Here’s an easy way to quash business growth:
Of course, if you read today’s news, you’ll see proclamations that we’ve “averted the fiscal cliff!”
And you’ll see claims that the new deal reached by the president and Congress “protects 99% of Americans from an income tax increase.”
But it’s all semantics and political spin.
Here’s the truth:
All working Americans will pay higher federal taxes this year in spite of being “protected by an income tax increase.”
This is due to a 2% increase in payroll taxes to fund Social Security.
All income up to $110,000 will now be socked with a 2 point increase in the payroll tax, from 4.2% to 6.2%, which will pluck $2,000 out of the pockets of families making $100,000 a year.
This means the average American household will pay an extra $1,635 a year in taxes in 2013. In other words, they’ll see their incomes decline by more than $136 a month.
Obviously, the more you make, the worse it gets:
For 2013, households making between $500,000 and $1 million [will] get an average tax increase of $14,812, according to the Tax Policy Center analysis. Households making more than $1 million [will] get an average tax increase of $170,341.
$170K a year in extra taxes ain’t exactly pocket change, even if you’re making a million a year.
Still, the government is spinning all this as “a good thing” for the lower and middle classes. And the stock market is rebounding today, God knows why.
But back to the main point of this article… if you want to quash business growth, why stop with raising taxes?
At the same time the government is increasing taxes on just about everybody, they are also dictating what kind of health care businesses must provide to employees. Most people know this as “Obamacare.”
But the new coverage rules apply only if an employee works 30 hours a week or more.
Naturally, many small and medium-sized businesses are outsourcing jobs and reducing employee hours to just under 30 a week to avoid the increased costs of Obamacare.
This is because business owners typically make financially rational decisions. They’re running businesses to make a profit. When new rules make it more difficult to turn a profit, owners find ways to get around the rules.
So now many low- and middle-income employees will get pay cuts of 25% and still won’t have health insurance.
I’m no economist, but increased taxes and reduced incomes don’t seem like a good recipe for fixing the economy.
If the government could just leave well enough alone — and reduce their out-of-control spending in a meaningful way — then businesses could grow, create new jobs, increase wages, and more.
And they could do it all on their own — no politicians required!
But government doesn’t like to work this way. They think they know how to spend your money better than you do.
And so they take your money and give it to some putz who prefers playing Skyrim or Call of Duty in between halfhearted job searches on Monster.com.
Yeah, that’ll fix the economy… just keep giving free money to that guy who plays video games 10 hours a day in his mom’s basement. He’s an economic engine, baby!
Okay, well maybe he’s not.
The real economic engines are businesses and the entrepreneurs who run them. If that describes you, I salute you. It’s not easy to be in business for yourself, especially with a government that’s doing everything it can to impede you.
Barring an unforeseen miracle, the year 2013 will be more economically challenging than 2012 was. But if you are in business for yourself, you can make your own good fortune.
And a big part of making your own good fortune is knowing how to persuade using the written word.
If you’d like to learn how to do that better, I strongly recommend you get Drayton Bird’s 3-video course called “How to Write (and Persuade) Better.” You can get all three videos for just $59.97 here:
-Ryan M. Healy