Excuse Me Mr. President, But I beg to Differ

Never before has a President loathed the private sector like Barrack Hussein Obama.

This past week, President Obama raised some eyebrows when he told an audience in Roanoke, Virginia that small business owners did not get where they are by themselves, suggesting that they owe their success to the federal government.

He has often loathed the private sector, but this one hit home to the millions of small business owners; including myself. Well Mr. President, as a man you have no experience in meeting a payroll (us small business owners can't just borrow from China), nor have you ever invested his money, time and sweat to take on the risk that we, as small business owners took.

Let me preface this by stating that I have been in business for 24 years.  I started out part-time in 1988 while working at a manufacturing plant in Milwaukee.  In the late 1980s manufacturing was declining and to keep an income during periodic lay-offs, I started a lawn care business.  In 1999, I was let go as my position was eliminated.  I took my severance and retirement, and decided to incorporate and go full time.  At age 35, with a mortgage and four kids, this was a huge leap of faith. I found out the hard way that the federal government wasn't my friend.  The first winter came along and I didn't have any business, so I went for the only time in my life to collect unemployment.  As a small business owner, I was not entitled to unemployment benefits, even though I paid the same for myself as I did for my employees to the state for unemployment insurance. 

I found out that I paid not only my portion for Social Security and Medicare, but the employer’s portion as well, but I can only collect it when I retire on the employee's portion. As I grew the business, I started hiring.  I paid my employees an above average wage compared to other local companies and have a decent benefit package for them.  I pay their Worker's Compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, more than half their Social Security and Medicare and any licenses they need to perform their jobs. I pay taxes on my salary, pay taxes on my profits and pay taxes on my investments.  I buy my equipment on credit as well as my supplies.  I pay 43 cents in fuel taxes, with fuel being my second greatest expense.  I pay property tax and now the President wants to tax me when I die and pass the business over to my children.  Taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes...Mr. President, my industry is highly regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Natural Resources, OSHA, and the Department of Labor -- not to mention the state local regulations including Department of Financial Institutions and Workforce Development, and so on and so forth.

From where I stand Mr. President, I pay a disproportion of taxes where I don't feel the federal government deserves my thanks.  More so, under your presidency, you want more from me personally and through my corporation. You see Mr. President, I don't claim to be smarter or work harder than most.  I don't want a pat on my back for taking the risk for myself and to employ others.  But I don't want to be punished for my success (or rewarded for failures like GM, Chrysler and the host of banks and mortgage lenders). Yes, I have had teacher to thank, but they didn't take the risk I did.  And others who had the same teachers did not fare so well.  But I can guaranty that the federal government did nothing but put up road blocks to my success.  So much so that I have had to cut staff. I’m not a billionaire or millionaire, but solid middle class.  Some years, some of my employees make more than I do.  I thought this was the American dream, but under your leadership, it's becoming more of a nightmare. Mr. President, you need people like me more than I need people like you. 

Your socialistic approach has been tried elsewhere and has failed miserably. You need someone to hire the unemployed, and with your attitude and approach, we are waiting to see what happens in November.  We already know what to expect from you and it doesn't bode well for us.  We are responsible for 4 out of every five jobs out there. So yes Mr. President, you may have the federal government for your employment and success, but we don't.  It’s time to stop the class warfare and the political threats.  Together, we can turn this around, but not until we call you Former President Obama.



