Archive for the ‘Small Business’ Category

Forgive me if I’ve missed it elsewhere but I think that there’s an important question that journalists haven’t asked Gov. Walz. Specifically, why hasn’t anyone asked him, the U of M and the Minnesota Department of Health a third alternative. In this video, Gov. Walz opens by talking about 2 scenarios: no mitigation and significant mitigation:

Apparently and based on his actions, significant mitigation meant shutting everything except grocery stores and pharmacies down. I’d argue that there’s a third option that wasn’t considered. Specifically, I’m talking about practicing proper social distancing, frequently washing your hands and limiting crowd size without shutting down stores. How many lives might’ve been saved had that option been picked? Might it have saved as many lives as option 2, aka the significant mitigation option?

State Sen. Andrew Mathews thinks it’s more than possible. Sen. Mathews thinks it should be happening:

Most people are still shopping at major stores like Walmart during this time, showing there’s no reason more businesses can’t safely re-open to help employees, families, and small business owners stay afloat. Several small business owners have already described to me the safety plans they will implement if they’re allowed to re-open. It matches point-by-point to Governor Walz’s description of what he wants to see before opening other businesses.

Sen. Mathews’ plan is filled with common sense. Perhaps, that’s why Gov. Walz didn’t think of it? It would take integrity to admit that he’d made a mistake. Is that why Gov. Walz hasn’t admitted that?

It’s time that Gov. Walz starts thinking this crisis through. This crisis won’t be solved with Gov. Walz’s cookie-cutter approach. Gov. Walz’s approach has cost too many small businesses their livelihoods. We can’t afford smooth-sounding idiots running the state. We need people who think things through and nail the solution the first time. That isn’t Gov. Walz.

After reading this article, it’s safe to say that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is fired up about what he calls an “all-American Marshall Plan for Main Street”, aka the “Paycheck Protection Program.” Before getting into the program, Leader McCarthy talked about his background:

Before entering politics, I opened a small deli in my hometown of Bakersfield, California. Two lessons always stuck with me: 1) You’re the first to work, last to leave, and last to get paid, and 2) your employees are your greatest resource. I know from personal experience that small businesses create meaningful opportunities for entrepreneurs, satisfying work for employees, and personalized service for local communities. But I also know how difficult it is to run a small business, even in the best of times.

Leader McCarthy wasn’t a high-powered small businessman but he walked tons of miles in a small businessman’s shoes so he knows what it’s like.

Republican leaders worked with a handful of good-faith Senate Democrats (remember that House Democrats were on vacation that week) to put this package together. When Pelosi returned from vacation, she tried pushing her ideological wish list into the Paycheck Protection Program. Apparently, her highest priority wasn’t getting small businesses health. It was in lighting up a legislative Christmas tree with things like the Green New Deal, taking the voting system away from states and telling corporations who could be on their boards. That’s just a handful of Pelosi’s wish list.

With this program, businesses with fewer than 500 employees (including startups, sole proprietors, and the self-employed) will receive 100% federally guaranteed loans for eight weeks. If the loan is used to pay employees, rent, or utilities, or rehire employees who were laid off due to the virus, it is forgiven.

Loans will be available as early as Friday, thanks to the Trump administration’s quick actions. They will run from February 15 to June 30. Small businesses won’t need to navigate government bureaucracy to access these historic loans. Instead, they can work with any lender backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Similarly, farmers can work with their trusted farm credit institutions to secure loans.

This is what a man who is committed to America looks like:

This is what a career politician looks like:

The man fighting for Main Street wants the U.S. to succeed. The career politician simply wants more political power. That’s the choice this November: Main Street winning vs. the Swamp winning. That isn’t a difficult decision for thoughtful Americans.

Saying that Gov. Dayton failed deputy registrars is extreme understatement. Nonetheless, he’s already started blaming Republican politicians for his failures. Dave Orrick’s reporting lays things out nicely by saying “It’s all the result of the faulty launch of MNLARS, a new computer system launched over the summer to handle vehicle title and tab transactions. It was a mess and largely still is, say deputy registrars, as well as car dealers, insurance agents and untold numbers of regular folks who waited in long lines or ran up against any number of roadblocks in their attempts to transfer a title or some other previously routine transaction.”

Don Davis’s article highlighted how the DFL abandoned the registrars:

The Minnesota House has failed to override Gov. Mark Dayton’s veto of funding to reimburse local offices who struggled with the state’s new driver registration system.

It’s just the second attempted override in Dayton’s tenure. With just 79 House members voting to override Dayton on Sunday, it fell short of the required 90-vote margin. Most Democrats voted against overriding Dayton’s veto.
Dayton struck down the bill Saturday, saying lawmakers should have paired it with funding to fix MNLARS. That money is in a separate bill passed by the Legislature. MNLARS was plagued by problems since its summer launch. GOP Rep. Dave Baker says lawmakers owe it to deputy registrars to reimburse them for their extra costs due to problems with the system.

DFL members who voted for the bill initially voted to sustain Gov. Dayton’s veto. That means that they put Gov. Dayton’s vanity ahead of the registrar’s financial needs. Saying that Speaker Daudt was upset with Gov. Dayton is understatement. Watch Speaker Daudt’s body language during this press availability:

About 12:25 into the press availability, Speaker Daudt spoke to the registrars bill, saying “Well, the deputy registrar bill, we are extremely disappointed that the Governor vetoed that bill. Even in his veto letter, he said that “I support this money for the deputy registrars. Confusing. Again, he keeps saying ‘send me a bill — an individual bill all by itself — a standalone bill’ and he vetoes it anyway. In reality, this bill had 101 votes going out of the House. I think we’re going to find out tonight if Democrats stand behind making these deputy registrars whole for the losses that have been incurred by the disaster called MNLARS and I hope that Democrats will stand with Republicans tonight behind these deputy registrars instead of standing behind this governor who has literally gone back on his word to these people.”

In his own press availability, Gov. Dayton said that he’d only sign the deputy registrars’ bill if it included ‘the other $33,000,000’ needed to fix MNLARS. Republicans told him consistently that they weren’t willing to write him a blank check, then hope that his IT team would fix MNLARS over the summer. Writing this incompetent governor a blank check with the belief that he’d fix that system isn’t just insane. It’s stupid. Why trust a governor with Gov. Dayton’s legacy of mishaps and mistakes and who can’t be held accountable now that he’s officially a lame duck?

When some of these deputy registrars go out of business or lose their homes, I hope they remember who stood with them and who abandoned them. Gov. Dayton vetoed the bill but DFL legislators abandoned them. DFL legislators supported their governor rather than supporting their constituents.

I hope these deputy registrars and their families remember that the DFL preached that they’re for the little guy — until their governor needs their votes. When they walk into the voting booth, I hope they feel like this:

Then I hope they vote for the people who will support them when it matters. They’re known as Republicans.

After reading this article, I thought that this was another instance of regulators running wild. First, let’s establish what happened.

According to the article, it “started in February with some bicycle wheels under a slide, right where they were supposed to be. “They were tucked underneath the slide in my front yard so the kids could access them, because they do things like experiment with physics and roll them down the hill,” Giuliani said. It ended with the first correction orders she had received in 17 years of providing family child care. On top of the 55-hour weeks, the need to pursue training and do paperwork outside of that window and the emotional heft of helping children grow, there’s now a green letter posted at the entrance to Giuliani’s home, where it will echo her faults until 2019.”

Seriously? This is proof that regulators either have too much time on their hands or they have a God complex. The other possibility is that this regulator is trying to pay in-home child care providers for humiliating the union by rejecting union representation. Whatever the regulator’s motivation, this isn’t acceptable. Here’s the ‘scene of the crime’:

That certainly looks dangerous. It’s a good thing that regulators wrote Giuliani up for being a threat to the children she takes care of.

Seriously, what’s required is a culture change amongst regulators. There’s no doubt that Minnesota is overregulated. That’s why companies have either left Minnesota or they’ve expanded elsewhere. That’s why Minnesota will lose a congressional district in the next round of reapportionment in 2021. It’s that simple.

“Guilty until proven innocent,” testified Julie Seidel, membership director of the Minnesota Association of Child Care Professionals, who added the regulatory environment is “burdensome and often unattainable … and is discouraging providers from continuing child care.”

It isn’t just that laws need to be rewritten. It’s that a total culture change is required. Common sense rules have been replaced by God-like declarations. Rather than just writing Ms. Giuliani a fix-it ticket, the regulator insisted on making an example of her.

County licensors also will be required to get additional training on licensing standards, with the goal of shifting from punitive to more constructive and educational licensing inspections. Giuliani countered that’s like “sending a bully at school to sensitivity training and expecting that because they have 90 minutes of training they’re not going to go back and do what they did before.”

It’d be better to just throw out the people who’ve abused their power.

It’s easier to meet someone who’s better off as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act than the media would have us believe. For instance, Ashley is a big winner as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

According to the analysts at The Tax Foundation, “Ashley is a single mom and owns her own business. This year her successful business will make $60,000. Ashley is very thankful for her mom, who cares for her one son, Jackson, when she is working many long hours, even on nights and weekends, as a small business owner. Without the tax reform law, Ashley takes $8,330 in personal exemptions and a standard Head-of-Household deduction of $9,550. This leaves her with a taxable income of $42,150. At her income level, she would pay $5,642.50 in federal income taxes, except that she qualifies for a $1000 child tax credit, which brings her final bill to $4,642.50.”

Under the new tax law, Ashley will benefit in a few different ways. First, although personal exemptions are eliminated, Ashley’s standard deduction will increase to $18,000, nearly twice as much as before. Secondly, and of critical importance to small business owners like her, Ashley can now also deduct up to 20 percent of her income because her business is a pass-through entity, meaning her business income “passes through” to her as an individual. This means she deducts another $8,400 (or 20 percent of the $42,000 left after her standard deduction). This means Ashley has a total taxable income of $33,600. At her rate, this income would result in $3,760 in taxes before the child tax credit. Thirdly, Ashley also benefits from the doubling of the child tax credit from $1000 to $2000. This leaves her with a final tax liability of $1760. This means Ashley gets a tax cut of $2,882.50.

During the final debate on the bill, Chuck Schumer said “the middle class would only get a pittance.” Making $60,000 a year is certainly in the middle class. Saving almost $3,000 certainly isn’t a pittance. That’s a significant tax cut, one that I’m betting Ashley will certainly make good use of.

Tuesday night, Speaker Ryan was Bret Baier’s and Martha MacCallum’s guest for a townhall meeting in Herndon, Virginia. Specifically, the subject was the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. It would be fun watching him slice-and-dice Nancy Pelosi on the subject, though I’m certain she’d never participate in such a debate.

Ryan on how the tax cuts would help veterans:

Ryan on small business growth:

(Notice the specificity of his response.)
Ryan on the need to grow the economy:

Thus far, the Democrats’ economic plan is to criticize the Republican plan. That’s the plan offered by Pelosi and Schumer. That’s bad enough. The Bernie/Warren plan is even worse. They want to raise taxes and drive companies overseas.

Do we want a vibrant economy led by robust small business investment or do we want the pathetic economic growth we had during the Obama administration? That’s a pretty easy answer for most people.

This op-ed is a fantastic illustration of what DFL regulatory corruption looks like. Every voter in Minnesota should understand what’s happening by DFL special interest groups in the hope of killing mining.

In the op-ed, Steve Giorgi, the executive director of the Range Association of Municipalities & Schools, aka RAMS, wrote “Commissioner John Linc Stine and his staff at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced this week that they will commence with rulemaking hearings across the state on the new proposed rules for limits on Sulfate standards to protect wild rice.” Later in the op-ed, Giorgi wrote “During the last legislative session, Rep. Rob Ecklund was successful in passing legislation that delayed the implementation of any new wild rice/sulfate standards until January of 2019, allowing the MPCA and all Minnesotans to get the results of a study being conducted on the cost implications of a new standard and enforcement of that standard.”

This is what a corrupt regulatory system looks like. The business getting regulated has no assurance that they’ll get the required permits if they follow the stated procedures. (Whatever happened to Bill Clinton’s saying that “if you work hard and play by the rules, you’ll be rewarded with a good life for yourself and a better chance for your children“?) Based on the Dayton administration’s actions, the hard-working people of the Iron Range will get shafted even if they work hard and play by the rules. Then there’s this:

Finding funding for $5 to $10 million dollar treatment plant expansions, along with increased annual operating costs, and then the nightmare of trying to dispose of the brine that is produced by the reverse osmosis treatment, will put most small communities into bankruptcy.

At what point will this DFL administration admit that the regulations they’re thinking about will bankrupt the state? The law was passed and signed into law. PolyMet will be forced by law into playing by the rules. Unless the metro DFL wants to just admit that they want to stop mining altogether, which they’ll deny in public but admit to in private, this regulatory system needs to be scrapped.

I’m not talking about abolishing all regulations. I’m advocating for regulations that protect the water without buying the special interests’ BS. This video is intended to present the MPCA, the regulators on the wild rice standards, as reasonable and business-friendly: That’s intentional. The key difference between the Grede project and the wild rice standards is that the special interests don’t care about Grede. They’re focused on shutting down mining.

