The survey, which was sent to members in early June, measured, for the most part, the sentiments of 740 small business owners before the Supreme Court’s ruling on the health-care mandate, which many small business owners had said would create an extra burden if they had to provide health insurance for all employees. The NFIB was a plaintiff in the case that went before the Supreme Court in March, arguing that the individual mandate was unconstitutional. The court ruled in late June that the mandate was constitutional, calling it a tax.
“The predominant view among business owners is that Obamacare is not good, and they were hoping for a decision that would take it apart, at least the mandate part,” said Dunkelberg, who said that the court’s decision had little effect on this month’s survey, but predicted it will further depress the optimism index in the months ahead.
Is there anything that could push business owners to reverse course between now and November? Dunkelberg said that a stagnant Congress and the economic situation in Europe don't give Main Street a lot of reason to hope things will change anytime soon.
“Washington keeps doing nothing. There are two strong sides, and each keeps the other from doing anything. Washington is paralyzed, and Europe is falling apart,” he said.
While real estate could continue its upward trend in some markets, and profitability might take hold in some sectors, the overall economy is going to continue seeing fits and starts, he said.
“We’re going to be pessimistic until November, when we see what the voters say and what path we’re going to be on," he predicted. "Then, we may still be pessimistic, but at least know what direction we’ll be going.”
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