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I Didn’t Build My Business Alone

August 8, 2012

President Obama statist leaning statement essentially says* building a successful business is not a result of working harder or being smarter than the average guy. If you created a business, you didn’t build it yourself, you had help from the government. (July 13, 2012).

This attitude reminds me of a famous quote from Former President Ronald Reagan.

President Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

Where do you suppose the money for those vital infrastructure projects come from Mr. Obama? Certainly not from the public sector. No it’s coming from everyone who works for in a ‘for-profit’ business. The public sector doesn’t generate a dime income for infrastructure projects. The public sector does the opposite. It uses private sector funds in competition with infrastructure projects.

It is the business sector that pays for everything we have. In effect you and I,  workers in the private sector, bought and paid for every road we drive, every bridge we cross and every glass of water we drink.

If I had to credit someone who helped me get my business started, I would thank my family and friends whom without I would not have a successful business today.

I am critical of President Obama and his attitude toward business in general and small business specifically. The small business is under attack by the Obama administration on several fronts. From taxing to Obamacare, President Obama is putting a stranglehold on the small businessman.

Many small businesses are LLC or Sub Chapter S corporations. Businesses in America with those distinctions flow income directly to the owners. And income of $250K is not enough for many businesses because it doesn’t take into account lean years, when money saved by owners has to be redeployed into operations. There have been many lean years when I had to borrow money for my small business, just to pay the taxes owed especially in those years where capital equipment expenditures where high.

I take offense that President Obama gives little credit to the SMB owner. SMB’s are the backbone of our country. My effective federal tax rate has been 33% for the past 2 years. My business not only provided income taxes to the fed, state and local, it also provided payroll taxes to my 15 employees. Additionally my business provided work for over 1000 sub contractors, all whom pay income and payroll taxes on the work we provide to them.

I didn’t build my business alone. I had help from friends, family and many other business people. But the biggest reason why my business is successful is because I work harder and smarter than many of my competitors. Not because of what the government did.

This post is dedicated to Ronald Reagan, a president who praised the small businessman. May our next president take on the same attitude. Here are some of his most famous quotes regarding small business in America:

“Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” — Quote by Ronald Reagan, Remarks to the White House Conference on Small Business (August 15, 1986)

*Full Transcript
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

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