Glenn Beck: Small Business Burdens

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," October 22, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Well, hello, America.

We are facing tough economic times. And, you know, as much as you have to go out and vote — you have to go out and vote — and you have to find somebody — somebody, anybody — that can help rein in this monstrosity that we are creating in Washington.

Things are upside down. Mortgages are underwater. Foreclosures, banks are going under.

While you have to vote — I hope I'm wrong but I don't believe I am.
Things are going to speed up after the election. Economically, things are going to get worse before they get better. They have to.

The body is sick. We are riddled with corruption and greed. We haven't solved any of the problems — we haven't even talked about the problems that got us here. And the government is giving us poison in this arm and saying, I'm just giving you some medicine over here.

We're now going to punish the rich with taxes. And when I say "rich,"
I mean people that make $250,000 a year. That may be a lot more than what you make, and it may seem like that's an awful lot of money, but the people who are making $250,000 most likely started out making as much or less than you are now. And they've done some things that have put them in that situation.

And $250,000 is a lot of money, unless you are running a small business. Out of that $250,000 comes maybe your salary. And they're being demonized in the press.

What the government doesn't understand that rich people are not out buying yachts. OK, George Soros, but he's a spooky dude. They're not off shopping and redecorating their mansions, because most of these, quote/unquote, "rich," are small business owners, they're entrepreneurs. They are the backbone of our economy and members of your community. These are the people that have an idea, most likely an idea very similar to the one that you have.

Almost every job, 80 percent of all jobs in America — when America is suffering, 80 percent of all new jobs come from small business owners. And they're having a tough time. I have a roomful of them tonight. I want to talk to them a little bit.

In fact, let me ask you, guys, a question: How many are afraid of this current environment that you don't know that you can actually continue to keep your doors open if it continues to spiral down?

Look at that.

Let's call a spade a spade or a weasel a weasel. The politicians are going to let those tax — Bush tax cuts expire. That's whey they didn't pass anything because they don't have to. They'll just expire and they go, what, I didn't vote for that. That's why they just expire. That was the plan in the beginning.

You don't have to vote on this going up because this is the largest tax increase in American history, coming right after the first of the year.
Plus, we got even more. We got Obamacare right around the corner.

The looming tax hike will make it harder for small businesses to keep their doors open. These are the people that create jobs. But not only that, they represent the spirit of America, what used to be the American Dream.

What the politicians don't understand is that starting a small business is not about money. It's not about being rich. Who here thinks if you start out with the idea of being rich, you're most likely going to fail?

It's not about money. The money, in the end, represents freedom, but not the freedom that you're like, yes, Lovie, let's go to beach. Who travels around like Thurston Howell with a trunk full of money? Nobody.
George Soros. Other than him.

It's not that kind of freedom. It's the freedom to call your own shots, to do your own thing. And often, the freedom to fail, which stinks.

But you know what? It's an honor — it's a privilege to be allowed to fail.

Every day, we are learning more and more and nobody is going to let you fail. Well, how do you learn — how do you learn to pick yourself up and try again? No one says, "I just hate working, I'm going to start a small business." Nobody says that.

The work is hard. And quite honestly, as a small business owner myself, I have to tell you something: first, success isn't guaranteed. And be careful what you wish for.

I have about 46 employees just in New York right now. This city, you think the country is bad. You live in Iowa. Oh, sure, the government is off track. Sure. Yes.

Try in New York City, in New York state, in the new United States of America, it's like three strikes and you're out.

It's not only hard work, but I have to tell you: how many here who have sleepless nights thinking about just their employees? And how am I going to keep so-and-so with health insurance because they've got problems and I don't want them in the government system? How many people have thought, if this falls apart, how am I — how do I do this to my employees?
How do I not pay them? How do I fire them?

How many?

Most people that are successful don't make it to Bill Gates level.
Otherwise, Bill Gates wouldn't be such an — Bill Gates wouldn't walk around and you'd go, "Is that Bill Gates?" There would be a lot of them.

