Every month I need to set aside a few hours to do all the things I don’t want to do: I pay my irregular bills, work on taxes. I pay fees and tickets and penalties and deal with my growing tangle of government red tape.
It seems law abiding active working citizens and especially a business owners are constantly penalized. For what? For basically being in business and working. I hear the stories all of the time how the productive private sector job creators need to beg the public sector government employees to allow them to be in business, create jobs and help to boost the economy. Politicians love to talk about creating jobs, how about starting by making it a little easier for small business owners?
If these business owners were not working, and instead lazy, or the more PC way of describing “disabled”, they might be awarded by the government with a monthly check, thanks to unemployment, welfare or Social Security. If these business owners decided one day that their legs were weak or tired to walk, they could be diagnosed with fibromyalgia and be awarded a motorized scooter thanks to Social Security disability. Or if they decided they didn’t have enough money for smokes, they could be awarded food stamps, which could pay for their food so they can afford their smokes. But since one can buy chips, sugary soda and even mixed alcohol drinks using food stamps, the government makes it very easy to support all the health problems associated with bad habits and eating bad food.
This month my penalties as a business owner include (as usual) a moving violation and two parking tickets. Several days each month I drive around the city all day to deliver magazines or spot check our 850 locations. For this reason I might occupy for a few seconds 40 parking spots in a given day in downtown. I have already paid the city and state for my freight license, my car registration, my business registration. I pay $400-$500 per month in sales tax for printing a magazine, which I do not sell. I feel I have paid my dues, but this isn’t enough. I’m constantly receiving tickets and violations. The hearing officers in Salt Lake City told me that meter maids are supposed to give me tickets despite my freight license which I renew each year.
They require me to have my tickets excused by taking a photo of my freight license and sending it to them, with a letter explaining the situation on company letter head. This of course takes a lot of time that I could otherwise be spending earning my living. This also wastes the time of the city employees who need to review my case and write my unwarranted tickets which are always excused by the nice hearing officers. This could all be avoided if simply the meter maids were told to not issue tickets to cars and trucks which display freight licenses.
The clear increasingly and growing trend is that the government in is giving me (as a productive tax payer and business owner) more reasons to not own a business and more reasons to stay home, not work, receive welfare, unemployment or all the other incentives they offer to the unproductive. But still I believe as Ben Franklin said, ” Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments.”
Of course there are those out there who are indeed disabled and need the safety net government offers, but the net is indeed a sticky web for those who are caught. They must work very hard (not working) to keep their checks coming. As I have had many “disabled” apply for jobs through my Craigslist ads who are collecting government checks begging me to allow them to work for me, under the table so they can have their cake and eat it too.
President Obama recently boasted about all the jobs his administration created. The only job the government can create are government jobs supported by tax revenue created in the private sector. Business owners create jobs that benefit the community and economy.
I know many small business owners who work incredibly hard, only to be further penalized, taxed and harmed by various government agencies. I honestly believe if this trend continues we will, as Margret Thatcher said, “socialism works until you run out of other people’s money to spend.”
We at Utah Stories would love to hear your stories about how the government is making it more difficult for you to be a productive citizen or business owner.
More on these trends from the Heritage Foundation