A colleague emailed me an article about Hillary Clinton’s new campaign pledge to entrepreneurs. In a speech yesterday, she proposed delaying student loan payments for three years to those starting up a business. If that business provides “social benefits,” she proposes that the entrepreneur could apply for debt forgiveness of up to $17,500 after five years. Social benefits is one of those vague terms used by the left that means different things to different people. In Hillary-speak it probably means that if an entpreneur provides politically correct goods to society (um…maybe faux leather organic seaweed sandals, solar-powered motorized bicycles) or produces a product that woos the social justice warriors (fair trade-certified protest signs) they’re good. If you produce a product that the majority of the population would actually use, no debt forgiveness for you!
Entrepreneurs face so many legal, regulatory and tax hurdles that to award a subset of businesses a subsidy without reforming the above mentioned challenges is not only unhelpful, it’s discriminatory. Hillary often squawks about the importance of fairness, fair share, fair shake, fair trade, fair whatever…and pay equality, gender equality, political equality, blah blah…but her proposal to reward a handful of start-ups at the expense of others smacks of elitism, favoritism and unfairness.
How about some real reforms that actually live up to the Democrats’ ideals of fairness and equality, such as taxing all income at the same flat rate, Dodd-Frank reform so that entrepreneurs have better access to credit, and lifting the tax and regulatory burdens of Obamacare off of start-ups and small businesses that want to expand?