You Cannot Govern Leadership

individualism

While small business owners are putting up their houses and their life savings to survive, to cash flow their business, to hire employees, President Obama was and still is, greasing the palms of his political donors in the name of greentech failures, spending billions of our taxpayer dollars.

The alarming failure of big government was never more evident than when President Obama publicly and carelessly joked about a trillion dollars (stimulus (taxpayer) money) wasted on “Shovel-Ready Was Not As Shovel-Ready As We Expected.”  Where was the red flag then?  Where is the red flag now?

The only hope I see for this country is individual responsibility, and leadership that creates prosperity, not big government. You cannot govern leadership.   Today individual responsibility, leadership, and American exceptionalism are too often political talking points and empty words. When individual leadership fails, or fails to materialize, it creates dependency.

Leonardo da Vinci said it 480 years ago and he said it in Italian. Here is the clearest translation:  “People of accomplishment rarely sit back and let things happen to them. They go out and happen to things.”

I don’t do what you’re passionate about, but be passionate about what you do.  Don’t follow your passion.  Let your passion follow you.  That’s leadership.

As a small business owner after 25 years it has been my experience, the most important life decisions you make, have to be made on your own.  I built my business and leadership is key.

Others will pontificate as to what a leader is, what a leader must do and how a leader must act.  I don’t have time for all that and neither do you.  The best way to find out if you are a leader is to deal with life’s biggest challenges when it comes to crunch time.

Decide on your own and act accordingly.  You’ll no doubt get plenty of advice, but no one is going to know better than you, what to do.  You are better qualified than anyone or anything to make the decisions that affect you personally and those who depend on you.

There’s a disturbing trend in our day-to-day lives towards dependency on others, big institutions, big labor and big government.  Sweat equity has been replaced by entitlement equity.  People measure success based on what they can get, not what they can give.  

A major new study by Harvard economist Raj Chetty, however, shows things haven’t changed all that much. “Children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution relative to their parents as children born in the 1970s,” it finds.  “That doesn’t mean politicians can’t improve people’s chances of rising. It’s just that the best way they can do so is by getting out of the way.”  The Foundry

The problem is the more you lean on the government, the more your life depends on government.  You are governed by more  laws, more regulations and more public policy today than ever before.  Who you become, what you do, and how you do it, is shaped by public opinion and the mainstream media.

In this new era influenced by mass media and public opinion, big government is their divined solution to all your problems.  American exceptionalism, entrepreneurship and the multitude of small business success stories that built a thriving post WWII economy, are too often ignored, discounted and discouraged with crippling regulation and  laws that are the new normal.

What if a typical family spent like government?

What if a typical family spent like government?

Individualism and leadership are sorely needed.  People, not big government, can make a difference.  You and I need to step up to the plate.  Our country’s in peril as is our next generation.  Take on the career politicians who have created roadblocks to personal responsibility and leadership.  Our country is on the line. Vote them out in 2014 and 2016.

Career politicians passing laws that control our lives severely curtail the entrepreneurial spirit and small business startups, the little engine that could, that should and does grow the economy.   Consider the cost of healthcare has virtually doubled for small businesses in the past 5 years.  

Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of free enterprise. Their heart is beating for their next customer, for their fellow employees and their families.  Their soul is intact.  They epitomize what comprises the backbone of our country, small business.  In their shadows are the real leaders, the chief cooks and bottle washers; the real risk takers that stand behind their champions, small business owners.  Small business owners are essential to the future success of the US economy.

Entrepreneurs are not the only leaders.  Leaders are people I see when I come to work before dawn.  I see them after dusk, when darkness settles.  They are resourceful.  They don’t think twice.  If you say something to them about the long hours they keep, they will readily commiserate with you, complain if you will, but there is a sense of pride in their voice.  There is a smile on their face.  These hard working people who are the heart and soul of the US economy.

In an atmosphere where people lean more on government, blame others and institutions for their circumstance, we need more leaders. Whether you are a parent, employee, small business owner or CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation; people depend on you for guidance.  You are accountable for the success or failure of others.  You have to make decisions that affect other people for better or for worse. 

