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Obama is wrong: Government a hindrance to small business

President Barack Obama said over the weekend at a Virginia campaign speech that private businesses are successful largely because of the government's support. This statement is absolutely ridiculous. It's pretty clear that President Obama has never owned a business. I am a small business owner, and I took a major risk starting my company three years ago. I didn't rely on any bank loans, as I financed the start-up costs on my own. It required a tremendous amount of personal sacrifice, hard work and sleepless nights to get my business off the ground.

At no point did I ever rely on the government's assistance to make my business successful. In fact, it's been the total opposite! The government has imposed regulations (taxes) on my company to make it harder for me to expand. Last year, I paid over $50,000 in taxes for my company. That's $50,000 in taxes for one year! In addition to my normal tax rate, I also pay a "self-employment" tax. When President Obama says that I'm not paying my fair share I want to puke — especially considering almost half our country doesn't pay any income tax at all (collecting government checks paid for by my tax dollars).

Am I the only crazy person in America who feels like he pays his fair share in taxes? I would encourage everyone who has a job to look at their annual tax deductions. Most people never even calculate what their total income tax liability is every year. That number will probably blow your mind. When I was an employee versus an employer, I really didn't care too much about taxes. My taxes were automatically deducted from my paycheck every month, and I used to look forward to the year-end government tax refund as some type of special bonus (when it was actually my money to begin with).

Now that I am self-employed, I don't have the luxury of having a cushy salary and benefit package. I pay for my family's health insurance out of pocket ($15,000 per year) and that number is going to increase significantly with the implementation of President Obama's Affordable Care Act also known as "Obamacare."

Mr. President, I pay enough in taxes. Instead of taxing people who actually have jobs, why don't we look at eliminating some of our government's special programs as an alternative way to pay down our national debt? If normal American citizens can cut their budgets, why can't our government? With over $16 trillion in national debt, we are only a few years away from a complete financial collapse of our country. However, our government continues the frivolous spending of our tax dollars. It's sickening to me. President Obama's only solution is to increase our taxes, but that will only make it more challenging for business owners to create jobs. I'm really starting to question the motives of our country's leadership as I honestly feel like America's small business owners are under siege by their own government.

Jason Haslbeck, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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