Archive for the ‘Small Business’ Category
Sunday morning, Ember Reichgott-Junge repeated the chanting point she recited Friday night. On @ Issue With Tom Hauser, Ms. Reichgott-Junge characterized Minnesota’s economy as strong, which it clearly isn’t.
An economy that just saw 4,200 jobs disappear in July isn’t strong. An economy where revenues came in 6.6% short of the state’s projection isn’t strong. An economy where the unemployment rate for an entire region of the state is 64.3% higher than the statewide average isn’t a strong economy.
This confirms the DFL’s metrocentric focus. It also confirms the fact that the DFL’s policies are designed to promote metro growth, not outstate growth. Twin Cities businesses don’t worry about regulations. Rural businesses, however, worry about regulations every day. Regulations are what’s suppressing the Iron Range economy.
Ms. Reichgott-Junge hasn’t factored those things into her calculations. The Twin Cities’ unemployment rate is 4,92%. It isn’t surprising that she either didn’t know or didn’t care that Grand Rapids’ unemployment rate for January was 11.6%, that February’s unemployment rate was 11.9% and that March’s unemployment rate was 11.2%. That’s more than twice as high as the statewide average.
I triple dog dare a DFL politician to explain how that type of chronic unemployment is proof of a vibrant, expanding economy. For the last 3+ years, the unemployment rate has been next-to-worthless as a benchmark of economic vitality. That’s because millions of people (literally) nationwide have quit looking for work, thereby artificially lowering the nation’s unemployment rate.
Another reason why the unemployment rate has become unreliable in terms of how strong the economy is is the number of people who’ve had their hours cut thanks to Obamacare. These are known as 29ers.
Minnesota hasn’t been immune from these trends. There are lots of people who’ve quit looking for work. The workforce participation rate is on the verge of dropping below 70% for the first time since October, 1980. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, aka DEED, the percentage of people who are underemployed is almost 50%.
When people quit looking for work, that’s proof the economy isn’t vibrant. If they’re working a part-time job in the hospitality industry after being a manager in a manufacturing company, that’s proof that the economy isn’t producing the high-paying jobs Minnesotans need to pay their bills.
Gov. Dayton and the DFL chanting puppets will undoubtedly keep chanting that Minnesota’s economy is strong. That’s their choice. It just isn’t the truth.
The workforce participation rate is proof of a stagnant economy. The fact that Minnesota’s economy has created only 2,900 jobs in 2014 is proof of a stagnant (or worse) economy. The fact that a major part of the state (the Iron Range) is suffering through a higher-than-normal unemployment rate (8.02%) is proof that the policies passed by the DFL legislature and implemented by Gov. Dayton aren’t working.
The revenues that Gov. Dayton and the DFL need to come in to balance the budget aren’t coming in. In July, revenues fell $69,000,000 short of projections. Thus far this year, revenues have fallen short of projection in 5 of the 6 months we have statistics for. The Dayton-DFL economy is heading towards the Dayton-DFL deficit.
Gov. Dayton and the DFL are satisfied with an economy where unemployment rates are artificially low and stagnant wages and part-time jobs are real.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Unemployment Rate, Workforce Participation Rate, Part-Time Jobs, Iron Range, Chronic Unemployment, Budget Deficit, Chanting Puppets, Ember Reichgott-Junge, ABM, DFL, Election 2014
Friday night at the Great Minnesota Get Together, Larry Jacobs offered his predictable commentary on the various races throughout most of the Almanac Roundtable. Then Prof. Jacobs said something so ridiculous that it must be challenged. Here’s what he said that’s questionable:
But, within the states, such as gubernatorial races, the dynamics are a little different. For instance, in Minnesota, the economy is doing very well. People feel much more optimistic than they do nationally and that’s probably going to create a little different dynamic.
It’s insulting to hear a person who’s one of the go-to political gurus in Minnesota say something that assinine. I’m tempted to start a petition telling Prof. Jacobs that there’s more to political punditry than regurgitating the DFL’s chanting points.
Further, later this weekend, I’m going to send Prof. Jacobs an email telling him that he isn’t helping his credibility to ignore DEED’s (Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development) monthly jobs reports, which he’s obviously doing. If he’d been reading those reports, he’d notice a couple things that won’t help Gov. Dayton.
First, DEED’s latest jobs report showed that a) Minnesota’s economy shed 4,200 jobs in July and b) DEED revised June’s jobs report downward by 3,600 jobs. Next, if Prof. Jacobs had paid attention, he’d see that Minnesota’s economy created a wimpy 2,900 total jobs thus far this year.
HINT TO PROF. JACOBS: Creating dozens of jobs a month isn’t proof of the economy “doing very well.” In most parts of the state, that’s considered rather pathetic.
Had Prof. Jacobs looked at the top 5 cities in terms of job creation for the past 12 months, the Twin Cities led the way with 46,339 jobs create, followed by St. Cloud with 2,894 jobs, then several cities with 1,000-1,200 jobs created each.
That means cities like Alexandria, Brainerd, Fairmont, Little Falls, Moorhead, Owatonna, Redwood Falls and Thief River Falls and regions like the Iron Range essentially didn’t experience job growth. Doesn’t Prof. Jacobs think that those cities and regions should have prospering economies? If not, why not?
I get it that most nonagricultural jobs are in the Twin Cities. I’ll stipulate that it’s probably been that way since the Perpich administration left office. I won’t stipulate, however, that that’s the right economic model for Minnesota. It isn’t right that Gov. Dayton’s economic policies haven’t created economic opportunities in outstate Minnesota.
Prof. Jacobs has spent too much time in Minneapolis. It’s time he started paying attention to cities outside the Twin Cities. Those cities deserve economic prosperity, too.
Yes, I was being sarcastic when I asked if Prof. Jacobs was a DFL operative. Still, I’ll start respecting Prof. Jacobs more when Prof. Jacobs starts paying attention to the world outside the Twin Cities on a consistent basis.
Minnesota’s economy isn’t “doing very well.” It’s time that the Twin Cities pundits figured that out.
Technorati: Larry Jacobs, Economy, Great Minnesota Get Together, Almanac Roundtable, DEED, Monthly Jobs Report, Unemployment, Alexandria, Brainerd, Fairmont, Moorhead, Thief River Falls, Little Falls, DFL Chanting Points, Election 2014
This afternoon, I received an email from the Johnson for Governor campaign saying that Jennifer Parrish endorsed Jeff. Here’s the highlight of the email:
“Mark Dayton has thrown me and hundreds of my fellow childcare providers under the bus to pay back his campaign contributors,” Parrish said. “And when we fought back, he belittled us and said we were just ‘throwing little fits.’ Minnesota small businesswomen need a champion in the governor’s office, not someone who views us and our livelihoods as nothing more than collateral to be used to pay back the union bosses who own his administration.
“Jeff Johnson is the champion small businesswomen need as the governor of our state. Like my fellow child care providers, Jeff is a fighter; he can take a punch, and then hit back twice as hard. That’s what it’s going to take to defeat Mark Dayton and his union boss friends. I wholeheartedly endorse Jeff for governor.”
“As governor, I will never, ever treat any Minnesotans the way Mark Dayton treated Jennifer and her fellow small businesswomen. It’s appalling how he has used these women’s livelihoods to pay back his campaign contributors, and then had the gall to belittle them for fighting back. As governor, I will listen to ALL Minnesotans. I am honored to be endorsed by Jennifer, and I am looking forward to undoing the damage Mark Dayton has inflicted on Minnesota child care providers,” said Johnson.
Jennifer Parrish is right. Gov. Dayton threw an entire group of independent businesswomen under the bus to appease Gov. Dayton’s special interest allies. Gov. Dayton and the legislature didn’t care about these independent businesswomen. They cared only that this was the highest priority on the public employee unions’ wish list. Gov. Dayton couldn’t afford to say no to their GOTV machine, aka the public employees union.
That would’ve been political suicide.
The fact that Gov. Dayton accused these independent businesswomen of “throwing little fits” is exceptionally sexist and demeaning. That’s something Jeff Johnson would never think, much less say.
