A Check-list for the New Republican Majority

Congratulations are in order for the Republicans. After four years wandering in the political wilderness, the GOP recaptured control of the House of Representatives and nearly the Senate as well. 

The now-majority party was booted out in 2006 after six years in control of both the executive and legislative branches of government. Government grew at an extraordinary rate during that time, causing many fiscal conservative voters to stay home four years ago.  This year, those same voters, still eager to see the federal government shrink, came out in droves and voted for the Rs. 

Republicans, however, are sadly mistaken if they conclude that last week’s impressive electoral victories are a vote of confidence in their ability to govern. Clearly, voters are upset with Democrats, and for good reason. But since our political system spurns third parties, Republicans are simply enjoying the fruits of being the only viable alternative. 

Divided government is not a bad thing; far from it.  As George Will recently noted, “gridlock is not an American problem; it is an American achievement.”  These checks-and-balances were a reason the mid-1990’s were so prosperous. Growth of government was held in check, as a Republican-controlled Congress forced a Democratic – but pragmatic –president to moderate himself and his party. 

Now, Republican leaders in the House are examining ways to assert themselves when they formally take control on January 3, 2011. They’re saying the right things, but as we all know, talk is cheap.  Voters want action, and here is a real-life check-list for John Boehner and his fellow Republicans planning how to manage their newest majority. 

First and foremost, Republicans must actually cut spending. Budget deficits over the last two fiscal years have eclipsed $1 trillion, and the ever-increasing national debt is in the mid-teen trillions. This situation is simply not sustainable. Republicans are expected to propose $100 billion in cuts at the beginning of the year. While that may sound impressive to the lay person, in reality it hardly counts as a baby step. 

Two think tanks from opposite ends of the political spectrum — the National Taxpayers Union and the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups — recently came together to propose $600 billion in spending cuts. The proposal includes eliminating farm subsidies and unneeded weapons systems, and streamlining efficiency in government. These proposed cuts should be taken seriously by Republicans as an actual first step to regaining some semblance of fiscal responsibility. 

Secondly, in order to prevent prolonging our nation’s economic problems and to offer some real confidence to business owners, Republicans must restore the Bush tax cuts for all income earners – assuming that an extension is not accomplished in the upcoming lame-duck session. 

Thirdly, Republicans must begin the process of defunding ObamaCare. Republicans lack the numbers in both chambers to repeal outright this legislation.  However, by cutting funding for selected parts of the massive and costly law — especially if included as part of broader appropriations bills – the GOP leaders can send a very real message to Wall Street and Main Street alike that they heard and understand the message underlying last week’s vote. 

These modest suggestions do not exhaust the list of actions the new Republican majority must take in order to being restoring fiscal sanity.  Much more needs to be done to stop the current fiscal hemorrhaging that threatens to bankrupt our country; and the many trillions in unfunded mandates that will guarantee bankruptcy if not soon addressed.  

David Cameron, Britain’s energetic new leader, has shown the way for the Yanks, by proposing across-the-board government spending cuts of some 20%.  Surely if the Brits can do it, their cousins “across the pond” can at least start.  Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, as the likely chair of the Budget Committee in the new Congress, could be America’s David Cameron.

49 comments Add your comment

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deborahinAthens

November 8th, 2010
6:22 am

And why not repeal Medicare Part D–the most expensive entitlement program–which was proposed by George W. Bush, who lied about the cost, and passed by a Congress controlled by Republicans? Also, why can’t we try, try, try to get tort reform passed? I wished there was a way to calculate the billions of dollars of profits that are syphoned from companies (not just doctors) for specious lawsuits. I wonder what companies could do with that money that flows to attorneys. By the way, those same attorneys would most likely be in the top 1% of the people that would be taxed at a higher rate (going from 33% o 36%?) if we would just make the Bush tax cuts expire for all but those making more than $250,000.00. Those sly Republicans try to make us think that all the people making over $250k are employers, when they are not. They are the slimey attorneys, the bankers, the hedge fund managers (all of whom will receive bonuses next month). The most money ever paid in bonuses will go out in December to the financial services Masters of the Universe, who caused the mess we had in 2008. Job well done.

hsr0601

November 8th, 2010
6:24 am

While world-wide Stimulus Package got positive review generally, why is the D.S alone critical of it ?

1. Audacity of Nope extracted exceedingly low possible jobless rate compared with the extremely critical market situation, while D.S. economy was held hostage by Audacity of Nope, and time was running out.
Prior to the full recovery, the Stimulus Package was all about Lehman Brothers or not of D.S. economy.

2. Last year, Warren buffet warmed in an interview with NBC that the D.S. economy was in free fall. Plus, tragically, the Japan economic leader committed suicide before the strong export report, last year.
As we know, blocking Free Fall From Cliff requires multiple efforts.

3. Global austerity policy dealt a harsh blow to the burgeoning economic activity. By ruling out this critical factor, Power-only party of objection for objection & Almost Dead Media led Independents to Fuel reps Gains.

4. As a groundwork, the Stimulus Package alone can’t complete a perfect building. Sadly, extension of oil wars displaced Energy Independence or A Jobs law, empowering the war party and leaving healthcare law near demise before survival. Accordingly, the Stimulus Package lost momentum creating Synergy.

5. The most efficient deficit-cut way of government would be slashing the destructive war & military waste.
Slashing the destructive war & military waste alone supposedly could be enough to balance the budget.
Regrettably. opponents are instead critical of sound investments. ( Depression : New Deal = Great Recession : Stimulus Package (Groundwork) )

6. I think Corrupt Money & Almost Dead Media led Independents to Fuel the no idea’ Gains. That explains why Moneycracy & Money-driven media call for urgent overhaul.

7. Amid Massive Lay-off Panic, Change & Healthcare for all, After Stimulus Package, Opposition from lots of the Ungrateful.
Taking advantage of benefits from Stimulus Package, Corrupt Money & Almost Dead Media & Power-only party turned U.S. into D.S.

8. Over the duration of healthcare debate, using the preliminary cost analysis of CBO, the reps opposed the public option stubbornly, but
after the release of final score, they have been defiant on the referee.

** Chanting deficit :

a. Amid chanting deficit, the same old failed policy.

b. Amid chanting deficit, hands-off approach over huge trade deficit from oil money spill & trade imbalance with China from remorseless health care premium.

c. Unfortunately, as a direct consequence of remorseless health care premium, numerous folks have no choice but to hang onto affordable offerings, since one in two households is said to face a hard decision between necessity & drug.

d. Inaction cost in relation to health care reform totals $9trillion over the next decade.

e. Over the next 10 years, total Bush tax cut costs will equal $3.9 trillion, …. the tax cuts would increase deficits by nearly $4 trillion between 2005 and 2014.

9. Title : A businessman is angry at his lost cash bag.

A businessman is drowning in the ocean.

Stimulus : we should rescue him immediately.

Power first : Nope ! How do we pay for it ?, Just let him go under much like Lehman Brothers.

Stimulus : He is dying right now.

Power first : Nope ! You can’t save his money bag.

Stimulus ( clock is ticking ) : : We can do everything.

Go under : We are serious about jobs. Where are jobs ?, echoed by the angry businessman.

10. Former President Bill Clinton said “It took me four years to balance the budget, then I gave you four surpluses, paid $600 billion down on the national debt,”

And I’d say : It took 8 years for the Bush mishandling to get a final verdict.
Let’s not fall for the outrageous claim : Heal the 8 year-long chronic disease quickly, but do not see a doctor, adding to the deficit.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bob Barr, ilovepolitics, Billy McKee, Walter Levin, Walter Levin and others. Walter Levin said: News: A Check-list for the New Republican Majority http://bit.ly/czlVxp [...]

