Dear President Obama,
Congratulations on becoming the 44th president of the United States. Americans have hired you to manage our country and to fix the economic crisis you have inherited. To accomplish this, you need to act like an entrepreneur – not a politician. Entrepreneurs thrive on crisis, knowing that from the center of it huge opportunities arise for growth and profit.
Break the Succession of Bad Ideas
Entrepreneurs witness their executive managers clinging to their ideas – even bad ones. Once ideas are entrenched it is painful to shake free of them, no matter how harmful they may be to the business. I have had to compel executives to abandon projects in which we invested thousands of dollars and uncountable hours. It is a dirty deed, but it is my job to lead the company in the right direction. Your job, like mine, is to recognize and break the succession of bad ideas.
To right the economy, I recommend you start with the worst idea of all – the bloated, loophole-ridden Tax Code that is unintelligible to even the most expert tax preparers, the IRS itself and especially the small business owner. Just keeping up with my equipment depreciation schedule gives me a migraine. On top of that, thinking about the amount of tax I owe on inventory I haven’t sold, and on accrued income from installment payments I haven’t yet collected, plus the reporting and compliance requirements makes me wonder why I got into business in the first place. Entrepreneurship, like the presidency, is not for the faint of heart. Fortunately for the twenty-five people I employ and the Certified Legal Nurse Consultants I service, my entrepreneurial spirit forges on.
Business cannot thrive on outdated systems, nor can successful entrepreneurs afford to make business more complex than it needs to be. To repair the economy, apply the entrepreneurial art of simplicity by eradicating the Tax Code. Replace it with a simple national sales tax, and eliminate all other taxes, including corporate and individual income, payroll, capital gains and estate taxes. This would wipe out layers of bureaucracy and save taxpayers billions of dollars. Give refunds back to lower income families to keep them whole.
Don’t Stifle Ambition
Americans are greedy and that’s not all bad. Entrepreneurs are too. The desire for more and better drives us to innovate, making us the strongest country in the world. Give entrepreneurs their credit back so that they can focus on what they do best – create jobs, generate income and stimulate the economy.
Aspiring and active business owners who have great credit histories are being denied the credit they need to launch and grow businesses. This unavailability of credit is crippling innovation and productivity. America cannot afford to drive entrepreneurs out of business. Small businesses and the people they employ cannot wait six to twelve months for a trickle of credit.
Give some of that bailout money to the entities that are making loans and make sure that it is used towards affordable loans for entrepreneurs with strong business plans and good credit. Small business creates more jobs than any other sector of the economy. Americans will feel safe to go shopping, buy a new car or invest in a home when the companies they work for are flourishing again.
Stop the Stealing
Americans expect to pay taxes, but we are no longer willing to bankroll the government’s mismanagement and self-interest. It is time to stop the stealing – the excessive, irresponsible spending and ever-increasing federal budgets. Do not make a commodity of the American people who struggle to buy groceries and pump gas. Take the pork away from the pigs.
Entrepreneurs all over America are slashing their budgets by as much as 30% to stay profitable. At my company, if a project cannot justify its budget, it is gone. We budget for results – not for a bigger budget the next year. It is time to skip the buzzwords and feel-good phrases. Americans have heard the rhetoric, now we want results. Prove that you can run our government as lean and clean as a successful entrepreneurial business.
Today when you take office, implement a plan to assure the bailout is handled responsibly and with accountability. The kind of behavior that occurred in the lending industry would never have been tolerated or even possible in a small business. Make sure that individuals benefit from the bailout – not just the companies that created the problems. Use the money for what it was intended for and don’t dilute it with unintended uses and handouts to companies on the fringes of the issue.
Every Act Counts
You have brought hope and inspiration back to the people of the United States. You have four years until your first real performance evaluation. That is a luxury few entrepreneurs enjoy. Even so, you have a responsibility to act quickly and decisively. Make every act count. Then we’ll decide whether or not you get to keep your job as head of the most important business in the world.