During the August District Work Period, I have toured several local businesses such as Georgia Pacific in Taylorsville and Traffic Control Devices in Flowood. As unemployment hovers around 10 percent, business owners remain skeptical about taking the entrepreneurial risks – expanding their businesses, increasing inventories and such – that can put more Mississippians back to work. In part, this is due to the uncertainty associated with the new health care mandates.

Each year, nearly two-thirds of net new jobs are created by small businesses. Nationwide, 96.7 percent of employers are small businesses. The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) has stated that the effects of the new health care employer mandates could eliminate 1.6 million jobs nationally with more than 1 million of those lost in the small business sector.

The “Affordable Care Act” increases taxes on individuals and businesses, including an unearned income tax that decreases incentives on investments. These new taxes include an individual and employer mandate tax, Medicare surtax and Medicare tax on unearned income, and a tax on indoor tanning providers, medical device makers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and health insurers.

In all, the Democratic Majority in Congress has increased taxes over $670 billion, including at least 14 violations of the President’s pledge not to raise taxes on Americans earning less than $200,000.

My faith is in the American entrepreneur – not the federal government – to grow our economy. This is why I support a jobs plan that will eliminate job-killing federal tax increases and offer assistance to small businesses and community banks struggling with the downturn in the real estate market.

The “Affordable Care Act” is nothing short of politics above economics. During a time when nearly one in ten Americans is unemployed, Congress should be offering incentives for entrepreneurs to invest in Mississippi’s economy. Republicans are working to repeal this flawed health care law and replace it with reforms that focus on lowering costs and protecting your job.

Gregg Harper represents Mississippi’s Third Congressional District. The author is the only Republican freshman appointed by Republican John Boehner to serve on the Committee on House Administration and the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. Congressman Harper also serves on the Committee on the Budget, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress.