Small business already struggles because the federal government’s reporting requirements are a moving target. Businesses must track the unusually frequent changes in government-issued guidance regarding reporting requirements. For example, since issuing the first reporting requirements for ARRA in February 2009, these requirements have changed nine times in the past 19 months, in March 2009, April 2009, June 2009, September 2009, November 2009, December 2009, April 2010, May 2010 and most recently in September 2010.
Each “update” to the reporting requirements issued by OMB is followed by an ancillary memo issued within each federal agency by each agency’s Chief Acquisition Officer.
Businesses, especially small businesses, may spend large segments of the workday tracking reporting requirement changes. Businesses must do this because a clerical error, which could be interpreted by the oversight community as fraud, carries severe penalties, and the burden of proof of innocence falls on the business.
Taxes take many forms. More damaging, than canceling the Bush tax cuts, more damaging than the changing definition of who is considered “rich”, more disturbing than Obama Administration's complete lack of understand of what it takes to grow a business and an economy, is the fact that time is money, so the new, burdensome and intrusive reporting requirements demanded by Obama's flawed policies puts a tax burden of time on all businesses.
Under the guise of “accountability” and the lure of “transparency”, the Obama Administration continues to bombard businesses with additional, ill-thought reporting requirements. Few legislators and few members of the Obama Administration have ever experienced first-hand, the struggles of entrepreneurship--what Jerry McGuire calls "an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege," of trying to win a customer's business, be competitive and succeed. The Administration, clearly, does not understand or does not care about the true cost to business of their self-serving actions.
Peter Drucker, the management guru once said: “if you’re meeting, you’re not working”. Perhaps the corollary is that when a business is “reporting”, then they aren’t really working either.
Make no mistake: well-reasoned reports aid in accountability and transparency and are essential to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely by the government. But this is not happening in the Obama Administration. The President Obama once promised he would not raise taxes on the middle class. Yet, fees, fines and mandatory purchases are “onerous, rigorous demands” which, according to Webster, qualify as taxes.
Obama has demanded the one commodity which is in limited supply, and which can never be reproduced once spent—time. Obama wastes our time--and that tax is the greatest of all.