Some do make it big, but then what do they do? Usually, they start another business or they expand, or they move on to the next great idea.
And the money gets reinvested, in people and ideas.

Tonight, we'll meet with small business owners who pay everybody else before they get paid.

You see, to start a business or to launch a new product, you need to have money. You need to have capital. And, in the end, if you succeed, you're the one who took all the risk. You're the one who had the idea, you took all the risk. You were the ones that were up late worrying about it.
You were the one pacing the floor.

Look, man, there were lots of time that I wish not seriously because I enjoy — I enjoy following my heart and dreams. But there are times that I'm like, you know what, I just wish I could close to door and go, I don't care, not my deal.

Business owners don't do that. So, if I've done all of that work and all these people have, shouldn't it be up to them how to reinvest in their business? Or give to a charity? Or to start another business? Shouldn't they have the right to be able to have their money?

They've been done it. They've been successful. Wouldn't we count on the successful people to do it again?

Should it be up to you? Should it be up to — should it be up to Washington? If they can keep their money? I mean, after all, there comes a point where you can make too much. Really? Have you — have you called George Soros?

We're putting ourselves in a place where we are not competitive anymore. Why? There is too many restrictions.

Do you know — I saw a study that said that Microsoft would not be able to be done today. A guy in his garage could not come up with an idea and start Microsoft. What have we turned into?

The U.S. was a place where you — where you have the freedom to think and to do the unthinkable.

Do you know the story of FedEx? FedEx went to every single banker around. "Nobody needs their documents overnight. That's ridiculous!"
That's what they said. Nobody would give them a loan. Nobody needs it that fast. Really?

It was somebody thinking the unthinkable. It's people that look like they're crazy at the beginning. You know what I'm going to do, I'm going to make a vacuum tube with a couple of wires in it and plug it in and it will give us light. OK!

They are doing things that nobody has else tried or they're doing them in a different way that nobody else has thought of. You can't try crazy stuff anymore, because you can't fail, you can't take the risk. Oh, no, no, no. That might be damaging to the little fluffy wide-eyed owl.

This used to be a country where everybody came, where everybody dreamt. They're like, if I could just get to America, I could be free enough to do it

The question is: is it today still that country? And will it be tomorrow?

Are we going in a direction that still allows people to go, "Man, if I could just be free to try it"? Are we moving in that direction? Are we moving away from it? That's a question we should ask every day.

We should encourage legal immigration. You know, I'm telling you, somebody needs to make a stand for a new Ellis Island. I think we should have three or four all on the border.

We should Ellis Island back, a place where, come in. Hi, what's your name? What you got? What kind of skill? Why are you here? All right?

Any diseases like — that maybe we shouldn't be spreading around?

Do you have money? Can you take care of yourself? Because we don't want all these people taking care of you. Can you take care of yourself?
All right?

If you don't have any money, do you have skill? What can you do? Can you make us better?

Do you even understand what this country is? Can you speak the language? What kind of prison do you live in when you can't speak the language?

We need the best and brightest and encourage them to stay. Right now, we can't even get at Microsoft. We cannot get the best to stay here. They go away.

They begged under George Bush. Microsoft begged under Bush, begged under Obama. Can you please change us? We need the best and brightest.
They should want to stay here. Now, it's like no.

Why? Because I don't know if you've seen the debt, but if we're going to pay for that, we need the next — oh, about 1,000 big things.

But the ability to come up with the next big thing, not even that.
The ability to live your dreams — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Life: Nobody is going to take me off the streets and snatch me off the streets and throw me in jail. Nobody can just kill me.

Liberty: I'm free to move around. I'm free to do the things. How am I free? I'm free because my liberty, I'm free to pursue my happiness.

Well, to pursue my happiness, I have to know my stuff is protected. I have to be able to leave my farm and leave my family. I can't be watching my stuff and do my job. I need a government that will just do enough to make sure nobody is stealing my stuff. But the government is now stealing my stuff.

