How do business owners feel toward the government? "Discouraged,” “disgusted,” “mistrustful,” and “angry.”
More than the national debt, more than tax increases, stock market performance, American millionaire business owners consider the political environment to be their primary national concern, according to Spectrem Group wealth segment research. Nine-in-ten cite the political environment, which has grown more volatile in the heat of the 2016 presidential campaign, as their top national concern, compared with 79 percent who cited the national debt, 74 percent who cited tax increases and 59 percent who cited stock market performance.
Nearly seven-in-ten millionaire American business owners cite government gridlock—the perception that the White House and lawmakers cannot or will not work together to solve the country’s problems—as their primary national concern.
A new poll of nearly 400 small and medium businesses confirms this dissatisfaction with Washington, according to the Sage 2016 U.S. Election Survey. When given a range of words to describe how they feel toward Washington, D.C., they primarily chose “discouraged,” “disgusted,” “mistrustful,” and “angry.” Virtually no one chose more positive words, such as “trusting,” “inspired,” “pleased,” or “respectful.”
On a pragmatic front, owners of small and medium businesses want Washington to focus on the economy, energy and healthcare. They perceive that lawmakers and the White House are currently focused on what they consider to be less urgent issues, such as the environment at the expense of their top priority, the economy (They do think that healthcare is a priority of the current government, though).
These business owners are also at odds with the government over policy initiatives it feels Washington is ignoring. It wants government to address tax reform, the deficit, and social security. However, it sees government, instead, working on gun control, global warming, and raising the minimum wage, issues those owners of small and medium businesses rank at the bottom of their list.
Among the surveyed business owners, 36 percent identify as Republicans, 14 percent as Democrats, 20 percent as Independents, and 15 percent did not identify with any party. No other affiliations (Tea Party, Socialist, and Libertarian) registered more than 6 percent.
American small business drives the economy. Small business represents almost all of the country’s employers and provide nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of net new private-sector jobs, and roughly half of private sector employment, according to the Small Business Administration.
According to a survey of Affluent investors conducted in March by Spectrem Group, the highest percentage of respondents who are business owners (45 percent) believe that Donald Trump is the presidential candidate who would be most beneficial to their pocketbook. Thirteen percent said Hillary Clinton, while only 3 percent said Bernie Sanders. Less than 10 percent each said Ted Cruz or John Kasich.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.