Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Venture Capitalist Speaks

By Alan Caruba

A friend of mine, Ziad K. Abdelnour, heads a family business, Blackhawk Partners, Inc.,albeit one that deals in millions of dollars in two areas, physical commodities such as oil, and in venture capital, funding entrepreneurial enterprises that show promise of growth. When not involved in his business, Ziad also chairs the United States Committee for a Free Lebanon.

He recently sent me a commentary, “No one asked the entrepreneurs”, concerning his thoughts on the so-called stimulus package. Here are some excerpts:

“We have heard endlessly from pundits on both sides of the aisle,” wrote Abdelnour, “from folks who call themselves economists and from politicians of every stripe about the efficacy of this package. But what do business leaders think? What do people in the capital business think? And most important, what do the markets think?”

Good questions, considering that the markets continue to tank as investors and other interested parties who must make critical money-related decisions “vote” against the Obama/Pelosi/Reid/Frank solution.

“As a person who deals with capital every day, who works with and funds entrepreneurs for a living, and who knows the nuts and bolts of job and ‘wealth creation’, I believe this program is nothing less than a rip-off of U.S. taxpayers and will not work. Indeed, it looks like 25 years of government expansion jammed into one bill and sold as ‘stimulus.’”

It’s worth noting at this point that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, despite prolonging the Great Depression for ten years, ensured that the Democrat Party would dominate Congress for forty years thereafter!

Abdelnour continues: “As a capitalist and entrepreneur, I would have preferred to see a concentration of tax incentives aimed at the purchase of housing and autos, and tax cuts for small business and capital, rather than the current plan, which emphasizes bolstering federal and state welfare programs.”

The only successful way “to pull a country out of an economic recession is to put the money back into the hands of the people, not by the government taking $1 trillion out of the national economy and distributing it as it sees fit. It is contradictory to almost every historical precedent for economic growth.”

“[If] you want to see small businesses grow, lower taxes and incentivize those business to hire. If you want to see capital flow into the markets, lower capital gains taxes—or even suspend them. And suspend them for a decade! That is the opinion of nearly every businessman and entrepreneur I know.”

The stimulus bill and TARP requires the U.S. to go on a borrowing binge, up to two trillion dollars at this point. Abdelnour points out what all of us instinctively know. “There is no realistic way for the U.S. to ever pay off this debt.”

Abdelnour is too much of a gentleman to say this, but I will. The Obama administration, in office barely two months, has ruined the future for your children and grandchildren.

It was World War II, the mobilization and the investments involved, that put America on track again and, after it was over, it was America, spared the devastation of the war as was the case of Europe and Japan, that was prepared for the greatest growth of business and industry in its history.

The White House and Congress have ignored the vintage advice, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!”

1 comment:

joe blowe said...

I would go further than your friend. I run an engineering design company with 23 people - 5 of those we hired in Texas.
"Confidence" is the keyword here. THe businesspeople want to know that once this all subsides, they are not going to be taxed and have their wealth 'redistributed'. It is a commitment for the future that is required. A covenant !