More Mom and Pop, Less Lobbyists and Loopholes

Mom and Pop Shop closing – photo credit

Thanks to all of the kind words and support I have received from readers since I let you in on my own personal struggles in this economy. Things are looking up for me, I may have more detailed updates in the future. I am busy working on some other things at the moment so I would like to offer this article from POLITICO by Elizabeth Warren.


Stop rigging system against small business
By: Elizabeth Warren
August 5, 2012 10:56 PM EDT
I meant what I said.

I stood before a group of voters in Massachusetts last year and talked about what it would take to move forward as a nation. I laid out how we all needed to invest in our country, to build a strong foundation for our families today and make sure the next kid with the great idea has the chance to succeed.

But too often that kid can’t succeed because the system is rigged against him.

Small-business owners bust their tails every day. They’re the first ones in and the last to leave, six and often seven days a week. That’s how my Aunt Alice ran her small restaurant, where I worked as a kid. My brother and my daughter both started small businesses. And I’ve visited and talked with small-business owners across Massachusetts. From the insurance agency in Brockton to the coffee shop in Greenfield and the manufacturing plant in Lawrence — all started and run by people with good ideas and a determination to succeed.

I believe in small businesses. They’re the heart and soul of our economy. They create jobs and opportunities for the future.

Washington politicians line up 10-deep to claim they support small businesses, but they avoid talking about a harsh reality: The system is rigged against small business. These owners can’t afford armies of lobbyists in D.C., but the big corporations can. It’s those armies of lobbyists that create the loopholes and special breaks that let big corporations off the hook for paying taxes. While small businesses are left to pay the bills.

We’ve got to close those loopholes and end the special breaks — so small businesses have a level playing field and a fair chance to succeed.

When small businesses grow and flourish, we should applaud their success, and the companies should benefit from their hard work and clever ideas. But here’s my point: If a business makes it big, the reward shouldn’t be the ability to rig the system to stop the next guy.

If a business takes its profits to the Cayman Islands, ships its jobs overseas or finds a loophole to avoid paying its fair share of taxes, then that business now has a leg up over every small business and start up that can’t take advantage of those loopholes. Sometimes the big can get bigger not because they are better but because they can work the system better. That’s bad for every small business in America.

Asked recently about news that Mitt Romney had money in offshore tax havens, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, “It’s really American to avoid paying taxes, legally…. It’s a game we play. … I see nothing wrong with playing the game because we set it up to be a game.”

Graham is right about one thing — it’s a game for some. It’s a rigged game that benefits big corporations and billionaires who can deploy armies of lobbyists and lawyers to create those tax loopholes and then exploit them.

The game is rigged to work for profitable oil companies, who made $137 billion in profits last year — and still collected billions of dollars’ worth of government subsidies. The game is rigged to work for big multinational corporations, which get tax breaks to ship U.S. jobs overseas and park investments abroad. The game is rigged to work for hedge fund managers and billionaires, who pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Meanwhile, their Republican allies are making sure the rules stay rigged in their favor.

But for the tens of millions of working families and small businesses left holding the bag — it’s not a game. For the small businesses that can’t spend millions of dollars to hire lobbyists who get them special deals or hire armies of lawyers to move their money overseas or restructure their operations to take advantage of every loophole, it isn’t a game.

Washington is rigged to work against their interests with real-life consequences. They compete against the big companies, working hard to hold on to the American dream of providing a better life for their kids and grandkids. They see how the game is rigged.

We face a real choice in this country between the Republicans’ “I’ve got mine,” approach and the belief that, as a nation, we reward success and hard work — keeping the playing field level so that everyone with a good idea, a dream of making it big and plenty of determination has a chance to make it.

We must be committed to the American dream, the approach that made us the most prosperous and strongest country in the world and built a future of opportunity for our children and grandchildren.

The choice is ours.

Elizabeth Warren is running as a Democrat for the Senate in Massachusetts, against Republican Sen. Scott Brown. She served as chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP and as assistant to the president and special adviser to the treasury secretary for the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.


4 thoughts on “More Mom and Pop, Less Lobbyists and Loopholes

  1. Robert Malt says:

    I agree it is rigged. The problem with Warren is she wants government to grow even larger, which makes the rigging even worse. Why do you think there are so many lobbyists in Washington? Because Washington has a lot of power to rig things. If it had much less power, there would be less ability to rig things.

    Remember, she supports Obama, who voted for the Wall Street bailouts, and supports the Federal Reserve/Wall Street cartel….as does Romney. She represents the status quo.

  2. lokywoky says:

    At least Warren has ideas about how to “un-rig” things, unlike some. I prefer someone like her who has ideas about how to do that rather than more people who want to continue to rig the system.

    Elections are about more than just the president. There are legislators at both the federal and state level, and city councils and county boards as well. People need to pay attention at all levels.

    Besides, it is not the size of government that is the problem – it is what the government does. We actually have a mid-sized government for a rather large population. It is not the size that is the problem – never has been. It is the problem of politicians doing things to make the agencies of government dysfunctional – and then siezing upon the very dysfunction they created to inflame the public about how the “big bad government doesn’t work”.

    Remember, the government is us. We just need more people like Elizabeth Warren to get OUR government back on track to do what WE the people want and not what the corporations want – since they are NOT people.

    • Robert Malt says:

      So what plan does Warren have to stop banks receiving essentially free money (from the Fed) that they turn around and loan back to the American people at interest? Since you have said in a previous post that this is perfectly ok and “sound”, you must not be concerned about it.

  3. Robert Malt says:

    “Remember, the government is us.”

    Right, of course. So when your neighbors get together and vote to confiscate your property through government force, this is ok, because we are the government and this is democracy.

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