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There is a lot that I don’t know and so much that I don’t understand. I’ve watched the debates, visited websites, and last night I watched the interviews with both presidential and vice-presidential candidates on 60 Minutes.

I come from this perspective as a second-generation small business entrepreneur. Our current business has been operating for close to 19 years, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are struggling through a very tough year in business. We’ve applied for government and local grants. We’ve taken out government loans. We’ve cut back hours, payroll, and operating expenses. We are doing what we can to survive.

Listening to the debates and interviews has me questioning all sorts of things, and then some things seem so blatantly obvious. Alarmingly obvious...

As a business, our biggest expense is payroll. Far and away. We hire many part-time college students. We pay above minimum wage and we pay for industry training and certification. We pride ourselves in offering a safe and clean environment for our staff. To incentivize engagement, success, and sales, we pay commission from revenue, adding to the payroll expense. We do it because we see it’s value.

On top of payroll expenses paid to employees, we pay payroll tax to the government. We also pay unemployment tax. This is sure a nice concept, especially during a pandemic when our business was forced closed by the government for 59 days. It sure would have been nice if our staff was allowed to receive those funds that we’ve been paying for the last 18 years, but unfortunately, many of our staff were denied unemployment benefits. (That’s certainly a topic for another post) Each employee also pays income tax.

In 2010, our industry was unfairly singled out with a 10% tax to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. Since it’s inception, that tax has wreaked havoc on our industry — killing over half of the individually owned and operated salons throughout the US. What will more and higher taxes do?

Of course, the government wants to see the minimum wage increase to $15 an hour. The government makes more from taxes this way! Taxing the employer who pays the wages AND taxing the individual making the wage, the government stands to make a LOT more by raising the minimum wage. You know who pays for that? The business.

The small businesses like ours, who already pay the tax, and whose number one expense is already payroll, are looking at nearly doubling its biggest expense.

But that’s not all.

Under the Biden tax plan, corporate taxes will also be raised. This is where I get confused. In the same interview, he explained that corporate taxes will go up 15%, and that money will be used to pay for free college. But in the same interview, he also said he’ll raise corporate taxes from 21 to 28%. So which is it? And who pays for it? The business.

Ok, so all of these tax increases come on the heels of arguably the toughest year many businesses have ever faced. Businesses like ours who were forced closed and who lost substantial revenue are now facing the burden to fund higher wages, free college, and higher taxes.

So maybe you’re not in business or you’re not an entrepreneur. How does all this affect you? Are you employed by a small business? Expect your hours to be cut. Expect your benefits to shrink, maybe even be eliminated. Do you shop at a small business? Expect prices to increase. Expect business hours to shrink.

And watch businesses all over the country begin to close. If they haven’t already during this pandemic.

And then, when they close, those high paying jobs disappear. The payroll tax disappears. The income tax disappears. The unemployment tax disappears. The corporate tax disappears. The goods, services, and community disappear.

Sometimes it’s important to pull your head out of the trees in order to get a glimpse of the whole forest.

I’m not trying to persuade you to vote one way or another. Vote with your heart. Vote for the issues most closely tied to your values.

Just please, know how your vote affects the bigger picture too.

** I am aware that this issue may not affect you. I realize there are many issues that are bigger than this one. I respect that others have different views and certainly do not expect that anyone will share my thoughts and feelings on this topic. Should you feel inclined to comment on this post — on THIS issue, please choose to stay kind, keep to THIS issue, and discuss THIS issue, not people. I will listen. I feel like we all need to do more of that.

*** Also (sadly) I feel the need to share my fear in sharing this post. Why? Because in sharing my thoughts on this very debatable topic, I fear for the vitriol that it may cause. That is not my intention. If someone can share an issue that is important to them, why can I not (or should I not) do the same? I am human too. I have feelings too. I went to college. I paid for college. I pay my taxes. I do not wish to pay more taxes. Should you live or feel differently, that is good too. But please, do not make me feel dumb/inferior/wrong for sharing my thoughts.

