfather the values of how to keep yourself and your business strong.

In West Virginia, whether it’s the small diner we visit for lunch or the local hardware store we count on for tools and garden supplies, the reality is our state’s and nation’s economy depend on the success of our small businesses community.

Small businesses not only provide the goods and services we count on, they create something our nation and state depend on and need more of jobs.

Small business owners know what it’s like to make tough decisions about where to cut back, they know how to balance their budgets, and they understand that their very success depends on satisfied customers. Ironically,I think you’d have to look pretty far and wide to find a customer satisfied with Washington right now.

The truth is if we’re going to make our economy stronger, we need to make small businesses stronger. In fact, it’s just commonsense stronger small businesses equal more jobs.

At a time when many businesses – small and large – are feeling the pain of tough financial times, it’s becoming more difficult for them to do what they do best create jobs and drive our economy.

I truly believe that our responsibility in Washington is to work together as Republicans and Democrats – to create a better environment and favorable economic conditions that empower American businesses to survive and thrive.

My belief in small businesses was one the reasons I was so pleased to address the National Restaurant Association last week at their annual meeting in D.C.

No one knows the economic challenges that America is currently facing better than restaurant owners, who work hard every day to make good food, provide good service, and keep their customers happy. They create jobs that support not just their families, but the families of the millions of employees who work in restaurants all across this country. In fact, the restaurant industry employs tens of thousands in our state and employs 12.8 million Americans in nearly one million locations nationwide.

And, small businesses — whether they are the local grocery store or that the small diner where we love to spend time — are already saddled with a tax burden that is not fair to them or their families. The last thing they need to concentrate on is doing more paperwork.

The government should not make it harder for our small businesses to succeed; the government should make it easier.

So this week, all West Virginians can celebrate a victory for commonsense.

This week, we finally completely repealed the 1099 health care provision that would have drowned small businesses all across our state and nation with mounds of paperwork.

I was proud to be the first Democrat to cosponsor a successful measure to repeal the onerous 1099 health care provision.

Now, Washington has had many bad ideas over the years, but the 1099 provision was one of the worst. Only a government bureaucrat who has never owned a small business would have thought it a good idea to require millions of small businesses to file a report with the IRS every time they spent $600.

Repealing the 1099 provision was just the beginning of what we need to do to ensure that our businesses can thrive. I truly believe we must reform our regulatory process in this country to achieve a balance that protects our environment, our workers, and our communities but does not paralyze or kill the very businesses that we need to create jobs here in America.

That’s why I was so proud to spend time with small business owners this week and why I will continue to fight every day to make sure government works better and smarter on behalf of all small businesses in our state and the nation.