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Elections Matter

By George Schmok

Things are getting really crazy out there . . . I was watching one of the news shows the other day and saw a report which stated, that because of political instability in America an oil company was moving from America to set up business in Uganda?!?

We continued to see mixed headlines like these from the OPEI the other day:

Textron Beats Estimates . . . New CEO Might Have Difficulty Meeting Caterpillars Earnings Forecast . . . Businesses Are Ready to Hire and Buy Equipment . . . Housing Outlook Remains Uncertain . . . Joblessness Down in 39 States . . . Few Jobs Being Created . . .

It's kind of like the Sky the Falling but Umbrella Sales are Showing Signs of Gains.

One of the biggest problems facing the small businessman in America these days is the federal government's almost manic mission to implement massive change in the ability of private entrepreneurs to conduct business. From health care, to cap and trade, to Wall Street reform, to the stimulus bill, the legislators and especially the President are attacking business at every corner.

I have to tell you . . . I have given a pass to the current administration for the past 18 months because I am on the opposing side and we lost the election. I figured, OK . . . let's see if they can put up as much as they told us to shut up . . . Well the answer is ''no'' and the upcoming elections are going to be critical to those of us who own and operate private businesses.

The current housing crunch can be traced back directly to the change of power in the House and Senate in 2007 from Republican to Democrat, and the forcing of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac to allow non-secured home loans. While responsible voices were pointing out the unsustainability of those policies, the Barney Franks, Chuck Schumers, Nancy Pelosis and Harry Reids of the world were saying ''no'' . . . all is fine. Don't worry . . . Be Happy . . .

But, of course, things weren't fine. At first, housing prices skyrocketed as cheap and easy money sparked fierce competition for all and any house for sale. Of course, then the variable loans at 1 percent went to 6 and 7 percent, and as a result hundreds of thousands of homeowners are still being forced out of their houses.

There is an estimated 47-49 percent of Americans who now don't pay any federal taxes. Sorry to say . . . that doesn't include landscape contractors who own their own businesses. No, this industry is made up of entrepreneurs, who take risks, hire employees, buy insurance and pay taxes. Unfortunately, those sitting in power on Capitol Hill see you as meal tickets to pay for their agenda. Yep, they are ready to let the tax cuts of the Bush administration expire, raising tax levels for every tax-paying American, raising capital gains taxes, raising the death tax, and are poised on implementing a new value-added tax on goods and services.

People like to bash Bush, but the national deficit was $200 billion in 2007. In 2010 it is $1.4 trillion. And, as if small businesses weren't already scraping their way along prosperity highway, all these additional taxes, programs and ''reforms'' are doing nothing but putting you in a tighter bind, and forcing you to pony up even more to help support those poor people who have enough for the flat-screen and a six pack, but need a little more for the satellite dish and the champagne brunch . . .

Now, I don't care if you are Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, Libertarian, independent, black, white, purple, pink, yellow, brown or some shade of green . . If you are a business owner . . . and about 95 percent of you reading this article are business owners . . . then these upcoming elections are important to you. That means you should take the time over these next few months to contact your state associations (If only we had a strong National Landscape Association working on your behalf . . . But that's another story for another day . . . ), get involved and help get stability back into the government.

I'm not sure I would vote for a single incumbent and I certainly wouldn't vote for anyone who thinks that raising the burden of taxes on landscape contractors is the way to help us dig out of this pit.

There are a lot of signs showing that America is ready to take the step out of this recession, but there are just as many showing its ankle is still sprained. So now is the time to take an active part in making sure the next group to govern is more concerned with the problems facing hard working, tax-paying landscape contractors than they are with whether they can buy a vote by giving away your money . . .

God Bless . . .

George Schmok, Publisher


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November 20, 2019, 2:02 pm PDT

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