Small Business Owners – Making Millions, of Jobs That Is…

Obama - Biden Entreprenever_edited-1President Obama, you coined the phrase “middle class economics” as one of your latest “camplaign” appeals.

I coined the phrase “Entreprenever” for you.

Mr. Obama, you have never been an entrepreneur.  You are successful beyond the imagination of most people’s dreams.  You are obviously a highly talented and intelligent person. You have a loving family.

You have a loyal and caring following… then here comes the but, at least not until, and unless, you are willing to walk in a small business owner’s shoes, you’re politics hurt small business owners.

I’m an entrepreneur.  I’m not a millionaire, but job growth is a constant in my business. There are a lot of small business entrepreneurs out there earning millions in taxable revenues for their small businesses, who aren’t millionaires.  They’re making jobs, not millions.  Why not millions of dollars? Too many regulations, too many taxes, too much big government getting in the way.

Small Business Owners make millions of jobs, not millions of dollars! That’s what I call “American Exceptionalism.”

Mr. President, if you truly want to help the middle class, help small businesses grow and hire more people.  They’re your middle class economy.  There are many up and coming millionaires that are making products, providing services and creating jobs.  They should be paying less taxes, NOT more, than they do today.

Small businesses want to invest their income in products, services and jobs, not squandered on meeting meaningless regulatory bureaucratic “make work.”  Call it unintended consequences, but I don’t think you really care, or you care more about bureaucratic jobs than you do about free enterprise jobs?  Free enterprise better defines “middle class economics” than big government any day!

Free enterprise defines middle class economics” better than big government any day!!

Small businesses that file their taxes as individuals need lower income tax rates, even at the top income brackets, so that we receive a fair return for the risk we take to grow our businesses.  In my case, growing a successful business from 1 to 40 FTEs required; cashing in all my savings, a second mortgage on the house, personal loans from friends and family, 12-14 hour days, no PTO or vacations for the first 10-12 years. The mortgage on my house was $100K when I bought the house.  Twenty-five years later after loans, it is still over $200K.  If I’m not successful, that will be my legacy to my children, not your children.

Before you insert your platitudes about every American giving their fair share, you’re too intelligent to believe our current entitlement society, including illegal immigrants choking our medical, educational and government resources, is fair to hard working legal US CITIZENS.

The failure rate for small businesses like my own is one success in five failures.  So where is your reward at the end of the tunnel?  Higher taxes.   You don’t care, but higher taxes on small business owners prevent further investment in their business,  reduces the chances of paying off outstanding loans and lost income due to lack of cash flow.

I didn’t have a 401K or savings account for over 10 years.  I don’t have a huge stock portfolio, a second home, fancy cars or take Alaskan cruises… well OK,  I did take an Alaskan cruise with my wife,  It was awesome!  Should I thank you Mr. President?  Higher taxes is how you, our President rewards hard work, ingenuity and innovation.  That’s why I coined the phrase for you, President Obama, Entreprenever.

Yes, I’ve seen the news stories about this small business and that small business, who obtained and SBA loan or some other government handout.  Good for them!  That’s great theater.  That’s great politics!  You’re the best!

I’m not going to get into the weeds on excessive regulation and the politics here.  There are plenty of people capable of doing so.  Of this I am certain.  You’ve never run a business, certainly not a small business, and certainly never had to put your life’s savings on the line for a small business.

Mr. Obama, you’re ticket’s already been punched.  You’ve already made millions.  You stand to make millions more.  Maybe you already have, so what’s my point?  My point is you can never say you are for the little guy, the small business owner, end of story.

For all the Rich and Famous liberals out there that make millions and billions, mind your own f$$$$n” business!! If you want to raise taxes on people, think about small business owners versus our government’s track record in making money.  You’re pretty good at it, why don’t you get it!!!

We’re $18 Trillion in debt.  You could let big government spend more money on the backs of hard-working small business people, as well as, their employees and their families.  You could push for lower taxes on small business owners or you could just put you money where your mouth is…

Send your contributions to:

Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Credit Accounting Branch
3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
Hyattsville, MD 20782

Much obliged!