Damon

November 8th, 2010
6:37 am

Mr. Barr,

I have always wished you would run for President.

I currently own a small business (restaurant) and even though I have outlasted all of my competition, I am seriously considering closing my doors for the first and last time in five years in the coming months.

I am utterly frustrated with my representatives in Washington and even locally.

Six months ago, I had the opportunity to purchase a foreclosed location that was 6 years old, on a full acre of land, in John’s Creek, GA., original build cost 11 million and completely outfitted down to the napkins and silverware… for $700K. I could have put 23 people to work in 1 month and another 20 in 6 months… I went to the bank (same bank I have always banked with for 5 years in the black) and they said “No”. Why? because it was too risky. Even though TARP bailed them out (my money) and even though I as a business owner have never been in the red with them.
A month ago I met the new owner of the building. An immigrant from Honduras. (Nothing wrong with that).. he had purchased the building and it contents because the US Government gave him money when he came here. Wait.. what is wrong with this picture?!?!

I have always been a Republican with very liberal social views. I don’t know what I am now.
Everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike, seem to be out to get me and my business

It is too late for me Mr. Barr, my business is too close to death to come back. Please help the other small businesses that have made it this far and can go a little further… and enjoy your meals at the big chains because you can put a fork in the small ones like mine.

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The AJC Stinks

November 8th, 2010
7:30 am

The first goal of the Republic Party better be to keep the neocons out, because the first whiff of neocon scum and I will dump the Republican Party, again, like a hot potato. See the movie “Fair Game.”

Honduran's rule

November 8th, 2010
8:00 am

Damon, you can’t keep one business running and you wonder why the bank won’t loan you money? Find a five year old to explain it to you.

carlosgvv

November 8th, 2010
8:03 am

The Republicans have already announced what is on their real-life check-list. It is one thing and one thing only. Defeat Obama and win back the White House in 2012. Nothing else really matters in the slightest to them.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

November 8th, 2010
9:11 am

Damon, you are aware Mr. Barr was the Libertarian Party nominee for POTUS in 2008?

Robert

November 8th, 2010
9:40 am

The mid-term elections are over and it’s time for the GOP to clean-up this mess. First, the GOP should issue a statement to all GOP member groups especially the home grown terroist group known as the “tea party” whose weapons of choice are hatred, fear and rage/mob mentality, reminding them of their responsiblity to act civil and stop all the hatred and bigotry. The American People elected President Obama and calling him names (Obozo, Barry, Obamacare) is disrepectful and offensive. Enough is enough. Second, the GOP should extend an “olive branch” to the democrats and agree to work in collaboration to solve the many problems facing the American People. It’s time for the GOP to show real leadership and not the hatred and biogtry displayed during the 2010 mid-term elections. Georgia is not a state of “tea party” lunatics.

joe

November 8th, 2010
10:05 am

1. Cut 2. Cut again 3. Cut more 4. Cut some more. 5. If in doubt, cut it. (oh, abolish the IRS and Dept of Education while they’re at it).

Richard

November 8th, 2010
10:13 am

Mr. Barr,

You touched on a point the media has done a despicable job of depicting. Politicians love talking about numbers that sound high to most people like $100 billion which means nothing at the federal level. $100 billion to the feds is like me finding a nickel in my couch.

This festering of misinformation is causing one group to demand that Boehner cut Congressmen’s salaries. Really? If there are 600 people in Congress making $250,000 per year, that’s $150 million dollars which doesn’t even show up on a balance sheet at the federal level.

Duh

November 8th, 2010
10:15 am

“First and foremost, Republicans must actually cut spending” or they will get booted at the next election!!

Checklist for New Majority

November 8th, 2010
10:20 am

ITEM # 1: Abolish the TSA presence at airports and the body imaging scanners.

ITEM # 2: Complete All Items.

jon

November 8th, 2010
10:35 am

dont make laugh. tell me how many working people have no insurance. but i do agree with the waste on weapons.

