By Monica Frede
“Small businesses have always been the engine of our economy, creating 65% of all new jobs in America, and they must be at the forefront of our recovery. That’s why the recovery act was designed to help small businesses expand and create jobs.”
– Pres. Obama in 2009
“Instead of giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, we want to give tax breaks to small business owners who are creating jobs right here in America. Already, we’ve given small businesses 8 new tax cuts and have expanded lending to more than 60,000 small business owners.”
– Pres. Obama on July 24, 2010
“As a part of health reform, 4 million small business owners could be eligible this year for a health care tax credit worth perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. “
– Pres. Obama on Sept 27, 2010
President Obama and his administration want to solve the riddle of how to fix the American economy. Unfortunately for him, securing the right answer has one requirement: to get out of the way.
Small businesses cannot guarantee economic growth, but then neither can our government. Then why do so many Americans believe that the government is the safety net? Because the government has been just that— so far. But every net has a breaking point, and even Jesus taught this. At the request of Jesus, Simon cast out his nets into the sea one more time, after toiling all night without catching any fish, but his obedience was rewarded with a harvest greater than his fishing net could hold— and it broke. The lesson?
Don’t trust in what man can do. Trust in what God has already done.
The number of new businesses that exist today is at a 16-year low. Only 2.5 million jobs were created in 2010, which is also at a 16-year low. Then who is creating all the jobs? The government. Even Steve Jobs told the president that it is easier to start jobs in China than it is in the United States.
Every small business owner will experience some sleepless nights. What do we do if we can’t meet payroll? Should I fire the employee who has a wife and three children? Will the bank extend our loan, and if they don’t, then what? But congressmen do not lay awake at night with such concerns. They have a guarantee—regardless of what happens in the economy, they still receive a salary, and every two years, they manage a campaign for their own reelection, which is of little concern to most of them. After all, incumbents rarely lose re-election. US House reelection rates between 1964 and 2010 average nearly 90%, with US Senate reelection rates slightly lower.
The Federal Government has not passed a budget in the last three years. In 2011, the Federal Government spent $3.6 trillion. The total Federal receipts were $2.3 trillion. That’s a shortage of $1.3 trillion. And 29% of that spending pie consists of Social Security expenditures. And unfortunately for us, in 1960 there were 5.1 workers to every retiree, but in 2009, there were only 3 workers to every retiree. And it is projected that by 2030, there will only be 2.2 workers to every retiree.
And yet, we trust the government safety net.
The CBO published the “Report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform” in December 2010 stating that under our current policies, the U.S. Public Debt as a percentage of GDP would balloon continuously, growing from 61% in 2010 to 110% in 2025 and 140% in 2040. Let’s keep this simple: anything over 100% means we have no money to pay what we owe. And yet, Americans continue to elect those who promise hope and change.
Given these all-too-real statistics, why do so many people believe the government knows what is best for our economy and our futures? Why do we trust them? Another chart provides the answer. The four largest discretionary spending categories of our government directly impact the individual: The Departments of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, Education and Housing and Urban Development.
The government is spending its largest amount of income on you— on your neighbor, on those who are sick and on the young who need to be educated. The individual who receives basic needs directly from his government is an individual who will forget his ability to be self-sufficient.
In America today, we have 28 million small businesses that employ 60 million people. Every one of those small business has a budget. Every one of those small business owners spends less than what they take in. Every one of those employees care about the success of their company, because the day the company is not successful is the day they may be out of a job. But yet these companies are demonized.
The Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 took out their anger not only on banks, but on local, small businesses. Neighborhoods in New York were occupied for over two months, during which protestors urinated and defecated on streets and in business’s outdoor trash containers, and they destroyed property of those same business owners. In the last year in Wisconsin, union organizations and liberal organizations called for boycotts on local businesses that support Governor Scott Walker. The co-administrator of a Facebook page, “Boycott Scott Walker Contributors,” reacted to a concerned citizen who was disturbed that these boycotts would directly result in low and middle-income earners losing their jobs. He said this in response:
“But the core issue is that we’ve reached a state of ‘war’….So yes, in times of war, there will be collateral damage…Basically the only thing corporations care about is money, we can’t really affect them by saying things or flashing (protest signs). The thing to do on a day-to-day basis is to try to reduce their revenues.”
Yes, businesses want to make money. They want to succeed and they want to exchange that money for goods—not only for themselves, but for you as well. They want to hire you. They want to promote you. They want to give you a chance to be successful. But what does the government want? They want to take your money. They want to spend your money, and they want to keep your money.
Far too many Americans trust in their government to be their provider. They believe the government’s net will serve up just enough fish to last until the next need arises. But below the surface, the sea is out of fish. With what could happen in our economy any day now, give this a try: “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Because eventually, your god runs out of money and runs out of lies.
But my God already walked on the water, and His fish fed thousands.