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September 8, 2004
For Small Businesses, Kerry's Help Has Never Been On The Way

CQ reader Mike Maerten noticed this analysis from the Small Business Survival Committee over at regarding John Kerry's voting record on small-business issues over the past 10 years. Bear in mind my earlier analysis of National Journal's ratings of John Kerry during the Clinton Administration, where his votes skewed more conservative when Bill Clinton occupied the White House than when Republicans held executive power.

Even during this more conservative period, John Kerry's voting record displays a remarkable hostility to small businesses:

Of the 101 votes in the U.S. Senate that SBSC has rated since the 103rd Congress Senator Kerrys record is unsettling. He has voted on the side of small business a mere 13 times out of the 101 votes that SBSC rated during the past decade giving him a weak 13 percent rating on key small business issues.

Senator Kerry voted against small business 94 percent of the time on tax-related legislation rated by SBSC. Given 34 different opportunities to support small business on tax issues, Kerry chose to do so on only two occasions.

Given 30 different opportunities to vote on the side of small business on regulatory initiatives, Kerry chose to vote against small business 25 times.

SBSC has rated four votes concerning the starting wage, and on every single occasion Kerry voted in favor of the wage hikes and in opposition to small business. ...

SBSC rated eight votes on health coverage reform issues. These ranged from votes supporting the passage of health savings accounts (HSAs) to allowing self-employed small business owners to deduct their health insurance expenses to help make health coverage more
affordable. Senator Kerry voted against the interest of small business 100 percent of the time.

Of ten votes rated by SBSC in the area of legal reform, Kerry voted in opposition to small business 90 percent of the time.

In fact, the SBSC could only find one category in which Kerry supported small businesses, and that was voting against corporate welfare programs that put small businesses at competitive disadvantage against larger firms. Otherwise, Kerry voted almost down the line to make life tougher on small-business owners.

Why is this important? Small businesses provide the engine for the economy, and widespread failures of these entrepeneurships will cause the American economy to stumble badly. Small businesses still provide the leading number of jobs for Americans (99%, according to the SBSC), especially new jobs (75%). They generate more than 50% of the GDP of the US. Perhaps even more significantly, the symbolism of small businesses resonates with middle America, which still believes in the American dream of hanging your own shingle out of the door and being your own boss.

For a man who intends to run against George Bush on the economy, Kerry's dismal record of supporting the main component of American dynamism should not go unnoticed by the electorate. Be sure to read the entire SBSC report to learn how a Kerry/Edwards administration would unleash its hostility towards small business. John Kerry not only is wrong on the war, he's bad for the economy as well.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 8, 2004 10:11 PM

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Tracked on September 9, 2004 5:39 AM

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