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Marcus on the soapbox

Marcus made headlines on CNBC.

Bernie Marcus, a small-business folk hero? That’s right.

Before The Home Depot was a 320,000-employee enterprise, it was a very small business, and the co-founder expressed solidarity with American entrepreneurs during a recent on-air with CNBC. Much was made of Marcus’ tongue-in-cheek idea for a reality-show in which Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would try to run a small business. But Marcus’ 18-minute riff touched a variety show of hot points:

On his roots: “The truth is, I was a small businessman,” he said. “I remember how difficult it was getting up in the morning and not knowing whether you’re going to make the payroll.”

On 1099 filings: “I said to [a small business owner]: ‘How are you going to deal with this new thing, the Obama care, when you’re going to have to file a 1099 for everybody who does $600 worth?’ He just looked at me and said, ‘You’ve got to be freaking crazy.’ ”

On Home Depot CEO Frank Blake: “Frank Blake…really is a small businessman. I mean, Frank is in the stores constantly. Frank is out there talking to customers and people. He’s not sitting on the 22nd floor.”

On the regulatory environment: “Nobody has a clue of what’s going to come out of Washington.”

On politics: “Small businessmen have got to go out and get involved in the political process.”

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