When it Comes to Small Business, Obama Just Doesn't Get It

If someone wants to be an entrepreneur, if they have that hunger for being their own boss and a passion for doing things their way, they will do it. If the issue of giving up their cushy employer-provided health insurance holds an individual back, then I’m sorry -- that person is not entrepreneur material.

The president also mentioned other “small business owners” who apparently tell him that the cost of health insurance is an impediment to growth and to their “research and development” budgets. In the same breath, he said, “these businesses are the mom and pop stores and restaurants, beauty shops, and construction companies that support families and sustain communities.” Adding to the confusion, he said that these business owners are “the small startups with big ideas, hoping to be the next Google, or Apple, or HP.”

Come again?

Research and development is the stuff of high-tech firms, and only five percent of the nearly 30 million small businesses in the country fall into that category. Maybe some of these firms are hoping to be the next Google, Apple, or HP, but they only represent a few threads in the small business quilt. Retail shops, restaurants, and beauty shops -- these types of business certainly do not conduct research and development, and they rarely are able to provide health benefits because their cash flow goes toward giving people jobs, period.

American entrepreneurs are nearly fearless risk-takers. They have big hearts, callused hands, and dark circles under their eyes -- and that’s the way they like it. They are realists who almost never dream of being “the next Google.” That statement would make them laugh. Would American entrepreneurs like to be able to get health insurance at a more affordable price? You bet, but health insurance didn’t have a darned thing to do with why they stand where they are today.

Please, Mr. President. Go out and meet some real small business owners.