Best Candidate for Small Business?

vote AmericaThis week the Republicans are making history in Cleveland followed next week by the Democrats in Philadelphia. I’ve attempted to compare the pros and cons of both candidates on issues that affect small businesses. Positions can change with each political speech, but this is what I’ve been able to accrue so far.

Healthcare

We now have data on Obamacare, and insurers are seeking premium hikes that will negatively affect small business owners and their employees. Clinton plans to defend and expand Obamacare by permitting those 55 or 50+ to voluntarily pay to join Medicare. Trump wants reform using free market principles and removing interstate barriers for the sale of health insurance.

Minimum Wage

Democrats typically favor raising it; Republicans believe that a higher minimum wage will hurt U.S. competitiveness and put even more disadvantaged Americans out of a job. Clinton will fight to raise it to $12 nationally, and it appears that Trump agrees it should be raised but may leave it to the States to decide levels.

Jobs

Both candidates support jobs to fix the country’s infrastructure. Clinton wants to offer more job training, while Trump’s focus is on lower taxes and revisiting trade agreements. Although most small businesses aren’t affected by organized labor, Republicans favor right-to-work laws while Democrats oppose them.

Taxes

Many small businesses pay taxes as individuals, and it’s increasing every year. Democrats want to offer small business tax relief, while Republicans want tax reform (e.g. allowing freelancers, sole proprietors, and unincorporated small businesses to file at lower corporate rates). Trump wants major tax cuts across the board to create incentive for economic growth. Clinton wants tax increases on high-income households, incentives for businesses to share profits with their workers, and tax cuts for caregivers and out of pocket health care costs.

Access to Capital

Getting a bank loan for a small business can be difficult, if not impossible. Both parties want the problem solved, but both have so far failed to come up with a well-developed plan that the banks can accept.

Summary

The Democrats want to cut red tape to start a business and reduce compliance cost, expand access to capital for women and minorities, and open up new markets. They want to simplify the compliance tax process, make global marketing easier, and crack down on big businesses stiffing the small businesses who work for them. They want to provide incubators, mentoring, and training to 50,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners in underserved communities.

The Republicans want to simplify and reform the tax code to allow businesses to generate enough capital to grow and thereby create jobs. They want to encourage investment in small businesses and make it easier to get financing and credit for manufacturing and expansion. They want to remove the barriers for regulation, contracting, and capital that impede growth. They want to consolidate federal training programs into State block grants for on-the-job and other training coordinated with local schools and employers.

Enjoy the convention TV coverage and, more importantly, VOTE in 2016!

Managing Rockefeller’s Money

John D. Rockefeller portrait, 1885

John D. Rockefeller in 1885

John D. Rockefeller’s name is etched on countless buildings in New York City, and even though he was born in the Big Apple, he made his fortune in Cleveland, Ohio where he founded Standard Oil. By the time he died, Rockefeller’s assets equaled 1.5% of America’s total economic output—about $340 billion dollars in today’s inflation—more than four times that of Bill Gates.

Cornelius Vanderbilt is known for his railroad empire, but before laying tracks he was in the steamship business. After the Civil War broke out, he offered his largest and fastest ship, the Vanderbilt, to the Union Navy. When President Lincoln asked him to name his price for the ship, he said it was donation. He had no interest in profiting from the war.

Both of these financial giants used private firms to manage their wealth. Since the 1800s, what are now known as “family offices” served the mega-rich with a buffet of wealth management services from tax planning to investment management, including managing everything from their fine art collections to the staff for the family’s vacation home. These days, there are about 100,000 U.S. families worth $5 to $10 million and they represent new opportunities for professional money managers.

Recently, DL MoneyMatters has seen an uptick in referrals from accountants and attorneys who work alongside family offices or lead investment advisors to handle the day-to-day bill-paying or tracking expenditures of family trusts. Our role is to act only in the best interest of the trust, to manage bill-paying carefully, pay bills and taxes on time, and maintain impeccable records. We can only imagine what it must have been like to manage the daily bill paying for the Rockefeller or Vanderbilt families.