The founders’ agenda

Inc. (USA) - - CONTENTS -

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.

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