Sunday, August 28, 2011

Government Restrictions on Small Busnness's Growth

Being a small business owner for most of my adult life, I am especially sensitive to the hurtles that small business owners are subjected to in order to grow and survive. These hurtles become astronomical during an economic climate as we face today.

During the forty some years that I have been involved in various businesses, I have always been frustrated at how the government has continuously held me back due to many taxes, fees and ridiculous requirements and restraints.

My local congressman, Richard Nugent, gave his views on this subject in his “Situation Report” that I received today. I would like to share this with you.

Dear Friends,
  Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in an awards ceremony at the local UPS facility (United Parcel Service).  They were recognizing two of their drivers who have had no safety infractions or accidents of any kind after twenty-five years of driving for the company.
They asked me to speak at the event, so in preparation, I did a little research on UPS’s history.  As it turns out, it’s a pretty fascinating story.  I won’t get into the whole thing (UPS is over a hundred years old), but I do want to tell you about one chapter that I think is really instructive for where our economy is today.
In short, since its creation in 1907, UPS has been a pioneer in that industry.  Basically, they invented it.  In the early days, they were couriers running packages on foot around San Francisco, using bicycles for longer trips.  They were so efficient and reliable that demand grew pretty quickly and before long, they started buying a fleet of Model Ts. 
Year after year, demand for the company’s services kept growing and they wanted to expand their business.  But up until the 1950s, they’d mostly focused on delivering goods from retail stores to customers.  They’d kept themselves busy inventing conveyor belt systems for sorting and filing technology for tracking packages, but the better they got at their job, the more people wanted to use them.
In particular, individuals also wanted to be able to ship packages to other individuals.  Imagine Grandma wanting to safely send little Timmy a Christmas present in Iowa.  She couldn’t do it.  UPS could help.  But when UPS made the decision to enter that business, they were blocked by regulations from the federal Interstate Commerce Committee.  In short, UPS would have been in direct competition with the United States Postal Service and that wasn’t to be allowed.
The company wasn’t giving up though.  They spent the better part of the next thirty years fighting the federal government just for the right to deliver packages.  Finally, in 1975, UPS finally got the right to deliver door-to-door across America.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the drivers we were recognizing got a job with UPS just a few years after those regulations were taken down.  This isn’t to say that there is no place for regulations in our country (clearly the banks and others got away with things a few years ago).  But I do think it says a lot about the damage that frivolous, duplicative, and unnecessary regulations can do to job creation in this country.
UPS was blocked for thirty years – thirty years -  for no reason whatsoever, from becoming the world-leading American company that it is today.  Think about the thousands and thousands of people who are employed in this country who wouldn’t have been if the ICC hadn’t backed down in 1975.  Beyond that, think about all of the small companies all across this country who could not exist if they could not ship their goods to customers all across the country using a service as reliable and efficient as UPS.
Make no mistake about it, regulations like the one that blocked UPS still exist today.  It’s hard to know what we’re missing out on by not taking a closer look at the red tape we’ve got on the books.    All I know is, with double-digit unemployment in our area, and folks struggling to put food on the table, we don’t have a choice about ignoring impact of regulations on jobs.
One of the first things we did upon coming into the new Congress was to pass legislation requiring an inventory of all regulations and putting in new checks for any proposed regulations that would have a “major impact” on economic growth meaning more than $100 million cost across the nation.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee set up a website where small business owners could register their opinions about what regulations they can and cannot live with. 
It doesn’t come as any surprise that the compliance costs for federal and state regulations is more than four times more expensive per employee for small businesses than for large companies.  And since small business create two-thirds of all net new jobs in this country every year, that’s not a small drag on job creation, it’s a wet blanket that is suffocating a lot of small firms out there and some right in our area. 
As always, let me know what you think about all of this.  If you know any small business owners personally, or have a chance to chat with one when you visit their store, encourage them to reach out to me.  If I know the specific things that are holding their companies back, more than likely I can do something about it.  It’s plainly clear we can’t afford to have small businesses struggling when they should be growing and hiring more workers.  This economy will never recover without them.
Rich Nugent
Member of Congress

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Arthur Laffer makes a lot of since!

Newsmax ran this article today, and I think Laffer makes a lot of sense. I felt compelled to share this. Let me know what you think.......

Laffer: Obama Must Use Reaganomics to Save Economy

Wednesday, 10 Aug 2011 05:32 PM
By Martin Gould and Kathleen Walter
More ways to share...
The only way President Barack Obama can solve the nation’s economic woes is to adopt “common-sense” Reaganomics, the policy’s architect Arthur Laffer claims in an exclusive Newsmax interview.

Laffer said the White House called him in the spring and asked him to speak to Obama’s former Council of Economic Advisors’ chairman Austen Goolsbee – and he had told him exactly the same thing.

