stainless and aluminum inventory at General Steel, Inc. Macon GA

In 2008 General Steel, Inc, the company I run, had a good year. We generated record sales, profits and taxes.

In 2009 volume fell sharply as a result of the credit collapse,  the collapse of the prices of the commodities we sell, and the devastation of the construction industry and other metal consuming markets. We lost money and paid no taxes. In fact the losses will carry forward and ‘shelter’ the profits  we are now making ( on much lower volume ).   I much prefer the year we were paying taxes.

When business was good we never complained about the taxes. We understood it as a cost of business and planned accordingly.  I rarely heard about what our fair share was,  but given the amount of taxes we paid, I would take exception with those who contend that we did not pay more than our share.

I started to complain in 2009 when  the new regime started talking about cap and trade and the card check bill.  We started to expect the worst.  We were fighting to control expenses in a bad market, but this set the tone of the new government.

Cap and Trade and the Card Check Bill never came to fruition but The Affordable Health Care Bill and the Dodd Frank financial bill did.  Besides the substantial tax increases  embedded in the bill, we are saddled with higher costs and fees because of these bills.  Unlike taxes which I have to pay only when I earn a profit, these regulatory costs and fees are incurred regardless.

For those who think anyone with a six figure income should pay more taxes in the name of social justice or “structural unfairness”  (a phrase I saw on Facebook from a ‘social activist’),  I am with you.  I would love to pay more taxes.  I would like to hire more people.

For me to pay more taxes I need to make more profit, and this is hard to do when every week  I am targeted with new laws and regulations, and when the constant words from the bully pulpit is that I am never paying enough.  The biggest obstacle is not that rates may be higher, but that I never know what the rates will be or how long they will remain stable before they go up again.  Before the taxes from the Affordable Health Care Act  (Orwellian name of the year) have taken effect, Warren Buffet is trotted out to justify even more taxes.  Now $200,000 in income will merit a tax on millionaires.

Earth to K Street: I can’t pay taxes on income I don’t make.

The super wealthy want to pay more taxes, and the lowest income pay no taxes.  The ‘working wealthy’, those who start and run the small companies like the ones  Warren Buffet buys,  were OK making money and paying the vast majority of taxes and creating the vast majority of new jobs.

I bet most of them would like to return to those days.