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Posted: August 23, 2012

A letter to Mitt

Taxing less doesn't equal more jobs

David Sneed

Dear Mr. Romney,

I am a business owner - someone you rightly call a “job creator.” Thanks for recognizing what I do and who I help.

I feel, though, that I have to correct a few things you’ve been saying about me lately. Not because you are wrong, but because what you say just doesn’t apply to me.

  • My company and I file separate tax returns. My return is a personal tax return; my company files a corporate tax return.
  • My company hires workers, I don’t. My personal income isn’t used to pay wages; it’s what I take home regardless of how many workers we have. In fact, in bad times I’ll fire someone to make sure my own income doesn’t decrease.
  • My company tries not to hire people. They are a cost and my business profits, in part, by reducing costs. We only hire additional employees if consumers buy enough to warrant it.

And just so you know, it isn’t only businessmen who are rich. I have a friend who plays professional baseball. He makes $11 million per year and has two assistants, a maid, a cook, and a trainer. If his tax rate goes up, he will still employ those five people because he needs them. If his tax rate goes to zero, however, he won’t suddenly need another assistant.

My friend, the actor, is the same way. He won’t put on another cook just because he saved $20,000 on his personal income taxes. He could hire someone else, but he won’t.

So for me, Mr. Romney, and for my friends, taxing us less isn’t going to create another job either directly or indirectly. I cannot consume any more than I already do. Lower taxes won’t convince me to buy a new iPod, boat, or car. Rich people like us aren’t kept up at night thinking, “Damn! If I didn’t pay so much in taxes I could buy a new Rolex or a Ferrari.” Am I right?

So when it comes to the upcoming election, I worry that the link between your tax policies and who they benefit is too obvious; and that the sneaky Liberals will find a way to exploit it. (I must confess, I don’t know your friends - they may not be rich. Maybe they’re struggling to pay the rent and keep the lights on like everyone else.) I’m afraid we may lose this election if the average-income conservative realizes that your rationale for keeping the Bush-era tax cuts for the super-rich doesn’t hold water.

So I’d like to ask for your help. Is there a way we can make tax laws NOT apply to politicians? What I’m asking is: Can we pass a law that all politicians pay a flat tax (45% maybe?) on all income starting from their election until they die – no matter what the rest of the population pays?

That way no one could say that the “don’t tax the rich” arguments are selfish. I know you worry that your policies seem self-serving, so maybe you can offer this law as an olive branch to the Liberals who are too myopic to see your true goal – helping the unemployed (and the economy.) I still don’t get how me being rich helps the poor - but I’m not running for president, right? Ha ha.

Something I don’t understand about your opponent is that Mr. Obama is rich like us, yet he’s willing to tax himself more. Warren Buffett thinks he should pay more taxes as well.  That seems just plain crazy. Don’t they know that lower taxes will give them more money?

The reason Buffett gave may surprise you, just as it surprised me. He thinks a stack of bills sitting in a vault are worthless. There was something else about how America gives us the opportunity and infrastructure to amass wealth, so we owe America part of our profits – but he lost me there.

I have also heard that: “The more times a dollar changes hands the more valuable it becomes,” with this explanation:

When I buy a book, the printer earns a dollar. He buys an apple and the farmer earns a dollar. The farmer buys a steak and the rancher earns a dollar. The rancher buys some milk and the dairy earns a dollar. The dairy hires a lawyer and the dollar comes back to me. That’s five people who earned a dollar each because I spent one.

Someone once told me that taxing the rich is a way to get cash out of the banks and into the hands of people to spend. I guess they’re saying the economy grows when money is spent, not when it sits in a Swiss bank account.

Do you have any money saved up overseas Mr. Romney?

Thank you for your time,

David Sneed

(Editor's note: The opinions expressed are solely those of the author. We'd like to hear your opinion! Tell us why Mitt Romney or President Obama is better for business in 500 words or less and send to lryckman@cobizmag.com.)

David Sneed is the owner of Alpine Fence Company,and the author of" Everyone Has A Boss– The Two Hour Guide to Being the Most Valuable Employee at Any Company." As a Marine, father, employee and boss, David has learned how to help others succeed. He teaches the benefits of a strong work ethic to entry and mid-level employees. Contact him at  David@EveryoneHasABoss.com

