guest commentary by David Potts
Potts is a certified public accountant with more than 25 years experience (Although every effort is made to provide you accurate and timely tax information, it is general in nature and not specific to your facts and circumstances. Consult a qualified tax professional to discuss your particular case.)
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“it’s constitutional. Bitches” (Punctuated as tweeted)
Just in case you missed it, the above quote was tweeted Thursday by Patrick Gaspard, the Democratic National Committee’s Executive Director, when he learned the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
And if you are in doubt as to who he was referring to, he was referring to you and me, his fellow Americans. This is becoming the prevalent attitude of our elected government officials, both Republican and Democrat.
We are their bitches.
They may not say it, but their actions demonstrate it. How? One way is how our government “leaders” generate a continuous environment of uncertainty in the economy due to a vacuum of leadership caused by their inter-party bickering and their inability to reach any consensus on any policy that benefits us, their countrymen. It’s about them and party politics. They demonstrate a complete and total disrespect of you and me.
So what should our response be?
As a small business owner, my response is to thumb my nose at them and through hard work and resourcefulness make sure I succeed in spite of my government. It is easy to get sucked in to political discourse and believe that your fate is dependent on whoever is elected to public office. It’s not. Although our government can exert significant influence on our business environment, in the end, the success of your business is dependent on you.
Let’s get real. National healthcare is here and here to stay. Plan for it. Don’t sit back and bask in the Republican’s promises that they will repeal “Obamacare.” They can’t unless they win the Presidency, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. The odds are against it.
For millions of Americans, access to healthcare will be a good thing. It just might be at my expense and your expense. We can whine or we can begin to ask ourselves questions such as “What can we do to increase our company’s productivity to reduce our labor cost?” or “How can I increase my product’s value (and therefore price) to my customers?”
Income taxes will increase in the future — the near future — like next year. It’s a certainty. Our Federal budget deficit is huge. My calculator won’t hold that many digits. But in order to reduce our Federal deficit an increase in tax revenue as well as spending cuts will be necessary. And If it is a choice between paying a few bucks in higher taxes and following in Greece’s footsteps, let’s pay a few dollars in additional taxes. Plan for it. Just plan to make sure you don’t pay one dollar more than you legally have to. (By the way, if we become Greece, I’m moving to China.)
How about interest rates? I don’t know when, but interest rates are going up. They won’t stay at historical lows forever. You just have to plan for change if you want to succeed, and then there is no guaranty. It’s not a perfect world.
Change will come, it’s certain. Sometimes we are lured to sleep because the change is slow.
We have heard for years that Whirlpool would close their Fort Smith plant. It finally did. The change was the result of a shift in the structure of the global economy; i.e., it’s a lot cheaper to produce products in Mexico where you can employ labor for $1 an hour. It was slow coming and the time was always uncertain, but the time arrived and the plant closed. Businesses once dependent on Whirlpool will continue in business if they planned for this change by changing their product mix and developing new customers. If not they will or have closed down.
Many a small business chronically manages in crisis mode. Urgency is in their DNA and the important tasks of planning and considering change are shuffled to the side. Times are a changing. It’s time to devote energy on the important as well as the urgent. Your government is not going to help. They can’t. It is up to you. Your company can still be successful and profitable when change comes if you begin to look forward, take time for the important and manage your business to maximize your profitability and cash flow, and of course, always to minimize your taxes. It takes time and effort, but is success ever easy?
My advice? Thumb your nose and stick out your tongue at the politicians who promise but never deliver; be resourceful; prepare for change, it always comes; don’t waste energy whining; and succeed.
It’s your American right.