Copyright (c) 2008 Dan Dimit
When it comes to Barack Obama’s new economic plan, there are positive and negative aspects. Some parts the plan should help us out as internet marketers. There are other parts that might hurt us. First, let’s start with the best news…we internet marketers are a resourceful bunch and we’ll probably make sure that everything goes well for our future no matter what.
That reminds me…before I go on, I will stick my opinion where it may or may not belong. Both candidates said “The American people are innocent victims of this financial disaster”…um, are you kidding me? I can’t think of a more dangerous thing to say. No one had guns to their heads when they signed those home loans! When American citizens completely stop taking responsibility for their own actions, as the candidates encouraged, then America loses its advantage as the superpower in the world. I know they were trying to win votes, but that’s just irresponsible.
My audience—internet marketers and entrepreneurs—will take care of themselves. They don’t WANT the government to take care of them. That’s how it should be and it’s that very attitude that makes them successful and independent to begin with. If everyone thought like and entrepreneur, we, er, the country wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place.
Okay, back to economic policy. The most exciting thing for internet marketers in Obama’s new economic plan is the deployment of what politicians are calling Next-Generation Broadband. With this plan, Obama wants to bring broadband to every community in America. Overall, this should eventually bring the costs of broadband internet down across the nation. Also, the internet users that are still on dial-up will likely switch over to faster internet, meaning more chances for them to stay on your site instead of clicking away because your graphics are taking too long to load. This happens with flash sites. Overall, with this plan implemented, more of America should spend even more time online, meaning more chances for you to make a sale.
There are a couple of other parts of Obama’s economic plan that could turn into positives depending on your market niche. Part of the Obama plan is to issue an emergency energy rebate for $1,000. This rebate is said to be a type of “down payment” for Obama’s long-term plan to give middle-class families at least $1,000 per year in tax savings. I’m sure you have heard this statistic: The personal savings rate here in the United States is the lowest that it has been since the Great Depression. We’ve turned into a society of instant gratification. As much as we would love many Americans to put this extra $1,000 towards savings or debt, I believe most everyone will continue to spend this extra income on whatever they want. So that means there’s an extra $1,000 each year that families could use to make even more online purchases.
Another positive in Obama’s plan is the tax relief for small businesses and start-up companies. Obama wants to eliminate all capital gains taxes for these businesses in order to encourage the creation of more jobs. Since we work online, most of us don’t owe capital gains taxes, but some of us might. A better positive for most all internet marketers is the proposed “Making Work Pay” tax credit which promises a $500 credit to almost every worker in America, which looks like it will include self-employed small business owners.
O.K., now for the negative aspects of Obama’s plan: All through the debates you have heard Obama say that nobody making less than $250,000 per year will see a tax increase. He has even been quoted saying that these people should all see a tax cut. Well, what if you are making more than $250,000 per year? What kind of tax increases will this mean? Not all of us internet marketers are making $250,000 per year, but the ones that have turned the internet into a career rather than just a side job or hobby usually do pretty well. The sad thing is that we usually worked daunting schedules for years in order to enjoy a little of this “getting ahead”. Now this group of superachievers is being targeted as a cash machine. Obama has said on camera “It’s time for folks who make over $250K to pay their fair share”. It makes me want to throw up.
What a relief it gives us to look at history and see that no politician has ever kept all of his or her promises.
Now, there is one last part of Obama’s plan that I see as a potential negative for internet marketers. He wants to “simplify tax filings for middle class Americans.” With this plan, Obama wants to make it so that millions of Americans can get their taxes done in less than five minute. They want to have the IRS use the info it gets from employers and the banks in order to give taxpayers the option of simple pre-filled tax forms that they can simply verify, sign, and return. As internet marketers, we know that there are a lot of tax benefits that come from being self-employed. Some of us work very hard in order to find as many tax deductions that we can. And others pay CPAs big money in order to find even bigger deductions.
If middle class Americans are given the option of getting pre-filled tax forms, I believe a huge majority of them will take it out of laziness, and a large number of these Americans will miss out on tons of legal tax breaks that they could receive for their families. Obama says that this plan can save Americans up to $2 billion in tax preparer fees. But I sit here and think to myself about how much some people save when they do have professionals file their taxes. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I think that this could be construed as a perfect plan for the government to issue a lot less refund checks to American citizens. And my main point of negative for this part of Obama’s plan is less money for middle class American to spend at your site.
So, what will Obama’s economic plan do overall for your business? Well, I believe there are chances to see spikes in sales, but the truth is that we see spikes in sales all the time, anyway. It seems to me that there are really less positives than negatives with Obama’s plan. But I think that most of our sales will stay around the same during the Obama regime.
As long as there is a small percentage of entrepreneurs in America, the economy will be fine in the long run and we will figure out for ourselves how to thrive in the short run, in a good or a bad economic climate. Real business minds always rise above the zeitgeist.