Sincerely,

The ideacapitalist

Small Business Owner

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.

Anytown Small Business Sequestration – A Letter from the CEO

EVAN VUCCI / AP President Barack Obama during the fiscal cliff negotiations in the briefing room of the White House on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in Washington.

EVAN VUCCI / AP  – President Barack Obama during the fiscal cliff negotiations in the briefing room of the White House on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in Washington.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to our inability to produce a product in the past 4 years and the conjoined, unbridled spending we have undertaken, it pains us to adopt the Government’s style Sequestration, a.k.a. mandatory spending cuts, here at Anytown Small Business, Inc. 

Following the President’s example, I am voluntarily taking a 5% salary cut.  If I was making as much as our President, that would be enough to replace the windows in Building 100, thereby erasing the threat of Mud daubers terrorizing our finest.

Let me explain.  The promise of lower healthcare costs didn’t happen.

The promise of cleaner, renewable, and cheaper energy costs and fewer regulations, where everything that was beautiful, has now brought us down, didn’t happen.

Our hiring practices, spurred on by the promise of a Government backed Stimulus plan to create jobs and economic growth, didn’t happen.

We have had to hire armies of attorneys and consultants to remain in compliance of the new regulations and laws.

Each year over the past four years our healthcare costs have risen 25% or more.  As the Supreme Court has ruled, we all know now, even though the Main Stream Media (MSM) chooses to ignore, Obamacare is a tax!  Now on top of the cost of healthcare we have an additional tax burden.  Any new tax increases the cost of doing business.

So now we have to  reduce employment to less than 50 workers.  We are playing spin the bottle every day, after work of course.  The winner gets to kiss his or her job good-bye but gets to keep the bottle.

We’ve hired the people the Government wanted us to hire.  If you were down on your luck, if you had been laid off or fired somewhere else, if you had remained unemployed past the limit of your unemployment benefits, and you have been kicked to the curb by the government, you were on our radar.  Why not?  There were thousands of reasons to hire you.  Government incentives.  Government dollars.

Those of you who turned our job offers down and preferred to live on government entitlements, it seems like you’re working harder not to work.  Too often we have seen your job inquiries were bogus.  Too bad there were no frequent flyer points from Craig’s List for answering either your own phony ads or ads for which you need not apply, because you were not remotely qualified.

At Anytown, you would have come to the front of the line.  The less qualified the better.  Our local, county, state and federal government want you to work for us and they want to provide Anytown, thousands of dollars in incentives to hire you.

Of course, we all know, there are the many companies who take the government’s money and not only never meet quotas, meaning jobs, but basically fail, pick a Chapter 7 or 11.

Many who were hired spent their valuable time to build a truly homogeneous product.  We made every effort to provide our product in many different languages, including all of the Asian dialects, but then we realized all of our major competitors learned to publish their products in English and are our best customers, too.  As part of the Sequestration, we had to let every translator go.

This has been a tremendous benefit to our company’s bottom line, the cost cutting terminations and the fact is there that are still employees working for us that do not comprehend, read or write in English. The last thing we need is a lawsuit from the government.

Those of us who are capable of doing our  job, spend countless hours covering for our fellow employees, and the company appreciates it!   Unfortunately, we are also announcing 10%, across the board, salary cuts for all personnel, will affect each and every one of you… the same.   I thank you for your sacrifice.

Finally, we poured unconscionable sums of borrowed money into unproven technology and insolvent companies.  Our investments, while popular with the majority of our customer base, they did little to contribute to our future growth in revenues or in our company’s best interest.  

After nearly going out of business it finally dawned on us.  The top 20% of our customers were contributing 70% of our revenues.   Our General Accounting Office (GAO) said it’s time we start paying attention to our paying customers.  

Let’s hope they love golf!