**** And remember, whatever the outcome of this election, I’ll still be kind to you regardless of who you vote for.

***** Lastly, consider shopping local, even when Amazon Prime and Walmart Plus exist. We know they’re worth billions. Your local, small businesses are not. Sometimes your purchase is enough to help them stay in business a little longer, providing jobs for your community a little longer. Sometimes, shopping for a lower price actually IS a higher cost in the long run.

(52) comments

Aim_High

I'm loving these "DoNt TrEaD oN mE" flags these people are waving while they are treading on others right to vote. Too stupid to see the irony... sad!! It seems like the GOP is doing more to fight people casting their ballot than fighting the coronavirus! Saaaad!

Gary Lukert

A Big Amen! Trump had cut the Post Office Money...to slow things down, also picked up many ABSENTEE-VOTING COLLECTION BOXES. That Dirt Bag Governor of Texas ruled there could only be ONE Absentee Collection Box in each County....Including big cities. Trump is a flat out Nazi...no 2 ways about it!

Gary Lukert

You are right! Trump wanted to scare people into NOT Voting...especially Blacks, Hispanics. He had said he wanted 50,000 poll watchers. Also, it is fine with Trump for his POLL WATCHERS to Show up with Open Carry guns. As a Democrat, I would be scared. THUS, millions chose the safer way....Voting Absentee by Mail and Drop Box. Then, Trump also cut the budget for the post office, and had his Postmaster General pick up lots of Absentee drop boxes. Trump is a Thug...and, by Definition, Thugs are CROOKS, LIARS, BULLIES....all of which Trump is. Trump has cheered on Blacks being murdered while being in custody, in hand cuffs. He loved George Floyd having his breathing cut off by that Evil Cop...who pressed on George Floyd's neck for about 9 minutes! Trump would have to improve 1000 per cent just to get up to Evil.

Elrod

By the way, that’s a response to your one sided ignorance. And I’ll say the same to the ignorant far right.

Gary Lukert

Since the Gazette lets you call me Ignorant, I should be allowed same with you. I'll see. You are ignorant. But, you are intentionally so. You have said it is OK for Elected Republican Senators to Blatantly Lie. That lie 4 years ago...will last for, likely, 40 years! If Biden wins, the Supreme Court will have to be expanded by

3 persons, maybe 4. for 13 total, with 4 liberal democrats not over 45. Actually,

I see Trump adding more Nazi justices...if he wins.

Gary Lukert

You neglected to include yourself, Ignorant!

Gary Lukert

So you found a new word...that Best Describes you and Republican Voters.

Gary Lukert

I think YOU HAVE THE "CORNER" on Ignorance.

jeronimo

Gary Lukert "I think YOU HAVE THE "CORNER" on Ignorance." Gary ---i believe anyone with any class, would read your daily rantings and think differently.

Elrod

I don’t disagree that they lied, but what you don’t get is all politicians lie. If the shoe was on the other foot, the same thing would be happening. Democrats would have done the same thing 4 years ago, and the same thing this year. You and all the crazy’s on the far right & left are going to ruin this country. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure it isn’t already to late.

Gary Lukert

There hasn't been FLAT-0UT LYING LIKE THIS. IT IS SOLID. I am not letting you blow this off. Hey, just to let you know, it was 1988...when there was a Supreme Court Opening...Democrats Controlled the Senate. Regan was President. Yet, the Democrats FILLED THE seat. They did "knock out" ROBERT BORK, who had Fired Archibald Cox---who was investigating Watergate. Nixon order his Attorney General to fire Cox, he resigned, refused to do it. Another person, Ruckelshaus, I think his name was (both he and the Attorney General WERE Republicans) also refused, then Nixon ordered Robert Bork to do it. And he did. To me, and Democrats, that eliminated someone from going into a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. Then, another person was nominated...and the Democrats approved him. And, there was at least one other time an appointment was filled in an election year. What the Republicans DID 4 years ago....had never been done!

This was a Change...and, they were so righteous about it...as Republicans always are. And, Supreme Court appointments, with only 9 on the court, they are appointed lifetime...this is way different! AND, YES, THOSE REPUBLICAN SENATORS DID FLAT OUT LIE! FLAT OUT. I am 80 years...and I have been around the block many times...have followed politics since I was 12 years old.