Jeff Johnson has fought hard against entitled government. He’s been the taxpayers’ staunchest watchdog. The best thing about Jeff is that, wherever you’re talking to him, it’s like you’re talking to your favorite neighbor. Jeff isn’t into politicspeak. He’s into neighborspeak. That’s why he connects with people.
It’s time to close the final chapter of Gov. Dayton’s political career. He was a terrible senator. He’s been worse as governor. He’s thrown Main Street Minnesota under the bus while shoveling the taxpayers’ money to his special interest allies. That’ just plain un-Minnesotan.
Thin-skinned Mark Dayton is ticked off that a Stillwater restaurant has started charging a 35-cent minimum wage fee on its orders:
Gov. Mark Dayton says he’s disappointed that some Minnesota restaurants are pushing costs of a minimum wage increase on their customers.
Dayton told Minnesota Public Radio’s Morning Edition Thursday that he thinks the decision is tacky. But he says restaurants have the right to do so, and now it’s up to customers to decide whether or not they will continue to support the business.
The 75-cent minimum wage increase went into effect on Aug. 1. Businesses with annual sale of more than $625,000 must not pay their employees at least $8 an hour. The law also created a young wage for workers under the age of 18.
Dayton didn’t name any specific restaurants, but a cafe in Stillwater cafe has begun adding a 35-cent fee to each bill.
That’s how a thin-skinned person reacts. Gov. Dayton couldn’t have thought businesses were going to just eat the cost of raising the minimum wage. If businesses did that, it’d be like them saying “Gov. Dayton, it’s ok if you and the DFL legislature raise the cost of doing business. It isn’t like I need the money to raise my kids or save for my retirment.”
It’s stunning that Gov. Dayton hasn’t figured it out that companies are in business to make profits. Hasn’t he figured it out that businesses pass on their costs, either through lower benefits or smaller raises to its employees or in higher prices to its customers or in the form of a combination of both?
It’s possible that he doesn’t like businesses exposing the real cost of increasing the minimum wage? For years, Democrats have relied on businesses quietly passing the cost of minimum wage increases on to its customers or its employees.
This cafe decided to let people know the real cost of raising the minimum wage. This time, some businesses are letting people know the costs of Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL legislature’s decisions.
Mitch Berg is organizing what should be called a buycott for this Saturday. Follow this link to find out more about Mitch’s mischief.
There’s now enough evidence to prove that Nancy Pelosi is as corrupt a Democrat as Harry Reid or President Obama. Last week, Pelosi’s PAC, which supports Democrat congressional candidates and incumbents, put together an ad so dishonest and defamatory that WDIO and KSTP, a pair of TV stations, pulled the ad. That didn’t stop Ms. Pelosi, though. Instead, Ms. Pelosi’s PAC doubled down by essentially running the same ad as a pop-up ad on RealClearPolitics. Here’s one of the ads from Pelosi’s PAC:
If dishonesty were diamonds, Pelosi’s PAC would be filthy rich.
Let’s get something straight from the start. Pelosi’s PAC doesn’t care about honesty. If they have to throw out integrity to defeat a Republican, that’s what they’ll do. While Democrats specialize in smearing Republicans, they aren’t that good at it.
When the House Majority PAC accused Stewart Mills of wanting tax cuts for his “wealthy friends,” I exposed that lie in this article in less than an hour. All it took was a quick visit to Stewart’s issues page on his campaign website. I proved that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats had lied again.
Stewart’s position is that tax simplification would immediately help small businesses by dramatically reducing a ssmall business’s compliance costs. Reducing compliance costs frees up capital, which can then be used to expand the business and create jobs.
There’s no question that Democrats see Mills as a threat. First, Pelosi’s PAC put together a defamatory ad against him. Sunday night, I saw another dishonest ad from the Democrats smearing Stewart Mills, this one paid for by AFSCME PEOPLE. The ads were virtually the same. They even used the same narrator and virtually the same dishonest statements. AFSCME PEOPLE’s ad will certainly be taken down as quickly as the Pelosi PAC ad was last week.
