Monday, August 6, 2012

I Built My Business, Mr. President (No Thanks To You)

Entrepreneurs don’t ever stop. We never take vacations. When a man or woman is building a business from the ground up, he or she doesn’t have the luxury of taking anything for granted. It’s one hundred percent all the time; the plucky small businessman goes everywhere with the burden of his company on his shoulders. The entrepreneur doesn’t take time off, she has no “down time;” even if she’s sitting in front of the television she’s working, thinking of how to expand her biz, how to add more income streams, how to better serve her clientele, how to expand her product and service portfolio.

Contrast this picture with the following: A national organization that shall remain nameless gets the meals it provides funded by the federal government. If one were to travel through the line for one of those said meals, getting a dollop of slop plopped on one’s plate, and if one were to attempt to bypass, say, the milk, one would be told, “You have to take the milk. If you don’t, we won’t get credit for using our allotment and our federal funding will drop. Take it, and if you don’t want it, drop it in the box at the end of the line and we’ll re-use it.” I shouldn’t have to belabor this illustration, but this is where backward federal baseline budgets have taken us. If you don’t see how this is dishonest at its best—and theft in truth—you might as well stop reading this, because your mind is dead. But baseline budgets are de rigeur in the house that capitalism built (and socialism is actively eating).

At no time does the thought I feel secure because I know the government is helping me enter the mind of the bootstrapper. If anything, anyone who has ever tried to start up their own business feels the government is antagonistic to everything he is trying to do. The entrepreneur must beware of all kinds of tax regulations—some of which are written to be ambiguous on purpose, like the weird way the Idaho State Tax Commission allows businesses to “voluntarily” (you’ve gotta read the fine print to discover this) pay more taxes on internet-based sales. Does the ISTC not know that taxes are kryptonite to prosperity? Why on earth would any sane person volunteer to pay more taxes? But now the leftist brainiacs are spouting the lie that somehow paying higher taxes is morally superior. The Catholic church had a similar program (the paying of indulgences for the forgiveness of sin) before the Reformation. There’s nothing new under the sun. How ironic that those who proselytize us about the religion of recycling are themselves recycling a concept that’s a thousand years old: guilt as a motivator. My wicked step mother tried raising me like that, and I hate her to this day. Almost as much as I hate how the Obama government operates. But I digress.

The entrepreneur must beware of producing too much, lest he commit the sin of moving into a higher tax bracket and thereby suffer the sting of the long arm of the tax law, which punishes production. I know a guy who was forced by logic at the end of his fiscal year to plunk down a large amount of money on office equipment he didn’t need—because, the way the income tax brackets work, he could either spend money on something functional or write a check to the IRS for the same amount. That was a no-brainer. The government has too much already, and they don’t deploy it efficiently. Exhibit A would be the story about the milk above.

I know another couple that had a great year working their butts off only to find that it was all for naught—their tax bill went through the roof. They decided the subsequent year to reduce their production so they could make more money, which is backward as hell. This is how things are in the real world right now, and worse. Question: if we live in a consumer economy, why do we not then tax consumption, instead of doing things backwards? But still, I digress.

I’ve lately been brainstorming ways to better build my business. Being that I live and breathe by Web-based sales, I don’t have to volunteer to pay the Idaho sales tax, which is six percent. And trust me, I minimize my tax obligations ruthlessly. That’s the American way. The government ought to earn the right to take my money, but instead it’s the other way around: I have to earn the right to keep it; the onus is upon the business owner to navigate the treacherous bevy of legislation, regulation, and taxation that assaults us from all quarters. No wonder so many of us were outraged by what our sitting president said about all our work being nullified by the very presence of infrastructure in our lives—a crazy ass thing to say. It’s clear what our president believes in: government, not God. Marxist redistribution, not hard work being its own reward. But again, I digress.

Trust me, if you’re a hard working entrepreneur (is there any other kind?) you’re not alone. We are the majority in America today. With the uncertainty in the workplace, why not strike out on your own and take the risks of being self-employed? At least then if you’re downsized out of a job you’ll know who to blame (you). With the volatility in real estate and on Wall Street, why not make your primary investment in you, rather than sending your 401(k) to the gamblers in NYC? At least then if you utterly fail and your retirement is wiped out, you’ll know who to blame (you). As it stands, with the government engaging in a hostile takeover of the entire world, the central planners amongst us just might be unwittingly stoking the fires of an enormous backfire—that will explode in their faces—because if the government is responsible  for everything, guess who gets blamed when everything goes wrong? Bingo: BHO is his name-o (and friends, Republican and Democrat).

This is not an endorsement of Obama’s opponent, in November, Romney. Far from it. As one of my friends might say, we really have no options anymore. The powers that be have propped up the candidates they want us to choose from, and frankly neither one of them is what I want. We are being told who to vote for. For me, Romney is milquetoast. I don’t know him from Adam. I do know to a certainty that I do not want Obama to win a second term. Hint: it has absolutely nothing to do with race. He is a known quantity that has been measured and found wanting. He’s more of a punishment than anything else. His tenure in office is like God’s judgment against a wayward nation. Will we wake up? Who knows. Obama has told us who he is and we know what he wants to accomplish. Basically that is the castration of America. And it’s nothing new; the French invented revanchist politics hundreds of years ago (which begs the question of why Barack Obama is so angry, and what he wants revenge for—I leave that to you).

In the end, the entrepreneur has enough opposition working against him. We don’t need the government lecturing us, acting morally superior (which irritates the hell out of me). Federal bureaucrats haven’t the slightest clue about the real world. I know of a couple who both work for the federal government—they live in a $500k house and drive Cadillac Escalades. This guy’s home theatre is like his own personal IMAX—and they do it all with my money, your money. They don’t live in the real world. They live in a fairy tale, and nothing is real to them—especially the price we pay in order to pay them. Are they grateful? I can’t say. But I don’t see them volunteering to pay higher taxes. If that’s the measure of holiness these days, these federal employees have fallen short of the goal. But sadly, we the people who are paying their salaries are encrusted with ambivalence. “Meh,” we say. It’s sad. Because things could still change. America could still heal; it’s not too late. But it won’t—not, at least, with people like Obama in power.