Here are just a few more questions I fielded from the Inc. crew. Again, I didn’t pull any punches in voicing my opinions… so “reader beware.”
If you were in Congress, how would you vote, either for or against, on
each of the following issues? A. Pull troops from Iraq within the next 12
months. B. Increase funding or offer tax breaks for environmental efforts.
C. Decrease tariffs. D. Privatize social security. E. Introduce government
funded universal health care. F. Grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. G.
Repeal federal estate tax.
A. Against pulling the troops out within 12 months — Iraq isn’t ready for us to end it just yet and we still need an “assembling place” away from our shores for all of our enemies to confront us until we crush the very last one of them.
B. For offering tax breaks for environmental efforts — just about “FOR” any tax breaks. The Laffer Curve is fact and every time our “representatives” get their acts together to pass another tax break, the overall Treasury collections go up. Hmmm… maybe there’s something to that. The next time some politician starts some class warfare rhetoric about taxation, call “scoreboard” on him or her – maybe they’ll listen one day.
C. For decreasing tariffs — obviously, just another form of taxation.
D. For privatizing social security — let others do it better, just like federal employees can now. Government rarely delivers well on its awesome programs.
E. Against government-funded universal health care — see above, would be a disaster.
F. Against granting amnesty to illegal immigrants — a fast-track to citizenship, one-time ONLY, with a stiff penalty and the fees collected going ONLY to truly shore-up our borders, I could vote for. But that’s probably too practical for most in the Beltway.
G. For repealing the federal estate tax — terrible law that should be criminal – no taxation without respiration as they say. Also, I’m FOR an income tax cap (which, of course, would never pass), but it should be on the table. Why should successful entrepreneurs be punished for being successful? That’s counter-productive and society suffers as a result (due to the dis-incentive this creates). We de-motivate people into retiring early with our no-cap tax system and lull them into complacency by taxing their progressively more innovative ideas as they catch on. Surely, we shouldn’t have to pay 1,000 times more for basic governmental services just because we work our tails off being much more productive than the Mediocre Majority (and enjoying what we do, unlike most people). And while you’re asking me about policy, all politicians should have to prove to us where each and every dollar is spent — no earmarks, no co-mingling. They have proven they cannot be trusted. They have zero accountability. Maybe they should start some sort of marathon programming on C-SPAN that goes over every item in our Nation’s “checkbook.” We obviously KNOW they won’t be able to balance it, but at least let’s make them explain every expense down to the penny – like businesses do with their auditors. And when we finish with THAT, let’s have every politician file their own income taxes, by hand, with only a calculator and a pencil – no congressional recess until they finish. It could be the new “hazing” practice for every new sitting Congress. At the rate we’re going; don’t be surprised if in 20 years, America’s best and brightest start denouncing their citizenship and move to lush tropical islands with much better, wealth-preserving tax structures. Other citizens of other countries have done that for years, but few Americans have. However, with America headed in the direction of plenty second-rate countries and the wireless world making country boundaries nearly irrelevant, it’s only a matter of time. We’re nearly back to “taxation without representation” again. The boldest and the brightest won’t take it much longer. I’m pretty sure it was Jefferson who wrote, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government… but when a long train of abuses and usurpations… it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” You might find this a bit over-the-top, but I’m pretty sure our Founding Fathers would be awfully disappointed with what’s become of things.
Which of the following “Jacks” are you most like, regardless of gender?
Choose one from the following list: A. Jack Bauer (from 24). B. Jack
Shepherd (from Lost). C. Jack McFarland (from Will & Grace). D. Jack
Tripper. E. Jack Black. F. Jack White. G. Jack Nicholson.
A. Jack Bauer, definitely. He’s focused on the task at hand, kicks butt and takes names with amazing agility, and never seems to have time to even go to the restroom. He channels the “soul” of successful entrepreneurs everywhere who regularly get more done in 24 hours than mere “average” people. Not to mention, nobody really seems to “get” Jack, so he’s the loneliest celebrity, special agent around (has access to several “presidents” by cell phone, remember?). He’s welcome to come work for me anytime! We actually have a long-running joke about this in our monthly newsmagazine about my older, business partner who is the second largest shareholder in our company. We photo-shop his head on Jack Bauer’s every month and list his Top Ten “Facts” to Know About Geof — much like the Chuck Norris and Jack Bauer “facts” online. Too funny!
Okay, so long-time readers know that last question was a lay-up for me. I’m sure the good folks at Inc. were quite sorry they asked these questions once they got the replies from me. I don’t pretend to expect everyone will agree with everything I’ve said above, but unlike lots of “taking heads” out there, at least I can back-up everything I state. And when I’m asked…
Just so you know, I’ll be attending the 26th annual Inc. 500 Conference in Chicago next month and will report back on what I hear. Some of the speakers include: Scott Cook (founder of Intuit); Carl Schramm (president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation); Dr. Edmund Phelps (Nobel Prize winning economist in 2006 and someone who’s research I’ve admired for some time); Ari Weinzweig (cofounder of Zingerman’s as profiled in our March teleseminar interview with author Bo Burlingham in his book, Small Giants); and many more. Lastly, how can I forget mentioning that the B-52’s, known for such songs as “Love Shack,” “Rock Lobster” and “Private Idaho,” will be performing at the Black-tie awards ceremony (my just-turned four-year old son thinks of them as singing pirates with their very own red-headed pirate girl – long story, better not to ask).