• An Open Letter to Small Business Owners

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    Open Letters


    Small business
    owners everywhere should know that Ron Paul is by far the best candidate
    for president that you are likely to see in your lifetime.

    I've voted
    for over 30 years, but in all that time I have never had the opportunity
    to vote FOR a major-party candidate. I was always voting against
    someone, in a futile attempt to protect myself and my property.
    Eventually I realized that voting for the lesser of two evils is
    still voting for evil, and I had given up voting entirely for several

    Ron Paul's
    candidacy has turned me from disgust and contempt of politicians
    and all things political to a political junkie who can't stop reading
    or talking about the ideas, accomplishments, and courageous campaign
    of the greatest statesman of our time.

    Ron Paul understands
    the vital role small businesses play in our national economy and
    civil society unlike any other politician. He is a genuine scholar
    who has studied and written about free-market economics for decades.
    He ran his own private medical practice for many years and delivered
    over 4,000 babies. He understands the day-to-day reality of running
    any small business and has first-hand knowledge of the destructive
    effects of federal government meddling in the free market.

    Ron Paul's
    proposals would revitalize the nation's economy and particularly
    small businesses. Take a look at his Prescription
    for Prosperity
    , a comprehensive economic revitalization plan.
    The first item on the list, tax reform, should be enough to convince
    any small business owner.

    Ron Paul wants
    to abolish the IRS, eliminate the income tax, and replace it with
    nothing. Everyone can understand the appeal of having more
    money, but small business owners will appreciate the enormous burden
    this lifts from their shoulders more than most. All small business
    owners serve as unpaid accountants for a federal tax code whose
    complexity and inconsistency grows without limit. Nearly all of
    us hire expensive accountants and/or tax attorneys to assist in
    the preparation of the massive amounts of paper, the collection
    and sorting of endless bits of information, receipts, and forms
    that are required by law. All of us risk fines and the threat of
    prison for any mistake.

    Take a minute
    to think how much simpler your business would be if you weren't
    a slave to government accounting requirements. You no longer have
    to make minute classifications of ordinary expenses as tax-deductible,
    partially deductible, or non-deductible. You, not some desk-bound
    tax official, could decide how long a piece of capital equipment
    will be useful, and how to account for its depreciation so that
    you can save enough to replace it when it wears out.

    You wouldn't
    need a pension plan, and all the accounting and bonding and means
    testing and auditing that goes with it. You'd be free to offer savings
    plans to your employees as a way to attract and retain the best
    possible talent. Today's 401(k), IRA, Section 125 and so on are
    all necessary to protect the employee's earnings from taxation,
    at least for a little while. No income tax, no special plans required.

    The same goes
    for other benefits and the elaborate accounting, forms, and regulations
    that go with them. You could offer whatever benefits you wish without
    incurring an enormous penalty in "compliance" for each

    Perhaps most
    importantly, you would no longer find yourself acting as tax collector
    for the federal government. This is the part of my job I hate the
    most. My business gets money from free market customers. They pay
    us for our services, because they determine that our help is more
    valuable to them than the fees we charge. But a huge chunk of those
    funds never reach me or my employees. The customer's check goes
    to our bank, and several very large deductions go straight to the
    various governments.

    Try this simple
    accounting experiment: You probably know your revenues for last
    year to the penny. Now add up the payments to government. Not just
    your personal taxes. Add up all the money you sent to all governments,
    all the money you collected but never got to send to employees or
    contractors or suppliers. Monies you withheld for income, sales,
    Social Security, Medicare. Your "share" of the Social
    Security and Medicare taxes is a big one. Add in the sales taxes,
    telephone taxes, licensing fees, unemployment taxes, permit fees,
    the property taxes included in your lease. Be sure to include accounting
    fees you pay to do all the tax paperwork, legal advice you get in
    an attempt to stay in compliance with regulations, outsourced HR
    services required to comply with affirmative action and other mandates,
    bond fees and compliance testing you pay for in order to qualify
    for a pension plan, estate planning fees that are required to preserve
    some of your hard-earned wealth from the death tax. Add in the value
    of the time you and your back office spend trying to keep up with
    all the paperwork. Add in everything you can think of that you do
    because the government tells you to, not because it's necessary
    to run your business.

    Just the exercise
    of looking at your expenses in this light is educational. I expect
    you will find the total dismaying. Divide it by your revenues, and
    there is your average tax rate. Whatever it is, I'm quite confident
    it will be a lot higher than 35%.

    I was depressed
    for months the first time I did this. I realized that I am a slave,
    working my tail off to send enormous sums to the government. I knew
    when I went into business that I would only get to keep a small
    fraction of revenues, but seeing just how much I was sending to
    governments that use the money to do things that horrify me was
    a real shocker.

