The founders’ agenda
IKNOW, I KNOW: YOU CAN’T GET THROUGH the Oscars or the Super Bowl or even your Facebook feed without having to watch people take a stand politically. If you hoped to escape that here—well, I hate to disappoint. I’m about to tell you where Inc. stands. This has nothing to do with the Inc. staff’s personal persuasions. Like our readers, we cover the spectrum. What we all share, however, is a belief in our mission to help entrepreneurs like you succeed no matter what stage of growth you’re in. Any policy out of Washington that furthers that mission can count on Inc.’ s support.
One such policy, in our opinion, would be comprehensive business tax reform. Americans spend 6.1 billion hours a year preparing tax returns, according to the Taxpayer Advocate Service. For entrepreneurs, whose most precious resource is time, this is especially egregious. And since many of Inc.’ s readers are taxed through LLCs or S corporations, at marginal rates as high as 39.6 percent, taxes loom far larger than they should in business decisions.
Congress has a plan that addresses both problems, one that vastly simplifies the business tax code and lowers the rate on unincorporated businesses to 25 percent. The plan—to replace today’s business income tax with a radically new regime called a destination-based cash flow tax—faces a hard legislative slog, to be sure. But to us at Inc., it seems like a good start.
We’re also largely in favor of regulatory relief. Every owner has struggled with soul-sapping rules penned by bureaucrats long dead to achieve ends long forgotten, or that were cynically designed by established businesses to stifle challengers. For one example, see David Whitford’s feature, “The Repair Men” ( page 76), about $21 million iFixit, which is fighting $216 billion Apple for “right to repair” laws in eight states. Regulatory rollback is all the rage in Washington now, and—with the caveat that not every regulation is stacked against small business— we’re generally supportive. Note to deregulators: For a survey of achievable strategies that truly help entrepreneurs, I recommend Leigh Buchanan’s “Taming the Beast,” from the July/August 2016 issue.
Finally, we support extending access to entrepreneurship to all who have the guts to give it an honest go, regardless of gender, race, religion, or where they or their parents were born. Research has repeatedly demonstrated a strong link between immigration and the entrepreneurial urge. For anecdotal evidence, consider this month’s cover story, “A Day in the Life” (page 20): Of the eight companies featured, five were founded or co-founded by a child of immigrants. The contention that immigrants harm the economy is not remotely borne out in Inc.’ s nearly 40 years of experience. Until that changes, policies that discourage the world’s best minds from coming here will find no support in these pages.