July 24, 2012

Small Business Owners Have a Free Ride?

I generally try to stay away from discussing politics on my blog unless I really need to speak out against something that is just wrong, like the SOPA bill.

As our country moves forward into this election year and beyond I see more issues coming down to small margins of majority, meaning that we will be about as divided as we can be.  That is ok with me as long as both sides can still work together.

Which means that everyone needs to focus on issues that need to be addressed and not attacking each other, which is what usually happens.  The level of focus required to work on issues and not people comes from clear and strong leadership, leadership that starts with the President.

I think the average American puts way too much stock into what a Presidential candidate promises when running for election.  In many ways the President doesn't "do" much of anything.....directly.  The office appoints leaders and advisers that help motivate and guide the rest of the legislature.  In short, the President leads others into doing things and in many ways has to serve as an example.

Last week the President completely failed as a leader in order to take attack a group of people instead of attacking a problem.  President Obama spoke in Roanoke, VA, completely dismissing the efforts of the backbone of our country, the small business owner:

Obama To Small Business Owners: You Didn't Build...

This is just a small snippet of the larger speech, but the gist of it was if you were a small business owner you weren't smart and you didn't work hard to get where you are today.  Your business was handed to you by someone else...the government.

......WOW......having worked in a small business and sometimes consulting for small business owners...as a small business owner....I can attest from personal experience that the government doesn't hand you squat except for one thing....an Employer Identification Number.  They make it super easy to get this ID number so you can pay your taxes.

That's right....taxes.  Small business owners pay a lot in taxes.  Taxes that go towards those "free" roads and research President Obama discussed.  Taxes that pay for those unemployment benefits for workers.  Nothing is free for a small business owner.....except for that EIN.

Now the Obama camp is trying to say the speech is just being misunderstood.  Having listened to the entirety of the appropriate section of that speech I don't see how such an experienced communicator could have been misunderstood.

If Toastmasters has taught me anything is that Speakers are Leaders.....I just don't think this is the type of leadership we need right now.

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