Romney promises small business a policy role

@CNNMoney June 6, 2012: 5:24 PM ET
Romney fielded questions from small business owners Wednesday, promising to tackle taxes, regulation and health care reform.

Romney fielded questions from small business owners Wednesday, promising to tackle taxes, regulation and health care reform.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Mitt Romney promised members of the nation's small business lobby on Wednesday that, if elected, he would shut down health care reform, reduce taxes and tackle regulations.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee said small business has not thrived as it could have since the recession because of President Obama's policies, which he called "collectively anti-business, anti-investment, and anti-jobs."

Romney fielded questions from small business owners -- all members of the National Federation of Independent Business. He told them they would play a pivotal role under his administration.

On the phone from San Antonio, Texas, Romney said that as president, he would create a small business team to review onerous regulations, "take a WeedWacker to them and get them out of there."

Entrepreneurs in Illinois, Kansas, New Jersey and Ohio asked the presidential candidate about what he would do about taxes, regulation and health reform. The candidate hit on points he's made before, but specified why they would matter to small businesses.

Romney told them he recognizes most small business owners pay taxes at the individual level, not corporate taxes, and said they would benefit from his plan to lower the top rates from 35% to 28%. But that reduction would come with fewer deductions and exemptions, he added.

"You'll be able to keep more of your capital and hire more people," Romney said. "My priority is jobs, getting people back to work, having such competition for employees that wages go up again."

The former governor of Massachusetts also said his first day in office would include an executive order freezing all regulations not yet implemented by the Obama administration. He would then commence a review of all regulations, using a team of small business owners to identify burdensome ones that he'd seek to eliminate.

Asked what he would do if the U.S. Supreme Court does not strike down all of health reform this month, Romney said he would issue a waiver to all 50 states.

"Obamacare has frightened more businesses from hiring more people than any legislation I can recall," Romney said. "I will do everything in my power to stop Obamacare and take that specter away from small business."

The Obama campaign, in response, issued a warning against Romney's budget plans, saying they would cut investments that support small business lending by nearly 20%.

"Small businesses have seen their taxes cut 18 times, and bank lending has increased 12% over the last two years," said campaign spokeswoman Gabriela Domenzain. "Americans can't afford to go backward."

On the NFIB call, however, Romney said his policies would reduce uncertainty that is keeping businesses from investing in themselves, and they would also create reasons for them to expand.

"I'm anxious to make America once again the most attractive place in the world for small business, investment and job creators," he said. To top of page

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