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Sorry, Republicans, The Economy Is Not Crappy Because Of “Uncertainty” About Taxes And Regulation

Provided by The Business Insider, May 4, 2011:

For the past year or so, Republicans have blamed the sputtering economy on "uncertainty" about taxes and increased regulation.

Specifically, Republicans say, businesses would be growing and investing and hiring like mad if not for the possibility that they'll soon be socked with higher taxes and more rules.

This "uncertainty" is supposedly freezing managers and investors in their tracks.

Well, sorry, but that's just a bunch of crap.

Yes, it's true that businesses are nervous right now, but the nervousness has nothing to do with the possibility of higher taxes or increased regulation.

Businesses are nervous because, despite the government's massive and ongoing stimulus, the economy still basically sucks. When the economy only grows 1.8% when the government has its foot stomped on the gas pedal, businesses can be forgiven for thinking that the road ahead may not be entirely clear.

Business Insider is a healthy, growing business, and we can tell you from experience that, when we make our hiring and investment plans, we don't devote one single second to thinking about the possibility of "higher taxes." We also don't make decisions based on the likelihood that we might face increased regulation.

(To be clear: We don't want higher taxes or more rules, but the possibility that we might get them isn't holding us back. In fact, thanks to the appalling state of this country's finances, we expect higher taxes. So any "uncertainty" about that would actually be welcome.)

And as to that other meme that the "business-friendly" Republican party loves to spout--that minor business tax cuts lead to more hiring--that's also a bunch of crap.

Here at Business Insider, we've hired about 25 new folks over the past year, doubling our number of employees. Each one of those employees costs us a boatload more than the cost of their salaries (benefits and taxes). Although it is certainly true that, if we paid no taxes or benefits, we would be able to hire more employees, the tax cuts we got in one of the recent stimulus packages didn't make a lick of difference to our hiring plans.

Where the Republicans are dead right, of course, is that our tax code is absurdly complicated, which causes us to blow money on accounting fees that might otherwise go into investment or hiring. And we're still frustrated and annoyed that, although we only made $2,000 of profit last year, we had to pay about $13,000 in state "income tax," because of some ridiculous alternative-minimum tax scheme that dinged us for cash we had sitting in the bank. We find these tax rules and codes absurdly complicated and unfriendly, and we wish they would be done away with.

But, Republicans, if you really want to be known as the "party of business," please stop shoveling this crap about how the economy sucks because of uncertainty about taxes. Sure, we'd all love to pay fewer taxes. But uncertainty about what we will pay has nothing to do with our growth and investment plans.

See Also: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Business Insider's Secret Financial Performance