DawgDad

November 8th, 2010
10:48 am

Horse is already out of the barn, and a divided government, while it may not inflict MORE damage, will not likely be effective in correcting the damage. That will have to wait for 2013.

The thing about big money is the deal makers and power-hungry will find a way to make it flow. When 40%+ of the country is waiting for a handout and all the big institutions (public and private) are raiding the US Treasury, well folks, we are already in a world of hurt that may be irreversible.

BlahBlahBlah

November 8th, 2010
10:49 am

Hey joe, cuts are great, just as long as they don’t touch YOUR Social Security, YOUR Medicare, and YOUR preferential tax breaks, right? And I know everyone will voluntarily pay their taxes without the IRS out there to perform audits. No one ever cheats, right?

DawgDad

November 8th, 2010
10:51 am

“the home grown terroist group known as the “tea party” whose weapons of choice are hatred, fear and rage/mob mentality,”

Calling me a member of a terrorist group is what exactly? Hatred, fear, and rage/mob mentality?

Patriot

November 8th, 2010
11:11 am

Ron and Rand Paul will introduce legislation to abolish the Federal Reserve as soon as the session begins. There is no more important legislation to support. End the Fed.

But I also agree that the TSA MUST GO. Prison for all of their employees wouldn’t be a bad move either.

Robert

November 8th, 2010
11:14 am

DawgDad – The “tea party” has caused more harm to the American People than any other terroist group, foreign or home grown. For example the hatred, fear and rage/mob mentality exhibited during the 2010 mid-term elections was just as bad as the “taliban” who uses the same tactics to promote fear towards the American People. The “tea party” members have not blown themselfs up with bombs yet, but the rage and mob mentality they display is scary. I am not comfortable being around “tea party” members because of their hatred for minorities, women, gay & lesbians, Muslims and Jews. They are committing acts of terroism against the American People. Enough is enough.

jconservative

November 8th, 2010
11:48 am

Reagan’s former OMB director had a few choice words on the needs that the 112th Congress needs to address starting in January. Here they are.

“Speaking in favor of raising taxes and slashing spending across the board, former Reagan administration Budget Director David Stockman made it clear that he had no faith the new Congress will be any better at deficit reduction than the old one.”

“We’ve drifted now for 30 years. Both parties, unfortunately, became free-lunch parties — the Republicans cutting taxes every time they had a chance, never doing anything about spending, and the Democrats digging in to defend everything that was there. As a result, we now have this massive deficit.”

“The point is, we’re now in real-world governance. And you don’t get 100 times at bat. The Republicans have been at bat for 30 years, and they’ve whiffed on everything.”

As Barr said, talk is cheap. Stockman is correct, for 30 years Republicans have talked. But the bottom line of 20 of the last 30 years under a Republican President, the National Debt has jumped from $950 billion to $13.7 trillion. Now the Democrats get some of the blame, they were in control of the Presidency 10 of the 30 years.

So we will see.

Estimates are that Wall Street will hand out bonuses of $144 billion early next year. Someone please explain how raising those guys taxes 3% will hurt employment. They employee no one. They own nothing but paper. They work on commissions.

To balance the budget we must raise taxes and drastically cut spending.

I fear it will not happen.

Rockerbabe

November 8th, 2010
11:58 am

Damon: Maybe you should rethink you attitude. . .instead of expanding at this moment in time via a bank loan, retreat a bit and reenergize yourself and your business as a smaller entity. Smaller can be better and wiser and more cost efficient; this will give you energy for the future when the economics have improved. Seek assistance from the Small business administration or a venture capitalist if you must.

I do sympathize with your plight at the bank’s attitude, but the repugs set that project in motion and the big wigs in the repug party and the tea party are unlike to support a change by the Obama administration, no matter how worthy.

There is always a place for local eateries and I do frequent them in Dekalb County. I wish you the best.

Patriot

November 8th, 2010
12:11 pm

What if the NBA only had two teams? What if the NFL had only 2? What if only 2 colleges were allowed to play ball for the nation to watch? What if there were always only two NASCAR drivers in the race?

What if in each sport, the only two teams/players had such control over the game that they made rules that, while allowing other teams to play, made it impossible for them to win or even compete? What if the officials rules of each game (written many, even over 200 years ago) never specified that there would only be two teams/players allowed, or even made mention of permanently organized teams at all?

That would be a pretty unacceptable situation wouldn’t it? If every time you tuned in to watch a game, race, etc. there were the same two choices, you would probably get pretty sick of it. You might even stop watching. Wow, if everyone stopped watching because of that things might change don’t you think?

So why do we put up with that kind of situation when it comes to something as important as choosing the people who wish to claim to represent us in passing laws and deciding our economic future and limits on our liberties?? There is nothing in the constitution that requires a two-party system. The founding fathers never even envisioned political parties. When factions did arise, the differences were minor, with both parties speaking strongly in favor of significantly limited government, no income taxation, no standing armies, the Bill of Rights, and strict adherence to the enumerated powers defined for each branch of office. Now look at where we are.

Those who have stepped away from the two party system and either vote Libertarian or don’t vote at all are sending the correct message that they are done playing the game. Why are you still sending your endorcement for their behavior?

You wouldn’t put up with this kind of crap in something as unimportant as sports. Why do you put up with it in something as important as your freedom?

JF McNamara

November 8th, 2010
12:27 pm

The Republicans aren’t going to do anything. Our “unsustainable” deficits came from their unfunded wars, their crashed economy, and their reckless spending from 2000 – 2008. There wouldn’t have been a need for bailouts or stimulus if they’d done their job while in power or not spent the surplus they were granted.

As for ObamaCare, they can go after the funding, but they need to look at the good aspects and keep those. My insurance is going up every year, and I really have no recourse. If the government provides competition to keep costs down, I’m fine with that.

Keeping the Bush tax cuts is selfish and dumb. Instead of paying for what we use today, we are passing it on to the next generation. If you want the tax cuts, then balance the budget to that number. If not, how about paying for what you use? That’s pretty novel isn’t it Bob? Be responsible and pay for what you use now instead of leaving the Bill for me.

DawgDad

November 8th, 2010
12:59 pm

Robert:

If you believe the Tea Partiers have this deep seated “hatred for minorities, women, gay & lesbians, Muslims and Jews” and “They are committing acts of terroism against the American People” I’d like to see the evidence. These are BASELESS assertions. Your post is offensive.

I respect your right to disagree with us politically, but not to throw this crap around, because it’s personal and misdirected. I don’t hate you, but I surely don’t respect your opinion.

Jefferson

November 8th, 2010
1:15 pm

Republicans have not just stopped their lies, expect them to say one thing and do the other just like they have been doing for the last 30 years. They have made fools of their followers, again.

Woof Woof

November 8th, 2010
1:15 pm

DawgDad – have you EVER seen a Tea Partier that wasn’t white? And 90% of those are male. Yeah, that makes it an “exclusive” group – otherwise known as “discriminatory.”

Never met a Tea Partier who even accepted gays and non-christians. Never.

Jefferson

November 8th, 2010
1:16 pm

The t-republicans will fade into the lies, they were played.

Port O'John

November 8th, 2010
1:52 pm

Make the tax cuts permanent and ensure that we can never reduce the budget — brilliant!

Hey Barr what about an impeachment of Obama for high crimes and misdemeanors. It worked out great for you when you were in Congress.

I Don't Need Your "Security."

November 8th, 2010
3:09 pm

The “Department of Homeland STUPIDITY” should be abolished, and every single airport TSA agent should have to go back to work at their respective Burger King locations at airports across the nation.

Bush should be ashamed. A *REAL* Conservative President would never have allowed that abomination.

chuck

November 8th, 2010
3:18 pm

The 600 Billion is a great start. I hope, included within that, is cutting out ALL FUNDING for “czars”. These overpaid do-nothing-but-cause-problems idiots should never have been funded to begin with. This idea started under Clinton, continued under Bush, and exploded under Obama. I don’t know how anyone could have EVER thought they were a good idea.

Don

November 8th, 2010
3:48 pm

“Divided government is not a bad thing; far from it. As George Will recently noted, “gridlock is not an American problem; it is an American achievement.” ”

Well put! It’s exactly why I voted the way I voted. I hope the “R’s” don’t erroneously decide they have some sort of mandate to go a do (or undo) a whole bunch of stuff, like the “D’s” did last time out. Change is good, but in measured, well thought out, and un-rushed steps.

Netbanker

November 8th, 2010
4:13 pm

My biggest regret in this past election is that we don’t have a really viable 3rd party. For whatever reason the Libertarians just don’t seem that well organized. And that is a real shame because if they were I think that we could have sent a serious message to both political parties that the citizenry is tired of their power plays and lack of action on our nation’s serious issues. Both parties get caught up in social issues that, ultimately, are smoke screens and distractions.

All that said I agree with Cut, Cut, Cut! If families and businesses can find ways to cut budgets and eliminate extraneous expenses then so can our federal government. I would also challenge them to consider The Fair Tax to radically change our tax structures and tap into the more than $40Billion in revenue just from the illegal drug trade alone. Every time a dealer or king pin buys an expensive car, a flat panel TV, or a gaudy new piece of bling we should be collecting the maximum revenue possible instead of just sales tax.

Kling

November 8th, 2010
4:31 pm

The republicans got elected, the way the democrats are complaining, you’d think the Klingons got elected.

Whiz

November 8th, 2010
4:36 pm

I don’t see famalies cutting anything. They buy as much junk as they ever have.

Grimlock

November 8th, 2010
4:43 pm

Me, Grimlock, LOVE Gridlock!

Gridlock keeps the government out of our lives so they can’t create any more repetitive, asinine laws the duplicate the ones already on the books that aren’t enforced, interfere in our privacy or blow through money.

This, in turn, allows Free Enterprise to thrive while the government’s hands are tied.

BTW:

Me, Grimlock, alos say: “Burn in H-E-L-L , T-S-A !”

ATF

November 8th, 2010
5:05 pm

Be careful of casually proposing “tort reform”. The right to seek redress for financial injury is in the Bill of Rights, one of the first ten amendments to the Constitution. It goes right up there with the right to bear arms, the right of free assembly, and free speech.

Amendment VII is short: In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of common law.”

I would no more trust politicians to set a limit on how much someone can win in a suit that I would trust them to set limits on CEO pay or prices in the market place.

Guard this right as the NRA guards the right to bear arms.

Is an award sometimes excessive? Yes. But, should we do away with the entire legal system because sometimes the innocent person is convicted? The system is not perfect and it never will be, but a right to trial by jury is fundamental – FUNDAMENTAL – to justice.

Jefferson

November 8th, 2010
7:46 pm

While the GOP with no credibility, may have the majority in the house, their margins were still no more than 55% to 45% of the people that voted, with many staying at the house and not voting but in fact have no more power to do anything now than before the election. They wil piss and moan until they regain real power and then grow the gov’t and the debt, just like they did before. Anyone who thinks they changed will be made a fool of.

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November 9th, 2010
12:21 am

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Patriot

November 9th, 2010
9:27 am

Netbanker – “For whatever reason the Libertarians just don’t seem that well organized”

What do you know about their organizational skills? What contributions have YOU made to helping them succeed? What have you done to help eliminate the FEC regulations, ballot access laws and such that are actually designed to destroy or limit the growth of 3rd parties, despite how these government actions were sold?