I ain't letting you off with "well, the Democrats would have done it." WELL, FACTS,

THE DEMOCRATS HAVE NEVER DONE it. Those Senators are LIARS. You know, you Republicans want kids to PRAY IN SCHOOL AND DO THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE....well, there is a Commandment against Lying, and Republicans are very STRONG on the Bible. REPUBLICANS LIED. You are worse than those Senators....as YOU SUPPORT THEM. SO, GET OUTTA HERE! YOU ARE EVIL,.

Gary Lukert

I believe the Republican Senators Lie 4 years ago is the Whopper of All Lies. I have never known anything that can top that...and I have been around a long time, 80 years! Yes, sadly, ALL POLITICIANS LIE...all the time. But, that one 4 years ago by the Republican Senators is the WHOPPER of All Time. I had Great effect on the country. Now there are at least 4 total racists on the court! Even Black Clarence Thomas hates Blacks!

Rationa1

Elrod, as long as we excuse lying by saying "all politicians lie" and the opposite party "would have done the same thing," politicians will continue to believe lying is excusable. Only by holding politicians accountable by communicating regularly with them that we observe their lies, and then voting against those we have observed lying, will we make it in their best interests to be truthful and honest. When faced with the choice between the politician we can demonstrate HAS lied and the politician we BELIEVE would lie given the same opportunity...we must select the one who has not yet lied. That is the only way to hold them accountable. That is the only way to change the culture of politics.

Gary Lukert

Just want to let everyone know, that No one responds to my posts about Republican Senators LYING 4 years ago that a Supreme Court Justice opening should wait until after the election, when it occurs in an Election year. Well, it happened, this year...only 3 months before the election, and everyone of those Republicans...that were still in the Senator VOTED TO FILL Trump's appointment. Except one. They all LIED 4 years ago. Yes, Republican Senators LIED! LIED! LIED!

Aim_High

2016: The American people should have a say!

2020: Who cares what the American people say... Lets hurry up and get a conservative judge locked in before Trump loses!

Gary Lukert

YOU SAID IT

Rationa1

Aim_High, you nailed this one. I have already let our Senators and Senatorial candidates know my disappointment in the Senate's hypocrisy on this issue. I have read several statements made by the majority party in 2016. Not once that I have seen was the condition of "the President and the Senate majority are of the same party" outlined. It was an absolute statement: we want the peoples' voice. I have used my voice in 2020 to express my outrage.

Elrod

Gary, you talk about nothing but hateful garbage. You’re no better than anybody else that you talk about. You’re constantly saying you hope Republicans all die. You just need to look in a mirror to see someone who is as hateful as anybody else. Again you are just an idiot like you call other people.

Gary Lukert

If it is hateful garbage, do you complain about Trump? He even makes fun of handicapped people...born that way, given to them by God. I just tell the Truth, and Republicans can't handle the Truth. Well, if I am an Idiot...you should Love me, because you love Lies....from Donald Trump and the Republicans! And, the Republican Senators, 4 years ago, LIED...not even holding hearings for Obama's Supreme Court Nominee---saying that an appointment in an Election year should wait to be made the person winning the election...that the people should have a voice. WELL, THIS YEAR, ALL BUT ONE REPUBLICAN voted to confirm Trump's

appointment to the Court---and the opening occurred less than 3 months BEFORE THE ELECTION. 4 years ago they were so righteous. Lindsay Graham even strongly said 4 years ago...that if an opening occurred when a Republican was president, he -- Graham should have it thrown in face. Well, it happened...and Graham was the Committee Chairman, held hearings and Trump's nominee was approved. YES, YOUR SAINTLY REPUBLICANS LIED!!!! Republican Senators are LIARS....and, Elrod...wouldn't matter whether or not Gary Lukert is an Idiot, YOUR RIGHTEOUS REPUBLICANS LIED!!!!!! However, just being Republican...LYING IS THEIR FIRST NATURE! Stuff it!

Elrod

Fake news Gary. You’re an idiot

Gary Lukert

Trump is FAKE NEWS...and a Rapist!