The “Physical” Cliff, Writing Checks My Ass Can’t Cash

fiscal-cliff

The “Physical Cliff”

I kid around about reaching the “physical cliff”, where my body reaches the point whereby I can no longer sustain my anatomy.   If I don’t start getting back on the bike it could be I’m heading for a period of hyper-inflation (around my middle) and resulting in my declaring my own “ass warfare.”

Getting serious about the next time I get a “physical” what is it going to cost me and other taxpayers?  While everyone is paying close attention to the “Fiscal Cliff” what is happening to taxpayers right now and has been happening to us since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed?

What we had shoved down our throats, we’re now going to being paying for with taxpayer money.  Money our proverbial asses can’t cash.

Talk about subsidizing “Big Oil”, what about “Big Medicine?”  Now my Doctor’s fingers spend more time on the keyboard than they do with an exam.  My prostrate is getting jealous!

CMS – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in case you haven’t heard, has bragging rights to all of 8 Billion and more, so far, and rising rapidly, they are giving to hospitals and professional service providers for EHR – Electronic Health Records expenditures.

Supposedly the Obama Administration’s theory is that Hospitals and Professional Service Providers are too stupid to invest in technology, so they decided to give them a push.  Right over the Fiscal Cliff with the rest of us.  Well apparently Big Medicine isn’t as stupid as they think, because CMS is writing big checks and proud of it!

You can’t make this stuff up (Source :CMS).

  • More than $4.4 billion in Medicare EHR Incentive Program payments have been made between May 2011 and October 31, 2012.
  • More than $3.7 billion in Medicaid EHR Incentive Program payments have been made between January 2011 (when the first set of states launched their programs) and October 31, 2012.
  • More than 326,000 eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals are actively registered in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs

Here’s your road map: (Source: HealthIT.gov)

Map of payments to providers by state.

Let’s not for get the EHR Vendors.  The government again’s picking winners and losers.

Unfortunately, the legislation was funded in a way that benefits large companies instead of promoting competition to improve software quality and lower overall cost.

Once the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) were signed into law, the “gold rush” was on (as described by one of our competitors²), or as The Onion News reported it: Recession Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble to Invest In.

Whether or not you are in favor of giving taxpayer money to executives to fly around the country in private jets, the stimulus money is starting to flow – and many providers are eligible (and a lot more deserving).

Source: AmazingCharts

²“I literally rent [an] airplane every Tuesday morning, and I hit five cities by Thursday night, every week. I’m cold calling . . . that’s my life now. It’s like any government fiscal stimulus thing — it’s a gold rush.’’

Jonathan Bush, CEO, Athenahealth Inc. (from Boston Globe 8/5/2010)

Maybe we need the Mainstream Media (MSM) to pick up on this story.  They could report on on all the hospitals and doctors that needed to upgrade their IT infrastructure or close their doors.  Heaven forbid, we would have to outsource our patient care to foreign soil.

Save Small Business from the Fiscal Cliff – Letter to US Legislators from the NFIB

capitolAs a small-business owner, I urge you to act now to prevent the tax increases that will impact small businesses if action isn’t taken to avoid going over the Fiscal Cliff.

Several tax rates that affect small business are set to expire at the end of this year. Some of the changes that will impact small business include:

● Individual income tax rates would rise; the 15 percent bracket would become the lowest tax rate. The 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent brackets would rise to 28, 31, 36 and 39.6 percent

● The estate tax rate would increase from 35 percent to 55 percent, and the exemption would decrease to $1 million from $5 million

● The capital gains rate would increase to 20 percent from 15 percent for top earners and rise to 10 percent from zero for those with lower incomes

● Dividends would be taxed as ordinary income rather than capital gains

● The Section 179 expensing limit will fall back to $25,000 and real property will no longer be included

● The start-up deduction for businesses will be reduced from $10,000 to $5,000

● An estimated 31 million additional taxpayers would be required to pay the AMT

This adds up to an almost $500 billion tax increase for 2013 alone. This is a major concern for small business owners like me, since I do not know what my tax liability will be next year. The uncertainty this creates is already having an impact on my ability to make plans to grow my business or add jobs.

