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Small Business Should Be Priority Number One
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  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “How can I cut business taxes—and the endless bureaucratic requirements which cost businesses huge amounts in time, energy and money, but which produce no revenue for governments?”

    The fact is that all businesses are owned by people, so taxing them is really “Double Taxation”. What’s worse is the huge compliance costs of business taxes, not only the financial departments business need to cut taxes and comply with tax laws, but the lobbyists and corrupting political donations required to get favorable tax laws for the business and against competitors.

    A study by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University
    Accounting Costs:
    Americans spend an estimated between $67 billion and $378 billion annually in accounting costs related to filing taxes. Americans spent more than 6 billion hours (2011) complying with the tax code. This represents an annual workforce of 3.4 million—a population that could be the third largest city in the United States, surpassing Chicago (2,707,120), Houston (2,145,146), and Philadelphia (1,536,471), and larger than the population of 21 states. A workforce equivalent to that employed by the four largest US companies—Walmart, IBM, McDonald’s and Target—combined.
    Economic Costs:
    The impact of taxes on the economy extends beyond the revenue taken by the government. The compliance burden results in estimates of foregone economic growth from $148 billion to $609 billion annually.
    Lobbying Costs:
    While an estimate for tax lobbying specifically, is not available, lobbyists spent nearly $28 billion petitioning federal, state, and local governments for policy preferences between 2002 and 2011.
    Lost Revenue:
    The United States has a tax-reporting compliance rate of 85.5 percent—leaving a 2012 revenue gap of $452 billion in unreported taxes, some of which is can be attributed to complexities in the tax code.
    If even the least of these numbers is true, and we really don’t know how much growth is lost every year to the economic dislocation of taxes, the loss is a minimum of hundreds of billions of dollars, and likely rises to over $1 Trillion. $1 Trillion is over 5% of America’s GDP, and this loss is an on going year after year drain. Lost growth, is growth that will never be compounded into the future, and compounding growth is the “Greatest Force in the Universe”.

    • bruce rosner

      One mans accounting costs is anther’s good living.

  • Beauceron

    “The number of businesses owned by Asian-American, Hispanic and black women grew faster than almost every other demographic group”

    Well, yeah. Under Obama the SBA was elevated to a cabinet level position– a good thing. But they increased minority only loans to small business to what is, honestly, an unfair level. If someone is truly a small business person (not a front for a larger business) I don’t really care what color they are. I am happy they get government help; I’d like to see more of it; I hope they employ people of all colors and beliefs. I don’t like seeing the preferential treatment given based on race or gender though, regardless of whether it’s college entrance applications or business loans.. If you’re a white guy trying to better their prospects by starting your own business, you deserve as much help as a black woman trying to better herself by starting her own business. I reject the idea that the latter is somehow better and deserves more help.

  • Fat_Man

    Capitalist Roaders. We should be building Socialism so that the United States can be just like Cuba and Venezuela. Encouraging capitalism is wrong and bad.

  • Kevin

    We should remember that big businesses, along with governments, unions and our various guilds, generally favor policies that will strangle small businesses in their cradle. Established entities with access to power and vested interest to defend do not favor competition and creative destruction. We should not confuse being pro-(competitive)market with pro-(big)business.

    • Jim__L

      Worse than that, even the best-intentioned regulation tends to oversimplify out of ignorance, and when it tries to account for those exceptions, it overcomplicates.

      Still worse, some policy-wank types think that changing the rules on a regular basis is the best way to prevent people from gaming the rules.

      Personally, I think the most helpful regulation we could have is for anyone who earns a degree in economics or political science to be forced to wear a dunce cap until he or she has successfully run a profitable small business for five years.

      • bruce rosner

        In what alternative universe is big business aligned with unions? Just ask Walmart what they think about unions. You are getting carried away with your laundry list of villains.

        • Jim__L


    • MoreFreedom2

      Mead should have suggested eliminating government business regulation in preference to free markets, property rights and common law, where the courts sort out disputes rather than legislators creating winners via legislation, regulation and the permit process. In fact, most regulation exists simply so politicians can generate campaign cash from their 1% campaign financiers who want to be picked as a winner, getting money via political processes rather than earning it in a free market. “Regulations” turn free markets into political markets.

