Business owner tells Obama her biggest challenge is taxes

President gives no response to Minnesota woman who’d invited him

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During an impromptu stop to highlight the importance of Mom-and-Pop businesses Thursday, President Obama instead encountered a complaint from a shop owner about onerous federal taxes.

Mr. Obama’s motorcade made an unannounced stopped at the Golden Fig, a specialty food store in St. Paul, Minn. Owner Laurie Crowell had invited the president in a letter to stop by if he ever was visiting the region.

Mrs. Crowell told the president Thursday that she started her business 18 years ago.

“What’s been your biggest challenge?” Mr. Obama asked.

“Well, filling out my taxes every month,” Mrs. Crowell said with a chuckle, tapping the president on the chest.

Mr. Obama apparently didn’t respond to her observation, instead saying “I’ve got to take something home.” He purchased salsa, chips, salted caramels and other items worth a total of $82.55, and paid with $90 cash.

“These are not all for me, by the way,” the president told reporters who accompanied him.

The president said his wallet contains only two things — cash, and a driver’s license that expires in 2016.

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