The TV station running the AFSCME PEOPLE ad, in this instance WCCO-TV, would be in the same negative legal situation as KSTP and WDIO would’ve been in if they hadn’t pulled the ad. When a candidate runs an ad, the TV station can’t pull the ad, which means the TV station can’t be sued. When an independent expenditure organization or a PAC runs a defamatory ad, the TV station can pull the ad, which puts the TV station in legal risk.
Pelosi’s PAC and other Democratic front groups will undoubtedly keep attacking Stewart Mills because Rick Nolan can’t defeat Mills without driving Mills’ turnout down. The Democratic machine doesn’t care if they’re fined for defaming a Republican candidate after the election. Their only priority is winning that election.
Technorati: Rick Nolan, Nancy Pelosi, House Majority PAC, AFSCME PEOPLE, Independent Expenditure Group, Smear Campaign, President Obama, Harry Reid, Culture of Corruption, Special Interests, Democrats, Election 2014
The Democrats must think that they have to push their fake War on Women meme. This week, it’s TakeAction Minnesota’ Dan McGrath’s turn to push that dishonest meme:
The Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn rulings handed down by the Supreme Court’s conservative and male majority lay bare exactly what they value. And it’s not caring for each other. Nor is it a woman’s right to make her own decisions. Instead, these justices value ever-expanding corporate power at the expense of working people and believe that women, and the professions they lead, are worth less than others. In ruling as they did on two very disparate topics, these five men have launched an assault on women in the workplace. But it’s workers and their families who should be concerned.
In the Hobby Lobby ruling, the conservative majority took the absurd notion that corporations are people one step further. In its earlier Citizens’ United ruling, these justices granted corporations the right of free speech, and thus the ability to spend limitless amounts of money in elections. Now, these same justices have established corporate religious freedom, and the right to refuse women contraception. As the power of corporations expands, a woman’s ability to decide what is in her own best interest is diminished. That this ruling applies to “closely held” corporations means that as much as 52 percent of the American workforce may be affected.
First, I’d love hearing where the First Amendment only pertains to individuals. I still haven’t heard a Democrat point to the part of this text that says the First Amendment’s protections only pertain to individuals:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The First Amendment talks about “the right of people peaceably to assemble.” Otherwise, there’s no hint on whether they thought the First Amendment should apply only to individuals.
What compelling case can Democrats make that the political speech of corporations is less legitimate than the political speech of individuals? Should LLCs with 3 owners be allowed to express their political beliefs but corporations with 50 stockholders be prohibited from expressing their political beliefs? If Democrats think that, why do they think that?
Hobby Lobby simply said that they’d offer insurance that covered 16 forms of contraceptives, not 20. Am I to think that women are incapable of making the right decision in that situation? Further, should I think that women working at Hobby Lobby can’t afford to pay for the other types of contraceptives? After all, they make twice the rate of minimum wage.
What right do women have to have their contraceptives paid for? If I received $10 for each time I’ve heard the left talk about reproductive rights are a woman’s private decision, I’d be wealthy and then some. If it’s that private, then women should bear some of that responsibility.
Finally, why should government tell people that they can’t practice their faith? The First Amendment certainly promises people that government can’t tell them how to practice their faith. That’s one of the biggest reasons why people left Europe.
In Harris v. Quinn the same five justices ruled that workers who provide care to children, the elderly and disabled are only partial government workers and, therefore, can opt out of paying union dues, even if they benefit from workplace protections obtained by a union. While public employee unions are already finding ways to adapt, this is a serious blow to their strength. But it’s an even bigger blow to care providers, 90 percent of whom in Minnesota are women, many of whom are women of color.
In Harris v. Quinn, the Supreme Court said that small business owners have the right to determine who represents them in petitioning the legislature. In fact, the National Labor Relations Act prohibits business owners from belonging to a union. The high court decided that small business owners aren’t public employees, at least in the sense that a PR person for a public agency is a public employee.