Smkiefer

I wanted to make my case about this article to the Democrats on this post, so I spent 15 minutes talking to the wall and got it out of my system!

Gary Lukert

Want all to remember what Trump really thinks about our Country's Service men and women---At a Cemetery, in Europe, where thousands of Americans DIED in battle---TRUMP CALLED THEM "SUCKERS AND LOSERS!" So, Republicans, that is the PERSON YOU HONOR! Actually, YOU ARE EVEN WORSE THAN TRUMP!

mkf

"Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz warned that many people’s taxes are about to go up. But it’s not because Joe Biden’s campaign plan raises taxes, as President Donald Trump has repeatedly and falsely claimed. It’s because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — the controversial tax cut bill passed by Republicans on a party-line vote in 2017 — has a provision that will start slowly raising taxes next year.

And ultimately, Stiglitz warned, many low and middle income people will actually pay more than they did before the bill passed in the first place."

jeronimo

Obama was given a Nobel prize --for doing nothing --it shows what a Nobel prize is worth-- about the same as an online degree

Aim_High

Trump was given a Purple Heart for doing nothing...

Gary Lukert

I haven't heard about Trump getting a Purple Heart, I did hear he wished he had one.

Me, too....from Viet Nam----where he didn't serve, because his rich daddy bought off a Doctor to give "brave" Donnie a LIFETIME MEDICAL DEFERMENT! Also, Trump has called American soldiers who were killed in batter in Europe, in World War II, SUCKERS AND LOSERS!

Gary Lukert

Eat Your Heart Out! What should Trump get a Nobel Prize for? Calling Americans whose lives were taken from...defending this Country...SUCKERS AND LOSERS! Trump already, 4 years ago...when he smeared John McCain's Military Service...saying he didn't like those that were Captured...that "....I LIKE THOSE THAT WEREN'T CAPTURED! And, you honor this Jerk, Donald DRAFT DODGING TRUMP? Says more about you than Trump!!!!!!!! (YOU'RE EVEN LESS THAN NOTHING!!!)

Rationa1

Gary, here is that story about Trump and the Purple Heart. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/2016/08/02/a-retired-soldier-gave-donald-trump-his-purple-heart-here-s-why/

Gary Lukert

First, you are RACIST! Obama's NOBEL PRIZE was more than earned!

Gary Lukert

Hey Jeronimo (you are disgrace to Jeronimo's Honorable Name.) What would Trump get a NOBEL PRIZE FOR? Calling our American Servicemen SUCKERS AND LOSERS for serving their country in battle for our Country? They died on foreign soil...were buried there. Trump wouldn't even to see the cemetery and participate in the the salute to them. INSTEAD, TRUMP CALLED THEM SUCKERS AND LOSERS! Keep in mind, MOST were DRAFTEES...or enlisted to keep from being drafted. They gave their lives...and YOUR President just called them SUCKERS & LOSERS!

Gary Lukert

What should Lyin' Trump get a Nobel Prize for, CALLING AMERICAN SERVICE MEN, EVEN THOSE DRAFTED--"SUCKERS & LOSERS." YES, YOUR WONDERFUL PRESIDENT DID THAT! THEY DIED SO TRUMP COULD CALL THEM SUCKERS & LOSERS...AND HAVE YOUR APPROVAL. SO MUCH FOR RESPECT FOR VETERAN'S. I AM A VETERAN...TRUMP IS A DISGRACE, BUT, THOSE SUPPORTING--ENABLING TRUMP ARE EVEN A WORSE DISGRACE.

jeronimo

Obama was given a Nobel Prize ---for doing nothing ---it just shows that the Nobel prize has a lack of value just like an online degree

Gary Lukert

This is True. TAX INCREASES WERE built into Trumps and Republicans give away to the filthy years several yeas ago.. But, weren't to start until after Trump left office! REPUBLICANS ARE THE BIGGEST LIARS THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN!

ibtirish

Gary, listen man, if minimum wage is $15 then that means $15 is the MINUM, it is the starting point, So right now most places pay 3-4 dollars over minimum wage so those workers are gaining ground if you make it $15 a hr you reset the minimum to $15 so Guys like me at $29.10 a hour will get a demotion I make 21 over the minimum so then I will only make 14 over or so , I worked 20 years in my industry to earn what I earn an the $15 minimum wage takes me down also folks making $14 a hr make $6 over the minum they will be getting a Minus $1 in they're wages as the Minimum standard will be $15 so prices will rise to accommodate that, also it will be that much harder for retirees cause they have a set income an they will not be getting the raise

Aim_High

When wages don't keep up with inflation, everyone gets a demotion.

Gary Lukert

Hateful Garbage, you are repeating not a scintilla of truth. But, you come by it honestly....you're a Republican.

Rationa1

It is unhelpful to paint all Republicans with such a broad brush, Gary. We need to hold individual Republicans who do not represent our best interests accountable. We must reject those of any party who do not advance democratic representation at the ballot box.

Elrod

Y’all need to understand Gary, all he has is hate for Trump can’t think of anything else but that no way he sees the big picture he only sees that he hates Trump you can tell it and everything he says and does. All He can think about is that one thing.

WatchmanAnon

All the more reason Google/YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter need their status changed to "public utilities." Once that happens then free speech, especially opposing speech, can be available to the masses. The purging, deplatforming, demonetizing, and depersoning (if you're a tech head, you know what I mean) that's been going on within these social media outlets is concerning to say the least. It shouldn't matter if you agree with an opinion, the opinion should be available to be heard.

The Main Stream Media has lost its way. Conkrite was a socialist but no one knew it because of his ethics to journalism. We need more ethics in journalism and less money- especially Chinese money- funneled into media conglomerates.

jeronimo

Elrod --i sure hope Trump gets re-elected because if he doesn't ---who will Gary Lukert hate? --Gary is letting it out his hate right now online and not bottling it up --I certainly enjoy Gary nonsensical rants--it makes me realize i really don't have any problems to complain about --my life could be worse!!!

Democratssuck

Very well written. I’ve been saying for a long time the people calling for a raise to minimum wage have no idea the effect it will have on inflation. Businesses will have to raise prices exponentially to cover the increases in payroll, taxes, cost of the goods they buy to produce their product, etc. And businesses don’t raise prices simply enough to cover their expenses, they raise them enough to make a profit on top. The cost of literally everything would go up.

As for Hollowed Ground, if you don’t want a liar in the Oval Office, you sure don’t want any of the democrats. They can’t be honest about anything. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that maybe you don’t know the business Amy runs. You trashed her for hiring part time employees so she didn’t have to offer certain benefits. Maybe she does that to help out college students that can’t work full time jobs. Her business is a small business that, even if they had full time employees, isn’t big enough to get a good rate on health insurance, therefore it would be so expensive they couldn’t afford it. Very few companies offer sick leave for anyone but management any more. Obviously you haven’t researched socialized medicine. I have and it’s not good. It results in waits up to a year for non-emergency visits to doctors, rural and small town hospital closings because they can’t afford to stay open, worse health care because the government restricts it, much higher premiums (Biden’s plan caps them at 8.5% of annual income. That’s $7000 more than I pay right now), plans that require the insured to pay up to 30% of their covered benefits. I could go on and on but I’m sure you won’t pay attention anyway. To call her, or anyone else, ilk for having an informed opinion truly shows what the left is really like. The most hateful group in America today!

Hollowed Ground

Written like a true business owner. Always the victim. Always the whine about taxes. Always the whine about regulations. Always the whine about paying employees more than subsistence. Well, here are a few things this business owner left out. "We’ve applied for government and local grants. We’ve taken out government loans." In other words, we want handouts. We want free money. We want interest free loans we don't have to pay back. But don't you dare give my employees any handouts! That would be socialism! "We hire many part-time college students. We pay above minimum wage." Of course you hire part time college students! That way you don't have to provide health insurance, PTO, sick leave, dental insurance, disability insurance like responsible businesses do. That way you can pay a bit more than minimum and ballyhoo it till the cows come home. "Our industry was unfairly singled out with a 10% tax to help pay for the Affordable Care Act." Again the whine about taxes. Well you weren't alone. If you and your ilk would support socialized medicine, the costs would be further spread out. Your fault. You should support socialized medicine like you support socialized business loans. "Corporate taxes will also be raised." Again, the whine about taxes. Well, thank God for that! Corporate taxes have been cut so many time only a business fool pays taxes to any degree. I bet your tax rate is lower than that of any of your customers! "And who pays for it? The business." Wrong! Your customers pay. Businesses pay nothing. "I’m not trying to persuade you to vote one way or another." Wrong! This owner want us to vote for Trump! Well, I beg to differ. I don't want a pathological liar in the Oval Office nor any of his enablers and minions in the government anymore. Never did, never will. I remember "alternative facts", i.e., lies. I remember Trump's "fine" Nazis in Charlottesville. I remember the endless chains of insults to women, artists, journalists, gold star families, judges, Generals and more, all fine professional people. I remember the concentration camps at the border, especially those for children. I see modern Nazis answering Trump's call to arms to "protect us". I see mass shooters answering Trump's call to attack the Hispanic plague. I see voter suppression at every stage of the election process; from registration to voting to transporting ballots to counting ballots; no one knows if their vote will be counted or not. I see Covid sickness and death all around, most unnecessary, while Qusay (or is it Usay?) claims they are 'next to nothing'. But most of all I only see and hear lies, lies and more lies from the genius dotard "environmentalist" president that has gutted clean air and water laws, desecrated America's beautiful landscape and allowed the plundering of sacred land. All these and more, I shall never tolerate and this business owner should never tolerate either. Talk about values!

WatchmanAnon

Go count your cats.

jeronimo

Hollowed Ground --so sad your lack of understanding and so very broad is your lack of understanding --i wish i could be there at the time, that you Learn that everything you think you know, is complete baloney ---but my misplaced hope that you will someday be able to see clearly --would be as wasteful as arguing with a liberal --probably never happen --good luck to you--i am blessed to have a clear mind

TonyHall

Extremely well written, Amy. I found it to be a needed breath of fresh air!

Gary Lukert

I do consider the Big Picture. Trump is the one who cut the post office budget...when needed most, at election time. If Trump loses, he will tie up results...and get them sent to the Supreme Court, where all of his appointees will side with him, and get at least 2 others...to vote 5-4 to Install Trump as dictator.

Then, TRUMP is coming after YOUR GUNS....as he knows when this gets done, there will be an Armed Revolution. Trumps wants America to look like the Mid-East with Bombed out buildings.

WatchmanAnon

Tea was thrown into the Boston Harbor for less taxation.

You understand Joe Biden's tax plan perfectly.

The goal is to destroy small business. Mask mandates do the same because people use the convenience of online shopping and home delivery for goods as well as box store pick up services to avoid being around people. Masks perpetuate fear so people avoid others out of fear.

Mom and Pop stores can't compete.

It's cyclical as well. When people lose their jobs then they have to buy cheap. Box stores undercut Mom and Pops because they can offer items and services cheaper. They do well when the community doesn't.

Even a plan to provide a stimulus check to those suffering the most is being held up because Nancy Pelosi is demanding to add pork and entitlements to it. She said a stimulus could come in February if Biden wins. She is okay with Americans hurting until then. She has been mute about her timeline if Trump is re-elected. It is sick and perverse.

There are stories about salon owners amd a gym owner defying the forced government shut down. People are pushing back against the tyranny. People who want their communities to revitalize are supporting those businesses. Government has to get out of the way so economies can rebound.

Gary Lukert

All of this is Bull,lies.

Kansasforever

Dude she’s talking taxes and clearly since our economy is 70% consumer driven simple math says more taxes equals slowing economy. Slowing economy means more unemployment and necessity to increase deficit to offset. A vicious cycle.

Gary Lukert

Everything you write is Garbage! You are repeating LIES

Rationa1

The Boston Tea Party was less about taxation, Watchman, than about enfranchisement. The phrase we remember isn't "No Taxation;" it is "No Taxation Without Representation." Those last two words make all the difference.

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