Sarah Palin's Kind Of Hot, But Obama Will Make Me Money in 2011
Jan. 31 2011 - 7:54 am | Gene Marks
Image by AFP/Getty Images
I'm really not a political guy. I don't watch Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity. I don't care that Keith Olbermann left his job. I'm a registered Republican but I don't chew tobacco, own a pickup truck or carry a gun.
I do, however, think that Sarah Palin is kind of hot. But that has nothing to do with my politics. I consider myself right of center, but not too far right. I voted for George Bush twice. And'gasp' I also voted for Obama. I don't know if I'm going to vote for him again. But I do know one thing: as the owner of a technology company and a small business, President Obama will make me money in 2011. As long as I know how to make money from him.
Yes, I know the President does some things that make small business owners like me worry. A lot. The size of the deficit is freaking me out. The rhetoric about taxing the 'rich' is perplexing. The cost of healthcare reform is a big concern. His love of labor unions is disconcerting. And inviting Barbara Streisand to a state dinner for the Chinese Premier? My God man, don't you know she prefers take out?
Even so, there are plenty of ways for a business owner like me to make money this year, thanks to the President.
For example, I'm going to follow the money. The President, even before he became President, made it clear where he wants to invest the government's money. Healthcare. Energy. Construction. Education. And he's a big believer in big government too. These themes were reinforced not a week ago in his State of the Union speech. Do I agree? Who cares? From Caesar to Churchill, smart business owners I know who want to do things quicker and better don't let politics get in the way of making money. They follow the money, and keep their personal opinions separate from their business.
Which is why in 2011 I'm going to step up my marketing to these industries. I'm going to buy a few lists. I'm going to kick off some email campaigns. I'm going to hire a few telemarketers to make a couple of calls. And we're going to target those industries where the money is flowing. My technology firm sells accounting, customer relationship and service management software. Companies in education, energy, construction and healthcare need this stuff just like any other business. So why not buy it from me?
I'm also going to market more to the government too. I'll be spending more time on FedBizOpps, the site where all government contracts are listed. I'm going to create a few customized searches to target potential branches of the government that may also need the technology that my company sells. I'll save the searches and have new opportunities emailed to me every week. At some point I may need to get Government Services Administration (GSA) certified, but I'll worry about that when the opportunity is right. The point is that if the government, under Obama, is a growing business then I'm going to grow my technology firm right along with it.
In 2011 I'm going to take advantage of the Section 179 deduction, which was not only extended for a couple of years, but also significantly increased as part of the Jobs Bill that Obama signed last fall. The Section 179 rule allows most small businesses to deduct up to $500,000 of qualified capital expenditures (like software, hardware and equipment) against their income. It's meant to stimulate investment and that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'll purchase some new software this year and upgrade some computers'all at a big discount after I figure in my tax savings.
I like the Section 179 deduction because not only can it save me money, but it can make me money too. Being a technology firm, I'll use this deduction as a carrot to persuade prospective clients to purchase the business software that we sell. Many small businesses aren't fully versed on the particulars of this rule. Once they understand that they too can realize a huge tax savings when they buy my products they're more apt to buy. Because the President pushed to extend this rule for the next couple of years I'm expecting to make money on both the income and expense side. So thank you President Obama.
Speaking of taxes, I'm grateful that the President finally caved and extended all of the Bush tax cuts through 2012. This is another way he's helping me make money in 2011. If these tax cuts were allowed to expire I would have had to not only pay more taxes on the money my company made but also on the interest, dividends and capital gains I earned on many of my company's investments. If I were to get hit by a bus my family would have had to pay a boatload in estate taxes. That worry has passed. Our tax rates did not go up so I don't have to pay more taxes in 2011, which means I'll be putting more in my pocket. And this also explains why, suddenly, my wife has been encouraging me to eat more fatty foods and exercise less.
This year I may borrow a few dollars to fund some growth and generate more profits. Thanks to the President, more capital has been provided to the Small Business Administration, banks and to the states so that they can loan more money to small companies like mine. Many business owners have complained that banks haven't been lending this money over the past couple of years. But considering the mistakes they made in the past I understand why today's banking executives are only offering credit to companies that pass tougher due diligence. Which is fine by me. The money's there, thanks to the President, but even I don't want it unless both my bank and I feel comfortable that I can pay it back.
Obama's doing other stuff to help business owners like me generate more profits in 2011. I've never considered selling my products overseas but now I'm thinking about it. He said he wants to double exports by 2015, so the U.S. Export-Import bank just launched new initiatives to help us accomplish this. And new legislation passed last year allows tax free capital gains from investments in small businesses if held for more than five years.
Obama will also help me make more money in 2011 because the 2012 election is only next year. Since his shellacking in the last Congressional elections, the President has obviously shifted more towards the center. And his approval ratings have gone up. Which puts the heat on Sarah Palin to wear sexier outfits. So everyone's a winner.
This also means that at least for the next year, I don't expect the President to be doing much of anything that will negatively impact my business. He's no dummy. He wants to get re-elected. And he doesn't have a Democratic majority in Congress any more. I don't have to worry about any big schemes, like stimulus bills and healthcare reform, at least for the next two years. Instead I can watch him make nice to the business community, promising to decrease regulations and hug our lobbyists while I just focus on selling more product.
So thanks President Obama. Keep doing what you're doing, at least for this year. And I'll make sure to profit.
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