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Get the politicians off our backs

Published September 24. 2011 09:01AM

Earlier this week, President Obama made another speech to the nation. He stated that the rich must pay "their fair share." What he and our elected representatives fail to recognize is that the bulk of the tax burden is falling upon the middle-class.

The top 5 percent of wage earners pay almost 59 percent of the income tax. Surprisingly, the top 50 percent of wage earners, composed of those earning as little as $34,000 a year up to and including Warren Buffet, pay 97.3 percent of the taxes. Looking at the numbers, the tax burden falls on the middle class and the working poor as well as "the rich." (

Let's look at the definition of "rich". Our president considers anyone who earns over $200,000 to be a millionaire. Families earning $250,000 or more are also millionaires. What kind of math is he using! I always thought that to be a millionaire, you had to have a million dollars! By placing an excessive burden on these people, our politicians are confiscating the capital small businesses require to operate and expand their businesses.

Business owners are working in an environment of onerous regulation and excessive taxation. These unnecessary burdens destroy innovation, stifle investment and prevent growth. The business community is our only hope for job creation. It is their efforts that will create the jobs we need to solve our unemployment crisis.

Our government must be living in the twilight zone. The politicians and the president know that we need more jobs. In speeches they state that job creation is their primary goal in this economy. But their actions indicate otherwise. Consider the case of Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital. He was fined for hiring too many people! Our government forced him to stop hiring new staff even though our nation is drowning in unemployment and our citizens are desperately seeking work.

It is insane to stop businesses from hiring new employees. To his credit, Mr. Schiff testified before Congress. This took a great deal of courage as I expect our government will work diligently to find ways to punish him for speaking out.


The president and his cronies are like Robin Hood and his Merry Men. They place onerous taxes on the rich and redistribute their wealth. I believe that this is splitting America into two classes. The first class is made up of those people who have jobs. They work hard, support their families and try their best to pay their bills. Most of them live paycheck to paycheck. If they are unable to work due to health issues, strikes, or are laid off, they have no cash reserve. They go from being members of the working class to members of the other class, the entitlement class.

The entitlement class is composed of people who live on welfare and unemployment insurance. They may get food stamps in addition to subsidized housing. If they find a job, even a low paying one, they will lose some or all of their social assistance and Medicaid. The system makes it very difficult to reenter the workforce. President Obama has shrewdly used the division between these classes to promote himself and his administration.

By robbing the rich and giving to the poor he believes he will be reelected. What he fails to recognize is that Americans believe in working for a living. Most of those who are unemployed or on welfare want a job. Businesses want to hire them. We need the politicians to get off our backs so our citizens, our companies and our economy can grow.

With an uncertain business environment here, businesses are expanding overseas. Profits that used to be made in America and that stayed in America are disappearing. The new reality is that business growth is overseas. The profits are made and remain offshore. In addition to factories, research and development labs and business innovators have also moved off shore. American multinational firms have gone global. They gradually moved their assets, their plants and their staff off shore over the last 40 years.

More recently, we lost Information Technology and engineering jobs to India and other highly educated, yet lower cost countries. I expect that we will see executive positions migrating to Asia as well. After all, if we can get a very good CEO in India for $100,000, why should be pay an American CEO $20 million in salary and stock options? Shareholders will want to dump the American CEO and hire the Indian!

Over the last few weeks, several people I've talked to blamed our economic malaise on unions. I found myself in the uncomfortable position of defending unions. I have never done this before! Remember that union members are Americans first. They want our country to be strong and free. They want jobs to remain in America. They want factories to be built in America.

I agree that union issues in the past have resulted in plants being moved overseas. The pendulum swung in one direction, destroying jobs here. For unions to survive, they're going to have to work with management to make our factories more efficient and our workers more cost-effective.

I believe that the pendulum is swinging back to making products in America by Americans. I would love to see more products with labels that state that they were "Proudly Made in America" or "Union Made in America".

In order to restore our economy, our government needs to get off our backs and let the free market prevail. Stop excessive regulation and lower taxes! We need to encourage corporations to remain in America rather than moving their operations overseas.

If this administration continues along the path of crippling taxes, the recession will last for several more years. By changing direction now we can begin the process of rebuilding America and more importantly reinvigorating our citizens.

I've noticed that gloom and doom is the prevailing mood of the country. We need to change this. I remember how the attitude in America was changed when John F. Kennedy said that we would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. That gave us an objective and we worked diligently toward achieving it. We could see progress as we moved from the Mercury capsules to the Gemini and Apollo spacecraft.

We did put a man on the moon and we did it by the end of that decade. Along the way there were many important inventions that resulted from the space mission. The personal computer, Tang, meals ready-to-eat and Velcro are just a few of the innovations that resulted from the space program. We need a new objective that Americans can focus on and we need it now.

Whether it is building a village on the moon, or eliminating hunger, we need a national objective to unify us, to strive for, and to celebrate when we achieve it. Most importantly we need new leadership with the vision and creativity required to take America to the next level.

We need to stop the "cant-ism" and get the "can-do" attitude back! Now is the time to energize our country, and our citizens. We have a new generation ready to take the reins from our hands.

Let's create an environment where they can succeed in building a better America. I know they can do it if we just get off their backs and encourage them to be all that they can be.

© 2011 Gordon Smith All Rights Reserved

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