by Rebecca Tescher Robison 
It is good that Washington, D.C. is snowed in this week and the federal government is taking a snow day or two.

It’s time the Washingtonians (on both sides of the aisle) take a breath and step back from this fast moving train which is trying to spend money as fast as it can print it.

Reportedly, this week’s task is to set up a jobs program for “ma and pa” businesses.

Being a small business owner, I can tell you that most business owners deem this new plan ridiculous.

Don’t get me wrong, it would be great—if it works and if local businesses were handed a check for jobs. But my guess is the only jobs that will be created by this bill are jobs for federal workers who oversee the idea.

It’s a sure bet the idea will progress to massive piles of paperwork and anyone in a small business knows there is already enough paperwork without finding more.

Ma and pa businesses, including many family farms, already spend several days a month filling out federal forms and requirements even after we hire bookkeepers and accountants to keep everything in the right column.

It’s doubtful these businesses will find the time to apply for federal “stimulus” that could pay for new employees. It’s simple economics— time spent filling out forms could be spent doing what the employee would be hired to do.

My suggestion to Senators John Tester and Max Baucus is to stop supporting tax-spending proposals and/or regulations that create turmoil, expense and instability in the marketplace and little else.

Simply lowering tax burdens on small businesses and working individuals might be the easiest solution to stoking the small business economy.

A federal structure (IRS) is already in place to do this and even though the government won’t get to hire new federal employees for a jobs creation system, this would get more private employees hired by local main street businesses and farms.

Fundamentally, most main street businesses will tell you the reason they haven’t reinstated employees or considered hiring new ones is they are unsure what the government will ask of them next. This creates an unstable, unpredictable economic environment and no one plans growth or expansion when the economy is shakey.

So, rather than threatening businesses with healthcare penalties and other federal mandates, Washington needs to ease off restrictions and requirements and simply let more Montana businesses and workers keep and spend their monies in Montana — that right there will create more jobs.

Perhaps an easier solution would be continued blizzards or an ice age in Washington! That’s a climate change America could bank on.