Most small businesses are organized as pass-through entities, where the business owner reports their business’s income on their individual tax returns. Allowing the current tax rates to expire will increase the taxes that small businesses pay, directly impacting the ability of small-business owners to invest money back into their businesses.

Raising taxes on small businesses, especially in the current economic environment, hurts our ability to grow and create jobs. I encourage you to give small-business owners the certainty we desperately need by extending all the current tax rates across the board and fighting to avoid the Fiscal Cliff.

Message delivered to:
Senator Bill Nelson
U.S. Senate
716 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 205100001
Fax: (202) 228-2183 via fax

Message delivered to:
Senator Marco Rubio
U.S. Senate
317 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 205100001
Fax: (202) 228-0285 via fax

Message delivered to:
Representative Gus Michael Bilirakis
U.S. House of Representatives
407 Cannon House Office Building
Washington DC 205150001
Fax: (202) 225-4085 via fax

All Obama Can Do Is Ask Us to Look in the Rear View Mirror

Cadillac One -We Can’t Afford! to Go Forward!

Obama has been in the driver seat for four years with a majority in Congress for two years prior to his election and two years after his election, four more years than many presidents and the Democrats held the majority in the Senate for six years.  And yet his campaign is all about telling us to look in the rear view mirror, a.k.a. “it’s Bush’s fault.”  Since January 2007 and for four years, the Democrats were driving the bus.  We get Obamacare and 6 trillion in debt.

If you like this president and you believe in this president, just read Chapter Five of the book, Throw Them All Out.  If you still vote for this president, that’s on you.

Obama’s campaign slogan is “Forward.”  Frankly we can’t “afford to go forward, four more years with this president.  Obamacare alone will sink many small businesses and put us deeper and deeper into debt.  We have already spent more resources, more time, more energy, millions upon millions of dollars in personnel, administration and legal fees to shape this law.  If Sarah Palin had one amazing quality it was to tell it like it is, and Obamacare as it pertains to a solution to our healthcare’s rising costs, is like “putting lipstick on a pig.”

Highly regulated, healthcare is not free market capitalism and competition has been stifled.  Big insurance companies thrive on a highly regulated government subsidized system.  They want it.  They own the politicians.  The lawyers on both sides can pretend to fight for their constituent’s, then club it after work.

Obamacare is a politicians dream and a lawyer’s wet dream.

Now Obama’s campaign is about raising taxes on the high income earners.  That’s all well and good.  What he doesn’t understand is small business owners pay their taxes as ordinary income.  This is a legal structure setup to help small businesses to compete with large corporations.  Small businesses don’t need to pay more taxes.  The higher our personal tax rate becomes, the less we can invest in our small business. Raising taxes on ordinary income is raising taxes on small businesses. Lower the corporate tax rates for all businesses and more small businesses will follow.

High income earners are willing to pay more if big government spends less.  If big government didn’t pick favorites and simply lowered taxes on all businesses, we would have a chance to prosper.  Reign in regulation, stop subsidizing green energy companies and stop playing to the unions, a.k.a. Government Motors (GM), GE and Chrysler.  Stop subsidizing the oil business, but to be fair, stop subsidizing all big businesses.  Leave it to the states, counties and local governments to compete for and attract business.  Businesses will do better to choose a location and flourish where it is best for them, their employees and the community.

Bottom line, less big government, to the tune of $16 trillion in less than four years, less big union, like the takeover of GM, less big business influence, like the stimulus dollars paid to failed green energy companies, including Ted Turner and GE and less unemployment and welfare to us, as individuals, will follow.

Like Alan Kay says. “The best way to predict the future, is to invent it.”  Big government, get out of the way, let us reinvent ourselves.  We have the uncanny ability to prosper through free market competition.  That’s what’s best for our future.

