I'm a very different kind of Presidential candidate. Not too many Presidential candidates have become new fathers during the campaign. My lovely wife Debra and I are expecting our new daughter Contessa Root in the next 48 hours. It's a new start on the second half of my life. And also a new Las Vegas record- 4 kids with the same wife! Becoming a father again often gets you thinking about your life. I got to thinking about that over the weekend. Just a few days ago, I appeared as a guest on Fox News Channel as a Libertarian Presidential candidate. I told the host that I am a unique Presidential candidate in that I am a son of a butcher and small businessman. The Fox host looked at me like I was nuts. I could see his mind working as we spoke- he was thinking, "a small businessman running for President? Fat chance."
But you see that's the whole problem with the political process. The media has a preconceived stereotype of who should be President. If you don't meet that stereotype- they write you off, disregard you, ignore you. Trust me- that will not be happening to this Presidential candidate. I'm lots of things- but ignored is definitely not one of them! The national news media has no idea what's about to hit them. The fun has just begun.
I believe that my life has been the perfect preparation for the Presidency. I am 46 years old with 3 young children, and Root baby number 4 due on Wednesday. It's a wonderful and exciting time in my life. Yet it's also a scary time. You see I'm just like any other American- worried about the future. Worried about bills. Worried about my big mortgage. Worried about paying for the home-school education of my 4 children. Worried about how I'm going to pay 4 college educations over the next 25 years. Worried about how I'm going to pay all the taxes- property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, business taxes, payroll taxes for my employees. The worries are endless. And of course the biggest worry of all- what if a big government "soak-the-rich" liberal tax-raiser gets into office and raises my taxes?
I don't know where I'm getting the money to pay all the bills and taxes listed above- let alone even higher taxes. It's enough to keep me from sleeping at night. Four kids adds up to a lot of joy- and also a lot of bills and a lot of worries!
But what all this means is that I'm the first candidate to run for President who has all the same worries of a typical American voter and taxpayer. I am a small businessman. I run a company with 35
employees. Every week I have a large payroll to make. I am personally responsible for the payroll taxes of 35 people. I am responsible for the health insurance for 35 people. And of course, my biggest responsibility of all is to my wife and 4 children. It's a lot of responsibility.
I am proud to be a small businessman. I guess that makes me unqualified to be President- according to the national media and the political pundits. They laugh at small businesspersons. We're meaningless to them. We can't afford to hire lobbyists. We can't afford to contribute tens of thousands in political contributions to each and every politician. We don't control corrupt union pension funds. We don't employees thousands of people to go door-to-door to get out the vote. So to politicians and the national media we are meaningless, insignificant, and invisible.
Yet politicians, pundits, and the liberal media are missing the big picture. Today the epicenter of the 21st century American economy is SMALL BUSINESS. We now create the majority of the jobs. We pay billions in taxes. We are single-handedly responsible for making the U.S. economy grow. In just the last year, small business created 1.9 million net new jobs. There are today 26.8 million small businesses fueling the American economy. Just one category, female-owned small businesses, numbers 6.5 million businesses producing $940.8 billion in revenues. There are 1.1 million Asian-owned small businesses. There are 1.2 million African American-owned small businesses. There are 1.6 million Hispanic-owned small businesses. Small business now employs 51% of this nation's private, non-farm workforce. The days of big corporations and big unions dominating the American economy are over. But the national media hasn't figured that out yet. They are living in a time warp. Because big corporations are the ones with the lobbyists- they get all the attention from the media (and the D.C. politicians).
It's a new world out there- a world dominated by small business. Small business owners are the heroes of the business world. They are the "fly boys"- they take the big risks with their own money, on their own ideas, they are the CEO's of their own little worlds. Each small business has someone like me running the show. A guy or gal with 2 or 3 (or even gasp! 4) kids, big mortgages, big bills to pay, college educations to fund, nonstop taxes to pay. We need a President who understands small business and the unique problems, bills and taxes that each small business owner faces. Name someone running for President in the 2 major parties who understands these issues and problems? Who has any connection whatsoever to small business?
Our current President was born into wealth, power, and privilege. He had all the connections from his day of birth to lead a comfortable, effortless life. Eventually he became owner/General Partner of the Texas Rangers. That's the closest he got to small business- owning a major league baseball team with a $50 million dollar payroll.