      Mead also apparently is unaware of Junior Achievement programs in high school, which actually promote students creating their own businesses; however, government has been putting up roadblocks to such enterprises, as many lemonade entrepreneurs will tell you when they were shut down by the authorities for lack of permits or other regulatory burdens.

  • FriendlyGoat

    1) Not everyone can start and run a successful (successful) small business. The market does not exist for everyone to have a little shop or start-up in the types of businesses that even can start from little or nothing. This is not to say we don’t wish to encourage those for whom a market might exist—–BUT—-there is just as much evil in telling everyone to tap savings, relatives and credit to start something with the probable likelihood of failure as there is in selling them too much debt-financed college education in unmarketable fields. If you look around, you see entrepreneurial things open and close every year. Every time a new one closes, SOMEONE has lost a lot of money and had a VERY tough emotional ride. The primary reasons for these failures are not either regulations or taxes. They are lack of a market, being in a low-margin business, under-capitalization, inexperience, and competing with more-established competitors that can undercut you while you can’t undercut them.

    2) You cannot really teach the intricacies of small business in high schools where some of the parents of some of the kids are really in the businesses you are trying to teach—-especially in the small towns where this stuff is ultra-visible. This is one of the reasons why it is not done in the manner suggested here.

    3) You WOULD do well to go out and teach youngsters why you want the blue model to fail—-so they would understand how and why they can expect to lose at life unless they wake up and retain what made America “great” for people in the first place.

    • Jim__L

      FG, WRM does not want the Blue Model to fail. If you read some of his longer writings, he speaks very highly of it.

      The fact is that it IS failing. About the only thing worse than putting your head in the sand is shooting the messenger.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Perhaps you have been reading here longer than me, but my impression is that TAI believes the Blue Model is some kind of a joke—-or at best a dinosaur which somehow deserves to be extinct. In the short pieces, there are references such as this one from above:

        “The policies that we built around blue model economic assumptions need to be reimagined for a dynamic environment that requires more flexibility and creativity from ordinary workers.”

        Followed by:

        “So the rest of us will have to go about changing these policies without the help of the social justice left—which is a shame, because it could and should be an important political ally in this fight.”

        The problem is that nothing is ever really suggested other than what would sound like that from a totally-unconcerned “Chamber of Commerce” point of view. I could sarcastically express it as:

        “Abandon your unions. Embrace employment-at-will. Support the legislation of gargantuan tax cuts for your betters who—-if you’re lucky—will rehire you as hospitality workers in their resorts. Or, drive for Uber. On health insurance, help us develop pitiful little policies from across state lines for which you can afford the payments into corporations but which will not possibly protect you from your actual medical risks. Fuggedaboudit on living wage or climate change. Busy yourself with bathroom bills if you’re politically inclined. Uh, did we mention Uber?”

        • Jim__L

          FG, when in the world has TAI advocated for tax cuts?

          There you go again.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Anyone who supports Republicans on abortion, guns, anti-gay, small government, anti-Obamacare, voter ID, school choice, anti-union, anti-regulation, anti-AGW or even anti-Hillary-on-her-character is supporting high-end tax cuts——BECAUSE—–if you put sufficient Republicans into office, they WILL do high-end tax cuts. At the federal level, they DO TELL YOU THAT in both Congressional and Presidential campaigns. The degree of what they wish to do in this regard in 2017 is staggering. You do not elect them on any of their other supposed issues without the tax cuts. Can’t be done.

          • Jim__L

            FG, please read the following paragraph carefully.

            You are obsessed with high-end taxes. Other people are not. You think they are a panacea. Other people do not. You think high-end tax cuts are the greatest horror imaginable. That near-psychotic horror blinds you to a shocking variety of ghastly crimes, staggering lapses in judgement, inexplicable departures from reality, downright tyranny, and outright persecutions.

            Others have a less narrow point of view. Please understand that.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Those others “don’t get” what being a Republican remotely means in modern American politics. It means being “hooked” in on any of a number of hot-button issues to support high-end tax cuts and not even knowing for what or why they were recruited. You’re there.

