It's Not the Taxes

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I own a small manufacturing business in Napa. I have 30 employees. We've been struggling a bit for the last couple years but the company is healthy. So far we seem to be surviving.

Lately I hear lots of people claim they're speaking on my behalf. They say I'm overburdened by regulation, hamstrung by excessive taxes, robbed of my savings by a "death tax," can't get credit, and I'm saddled with "Obama Care." It all sounds pretty depressing.

So I keep waiting for someone say what I really think, but I'm beginning to wonder if it'll happen so decided I better say it myself.

Yes, we have regulations. No, they are not the reason we are not hiring more folks.

Yes, I pay comparatively high taxes. I'm not making millions but we have been doing fine lately, after 20 years of hard work.


Are taxes, or the prospect of higher taxes, keeping me from hiring folks? No.

How much tax I pay isn't even on the radar screen when it comes to hiring decisions. It would be nice to leave more to relatives. It would probably be more fair to leave it to my employees who helped make it in the first place. My relatives certainly don't somehow "deserve" it.

The health care I provide is a tax I pay to insurance companies. Making sure everyone is covered so my insurance doesn't subsidize the uninsured seems like a pretty good idea to me.

The simple truth is I don't hire more people because I don't have enough work for them. More work, more employees. If I have to pay a bit more in taxes to help make that happen, it's fine with me.

Folks think of taxes as some sort of a penalty. I think of it as insurance against unacceptable risks. We should focus on the efficiency of government spending. Curing an overweight patient by strangling them doesn't seem too smart. If those of us who are lucky enough to have figured out how to make the system work for us have to pay a bit more to keep the ship afloat while we update our tax diet, that's a lot better than any alternative I've heard so far.

With a Perspective, I'm Bill Kreysler.

Bill Kreysler owns a small manufacturing company in Napa County.