Monday, October 25, 2010

Reality Bites

Don't usually watch 60 Minutes any more. Last night it caught my eye though ... they were featuring some people who have been on unemployment for over 99 months; hence the 99rs. It was heart wrenching. Here was a room full of people with college degrees; many with advanced degrees. Most of them thought they would retire with the company they were working for when they lost their jobs. CBS correspondent Scott Pelley talked to people who were thrilled to get a job at Target on the sales floor. Every one of these people were surprised to be in the situation they find themselves. Many have pulled some or all of the money out of their 401K. It's just horrifying.

And it's infuriating too. It should not be this way ... it need not be this way. Businesses are sitting on more than two trillion dollars in cash right now. In more normal times this money would be used to hire people and expand as the economy recover. These are not normal times. These businessmen are scared to death. Oh, I know ... Democrats and "progressive" moonbats like to say that these businesses are intentionally holding back on spending and hiring just to embarrass Obama. Pure bullshit! They're sitting on this money because they don't know what's next, and they're afraid of just how bad it could be.

Can you put yourself in their place? Try to imagine that you are a small businessman. You've already dedicated your life to the formation and growth of your business. Here's what you're facing

You have no idea what your tax burden is going to be next year. You're a small businessman and you report your earnings and your profit on your personal income tax return. Almost 50% of all business income ... representing more than 60 of all private sector employees. Will your taxes go up or stay the same? If the taxes go up, either your customers, your employees or you will pay the price. Which will it be? Maybe it's just best to wait things out so that you can make a sound business expansion plan - or not - when you know what your tax structure is going to be.

And what about ObamaCare? Is the mandate going to withstand court challenges? How much is it going to cost to cover your employees? Should you drop coverage and pay the penalties?

Don't forget cap and trade. This monstrosity has already passed the House. Will the Democrats manage to keep power and get this passed? How will that affect your business. How much will it cost?

And don't forget card check. If the Democrats give the unions what they want - the power to intimidate your employees into unionizing - how will that affect your business? Do you really want to own and run a business with a unionized workforce? Maybe you had better wait to see where this is going.

Then there's the financial reform act. How many different government agencies are there right now that are creating new rules for the operations of financial institutions? You have to borrow money from these institutions .. they handle your credit card transactions. They manage your employee 401K plans. These financial institutions are intertwined into every aspect of your business. Perhaps you ought to put expansion on hold until you find out what these hundreds of pages of regulations are going to bring you.

Finally .... There's this. You've known for a long time that Democrats are not now, nor will they ever be friendly towards private business. But now things are even worse. You have a president who honestly hates the free market. We have a president who believes that profit is a symbol of exploitation and that the rich got that way by plundering the lives and the very rights of the middle class and the poor. He considers the free marketplace to be predatory and sees himself and government as instruments to tame the savage free enterprise beast.

So .. .there you sit. You have the money to grow, but you're asking yourself if you really want to put your wealth at risk trying to grow your business in this environment ... and the answer is ... well ... probably not. Let's wait and see what happens.

Obama isn't suddenly going to become business friendly, and the Democrats aren't going to suddenly the free market after this election. You have a president who referred to his brief stint working as a clerk in a private office as "working behind enemy lines." Don't you get it? That's you he's talking about. You! YOU are the enemy!

Obama - the president who, to whatever extent he thinks America is great - believes that greatness comes from government - cannot be removed from office for two years. But he can be defanged. The venom he wishes to inject into the bloodstream of American business must originate in the congress. Taking the House of Representatives away from Barack Obama is like removing the fangs from a rattlesnake. He can hiss and rattle all he wants ... but it becomes little more than show.