September 3rd, 2010
11:02 AM ET

Obama calls for improving small business climate

President Obama cited small businesses as "the primary drivers of job creation" and called on Congress, especially the GOP, to tackle a bill aimed at improving the climate for such enterprises.

In his Friday speech from the White House, which came on the heels of news that private sector jobs had been created for an eighth straight month, Obama said the legislation should be Congress' first order of business when it reconvenes this month. Legislators, he said, need to "put aside partisanship and be the leaders the American people need us to be."

He directly accused Republicans of blocking the $55 billion legislation package. Senate Democrats are hoping to OK the package and get it to the president's desk well before November's midterm elections.

Among the provisions in the bill are loan enhancements that would double what small business owners can borrow to expand their companies, as well as billions in tax-cut extensions.

"It is paid for," the president said. "It will not add one dime to our deficit."

Obama said it took years to create the country's economic problems, and it will take years to right them.

He said, however, that he wants "all Americans to remind themselves there are better days ahead" and that the United States remains the world leader in innovation, discovery and entrepreneurship.

"There's no quick fix for the worst recession since the Great Depression," he said.

There are signs the economy is improving, though. He said August saw 67,000 private sector jobs created, while official July numbers indicated 107,000 private sector jobs were created.

In contrast, the latest unemployment numbers show joblessness rose from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent last month, and the economy lost 54,000 jobs overall. The job loss was attributed to the decline in temporary Census Bureau positions.

To "break the back of this recession," Obama said, more steps are needed, including the small business legislation, extending tax cuts for the middle class and directing investments to areas where job-creation potential is the highest.

The House's No. 2 Republican, responding to the unemployment numbers prior to Obama's speech, said the report shows "the American economy still has a long way to go."

Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia had a starkly different outlook than Obama regarding the measures being taken to resurrect the economy.

"The policies being pursued by the White House and Democrat leaders in Washington continue to create uncertainty and fear that is inhibiting productivity, innovation and job creation," he said.

The president is scheduled to give two speeches next week in an attempt to frame his administration's response to the recession.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • Jobs
soundoff (471 Responses)
  1. johnrj08

    Passing this small business stimulus bill is a no-brainer, but Republicans will vote against it because it will Obama a legislative victory on the eve of the mid-term elections. It's a sad scenario for the country. Politicians putting the success of their party over the success of the country. Republicans did it during the 1990's and now they're doing it again. Democrats voted against most of George W. Bush's policies during his two terms because they were terrible policies. This includes the two unfunded tax cuts for the top 2% of the country and various de-regulation measures that actually provided incentives for corporations to layoff American workers and out-source to other countries with cheaper labor forces. Then there was the almost total de-regulation of Wall Street and the banking system. But, now, we have a bill before Congress that will add nothing to the debt, and make more capital available to small businesses while extending tax breaks, yet Republicans will probably vote as a bloc against the bill. In the meantime, all we read here are juvenile comments like, "The President is SITTING on whatever little brains he has!" That's the kind of mentality that is opposing Obama and obstructing policies that will add jobs and help small businesses. God help us if Republicans win the House in November and John Boehner become Speaker. We will then be able to look forward to increasing obstructionism and petty investigations all designed to bring down this presidency.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Matt

    ...and even if it is true that this is a politically motivated move, it still would be good for small businesses....why would anyone not want it? Well, politically motivated purposes, that's why. So, who is worse, the administration for doing it for a politically motivated reason, or the GOP, for trying to block it for politically motivated reasons? I would say, the best outcome would be that it passes, for small business owners....despite whose idea it is, and who would get the credit for it.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. NoBama

    Spin, Spin, Spin. Obama and the democraps are in big trouble and nothing can fix that now.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jdesq

      Wow. What a wonderfully thought out comment.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Unknown

    Blame blame blame, democratic vs republican, American vs over sea and immigrant. This won't work that won't work. November vote Obama out so we can elect another bush. Small business need loan not tax cut because if your business is doing well tax are the least worry. I feel he is really trying his best to get us out, I rather have a slow progress than taking another risk of someone close like bush. One more bush and welcome depression. Blame us the American for being irresponsible.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jk

    Gotta love all the crying about mean old big business sending jobs overseas. Seriously, do you people even understand how a business works? If our government would lower the corporate tax rate, and quit writing bills with thousands of pages of new regulations, companies would keep jobs here.

    Governement intervention is what put us in this mess in the first place. Without Obama, this recession would have been over and the economy growing months ago. The democrats want you to believe that this was the worst economic crisis in the history of the world, but that is just false.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gop


    So you believe it was Bush that encouraged businesses to go to other countries? I take it you never heard of NAFTA? that was signed by a Democrat president Bill Clinton. check your facts liberal before you mouth off.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      The liberals do check their facts. They read CNN everyday and listen to Obama to know what to believe.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jerome

    I also believe the GOP, is dividing this country in an attempting to promote a rise against our government.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ron

    Conservatives are by nature the party of "no". It's not always a bad thing... how many times has congress done things and you wished someone was there going... "umm no?" Especially with how much congress spends. You all rip on the wealthy fat cats and corporate interests are the GOP.. but you do realize that it's the same for democrats too right? Dems and the GOP just want you all the yell at eachother till you're blue in the face because really both parties are mostly bad for this country... you're all just too naive or ignorant to realize it.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      Just another political move. Depending on who is calling the shots, the other party says "NO" If a Conservative was president right now, the dems would be saying "No". We need to all see through the hype of political posturing and send a strong message in November that the American people are still the boss and we want REAL change. Responsible gov't leadership, conservative spending and less gov't. The gov't did not make this country great, the American people did through hard work and a vision to better ourselves. Let's better ourselves in November at the voting booth.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Carl

