Only one more week to go…thank heavens. I imagine that most Americans are sick to death of this election – sick of the lies, sick of the endless repetitive advertisements, sick of the notion that while our so-called political leaders are crisscrossing the country campaigning, no one is minding the store.
The store is in trouble. We actually need some grown-ups to take charge. Blue or red – I don’t care- as long as they “man up” and face the challenges confronting this country. Here’s the reality: we need to get more people working and paying income taxes. That’s the only way we can possibly afford the promises made through Social Security and Medicare.
What do you do when your team is behind? You change the coach, boost training and upgrade your equipment. Let us hope America does just that. With luck, this election will boot enough anti-business Democrats to dampen Capitol Hill’s pulse-numbing regulatory fever.
Most Americans understand that unless our businesses prosper, they will not hire people. The Obama administration has failed to connect those dots. As the business community has one by one abandoned the White House, what can Team Obama be thinking? That our most senior business executives are stupid? Or maybe (like voters, according to President Obama) that they are scared?
Worse, the Obama team has apparently decided that the business community doesn’t matter. This is incomprehensible. In the midst of a terrible recession, how can President Obama not team up with the business community to grow jobs?
When Obama held a jobs summit late last year, he failed to invite the Chamber of Commerce, which represents a federation of three million businesses – and also excluded the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the voice of small business in this country. Why? Because they had been critical of the president’s health care bill. Instead, the president packed the room with union leaders, liberal economists and environmentalists. Seriously, I still shake my head. This comes from electing a fellow who has never had even a casual encounter with the profit motive.
Let us hope that the victors on Tuesday come to Washington ready to re-train our country. Instead of whining about exchange rates, let’s gear up to compete. Germany is running circles around us – growing exports and lowering unemployment. They don’t have an undervalued currency – they have the will to win. They have a pro-business government that prides itself on providing excellent infrastructure, legal clarity and tax incentives to companies.
Our Small Business Administration reports that regulations in this country add $10,585 of regulatory costs on every employee hired by a small business; that is not taxes or fees – just the costs of compliance with the web of government regulations. It amounts to $15,500 per American household – and is simply unacceptable.
We need to bite the bullet and get rid of stupid and wasteful programs – like supports for ethanol – and put that money towards upgrading our ports or rail systems, important investments for our future. We need to undo the public employees’ pension programs that are bankrupting our states and cities.
We need to agree that teachers, too, must be held accountable.
We need to simplify the 150,000 pages of federal rules and regulations that have driven successful entrepreneurs like Ken Langone to claim he could never have founded the Home Depot today.
There is much to do, all of which will take guts and a thick skin. We need some leaders with both – and who also understand that this country only became rich enough to take care of our neediest by rewarding the success of our most ambitious. That is a message that has been lost.