The most powerful words in the English language are included in the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
These words clearly define, launch and chart the very foundation of American entrepreneurialism.
Our cherished principles of equality, economic freedom and individual liberty are by far our greatest asset. Omnipresent at the birth of our nation and sequestered deep in our souls by our founding fathers, they are inseparable from our exceptionalism. Their very existence predestines the rise of our most potent creation: American entrepreneurialism.
We were forged from strong stock which allows us to hold our heads high, even in defeat. We take risk and push boundaries. We have learned it is better to try and fail than to fall prey to the timid souls of indecision and regret.
Our embodiment of entrepreneurism is firmly secured in our ability to venture into the unknown, live outside our comfort zone and conquer our fears. We possess the passion to succeed for our families, our companies, our country, and for ourselves.
These values belong to all Americans. They are not exclusive to anyone or any group. They are accessible to rich and poor, to every race and do not distinguish between native-born Americans and immigrants.
Entrepreneurialism is classless and colorblind.
Without a thriving entrepreneurial community, our republic cannot exist. But today these core values are under attack as no time in our history. There are those who want to exploit fear and anxiety which only weakens and denigrates our prosperity.
A recent Kauffman Institute study concluded that entrepreneurialism “is the main source of new jobs in this country. On average, one-year-old businesses create nearly one million new jobs a year.”
America’s entrepreneurs always have been and always will be this country’s most trusted job creators. So why are new taxes being proposed that would push the top federal tax rate, when combined with new taxes in the health-care law, to roughly 50 percent in just 14 months? These new taxes would impact nearly 40 percent of all small business income.
Winston Churchill once wrote: “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”
This isn’t job creation. It’s job killing. Imposing excessive taxes on America’s small businesses and inventors is the fastest way to snuff-out entrepreneurism – and a sure way to prolong high unemployment and hardship.
Some amongst us believe America’s economic pie is of a limited size and the government must continually conjure up new ways to get a larger and larger portion to sustain itself.
The entrepreneur, on the other hand, believes the economic pie is infinite and that we can continuously create wealth for all Americans where wealth did not exist previously. By establishing the right conditions, millions of our citizens struggling today can attain sustainable prosperity. In doing so we would expand our tax base to balance the budget with plenty left over to invest in our schools and infrastructure.
When I started my company more than 30 years ago, I had the trepidation of all entrepreneurs. Sleepless nights followed by stressful days. Everything was in short supply except my hunger to succeed.
Today, I employ people throughout this nation. I continue to expand by acquiring manufacturing companies and keeping jobs in America. That’s what entrepreneurs do. They always find a way forward. And as they grow our country grows stronger.
My story is the story of thousands of other entrepreneurs. They never ask for handouts or bailouts. They only want a fair chance and the promise of America at their side.
But today that promise has lost its luster. That’s why our nation’s entrepreneurs are so frustrated. Why has our government turned its back on us and the very ideals that set us apart? When did they decide small businesses needed more government interference? Why do they continue to burden us with reams of regulation, the uncertainty of healthcare costs and never-ending threats of higher taxes?
Let us do what we do best – innovate, reinvest our money and hire people. Free us from this crisis of confidence. We are desperate for leadership – a leader who understands us.
Today’s dreamer is tomorrow’s entrepreneur. That is the quintessential American story. Let us recapture the entrepreneurial spirit that makes this country great.
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