Small Business is Big Business: Why Politics Matter

July 17th, 2012   •   11 comments   


Whenever I tweet about politics or make a public statement about a political belief I have, I am usually reminded that it is best NOT to discuss politics online, in the boardroom or anywhere someone might be “offended” by a particular view or belief. In the past, I might have gone along with that, although deep down I have always had the conviction to state my mind. Today, however, I think our country is beyond leaving out politics when it comes to running a business in the USA—any business. When the President of our great nation (yes, we are still a great nation, are we not?) gets into our business by saying what he has said this week and by undertaking his own agenda. Now, it is personal for many and this means that the government is getting deeper and deeper into our pocketbooks.

Think about what it means to be Independent and to be a democracy. Now think about what the government is doing to businesses. As a small business owner of 17 years, I would like to point out some obvious direct impacts politics have on my business (again, MY business):

  • Mandating that I provide health insurance for my employees in the near future (if this bill is not reversed) is not only un-American in my opinion, but also unrealistic. This change will open the door to pile on other mandatory financial burdens that will quite possibly put me, and many like me, out of business. It is not the specific amount of coverage that I have a problem with, but the entire principle of forcing me to do this by law and punishing me if I don’t.
  • Taxes: We are taxed and taxed. I am burdened by business property taxes, payroll taxes (my payroll taxes alone run approximately $1,000 each month), and the taxes that I pay on anything that I purchase for my business as well as the income tax, which is off the charts. It’s incredibly expensive to own a small business and there are times when I wonder if it is even worth it. We work for a dollar to get about 30 cents, to put it in straight form. In my opinion, that is not the American dream. What incentives do I have to grow my business? What incentives do new, young entrepreneurs have? They won’t do it. What if small businesses become nonexistent in our country? Does anyone want to do an economic forecast on that?
  • Nothing is free for me. While a business owner works, employs individuals, provides for others by hiring accountants, lawyers, vendors, paying rent, purchasing property and so on, we get no money back from the government. We are provided no assistance because we don’t qualify because we are working. Keyword: Work. Thanks to mismanaged programs that politicians on both sides have put in place and excessive spending, I will have to work at something forever as I will likely not see my due social security income that I earned over the past 30 years—there won’t be any left. To be fair, the government should deduct what they owe us in social security from our taxes, if that should happen.
  • Business owners are held accountable, so we are fined and/or audited. The treasury department employees hire prostitutes on the federal payroll and fly around on government paid airplanes—funded by taxpayers like me.
  • Politicians decide where funding goes. How are they doing thus far? How is the economy doing? How are our states doing? The answer is not so great. After all, we’re going to institute a sales tax for purchases online estimated to create 23 billion dollars for the states to use. What are they going to do with it?
  • Politicians have grown our government over the years to the point of total inefficiency, waste and embarrassing public debate. In order to stay competitive and keep our economy healthy, America needs less governmental control and spending on rebuilding infrastructure. That is, if we can ever get out from our debt, which I believe will be the worst crisis we will face.

Depressed yet? You should be if you have a job, and in fact, you should be down right frightened. Our politicians (many of them) are not good financial stewards of our taxpayer funds. If the government were a private business, we’d fire them all and start over. The only thing we can do is VOTE for change and stand up for what is right for businesses. So please, Mr. President, park your jets and discontinue the waste of our money traveling the world. Your efforts aren’t showing job growth or economic boost to our country, nor are they fostering goodwill with small businesses that are the economic fuel for our country. Please, do not tell us we did not build our own businesses when, clearly, we did.

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  1. Preach it, sister! I, too, try not to engage in political discussions on social media – but this week, the President crossed the line. Not much he could have said that would insult entrepreneurs more. Thank you for responding in your own, wonderful style, Amy!

  2. Amy Howell says:

    Thank you Kathy! We need to get back to basics. Big government is bad business.

  3. Bonita Elam says:

    I completely agree. I am employed by a small business and everyone in my office works to make sure we’re sustaining. We are in the real estate industry, so I am constantly feeling the effects of politics and decisions made in Washington AND our own city of Memphis. My husband owns his own business and after ALL the taxes and making sure employees are taken care of, heck there’s not much left! We’re all waiting and hoping for better decisions from our government…

  4. Amy Howell says:

    Thank you & great comments! It helps to hear other people’s stories! We are in it together, all of us.

  5. Jason Teeman says:

    That was a great read! I believe that most Americans would have to agree with you but te problem is that this country is no longer a country for the people! It doesn’t matter what we think because the fed will do what is in its best interest to survive. I pray for the day that we re-establish this country to its original principles

  6. Amy Howell says:

    Thank you Jason & that is the problem summed up in a nutshell. Thanks!

  7. Jill Manty says:

    Yes, Amy! It’s time for a change. But a REAL change, not just changing which party is in the White House.

  8. Stacie says:

    To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin: We have a Republic, if we can keep it…

    Too many people are using their votes to get things for “free” from the gov’t.

  9. Amy Howell says:

    Jill, yes you are right. Stacie, good quote and what would our founding fathers say if they could? Thx for stopping by!

  10. Amy,

    I am like you in that I shy completely away from any political statements. It seems like I have haters on both sides of the aisle that will jump at the opportunity to rant if I voice an opinion.

    I like the graphic I shared today…basically do not care if the “Democrats claim a victory today…Republicans claim a victory today -> Did AMERICANS get to claim a victory today”. Our system has become so poisoned that these parties would harm themselves and this country if they thought the other party would bleed more.

    I’m a principal in a small business, also – so I completely relate to the costs of doing business. But at least we are in that top 2% or so that should consider it our responsibility to fund every half-baked entitlement program while getting taxed. Well, at least we can count on Social Security – oh, wait a minute…

  11. Amy Howell says:

    Brian: agree & glad you weighed in. We won’t get social security by the time we qualify. Very worried about big govt & small business owners. Thanks for stopping by!

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