International Business Times, February 26, 2014
Boehner hasn’t threatened suicide lately, but he stands against raising the minimum wage. Doing so, he says, is bad for small business. Indeed, said Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, at a Washington meeting of the National Governors Association, over the weekend: “I’m not for increasing the minimum wage because I’m concerned it would destroy jobs, especially for small business owners.”
There’s a pattern here. The minimum wage, like taxing the rich, is an issue with broad public support. The Republicans can’t oppose it without looking as if they are protecting the interests of big business (as they, in fact, are). Whenever Democrats propose raising the base wage, Republicans start fretting about small businesses.
The minimum wage is among the highest concerns for large corporations who employ lots of minimum-wage workers, but it’s far from the top concern for actual small businesses, according to a new survey by Advocates for Independent Business. Here’s what small business owners say they worry about most:
• credit card fees
• unfair competition from big-box companies that receive federal subsidies or that are exempt from state and local sales taxes.
Some respondents did cite the minimum wage, but while half didn’t want it to go up, the other half did: “We need to raise the minimum wage to get the economy growing again,” said a Utah business owner. “I believe the biggest impact on our business is the pressure on middle-class incomes,” said an Illinois bookseller.
And despite Republican efforts to demonstrate concern for small businesses, small business owners are at the very least skeptical. Said a Michigan retailer: “Large corporations have the money for lobbying to influence government laws, rules, and regulations, which quite often have a negative impact on small business.”