    Ron Paul would
    begin to end this madness. It might take him some time to dismantle
    the income tax, but his proposal to stop taxing tips has political
    appeal that will be very hard to deny, especially as the country
    sinks into what looks from my vantage point like a major recession.
    Collecting the tax on tips that are "estimated" by government
    tax collectors is another burden that will be lifted from small
    business owners.

    Paul also wants to repeal the death tax, that particularly evil
    form of double taxation that routinely destroys small businesses
    and family farms when their owners die. He would end the tax on
    capital gains, on investment and savings, and on social security
    benefits. That last change, also certain to be very popular, would
    allow millions of senior citizens to re-enter the workforce part
    time, increasing their income rather than having benefits cut because
    they made "too much." Small businesses would benefit enormously
    from the newly available job seekers, who would expand the labor
    pool with talented, experienced people.

    All small business
    owners know they must live within their means. We don't have access
    to capital and stock markets to raise large sums. A single large
    loss can put us out of business forever. When our revenues drop,
    we must take immediate action.

    Doctor Paul
    knows about living within his means. He returns part of his congressional
    office budget to the US Treasury every year. He has never voted
    for a tax hike, a pay raise, or taken a junket. He wants to eliminate
    the Federal Reserve, that fountain of phony money that enables endless
    government deficits. He wants to shrink the size of government,
    not by little nips here and there, but by a whopping 40% or more.
    His proposal to bring home all the troops, everywhere, could ultimately
    save a cool trillion dollars a year.

    Ron Paul's
    policies on trade are also particularly attractive to small businesses.
    If you've ever tried to import or export a product, you know how
    complex and expensive the so-called "free trade agreements"
    truly are. You may know about the absurd risks that you take by
    even buying imported goods after they reach US shores. Abuses like
    the McNab
    case, where 4 businessmen were sentenced to long prison sentences
    for importing or buying and re-selling frozen lobster tails in plastic
    bags instead of cardboard boxes. These atrocities are a clear warning
    to small business to stay away from the complex regulations of international
    trade. Only big business, with lots of lawyers and compliance specialists
    and close working relationships with the multitude of government
    agencies they must placate can afford the risks, and reap the profits,
    from international trade.

    Ron Paul sees
    through the talk. He charges that free trade agreements are really
    managed trade, and that true free trade requires only low, uniform
    tariffs fairly applied. Imagine being able to expand the potential
    customers for your business to 300 million middle-class Chinese,
    or 800 million Europeans, a billion Indians, or hundreds of millions
    of Asians or South Americans.

    The other candidates
    for president talk endlessly of all the things "they"
    will do to help American workers, American families, American consumers,
    and American children. You know all too well that most or all of
    that "help" will mean more taxes, more paperwork, more
    regulations, more opportunities for civil or even criminal liability
    for new laws you never heard about.

    If unemployment
    benefits are extended, your unemployment taxes must go up. A "fair
    tax" means you must keep detailed records of every single transaction.
    It's fair only to those who don't have to collect it. If health
    care benefits have to be provided to everyone, as they do in Massachusetts
    thanks to a dreadful new law that Mitt Romney likes to take credit
    for, it falls to small business to do the work, pay the new bills,
    and fill out the endless forms. This is true even if your business
    is so small, as mine is, so that it doesn't officially have to comply
    (yet), but we must still spend endless hours filing forms to prove
    its status.

    The ten-term
    Congressman knows that it is not his job to run the economy, or
    our lives, or the world. He knows that hard-working men and women
    are the only means to true wealth and prosperity. Ron Paul also
    understands how well-intentioned but misguided efforts to help the
    handicapped, various races, sexual orientations, women, and other
    favored groups backfire. He knows that a small business hardly dares
    to offer employment to someone in a wheelchair, when the ADA then
    requires the employer to make unlimited accommodations, at your
    expense. He realizes that placing a "help wanted" advertisement
    risks the entire business, because should you choose not to hire
    an applicant from a favored group, you may find yourself defending
    your actions in court or in a regulatory "hearing," where
    your adversary has the limitless time and funds available only to

    This Republican
    from Texas proposes to disband entire departments of the federal
    government. His ideas are radical, but timely and necessary, and
    contrast sharply with the platitudes and "more of the same"
    proposals of his rivals. He is fighting a battle of ideas against
    unarmed men.

    Ron Paul understands
    the extraordinary limits to growth that burdensome government regulations
    place on small business, and how those regulations give competitive
    advantage to the military-industrial complex and other mega-firms.
    He also understands that small businesses create the majority of
    new jobs despite the best efforts of government to regulate us to
    death. The last time I checked, there were new regulations that
    would kick in when I had 5, 6, 10, 11, 15, 20, and 25 employees.
    I'm sure I missed some, and that others have changed. Hiring every
    single new employee adds regulatory burdens, compliance costs, and
    disproportionate risks to small business. Remove even some of those
    obstacles and firms will grow, unemployment will shrink, and our
    economy will prosper.