Footnote:  Many conservatives may wonder why Governor Christie is pandering for Obama five days from the election.  Many say it is because he wants what’s best for the State of New Jersey.  I cry “Bullshit!” Obama came out and said he was going to do what’s best for all victims of this hurricane and I believe him, not because he cares, but for political expediency and his failed policies that left 4 American’s dead in Benghazi.  Christie is embracing Obama after this storm because he knows the door is wide open for him as the presidential candidate in 2016, if Romney is defeated and Obama is re-elected for another term.  Christie better hope the door is wide open, because what he had better understand. That at 69 years old, Romney will still be in better shape than Christie to win the next election.

Paul Ryan for President

Paul Ryan

“America Deserves a Choice”

Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

Conservative Political Action Convention – Washington, D.C.

8:30 PM ET – February 9, 2012

___________________

Text from Paul Ryan’s speech:

“It’s getting late, so I’ll get right to the point: We only have nine months to defeat Barack Obama – nine months to reject his agenda of debt, doubt, and decline.

And while defeating this President is necessary to getting America back on track, it is hardly sufficient.

“Paul Ryan is a very serious thinker and obviously a guy who is bold and ultimately recognizes you can’t leave Medicare the way it is because it’s going to go bankrupt,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). “I’m glad there are people out there thinking about it.”

Put simply, Americans deserve a choice – and it is our responsibility to offer them one. They deserve an opportunity, not just to divert from the President’s path to decline, but to affirm a reform agenda that restores our bedrock of founding principles.

Now is the time to promote American exceptionalism, remove barriers to upward mobility for those in need, and put the nation back on a path to renewed prosperity for all.

Look, the Obama presidency has been a disappointing failure. He should have taken steps immediately to restore confidence in the American economy.

Instead, he sidetracked the economy to pursue a debt-fueled ideological agenda that squandered the trust of the American people.

Yes, he inherited a tough situation, rooted in decades of bad policies supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. But this President and his administration made a bad situation far worse.

His interventions into the private sector were not just wrong in themselves. They were marred by political favoritism and discredited economic theories.

And his idea of Wall Street reform was to provide more protection and preferential treatment for big banks, and to empower the same regulators who didn’t see the last crisis coming.

He sold us a massive stimulus bill as a way to keep unemployment from ever rising above 8 percent.

Instead, it added hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt and planted the seeds for an outbreak of crony capitalism, as job losses continued to mount.

His health-care overhaul essentially transferred control over one-sixth of the economy to unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington. This created a bleak outlook for the quality of care for American families.

And his support for imposing harmful energy taxes in the middle of a recession, it made us wonder: If these are the kinds of job-destroying policies he would push in a weak economy, how would he govern if he had jobs to spare?

To top it off, he has failed to offer a credible plan for lifting the crushing burden of debt that is stifling job creation today and threatening the next generation with a diminished future.

So the results are clear: Unemployment remains above 8 percent. Job creation remains stagnant, the recovery remains sluggish, and major obstacles to opportunity – well, they’ve only grown larger for millions of Americans.

A clear majority of Americans feels like our nation is in a state of decline, and trust in government is at an all-time low. That’s no surprise, since the size of government is at an all-time high.

Even if next November is no more than a referendum on the President’s economic performance, his failed policies will spell defeat for him and his party.

*****

But you and I are here because we know there’s so much more to it than that. We know that there is more at stake. We know that this election cannot be just a referendum on President Obama’s failed leadership.

Americans deserve a choice – a choice between two dramatically different visions for our country’s future. As conservatives, we owe Americans that choice.

Look, I know there are people in this town who are terrified at the prospect of an election with real alternative visions at stake. “Make it a referendum. Win by default,” they say. Just oppose – we can win that way. Don’t propose bold ideas – that’s too risky.

I’ll admit, the easy way is always tempting. But my friends, if that’s all we stand for, then what are we doing at here CPAC – the place where so many giants of our movement came to advance their boldest ideas?

The next President will face fiscal and economic challenges that are huge… almost unprecedented. He can’t resolve these challenges if he wins by default. He needs a mandate – not just to displace Barack Obama, but to preserve and strengthen the very Idea of America.