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GearHead July 20, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Thanks Mr. President for awaking sleeping giants nationwide. Us small businessmen will spend our dwindling time and resources making certain your opponent, a guy who celebrates small business, will be elected. Kicking us in the teeth certainly helps!
Tuco July 20, 2012 at 07:27 PM
When Japan blew up Pearl harbor, the Japanese Admiral was reported to have said, "I'm afraid all we have done is awoke a sleeping giant." It looks like Barry has done the same! I just sent a check to Mitt's campaign. DO I think he's the right guy? Not necessarily. But I can assure you, he's more right than the current job killer. Sign me, Just another small business owner
James R Hoffa July 20, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Here, here Mr. Dey! As a small local family restaurant owner/operator, I share in your sentiments on this issue. Sometimes, for years at a time, we operated at a break even basis. These last couple years, the 'profit' has been miniscule to nearly non-existent. Obamacare, an increased tax burden, an increased minimum wage, and additional regulation may just force us to close the doors unless a change comes about soon!
Mark Czerniec July 20, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Never mind that Romney says the same thing: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/19/12830947-romney-echoes-obama-line-on-public-institutions
James R Hoffa July 20, 2012 at 09:14 PM
@Mark - Romney actually acknowledges that successfully individuals contribute, in much greater proportion, to building the community from which they also benefit, while Obama does not. According to Obama "you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen." Romney - you contributed to building the society you also benefit from. Obama - you didn't contribute at all to the society you benefit from - "somebody else made that happen." That's a huge difference!
Mark Czerniec July 20, 2012 at 09:51 PM
@FakeName: Romney mentioned "the banks, the investors." He listed "your mom and dad." Also "your school teacher" and "the people that provide roads, the fire, and the police." He correctly says that "A lot of people help." These are all people other than the successful individual -- or, as President Obama puts it "Somebody else." They are saying the same thing. It's just that Romney simultaneously agrees and disagrees with it -- which is par for his exclusive course. The man's most obvious quality is duplicity. Think logically for a moment. If President Obama didn't recognize the contribution that successful individuals can make, then he wouldn't be asking them to pay at least the same percentage as their middle-class fellow Americans -- instead of the 15% that Romney showed on the one year of returns he's released thus far.
skinnyDUDE July 20, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Well Done Brian . Obama thinks running a business is like winning the lottery. You put up a shingle and count the money. But if it was so easy and required no risk everyone would do it . The federal government in the end becomes the obstacle for success. Sure some oversight is needed. But too much kills the goose that lays the golden egg. As well as the over taxation which kills growth and profits to further grow and hire people . It is the people who live off the the government that take no effort for there livelihood as while others always pay their freight it leaves them only wanting more of someone elses effort .Liberals like Obama will never get it . Vote Romney 2012 .
James R Hoffa July 20, 2012 at 10:29 PM
@Mark - Correct - Romney says "[a] lot of people help." The word 'help' implies that you also put in a great amount of contribution and effort yourself. Romney recognizes this. Again Obama said "... you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." Where in what Obama said is the recognition that you contributed too? It doesn't actually exist, does it? Obama wants to penalize your success because he feels that in order to be successful, you must have been a parasite upon the community. Otherwise, he'd proposed lowering everyone's effective tax rate to Romney's level instead of vice versa.
Mark Czerniec July 20, 2012 at 10:46 PM
President Obama recognizes that it only works when everybody contributes -- even the rich. Clinton knew this too. Even though the Republicans shreiked, and not a single one voted for it, Clinton got his Deficit Reduction Act of 1993 passed, raising taxes and eventually erasing the deficit. Meanwhile, the US enjoyed the strongest economy in world history. Then came Bush and his tax cuts for the rich. Boom! The deficit is back with a vengeance, and the economy is in the crapper. Obama extended those tax cuts, and improvement has been weak. Things have to be paid for. We have an interstate highway system because the top tax rate during the Eisenhower administration was over 90 percent. You do not pay for everything we need by lowering everyone's taxes. That makes as much sense as demanding a pay cut when your credit card bills pile up. And even though Obama has been spending far less than his predecessor, there are still huge bills from the wars and all the enormous government expansion that Bush put in place. Right now, Obama is merely suggesting that every dollar after the first $250,000 gets taxed at Clinton-era rates. Is that so outrageous?
