Obama for president?

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

In the upcoming U.S. presidential election, it’s my opinion that Sen. Barack Obama is the candidate who would have the most positive impact on the typical security installer and integrator.

Judging by the results of our polling, and on face value, this might not seem like the logical choice, I know. But let me first assure you that this endorsement is based solely on an analysis of the major candidates’ stated positions on issues directly related to running the average security installation and integration business (for the sake of argument, a company doing less than $5 million in annual revenues and employing fewer than 25), and has nothing to do with social issues I consider irrelevant to that task.

Yes, Obama falls down when it comes to tax policy, seemingly failing to realize that his increase of the tax rate for those making more than $250,000 will severely affect owners of “S” corporations and LLCs, who pay business taxes through their personal income statements. Most small security companies are organized this way.

Further, Obama would start a 45 percent estate tax at $3.5 million, while McCain would start a 15 percent estate tax at $10 million. This is a problem for an industry teeming with family-run businesses.

And while neither candidate adequately addresses the health-care crisis, McCain’s ideas for offering a $5,000 tax credit and encouraging portable employee-owned health plans make more sense for small business than Obama’s plan for putting the onus of providing health care on the business owner, and then making up the difference through tax credits to the businesses.

Yes, McCain wants to keep the tax cuts permanent, and that would keep more money in your wallets. No doubt.

But at what long-term cost?

Unfortunately, McCain’s tax plans are just as irresponsible and untenable as the current administration’s, which have resulted in a $500 billion budget deficit.

McCain’s commitment to balance the budget by 2013 and freeze all “non-veteran, non-defense” spending is simply contradictory to his commitment to maintaining troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These lingering and pervasive military commitments are sucking budget resources away from what ought to be the war for our times: The social and scientific war for energy independence.

In the coming years, nothing will be more vital for small businesses than having a steady and affordable energy supply.

McCain’s commitment to 45 new nuclear facilities by 2030 is admirable, but time and again, he seems to think we’re basically okay. While Obama commits $150 billion to energy research over the next 10 years and incentivizes conservation, McCain offers just $20 billion and chose a running-mate who still thinks oil is the answer.

A vote for Obama is a vote of sacrifice, it’s true. It would mean supporting a candidate who is more concerned for the wage-earner than the wage-payer, certainly. But it would also mean an end to enormous expenditures on foreign military campaigns and a refocus on our country’s most-pressing issues, those that in the long-run would create a more healthy atmosphere for thriving small businesses.