Those of you who were reading my blog posts four years ago might agree with me that I wrote too much about politics for a blog about small business. I hope you noticed I was quiet on politics for the 2012 election. That was on purpose.
Now, however, with the election over, and congress divided into a Democrat-led Senate and a Republican-led House, I say let’s all — you me, our friends, families, and people we influence — join together in holding both parties responsible for what they do about taxes, brinkmanship and the fiscal cliff.
The best thing I’ve seen about policy and small business since the election is Sarah Needleman’s WSJ.com post today, Obama Victory Brings Clarity for Small Firms. She clarifies with a simple, practical list. Taxes, fiscal cliff, government spending, access to capital, jobs, energy, and net neutrality. Nobody is saying election campaigns clarify anything all that much, but still, a lot was said.
On taxes, for example, we know what President Obama said: raise taxes on taxable income over $250,000. I like her summary:
Whether the president succeeds will depend on whether he wins congressional approval
Amen to that. On taxes we need leadership, not talking points. Do you agree? We need people in power caring more about what’s best for the country than what’s best for their party. And I don’t know about you, but for my part, I’m not sure what’s best in this area. It’s no place for knee-jerk reactions.
Regarding the fiscal cliff, here’s her summary:
The so-called fiscal cliff was created last year in negotiations between Congress and Mr. Obama to lift the federal debt ceiling. It means that tax increases and deep spending cuts are set to take effect at year-end—that is, unless lawmakers and the White House can agree on a new deficit-reduction plan.
Both Democrats and Republicans have said they want to avoid much of the spending cuts, but they haven’t succeeded yet in determining how to replace them.
Wow, that’s putting it mildly. No mention of brinkmanship, posturing, and partisan politics. No mention of the very real danger that the people in charge of this put party politics ahead of what’s best for the country. Can they actually believe that crashing the economy justifies some political end.
I say today that all of us — that’s business owners, small business, large business, and in fact all citizens — should hold the politicians accountable for their priorities. Let’s watch who does what, in detail, and call out any of them that doesn’t put the country first. That’s what they were elected to do.