In business or in your personal life, when the time comes, no one will make the important decisions for you.  Don’t get me wrong.  You will get plenty of advice.  “If I were you…” “You should…”  “You could…” “You might…” Later on, after the decision has been made, you will summarily receive the same words, only in a different context.  “If it were me…” “I would have…”  I could have…”  “I would have… Draw on your own experience.  Make your own decisions.

The most important decisions you can make, are made by you alone.  That’s leadership.  You can change the world, change you can believe in.

Justice Roberts says… Read My Lips… the Individual Mandate… It’s a Tax!

John Roberts, evil genius – Daily News

There is too much speculation and not enough information for small businesses about Obamacare, a.k.a. the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

Here are some talking points for small business people, like myself, that will hopefully lead to a greater understanding and a more intelligent debate over the new healthcare law.

First, Obama parades around the country telling people there will be tax breaks to help small businesses with Obamacare, a.k.a. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

There are no tax breaks from Obamacare for my small business with 34 employees and growing.

See –> NFIB’s website healthcare calculator to determine if you business qualifies for tax cuts.

Note: When we do reach 50 employees there are penalties for not offering health insurance coverage to my employees. As we approach this rather arbitrary number, we will have to consider any and all alternatives.

We offer our employees 100% healthcare benefits, but what effect will exchanges have on my existing plan?  There is no simple answer and not enough clarity in the law at present.  Both SHOP (Small Business Health Options Plan), the small business exchange no one knows anything about and individual exchanges are part of the new law.

In the 644 page document, Final Rule State Healthcare Exchanges, from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),  the fears of uncertainty grows from sample extracts below taken from the law that imply more government regulation and control including:

“Consistent with the scope of the Exchange establishment and eligibility proposed rules, this final rule does not address all of the Exchange provisions in the Affordable Care Act; rather, more details will be provided in forthcoming guidance and future rule making, where appropriate.”

How about this extract? “The final rule does not address all of the insurance exchange provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and additional rules will address those, according to the rule.”

This statement implies Big Brother’s not done and wants to get into other private markets, “SHOP may want to fulfill additional functions outside the scope of the proposed rule in order to offer employers a streamlined experience when managing their employee benefits.

These commenters proposed that the SHOP sell other types of insurance, administer COBRA on behalf of participating employers, administer flexible spending accounts, assist small employers in setting up Section 125 plans, and oversee wellness programs.”

Scary stuff for private enterprise from comments like this, “We will take these comments into account as we consider future guidance on the offering of other products on the Exchange.”  One things for sure, Obamacare has spawned thousands of lawyers and IRS agents.  Its a small business nightmare.

For more details see –> Alien Nation, a.k.a. Obamacare Nation
You can also refer to –> Lawyers Have Already Drafted 13,000 Pages of Regulations for New ObamaTax Law

What we see is more government intervention including more paperwork, compliance issues and regulatory pressures.  Why not work to improve what was already in place by simply open up the competition to providers across state lines?  Why not just do a better job enforcing the laws we already had in place to cut down on Medicare and Medicaid fraud?  An example of what government should concentrate on would be the Justice Dept.’s case against GlaxoSmithKline who agrees to pay $3 billion in largest U.S. healthcare fraud settlement.

Second, Health Savings Account plans help my employees to buy more affordable healthcare insurance for their families.

Obamacare now limits the savings, in two ways: it restricts the types of health products you can purchase with your H.S.A. money, and it reduces the amount of money you’ll be able to put into your FSA.  Unsurprisingly, there’s a price hike, too. It doubles—to a whopping 20 percent—the tax penalty for withdrawing H.S.A. funds to cover non-medical expenses. 

The new medical loss ratios (MLRs) even discourages H.S.A.s because Obamacare limits payments by individuals to 10%, only payments by insurers count, which discourages patients from making their own decisions about the cost of their healthcare.   

