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There was a lot of discussion in last night's presidential debate about how lower taxes will help to generate jobs. I keep hearing this mantra over and over again and it drives me crazy because I don't think it is based in any type of reality.
I spend a lot of time thinking about leaving my current job to start a company, therefore becoming a job creator. At this point in my life this is the one thing I am positive that I want to do. Why haven't I made the jump? Is it the unfair tax burden placed on entrepreneurs? Absolutely not. I already do some contract work and I'm actually used to being taxed at the super-high rate of someone that is self-employed. In addition, the tax code is a known quantity. I can work with an accountant to minimize my tax burden within those rules. Would it be nice if taxes were lower? Sure, but it would also be nice if I were in Guided By Voices.
What keeps me from starting my business is healthcare. I need healthcare. I have a family and want them to have the best coverage possible. The same coverage I get from my employer today would probably cost well over $25,000 per year if I were able to buy it on the open market. I'm not even sure if I could get insurance on the open market because it seems like even the smallest medical condition can be considered a pre-existing condition. The older I get the harder it is to take the risk of not having healthcare.
I believe universal healthcare would do more to create jobs than tax reductions. Universal healthcare would empower more people to start their own businesses without the concern of being ruined by a medical emergency (like spending $23,800 for a bug bite).
Can the government afford universal healthcare? Probably not. Would it mean cutting a lot of existing government programs to make it happen? Probably. The government is here to protect us from external threats, that's why we have a military. I think universal healthcare is an extension of that charge as it protects us from internal threats. How is a mutated gene, or a virus, any less dangerous than a terrorist?
Lowering taxes will only result in increased profit taking if businesses don't feel good about the current national economy. At least from the entrepreneur's perspective, universal healthcare could create a secure personal economy that could lead to a massive increase in new businesses and future hiring.