Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco
Like the ambition of the young girl with a lemonade stand in her front yard who becomes a successful businesswoman, entrepreneurship is woven into the fabric of America. The spirit of free enterprise is what leads millions of Americans to start small businesses and hire employees.
The importance of small businesses to the U.S. economy cannot be overstated .They employ half of all private sector employees and generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years. Small business ownership among Latinos is especially strong. Between 2002 and 2007, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States increased by 43.7 percent to 2.3 million, more than twice the national rate.
Right now, however, too many people are losing confidence in the promise of America and the future it offers them and their children. Our economy and the small businesses that power it are suffering. In June, a national Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans — both baby boomers and young people alike — don't think the next generation will live better than their parents. Where is this pessimism coming from? Much of it is from our lagging economy and the new burdens from Obamacare.
For 25 years straight, small businesses have ranked controlling health care costs as their top priority, according to the National Federation of Independent Business
. Yet 65 percent of small businesses believe Obamacare will actually do the opposite and raise prices. In fact, many businesses have already experienced a spike in costs. Some have dropped or limited coverage.
The number of bad-for-business provisions in Obamacare is worrisome. One of the most problematic is the employer mandate, requiring employers with more than 50 workers to offer health insurance coverage or pay fines ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 per employee per year. Another is the nearly 30 percent increase in the Medicare payroll tax for wages and self-employment earnings in excess of $250,000 ($200,000 for singles), which will rise from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent. The law also creates a maze of regulation and will lead to regulatory compliance costs that will strain small businesses even further.
It is essential that America's entrepreneurs understand the impact of this law, especially now that the Supreme Court
has ruled the core of the law constitutional. For small businesses here in San Antonio, today's “Small Business Invitational: Examining Obamacare's Impact on the Health of Your Business,” sponsored by the Hispanic Leadership Network
at the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel
, provides an excellent forum to learn from the experts what you need to know to survive Obamacare. While I will continue working to repeal Obamacare, we need to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
There is no better place than our great state of Texas to host this. The Lone Star State is home to 447,500 Latino-owned small businesses. The event also allows us to showcase how Texas' economic growth model works. Our state has consistently ranked as one of the best places to do business because we embrace fiscal restraint, low taxes, reasonable regulations and a fair legal climate. Washington could learn a lesson or two from us.
Building a better future for our children and grandchildren is what America has always been about. Innovation and a continued belief in the “sky is the limit” principle can help us achieve just that. We all can learn a valuable lesson from the girl and her lemonade stand. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. If anyone can do it, America's small businesses can.