This is pure BS:
Homecare is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. But the wages these workers earn are paltry. The average wage of non-union caregivers is $9-11 per hour. In Illinois, whose homecare union was the subject of the court case, wages are $13 per hour. By limiting the power of these workers to bargain for better wages and set higher professional standards workers and those they serve lose out. While anyone who depends on a caregiver knows their work is priceless, these five justices are saying that work in the home is less valuable than other male dominated professions.
That’s a non sequitur argument. Child care provider establish their rates independent of government. If they want to negotiate a raise for themeselves, they negotiate with the parents who get the check. They don’t negotiate with the commissioner of Human Services.
If they think that government should spend more money on this assistance, then they petition for higher assistance rates. When they do that, they’re the ones who determine whether they should hire a lobbyist, a trade organization, join a union or just lobby the legislature themselves. That’s their decision alone.
The unions are dishonest in saying the Supreme Court is anti-women. That’s insulting. They aren’t anti-women. They’re just pro-Constitution. The dirty little secret is that unions don’t care about women. They see unionizing them as their best opportunity to gain more political clout.
This morning’s ruling in the Harris v. Quinn case is a major setback for public employee unions. First, Harris v. Quinn
is the lawsuit brought by Pamela Harris, a home care giver in Illinois. The ramifications will be felt immediately in Minnesota. GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson issued this statement immediately following the ruling:
“Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling is a tremendous victory for Minnesota childcare providers and all those who value employment freedom. It was beyond the pale for Governor Dayton to use the livelihoods of hundreds of small businesswomen throughout the state as collateral to pay back his union campaign contributors. I congratulate the brave and determined women who fought back, and I look forward to ensuring this November that Mark Dayton never has the opportunity to do this to them again.”
The Supreme Court ruled that public sector unions can’t collect fees from home health care workers who object to being affiliated with a union. The Court’s decision nearly guarantees that Dayton will lose his lawsuit with Minnesota childcare providers.
This statement was issued by Deputy House Republican Leader Jennifer Loon and Rep. Mary Franson after the ruling:
“Today’s ruling is a welcome relief for Minnesota’s small business owners and hardworking families whose livelihoods were put in jeopardy by Governor Dayton and the Democrat-controlled legislature,” said Loon. “With the annual costs of childcare exceeding the average cost of in-state college tuition and fees, combined with the fact that Democrat legislators refused to give moms and dads with kids in daycare bigger tax refunds this year, Minnesota families simply cannot afford the additional strain that unionization would have imposed on their budgets.”
“The ruling from the Supreme Court today sends a clear signal to Governor Dayton and Democrats in the legislature that they must cease their reckless attempts to force independent childcare providers into a government union. Our children deserve better than to be pawns in a scheme to get more union dues out of hardworking parents” said Franson, a former childcare provider. “Minnesota parents and childcare providers can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing it’s likely that their childcare will not be imperiled by the higher costs and reduced choices of forced unionization.”
This is a major setback for AFSCME and the SEIU. Likewise, it’s a stinging defeat for Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature, who passed the law that allowed for unionization elections. Meanwhile, this is certain to cause joy with in-home child care providers.
This has been a terrible week for the Obama administration. It hasn’t been a stellar week for the Dayton administration, either. They both lost on the Harris v. Quinn ruling. Meanwhile, President Obama got spanked when the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that his recess appointments were unconstitutional. For Gov. Dayton, his other major loss was the news that MNsure won’t be functional before the next open enrollment.
It’s understatement to say that this hasn’t been a good week for liberals. Combine last week’s SCOTUS rulings with the headwinds slamming Democrats electorally and you’ve got reason to believe that this won’t be a happy election campaign season for Democrats.
Technorati: AFSCME, SEIU, SCOTUS, Harris v. Quinn, NLRB v. Noel Cannning, President Obama, Mark Dayton, Special Interests, Democrats, Mary Franson, Jeff Johnson, Small Businesses, MNGOP, Election 2014
Now that Advanced Auto Parts is shutting its Bloomington, MN office, the big question is simple. What will Gov. Dayton say about this company taking more high-paying jobs out of Minnesota? Here’s what’s being reported:
Advance Auto Parts Inc. announced Thursday that it will shut its corporate office in Bloomington in September 2015 as part of a company reorganization following two key acquisitions. The decision means that Minnesota will lose about 100 jobs, including the CEO and CFO positions.
