What’s more, killing the state tax deduction means killing not only income tax deductions but similar deductions for property taxes paid to the state. That will deliver a big wallop in Texas, the second-biggest state, where there’s no income tax but very high property taxes. Texans looking at killing the state tax deduction, at least in the reform that’s currently envisioned, are likely to shout, “Ouch, y’all!” and they may well turn against it.
And finally, tax reform ultimately depends on the probability of Republicans actually passing anything meaningful. And, well, gee, we don’t need to dwell on this. (Did somebody say, “Repeal Obamacare”?)
I suspect that it’s far more likely that the Trump Administration will use the threat of killing the state tax deduction to negotiate something else. But in the end, the state tax deduction will stand.
There’s lots to worry about – North Korea, the state of Kathy Griffin’s mind – but killing the state tax deduction shouldn’t be one of them.
• • •
An American Express-sponsored survey that came out last week once again highlights something I’ve noticed for years: entrepreneurs are the happiest people around.
The annual survey said 78 percent of California small-business owners reported that their happiness is due somewhat or entirely to being an entrepreneur.
That doesn’t surprise me. Entrepreneurs, when you meet them, seem to smile the most and laugh the first. They appear content and utterly pleased, for the most part.
That doesn’t mean they’re not stressed; many work ungodly hours and feel responsible for everything – from the overarching strategic vision right down to the clogged sink in the restroom. But there’s something deeply satisfying about working the way you want and when you prefer. Life can be miserable when you are subject to a controlling boss, like the soul-deadening way the character Bill Lumbergh in the movie “Office Space” casually informed his charges on Friday afternoon to report to work at 9 o’clock Saturday morning. (“Oh, I almost forgot. I’m gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.”)
Now lots of surveys ask workers about job satisfaction, which is different from happiness, but even so, it’s difficult coming up with many professions that can match that 78 percent level. One survey a few years ago, for example, said only 13 percent of engineers reported being “completely content” in their jobs. (Although that may be an unfair selection; engineers, it seems to me, can be a cranky lot.)
By the way, the survey, called the American Express Open Small Business Monitor, implied that confidence in the regional economy appears to be on the upswing. At least, it reported that 65 percent of California small business owners had a positive view of their business prospects over the next six months, up from last year’s 58 percent.
One more thing: Nearly one-third (32 percent) of California small business owners say they come up with their best ideas during their down time.
Again, that’s not a surprise. But it is a good reminder that relaxing weekends and restorative summer vacations can be an immense benefit to your work. Not to mention your family.
Charles Crumpley is editor and publisher of the Business Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com.