What the Government Really Does for My Business
President Obama is recycling and upping the Elizabeth Warren class warfare anti business screed. Not only has the small percentage that pays nearly all the taxes been criticized for not paying enough, we are now belittled for not even being responsible for our own success. We only succeeded because the government allowed us. The underlying message is clear: our money is not ours, and is thus available for the taking as the government sees fit.
It is true that we benefit from infrastructure built by the government. We also benefit from the police and courts that protects out private property that we use to invest and grow our businesses. We benefit from developments that occurred in the exercise of other government objectives such as Teflon, developed for the space program and the internet, developed for military objectives.
This is what we are currently paying taxes for, and nobody complains about that. We get it and we understand. But that is not all that the government does for us.
The new Obamacare bill made one of the most market-oriented health insurance products obsolete. Our high deductable plan which allows a health savings account was mandated to cover preventative care and physicals, an expense we were willing to cover out of pocket to keep our premiums down. Now, as any undergraduate economics student could have predicted, those policies have become so expensive that they no longer provide any advantage over the formerly more expensive plans. Those plans have also risen sharply in price dues to all the new mandated coverage this law provides.
The Dodd Frank Bill sharply decreased the fees available to banks for the use of debit cards. The banks responded to this assault by raising fees on debit card holders, which would drive more users to credit cards -- which cost the merchants much more money. Then the banks were challenged by the very same agency for even trying to recoup the lost revenue caused by their bill.
Nowhere in the hundreds of books and articles written on the recent financial collapse have I seen any analyst claim that debit card fees were in any way responsible.
For the third consecutive year I do not know what my taxes will be six months from now. Even worse than the threat of higher taxes is never knowing what your rates will be . How can any business plan for future investment in such an environment, when the bully pupil is used to push for higher taxes which may or may not become real when the divisions of government engage in their stupid political circular firing squad.
These are just the recent additions to decades of regulations that have chiseled away at company profits and potential for decades. "Every snowflake pleads innocent, but it is still an avalanche." As bad as this economy is now, image how much worse it would have been had this administration had its way in passing the Card Check bill and the disastrous Cap and Trade bill.
We are fully aware of the benefits of a government to provide a secure environment to grow, and the infrastructure to move our products. But those in business are also keenly aware of the ever increasing burdens inflicted on those businesses by poorly thought out, never ending, always changing regulations and mandates. You can't brag on the benefits without accepting responsibility for the burdens.
The greater debt is owed by the president and his leviathan government to the taxpayers and businesses who fund his endless golf outings, Michelle's expensive vacations, and the utopian statist nightmare he has foisted on us.
Instead of belittling the efforts of business people he should be gratefully thanking them.
Henry Oliner blogs at www.rebelyid.com