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Rush and Madsen: Is President Obama thwarting economic growth?

By Peter Rush and Wayne Madsen

Mcclatchy-tribune

Published: Sunday, Dec. 2 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Peter Rush writes that President Barack Obama needs to realize there is little he can do to help the average business, while Wayne Madsen says Obama has assisted businesses.

Associated Press

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Yes: Obama needs to relax the government's grip on business

WASHINGTON — The election is history and businesses across America know who will lead the country for the next four years. But will the tone of the second term be as harsh and demeaning about businesses and the people who run them, or will President Barack Obama finally realize that American free enterprise is the force that makes the country strong and prosperous?

From a businessperson's perspective, people who run Washington simply don't understand the basic economics that every person who has ever run a company, large or small, must live by — revenue must exceed expense, or you are out of business.

Only in government do the economic laws exist in a state of suspended animation until the proverbial shoe drops, as it is now doing in Greece and other parts of Europe.

However, the real test for this administration is to recognize that business people are not evil, greedy Ebenezer Scrooges exploiting their workers to squeeze every last drop of blood from them.

American businesses, big and small, care about their workers. Small businesses must compete for workers. During the depths of the recession, it was the owner who was the last to get paid, if he or she got paid at all, because keeping good employees is good business.

All the current noise about raising taxes, punishing success, imposing new mandates and regulations scare us. How can I sign a 10-year lease on office space or a factory building when the rules of the game are going to be changed? How can one hire new people if taxes and fees double the cost of the hire?

American business people are optimistic risk-takers. If we were not, we would have gone into government. Most businesses' main interaction with government is paying taxes.

Government doesn't help them succeed but rather only erects barriers to overcome. The cost of government taxes and regulations are part of the overhead of a business. The greater the cost of the government overhead, the fewer people a business can hire.

The major challenge for President Obama is to realize there is little he can do to help the average business in our country.

We don't want more loans because debt does not equal profit. We want to make a profit so that we can invest to grow our businesses or reward our employees and ourselves for successfully taking on the challenges and uncertainty of business.

We also would welcome a little respect for the long hours we put in without any guarantees of reward. We would appreciate some common sense on regulation where absolutes can't apply but cost-benefit analysis makes sense.

To have the country begin growing again, the business sector must be vibrant and healthy. People must be willing to risk everything to reach the American dream of making your children better off than you were.

It's about creating where nothing existed. It's about building wealth and defining the future.

When we look at the political class, we want them to deliver a safe, secure environment to allow us to make our plans.

The old Soviet Union amply demonstrates that politicians cannot run the economy. Mr. Obama and the political class cannot believe they have the answers. Political spending is always less efficient than private spending because it is other people's money.

Our president needs to cheer on the dreamers and the risk-takers. He needs to stop frightening away innovation with rhetoric common to college campuses in the '60s. He should be hoping to create a million new millionaires whose good ideas and hard work have created 10 million new jobs.

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