Monday, January 26, 2009

Trials, Taxes and Blue Hands

We represent a great French Nursery Firm by the name of Delbard and we've entered some of their roses in the AARS Trials. This means the variety we're entering will be tested for two years in about 30 gardens all over the country. If it wins - jackpot! and like the executives of AIG we're going to Bermuda for our annual meetings. But even if it doesn't we'll learn a lot and start to get Delbard Roses out there.

These roses have to be shipped to the trial gardens bare root, meaning with no soil or anything. And they need to be shipped when the gardens are ready to plant them. That's why I found myself in the middle of a cold damp day, packing wet roses on a Monday afternoon. I'd forgotten how miserable packing bare root roses is in the winter.

The barn was 41 degrees on the kind of cloudy day when you can smell the rain coming. Worse, you can also feel it coming right down into your bones as the cold dampness works its way through layers of your clothes, under you skin then right down through your muscles. Layer that backdrop on top of working in an unheated barn, on a concrete floor, with wet thorny bare root roses and worst of all you can't wear gloves because then you can't tag and tie them. That's why my hands turned the color of Smurf poop. And that's why I really don't mind not offering bare root roses to our customers anymore. In fact I love our potted roses even more now!

But I still rather have blue hands and bare root roses (sounds like the beginning of a country song, doesn't it?) than have to deal with taxes - particularly employee payroll taxes. This maze like thicket of rules, regulations, forms and calculations is enough to give anyone fits. I always say small businesses manage to stick around despite the Federal Government, and if any of you have ever had to deal with this stuff you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Then there' s the amount we pay. I voted for Obama and my first message to him and all those folks up on the Hill is, "if you want to spur employment, cut my employee taxes in half and I can afford to hire that extra person I really need." The US Census Bureau estimates there are some 30 million businesses in this country with less than 10 employees. And I guarantee you each one desperately needs another pair of hands but can't afford it. So cut our payroll taxes so we can afford to hire someone else and bingo - 30 million new jobs!

And I won't have to have blue hands anymore.

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