The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) recently called attention to an IRS ruling that would penalize small businesses up to $500,000 for daring to compensate their employees for health insurance premiums.
The NFIB reports, “On July 1, 2015, employers will be penalized $100 per day per employee if they try to make health insurance more affordable by reimbursing their employees for individual market health insurance premiums. The penalty affects businesses that provide reimbursement for more than one employee. The healthcare reimbursement prohibition regulation decreases an employer’s ability to assist employees with health insurance costs.” The ruling would fine the businesses up to $36,500 per year and up to a maximum of $500,000.
A bill was introduced in the House that would make exceptions to this rule, but what truly needs to be done, is Congress needs to get its head right and penalize the IRS for making law. At any rate, the bill was not taken up before Congress went on vacation.
A local small businesswoman called the issue to my attention and said, “That kind of penalty, for most small businesses, would put them out of business.”
She continued, “Every time I hear of a new tax, penalty, or regulation imposed on small business, I wonder why it seems the government is trying to put us out of business. We are paying a lot to the government; you’d think they would want us to keep going. You know, we are the ‘producers.’”
It is true. Small businesses and entrepreneurs are responsible for more than half of the nation’s employment, sales and growth. But a study reported by Gallup shows that new business startups have, for the first time in history, crossed the line of closures for the first time since the measurement began. The American small businessperson is closing, not opening shops.
With high government regulation making it difficult for business to be able to acquire and retain skilled employees, many businesses are making the decision to close rather than deal with all the paperwork and trouble the federal government has been handing down.
The small businesswoman noticed this to be true too. “A lot of our vendors have closed up the past 8 years, along with doctors that I know selling out to large practices, some of our competitors selling out to large business. More people closing up shop now than new small businesses starting. So it occurred to me that the government would rather that we sell out to a large corporation and dissolve our small businesses, and become employees of a large corporation, since they would have more control over us.”
Truly, it is easier to control large businesses rather than 26 million small, pesky, nimble companies, who are less inclined to go along with arbitrary rules handed down from bureaucrats a thousand miles away.
My friend then mused that if small businesses closed shops and became employees of large businesses it would take little time before the government took over the large businesses completely, and she asked, “Isn’t that the road to communism?”
It certainly looks like it to me.
Jen Kuznicki is a wife and mother, seamstress by trade, and American patriot who says, "Now is the time to act."