Small business owners are not some sort of single-minded monolith, but they are often treated that way. Stories pop up frequently with bold, broad-stroked claims like “small business optimism is soaring,” “small businesses get hefty tax cut in Trump plan” and “the president changed, so has small business’ confidence.” Now, the latest round of stories on the Republican attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act give the impression that America’s small businesses will be glad to see the ACA go if and when Congress manages to repeal it. While most small business owners agree there are portions of the ACA that can and should be improved, polling shows that a majority of small businesses actually prefer the current law over the GOP replacement plan, and that key provisions of the ACA are helping entrepreneurs succeed.
Entrepreneurs in the United States have a long wishlist of things they would like to see lawmakers do that would help improve their businesses. From tax reform to healthcare changes, there are plenty of ways politicians could make life better for America’s job creators. During this year’s National Small Business Week, however, Congress decided to ignore that list and ended up giving two really lousy gifts to small businesses: the first step toward repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the revocation of a rule that makes it easier for states to establish retirement savings plans that benefit small businesses.
Now that National Small Business Week is here, lots of lawmakers will be telling us about the importance of fighting for the interests of America’s job creators. It is hard to take some of those claims seriously, however, since politicians in Washington, D.C. are close to killing a federal rule that makes it easier for states to establish retirement savings plans that benefit small businesses.
During the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Labor gave more options to small businesses that don’t offer retirement programs by permitting states to create a public/private partnership that allows private-sector employees to contribute to an individual retirement savings account through modest payroll deductions. This is critical for small businesses that often lack the resources to offer these retirement savings options themselves.