    We need to promote manufacturing once again in this country. All the money in the world can't force me to hire people because there is no work. I am in the machine shop trade and employ 25 people. Some days i don't have enough work for all of them. We can't sustain a viable economy with service sector jobs. If you have machine shop work contact me at

    September 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      absolutely correct

      September 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. LL

    President Obama will get elected again-so no matter how much the GOP lie, steal and cheat-they will not win the Presidency in 2012-No one cares about the Senate or Congress--the only vote that counts is in 2012-keep up the good work Mr. President-Love You!!!

    September 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • jk

      wow, people like you are the reason we are in this mess. Get your freaking head out of the sand.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      Keep up the good work of taking America down the socialist path Mr. President. We all know that Obama has had questionable friendships with communists, and socialists, etc. WAKE UP!!

      September 3, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      yeah, well, we're certainly not in this mess for electing Dubya twice....or, actually, once

      September 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jk

    Do you people on this board have any clue about how government works? Do you know who has been in control of policy since the beginning of '07?? Democrats have controlled congress since 2007, and the economy has gotten worse whild the deficit has gotten larger. When Bush and Republicans were in control, we had unemployment of under 5% and job growth for ever month for more than 2 years.

    Obama did not "inherit" this mess, he helped create it when control of the house and senate went to dems in 2007.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. marvin j

    It’s very obvious what is going on The handful of big money players in the business community (some are foreign investors helping to destroy us) they have decided to back the republicans. So there will be no hiring of any major numbers presently. No matter how it destroys this country because they have the money to wait it out. Remember big business has shown how they hate Americans. Under Bush a Republican they outsourced jobs laid off millions of people. So do you really think it will be any better if Republicans take control? The Wall Street players will take this as a sign that they can continue there greed and corruption multiplied by infinity. People we need to hold to a single path for awhile.

    The American people are like an out of control drunk driver and foreign investors are taking advantage every day with the help of money hungry companies!!!

    We will never get anything accomplished because it's about politicians trying to keep there jobs!! So the Republicans are the party of Hell No!! And if they take control the Dems will return the favor. The Republican answer will be to start a war.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • jk

      and then the black helicopters will come and land in marvin's back yard to take him away to where all the detractors are kept.

      Dude seriously, "laid off millions of workers under Bush." Are you kidding? The unemployment rate was under 5% when the democrats took over in '07. They have managed to double that. Someone I'm sure that all goes back to Bush, right?

      September 3, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • jdesq

      jk: You have little understanding of how the economy works. A) The money that was going around in 2007 was based on nothing more than speculation. That's all there is to it. It's why banks failed, why people lost their homes, why people went bankrupt, etc. Money was being spent that wasn't there. Period. And do you know why this happened? Because there were absolutely no rules for Banks and Wall Street. B) Having this money, many MANY people [including business owners] over-reached. But, when it came time to paying the money back at ridiculous was impossible. C) When this happens to millions of people, at the exact same time...that's a problem. D) When you can't pay back your business loans, what do you do? You lay people off. And what happens when people get laid off? The unemployment rate goes up.

      So yeah. It does go back to Bush. He encouraged predatory lending by deregulating the very people responsible not to the American public, but to their bottom line.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • jk

      jd – get a clue. The reason there was speculation money going around was because banks were forced by the government to lend to homeowners who couldn't afford their homes. This started from the community reinvestment act under Carter, and was expedited when Clinton made some changes to the law. Fannie and Freddie backed all the loans, and they were packaged and sold as securities. They were given high ratings because they were backed by Fannie and Freddie. When people couldn't pay their mortgages, these securities became worthless leading to the collapse. Bush and republicans tried to reform Fannie and Freddie, but were rebuffed by democrats who said there was nothing wrong there. Now, those 2 have received more government bailout money than any company out there.

      September 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rob c

    so the governments solution is more loans and more debt on small business when prices are going down and expenses are going up. That makes sense!

    I'm a small business owner and I just received next annual health insurance contract. It has gone up 23%. Last year we cut health insurance back to the bare bones to get the expense down. It's basically major medical now and the deductible is a lot higher. So much for health care reform. It didn't do anything to break up the cartel between the insurance companies to drive prices down.

    So as small business owners, we not only have to take on more debt to create more jobs. We also have to pick up the tab on stupid legislation like health care reform. Is it really worth the risk? Maybe I should become a politician and leach off the system for the rest of my life!

    September 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      It's true, this healthcare mess has caused insurance companies to raise their rates on those of us who have insurance and for companies to offer insurance. The bill is having a negative impact on everyone except people who are on medicaid, which has been expanded by more at least 33% (all paid for by those of us who work).

      September 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    When, approximately, did the attack on the middle class start? Someone? Anyone?

    September 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Robert Hennelly

    The Pied Piper of D.C. wants you to nod when he tells everyone exactly what they want to hear, then follow him blindly into his Utopia. Everyone should be given the opportunity to succeed or fail. Well how is the Community Organizer doing with the "Great Changes" he promised. A sip from the septic tank is more flavorful than his edicts.......Come, be brave, jump out of line heading to Mecca and take a sip of Tea!!!

    September 3, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
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