When it comes to politics, this column strives to stay strictly non-denominational.
Oh sure, I have my personal preferences - I wish the Democrats would put forth a leadership that reflects the 21st, and not the 20th, century. I wish that Donald Trump were not such a brutish lout. I wish Tip O'Neil and Ronald Reagan, those famous Irishmen from two different parties who really knew the art of the deal, could have been cryogenically frozen and defrosted for this age when they are really, truly needed.
But what I really wish is that some party, any party, would stand up for entrepreneurs and small business. Is that asking so much?
Stop the petty bickering and the pathetic one-upsmanship. Spare us your "hopes and prayers" after the next gun massacre in a business or school or concert or or church wherever. And please, as long as you are on this subject right now, pretty please do something about a tax system that is totally out of whack.
The GOP plan before us now is one that helps business yes, but big business, not small business, not entrepreneurial businesses. It helps businesses more akin to Walmart, Amazon, and Exxon than the app maker downtown.
Our leaders are elected to (theoretically) make policy that benefits all Americans - not just rich Americans, and not just corporate Americans, not just Democrat or Republican Americans, but all Americans. That should necessarily include entrepreneurial Americans.
Did you know that probably the most popular place today to start a business in Europe, if not the world, is Ireland? Why?
- A tax rate - for startups and corporations alike - of 12.5 percent.
- An inclusive immigrant policy and attitude. As one American corporate executive recently told me, given that, and the current official attitudes towards immigrants in the U.S. these days, many high-tech startups are choosing Ireland instead of the Silicon Valley.
- A strong venture capital community
- A highly-educated workforce
So, American policymakers, do you want to help the country, get it moving again, spur economic activity, and create a job boom? Then take a play out of our Irish friends' playbook. Draft a tax bill, and related policy, that really does something to help the "engine of America," the oft-discussed, much-beloved "job creators," the innovators, the risk-taking, damn-the-torpedoes-full-steam-ahead entrepreneurs of this country.
Cut taxes for small business, not just big business. Help entrepreneurs as well as executives. Reform regulations for all businesses, not just corporations. Craft policies that help small businesses compete globally. Welcome immigrants, who make up 28 percent of businesses in this country.
If you put forth a real "pro-growth" agenda that boosts entrepreneurs -- no matter what side of the aisle they are on -- you will get the vote of the 30 million small business owners in the U.S., as well as that of their employees, friends, and family.
America invented the middle class. So let's reinvent it. All it takes is a willingness on both sides to forgo short-term, flashy, hollow, headline-grabbing politics and tax cuts in favor of some real policies that promote real entrepreneurship.
Will we get that? No, probably not.
But hey, it's not all bad news. At least your 401(k) is still safe.