We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There is a nagging fear among those who closely watch not only the economy but government policy that these nascent (recovery) economic forces might be murdered in their crib by the current administration.
Small-business men I met with this week tell me they are in a state of paralysis as they watch the debate over the health care "reform" bill wending its way through Congress. Lurking in its 1,502 pages (the Senate version) are provisions that will markedly raise their costs, and their personal taxes. So even as business gets better, they won't take on more staff because they can't figure out what it will cost them to do so.
Then there is the turmoil over all aspects of the financial services industries. The bonus brawl is the most widely publicized, with bankers somehow stunned that the public should resent their record takings after being bailed out by the government and, in cases such as Goldman Sachs, continuing to benefit from government guarantees of their debt.
More important, indecision on how to reform the financial sector continues to weigh on growth, as banks develop ever more stringent restrictions on credit availability while they wait to see who wins the battle between the Obama White House, which wants to give more power to the Fed, and the Congress, which wants to give the Treasury Department authority to close down any financial institution it deems unfit.
This is no small matter, as the at-least partly nonpolitical Fed is less likely than the completely political Treasury to move against an institution for purely partisan political reasons.
That is what I am hearing too. The government, in their infinite wisdom, is at war against economic growth. Ignorance, indifference, or by intent? They seem to focus on growth of the federal government, and little else.
I think I need a Bloody Bull with double vodka before I go out riding with She Who Must Be Obeyed now, to calm my nerves. The Lefties are finally getting to me.
The clowns in Washington have no idea how many small business owners, including myself, are surviving on razor thin margins. Lifelong investments of time, energy, and money hang in the balance as we try to survive the most difficult economy anyone has seen since the Great Depression. I'm certain that an additional, expensive burden of providing healthcare for all employees will break legions of us. I myself will sell assets and dramatically downsize to something I can do without employees. I don't really have a choice...Unfortunately, future generations will have to find a way to make things work in a much more challenging environment.