It will not be enough to repeal the President’s disastrous health-care law. We must solve the problem in health care by curbing out-of-control costs that erode paychecks for working families and push quality coverage out of reach for millions of Americans.

It will not be enough to stop the administration’s war against proven sources of American-made energy. We must build the case for developing energy here at home, to create jobs and lower the price of energy in this country.

It will not be enough to stop Washington’s reckless spending spree, which has spread cronyism and corporate welfare. We must bring the bureaucracy to heel and restore the rule of law where it was replaced by the whims of those in power.

And it will not be enough to condemn the President’s attempt to pit one group of Americans against another.

Instead, we must promote upward mobility, starting with solutions that speak to our broken education system, broken immigration policy, and broken safety-net programs that foster dependency instead of helping people get back on their feet.

In other words, a bold reform agenda is our moral obligation. We have an obligation to provide the American people with a clear path that gets our country back on track.

If we make the case effectively and win this November, then we will have the moral authority to enact the kind of fundamental reforms America has not seen since Ronald Reagan’s first year.

*****

That’s the moral case for going bold. But there is also a strong political case for going bold.

The times call for leaders who understand the depth of the problems we face, and who offer far-reaching reforms equal to the challenges. In 1980, Ronald Reagan offered supply-side economics at home and a rollback of Soviet Communism abroad.

The challenges this time? They’re different. But the moment calls for the same kind of boldness.

Everybody knows this is politically risky territory. Republicans have their battle scars on entitlement reform. That’s why some argue that we should downplay bold agendas and simply wage a campaign focused solely on the President and his party.

I firmly disagree. Boldness and clarity offer the greatest opportunity to create a winning coalition. We will not only win the next election – we have a unique opportunity to sweep and remake the political landscape.

Of course we will highlight the President’s failed agenda. But Americans deserve to choose an alternative agenda – one that aligns with our needs. One we can rally behind.

One of our movement’s great accomplishments this past year was to unify conservatives around just such an agenda.

We began the year by advancing the most ambitious budget ever put forward in Congress – a comprehensive and principled plan to lift the debt and free the nation from the constraints of ever-expanding government.

Our budget won near-unanimous support from Republicans in both the House and the Senate, thanks to principled leadership and dozens of energized freshmen committed to this high cause. If that doesn’t bear witness to the power and influence of the conservative movement, I don’t know what can.

For all of the overblown talk about conservative divisions, our movement has achieved astonishing unity, not only on the destination we want to reach, but also on the specific path to get there.

We have transformed the debate in Washington over our nation’s fiscal future.

While President Obama shirks his responsibility to advance solutions to our fiscal challenges, he can no longer hide from the merciless math of the balance sheet. Conservatives have made certain of that.

We have pressured the President to put forward a number of deficit-reduction proposals – and while none has offered a credible solution to our fiscal crisis, each one has revealed a little bit more about what the President would do if he were forced to end the deficits.

It wouldn’t be pretty. His proposals have three things in common: they load massive tax increases on small businesses and hardworking families, they require bureaucratic rationing in government health care programs, and they hollow out our national security.

“I’ll be honest, small business was hoping to see some change in President Obama’s budget, but the status quo of the last four years was all we got,” said Dan Danner, CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business. “While small-business owners were once again looking to Washington to address their biggest concerns, President Obama is looking to small business to pay for his policies; they cannot afford to do it anymore.

“The health-care reform law is going to start taking more money away from small-business owners by taxing them for trying to do the right thing by providing health-care coverage to their employees, and President Obama is doing nothing to lessen this burden.

“Further, the threat of higher taxes is weighing heavy on the minds of small-business owners. They are trying to plan ahead, and as many are individual filers, their success could be their detriment if individual income tax rates increase. But President Obama is only concerned with corporate tax reform. Instead of reforming our broken unemployment insurance program that weighs on the minds and ledgers of small firm owners, his only solution is to raise unemployment taxes. The President needs to understand: Small business is not the ATM for our country’s fiscal crisis.