          • Jim__L

            FG –

            You care very deeply about one issue and do not care deeply about other issues. Does that mean you have been “had” for the last 35 years, by supporting a political party that has had little success — and arguably is not trying very hard — to pursue that one issue?

          • FriendlyGoat

            The reason I rant on this is because I believe it is the single most important political issue of our day in the United States. A huge amount of damage has already been done and I will admit that Jimmy Carter signed the first of it in 1978, but Reagan took it further, George W. Bush took it further yet and Cruz or Trump would economically kill the country with far, far more. It is time to STOP and, if possible, reverse. That means no Republicans, period—–on any of their (mostly phony anyway) issues.

            We absolutely must be honest with ourselves about what kills jobs instead of “creating” them. We must do it for the United States and we must stop tax-cut competition abroad for the sake of the economies of all countries.

            Find me a Republican who will side with you on all the other things and absolutely pledge no tax cuts and I’ll be looking for the salt and pepper with which to eat your hat.

          • Jim__L

            What about when Kennedy and Johnson cut taxes?

          • FriendlyGoat

            That’s when we should have been done with it.

          • Jim__L

            Huh. So you have some picture of what the Laffer Curve actually looks like?

          • FriendlyGoat

            The government is $19 trillion in debt. We have increased the wealth of the top few percent by more than $19 trillion, I’m sure. Laffer didn’t predict this shift for 2016, nor did he predict zero or negative interest rates to ameliorate the effects of the policies he advocated. We need to get over Laffer.

          • Jim__L

            Actually, your argument that the K/J tax cuts were good but we should have stopped there. That basically means that you believe the Laffer curve has a revenue peak at the level immediately after the K/J cuts.

            Either that, or you’re simply being blindly partisan with respect to Kennedy and Johnson. (Democrats good, even if they cut taxes, Republicans bad, because Republicans…)

          • FriendlyGoat

            I get it that an income tax bracket at 91% was a little extreme. That does not mean I supported Carson’s “tithe tax” at 10%, or anyone else’s low flat tax. The cutting has already gone too far and absolutely no more is needed. That’s the point.

          • Jim__L

            Why doesn’t a 90% tax bracket make sense, if the point is to punish CEOs who make 1000x more than their line workers?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, I would argue that there might be some level where 90% might make sense. It probably depends on what activities you want to discourage from happening in the first place—-as opposed to punishing them after the fact as you and the conservatives always allege is the liberals’ motive. It’s reasonable to assume that our society is not benefited by someone making over a billion shorting the markets. Just because he or she might be right on a gambling bet in a nervous market moment does not mean we should celebrate the whole idea and pretend that such traders are our job-creating idols. A lot of other people lose pieces of that billion.

            BUT, we do not have to dwell on 90% to understand why we easily should have brackets running ten and twenty and thirty and forty and fifty and sixty and seventy—–NOT ten for everything or twenty for everything. AGAIN, the point of this is to discourage excesses before they happen.

          • Jim__L

            Again, I have some sympathy for your position here. But you won’t change your mind and you won’t change the subject, and taxes on the rich end up in a lot of conversations where it is at best peripheral, like this one.

            As for whether taxes would effectively discourage great concentrations of wealth, I’m not convinced that is the case. I think that regulatory capture probably contributes more to great concentrations of wealth. So does disruptive innovation. So do certain financial practices, like taking a smallish percentage cut of enormous deals, whose absolute value is totally disproportionate to the actual amount of work done. (More competition in the banking industry would be the solution there — taxes are an afterthought.)

            I hope I’m not just encouraging you, here. =(

          • FriendlyGoat

            I am willing to surprise you and change the subject. The Atlantic has an interesting piece on what, if anything, will replace payday lending.

            One takeaway is that competition between lenders has not really solved the problem of excessive cost for the borrowers. I now live in a state with these loan shops on nearly every corner. To me it is an example of something the free market does not fix—-when it is assumed that a free market fixes anything or everything.

