Why Make Life Tougher for Hard-Working Business Owners?

By Dagen McDowell-Taken from Fox Business

I just got back from a week with my entire family at Virginia Beach, Va. A vacation. Something that still feels foreign to me. When I was little, other families would rent beach houses or drive to Disney World. We didn’t. Once every few years my parents would take a three-day weekend. We might make it to the beach. But that was it. Why weren’t we like other families who took vacations? Now I understand. My parents owned and operated their own business. They simply couldn’t leave town. Running a small wholesale grocery business, they always ran so lean and worked with such a tight budget that there was no one there to fill the gaps when they were gone. My grandfather was so dedicated to the business that he famously (at least in my small hometown) unlocked the front door of the wholesale house every New Years Day for 63 years. New Years Day was not a day of rest; it was when they took inventory. My family never took a break or got a break.

But I know my parents and grandparents are not unique. Their kind of work ethic is on display every day among small-business owners across the country. People dedicate their lives to the businesses they start or run. Maybe they love what they sell or the service they deliver. Maybe it’s just about the joy and pride of providing for your family, being your own boss and about serving your community. The hard work is there — where paid vacations do not exist. Knowing that, the most frustrating thing to see is that these dedicated business owners do not get a break from Uncle Sam. The government, especially lately, never seems to make things easier. Instead, let’s make life and namely work even harder. Let’s continue to add hundreds, no, make that thousands of pages to the tax code, so filing your taxes becomes more complicated, frustrating and costly. This is a bi-partisan effort mind you.

Oh and let’s raise your taxes while we’re at it. That’s what House Democrats want to do for many small businesses to pay for the health care overhaul. Let’s mandate that you provide health insurance and tax you if you don’t. Another idea from Democrats in the House. Let’s insert another hidden tax through a cap and trade system. In the works in Washington.

Even when the government tries to help some, it fumbles badly. The stimulus package expanded COBRA health insurance benefits for people who had lost their jobs. But once again, the burden fell on the business owner. Employers had to cover the beefed-up benefits (a 65% subsidy) and then essentially had to wait to be reimbursed by the government. Many were scared of possible cash crunches, which I heard about frequently on Your Questions, Your Money. Why can’t the government do something to make life easier for the men and women who’ve created up to 80% of the jobs in this country, who sleep too little, who work too hard and rarely take a vacation?

I don’t have that answer.