Washington Doesn’t Get It

Washington doesn't get it. We need more people with business experience in Congress. It’s time for new leadership. It’s time for change.

As he leaned against his paint-splattered pickup truck, Jeff told me about his struggles as a small business owner.  Jeff is a painter that I recently met. He started painting houses after high school and grew his small business over the last 20 years. Recently, he was offered a large commercial contract, but had to turn it down because he didn’t have enough employees to complete the job. 

Why didn’t Jeff have enough employees? His business is certainly successful enough to hire additional help, but he won’t. Jeff is wary of expanding his staff due to the uncertainty created by recent federal regulations.

Jeff tries to do the right thing by offering his employees full benefits, but those costs are rising dramatically. Since his competitors only hire temporary contractors or pay them under the table, Jeff is already at a disadvantage.  Unfortunately, too many employers like Jeff face these choices—play by the rules and postpone hiring in order to avoid regulatory uncertainty, or skirt the rules to remain profitable 

The problem is that too many people in Congress just don’t get it. Politicians who haven’t had to think about business incentives or manage employees seem unable to grasp that businesses must respond to change. Recently passed regulations are creating uncertainty. The business response to that uncertainty is to simply not invest or create additional jobs. In fact, some have estimated that 2.5 million jobs have not been created in the past four years due to regulatory uncertainty.

One of the largest sources of uncertainty is the influence of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  A recent survey showed that two-thirds of small business owners simply don’t know how the ACA will affect them.  The extensive number of tax increases, as well as the unclear timing of the implementation of new requirements, has created even more doubt about America’s economic future. 

Additional factors contributing to this uncertainty are the tax increases that may go into effect at the beginning of 2012. These tax hikes include a capital gains tax increase, taxes imposed to cover the costs of Obamacare, such as a 3.8% Medicare tax on wages, the expiration of Bush tax cuts, and no slowdown of expansion of the alternative minimum tax (AMT). 

We are experiencing the slowest economy recovery since the Great Depression. This is not the time to take large amounts of money out of economy through tax increases.  In fact, tax cuts are more efficient way to stimulate the economy than government spending. 

America wasn’t built on a foundation of extensive government intrusion into the economy. Too many politicians don’t know what it’s like to be the owner of a small business.  They think that they can solve any problem if they only create enough laws and regulations. What they don’t see is that all of these changes create uncertainty and make it harder for businesses to succeed. 

Unlike most members of Congress, I’ve spent the majority of my professional career in the private sector. I’m a former management consultant, a previous manager of a $100 million product line at iRobot Corporation, the current CEO of an online startup, and I hold an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

I’ve spent my working hours thinking about growth and profitability, and pulling the levers that create jobs. This experience provided real world evidence that the government cannot create jobs; only businesses can create jobs.  To enable growth, government’s economic role should be as minimal as possible. This is not to say that government intervention is never required, but it should be as limited and predictable as possible.

We need more people in Washington with business experience to create the right economic policies, rather than more people who desire to become career politicians. As an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, I know that times of crisis are the times that most demand leadership, but our leaders in Washington have failed us.

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Why should we send more of the same types of people to Congress to pass the same kind of laws that got us into this economic mess?

It’s time for new leadership.  It’s time for change.  I ask for your vote in the Republican primary this Thursday. Help ensure that we elect a candidate who “gets it” and who can win in November. We must change Washington to change the direction of this country.  

Sean Bielat is a businessman and a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He currently runs www.OneClickPolitics.com, an online start-up. Prior to his 2010 campaign against Barney Frank, Sean led a $100 million defense robotics program at iRobot Corporation. Sean worked his way through college and graduate school, aided by the GI Bill, scholarships, and student loans. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University. 

Sean and his wife Hope have been married for six years and are residents of Norfolk. They are the proud parents of a two-year-old son and an eight-month-old daughter. 

Sean Bielat has focused his campaign on economic growth and job creation, fiscal responsibility, and a more limited government. For more information about Sean Bielat, to sign up to volunteer, or to donate, please visit www.SeanForCongress.org.

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Gretchen Robinson October 26, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, said he is also a Republican like Powell, but he too is voting for the President. ”Powell and I have seen these people before, the John Boltons…the Donald Rumsfelds and Dick Cheneys, and we’ve seen them with an inexperienced president,” he said. “And we’ve seen what they can do, lead the nation to war, a war that was unnecessary.” Wilkerson added the neoconservatives advising Romney would lead him “down to war most likely with Iran.”
Dave Lenane October 26, 2012 at 09:14 PM
So don n...you are admitting that you are basically a moron without an original thought of your own. You exist to mock the thoughts of others that you dont even know. Just another internet tough guy huh? Typical Democrat in moonbat central! LOL you think you aren't paying for that school? OK there smart guy....ever buy a meal in the city of Newton? What a schmuck! You are dismissed! You deserve to be with Gretchen...another moonbat who doesn't have a clue as to what she is talking about! Have a nice weekend
GM October 26, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Hi don n, I guess I could see you using that logic in the last election when Barney Frank was running, but are you even more disenchanted with Joe Kennedy's experience in this race? He's your only other choice unless you're voting for a write-in candidate. I realize that in Massachusetts especially, incumbency is almost a self-perpetuating force - not necessarily because of the legislative experience people gain while in office, but certainly because of the way the legislature allocates influence. Can I assume you are also totally disenchanted with Elizabeth Warren's audacity in running for the Senate as her first elected office? If running for the House without prior legislative experience is an overreach, I can only assume that you think that running for the Senate with the same lack of experience is completely over the top.
GM October 26, 2012 at 09:54 PM
I appreciate your perspective on this, Gretchen. I think one of a couple of mistakes the Republicans have made in this election cycle is to allow the religious right to attempt to institutionalize their beliefs into our laws. The attempt was made a long time ago to do the same thing with alcohol during Prohibition and it didn't work because there was no broad public consensus to support those laws. But reducing the abortion issue to just a matter of a woman's right to choose doesn't work for me either because there is another life involved in the situation. Let me ask you a question as the one self-identified member of the clergy who has been participating in this thread -- Recognizing that a woman should have a full range of choice over whether or not to bring a life into this world prior to conception, and recognizing that that same woman would have no right to decide to end the life of a newborn child once the birth has occurred, at what point do you see the moral priority of the mother's right to decide what happens to her body and the child's right to life becoming equal? (i.e., At what point does the superiority of one or the other's rights cross?) I'm asking you this question from a theological perspective, not a political perspective.
Mr N October 26, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Hi GM, You bring up a good point and I'm not enamored with the Kennedy candidacy either. As for Elizabeth Warren, that should be somewhat of a factor too but I think that legislative experience is more valuable in the Congress than the Senate for several reasons. I agree that there are problems with some but not all of the long term incumbents. My view of Barney is that I think his best work was done in his first 20 years in office and while he probably would've won this election he wisely stepped down before his work deteriorated further.


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