James R Hoffa July 20, 2012 at 11:18 PM
@Mark - Clinton dropped the bomb on us - NAFTA and awarding China favored nation status! He also took $1T from the SS fund to achieve his balanced budget. "Right now, Obama is merely suggesting that every dollar after the first $250,000 gets taxed at Clinton-era rates. Is that so outrageous?" It is when you account for the fact that near 50% don't pay any federal income taxes at all! Why don't we start fixing taxes by expanding the base so EVERYONE has some skin in the game? You really need to expand your historical references beyond those found in fictional Michael Moore films, as it appears that you're only working with half the picture.
Mark Czerniec July 21, 2012 at 03:13 AM
@FakeName: I'm not really a big fan of Michael Moore (although Roger & me was very entertaining), but it's interesting that you mention him, since it's in reference to absolutely nothing and makes one imagine you might be trying to change the subject. If you truly are concerned about globalization and trade (which is not the same thing as the tax burden, which is the subject of this thread), then I would suggest taking a closer look at Bain Capital's record as opposed to that of President Obama, who has actually seen a return of industrial jobs to the United States.
James R Hoffa July 21, 2012 at 05:20 AM
@Mark - You can't be serious! For every industrial job that Obama has managed to 'lure' back, his self appointed jobs czar, Jeffrey Immelt, is outsourcing two or more overseas from GE! But outsourcing can't honestly be blamed on business or politicians - the true fault lies with the greedy consumers of this nation! While Hoffa actually walks his talk, I very highly doubt you do. Care to tell us what kind of car you own/drive?
Rees Roberts July 21, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Alias James R Hoffa: You said to me you were sorry for the type of responses you were providing on patch. Well, here you go again. Someone tries to provide his opinion and here you go tit for tat FIVE times attempting to brow beat this person. STOP IT. Mark Czerniec, my advice to you is to let Mr. Alias have the last word. Let him bask in the supreme knowledge he had the ability to stop you in HIS tracks. When are people going to understand. We are a community of souls. We need to get along. By perpetuating the same thing Congress is doing will never solve a dang thing. Don't we have enough evidence of that? I am beginning to feel your apologies should not have the screen space they are worth. Solving our problems begins right here in our own community. Let's work with people to learn what we have in common instead of what we don't. Only then will we make any progress out of our political mess we have at all levels of government.
Mark Czerniec July 21, 2012 at 12:18 PM
See? Now we're on to what kind of car I drive, in an attempt to change the subject from the fact that Mitt Romney (1) took President Obama's remarks out of context in his own desperate attempt to change the subject from his fears of releasing his tax returns, and (2) Mitt Romney admits "You really couldn’t have a business" without help from public institutions -- but (3) Romney will go so far as to edit his own spoken words in an effort to disguise his dishonesty: http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/new-romney-video-omits-passage-apparently-agreeing
GearHead July 21, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Rees, just wondering what your reaction is to Brian's article, knowing that by word and deed the President has his foot aimed at your scrotum? How do we "just get along" with that? It is highly insulting, and frankly terrifying to anyone running a business.
GearHead July 21, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Hippocracy warning, Mark! Democrats screaming the loudest won't share their own tax returns: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/pelosi-reid-romney-tax/2012/07/18/id/445809
Rees Roberts July 21, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Mr. Alias Gearhead.... What we have today are simply polarizing discussion points. I truly understand it is extremely difficult to operate a business in a world where the largest banks, who were themselves bailed out and still operate as if they didn't get the memo about what they need to do but don't. We need banks to help local businesses on Main St. We need out of the box ideas to deal with the current business climate. But remember, we have a 3 tiered government. The President is NOT totally responsible for current conditions. Congress isn't either and the Judicial is the tie breaker when asked. There are so many issues that need fixes. It is scary. It is a very difficult business climate to operate anything in. But to blame just Obama for everything is not going to solve or bring any level of civil discourse to the table. If anything, Congress being as entrenched on both sides of all of the major issues certainly does not make an environment for solutions to our problems. Why haven't the banks loosened up money for businesses? Why is credit hard for businesses hard to obtain even when there is little or no risk involved? Why? Are we to assume the President controls everything? It would be a very big mistake to assume that. There has to be recognition that Congress is at least equally responsible. But they can't even talk amongst themselves. This trickles down to the way we get along.