Third, why waivers?  Obamacare is the best thing for Americans, why is Health and Human Services (HHS) giving waivers to the largest unions, like the United Auto Workers and large corporations, like AT&T, Verizon and of course, none other than GE? 

“More than 50 percent of the Obamacare waiver beneficiaries are union members, which is striking because union members account for less than 12 percent of the American work force.”  See –> Political Calculations

See –> Hospitals Are for Sick People

As long as we are on the subject of waivers, now that Justice Roberts has declared Obamacare’s individual mandate a tax, what happens to the waivers?  Now you are going to tax some but not all Americans?  Big Union and Big Business gets a tax break?

Fourth, consider enforcement.  Senator Rubio said in an interview, instead of spending law enforcement dollars chasing bad guys, we’ll be spending our resources chasing American’s who either can’t afford or won’t pay for health insurance.

This resonates considering they don’t want law enforcement chasing illegal immigrants,

Fifth is access.  Anything government can do to improve the quality of healthcare automatically improves the cost of healthcare. Improvement in cost improves access.

Politifact claims Governor Scott’s statement about healthcare rationing is “false” based on the premise we are not changing the business of healthcare.  That’s Politicrap.  The more people who have access to healthcare the greater the likelihood for rationing.  Why? This law does nothing about quality or cost, it’s all about access. 

Also, Medicare permeates the whole system, and the law does nothing to improve Medicare, except phantom future cuts.

Adverse selection is built into the law, Americans will wait until they get sick to buy insurance and you can’t be turned down. But, as presently constituted, the new “tax” is a steal — $695 is cheaper than most annual health insurance policies.

Premiums will skyrocket. Worse, because of the law’s modified rating, prohibiting more than a 3 to 1 spread between premiums for the oldest and youngest, the young will be hardest hit.

This is just redistribution from young to old.

The subsidies for the poor, 133-400% of the poverty level, will be budget busting.  Recipients will have premiums limited to about 10% of their income.

This is a defined benefit, open ended financial commitment and hugely redistributive.

Young people will have to stay under employed to keep their insurance.

Finally, with regard to insurance portability, the HIPPA law in the 90s prohibited carriers from denying policies or limiting benefits for pre-existing conditions to individuals with continuous coverage.

If an individual loses coverage they can buy COBRA or affordable HIPAA policies as long as they haven’t gone more than 62 days without coverage.

My vote will be “Do over, or do more to enforce the pre-existing laws, do more to increase competition.  Allow more insurance companies to compete across state lines and repeal Obamacare.”  November 2012 will be a “mandate.”

The Tampa Bay Times “Scott Bashing” on the Wrong Track…

Governor Rick Scott

The Tampa Bay Times in the editorial section of the 04/10/2012 edition AGAIN trashes Governor Rick Scott on the issue of rail.  Today’s version is with regard to Scott’s decision to derail a bill to add a light rail project in Pinellas County.  This bill would be financed by taxpayers, increasing the sales tax in Pinellas from seven cents to eight cents on the dollar.

What they haven’t done a story on or mentioned is the Florida East Coast IndustriesAll Aboard Florida” project reported across the State by other news sources including The Daily and The Palm Beach Post which states “Florida’s taxpayers will have no ongoing construction or operating risks”  for the new system, which “will include business and coach class service with advance purchase reserved seating, gourmet meals, WiFi, and the ability to work productively throughout the entire trip,” according to the company.

Maybe the Tampa Bay Times should do a follow-up story on the High Speed Rail project?  How that’s going for the other states who were so eager to take advantage of the Federal boondoggle billions?  Reportedly the $4 billion in federal funds has been provided so far for the 500-mile project in the State of California. The current estimated cost of the project is reportedly $68 billion?   Also being reported, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, a congressional committee, has begun a review of California’s high-speed rail project, including possible conflicts of interest and whether a large government commitment would pull federal tax dollars away from other transportation projects.  Who woulda thunk it!? 

Coming soon?  The Tampa Bay Times glowing editorial on High Speed Rail and  Governor Jerry Brown.  Yipeee!

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