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Readers Respond

Dave, which lady? And, thanks, cobiz, for extending the comment threads! Much appreciated and Thanks, David Sneed, for giving us a column that, well, just keeps on giving! Your Letter to Mitt really has legs!!!!! By Vicki on 2012 09 04
Methinks the lady doth protest too much. By Dave on 2012 09 04
Thank you Mr. Sneed! As a small business owner who employs people I am sick and tired of my efforts being co-opted by Romney and his party. A tax break to my company does not make me hire someone. Additional customers and business makes me hire someone. So if the government spends to rebuild a bridge and a construction worker gets a job that didn't exist before and he can now purchase additional items that will help my business hire someone. Tax cuts to the wealthy (people who have no need to purchase additional things) do not spur the economy. Money in the hands of those who will spend it (the working class) encourages more hiring. By Zachary on 2012 09 03
Why do liberals ALWAYS use the same tactics. Your far out of the norm 'examples" are meaningless and insulting. YOU KNEW what he was talking about, yet you tried to make a silly comparison. The ENTIRE country (Democrat and REpublican) KNOW that the govt social programs are being horribly abused. Just stand next to a check out lane in a Walmart. Trying to cite the OBVIOUS fact that there ARE people who legitimately need welfare doesn't change the basic point. We ARE developing a welfare mentality and even though liberals hate it, THIS IS THE FOOD STAMP PRESIDENT. Oh, I'm sorry, it's all \Bush's fault. sorry. There is NO REpublican that I know who thinks that all welfare is bad, so bringing it up is an insult. I'd guess that's what you meant it to be. Again, You are proving the point I started with, you are an Obama shill bought and paid for. By John Wray on 2012 08 27
And, for FUN ONLY, (and to spoil an upcoming article,) take Reagan's quote: "best social program is a job." Paul Ryan's mom is #1 Wealthy, and #2 on Medicare. Would Reagan tell Ryan to take mom out of the social program and make her get a job? Are ALL people who take government handouts (medicare is a handout) necessarily bad? She can afford healthcare, yet lets taxpayers pay half. There's an example, maybe, of an abuse of social welfare. Just a thought experiment, not for actual arguing until my article come out. (-: By David on 2012 08 27
Bret, None of your points are false. I just disagree with the conclusion. (The things tax money are spent ON is a different debate than this one I think.) In general I contend that the poor and middle class spend every dollar they have. Still no growth. The only way to increase spending then is to ask those who aren't spending to spend. Problem is, they don't need anything. So what do we do? Money is only beneficial if it changes hands. We don't have to give it to the poor. Make Yachts and Ferrari's tax-deductible, I'm okay with that as long as cash isn't being hoarded. Companies we invest in (IBM, GM, etc) aren't waiting for my 401k before they hire more workers. They need me to buy a car. By David on 2012 08 27
David - back to the consumer spending discussion. It is the backbone of the economy. I understand your argument is to take capital from the "rich" and give it to the "poor" to spend, thus improving the economy. That has multiple problems: (1) the gov't takes a totally non-productive cut of all taxes, (2) it reduces the incentive of the "poor" to work, and (3) undermines business' ability to invest and create new jobs. In sum, less taxes -> more jobs -> more consumer spending. Reagan said " ... the best social program is a job" ... and I agree wholeheartedly. By Bret Harper on 2012 08 27
I hear you, John. Thanks for your often insightful comments. A last point of fact: Socialism would have a tax rate approaching 100% on everyone. The article talked about a 36% rate on personal post-deduction incomes ABOVE $250,000. By David on 2012 08 27
To be clear: You're thinking that customer spending has no bearing on the success of a business? Growth and job creation happen regardless of how many products you sell? That's a theory too, I guess. _______I thought you'd say: "If I invest in my company to create jobs I have no taxable income left - therefore the tax rate is irrelevant to me." I would have agreed with you.______ By David on 2012 08 27
Not strange. The question is how to create jobs, right? You say lowering taxes will create them because businesses will grow - then customers will spend. (?) I believe that it's the SPENDING that will spur business growth, not the other way around. Taxes are spent on retail, Stock portfolios to build personal wealth are not. Supply side v. demand side. At your 400 companies, which did you want MORE: Customers or Bank Loans? You can get by without a loan, you will fail without customers who SPEND. By David on 2012 08 27
Do we all agree that the government spends ALL the tax money it brings in? Even giving it away free to undeserving people, the money is then spent by the poor at businesses in America. Consumer spending creates jobs too, right? I just say tax the PERSONAL (not business) income of those who earn $500K/year so that the money is being spent at the local hardware store, not invested in Citigroup which already has enough capital to expand and create jobs if it wanted to. It's an economic argument - supply side v. demand side. By David on 2012 08 27
Increasing taxes impacts businesses and hiring. Taxes are a cost, but they are NOT optional. Employees also represent cost, but hiring them IS optional. Higher taxes causes some businesses to forgo hiring (or retainining) employees. I also have a small business. I make decisions to accept or reject projects based on profitability. If the profitability isn't there, I don't do the project and the people I employ to supply the materials and do the work don't get paid. Taxes reduce working capital thereby decreasing the ability to hire employees. A better use of that capital is to invest in businesses (small and large) to create more wealth and more jobs. Personally, I'd rather know our government is responsibly spending taxes collected and living within a budget before they require me to pay one more cent. By Bret Harper on 2012 08 27
During Gulf War I, Steve Martin (the actor) came to visit. We booed him because 1) he was an hour late and we had to stand around waiting. They wouldn't let us leave because that would "be embarrassing" for the actor, and 2) He tried to be formal. Everyone "liked" Steve Martin, but not the lack of freedom we had to choose to leave. The Bush/Obama comparison video was between a free Marine group and pissed off "I'd rather be at the chow hall but they're making me do this" Marines. I've been there and we hate it, no matter who the guest is. I promise you that as they filed out there were 1,000 Marines making cattle and sheep noises. We do that in protest and the person who makes a throaty "MOOOO" is hard to catch in the act. Funny. By David on 2012 08 26
http://video.msnbc.msn.com/hardball/47254499#47254499 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/22/obama-greeted-by-cheering_n_114315.html You asked, you got - and since you LOVE Google so much, took me 30 seconds to find them, of course you'll predictably respond these are left-wing media misrepresentation, photoshopped, scams, scams, scams, blah de blah de blah blah blah blah. Of course, found this on youtube which I'm sure you'll reference, I'm doing it for you since I don't mind allowing others to see another side: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIHz5tevLAw By vicki on 2012 08 26
Grandfather - WWI (killed in Europe) Uncle - WWII Air Force Pilot, Pacific Half brother - WWII air force pilot, Europe Son - 12 years in Navy, Lieutenant Father in law - Army, Korea Step son - 4 years in Air Force (still in) Brother in Law - 14 years Army Another brother in law - 20 years Navy (retired) Liberals, or what would be called "liberals" in their respective times, all By vicki on 2012 08 26
We know David. I've spent a lifetime contributing to this country. Three tours in Vietnam and my businesses surely have contributed more to the communities that they were in than all of my competitors put together. I'm a business owner because I love to create and I have to make money or I can't do that. I believe that most business people are the same IF THEY STARTED their business themselves. Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations is an old adage that usually proves itself out. Liberals ALWAYS sound good, but when it comes to paying they want everyone ELSE to pay.. If any liberal wants to pay the govt more so that it can be wasted, then they are welcome to do it. Just leave my money alone. I probably pay more taxes already. You know the figures although you haven't mentioned them about who pays what right now and who DOESN'T. By John Wray on 2012 08 26
Then we both agree. Leaving things better than they were when we got here is the goal. Our only disagreement is HOW to achieve that...........You know, other than being a Socialist Shill who doesn't much care for apple pie - and trying to ruin America by taxing everyone to death - I'm a pretty nice guy. By David on 2012 08 26
classic Democrat liberal dreams. NO business owner alienates his customers. Do YOU like all of your customers?? I don't, but I learn how to deal with them. You with Obama's instructions have alienated the most ambitious, capable people in this country. I suspect that you will be sorry when the "rich" exercise their options. Since even Obama said it meant nothing, then this class warfare was more important to get Obama reelected than to benefit the country. Think about it. He had a choice like you did and you chose selfish motives instead of the good of the country. Even if your rock star wins, the country is screwed. If you win you lose and mark my words on that. By definition most business owners are optimists, but for the first time in my 40+ yr business career, I'm afraid that we are on the path to destruction. By John Wray on 2012 08 26
So take take take, then leave? Like the kid on the basketball court except, in addition to the ball, you want the hoops, the court, and the benches? What happens to the next bunch of kids? Thank goodness our grandparents had the foresight to build the playground (with their taxes.) Then again, our g parents thought about the future - we think only about what we can get right now. I hope you don't leave, but sincerely, good luck to you if you do. I'll stay and try to leave things better than when I got here. That's the REAL American dream - IMO. By David on 2012 08 26
I rest my case again. Since you obviously don't have a clue about tax,, it's no wonder that you don't get it. MOST of any rich persons assets are in interest or capital increase funds. Sorry that investment and tax seems to be so difficult for you, but it REALLY does explain why you want to make this meaningless point about taxing the rich which even Obama admits will do NOTHING to help the deficit. People who have money EARN money from money. Get it??? btw, Mazatlan already has a subdivision of about 30,000 "gringos" who live there VERY WELL. Keep it up liberals and you can pay your OWN taxes. Wouldn't that be a novel concept, instead of your attempts to spend OTHER peoples money. Costa Rico is just as good. REmember that I told you David because is Obama is reelected, you'll see an exodus like has never been seen before. Most are already making plans just in case By John Wray on 2012 08 26
I'm looking at Costa Rica very seriously. By Dave on 2012 08 25
And the rich who leave? Money they already have in the bank isn't subject to income tax - you know that, right? So where can they have a $million per year job and not pay income tax? Your comments ended before I got to the country name. By David on 2012 08 25
I rest my case. Your argument shoots itself in the foot by saying it doesn't make a hil of beans. In FACT the rich have choices and they'll make them. Almost ALL of the rich people that I know are very smart and quite capable. I know of a dozen places to go and avoid taxes. Are you kidding??? I vacation at a few of them. There's probably a thousand places that you could move to and they'd love to have you with no taxes. They're smarter than our socialist administration. AGAIN, you're distracting from the main point as usual. Nice try. REAL business owners have a drive to create more business and more jobs which you and our prez don't seem to understand. It's obvious that you'll never get it. I give up By John Wray on 2012 08 25
And after a Federal tax on income over $250K, where would they flee to? In what country could someone earn $1 million per year and not be expected to pay personal income taxes? By David on 2012 08 25
David, if you don't " know" where they went, PLEASE do some research. The exodus of the "rich" from NY and California is well documented but not widely disseminated by the liberal media. Arizona is experiencing a boom from California businesses etc etc etc. Vicki' s exercises the usual liberal distraction by trying to change the discussion from her failed argument by vilifying the opposition. Obama trained for sure. He has no record to run on and NO knowledge of business so he resorts to personal attack. I'm 71 years old and feel NO desire to 'prove" anything to you. By John Wray on 2012 08 25
I certainly don't feel any need to "prove" anything to you but I owned 58 auto parts stores called; Mr. Automotive started in 1971. I have degrees in Engineering, Physics up to doctorates. easily found since I use my own name. Does that make you feel any better after trying to distract just like moveon teaches you to do. I know the drill, vilify an opponent if you have nothing to argue for yourself. The rich won't return Vicki and I found the basis for the Lincoln quotes in about 100 places on google. The light is a light of hope that is dimming. I wonder how the legislators in NY and California feel about "taxing the rich" By John Wray on 2012 08 25
And who are you leaving the light on for? The rich when they return? Another question, you mentioned, Mr. Wray, you have created "thousands of jobs." Can you please let us know what business or businesses you own or have owned? I do not doubt you for a second, but perhaps a brief resume (such as the one that David has at the bottom of his column) might provide enlightenment...since you're leaving a light on anyway. By Vicki on 2012 08 25
Where did they go? By David on 2012 08 25
I forgot to mention that the "rich" have choices. NY and California tried to "tax the rich" and guess what/?? thousands of the simply left. By definition, the rich have the money to move and if our liberal socialist keep this up, the rich WILL leave and you can pay your own way. I'll leave the light on for ya By John Wray on 2012 08 25
