StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective – America: Are Entrepreneurs the Bad Guys?

Watching media coverage of ‘business’ in the United States, one might imagine he is living in a socialist country where capitalism is almost a crime. From certain sectors of the media and within the circles of certain political campaigns we hear cries of anger at the ‘wealthy’ and the need for business owners to pay a bigger slice of the tax pie. According to government classifications I am ‘rich’ – As a New York City resident, I pay more than 50% in taxes, and as a 37 year old entrepreneur I ask myself when is enough, enough?

A product of a single parent household and the New York City public school system, I have worked very hard for what I have, and today own one of the 25 largest U.S. Public Relations Agencies, 5WPR. My firm employs a little less than 100 people; we have no debt, we pay vendors on time, and have always operated a profitable business. We never had an open line of credit, nor do we carry credit card balances beyond the billing period. We pay our bills.

Entrepreneurs absorb the cost of jury duty for employees, we match Medicare tax rates (with little faith the system will exist when employees will eventually need it), we pay increased commercial real estate taxes with growth, and deal with many regulatory and financial burdens. Additionally, my taxes pay for NYC public schools, and do not get tax credits even though I don’t use the schools and pay an additional fee for private school. Yes, that is my choice, but through that choice, I believe that I lend a service to the public schools. My portion of the tax load subsidizes another New Yorker’s child’s education in the school system. All I seek is a little appreciation for that.

President Obama seems to be consumed with the popular pitch of ‘taxing the rich,’ and New York’s governor recently agreed and is seeking to assess anyone who earns over $200K with a greater burden. The demonizing of the rich is a bad policy. These so-called rich people are the ones who create jobs, take risks and sacrifice a lot.

People who work hard are the best hope for our country in these economic times, especially when China and other rising nations are consuming the work that used to be America’s. The work ethic has shifted to people who can understand and appreciate hard work, a sensibility that is lost today on many of America’s emerging workforce.

It’s about time a Public Relations campaign for entrepreneurs and business owners commenced. Today’s political environment is putting more strain on the hardworking entrepreneur. It is taxing energetic people who forgo personal time and money every day in the race to create opportunities which often end up generating opportunities for others as well. Taxing the wealthy even more is simply not the answer to the nation’s devastating problems. Countless small businesses are stagnant and need stimulation; it’s not their responsibility to bail out individuals. The drivers of the American economy are not the poor and the jobless, but the entrepreneurs who create the opportunities for most of the American workforce.

Increased government taxes will result in more job loss. It will serve to pound motivation out of the entrepreneur, making it even harder to create jobs. This hurricane sweeping through our businesses will change the country’s landscape for the worse. It’s un-American to say the least.

P.S. When I die, my children will be taxed another 50 percent on the money that I already paid taxes on.

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About the Author

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR and author of For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations. To read Ronn’s complete biography, click here.