Tami Hurley stood beside Union Mill Road waving a sign in the hot mid-summer sun Saturday afternoon, awaiting President Obama’s arrival at Centreville High School. She was not alone. The Fairfax County businesswoman was one of more than 200 protesters whoresponded to the announcement of an “emergency rally” sent out by the Northern Virginia Tea Party. On her American flag T-shirt, Hurley displayed a pin that concisely summarized her situation in the Obama era: “Officially Screwed: Small Business Owner.” She explained that her family runs a heating and air-conditioning business that employs 14 people, a business that the Democrat’s administration seems determined to destroy.
“They’re going to increase all of our prices,” Hurley said, explaining that regulations enacted recently by the Environmental Protection Agency mandated a 40 percent decrease in the manufacture of R22, a refrigerant commonly used in air-conditioning systems. “Our price doubled in January, and we have to pass that along to our customers.”
The EPA’s mandate is part of Obama’s environmental agenda, enforcing an international anti-global-warming treaty called the Montreal Protocol. Hurley sees the president pushing a different sort of “climate change,” creating a climate that is hostile to free enterprise. “Obamacare is going to really hurt us, as well,” Hurley said, expressing a widespread concern among small business owners that the president’s health care program will impose costly mandates, decrease the quality of treatment, and require massive new taxes to fund it. Hurley pointed out that one of her young sons has epilepsy. Her son was also among the crowd of protesters who turned out Saturday in Centreville, waving a hand-lettered sign that said, “Obama = No Hope.”