this column has made my day. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear from REAL business people. For a couple of years, I've felt like I was crying in the darkness. It's difficult to talk to non business people because they rarely understand the drive that it takes to make a business. I'm pretty sick of hearing about the money. Of course there has to be money of it won't survive, but the REAL reason for creating jobs via a business is the thrill of accomplishment. It's creative and makes my life worth living and I'm happy that I've created thousands of jobs in 40 years, but the primary motivation is and always was the thrill of seeing it all WORK. I owe David S thanks for helping me to see that there are others out there who understand. We must get this message out By John Wray on 2012 08 25
David, the super rich do not need to hire to create jobs. What? Oh yes. Their money will be in the economy, in banks, in mutual funds, being loaned to friends & family members, spent on Cristal, new cars, new homes, extravagant vacations and other luxuries most of us will never be able to afford. And THAT will do much more for the economy than the government blowing it on cronyism. Cronyism like Solyndra. Cronyism like GM. You claim to vote Libertarian, but you really seem to love that stuff. By Rynaldo on 2012 08 25
Amen, Lalit. May God save us from government. By Dave on 2012 08 25
Capital is a very essential ingredient of any growth. Setting up a new plant which will lead to more employment will need capital., A part of the savings deposited in banks is turned into capital. The more you are taxed, the less you save, However, the government gets richer and slowly becomes the only entity which can invest. Higher taxes will eventually lead to government run economy which we all know is not efficient. God bless us all! By Lalit Mehra on 2012 08 25
David S. , you just named several irrelevant categories of the "rich". Even Obama admitted that this class warfare would NOT do ANYTHING for the budget deficit. So why do it and why should YOU bring it up/?? strange and sounds a lot like moveon instructions. Of course Dave IS correct and 98% of business owners who have "extra' money WILL use it to create. You obviously don't understand the driving motivation that makes a business owner start in the first place; risk takers who WANT to create. If they have more money they WILL use it to expand. If you don't understand that, then I suspect that you and Obama are in the same bed. Neither one understands the most important point: FEW people can do it and the govt wastes 1.5++$ for every dollar it gets. Not efficient and actually a bad business decision. By John Wray on 2012 08 25
Thanks Dave - great advise to quit wasting my text on the clueless. By Dale on 2012 08 25
Hey David S., I guess you to be about 20 years old, am I right? I think it's good that you have an interest inpolitics but I disagree with your deceptive representation of yourself here on this forum You clearly have no business understanding. It is businesses and corporations that are inclined to hire when taxes are down, not individuals. In your examples you list individuals. And to an extant you are right, not everyone is going to hire when taxes are lowered. But for every entity you can name that is not inclined to hire with lower taxes, there are tens of thousands of others that will. When you talk about elites like pro athletes and wealthy actors you are talking about a phenomenally infintesimal small portion of the population. Check out this video to give some perspective of taxes and the economy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzAgg7C2_uo By Dave on 2012 08 25
btw, I've worked 80hrs/wk for 40 years and I resent being asked to give more to those who only worked 40hrs/wk or not at all. In fact I abhor the idea. there's an old expression: Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations. I think David is mostly there. Obviously if he IS in business (which I don't accept), it's his daddy or granddaddy who did the real work. Vicki, if the truth intimidates, so be it!! By John Wray on 2012 08 25
6 people who won't hire anyone if their taxes are raised: Ballplayer, Actor, CEO of IBM, VP of Marketing for Pfizer, Lawyer representing Asbestos claims. A couple more: Congressman Jones, President of Citigroup, Jimmy the investment banker for Citigroup. They all make $500K per year, don't have any employees, and will not be hiring any. Which comment-er to this article makes $500K per year as a business owner? By David Sneed on 2012 08 25
Thank God, conservatives have woken up. I've been somewhat discouraged by the seeming inability to respond to tripe such as was printed in this article. In the past I've tried to confront such bs and actually had one of Cobiz's "authors" send me a letter from their attorney threatening me. My attorney practically died laughing, but it demonstrates to what length these fools will go to. They are OBVIOUS Obama shills and they interject themselves into all media outlets in an attempt to intimidate any sensible discourse. They care little about the first ammendment. They kicked our butts in 2008 but it CANNOT HAPPEN AGAIN. I'm truely encouraged. Some real business owner posted here. Lets see if Cobiz tries to suppress dissent again. By John Wray on 2012 08 25
Lol, Raj you have got to be kidding me. With lower taxes a business owner can build up capital faster, expand his/her operation and hire more people. He/she doesn't do it for the greater good of humanity, but in a hope to make even more money for himself. Or maybe the owner wants to spend more time with his family and the extra cash will give him the flexibility to hire a new employee and do so. You have no idea, and if you actually believe what you said, then there is no reasoning with you. Have you ever actually had a job before? By Rynaldo on 2012 08 25
Hey Dale, save your text. This is some kid imposter who has no idea what you're talking about. By Dave on 2012 08 24
Obama increases my taxes - I either lay off or raise my billing rates. If I raise my rates, the client has less money to spend on other projects. If I layoff, the unemployment continues to increase (oh that's right Obama is not concerned about that). If taxes are reduced, I either use it to cover expansion, debts, or increase my personal income. If I increase my personal income, I add on to my house, buy a new car, provide more to a charity, purchase new furniture, etc. Which one seems to make more sense. Obviously to David it is number one, because he is getting numerous free money from the Obama plan and is afraid he may have to earn his wages if Obama is not there to hand out the freebies. By Dale on 2012 08 24
In fact, David Sneed, or whomever you are, I'm going to take this a step further. You are a fake. You are not a business owner and have never been associated with the running of a business. Had you any business experience whatsoever, you would know that taxes directly affect your ability to hire. You are a fraud, probably a young idealistic person with no real-world experience. Let your own dishonesty be the evidence of the wrongness of your politics. By Dave on 2012 08 24
This entire discussion is a farce. Only a fool would suggest increasing taxes on an employer does not impact hiring decisions. It is quite likely that "Raj" is, in fact, David Sneed or someone known to him. It is too unlikely that two fools would participate in the same discussion with the same rediculous assertion. By Dave on 2012 08 24
