Tonight, President Obama and Governor Romney will participate in the first of three presidential debates. There are many serious issues facing Americans today, but none so pressing as the economy and the need to create long-term job growth. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found 9 out of 10 voters think the next president should make job creation his top priority.
Tonight’s forum will give each candidate a chance to speak directly and candidly with hardworking men and women across the country. During the course of the election, the small business community has heard a lot of promises. But business owners need more than just empty words – they need concrete of how each man will rein in the out-of-control regulatory system in Washington and address the pending regulatory tidal wave that could cost the economy more than $500 billion.
A lot will be covered tonight, but small businesses should listen closely to the candidates’ reactions to the following issues:
• Today there are over 4,000 new regulations awaiting approval in Washington. In office, what will you do to put a halt to this dangerous regulatory flood and ensure small businesses aren’t saddled with the $500 billion price tag it carries with it?
• Over the past five years, the regulations costing $100 million or more have increased by more than 60 percent. How will you restore balance to the regulatory process to ensure the same harmful trend doesn’t continue or get worse?
• Small business owners know better than anyone that US regulatory code is full of complexity and duplication. Often they have to avert valuable time and capital away from running their business to keep up with the paperwork and compliance requirements, even though they don’t have the same resources as their larger competitors. What will you do to clean up the system and help small businesses that often have trouble navigating regulatory codes?
• Recently, it seems like agencies in Washington perceive small businesses as the enemy instead of an ally that can help get the economy back on track. What role do you see small businesses playing in the economic recovery, and what will you do to foster a better relationship between regulators and business owners?
Small businesses can’t afford to continue on the same path of more regulation, more government micromanagement, and more uncertainty about what to expect next. Tonight’s debate offers both candidates a chance to provide meaningful answers – and voters will expect nothing less.