It’s indisputable that the metro DFL, especially politicians like John Marty and Al Franken, want to prevent new mining projects from getting permitted. It’s time to throw out the current regulatory system and replace it with a system that’s both business-friendly and that protects the environment. There’s no disputing the fact that the current system is hostile to both businesses and rural Minnesota.

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When I read this story, I was stunned. According to the story, the “Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) awarded Minnesota Halal Meat & Grocery, 205 East St. Germain Street, $15,308.72 through the Good Food Access Program (GFAP). The store’s owner, Badal Aden Ali, says the store plans to install a dairy cooler, walk-in freezer, produce display case, and shelving. Ali says the grant funds will help address the needs of many of St. Cloud’s refugees and immigrants.”

Later in the article, we’re told that a “total of $150,000 in grant funds has been awarded to projects to purchase equipment and make physical improvements, increasing access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods in underserved and low- and moderate-income communities.”

What I’d like to know is how many similar programs exist within the Human Services and Minnesota Department of Agriculture budgets? How much taxpayer money gets spent each biennium to buy votes? This “store” is less than a mile away from my house. It’s a little hell-hole. It’s been that way since I was in grade school. (I started high school in 1970.)

Before anyone accuses me of being biased against refugees, my position is that I’m opposed to each of these grants.

I’m told that the theory behind these grants exist because the businesses can’t afford the loan to buy the equipment they’ll purchase with this grant money. If these businesses are on that shaky of ground, they should be allowed to fail.

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A Taxing Thought on the Minimum Wage
By Speed Gibson
July 14, 2017

You may remember how a Stillwater restaurant added a “minimum wage fee” to their tabs in 2014, in response to a 75 cent increase in the Minnesota minimum wage. Liberals, amazed that the owners didn’t just draw on their assumed millions stashed under the floorboards, said they should just raise prices if need be, not play politics. Conservatives like me cheered for a business willing to push back with what liberals hate most: the truth. And then I realized that there was a greater point being made here, intended or not. As an added, involuntary, cost to a business, the requirement to pay above market minimum wages is a tax.

Albert Einstein’s two great theories largely sprang from his ideas of equivalence. An astronaut in a rocket accelerating at 1 G in free space experiences the same effects as another still sitting on the launch pad on Earth. Gravity, he thought, must also be some form of acceleration, hence his General Theory of Relativity.

So, is there an equivalent tax to mandated minimum wages? Let’s take some full-time employees making $10 an hour. Assuming none are subsequently laid off, the new law takes effect and now they make $15 an hour. Each makes an additional $200 a week, or equivalently $200 a week now leaves the owner’s cash register. No additional work was performed. The money simply moved from the owner to the employee.

But a tax law could equivalently demand that the $200 “shortfall” be sent to St. Paul, then distributed to the employee via a refundable income tax credit based on the $400 paid and reported. Either way, the owner, employee and State checking account balances all read the same afterward.

I therefore conclude, if the minimum wage looks like a tax and acts like a tax and is compulsory like a tax – it’s a tax, with one remaining difference to now resolve: display that tax on the receipt like the courageous Stillwater restaurant owners did.

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This article is filled with proof that socialism doesn’t work. Further, it demolishes a key part of the Democrats’ economic message. It says “New research, conducted by economists at the University of Washington, shows that the $13 minimum wage has led to “steep declines in employment for low-wage workers and a drop in hours for those who kept their jobs. Crucially, the negative impact of lost jobs and hours more than offset the benefits of higher wages; on average, low-wage workers earned $125 per month less because of the higher wage.”

This isn’t surprising. Artificially inflating wages hurts people because businesses have to make a profit. When the government makes it more difficult through higher taxes or higher wages, businesses will adapt. The easiest way to do that is employ fewer people.

Later, it’s reported that “The Minneapolis city council will vote on Friday, June 30th at 9:30 am to increase the city’s minimum wage to $10.00 starting on July 1, 2018. By July 1, 2022, every worker in Minneapolis will be paid at least $15 per hour as voted on by the current Minneapolis City Council. One of their stated reasons for doing so is to help Minneapolis employees deal with “rising inflation” which, had any of them bothered to look, has been at 1.2% in 2016 and 0% in 2015. It is also important to note that every person who works at least two hours in any workweek while in the city of Minneapolis will be considered a Minneapolis employee and subject to these ever-increasing minimum wages.”

Why would companies start businesses in Minneapolis? They’d be foolish to. I suspect that companies that are part of the hospitality industry won’t start up there unless they get special concessions.