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Now that The Donald has been president for 20 months, what has changed for the owners of small and mid-sized businesses and what is likely to change?
The Donald made a lot of promises to the bus drivers and waitresses of Cleveland,Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. Of course, he has no intention of keeping most of these promises; even Trump is bright enough to know that the coal industry is not coming back, you cannot round up 11 million illegal immigrants, and no employer is going to pay somebody who flunked out of high school $80Ka year to do a job that a monkey could do 40 years ago or a robot could do today.
But what can really be expected from The Donald?
First, if you are an importer or exporter, and if The Donald is for real about tariffs, life is going to become more difficult since other countries are going to respond in kind to Trump’s plans to impose tariffs on imports; they will impose tariffs on products exported from the U.S., thereby making your products less competitive. Is he for real? He’s been talking about this for the past 30 years, and it’s starting to look like he is for real. And if the Chinese really want to get nasty, they’ll stop buying U.S. debt; watch mortgage rates go to 18% if that happens.
Second, if you have SBA financing, or plan on using it, it will probably become more difficult to obtain.The Republicans have never liked the SBA, and now they are in a position to do something about it.The ideology does not allow for a role for government in assisting private sector financing.Nothing has been said in public about this yet, but you will hear more about it in the coming year, especially if the Republicans hold the House and Senate.So have fun trying to borrow money to buy or start a business.
Third, if the Republicans do succeed in holding both houses of Congress this Fall, Obamacare will be repealed, so your low paid and modestly compensated employees will probably be unable to afford health insurance without the subsidy.This will mean sicker employees and more time missed from work.Don’t believe the rhetoric about replacing Obamacare; the Republicans in Congress have no intention of replacing it since they do not believe that the government has a role to play in healthcare.To them, healthcare is like owning a beach house or Mercedes; you can’t afford it, that’s your tough luck.The bright spot is that it appears that the Republicans are going to lose the House of Representatives. Hopefully the Senate too but that’s a long shot. So have fun dealing with your employees health insurance issues.
Fourth, Trump knows the wall is nonsense, but the Republicans are serious about immigration. Many people feel that this country is turning into a Latin American, Asian or African village, and they are upset about it. Some of this sentiment is motivated by simple racism, but there is also the belief, correct or incorrect, that immigrants from non Western cultures are not assimilating as did immigrants from Europe in the past. Trump has masterfully tapped into this vein of political and social resentment. From a business perspective, curtailing immigration will mean more difficulty in finding employees as well as increases in compensation; your costs will go up.
So, Happy Buyer’s Remorse.
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