Entrepreneur:What would be your litmus test to determine whether a proposed regulation from you administration should be issued?
Bush: I strongly oppose any regulations that place an undue burden on small businesses and entrepreneurs. The government must be careful not to stifle innovation or pass unnecessary bureaucratic costs that are inevitably passed onto the consumer. My administration will carefully review all proposed regulations to determine its effectiveness or potential harm to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur:One of the top concerns of small business is to increase the number of qualified workers. Your campaign has discussed education primarily in terms of improving teaching for the young. What initiatives would you propose to improve continuing education and worker retraining?
Bush: Education will be my highest priority as president. Worker retraining is an important part of that goal. I have proposed allowing individuals to place up to $5,000 a year, 10 times the current amount, into tax free education savings accounts. These accounts can be used towards any level of education, including worker retraining, college or graduate work.
Entrepreneur:Even though small businesses lack workers, they've been noticeably reluctant to tap two pools of potential workers: the long-term unemployed and the disabled. Is there a role for government in encouraging small businesses to hire these individuals? What policies, if any, would you propose to encourage small businesses to hire them as workers?
Bush: Our society, and our government, must make every effort to enable people with disabilities to lead independent and productive lives. To help Americans with disabilities freely pursue the American dream, I have proposed the New Freedom Initiative. The New Freedom Initiative encourages businesses to hire Americans with disabilities by taking three important steps. First, I will triple federal funding in assistive technology and dramatically improve access to it. Second, I will provide $20 million to help disabled Americans work from home and make the providing of a home office by a company a tax-free fringe benefit. Third, I am committed to signing an Executive Order to allow Americans with disabilities to maintain their health benefits when they return to work.
- American Express Small Business Services, www.americanexpress.com/smallbusiness
- National Association for the Self-Employed, (800) 232-NASE, www.nase.org
- National Federation of Independent Business, firstname.lastname@example.org
- National Small Business United, (800) 345-6728
- Small Business United of Texas, (512) 476-1707, email@example.com