Tag Archive for 'economic advice'

Small business advice for the President

In recent campaign speeches, President Obama made remarks that caused small business owners to blink. Since the SBA estimates there are almost 28 million small businesses in America, that’s a lot of blinking.

And since the small business sector is one of the groups most likely to show up on election day, it’s easy to see that troubling these folks could be politically troubling. Consequently, I would like to offer the president some campaign advice to avoid future missteps when talking to, or about small businesses.

Dear President Obama:

Earlier this year you said, “The more fortunate among us can afford to pay a little more.” Perhaps you didn’t realize your definition of “fortunate” includes millions of small business owners.

But you might be surprised to learn that my advice is not whether you should talk about raising taxes, but rather, about calling small business owners fortunate. All Americans are fortunate because we have the liberty to pursue our dreams. But liberty does not guarantee success.

So, Mr. President, if small business owners ever have to pay the new tax rate you propose, they will want you to recognize that it was because against all odds, their considerable effort, investment, and risk made them successful, not because they are fortunate.

More recently, Mr. President, trying to convey the completely accurate reminder that we’ve all had help getting to where we are in life, you used the following words that got you into hot water: “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own … somebody else invested in roads and bridges; if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that – somebody else made that happen.”

Some think, Mr. President, that you literally meant, “you didn’t build your business.” I think you were taken out of context and meant, “You didn’t build the roads and bridges that serve your business; the government did.”

But even if I’m correct about your meaning, sir, your statement is still ill-advised. Because regardless of who built those road and bridges, they were funded by taxes paid in part by America’s small businesses and employees.

So, Mr. President, here is my campaign advice:

  1. If you want small business owners to pay more taxes, recognize it will come from their successful efforts, not because they are more fortunate.
  2. Recognize that tax revenue to fund things the government builds comes partially from what entrepreneurs built first.

All Americans are fortunate to have the liberty to pursue and create their own success.


I talked more about the hard work of small business owners and the contributions they make to America on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. Click here to download or listen.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

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