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they are going to have to turn those bills into law to make it happen. Execution, people! Tax breaks, access to capital, hiring initiatives for those who may not be citizens…all of these are necessary to get our economy back on track.
Parenthetically, isn’t it weird to see the Republican candidates pointing fingers at each other for not paying enough taxes? Let’s hope they get back to their tax-hating basics when the election is over, as tax breaks are instrumental to entrepreneurial stimulus. Hey Republicans, you’re supposed to be the guys that like low taxes. Please get back on message.
You need only look at the results of the ARRA stimulus law and the related HITECH Act to see that legislative stimulus efforts can work to create jobs. By unleashing $20 billion or so in government dollars as payments to those providers who purchase electronic medical record systems (EMRs), the US government unleashed the collective hiring power of a horde of healthcare nerds clamoring to build systems to meet the new demand. A couple of years ago these companies were few and far between. Now there are more EMR vendors than Starbucks outlets. This may or may not be a good thing in the end, but it did create jobs outside of Starbucks. The problem was in the specific execution of this law. It appears that the lion’s share of the dollars will end up in the hands of large companies, not start-ups. As Lily Tomlin once said, “I always knew I wanted to be somebody; I now realize I should have been more specific.”
To be fair, the purpose of the HITECH Act was to facilitate the rapid proliferation of EMRs, not to launch a million little companies and their jobs. But it would have been nice to see these objectives overlap. I hope these mutually reinforcing types of goals will be taken into consideration as other stimulus-type initiatives are considered.
The good news is that much political discourse has begun to focus on the vision of supporting entrepreneurial endeavors and getting the American Dream back on track. Let’s hope the legislators remember that whole execution thing when the big spending, big lobbying, big companies come in to chat.
Lisa Suennen is an independent consultant, board member of AngioScore, and a former managing member of the Psilos Group, as well as the co-author of Tech Tonics: Can Passionate Entrepreneurs Heal Healthcare With Technology? and author of the blog Venture Valkyrie.
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