This commenter got it exactly right:
duck2013 So the second corporate headquarters leaves Minnesota in only one week? You Democrats better raise taxes quick! There’s people working and earning money and it’s not fair! lol
When Medtronic left Minnesota, Gov. Dayton said “As I look at the project as governor of Minnesota, this is a good deal for the people of our state.” What will Gov. Dayton say this time about AAP shutting its Bloomington office? We don’t have to wonder what Jeff Johnson thinks on the issue:
“Mark Dayton is presiding over an exodus of businesses, and declares it ‘good’ for Minnesota when they leave,” said Jeff Johnson, Republican endorsed candidate for governor.
“Minnesota is replacing its welcome signs at the border with ones saying ‘closed for business.’ It is never a good thing to see jobs fleeing the state, no matter what Governor Dayton says. We need to stop the bleeding, and get this economy healthy again,” Johnson concluded. “When I am governor, I will reform taxes and regulations to ensure that Minnesota has one of the best business climates in the world,” Johnson concluded.
Apparently, Gov. Dayton won’t hesitate in telling Minnesotans that losing high-paying Medtronics to Ireland is being a good deal. That doesn’t change the fact that high-paying jobs are leaving Minnesota. Gov. Dayton’s happy talk doesn’t change the fact that Minnesota is losing great companies to other states and other nations.
The capital flight that’s happened since last fall is both astonishing and frightening. It’s frightening because AAP is just the latest company to leave Minnesota. I wrote this post to highlight the fact that Nash Finch and Cargill were leaving Minnesota for other states. If Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature want to run on the verified fact that major corporations are leaving Minnesota, that’s their choice.
That isn’t what they’ll do but it’s something Republicans should highlight every time they’re campaigning. Minnesotans might or might not care about tax increases, depending on whether they’re affected or not. Minnesotans, though, will snap to attention when they hear that high-paying jobs are leaving Minnesota for Ireland, Michigan and North Carolina.
Minnesota needs a new financial direction. We can’t keep raising taxes or threatening to raise taxes and expect companies to stay in Minnesota. Advanced Auto Parts, Cargill, Medtronic and Nash Finch are proof that companies will leave if the taxes are too high.
Last spring, Zach Dorholt willingly voted for the DFL’s tax increase bill. This year, Rep. Dorholt is trying to wiggle out of that vote with a little spin:
For local Republicans, the DFLer in the crosshairs on this issue is St. Cloud Rep. Zachary Dorholt. He’s among the DFLers who voted for last year’s broad-ranging tax measure that included the business-to-business taxes.
Dorholt since has lobbied to repeal those taxes.
“I’m encouraged to see that Rep. Dorholt has changed his mind,” Sen. John Pederson, R-St. Cloud, said last week. “He originally supported those business-to-business taxes coming out of the House.”
Well, yes and no.
There’s no question Dorholt voted for the measure that put the taxes into law. He says the measure, which also raised taxes on wealthy people and tobacco, made other priorities possible, such as boosting funding for schools and freezing tuition at state colleges and universities.
“I’m not somebody who’s going to vote against a bill when it has much more good in it than bad,” Dorholt said.
But Dorholt says he never supported the business-to-business taxes.
Actually, it’s yes, no and yes again. Rep. Dorholt allegedly promised Teresa Bohnen, the president of the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce, that he wouldn’t vote for the B2B taxes. Then he voted for the B2B sales taxes. That’s bad enough but it’s more than that, though. Rep. Dorholt said that he wouldn’t “vote against a bill” that “has much more good in it than bad.”
That sounds relatively reasonable. Unfortunately, further investigation of the bill shows that the bill didn’t have more good than bad in it. The final tax bill that Rep. Dorholt voted for didn’t just include the B2B sales taxes in it. That tax bill also had the Senate Office Building appropriations in it.
