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Sir, I’d like to say that you are most definitely NOT America’s problem. You are the American Dream personified. Using your example, I’d like to try explaining where the problem lies (as I see it). Imagine your company in 30 to 50 years. It has grown, both in size and breadth of products. Perhaps even an industry leader. It is no longer a million dollar business, but a hundred-million dollar business. Your company is an economic force unto itself. You’ve long since handed control over to your successor and he has done the same to his successor. Your company now actively searches for innovative startups (like you once were) and either buys out their patents or ties them up in lawsuits and legal fees until they declare bankruptcy — just to stifle competition before they have a chance to compete. Your company is now part of a PAC or SuperPAC and donates millions in campaign funds to a political candidate. In return you want him/her to lobby for a small change to the tax code. Perhaps a credit or an exemption, ostensibly for the good of all businesses, but one which benefits your company greatly. A few elections and a few favors later, your business is getting more than what it paid in taxes every year. You’re draining money out of the nation’s tax revenue, effectively taking other people’s tax money as your own profit. Every other company of the same size and influence is doing the same: making my tax dollar not count, because instead of paying for highway repair, emergency services or paying off the national debt, my tax dollar became your new CEO’s yearly bonus. Imagine for a minute how much less the tax burden would have been on your small business and on me, as a private citizen, if companies like GE paid something…anything, really. A pittance, say 5%, rather than the negative effective tax rate they pay once all the exemptions and credits are tallied. That is America’s problem.

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