Time to Sell Economic Growth

lower taxes for dummies

While many people like to pay attention to polls so that they can end up offering tidbits of information to their friends with relatively easy to understand numbers, when it comes to activists, polls often guide policy decisions. Right now, activists that are concerned with the concept of promoting small business growth should be leaping to sway the public and politicians toward initiatives involving tax reform. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, public opinion is trending toward cutting government spending, and decreasing taxes.

This is a concept that Libertarians and free market activists have been pointing out forever, and it seems the public is getting the message, since 52% of voters now believe that cutting government spending helps the economy. However, there is a minor dissonance in these results, since about 47% of voters would support a candidate that would tax the rich more, while dropping taxes for others - that number is up from 44% in December. So, while people are getting that taxes hurt the economy, they aren’t quite comprehending that the governmental definition of “rich” as far as taxation is concerned could include the family-owned coffee shop down the street that only employs a handful of people.

What this means to activists is that half the message is getting out there, which is better than none. In addition to a majority of voters believing that cuts to government spending help the economy, an equal percentage believe that tax cuts help, too. Perhaps it is time to really put the process of starting and running a small business front and center. It’s fair to assume that many Americans are unaware of the fact that many businesses file as individuals on their tax returns each year. This is what makes Obama’s arbitrary $250,000 income level for determining if someone is “rich” so dangerous. That typically refers to gross income, before deducting business expenses, which could include wages for a couple employees, at least. If people understood this, it’s very unlikely that they would consider that income level the way the president wants them to now.

Something else that people typically do not understand is the vast amount of governmental bureaucracy involved in starting and maintaining most businesses. The vast majority of these regulations are purely for the benefit of the government, not the protection of the public. Given the legal remedies available to the public in the courts, and the world of social media that consumers can use to publicize poor service or quality of goods, it simply isn’t worth the gamble for businesses to intentionally cut corners on quality or safety for their customers. We don’t need government to protect us.

Most conservatives talk about the concept of entitlement reform whenever cutting government spending is mentioned. Our economy is simply too anemic right now to discuss that seriously, without running the hazard of alienating a public that is already for the idea of cutting spending, especially when considering that it can aid economic growth. It is time to talk deregulation instead, since that would directly address the issue of promoting a stronger economy. Activists and politicians should be taking advantage of this trend in voter sentiment to reduce government spending in a way that will help nurture immediate economic growth, by easing regulations, and cutting jobs in the regulatory agencies. Remember, it is important to point out to the public that government job losses are not like private sector job losses. Yes, those people will not be working, but taxpayers will be paying less for them through unemployment. Additionally, if they find work in new businesses that were started because they are no longer preventing business growth by enforcing unnecessary regulations, they will become poster children for even more cuts in government jobs. This is one time when the government shutdown can work for Republicans, because if nothing else, it showed the government was still able to function without all the workers. Maybe eventually we’ll see shutdowns become a regular function of government, and instead of seeing all the workers return, we’ll see several government jobs end each time. First thing is first, though. Time to sell economic growth by promoting deregulation.

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