“Small-business owners understand that they cannot spend more than they take in; President Obama needs to take a page out of the small-business handbook and stop the digging because our country cannot get any deeper into debt.  Taxing small business is not the solution to the debt debacle.

“It’s great to see that the President thinks more small-business owners should be incentivized to open up shop, but the policies that he’s committed to passing only drive-up the cost of doing business and prevent small businesses from keeping their doors open.”

Every time we force the President and his party’s leaders to get specific on how they would solve our fiscal challenges, they show us an agenda that does great harm to our economic security, our health security, and our national security.

So our strategy for changing the conversation last year was not just a policy success – it was a political success as well.

2011 was a year of tremendous accomplishment. But conservatives are frustrated that we weren’t able to do more. Well, count me at the head of that line.

But what stands in our way is not division within our movement. It’s a President who is stuck on a failed agenda and Senate Democrats whose partisan leaders have not produced a budget in over 1,000 days.

As conservatives, let us stay unified. Let’s bank every dollar of savings we can get between now and November.

But let’s keep our eyes on the big event – the choice America must make between opportunity, prosperity, and growth… or debt, doubt, and decline.

Let’s work together to build a great coalition, based on the principles and beliefs that make America great.

Let’s lead this coalition by applying our timeless principles to the challenges of today, with reforms that get our economy into high gear, repair our safety net, and strengthen our health and retirement security programs.

And let’s turn this coalition into a governing majority by advancing these reforms when it matters most – in the midst of a critical election year.

*****

The President and his party’s leaders have no stomach for this kind of coalition. They have already chosen to isolate themselves from the growing bipartisan consensus for reform.

They simply cannot compromise on their agenda of higher taxes, more bureaucracy, and managed decline. They are too deeply wedded to an ideology that holds that our rights come from government, not from nature and nature’s God.

For an example of what this means in practice, look no further than the recent conflict between the President’s health care law and our religious freedom.

This, as the President likes to say, is a “teachable moment.”

This is what we get when the President applies his progressive philosophy that views “rights,” not as inalienable gifts from our creator, but more like revocable privileges from our government.

In this view, rights are not universal or timeless – they must change and evolve in the name of progress.

And who defines “progress”? Well, whoever happens to be in power at the time.

That’s how we get to where we are today – a situation where the government can supposedly invent a new “right” that trumps our constitutional right to observe our faith in freedom.

You see, if government is no longer the protector of your natural rights, but the creator of new rights, then government wins and freedom loses wherever the two collide.

This ideological agenda is largely responsible for the President’s dismal results. Frankly, his policies, his ideology, and his vision are a rejection of the American Idea.

Of course, he says his recipe is as American as apple pie, but under his management, that pie’s been getting smaller and smaller. Over six million Americans have fallen into poverty since the President took office.

So the choice we face is a referendum of sorts – but the referendum is on the principles that make up the American Idea: free enterprise and economic liberty; limited government and spending restraint; traditional family and community values; and a strong national defense.

America deserves a choice – a chance to affirm these principles of American exceptionalism. And if we do not define the choice, then the President and his party’s leaders will define it for us.

The President himself is framing this election as a stark choice between two conflicting visions. Recently he said that, “The very core of what this country stands for is on the line – the notion that we’re all in this together, that we look out for one another – that’s at stake in this election.”

“We’re all in this together” versus “You’re on your own” – that’s how the President is defining this choice.

“We’re all in this together” – it’s a powerful and appropriate phrase for describing the best in our nation’s history. It speaks to our affinity for family, community, and the religious institutions through which we really do look out for one another.

But the reality is that the President’s rhetoric has always conflicted with the President’s agenda. The policy agenda he has promoted weakens these very institutions. It stifles their vitality and substitutes federal power in their place.

He says, “We’re all in this together” – but his re-election strategy is to divide Americans, to foster envy and resentment, and to push programs that entrench dependency and grow government.