“Reaganomics would fix any economy that’s in the doldrums,” Laffer said. “It’s not a magic sauce, it’s common sense.

“You’ve got to get rid of all federal taxes in the extreme and replace them with a low-rate flat tax on business net sales, and on personal unadjusted gross income. That’s number one.

“Number two, you have to have spending restraint. Government spending causes unemployment, it does not cure unemployment.

“Number three, you need sound money. Ben Bernanke is running the least sound monetary policy I’ve ever heard of," Laffer said.

“Number four you need regulations, but you don’t need those regulations to go beyond the purpose at hand and create collateral damage. The regulatory policies are really way off here.

“And lastly you need free trade," Laffer said. "Foreigners produce some things better than we do and we produce some things better than foreigners. It would be foolish in the extreme if we didn’t sell them those things we produce better than they do in exchange for those things they produce better than we do.”

In the interview the veteran economist said Standard & Poor’s was quite right in downgrading the U.S. credit rating – in fact it should have done so far earlier.

The agency had no choice and if the other agencies, Moody’s and Fitch, don’t do the same they won’t be doing their jobs, said Laffer, who gave his name to the Laffer Curve which demonstrates that the maximum amount of government revenue does not come at the point of maximum taxes.

“If you had a company that had revenues of $2½ million and expenses of $4 million, with no change in sight, $1½ million in losses each year as far as the eye can see and it had already borrowed $10 million, what would you rate that company? I surely wouldn’t rate it AAA.

“That is the U.S. situation today," Laffer said. "Taxes are about $2½ trillion, government spending is about $4 trillion and we have about $10 trillion in net national debt. I don’t see that as being a AAA country.

“If the S&P and the others were doing their jobs correctly, they should have downgraded a long time ago.”

Laffer said he has no doubt the country will win its top rating back, but only when economic policies are completely turned around. He said President Barack Obama’s administration’s only economic plan seemed to be to expand government ownership of the means of production.

“They have nationalized the health care industry pretty extensively. They’ve done that with home building as well. They’ve tried it with the auto industry as well. So they have moved very, very deliberatively and purposefully toward extending the government ownership of the means of production.

“That to me, if you read the tealeaves, is what they are doing. It is not what they are saying they are doing, but that is what they actually are doing.

“People don’t work to pay taxes, people work to get what they can after taxes. It’s that very private incentive that motivates them to work. If you pay people not to work and tax them if they do work, don’t be surprised if you find a lot of people not working.”

Laffer said the current economic woes started to form under President George W. Bush but have been made worse by Obama’s policies.

“There’s a wedge driven between wages paid and wages received and that wedge is the tax/government spending wedge,” he said.

“That wedge has grown dramatically in the last 4 ½ years…under W and a Republican administration and…under Obama. Bipartisan ignorance has led us to this very disastrously desolate state.”

Laffer had high praise for the role the tea party has played in bringing the problem of the deficits to the fore.

“The tea party is not the problem, the tea party may well be the solution,” he said. “They are critical to the future of the country in a positive way. They are the only fiscally sound people I know out there all the time.

“I don’t know that I would go as far as they go on a lot of issues but I surely respect their movement very much.”

And he said any one of the group of Republicans vying for the party’s nomination for the White House would make “ a great president.”

“Tim Pawlenty is spectacular. Newt Gingrich knows more about issues than anyone you’ve ever seen. Michele Bachmann is out-of-sight wonderful,” he said.

“Rick Perry is second to no one in this stuff. If you look at Herman Cain, he’s phenomenal.

“Oh and (Jon) Huntsman was a great governor of the state of Utah and is a phenomenally experienced intellectual competent man.

“When you look at the Republican candidates, you see a group of people who are absolutely outstanding in attributes.”

© Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Sixty-Eighth Birthday Party

Part of the Gang

Although my birthday was July 27th (Wed.), we planned a birthday party with my daughters on Saturday July 30th. Three of my daughters came to Lakeland for the party, as well as Dodie’s youngest son, Joey, his wife, Renee and fourteen-month-old son, Wyatt. It was a thrill for me to get three out of my five daughters together at the same time.
I was in charge of the steaks; everyone else shared the load for the balance of the menu. I grilled fourteen Rib eye steaks on the grill. I have a large grill with five burners, and almost did not get them all to fit on.
Kathy, Marcene, Renee & Kim

Dan & Marcene Cooking Breakfast Sunday Morning
Wyatt Walking Ginger

Dodie Preparing her 'Country Cole Slaw'

The Grandkids Cody, Conner, Hailey, Allee & Tori 

We all ate way too much, but it was a great party. I couldn't have had a better Birthday! We decided that we are going to do it again next year, and try to get all five daughters there.