I recently received a fascinating small business take on the stimulus, which articulated very well some thought I have had that have been percolating for awhile. The bottom line is that while we may argue about whether spending or tax cuts are the best way to “stimulate” the economy, the worst possible thing you can do is to keep monkeying with then plans.
Figuring out what owners of small businesses want from the stimulus plan isn’t rocket science. We’re really not about government handouts. We want stability and predictability. We want lower taxes over the long term. We could always use some help generating demand for our products and services. We want less bureaucracy, too. Unfortunately, the plan doesn’t really address any of this.
Read the whole thing. It breaks down the folly of each component of the government’s “help.”
This is the problem with a President (and a cabinet) who has never had to plan ahead for something that had to actually produce results years down the road, at least not in a way that he’s been responsible for the results. Certainly his dinner has never counted on it, like a small business owner’s ability to survive does.
In order to plan ahead, chose investments wisely, decide what inventory to stock or how many people to hire, or to expand a business, you need to be able to reasonably count on the landscape those decisions will have to exist in.
There is always risk of unforeseen obstacles. But if you know obstacles are out there, but don’t know what they are or where they are, why would you move forward? A smart investor who knows he can’t know what the future will bring will hold off on investing at all until things become less volatile.
This is what worries me most about this unknown and unknowable stimulus bill. And I’m more worried yet about Obama’s promises that it’s “just the beginning.” What’s next? Who can know?
This is not the time for bold experimentation. It’s time to take what we have and leave it alone so entrepreneurs and other business people can plan. And invest. And succeed.
So don’t just do something, Mr. President. Stand there, leave things alone, and stop talking. You aren’t helping anyone by keeping the pot all churned up.