This is not who we are. Americans believe in a few simple principles. We believe in a Constitution of limited powers. Washington has broad authority to establish the conditions of freedom and secure individual rights, but not to intrude on those activities best left to the states and the people.

We believe that the principal responsibility of the federal government is to guarantee the safety and security of its citizens.

The federal government should safeguard free enterprise, not rig the rules in favor of the politically connected. Fraud should be punished and fair play rewarded, so that every American can choose his or her own vocation and earn the rewards of success.

Health and retirement programs should guarantee real security, not empty promises.

Warren Buffet

Redistributive policies have failed the poor for decades, so let’s replace these failures with an economy that grows and a safety net that works for a new century.

Let’s have real, innovative reforms such as school choice and job training that gives skills and hope to the poor to reach higher rungs on the ladder of opportunity.

The President’s formulation is strange. For him, this belief in a limited, effective government translates into “you’re on your own” – a Hobbesian state of nature where the strong survive and the weak are pushed off the cliff… and I mean literally, at least in one ad the Left is running against our budget.

According to this view, the only alternative to this cruel society is to give enlightened bureaucrats in Washington more power to control our lives and determine our destinies.

This misplaced faith in a paternalistic government may be sincere – but I cannot imagine a vision of America more cynical.

A government that aspires to equal outcomes undermines the commitment to equal opportunity that is at the heart of the American Idea. As Lincoln said, the purpose of government should be “to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all,” so that all may have the same opportunity to rise.

When times are tough – when businesses are closing and workers are losing their jobs – that’s when this commitment to equal opportunity is called into question.

That’s when the temptation arises to exploit fear and envy. And at this very moment, some in Washington are using the politics of class division to divert attention from their own policy failures.

As these debates rage on, let us carefully consider the wisdom of the Founders, whose high achievement was to make America the greatest and freest nation on earth.

They spoke about equality, but they had the wisdom to ask, what kind of equality should government promote and protect?

Should it encourage upward mobility and strong economic growth for all people?

Or should it divide up a shrinking pie into ever-smaller slices – as long as the slivers are equal?

I believe these approaches are completely opposed to one another, and the best approach is clear: We must always promote equal opportunity by reducing barriers to growth. We must never seek to impose equal outcomes by erecting barriers to success.

Sowing social unrest and class envy – that makes America weaker, not stronger.

Pitting one group against another only distracts us from the true sources of inequity in this country: corporate welfare that enriches the powerful, and empty promises that betray the powerless.

The only class warfare that threatens America comes from a class of bureaucrats and crony capitalists rising above society – calling the shots, rigging the rules, and securing their places of privilege at our expense.

My friends, America deserves a choice – and if it is an honest choice between these two visions, well, then we win, they lose”

*****

Yes, the challenge before us is daunting. The President and his allies will do all in their power to try to make our philosophy of freedom seem radical.

But I believe the President and his party’s leaders are profoundly mistaken.

They are growing increasingly isolated from the American mainstream. They just don’t understand that Americans are seeking political leaders whose solutions are reassuring precisely because they are bold.

The President’s partisans are underestimating the ability of Americans to do basic math. They don’t realize that the sheer magnitude of our challenges has shifted the center of gravity under their feet, putting them at a disadvantage. The history of our own movement shows that we can win these fights – if we are willing to fight them.

As constitutional conservatives, let’s offer Americans the choice they deserve. This is the moment we were made for. It is time to prove that the Founders got it right, both for centuries past and for centuries to come.

Let’s contrast the President’s path to decline with our own path that lifts the debt, promotes prosperity, and restores the greatness of the American Idea.

Let’s stay united. Let’s advance sensible reform where common ground can be reached. But where the President pushes his extremism, let’s make clear how we will do things differently as soon as we take back the Senate and the White House.

If we do that, then we can win this election with a mandate to last a generation – to save this country we love.

Now is the time. Now is the time for choosing our destiny.

Thank you.”  Paul Ryan

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