Based on Mr. Sneed's comment (writing sample) here: "Almost. Read again: "2) I vote Libertarian, and have done since 1990." Voting Libertarian and being Libertarian are different things. I don't believe all of what THEY have to say either. Do you want another try? Three for $1." ..... I now question whether he actually wrote the article. This comment brings your credibility into question. Who are you? First know who you are before injecting yourself into a national conversation. That's why I think this was a political stunt and you gave permission to use your name. By Nina on 2012 08 24
Dear Raj, no Mr. Sneed is not on point and if he purports to be a 'liberterian' the logic is contrary to a true libertarian - al la Ron Paul. Libertarians are the most fiscally sensitive group. So your assumption is incorrect. To try to school and marginalize Mitt Romney who has an 80% success rate as a business owner that dwarfs a fence company is preposterous. The tone is class warfare plain and simple and a departure from the original intent of the founders. An environment where there is freedom to prosper - we are being double and triple taxed and that is heinous. By Nina on 2012 08 24
John and Rynaldo you are either very misguided or lacking intellectual honesty. There is no way you would hire anyone without a need for them just because your income taxes were lower. By the same token, if I awarded your company a multi-million contract to provide your product or service in a time horizon that required you to hire, you would do it if you wanted the work. In either of those scenarios you do not care about the tax rate. David Sneed is exactly right and you both are very wrong not only about this article, but to personally attack the sincerity of his political or economic views rather than to debate the substance of the argument. By Raj on 2012 08 24
OMG, talk about piling it on with intimidation and a complete disregard for another's opinion. Mr. Wray et.al., this is your modus operundi, isn't it, to shut down a discussion by portraying those who disagree with you in stereotypes and insults. Absolutely nobody asked or demanded that you apologize for your accusations, just cite your source, but you could not or would not do that, so you resort to this kind of behavior. You are a bully, sir, plain and simple. David, I hope you continue to write your column here, I have not agreed with you all of the time, in fact, probably not even half the time, and I cannot say I agreed with today's column completely but I definately respect and appreciate your point of view, expertise, experience and service to our country. By vicki on 2012 08 24
rynaldo, you busted him good and he isn't man enough to fess up. Oh well, what did we expect from a "pseudo-libertarian??". He is purely and simply an Obama shill. good job Rynaldo By John Wray on 2012 08 24
Seriously? You are opposing one of the core tenants of Libetarianism, but you "vote Libertarian"? Makes sense to me. By Rynaldo on 2012 08 24
Almost. Read again: "2) I vote Libertarian, and have done since 1990." Voting Libertarian and being Libertarian are different things. I don't believe all of what THEY have to say either. Do you want another try? Three for $1. By David Sneed on 2012 08 24
rynaldo, that was awesome. You busted him. I knew he was an Obama shill, but you picked out the point that flat busted him Outstanding work. If he truely was a Libertarian, he would have had an entirely different story. I feel bad that I missed it. I won't next time. By John Wray on 2012 08 24
David, I love how Libertarianism is the new flavor of the month. Tons of people claim to be one, but few understand what it actually is. Instead of criticizing Romney for talking about reducing taxes/government you should be applauding him. Maybe you should read up on Libertarianism and decide if that is actually what you are. Do you feel like you have a duty to help others? That's great. I can recommend some good charities if you need help, stop volunteering other people's money too. By Rynaldo on 2012 08 24
Dave, I'm glad that I'm not the only one who saw through this thinly veiled political scam article and they think that I should apologize to David and Cobiz???/ NOT. this isn't the first time that this has happened here. Obama, moveon etc are masters at using the internet for such as this. In 2008 they got away with it, but I'm encouraged that we're figuring it out this time.. Did they see last weeks poll that showed that Americans thought the media was biased towards Obama FIVE TO ONE. that was national and crosses party lines. I think the media might FINALLY be getting what they're due, at least I hope so. I'm tired of these games. By John Wray on 2012 08 24
Johnathan Swift didn't actually eat babies. By Satire on 2012 08 24
David Sneed, you say your letter is economic and not politically motivated. And you portray yourself as a Romney supporter by saying you "worry" the "sneakey Liberals" will exploit Romney's tax policies. However, you reveal yourself in the question you pose at the end of your letter, a letter that is obviously purely politically motivated. Quite frankly, that is the modus opporandi of the liberal political machine: deception and dishonesty. Liberals cannot come out and say who they truly are or what they truly intend for this country because, if they did, they wouldn't get elected. By Dave on 2012 08 24
Of course owners take from what's left over after paying expenses. This article is so beyond the pale, that I reiterate that this is a scam. I doubt that CoBiz is involved but otherwise it makes no sense. In either case, you must see from the responses that you got, that you are way off base and seem to be parroting the Obama and moveon "talking points." Esp. probably because even Obama admitted that taxing the "rich" would do little for our deficit which proves that this is a purely political article in a weak attempt to help out Obama for his stupid "you didn't build that" remark. if David wants to give away his money, the IRS will gladly take it, but his "theory" that we should be GLAD to pay more has to be a fraction of a percent of successful small business owners. Nice try, but you just exposed another Obama political scam By John Wray on 2012 08 24
Funny. I need to rethink how I pay people. My personal income, the one which the article discusses, doesn't hire employees. It's what's left for me. By David Sneed on 2012 08 24
Absurd. Less taxation increases bottom line which is favorable to hiring, likewise, more taxation decreases the bottom line which is unfavorable to hiring. The math is simple. I'm a little embarrassed to have to point that out. The examples given here (a pro athlete and a rich actor) represent such a minute fraction of the population that they are entirely irrelavant. I suspect the author is in a family business and someone else, perhaps his father, manages the administrative portion of the business because he doesn't seem to have a clue about business. BTW, I am a small business owner (a sub-chapter S Corporation) and I am no where near wealthy. By Dave on 2012 08 24
3) Economics and Politics are not the same. This was an economics article. It just so happens that each side is associated with an economic theory. It was addressed to Romney not because he's a Republican, but because he is a supply-sider. My experience, from my own life, have shown me that a tax break on my PERSONAL return has no bearing on the direction my company takes. Someone else may be more generous with their personal income than I am, and pay employees out of their take-home pay. By David Sneed on 2012 08 24
