Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on the steps of the United States Capitol at noon on Jan. 20, 2017. Like or dislike him, he will be the leader of the free world for at least the next four years.
More importantly to small business owners, he will be in charge of the economy, either developing new programs, revoking old programs, or both.
What are his views on business in general and small business in particular? Should you support his moves or lobby against them?
Trump says he wants to “create a dynamic, booming economy that will create 25 million new jobs over the next decade.” Here’s an abridged version on how he plans to do it.
Health care: During his campaign, Trump repeatedly said he wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. He envisions replacing it with “a series of reforms ready for implementation that follow free market principles and that will restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in this country.”
He proposes modifying existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. “As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state,” he says. “By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.”And by requiring price transparency from all health care providers, especially doctors and health care organizations like clinics and hospitals, individuals will “be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams, or any other medical-related procedure.”
He also wants individuals to be able to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns, and contribute to tax-free health savings accounts.
Tax plan: Trump wants to reduce taxes across-the-board, “especially for working and middle-income Americans who will receive a massive tax reduction.”
That also includes the tax rate on businesses, which he wants to make “more competitive to keep jobs in America.”
The Trump plan will lower the business tax rate from 35% to 15% and eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax in order to encourage domestic investment. The new business tax rate would apply to all businesses, both small and large.
Addressing the issue of corporate profits held offshore, the plan would charge a one-time tax rate of only 10% to bring them back for use within our borders.
Trade: Trump’s goal is to “negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages, and reduce America’s trade deficit.” To do that, he would withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified; and try to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to make it more favorable to American workers.
If the latter could not be done, he would withdraw from NAFTA.
He would also instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the World Trade Organization, citing “unfair subsidy behavior.” And he would apply tariffs to remedy trade disputes with China.
Regulations: Trump wants to reform the entire regulatory code “to ensure that we keep jobs and wealth in America.” In addition to repealing and replacing Obamacare, he says he will ask every federal agency to submit a list of every “wasteful and unnecessary regulation” that kills jobs and does not improve public safety. Then he will eliminate them.
Do you want Trump to follow through on his promises after he becomes president? Do you like some of his goals but not all? Are you against everything he is proposing?
As a business owner, it is important you answer one of those three questions. And regardless of which one, I suggest you let your voice be heard in some manner.
Even if you feel his proposals lack specifics, your input can help crystallize or redirect his vision.
The Tire Industry Association is set up to get the word out on Capitol Hill. So are the state associations in their respective states. Both TIA and the Specialty Equipment Market Association have political action committees you can support. These are just a few of the ways you can get involved.
There are consequences to just sitting on the fence and hoping others do your work for you. Lead the way, and help others do your work with you. ■
If you have any questions or comments, please email me at email@example.com.
To read more of Bob Ulrich's editorials, see: