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Carly Fiorina Opposes Government-Sponsored Retirement Plans for Uber Drivers

She also cites some sketchy statistics on small businesses in the U.S.

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Presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina says she wouldn’t support a federally-sponsored retirement plan for Uber drivers and other people who make their income in the sharing economy.

Responding to a question from CNBC’s Sharon Epperson during that network’s hosted debate for the Republican candidates, Fiorina said, “No, the federal government should not play a larger role” in creating retirement plans for contract workers such as Uber drivers. “Every time the federal government gets engaged in something, it gets worse, and then the government steps in and we get a little further down to that progressive vision that Hillary Clinton is talking about,” Fiorina said.

Labor issues — including how Uber classifies its drivers — have emerged as one of the biggest controversies surrounding Uber’s business practices within the last year.

“Companies should, if they want to attract the best workers, provide a good set of benefits,” Fiorina continued. “But honestly, if you’re a small business owner today, you are being crushed.”

Fiorina went on to say that about 400,000 small businesses are created in the U.S. every year, but that about 470,000 small businesses fail every year because of things like Obamacare.

Those numbers were off — by a few orders of magnitude. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, about 382,000 establishments opened in the first quarter of 2014 with about 364,000 closing in the same period. (You can find this figure on page 11 of the administration’s full 2014 report.)

The SBA goes on to say that in 2010, more than 507,000 new businesses opened, and that more than two-thirds of those survived over the next few years. In 2013, more than 630,000 new businesses opened, with nearly 80 percent of those surviving to the end of 2014. So it would be interesting to see where Fiorina is getting her figures.

Anyway, the question was about whether or not the government should help establish 401k retirement plans for freelancers like Uber drivers. She doesn’t support it.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing that businesses start a 401k,” she said. “The point I am making is this: The federal government should not be in a lot of things. There is no constitutional role for the federal government in setting up a retirement plan. There is no constitutional role for the federal government to be setting minimum wages.”

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