Let the engine of our economy bring power back to Main Street

By: Alfredo Ortiz

Appeared in The Orange County Register on March 17, 2017


Let the engine of our economy bring power back to Main Street

By: Alfredo Ortiz

President Donald Trump’s support of House Republicans’ health care reform bill is just his latest salvo in his governing approach that seeks to return the power from the federal government back to the people. He wants to drain the health care swamp of the subsidies, regulations, and mandates that have contributed to years of double-digit health care cost inflation.

His unlikely candidacy was buoyed by a wave of public outcry for government accountability and a refocused set of priorities where the government serves the people first and foremost.

A majority of Americans agree with that sentiment. According to a joint Wall Street Journal and NBC poll, 86 percent of people agree with Trump’s vision: “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”

Does Trump’s claim have merit? Based on the concentration of wealth in the D.C. area, it does. Nine of the nation’s richest counties are in the Washington D.C. Metro Area. This is a shocking statistic given that the region owes its wealth not to production and free exchange, but to government, lobbying, special interest groups, trade associations and lawyers looking to get their hands on or influence the $4 trillion U.S. budget paid for by Americans’ taxes.

Being at the end of this geographic money funnel ensures that D.C. workers are well paid. In fact, the average salary of a D.C. lobbyist is $114,416 — well above the average American household income of $51,939. And when compared to private sector employees in our country, federal government employees on average enjoy 78 percent higher compensation rates. D.C. has become a bubble, insulated from the real-world problems of average Americans.

President Trump is just the beginning of a nationwide backlash. And it’s a good thing. But for this genuine and heartfelt backlash to continue, people from across the country need to make their voices heard by voting. Small businesses, which suffer under one of the world’s highest federal tax rates and see their earnings shift from Main Street to K Street, must speak up. Representing 29 million businesses that employ 56 million people, small businesses should be one of the loudest and most powerful voices in America.

Yet according to analysis of voter rolls by the Job Creators Network, nine million small business owners are not even registered to vote. That means a third of the small business sector is not having their concerns taken into account when it comes to policies that truly affect them and their employees — such as federal tax rates or the centralization of regulatory power in Washington. These entrepreneurs must get out and vote to keep the government-serving-the-people momentum moving.

But for real change to occur, the public as a whole must be educated about how big government policies affect their pocketbooks and job opportunities. That’s why JCN has an Employer-to-Employee education program which leverages the unique relationship employers have with their employees that allows them to uncover the impacts of bad government policy.

Advocacy work of this kind cannot just be theoretical. Last week JCN worked with Congress to help introduce the Bring Small Businesses Back Tax Reform Act that would significantly reduce tax rates and complexity for small business job creators. This would give small business owners more time and more access to their hard earned money to grow their companies, hire employees, and invest in and support their communities. It would help tip the scales from Washington back to great communities across the country, big and small.

Small businesses must seize the megaphone to make their voices heard and reverse this imbalance.

Alfredo Ortiz is the president and CEO of the Job Creators Network.