On Oct. 1, I had the opportunity to have a private discussion concerning economic policy with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during his visit to Indianapolis.
We discussed that, for the past 50 years, entrepreneurs have been the economic engine that developed new technology, built new businesses and created more than 74 percent of all new jobs in America.
Today, if we are to overcome our current low-growth economy, entrepreneurial businesses must be re-energized and become the driving force that they were in the past.
We discussed how the Fed’s low-interest-rate policy and quantitative easing would do little, if anything, to encourage entrepreneurs to hire more employees and expand their businesses because the Dodd/Frank regulations make it very difficult for banks to lend to entrepreneurs and because the president of the United States scared entrepreneurs away from investing and from taking new risks when he told the entrepreneurs of America: “You didn’t build that. You didn’t build your business. Someone else did it for you!”
Next, the president told America that these entrepreneurs are “rich and should pay more taxes and that successful people were the lucky ones who should share their wealth.”
The president’s attitude and public comments devastated the desire for entrepreneurs, such as my wife and me, to toil for 70 hours a week, and to risk investing all of our resources into a business that might or might not succeed.
I explained to Mr. Bernanke that for 15 years, my wife and I did not have a full week of vacation, and most of our employees were paid more than she and I were paid.
All of our company’s profits went back into developing new technology, buying new equipment, the hiring and training of new employees, etc. For 15 years we sacrificed our lives for the benefit of others.
Then, I stated to Mr. Bernanke: “This is why the Fed’s easy-money and quantitative easing policies will not overcome the president’s devastating comments toward small business owners — and therefore, entrepreneurs have no incentive to restart America’s economic engine.”
He understood and agreed with my observations and comments.
Mr. President, we did build our business! And neither we nor other entrepreneurs are going to sacrifice the rest of our lives, or risk more of our resources, so that you can increase our taxes, and redistribute our hard-earned money for the benefit of your socialist programs.
Mr. President, you are killing the entrepreneurial spirit that built this wonderful economy that we call the United States of America.
Evan Werling is a “semi-retired” business leader in South Central Indiana, a member of the executive committee of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the former chairman of the United States and Indiana district export councils.