How about those who want to be President 2008? On the GOP side, Mitt Romney was born into wealth and privilege- his father was Governor of Michigan and CEO of American Motors. He is George W. Bush all over again- a man born into big business from the moment of birth. Mitt Romney has never known a worry about money or bills in his life. John McCain is the son and grandson of powerful Admirals who ran the United States Navy. He is a Prince born to Kings. Rudy Guliani was a powerful prosecutor and mayor. The closest he ever came to business was putting businessmen in jail to build his name recognition. Only a few years after leaving office, Rudy is today worth close to $100 million dollars. Just another out- of-touch man of wealth and privilege- without a clue about small business. Only Mike Huckabee has common-man roots. But he also never ran a small business in his life, never created a job, never risked his own money to start a business. As a pastor, Huckabee never worried about taxes (churches don't pay them- no property taxes, no taxes on contributions). Huckabee went straight from pastor to career politician (who loves big government and the Nanny State).
On the Democrat side we have a really interesting group- wall to wall LAWYERS. Hillary Clinton is a lawyer who has spent her entire life holding government jobs and collecting government checks. And as far as understanding the common man, she was paid a reported $8 million advance for her biography. When Bill and Hillary left the White House they were broke. Today they are worth over $50 million. Government service has been very, very good to the Clintons. So much for "sacrifice for the good of the people."
Hillary has never risked her own money on a business, never created a job, never run any business of any kind. Ditto for my Columbia College '83 classmate Barack Obama. He went straight from law school, to public service, to a $2 million dollar book advance. Never created a job, never risked a dime, never ran a business of any kind. And then there's John Edwards- the man famous for $400 haircuts. Edwards is a lawyer who earned his $50 million fortune by suing people. He too never created a business or a job- worse, he destroyed businesses and jobs by suing them.
These are the Presidential frontrunners who the national media considers "qualified." No wonder our country is in such trouble. These are the people who have run our country into the ground- career politicians, career bureaucrats, career lawyers who destroy jobs through lawsuits, spoiled brats born into wealth. Not a one of them has ever created a job in their lives. Not one of them has a clue how to start a small business, run a small business, or pay the bills and taxes that come with such a responsibility. In a country and economy now dominated by small business, isn't it time for a change?
I am so proud of this great country. Anything is possible in America. I am not just a small businessman. I'm the son of a small businessman. My grandfather was a Russian immigrant at the turn of the century. He died penniless in the "poor ward" of a Brooklyn hospital- leaving 7 children and no income for my grandmother. My dad David Root shined shoes as a young boy to survive. He went onto become a butcher. Eventually he owned his own butcher store. It wasn't much- but it was his. He was the owner and boss. He had achieved his version of the American Dream. That blue-collar butcher with his little meat store put both his children through Ivy League college. My sister and I both graduated from Columbia University.
Today David Root's son is running for President of the United States. I love America. But we need to change our definition of who is "qualified" to be President of the United States. I believe the time is past due for a small businessperson in the White House. I'm certain that the liberal national media thinks a small businessman with 35 employees is unqualified to run the government of the United States of America. But I have news for them- I have no intention of running the government. I aim only to CUT GOVERNMENT.
For that job, a small businessman is perfect. I understand how to run a business on fewer dollars, on fewer employees. I understand how to cut bureaucracy and empower employees to take personal responsibility. I understand how to pay bills when funds are short. I understand how to "make do" without automatic annual increases in funding. I understand how damaging and deadly the combination of bureaucracy and high-taxation are to the creation of jobs and businesses.
The day that I take office, I plan to therefore start the process of handing power back to the people- where it belongs. I believe that government's job is not to run the country- it's to get out of the way of the individual. I believe that government belongs to the people, not the politicians. I believe that your money is your property- not the property of government, bureaucrats, IRS tax collectors, or politicians. I intend to downsize government. I intend to limit its power, size and scope. I intend to cut spending dramatically. I intend to lower your taxes dramatically. I intend to increase the rights and freedoms of the individual. It's time for a change in the way we think about government. It's time for a big change in how we define "qualified" for the job of President. I think a small businessman is just the person for the job.
Wayne Allyn Root is a Libertarian Presidential candidate. For more about Wayne and his bold stands on important political issues, go to: www.ROOT4America.com