            As for taxation not being the best tool for curbing the upward flight of wealth into “concentrations”, we sure don’t much example of anything else as effective. We can’t argue that the answer to “regulatory capture” is to have no regulation (yet conservatives do try with that angle.)

          • Jim__L

            Markets work best among rational and educated consumers — payday loans customers are not rational with money, so it’s not surprising that things aren’t working well for them.

            I’m all for anti-usury laws, actually.

            Now let me surprise you by going back to the inequality vs. tax bracket thing — is an interesting article on the subject, and I’m curious what you think of it.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, I would generally agree with the last sentence of that article in particular, that taxing capital gains and inheritances may be the most important thing to be doing. Oddly, we have had a tendency to give the light touch to capital gains, AND, to try to trick people out of maintaining gift and estate taxes altogether by painting them to be a tax on dying or a “death tax”.

            Still, the whole problem of inequality is not the only reason for maintaining progression in the taxation of higher incomes at higher rates. One other reason I can think of is for the purpose of curbing ridiculous excesses. If we don’t like ambulance-chasing trial lawyers, for instance, some of whom occasionally hit the BIGTIME with 33% fees on big settlements, why don’t we tax them more?. George W. Bush when he was governor of Texas wondered, for instance, why a law firm was going to get 1.5 billion dollars as its share of the tobacco settlement. I do too. I also wonder why we pay college football coaches in the millions while not paying the players at all. And then, there was Judge Judy at a reported $47,000,000/year. There is also the problem of CEO’s often being paid seven, eight, even nine figures according to how effective they are at cutting the jobs of other people in their companies.

          • Boritz

            You shouldn’t put a great deal of stock in what Republicans say. While
            Tump’s support is comprised of millions of people who have figured this out you don’t have to support Trump to acknowledge it.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I agree that Trump supporters have figured out that something has gone terribly wrong for American workers, but I do not agree that they know what it is. They think it’s immigrants, taxes too high and government too big. Republicans everywhere “help” them think that.
            They’re right about the immigrants but are unaware that the GOP plan is NOT to get rid of them but to convert an equivalent number into legal guest workers—–screened at the door in the wall, or at the airport. They are not right about taxes too high or government too big. They have those backwards.

  • Phil Mitchell

    The “social justice” Left is interested in one thing–sticking it to the rich, the capitalist, the successful. A program that actually helps poor people is irrelevant.

    • Don’t forget importing poor Third Worlders en masse. SJWs love to drag down once-prosperous societies through open borders immigration schemes (See: DACA/DAPA in the US, so-called ‘migrant crisis’ in EU).

      The endless opportunities for virtue signalling found among those floods of brown-skinned humanity are irresistible to SJWs.

  • Brian

    I’m one of those “so-called social justice warriors,” and I absolutely agree that we need policies that help small businesses promote job creation. And every other social justice warrior I know agrees. Nobody on the left supports those bs microaggression workshops–that’s the mainstream, establishment center-left. I absolutely agree that we can be allies.

    The problem is that we likely disagree on which policies to support, and how the economy should be managed by government–first among these is that the right needs to acknowledge that the economy is managed by the government in the first instance. There is no economy without the government first enforcing property laws through its police powers. The government allows property rights to exist, and these could not be protected without the police power of the state. This is totally fine and provides stability, but the right needs to acknowledge that the state’s enforcement of property rights tips the scale in favor of property owners and against those who have nothing but their labor to offer. Once that acknowledgment is made, we can discuss how the state should balance the power between property owners and others. Saying the government should get out of the way and let the economy function without interference is a stupid argument often made by people on the right. What they really mean is that the government should continue enforcing property law to protect owners, thus tipping the scale in their favor, but do nothing that may tip the scale toward non-owners. Somehow the former is not government interference in the economy, but the latter is.

    If anyone agrees on this starting point, then we can have a conversation about what government ought to do in order to help small businesses. Let me know.