The other two parties are so well organized because they PROFIT from their own elections. They receive campaign donations from folks who will benefit from the regulations, tarriffs, subsidies, contracts, etc. that the other two parties will enact once elected. Folks like the Libertarians do not believe in such things but rather support growth of business and success in the context of a free market. The only people who will contribute to that sort of approach are those that support liberty, freedom, and the free market. Unfortunately that is not most americans as we can clearly see.

As someone who has held various local elected ranks in the Libertarian Party I can tell you that it is only volunteers that make the party run. The “desires” of those who sit on the sidelines and complain don’t make a bit of difference.

So instead of wondering why 3rd parties are not doing more for you, why don’t you go to http://www.lp.org, look into the listing for your local party group in GA, go to their next meeting and help out.

The party is about individual liberty and PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Take some.

Dr. Pangloss

November 9th, 2010
11:12 am

Add to your checklist:

Brown-nose the bejesus out of Wall Street and the oil companies.

nelson

November 9th, 2010
12:33 pm

You know thw Presidential entourage in India and Cambodia is costing the American taxpayers 200 million a day plus 34 ships and an aircraft carrier, throw in the war in Afghanistan at 190 million a day and we are talking serious money. All of that being said, the national debt adds a million every 11 seconds soooooooooo in national debt time the trip is only costing [18 seconds per day].

nelson

November 9th, 2010
12:36 pm

I stand corrected on the above post, that is 198 seconds national debt time, I should run the national debt i would have it ship shape.

Damon

November 9th, 2010
5:10 pm

Honduran’s rule – Did you even READ what I said?! Who’s the moron?

I AM operating my business. What I said was with the new rules going into effect, it will drive me OUT of business… and there is a lot I didn’t say which a business owner, which obviously you are not, would also know to assume. The banks froze all our credit lines and then closed them. Just before the housing went belly up, remember that little ‘fuel shortage’ we had, well our staple prices tripled and have not come down much. Had the banks not been so tight-fisted (and they continue to be) I could have made the restaurant I mentioned work. 20/20 hindsight tells me I should be glad the bank didn’t loan me the money.. but.. the ENTIRE point is where the government is failing to get the economy going from a personal prospective. (I am heated as I write this.. I hope it makes sense when I am done). One of the facts I forgot to mention… well.. it wasn’t relevant to my point, but I had a 35% down payment ready to go! My business is near death because I GIVE UP!! I can’t DO THIS ANYMORE!! I work a full-time job to come home to another full-time job. 7 days a week 365 days a year. You think I work this hard to bail YOU out of YOUR financial issues?! NO… I had hoped that my hard work, talent for making good food, and seemingly unbreakable spirit would pay off some day. Well.. my spirit is broken. I am closing my doors, not because I monetarily can’t afford to stay in business, its because I spiritually can’t afford to stay in business. Everyone has their hand out. Everyone thinks that because your business has customers and you are open means you are making money hand over fist. I make enough to stay open, pay my employees a fair wage, not skimp on food quality or portion size, and pay my bills and license fees. I have not seen a dime in my pocket for a year… and your blaming me by implying that it is my fault that my business is going to close? You sound like you work for the Obama or Bush administration.

Damon

November 9th, 2010
8:57 pm

Rockerbabe,

How much smaller can a 10 table restaurant get? lol.
I understand your point… hunker down and wait it out. Live to fight another day yada yada yada.

I am an engineer by training (Thanks USN!), so believe me when I say that owning a restaurant is not something that I was trained for or . The dot.com bubble was bursting and I needed a parachute fast… it seemed like a good investment at the time. (and it was!)

Okay.. quick history.. bought restaurant, made a lot of fatal mistakes but was able to recover because the restaurant was so small. Did very well, made enough to open a second, much larger restaurant (huge). Had many (over 20) raves in Creative Loafing, all 5 start comments.. not a single four star or below. At this point, noticed faint writing on the wall in reference to the economy. Sold the large restaurant, kept the small one. Economy went bust, all my competition went out of business, I still survive, but it is a thankless existence.

I do believe that NOW is a GREAT time to open a new business and you can be very successful… especially for a restaurant. Commercial property is in the crapper. I can get a 3 year lease for $4sq where 2 years ago it would have gone for $24 or higher. Out of the 3 year lease I can get 6 to 9 months free rent! With this kind of action I just over came the staples prices eating into net with plenty to spare!. Restaurants have gone out of business left and right. There is brand new equipment in most of these places.. comes with the lease! Restaurant equipment is a huge expense when first opening. Employees (especially American ones) are always the number one pain in any service businesses arse. But in this economy, if you pay a dollar or two over minimum wage you can fire and hire in the same day.
Sounds great, math works, but.. you can’t. Unless you are an idiot and pay for everything in cash you NEED a bank loan. Why? Because there are huge tax implications if you pay for everything yourself. You get a loan whether you need it or not to keep from being taxed to death.
Well, the banks aren’t going to give you one. You are not stupid, so you don’t pay cash and you don’t open a fabulous restaurant and put 40 people to work for years to come.

Government, taxes, and then banks… this is why the economy is not working.
Please look around you… look at all the closed small businesses. Do you honestly think these are people that couldn’t run a business? Some, maybe.. but certainly not all. Local and State governments put the screws to us with insane regulation and new ‘fees’. Federal government is saying, sure, you can invest, we will make sure you see a little back every year for seven years. For a small business owner, 7 years?! Most of us are month to month even in prosperous times!
Don’t even get me started on the SBA. A middle aged white guy like me, after months of paperwork, signing away children and body parts, is going to get a total of squat.
Small farms for dairy and food are being gobbled up by big corporations. So food prices keep going up. Chicken, beef and dairy prices are artificially inflated folks.. not illegal.. surprise surprise.. and yet we still pay farm subsidies. You thought these were going to Ma and Pa Farmer? Noooooo lol!
The oil we cook in? Well the absolute BEST stuff is peanut oil. You can get it very hot without the oil breaking down (burning) reducing the amount we use and making the food tastier and healthier. Good news for Georgia right? HA! Wrong again. You couldn’t get a bucket of peanut oil out of Jimmy Carter himself… no.. Peanut oil is manufactured and shipped to us from CHINA! Of course.. those prices are through the roof too. Takes lots of gas to get those tankers from here to China and back.
You want to get the economy rolling again? STOP TAXING BUSINESS! Tax the money that leaves the business. Remember your grandparents or great grandparents being able to live off of their company pensions? This is how you do that! Tax the snot out of non-wage money that isn’t reinvested in the business. Let the CEO’s come up with creative ways to live lavishly through the operation of the business.. it should be allowed. Abuses will work themselves out without the government having to step in.
Re-regulate the banks, insurance and the airlines.
Repeal the amendment that allows for voting in of Senators. These should be appointed positions by members of the House!
Flat Tax – This shouldn’t even be an issue
The government has FAR too many typists. This being the case, they have to do something to justify their existence, so they come up with rules for everything. There is a saying in the business world.. if you are a small business and you want to strike it rich, figure out a way to sell to the government. This sad but true statement gets straight to the heart of the government’s problem with spending. It’s easy to write blank checks with other peoples money! Send all those IRS auditors that are now out of jobs due to the flat-tax to military bases and government contractors as oversight.
When I was in the Navy, we always joked that the reason the USAF always had the best stuff was because when they went to Congress to get money for a new base, they would spend ALL that money on the facilities. Then they would have to go back to Congress and say they have this big beautiful base (with golf courses) but we ran out of money for the runway. Need more money for that… The Navy just couldn’t figure out how to build an aircraft carrier without building the flight deck. *sigh* – Go after $60 screws and $500 light bulbs. It STILL happens!

I got to stop or I will take over the entire page.. but you get the idea I hope!