SSN readers concerned about Obama presidency

Monday, December 1, 2008

YARMOUTH, Maine--Now that our nation’s biggest election is behind us, we here at Security Systems News wanted to find out how our readers thought their businesses would be affected by the pending change of administration. In an unofficial news poll conducted by SSN in early November, we posed three questions: How will an Obama administration affect your business? How will Obama’s capital gains tax hike affect your business practices? How will federal spending on security change during Obama’s administration?

There were 180 respondents overall at press time. The first part of the poll received input from 177 voters, and of those, 100 votes-56 percent-thought that conditions would worsen for their business under an Obama presidency. (See “Stats” on Page 2).

One voter said, “If I have to provide health insurance, or pay higher taxes, I will have to raise my prices or lay off employees. By raising my prices that is a tax increase forced on my customers by my company not the Federal Government. This way the Government is not blamed, my company is.”

Another anonymous voter said simply, “Many, many small businesses will close. The next four years will be disastrous,” while another advised that it was “time to move to France.”
About 30 percent of those who voted, 53 respondents overall, thought that their business would feel a positive effect from Obama’s presidency.

One voter definitely saw the glass as half full: “I really feel that this administration will bring out a lot of positive change for this country, which can’t help but be good for business.”

Another respondent looked forward to the end of legislative gridlock. “The country’s economy and the world economy are in difficult circumstances,” the voter said. “The U.S. consumer is in real distress. The recession means greater unemployment and further pressure on companies serving the consumer. Government action will be needed to support consumer spending. The fact that the legislative and executive branches of the Federal government are in the hands of one party will facilitate such actions. Therefore, at least in the short term, the new administration will be a positive for my business.”

A small group of those who voted, 24 in all, or 14 percent, believed that there would be no change to their business due to an Obama presidency.

“I run a smart business without going beyond my means,” one respondent claimed, “so change will not affect my business.”

There were 174 votes cast in the second part of the poll about proposed capital gains tax hikes, and of those, 40 voters, or 23 percent, planned to sell their accounts before tax increases could go into effect.

“If he implements his ‘spread the wealth’ agenda, we will sell our business and move out of the country,” one voter claimed.

Another respondent advised early retirement. “Get ready for a hard shift to the left in social engineering projects and a reduction in Homeland Security spending. Now that the election is over, he doesn’t have to hide his true agenda anymore. If you have accounts and you are thinking of retiring, sell now!”

The largest number of votes in the second part of the poll, 40 percent, or 70 votes, was cast in favor of holding steady to see what happened. One respondent had this to say: “I don’t think there will be any change, but we’ll see,” while another voter said, “I would say there is no way of knowing at this time. Ask me six- to 12 months from now.”

There were 173 votes cast in the third part of the poll on federal spending on security, and out of those, 53 votes, or 31 percent, were of the opinion that spending would increase.

“While overall spending may decrease,” one respondent said, “spending in the types of new technologies which our business is pushing will increase as opposed to old traditional security solutions.”

Thirty-nine percent, or 68 votes, indicated an impending decrease in spending on security, while 30 percent, or 52 votes showed a belief that there would be no change in federal spending on the security industry.