    • Since you jumped in the ring, Brian the Social Justice Warrior, Ill respond to your desire for a starting point by first saying:

      What the f*ck do property rights have to do with the issue at hand? You in part validated the writers critique of the social justice warriors in that every time we look at tackling a given problem with solutions, the left goes off track to whatever their pet peeve happens to be, whether its property rights, police brutality, safe spaces or any sort of lunacy. This is a discussion about how to best encourage small business growth across America and in particular within economically depressed & minority areas.

      Oh and while we’re at it, all those “fight for $15,” compulsory family leave days, ObamaCare, this regulation, that regulation, this fee that fee, etc etc that you warriors love to fight for..while big business is hardly pleased with it, they are far better equipped to absorb these costs or deflect them operationally via outsourcing & automation than is the small business owner. The result is you squeeze them out and provide a larger cut of the market-share to big business. You are actually helping the cause of the “haves” at the expense of the “have nots” you claim to fight for.

    • dearth_vader

      Perhaps you should make your point a different way, please, as I don’t understand what you are saying. If property rights are not enforced, no one has any incentive to work toward ownership of anything, either a home or a small business. Property rights are the rights to use my property as I please, so long as I do not contribute to the destruction of society, ie , polluting the water, etc., or keep anyone else from exercising their property rights except as we agree when we have common interests. How does that keep the non-property owner from anything? The history of the United states is a history rich with people rising from selling the only thing they had, their labor, to become property/business owners. Enforcement of property rights is one of the reasons why that has, and can still, happen. My mechanic owning his own business does not stop me from becoming a landlord or a doctor.

    • Tom

      “Nobody on the left supports those bs microaggression workshops–that’s the mainstream, establishment center-left.”

      Well, there’s your first lie.

    • SurfingUSA

      SJWs = nutjobs who think “the state” should be doing something or other (unclear) to property owners.

    • The problem is they don’t promote job creation. Every small business is dependent on larger businesses to survive. There’s a good reason you see so many shuttered stores and other business in small towns – they lost their revenue source as farmers went out of business and factories closed. Promote “big business” and you get jobs – promote small business and you get more failures.

      • Terry D

        Sam, find out how many people are employed by small business and how many people would be out of work if the world was in your make believe know nothing thinking of yours.

  • john dekker

    Perhaps the best place to start is to offer a ‘grub stake’ of $5000.00 dollars to every and I do mean every graduating senior who has a 2.0 GPA, and has not been involved as defendant in a PATERNITY SUIT, or has became pregnant.{ IT REALLY COSTS NOTHING AS OUR FIAT PAPER FEDERAL RESERVE NOTES ARE WORTHLESS ANYWAY} Why not also a BONUS for all girls over 13 who will with parents consent, [where any parent is available] accept a 5 year birth control implant? So from 13 to 18, no more welfare tickets to escape poverty to dive deeper into poverty. how about another bonus for another 5 year implant.???FAR CHEAPER THAN WELFARE, FOR ALL PARTIES INVOLVED. BETTER THAN ABORTION. morally wrong ? What is morally right when the interest alone on our national debt exceeds 660 MILLION dollars a day? and the illegals add to the debt and pay notta towards it. Yes i am a Conservative who supports TRUMP, because Washington is full of RINOS DINOS AND TRAITORS.

  • What the authors fail to take into account is that “small business” is dependent on “big business” to survive. Where do they think their customers come from? In the past, businesses we would think of today as small business drew their income from farmers. Since the advent of the Industrial Age, it’s come from employees of factories, company headquarters, etc. Some “small businesses” are vendors while others sell to the public. When it comes to business, all businesses are inter-related and pushing small business is a recipe for disaster.

    • Terry D

      What the author fails to say is liberal policies regulation and more taxes is strangling large and small business. They think they knows what’s best. Look how they are doing with the economy today. 7 years later all the part time jobs vs full time is huge. Obama and his advisors have cost this country dearly. They don’t support big or small business. What small business are vendors and what tiny part of small business draws income from farmers. You talk big but really preach liberal I know what’s best when really you don’t know sh-t.

  • themaskedblogger

    The nature of work is changing. The 20th century model is gone and won’t be coming back, no mater how much Trump and the Democrats– like there’s a difference– try to breathe life into the corpse. This requires new thinking, and above all else, regulatory compliance cost reduction.

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