Dear Joe The Plumber,
Joe the Plumber; my name is Darren the Manager. I’m pleased to meet you. I would like to formally invite you to be part of what Obama dismissively refers to as the top 2% of small business owners.
I want to tell you what you have to look forward to as being in this elite class of small business owners who “make” over $250,000 a year.
You see, I started my little nickel and dime operation out of my upstairs bonus room in my house in LaVergne, TN because I couldn’t afford to rent a real office. I lived off what little savings I had and through some good fortune eventually had a business partner join up who was also willing to live sacrificially. Together we risked our families well being and financial stability to build something out of nothing.
Currently Platform Management “makes” over $250,000 a year. (not much more, but more) I know Obama thinks that I do nothing but roll around naked in that kind of money, but there are a couple of things that prevent that bed from being quite so cushy.
You see, we want to give our clients good service and so we hire bright, talented, hard working people to provide this service. These are good kids who work every bit as hard as I do and whom might some day also join You and Me in this elite small business owner World. In the meantime I’m glad to say the combined payroll for our employees is somewhere around $135,000. I wish we could do more for them. We would love to, but that’s not the last of our expenses.
Because we live in America we get to participate in that great ponzi scheme called Social Security. We pay 6% of the total salaries into a fund that will in all probability not exist when these young, bright, talented, hard working men and women reach retirement. Platform pays over $8000 in totality to the good folks in DC who have “borrowed against” (read: spent the money on other projects besides Social Security) and have now left that program in a shambles.
I grew up with no health insurance. My mom died with no health insurance. As a small business owner it has been important to me personally that we provide this as a benefit to our staff. Last year we spent almost $40,000 on that. It goes up EVERY year. It has for the past 8 years straight.
As much fun as it is to work at home, my house simply isn’t big enough to have 7 people working there. We took the “profits” from one year of business and risked it by purchasing an office condo here in Franklin. We spend about $30,000 per year on that office. And as an added bonus we get to pay property taxes to Williamson County in the thousands.
To perform our duties we need to have things like phones, computers, desks, and toilets. We spend another $30-40,000 a year in things like cell phone service, office phones, internet, office supplies and toilet paper.
Joe, it’s not all bad. I don’t mean to make myself sound like a hero or to suggest that it’s completely nuts to start your own company. There are definitely rewards to this even if it’s not monetary.
Being self-employed has allowed me the freedom to participate in Humanitarian causes here and around the world. If I had a “normal” job I certainly couldn’t be jet setting around to places like Uganda and Haiti. This freedom has allowed me to be a part of founding and leading Conduit. As of yesterday Conduit has given taken in $40,000 to feed, clothe and serve the poor and the vulnerable.
It’s much easier to take off a day with the kids or to rush to a loved ones side when they’re sick without worrying about the employee leave policy.
My business partner and myself are not poor but we are nowhere near rich. We live solidly on the lower end of what is called Middle Class. We live in normal neighborhoods, in normal houses with normal lawns. We pay ourselves below six figures.
We already pay 36% in taxes on our small business. As a reward for the risks we took, and for creating something out of nothing Obama has suggested that we should pay our “fair” share and hit us with an extra 3%. He suggested that this would be “spreading the wealth around”.
Creating jobs, creating opportunities, paying for health care, giving to the poor feels like we’re already doing that at Platform. Obama thinks it’s not enough. He’d like us to be paying 39%. That is money that could easily be going to pay for another employee or, dare I say it, giving our own employees more money. Instead I get to send it to DC and trust that the government can do a better job than we can.
I apologize for my skepticism towards that thought process, but I feel like the government has given me plenty of reason not to trust their fiscal abilities. They’ve given me trillions of reasons.
Joe The Plumber, I don’t know you and I certainly hope that if my toilet plugs I could get a hold of you, but I want to let you know that you’ve got a lot to look forward to as a small business owner. I encourage you to move forward with buying this business that you’re thinking about. (heck you just got the best marketing campaign in the history of small business)
When Obama wins, it’ll absolutely get under your skin each time you write your tax check with that extra 3% fair tax. You won’t be alone though.
That top 2% of small businesses include many amazing people doing amazing things for this country and the world. Every band I represent falls in that category. (it makes me wonder how many musicians in semi successful bands actually realize that they are part of this elite taxable group as they travel around in their beat up vans living in their run down band houses)
And remember; it’s only fair.