Rees Roberts July 21, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Here is an obvious example of what would typically get the ire of any conservative. Trust me I could come up with one that would kick off a firestorm for a liberal. But consider this one because of the way it is presented does not solve one thing. Get it? https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/428891_411825815521983_259586418_n.jpg
James R Hoffa July 21, 2012 at 07:09 PM
@Rees - Are we not permitted to discuss and debate the issues? If the purpose of these forums is to just voice your own opinion and leave it at that, then why does the Patch possess a 'Reply' button on each individual thread that an original commentator starts?
Rees Roberts July 21, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Alias James R Hoffa Stop playing with me. You obviously know the answer to that. That is why you apologized to me about this last time. It is this type of behavior which is unproductive and you know it. Unless you totally don't get it, it is the way you voice your opinion that makes all the difference. But you are more than aware of that. Be civil. Stop badgering. Stop intimating people here. Use your powers in a way which doesn't induce drama but rather creates an environment of mutual respect. But you knew that anyway. Right?
James R Hoffa July 21, 2012 at 07:41 PM
@Rees - You're right. The following statement was not called for and I again apologize: "You really need to expand your historical references beyond those found in fictional Michael Moore films, as it appears that you're only working with half the picture." Hoffa is human and he will make mistakes. He will try to contain the heated rhetoric in the future, but sometimes Hoffa's emotions end up getting the best of him.
John Peterson July 21, 2012 at 07:59 PM
When we taxed and penalized the wealthy at 91 percent in the 50's and 60's, how that work out for the country? Hey, just wondering. This new "penalize success" phrase is insulting. If a successful business man feels penalized, and decides to quite, I'll bet someone behind him will quickly take his place. Good riddance.
Rees Roberts July 21, 2012 at 08:03 PM
@Hoffa Apology again accepted. It may be useful to understand what your goals are when responding. Emotional, we all are to one degree or another. But if we understand, when we type out our responses, what we are attempting to gain then it might help us to frame our responses so people to better understand where you are coming from. If we are only trying to attack the person, that obviously is not productive. If we are trying to avenge what we dearly believe in then you might want to defend it. But if we let ourselves get emotional we are setting ourselves up for failure. No one will truly listen to someone who is easily angered. We all can learn from each other. That is a wonderful experience. But we need to gain the trust of the people we interact with. This will then result in how much weight given to what is said. If everything is said in anger no one will trust you. No one will listen to you. No one will engage in anything meaningful. The only thing you might get is another angry person to respond. And so it goes.
James R Hoffa July 21, 2012 at 08:16 PM
@John - How many people were actually paying at the 91% rate? How much revenue did the 91% rate bring in for the government? Was the economy as global back then as it is today? How much of the total taxable burden were the top 10% shouldering on their own back then? Didn't Hoover try implementing excessive tax rates during a depressionary economy? How did that work out? There are a lot more factors to consider, isn't there?
Brian Dey July 22, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Mr. Peterson: You see, it is your attitude that perpetuates the hyprocrisy from the left. I f you are given benefits, how dare the government take them away. But if you are arbitrarily deemed a rich corporate business owner, it is okay to take their profits away to the tune of 35% on the corporate end and 15% more on the personal capital gain. We didn't earn it twice yet you want us taxed twice. And yes, it is penalizing success because it is framed in class envy. I'm sick and tired of being villainized for being a corporate owner. Why? Because it is coming from those that think the federal government is the answer to all the social woes of the country. Well, if you read the constitution; it's not. Further, we as corporate owner's our not social pariahs as Obama claims. We are philantropists, who give back to our communities in many ways. But it goes beyond that. The best social program is a job. Plain and simple. we provide those. From the sheer number of business owners their are in this country, it is only a very few that reach the millionaire/billionaire status, yet Obama wants to lump us in with them. I am embarrassed to have this idiot as our President. If he ever had a real job, or ever led anything, he would have had a different opinion. By his standards, he needs to stop claiming how he got Bin Laden. He didn't. Someone else did, and he takes all the credit.


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