Hollywood, politicians, everybody — they made the dream into something other than "I just want a shot." They made it into something that it's not. They made it into great, big house, granite countertops, flat-screens in every room just like I've seen on the "Jersey Shore." It's great. "Housewives of Jersey" — whoo, if I could live that dream.

That dream is a nightmare.

You can get a car that you can't afford. Have you — and you may be in this situation now. I remember having — this is the only car I could afford was 1971 Thunderbird. It drank gasoline. I mean, it may have gotten four miles to the gallon and I was making nothing.

I remember counting the change out. I'd like $2.93 of gas, please.
That's tough. That is tough.

It's not about cheap gas, big cars, big houses — it's about pursuing your dream. Not a guaranteed outcome.

I'm living the American Dream. Not because I have a nice house or a nice car. My dream was always just to do radio. I wanted to work at Rockefeller Plaza. I wanted to work in Radio City.

When I first moved to New York City, this time around, I built my studios or I was about to build my studios in Radio City. And then somebody said, yes, we can make that happen for you. Oh, yes.

I let 7,000 square feet in Rockefeller Plaza sit empty for a year because I wouldn't pay a bribe. I'm not going to sully myself. You can't build good business on bad foundations.

Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to work on radio. I didn't really want to do television. I wanted to be on stage. I wanted to entertain.

I'm doing all — I'm living my dream. My dream never had anything to do with money. Ever. For a while when I was drinking, it became that and that's why I destroyed myself.

My dream has everything to do with an uneducated man who has an idea -
- a kid who says, "I'm going to do something" and then do it.

I wasn't handed the opportunity. Throughout my life, I failed. I failed more in my life than I've succeeded, but I never gave up. I kept pushing and pushing and pushing until I found the right spot, the right thing to do, the right time and most importantly, the truth inside of me.

I'm the product in me. And if I'm not real, then you are going to see through that like that.

That's the American Dream. If you keep trying, you keep following what you do, and you sometimes you fall flat on your face. You might break your noise. You might break the system.

As soon as you know the rules, then you intelligently break the rules.
I'm not the law, the rules. You think out of the box. "No, everybody says it should be done this way. I don't think so."

That's the dream.

Instead we made the dream about the payoff. Money is not the payoff.
I wasn't successful until I understood this. Money is the byproduct of what you're making.

Whatever it is you're making, whatever it is you're doing, money — when you stopped focusing on the money and you started focusing on the dream, you started to focusing on what you love, on the best product, or even better, your customers — did anybody else go, "Oh, my gosh, I didn't notice, man, look at our business and how much it's grown?" Right? Am I right?

Money is the byproduct. It spoils. It's just the stuff that you now use to plow back in and employ more and more people.

They sold this idea that the American Dream can be bought at a store or on a lot. It can't. That's a perversion. That is such a sad perversion and you'll never get those things unless you take them from others — if your goal is that.

I gave a questionnaire to our studio audience. We're going to talk to them here in a second. They're all entrepreneurs, all small business owners.

One question I asked was: what inspired you to start your business?

The answers varied but they were generally about freedom and responsibility. "I wanted to be my own boss." "I didn't want to answer to anybody."

Let me ask you this: Nobody really wants to be their own boss. They just want people to stop telling them what to do, because how many of us worked in a place especially and in this country, you know a death of the country is right around the corner — or a death of a company when the attorneys start arriving. As soon as the attorneys start arriving, then you have to answer to them. You're like, OK, this isn't fun anymore.

And all of us who've worked at a place, I'm sure you have, too, you've worked at a place where you're like, OK, if they would just get these, think people out of the way, we'd be a great company.

Other answers: I wanted to prove that I could, that I could do it. If I could follow my passion, I could make it.

How about this? I wanted a better chance to earn a little more money.

No one said, no one said, I did it to get rich. They said they did it for the opportunity.

Well, I think that's the American Dream. And we'll talk to these people — yes, Thurston Howell and Lovie are here. They all came off the golf course to join us. Well, some of the came off — you came right off the yacht. Yes.

We'll talk to them — next.


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