- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 7, 2008

The D.C. Council, in taking its cue from the mindless lawmakers of San Francisco, has voted by an 11-2 margin to further fleece the pockets of small-business owners through the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act.

This feel-good piece of legislation turns small-business owners into medical professionals and social workers whenever one of their part-time employees claims to have a sniffle or is the victim of domestic abuse. Is the part-time employee really ill or looking for a handout? Is the part-time employee really the victim of domestic abuse or looking to exploit the system?

It must be great being one of the gasbags on the D.C. Council. You do not have to pay rent at the Wilson Building. You do not have to pay utilities. You do not have to pay exorbitant fees to a waste-removal company. You do not have to deal with all the vendors, a few of whom are so slimy that a shower is required after meeting with them. You do not have to do all the things associated with running a small business, such as paying the city 10 percent on every sales transaction.

That is the beauty of being a D.C. Council member. You do not have to know one darn thing about running a small business. In fact, most, if not all, D.C. Council members have never owned a small business. But they know what is best for small businesses.

Oddly enough, as card-carrying liberals, they profess to love small businesses and are instinctively distrustful of corporate America. At least that is one of the tenets of liberalism. Liberals love the little guy. And they show their love with onerous regulations, a corrupt bureaucracy and legislation that undermines the profit-margin line.

How do you pass a health inspection in the city? Easy. You take the former Third World peasant to a private area of the establishment, hand over $500 with a smile, and all will be right with the bureaucratic world, even if a rat starts dancing on the head of the health inspector at the instant you are greasing his palm.

Well, the health inspector might need another $100 at this point because of the debilitating trauma known as rat-feces syndrome. As you know, the city is pathologically opposed to rat droppings in business establishments, which is fair enough. But the city makes no effort to curb the burgeoning rat population.

To be fair, two council members, Jack Evans and David A. Catania, voted against the Stick it to the Small Business Owner Act — Mr. Evans because he did not want to offend his business friends in Georgetown and Mr. Catania because he used to be with the Republicans and still has a clue.

Jim Graham, who represents rat-infested Adams Morgan, voted against all the Ethiopian restaurants, African art places and underage-drinking bars that decorate 18th Street Northwest.

Mr. Graham did so because he undoubtedly feels the pain of the single working mother who has 10 kids by 10 different men, none of whom provide child support. This is not to suggest that all 10 men have disappeared from the woman”s life. At least one of the men likes to rough up the woman on occasion, possibly because she is trying to have an 11th child by an 11th man.

Of course, the roughing up of the woman will cost small-business owners if the D.C. Council passes the Stick it to the Small Business Owner Act in a second vote next month.

And they will pass it because they know the restaurant owners across the city serving sauteed rat and calling it chicken are making a bundle of money. Full disclosure: I have a tiny interest in a small business in the city, and we plan to serve the best sauteed rat ever, with scrumptious rat droppings on the side, assuming we have at least one part-time server who is not out of commission with a paid sick day or paid mental-health day.

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