I don't need to respond to most of it, but a couple of things strike me: 1) My article essentially said "My favorite color is Orange." Some omments argue, saying my favorite color should be green and then suggest I'm a moron for preferring orange. 2) I vote Libertarian, and have done since 1990. I doubt I'm a 'liberal,' but I happen to believe that those of us who do well have a duty to help those less fortunate. By David Sneed on 2012 08 24
Individuals, not government, take the risks necessary to create business. We need more emphasis on individual responsibility, not government responsibility, for our lives. Whether or not more or less taxes help create jobs, we need to reduce our taxes to reduce government control over our lives. We need fewer laws and fewer law enforcers. If government didn't provide free healthcare, we wouldn't need laws requiring motorcycle helmets or seatbelts or banning cigarettes. Government needs to maintain our military power to keep us safe from foreign threats. Government needs to build good roads and dams. Government doesn't need to do much more than that. We should cut ALL government budgets by 5% per year for the next 10 years and reduce ALL government salaries the same. By Tom Stevens on 2012 08 24
Actually, John, you've made a pretty serious allegation against David - and COBIZmag.com, for that matter, and I think you owe him an explanation, sending on the link you got from moveon would help clarify this. By Vicki on 2012 08 24
John thanks for explosing the propaganda piece that it is. Too much out there - I'm a target too : woman, conservative, Christian, entrepreneur, and Latina. We have a clear choice in November - to be on the side of history that will rebuild America - or destroy it. The side that upholds liberty, individual responsiblity and prosperity, or destroy those virtues. Time for the folks to wake up and take a hard and sober look at our options. The days of being politically correct are over - or we are. By Nina on 2012 08 24
Guess I've been told!!!!! By Vicki on 2012 08 24
this entire article was bought and paid for by moveon. I'm on their mailing list and I received the exact same "talking points" yesterday. It's a total scam. Obama will stop at nothing By John Wray on 2012 08 24
this ENTIRE discussion in reference to taxing the "rich" is a COMPLETE scam. Even Obama admitted that it wouldn't do ONE thing to help the deficit. Accepting that, then this leaves ONLY ONE reason and that's political. Obama is hell bent on creating out and out class warfare. Nina, thanks for chiming in. I thought I was alone in exposing this article. I wouldn't waste my time in "researching" anything for a liberal Vicki. Your "extensive research" on presidents must be on another planet if you don't recognize two of the most famous quotes of both presidents. Liberals like you wouldn't believe that the sun came up in the East By John Wray on 2012 08 24
This is a misguided oversimplification of the free market and why America 'works'. I've worked with 1000s of executive job seekers from start up to global private since the mid-90s. I know first hand the reason job creation has been stifled largely due to the uncertainty caused by bloated government, inept leadership, over regulation, misuse of tax payer money i.e. Solyndra i.e. chasing after the wind. Taxing companies less provides more freedom to invest, grow and improve a business. Govt's role is to steward an environment conducive to spurring the economy and we all win. Trying to draw some contrast by villifying job creators & the wealthy & comparing your situation with your pro baseball multi-millionaire friend is misguided and obviously politically motivated. By your "Dear Mr. Romney" letter you are furthering class warfare narrative. I wonder who Mr. Sneed votee for in 2008?" By Nina on 2012 08 24
Regardless of what Peyton Manning chooses to do with his money (either by investing it or spending it) they economy will benefit more than it would from the government seizing it. Peyton Manning doesn't have to directly create jobs, he can do so indirectly. When we leave it to the government we end up with massive failures like Solyndra. By Rynaldo on 2012 08 24
Mr. Wray, all I asked for was a source/attribution. By Vicki on 2012 08 24
You're getting closer, John Wray. Explain how taxing Peyton Manning at 36% instead of 28% will hurt America's job picture. Will he move to Toronto and play for a CFL team? By Dave on 2012 08 24
yes lowering taxes on someone who makes 5 mill will, of course, create jobs. That's been my point from the beginning. Killing the American dream kills jobs. The "rich' have choices as NY and California found out when they raised state taxes. they left by the thousands and it helped destroy their economies. 5 mill includes a large portion of small businesses and they WILL choose to quit expanding. We'll kill the golden goose for one meal and then we're done By John Wray on 2012 08 24
btw, Vicki, he hasn't completely destroyed our childrens future but our food stamp prez is well on his way to socialism and it becomes clearer every day. He's buying votes by trying to cater and pimp one group after another. Of course, he can't deliver on his promises because he'll never get by Congress. Now tell us again how he missed when he had COMPLETE control for two years. This man is the most frightening prez that I've experienced in my 71 years, 40 of which were as a business owner who created THOUSAND of jobs. No more until he's gone and I know of NO business owner who thinks differently even the Democrats. By John Wray on 2012 08 24
40 comments and maybe 4 of them address the article premise which is: Lowering taxes on someone who make $5 million dollars per year doesn't ensure that jobs will be created. By Dave on 2012 08 24
Vicki, I guess your "extensive" research on our past presidents was the usual liberal approach to "research" ie; see what you want to see. BOTH of them are FAMOUS quotes. I've got both of them on my facebook shared over and over and over again. Perhaps you should befriend more than liberals. Lincoln's is even MORE damaging to Obama's legacy of incompetence and inexperience. Of course, he never had a real job and of course was never a business owner so what should we expect. Hope and change has become distract and blame and luckily the American public is figuring out according to the polls. this may end up to be one of the most lopsided elections in recent history. come on, PLEASE start thinking. By John Wray on 2012 08 24
whew, in less than four years the guy has single-handedly destroyed out children's dreams! I'm curious, what did knowingly create a web of lies to invade Iraq do? And, Mr. Wray, would you please cite your sources regarding Lincoln's and Jefferson's "specific" comment you cited? I have researched the writings of both men, including documents at the National Archives, and have not come across those specific references being correctly attributed, I would be very interested in following this up. You may be interested in: http://www.qando.net/?p=11881 or http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4053. If you are citing jeffersonreview, please be aware that many of their quotes have been found to be erroneously attributed to others. By Vicki Felmlee on 2012 08 24
Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, BOTH specifically said that you cannot make the poor rich by making the rich poor. It's sounds nice to say that we should give more to the poor, but I'd rather do it through my church which does it much better than the govt. We are creating an entitlement culture which will destroy this country much quicker than any phony "imbalance." Perhaps when you visit other countries you could see why America is what it is. It's the American dream NOT socialism. Most parents are "proud' to see their children succeed but that dream is being destroyed by Obama. We spent out childrens future on "social programming" and it's destroying us. Just stand in any grocery line and watch who's using food stamps for beer and cigarettes. By John Wray on 2012 08 24
David, I have owned a small business since 1994 and do not know if I will ever be "rich" or "wealthy" by most definitions. After visiting Central America and most of the United States, I believe that maybe I am "wealthy". It is a bit of a cliche, but I do what I do because I love doing what I do and that is why I am able to make a living. Money is secondary, so I will probably never be "wealthy". If however, it should happen, I would give the extra to Mr. Buffet (or someone like him) to give to Mr. Gates (or someone like him and his wife) to help people who need help. I have never blamed a polityician for my failures or successes. I voted for Mr. Obama because he is not driven by money. I believe Thomas Jefferson would have been proud of my parrents, Mr. and Mrs. Gates, and Mr. Buffet but I think he would have a few things to say to Mr. Romney. Thanks for your words, Nick Molle By Nick Molle on 2012 08 23
"An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailments of all republics." ----- Also, a flat tax eliminates deductions for charitable giving which will place more burden on the government as a safety net. By Plutarch on 2012 08 23
I have read (don't know if it is true) that if everyone was taxed at 17% of their wages, not only would their be a balanced budget, but also the debt would dissolve in 12 years. That is a simple solution, but democrats hate that because it means everyone would have to pay their fare share. I am so hopeful Romney implements that in his 1st four years and preparing your annual taxes will be a simple form. Then the person making $30k pays the same rate as the person making $20,000,000. Unfortunately, no democrat has been able to tell me why that is not fair, but they are against it. By Leslie on 2012 08 23
David, you don't understand how taxes worked back then. Those were statutory rates, not effective rates. Sorry man. No one paid those rates. No one. By Rynaldo on 2012 08 23
Businesses started, jobs were created, and men became rich in the 50's and 60's when the top marginal tax rate was 90%. NINETY percent. We weren't socialist then, and everyone prospered. Remember, that tax rate only applied to income ABOVE $160 thousand (their dollars.) Today, the top rate is what 28%? If it went to 36% what would happen? Nothing bad, that's what. By David on 2012 08 23
Lalit, you said it well. I tried to focus on the risktaker idea, but the American dream is better. Why do it if you can't get rich??? That's the bottom line with Obama's socialistic ideas; they KILL the American dream just like they have everywhere else that it's been tried. those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Santayana and still applicable today. By John Wray on 2012 08 23
It is funny how those supporting the Obama plan create issues to support their thoughts. For example - Bill sending the message that indicates we should quit whining and pay our Taxes. That is a typical response from a supporter of Obama. Has no clue what the issue is but still speaks up with an opinion. Bill - not one of us have said we don't want to pay our taxes. Let me give you a lesson - the issue is why the people who have earned their pay should be charged a higher tax so Obama can fund his failures. I am a supporter of reduced Government and reducing taxes helps put America back in the hands of the Americans, not the politicians. I would hope you would want the same thing. By Dale Wells on 2012 08 23
Look around you and look WELL. See all that stuff you take for granted every day. Think about the thousands of soldiers keeping you not only safe, but downright comfy. Should I go on? Guess what? All that stuff costs money, and the price keeps going up whether you like it or not. Or, would you like the government to disappear entirely. Quit whining and pay your freaking taxes. We're almost out of money. Do you want to keep yours so badly that you're willing to sink the country? Like I said, quit whining, you bunch of children. Oh, by the way, I just retired after owning and running my own business for forty years. I was happy to pay my taxes every time I looked around and saw how badly countries without any infrastructure and low taxes do. By Bill on 2012 08 23
David has written some very interesting and thought provoking articles. And, surely, he has started a very useful discussion about the American Dream and taxes. If as a business man, I work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, will I keep doing it if you tax me at a higher rate? There will be no incentive. There are a very few business men who consume moneys to buy luxury items. Most invest in their business to grow, and keep up with the evolving technology. You take the money and you will see stagnation. When has centralized planning worked? The government doing the planning for you, like wind and solar energy. capitalism made America what it is. let us not become socialists. By Lalit Mehra on 2012 08 23
that's why I said "successful" business owners. I'm sure that there are liberal business owners out there that agree with Obama about not building their own business, but very few. I was deeply offended by the statement that I didn't build my business. Most business owner that I've known in 40 yrs of business are the risk takers and enjoy creating something that they can be proud of. THEY WANT to invest and if they have extra money, they WILL create. I've worked 80hrs/wk for 40 years and I resent those who worked 40hrs/wk or not at all wanting more of what I earned by working harder. By John Wray on 2012 08 23
The US does not need 2.3 TRILLION to build roads and bridges and fund defense projects. And that isn't even factoring in state budgets which mostly pay for police and fire protection. So why pay more taxes? So politicians can continue to bribe voters with other people's money? More entitlement spending? More cronyism like Solyndra? Please. If you feel the moral obligation to pay more in taxes, the IRS is more than willing to accept anything you feel willing to donate. However, there are charities that would put that money to far better use. I'd rather take my money and expand my operations, which would make me better off and also employ more people, directly and indirectly. By Rynaldo on 2012 08 23
WOW this has really blown up. Just a few things: who ever said that equal distribution of money is what we are after?? Isn't that why so many people have come to the land of opportunity? What incentive is there to over achieve if we cannot reap some reward for our efforts? Yes, I believe that a level of taxes and govt works and is needed. Infrastructure, defense and the like are why. Deciding on what that level should be is the issue. Thanks to all of you small business owners that similarly love taking the risks to improve the lives of our employees and their families. We can be proud every day. Keep your plans intact for tomorrow! By Cathy on 2012 08 23
Wow, David, bet you had no idea you'd open such a can of worms - hopefully they are American-made worms and not made in China. I was going to post earlier, but waited to see what others have to say. So, here's my two cents worth: I guess, according to John, I'm not a REAL business, probably not even a REAL person (love the all-caps), but less taxes or even no taxes wouldn't push me to hire, fire, or buy an I-Pad. My customers and what they want are the deciding factors on most of my decisions. Unlike Marsha, my accountant says I file personally and he files for my company (with my sig of course). America has had income taxes since the Civil War (to help pay for it), and even if you're not arguing the moral points, countries that don't have taxes have dirt roads, mud huts and a life expectancy of about 23. To sum up, a few of us have your back on this, David. By Vicki on 2012 08 23
Robert cherry picked statistics for parts he liked and threw out the opposite statistics which proves the old adage: statistics lie and liars use statistics. Your "statistics" are straight out of Obama's playbook and are simply NOT true. You've ignored many many factors and should know that you can't take "statistics" in a vacuum. I reiterate: the driving force for our economy is the "risk taker" . The 40hr/wk worker is great but will never create a business regardless of how much money he/she makes. 98% of the world "THINK" that they can run a business but 2% CAN. By John Wray on 2012 08 23
Taxes were far higher on top incomes in the three decades after World War II than they've been since. And the distribution of income was far more equal. Yet the American economy grew faster in those years than it's grown since tax rates were slashed in 1981. This wasn't a post-war aberration. Bill Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy in the 1990s, and the economy produced faster job growth and higher wages than it did after George W. Bush slashed taxes on the rich in his first term. If you need more evidence, consider modern Germany, where taxes on the wealthy are much higher than they are here and the distribution of income is far more equal. But Germany's average annual growth has been faster than that in the United States. By Robert Reich on 2012 08 23
I think that David missed the entire point of being a businessman.. There is ONE reason and ONE reason alone that explains why giving successful business owners more money works. True business owners are risk takers and WANT to create or they wouldn't have started. Perhaps at some point in their career, they lose their drive and sound like you, but I'm 71 and have been a businessman for 40 years. If I had more money, I'd create two jobs tomorrow. Every TRUE business owner that I have is the same. I did my own "survey" of other business people and asked them what they would do with more money. EVERY ONE already had a plan for expansion. NONE of them even suggested that they'd buy a new ipad. I suggest that all TRUE business/risk takers have a plan and that they are now doing nothing until they know what is coming. If it's Obama, then they won't be expanding . By John Wray on 2012 08 23
David - your first response was hard to take, but this last post makes it even more difficult to take your comments as being credible. How could you in one comment indicate Jesus says everyone should pay their taxes - then state that supports Obama's view. Obama is all for the poor and his illegals not paying for anything and making the wealthy pay the dues to ensure he can give more free programs to the poor. It is far from Obama's point of view. I am afraid there are too many people like you that can't use common sense during this election period and will vote to go through 4 more years of America's downfall. It is amazing this race is even close, but fortunately the polls are showing his term is about to come to an end and businesses can begin to shine again. By Sandy Wellser on 2012 08 23
Reynaldo brings up an interesting point. Morality. Jesus, for instance, said that everyone should pay their taxes. He said that a lot. So if "morality" is brought in to the conversation, what moral code do we use? The Judeo-Christian one? If so, I tend to think "morality" would support the Obama view more than the Romney view. I also wonder if taxes used to provide police and fire protection are considered "confiscated?" and do we, as a society, agree that SOME taxes are worth paying? If SOME taxes are okay, aren't we just debating where the line is drawn? By David on 2012 08 23
This article comes across as something I would expect on a 19 year old's blog. Regardless of what someone chooses to do with their money (and yes many people would use lower taxes to expand their business) it would better serve the economy to not be confiscated by the government. Furthermore you do not have a moral right to other people's money. By Rynaldo on 2012 08 23
Great article, David. I own a business that manufactures equipment for the construction industry. (Yes, there still are a few of us left out here.) I am so tired of the lies about tax incentives creating jobs. I agree with Raj, I hire as I need staff. I don't have the luxury of having tax incentives change that. It amazes me that so many people are drinking the Kool-Aid about tax breaks for the rich. They are just voting against their own best interests. By Sandra on 2012 08 23
David, I have had 2 CPAs because I don't profess to be one. According to both, I am my company and my company is me even though both file; I'm a small business and I hire my employees and subs on behalf of my company; after 9/11 when business came to a sudden stop, I personally helped pay my employees and sub-contractors for the work they performed. Presently, I know several business owners who are 'personally' helping fund employees paychecks to keep their company doors open and provide jobs. I applaude us for helping feed employees' families rather that turn them loose to potential food stamps or welfare. (Hopefully we all can acknowledge America has had over abundance of reliance on gov't assustance during the past 4 years.) If I should have lower taxes that save me an extra K or two, then by all means it will allow me to purchase an I-Pod. By Marsha on 2012 08 23
Thanks everyone for the comments, and also the full inbox. We're all on the same team, we just disagree on what play to run. But at the end of the day, the goal we all seek is to make America prosperous. I'm happy to live in a place where we can hear dissenting opinions. By David Sneed on 2012 08 23
In response to Heather's comments, I would like to argue that David's baseball friend wouldn't be making $11M a year without at least some government help (yes, this goes to Obama's taken-out-of-context quote about "you didn't make that"). Mr. Baseball likely attended a public school when he was younger, he currently drives on public roads to get to the ballpark, and he enjoys the protection of living in a relatively safe and secure society where he can play a game as a career. All of these things require gov't funding. There is certainly waste in gov't spending, but our society as we know it can't exist without at least some gov't involvement. By Nathan Jansch on 2012 08 23
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