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Pants on Fire! Where’s Politifact When You Need Them?

July 29, 2012

The Real One Percenters – Small Business People

The Tampa Bay Times Thursday July 26th, 2012 issue, posted this front page headlines…

“Tampa businesses criticize Obama at Romney event, but live off government work.”

The Tampa Bay Times (TBT) reveals their own extreme prejudice by stating, “Despite that dependence on government largesse, the companies’ owners (in an article “Tampa businesses criticize Obama at Romney event, but live off government work.” written by Michael Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer) dismissed the role of government in their businesses.”

Small businesses who provide products or services to government under contract do not “live off government work.”  They benefit as any business would, by creating, producing, hiring when necessary, building and delivering products or services to a government entity.  The Obama administration would like their supporters to believe small businesses don’t pay taxes as individuals.  Many of them do.

In fact, the government “lives off the work” of small businesses who are taxpayers, like anyone else.

If you agree government contractors live off government work then you agree that all government contractors do the same.  The long list includes GE, Boeing and includes all government workers, too.

The article states, “The Mitt Romney campaign offered up an inspirational tale of two local companies Wednesday as a way to cast President Barack Obama as an out-of-touch, big government apologist who doesn’t understand how business works.”

This is an editorial comment that is purely a supposition on the part of the TBT and hardly constitutes news.  I would agree the TBT columnist and the TBT fear their statement is a fair assessment of how small business owners think of the President and his policies.

The TBT goes on to defend Obama, “During his speech, Obama spoke about how even the most successful business owners didn’t make it alone, that they were helped by others, including in some cases those in government.”

“But the Romney campaign is stressing one part of that speech, including a line where Obama stated, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Taken alone, that might mean Obama is refusing to award credit to business owners. When the entire section of the speech is included, it’s obvious what Obama’s point is.

TBT quotes the president in the context he is interested in a cohesive relationship with small business, “When we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together,” Obama said at the same Virginia event.”  In fact, the government works for the taxpayers, a.k.a., income earners.  Your job Mr. President is to serve and protect the public.

The President was a community organizer.  Small businesses are community organizer, too.  The difference is small businesses don’t spend other people’s money.

Obama’s comments convey the message that small businesses need government to succeed.  The real story is, government needs small businesses to succeed.  Obama supporters, including TBT, would have you believe small businesses that do business with the government are not taxpayers and live off government work.  Government contractors are not employees of government.  They don’t enjoy a weekly paycheck, insurance, pension or other government guaranteed benefits.  How are they “living off the government work?”

Obama and his supporters would have you believe small businesses are not taxpayers.  Small business tax dollars are spent like any other taxpayer’s dollars on government programs, including infrastructure, roads and bridges.  When a small business person fills up at the pump, on average, we pay almost 50 cents per gallon to the government for taxes on gasoline, approximately 12.5 cents on every dollar (GasPricewatch.com).   Add toll roads to the equation and in many parts of the country the cost to taxpayers for infrastructure goes up.

Like most small businesses, I work for myself, my family, my 35 employees and the community.  I pay taxes as an individual, not as a corporation, so I have a vested interest in deciding how to spend or reinvest in my business. Reinvesting the income I earn is why I have successfully run a small business for 24 years.  I applaud anyone who is or was gainfully employed, whether by the government, as a government contractor or in the private sector.

The TBT has determined Lou Ramos of Value Enterprise Solutions and Rebecca Smith, owner of A.D. Morgan are somehow indebted to the government.  If they didn’t work and earn the income they received from the government, it’s up to the government to fire them.  Businesses who can navigate the rules and regulations to be certified as a government contractor should be applauded. If a government contractor does something illegal it’s not up to the TBT to indict them.   Frankly, these headlines are shameful.

In the end voters will decide, not based on campaign rhetoric, which flows freely from both campaigns, but based on the real message.  Obam­a’s statement, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.” has an underlying message that plain and simple says more government is good.  Romney’s message is less government is good.  The TBT should apologize to Lou Ramos of Value Enterprise Solutions and Rebecca Smith, owner of A.D. Morgan, all small businesses, all government contractors, all government employees and all hard working Americans who are “living off government work.”

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