For months Senator Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats have been pushing for higher taxes on upper income earners. Congressional Republicans have argued that this is a bad idea, because people with wealth often start their own businesses and hire workers in the process – and government shouldn’t create disincentives for business and job growth.
So, facing a failure of his tax hike proposal, Harry Reid took to the floor of the U.S. Senate and responded to the critics who opposed his scheme, declaring: “Millionaire job creators are like unicorns. They are impossible to find and don't exist."
They don’t exist? Really? Nobody with wealth ever starts a business and hires people to work at it? No, not in the insular political world of the leader of the United States Senate. As far as Mr. Reid was concerned, these "fictitious millionaire job creators" are mostly just "hedge fund managers or wealthy lawyers that don't do much hiring."
If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were even remotely in-touch with the nation he is paid to serve, he’d know that wealthy job creators have been trying to get his attention for nearly two years, crying for a reprieve from the oppressive Obama government for which he has been carrying the legislative water. But it’ll be another five years before Harry stands for re-election, so why bother with the realities of public policy? The short-term political gain Harry can reap by publicly demanding more punishment for “rich people” is all that matters right now – or so he likely thinks.
But, as if to produce a “teachable moment” for the bumbling Reid, none other than USA Today stepped-in three days after the Senator’s absurdities and provided a bit of a tutorial. You might say that, despite Harry’s certainty that they “don’t exist,” a writer at USA Today found a few “unicorns.”
In a December 15th article entitled “Economic optimism grows, but risks remain,” USA Today writer Paul Davidson provides examples of how private individuals with wealth are starting businesses, and - shocking- creating jobs! And here’s what else Davidson’s reveals: public policy emanating from Congress and the White House directly impacts business owner’s decisions about whether or not to expand. For Harry and Nancy and Barack it may all be a political game, but they nonetheless wield a lot of power over us and they’re playing with our livelihoods and futures. A quick perusal of Davidson’s article provides a snapshot of how things work in the real world – a world outside of the Obama gamesmanship.
In Evanston, Ill., Davidson notes, a guy described as a “serial restaurant entrepreneur” Mitch Dulin opened a shop called “Central Street Café” last summer. Dulin jumped in to his new venture, according to Davidson, largely because his instincts told him that the local economy was improving, and, so he reasoned, if he had waited much longer then the rock-bottom lease rates that were available would likely begin to rise. "I saw things getting better," Dulin was quoted as saying, and "if I were to wait a year, the lease would cost me 20% more." Imagine that – without direction from Harry Reid or Barack Obama, Mr. Dulin sought to use his money wisely – and his pursuit of wisdom led to business expansion.
But wait, there’s more! As Davidson reports, “Dulin says he paid cash for the renovation of the space — at a cost of $500,000 to $1 million — and (he) might not have gone ahead with the project if he had needed to get a loan.” Uh-oh! Looks like we found a unicorn here! Mitch Dulin had hundreds of thousands of his own dollars to spend on his own business start-up, which likely qualifies him as one of those dastardly “millionaires” from whom Harry Reid wants to confiscate more money. And Dulin’s new restaurant employs 14 fulltime workers, all of which were previously employed.
Elsewhere in Davidson’s article we learn of “Nurse Next Door,” a franchised in-home healthcare business based in Canada. The company was moving ahead with plans to expand in the United States, but then stopped last summer when the Congress and the President raised our government debt ceiling higher and our government debt was downgraded. “NND” has since begun moving again on their expansion plans, but the point remains clear: as Senator Reid and President Obama play short-term political war games with our nation’s fiscal and monetary matters, real-life “unicorns” are operating in the real world, trying to make prudent decisions with their capital. The more punishment that Reid and Obama dole-out to the money people, the more likely the money people are going to simply hold on to what they’ve got, and not risk and invest.
As Senator Reid and President Obama continue with their gamesmanship, America remains starved for sound fiscal and economic policies. How much longer can the “unicorns” last with them?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.