Did Rep. Dorholt think it was right to impose sales taxes on farmers and small businesses that rent warehouses? I’d love hearing Rep. Dorholt’s explanation on that. The B2B taxes were awful enough. Rep. Dorholt didn’t just vote for those taxes. He voted to fund a Taj Mahal building that the legislature didn’t need, too. He also voted to raise income taxes on small businesses.
Rep. Dorholt isn’t voting to repeal those B2B taxes. He’s voting to hide his mistake. He doesn’t want taxpayers noticing the fact that he voted to raise taxes on small businesses, farmers and the middle class while voting to fund a palace for Senate fat cats.
That isn’t the definition of voting for something that “has much more good in it than bad” in it. That’s voting to raise taxes regardless of the details.
States are attempting to thwart President Obama’s and Sen. Reid’s plan to decimate small businesses, aka the government shutdown. They’re having mixed results:
The Arizona town of Tusayan, on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, has 558 residents and 1,000 hotel rooms. And by Friday, it had $325,000 to reopen temporarily shuttered Grand Canyon National Park.
“The reason we exist is the Grand Canyon National Park. This closure is devastating,” said Greg Bryan, Tusayan’s mayor and the owner of a Best Western hotel. The town is offering to fund a partial reopening of the park that would allow visitors to drive through on a main road and stop at overlooks.
This week, Sen. Reid shot down the House bill that would’ve opened all national parks. In fact, he suggested that it was a gimmick. It isn’t. It’s the GOP’s attempt to not hurt small businesses. Something that’s undeniable is that Sen. Reid’s obstructionist tactics are hurting small businesses across the nation.
In Wisconsin, officials are keeping seven federally subsidized state-owned forest, wildlife and recreation areas open, even after receiving instructions from the federal Department of the Interior to close them. The state lands depend on federal funds for 18% of their budgets, or $701,000 total.
“I really don’t think it is a defiance, but fulfilling our obligations,” said Cathy Stepp, an official with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which administers the state properties. “We are doing everything we can with social media, radio outlets and news to get the word out that we’re open. The calls are coming in like crazy—people are planning to come here with camping trips every year, weddings, reunions.”
Wisconsin, thanks for keeping parks open rather than joining with President Obama and the Democratic Party in inflicting pain on American families.
This definitely caught my attention:
Lawmakers in Maryland have worked out a small exception to the federal shutdown to allow several hundred family members to honor firefighters who died in the line of duty at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Md., this weekend.
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) worked with the memorial, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Fire Administration to open the site briefly for the annual memorial service.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, said the brief opening didn’t present an additional cost. “They’re just unlocking the gate and allowing families of fallen firefighters to pay their respects at the memorial,” the spokeswoman said.
This is the history of the Obama administration and Democrats. They threatened to arrest World War II veterans trying to visit their memorial but they give special exemptions to Democratic allies like Steny Hoyer and Martin O’Malley.
In Arizona, the Grand Canyon State, the awe-inspiring attraction brings in millions of visitors every year and is an anchor of the state’s tourism industry, which last year accounted for $19 billion in spending and 7% of tax revenue, according to a state tourism report. The attraction creates 12,000 jobs, and tourists spend $1.2 million a day on businesses there, according to Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat who represents the district that includes the canyon, as well as seven national forests and other national parks.
Ms. Kirkpatrick said Friday she is continuing to negotiate on behalf of her district to try to reopen the Grand Canyon and other parks.
The Grand Canyon would be open if not for Sen. Reid’s insistence on hurting small businesses. He’ll attempt to explain away his refusal to fund the National Park Service by saying it’s part of his political strategy. That’s his option. Still, that doesn’t exempt him from criticism that he’s putting a higher priority on his political party’s political posturing than he’s putting on helping small businesses.
Most of the shops in and around the Grand Canyon are little mom and pop shops. Most can be run by a family. That’s who Sen. Reid and President Obama are hurting. Shame on them for needlessly tormenting these shopkeepers.
Technorati: Grand Canyon National Park, Small Businesses, Arizona, Tourism, John Boehner, World War II Memorial, World War II Veterans, GOP, Harry Reid, President Obama, Steny Hoyer, Martin O’Malley, Government Shutdown, National Park Service, Democrats