Written By: Randy Simmons,
In the history of Presidential Elections, the 2016 race will likely go down as the most divisive and nasty election in history. Most Americans by now are suffering from election fatigue and are looking for it coming to an end on Nov. 8th. Although all Americans have a stake in the outcome of this election, none are more concerned and have more to lose than the small business owners and people who work for them. Due to the present uncertainty of the election and the waning confidence in our government, many businesses have responded by delaying new equipment replacement, expansions and hiring new employees. The reason for these delays have much to do with the direction this country will go under a new presidential administration.
Choosing a Direction
In this coming election, the choice of candidates and direction of our country has never been so stark. No matter what you think of either candidate for whatever reason, they are who they are and they were duly elected by we the people. So, lets look at their policies and highlight factors that will impact small business owners and their employees.
• Big Government (Hillary Clinton) vs. Small Government (Donald Trump).
The implication of Big Government is that it will be more pervasive in our daily lives and businesses – it will require higher taxation to support an expanding government and for the expanding social programs associated with it. Along with Big Government typically comes increased regulation as a mechanism to siphon more money out of business and to select business winners and losers based on how the businesses support the governments national agenda (e.g., fossil fuel companies are aggressively regulated and taxed because they go against US Governmental energy policy that strives for new so-called clean energy initiatives; Hence, aggressive regulations and taxation, destroys businesses and increases unemployment). Conversely, the implication of Smaller Government is that it is less pervasive in our lives and businesses, commands lower tax dollars to support it, and imposes fewer regulations that can stand in the way of businesses optimizing profitability, purchasing new equipment and expanding business through the creation of American jobs. Remember this: “Profits Are the Life-blood of all Businesses” and without it, businesses cannot exist and employ others.
A Hillary Clinton Administration will continue expanding the size of our government, while a Donald Trump administration will shrink our government and impose business practices that will drive out waste, fraud and bring accountability back to Washington.
• High National Debt (Hillary Clinton) vs. A Balanced Budget (Donald Trump)
Successful business owners know that effectively managing their budget enables them to effectively plan and grow their business; they also know that if you don’t balance the budget, it jeopardizes the businesses ability to weather fluctuations in an uncertain market and can impact the ability to afford employee benefits and or expand operations. Continuing operation without a balanced budget, typically means over spending and needing to borrow money to stay afloat.
With our present National Debt being the highest in our nation’s history, our country is beholden to outside lenders – and in order to fund the debt service on our loans, higher taxes are required for the privilege of using their money (typically borrowed from Chinese interests). How does this impact the small business owner? Higher taxation reduces discretionary income and buying power which is needed to create market demand for goods and services through the economy. Any reduction in buying power weakens consumer spending resulting in lower business sales and profitability which is needed to sustain a business and its employees. Hillary Clinton’s policies will continue the “Spend and Borrow” approach while Donald Trump, will take a responsible “Balanced Budget’ approach to managing the business of the US Government.
• High Taxes (Hillary Clinton) vs. Lower Taxes (Donald Trump)
One of the greatest problems facing all Americans and especially US businesses is a high tax rate, The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, comprised of a 35% Fed tax plus up to an additional 12% for state and local taxes. If “Profit is the Life-blood of all business” then high tax’s chisel away at profit dollars, shareholder value and the life-blood needed to maintain business viability; Unless our government lowers the Corporate Tax Rate, large corporations will continue to leave the Unites States leaving unemployment in its wake and it will stifle new small business start-ups. Add to that an Individual Federal Tax Rate of up 39.6% plus, an additional 10 – 13.3% State and Local tax and the result is weaker business viability and consumer spending which translates into fewer dollars being infused into the economy to stimulate economic growth. Hillary Clinton’s policies will require higher taxation to support big government and expanding social programs while a Donald Trump administration recognizes that reducing both Corporate and Individual Taxes enables both businesses and consumers to keep more of their earned dollars, enabling them to naturally stimulate the economy through their own discretionary spending.
• Open Borders (Hillary Clinton) vs. Enforcement of our standing Emigration Laws (Donald Trump)
It isn’t intuitive that an open border policy has an impact on small business viability in this country – but it does; Simply speaking, undocumented workers displace young American workers who need low level (first rung of the ladder) jobs which have traditionally been a means for them earning money for such things as: college tuition, books, gas, rent etc. while giving them entry level business exposure that provides “first rung” access to the ladder of success. When undocumented workers come into our country and displace American workers, they may pay income tax however, rather than the discretionary income being spent here and stimulating the US economy, most of it is taken out of our economy and sent abroad to help support their family back home. For those who take up illegal residency, their willingness to work full time for unfairly low wages, drives down the earning potential of Americans not willing to work for a low unfair wage. By not adopting an “America First” philosophy, and not enforcing our emigration laws, we weaken our economy at both the producer and consumer level. A Hillary Clinton Administration believes in open borders and a globalized economic policy which will economically weaken both American businesses and consumers alike. Conversely, a Donald Trump administration believes in enforcement of our emigration laws, vetting of all aliens entering our country and providing a common-sense pathway to citizenship. With an “America First” policy, we can preserve our “First rung of the ladder” jobs for American citizens while ensuring that most if not all of the discretionary income is spent here at home – strengthening our own economy.
• Government Run Healthcare Exchange (Hillary Clinton) vs. A Competitive Free Market Healthcare System (Donald Trump).
In a nation where employers customarily offer and help subsidize the cost of healthcare insurance for their employees – this practice has become increasingly difficult for small business owners to provide. The simple fact that there is a lack of competition among healthcare insurers emboldens them to raise premiums for no other reason than increasing profits to greed level. The Affordable Health Care Act, though noble in cause, was ill conceived and designed in a way that nearly guarantees its failure – relying on the youth of this country to Opt-In to help in subsidizing the program for older generations – then imposing fines that are less punitive than the cost of participating in the program – is a guarantee for failure and we are now watching it crumble before our very eyes. Hillary Clinton will continue the policy of a broken healthcare system while a Donald Trump administration will roll-back and retool our healthcare system to inject free enterprise and competition into the system – forcing companies to compete for business while naturally helping to keep premiums low and services high.
Small Business Owners Uncertain With many domestic and global concerns impacting our economy (eg.,looming interest rates, exit of the U.K. from the European Union, throwing global markets into a tailspin and increasing tension with China whom we owe trillions of dollars and who manipulates their currency, engages in unfair trade practices including patent infringement and theft of intellectual property), there is plenty for all Americans to be concerned about, but small business owners who risk all to start-up and operate businesses face greater pressures because they must find ways to deal with the onslaught of domestic regulations and taxation in combination with the influx of foreign imports which are often dumped in this country due to our government’s ability to manage the imbalance in our national trade policies. With a Hillary Clinton Administration, her ambitions of a globalized economy will drive continued outsourcing of products to other nations, resulting in the continued erosion of American jobs here at home, while weakening individual income that will reduce buying power for purchase of goods and services from American Small Businesses. A Donald Trump administration understands the “cause and effect” dynamics of taxation, competition and fair trade practices on the US economy and will “right-size” these areas in order to help retain American jobs which helps strengthen both the business and consumer market alike.
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