There are three ways we can balance the national budget: print money, raise taxes or cut spending, says Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a South Carolina Republican. Two out of those three are bad for small business, he adds.
That's the feedback Mulvaney says he got from small-business owners in his district during a listening tour and series of town hall meetings he conducted as part of an effort by GOP members on the House Small Business Committee to reach out to the small-businesses community during National Small Business Week.
Mulvaney and his colleagues took to the stump to press the case for the Republican-backed Ryan Amendment passed by the House, mandating $6.2 trillion in federal government spending cuts over a decade.
The one thing his constituents understand, regardless of their party affiliation, is the need for a balanced budget, Mulvaney told BusinessNewsDaily. And they believe the best way to achieve that is to cut spending.
"The one thing that correlates directly between the world of government and the world of small business is balancing the budget," he said.
People told him they feel helpless in the face of the federal deficit and believe they can't have any impact, he said. When the discussion turns to balancing the budget, though, "It gets them over their helplessness."
The Ryan Amendment contains significant cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
"I didn't get much pushback on this at all," he said. "And I'm talking to the folks who will be impacted. The one question I get the most is, 'Are you willing to cut defense ?' My answer is yes."
Some in the small business community believe the answer to the deficit conundrum is more nuanced and that cutting alone is no cure.
"The best way to fix the deficit in the long haul is through economic growth," said John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO Small Business Majority, an advocacy group. "At the end of the day, we're not going to be able to tax and cut our way out."
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Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.