Lt. Governor fires shots at Washington
Friday, October 01, 2010
K J Burnell
The Hopewell News
RICHMOND -The state's chief job-creation officer sent a message to the Obama administration from the offices of a local small business owner: "We have to change course."
Lt. Governor Bill Bolling criticized the federal government's handling of the economy and health care legislation on the day before President Obama was scheduled to visit Southside Richmond for an informal group discussion about job creation and the middle class.
The primary issues on the minds of the Lt. Governor and the owners of Carroll Plumbing and Heating, the company that hosted Tuesday's press conference, were taxation and regulation.
"If someone had devised a plan to destroy American business it would look very much like the policies that have been pursued in Washington for the past 18 months." Bolling said.
Bolling pointed to the looming expiration date on tax cuts implemented under former president George W. Bush as a threat to small business owners, who he said are already "scared to death about the financial impact of the federal healthcare reform bill."
According to Andy Clark, president of the Hopewell/Prince George Chamber of Commerce, small business owners are concerned about the prospect of additional regulation.
"I feel comfortable saying that any small business owner would not be in favor of having any more requirements placed on them." Clark said.
Clark said that the requirement in question, a new tax form that business owners would have to fill out for every client relationship bringing in $600 or more per year, could create a significant administrative burden.
"At a point you're going to be spending more time tracking down tax ID numbers and filling out forms than you would on growing your business-which would in turn grow the economy," Clark said.
Bolling asserted that the national regulatory and fiscal policies emerging from Washington have contributed to the economic downturn.
"The current climate keeps business owners from investing and creating more jobs for people who are unemployed," Bolling said.
Jobless rates in the TriCities region exceed both state and national averages, according to the latest unemployment data available from the federal Department of Labor.
The hardest-hit city in the Crater area planning district, Petersburg, has an unemployment rate of 13 percent, followed by Hopewell at 11.1 percent. Among regional localities Prince George County is faring the best, with a jobless rate of 7.4 unemployed people out of every 100 eligible workers.
For additional information contact Ibbie Hedrick at 804-225-2487 or email@example.com.