Legislation to help small businesses

Apparently President Obama is making a habit of ripping the GOP a new one. Which is fun for me because not only do I enjoy it, but also it usually comes with an idea for change. Considering that change is his shtick, I’m not going to complain.

The ripping, or as the Associated Press called it, “…bare-knuckled criticism against opposition Republicans, using some of his toughest language yet to paint them as electoral opportunists willing to switch positions at will to score points with voters.”

His statements also came with aid for small business by “funneling $30 billion to local banks so they can lend small businesses money they need to grow their enterprises and create jobs.”

Small businesses are a big part of the American economy, believe it or not. Big corporations get all the press and money, but the vast majority of businesses are small businesses. And before you start to panic about paying more taxes, the money is coming from TARP bank profits.

The loan would be restricted to banks with 10 billion or less in assets, which makes about eight thousand banks eligible. Along with supporting small business, the bill will also support the small banks that are more willing to support small businesses if they’re local and can contribute to the local community and economy.

People in the banking system said, “…lending is not hampered by a lack of capital but by trouble finding creditworthy borrowers,” according to the AP. Meanwhile, “small businesses also are reluctant to borrow money in a sluggish economy for expansion or improvements.”

So whether the bill will actually help can be debated, but the community aspect might be the push needed for the eligible banks to support expanding businesses. There are also those who don’t like the idea of using the TARP money to fund the bill, but it seems using that money is better than borrowing more or taxing more.

Sooner or later the government is going to need to pay down the deficit, but if some of the money is used to support the cornerstone of the economy, it might be worth it in the long run.

The bill is not perfect, but it does show that people are learning. Supporting the big banks may have stabilized things, but those banks are still as corrupt, stingy with loans, and reluctant to support small business as they were before they were bailed out.

By targeting smaller banks with an invested interest in supporting the community, this bill might help the economy in the long run more so than the short run. That may make it hard to pass or to see the benefits, but it must be stuck with for any true result to be determined once it’s started.

And as long as Obama is going to be calling out the Republicans like he has, the rest of his term might be a lot of fun. It’ll certainly be productive for me.


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