From MIT Entrepreneur to Tea Party Leader: The Thomas Massie Story
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he was told they owed the IRS $40,000 in taxes, plus quarterly estimated taxes, off a profit of around $120,000. “Mind you, we’re still wearing the same sneakers we showed up as freshmen with. We probably didn’t have $5,000 of operating capital sitting in the bank account,” he says. “I was trying to grow the company by bootstrapping. But what I realized is the tax code punishes bootstrappers.”
So now Massie would support what he calls “quicker, if not instant, amortization of capital equipment investments. Instead of tying up all that capital in a company that’s trying to grow, let them take that depreciation right now.” He says he’d also support changes to the federal tax structure that encourage business owners to repatriate capital to the United States.
Another Massie target is the FDA’s long approval process, particularly for medical device innovators. “We need to reform the FDA,” Massie says. “You know it’s pretty bad when the people who have to deal with the FDA say, ‘Why can’t you be more like the Patent Office?’”
It’s hard to argue with that, but Massie is a conspicuous outsider to the political system. (He certainly comes across as down-to-earth and open, especially for a politician.) Not surprisingly, he and his supporters see that as a major strength as he goes up against establishment Republicans in the primary election. “Look at the 55 delegates who wrote our Constitution,” he says. “There were farmers, there were businesspeople, there were inventors. They had some contextual knowledge outside of government. I think what that gives you is common sense, and I think that’s what we’re lacking in Washington, DC.”
In his official endorsement, Republican Congressman Ron Paul wrote that Massie “has been part of our Revolution for years. His political beliefs and personal principles led him to a strong adherence to liberty, and he has worked to show his family, neighbors, and friends the path to freedom.” Paul continued: “Thomas Massie has the principles and guts to stand up to Big Government as I have.” And just this week his son, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, endorsed Massie as well.
So the stage is set for the Republican congressional primary in Kentucky next Tuesday, after which we’ll find out whether the MIT whiz and legendary entrepreneur and inventor can raise his political game to the next level.
Just one last comment from Massie, as he winds down his campaign with a Tea Party speech tonight in Dry Ridge, KY, to be followed by rallies over the weekend: “I don’t play things I can’t win.”