    There is much
    more about Ron Paul's ideas that are vital to small business interests.
    Ending war and a trillion-dollar-year overseas empire will bring
    peace and prosperity back to our shores. Revamping our foreign policy
    from swaggering bully to neutral colossus will enable tourists and
    business people to become the face of America overseas, rather than
    American soldiers and bombs. Ron Paul will work to restore privacy
    and liberty to our nation, to allow free adults to make contracts
    agreeable to them, to get the federal government off our backs and
    out of our lives.

    Dr. Paul understands
    the pernicious effects of inflation on society in general and business
    in particular. Our fraudulent money system creates bubbles and business
    cycles, sending false signals to business about faux prosperity
    and fake money in the hands of eager buyers. He wants to start a
    gradual return to sound money. This will particularly benefit small
    businesses, that don't have access to the fiat money capital markets
    that give huge firms huge advantages. When we are able to calculate
    our investments, costs, and profits accurately without future inflation
    wrecking the results, our businesses will prosper. When we can borrow
    money at rates set by the free market instead of unaccountable academics
    and bureaucrats we will have regained an important signal of the
    savings and desires of consumers and investors.

    There are those
    who say that Ron Paul can't win. This should be of little concern
    to small business owners. Each of us has heard the endless stream
    of statistics, "90% of small businesses fail in 10 years,"
    etc. Each of us knows what it is like to work without a net, against
    long odds. We know that having better ideas and being nimble and
    quick can be just as important as being well-established with deep
    pockets. We know that being the little guy, the long shot, can sometimes
    be a powerful advantage. We know that new ideas and new strategies
    can work very well indeed even when most people think they are crazy.

    Paul's campaign
    has clearly threatened and angered those who control the media empires
    and huge businesses. They know he cannot be bought. Despite a near
    total media blackout, he has raised tens of millions of dollars,
    most from individual donors. I've never contributed to any major
    party candidate before, but I'm giving generously to Ron
    Paul's campaign
    , and I urge all small business owners to do
    likewise. Better still, educate
    about Dr. Paul, put some signs in your windows and
    literature on your counters. Talk to your customers about Ron Paul.
    Spread the word.

    Dr. Paul's
    supporters are the most varied and motivated of any candidate. Google
    "Ron Paul Revolution." Check out the amazing videos on
    YouTube. I particularly like "Stop
    " and "Land
    of the Free
    ," (be sure to read the surprising comments
    by the creator
    ) but there are literally thousands more. His
    supporters have organized a series of "money bombs," online
    events that raise millions of dollars, more money in a single day
    than any other candidate in history. Nearly all contributions are
    small, averaging about $100. They've even hired a blimp!
    All this is done without direction or control from the official
    campaign. Small businesses can't bundle contributions, hire lawyers,
    and buy favors the way megafirms can and do, but we can still pool
    our resources to support a man who will make a difference.

    You may find
    that you don't agree with every one of Ron Paul's positions. I don't.
    But he's been in Congress over 20 years, and you can read his speeches,
    his bills, and his
    over that time. There is a remarkable consistency that
    comes from extensive study, deep thought, and unwavering commitment
    to principle. Even if you disagree on something, you can be absolutely
    confident that President Paul will obey and enforce the long-ignored
    limits placed on our government by the Constitution. "Dr. No"
    will begin the Herculean task of lifting federal boots off of American
    necks everywhere.

    Ron Paul offers
    more than tax cuts and simplified regulations to small business
    owners. He offers the most precious commodity of all: time. Time
    presently spent working as unpaid accountant and regulatory enforcer
    for a government that has forgotten its limits. Time to grow your
    business, to spend with your family, to live your life.

    Most importantly
    Ron Paul offers hope. Hope for a better future, in a world where
    small businesses can dream of becoming large ones without automatically
    enlarging government. Where hiring the 20th employee,
    or the 100th, doesn't put you afoul of some regulation
    you've never heard of. A world where being successful doesn't torture
    your conscience with the knowledge that your success is buying weapons
    used to kill innocents in far corners of the globe.

    small business owners know all too well that when opportunity presents
    itself it must be seized with both hands, for it may never come
    again. Ron Paul is literally a once-in-a-lifetime chance to change
    how America thinks and acts, both around the globe and right here
    at home. His proposals and influence will be enormously beneficial
    for small business in particular and for peace and prosperity in
    general. Please join me in supporting Ron Paul's candidacy in any
    and every way you possibly can.

    28, 2008

    Steve Fairfax
    [send him mail] is
    owner and president of MTechnology,
    consulting engineers specializing in power engineering
    for the 21st century.

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