If I was President for the Day…

Last night I had to chuckle when I saw President Obama being interviewed about how he took the “fat cat” bankers to the White House woodshed yesterday. I wonder if the White House woodshed is right next to the first lady’s vegetable garden that is polluted with toxic sludge?


During his interview he said he told the fat cat bankers in no uncertain terms that they needed to begin loaning money to credit worthy small businesses.


I know the first pooch, Bo Obama is a dog, but maybe someone should give the Obamas a cat. Then the president’s bright little girls could explain to him after they played with the cat a while how you can’t herd cats, especially fat ones.


Watching the late news last night somehow caused me to have a dream… Not about herding fat cats which even I know you can’t do, but about being president for the day.


My dream started off with me determining what I could get done in a day. I decided JOBS was going to be all I would focus on. Instead of having a job summit like President O did last week where he invited to organized labor leaders and big business interests in to the white house and didn’t invite anyone from the National Federation of Independent Business nor the National Chamber of Commerce, I would ask each congressman to randomly pick by lottery 2 small business owners in their district that employ 50 or fewer employees to send to my jobs summit.


Since there are 435 congressional districts that would mean I would have 870 small business owners to listen to at my JOBS summit.


I would not allow anyone to come from the numerous phantom congressional districts that have received $6.4 Billion of President O’s stimulus money so far. I would ask that each delegate come prepared with a list of two ways we can create more jobs in America. I would have 200 hundred of my closest advisors tally the results while we are eating lunch. After lunch I would have my jobs delegates vote on the top five steps we need to create jobs in America. I can almost guarantee you it will look like this:


  1. Provide $50,000 of stimulus money to any small business for each new job it creates and keeps for a year. That is about a years worth of salary and benefits for an average manufacturing employee. That will save $270,000 that the government is spending per job now with the stimulus plan. I promise the nation’s small business owners will spend their $50,000 per job more wisely than the government is spending its $270,000 per job.


  1. Keep the SBA loan guarantee enhancements on the books for two more years that were provided for in the original stimulus plan. That would give banks a 90% loan guarantee and borrowers no high loan guarantee fees. That has been a program that has worked. Actually, that has been about the only source of loans for small businesses.


  1. Instead of taking the big bank bankers to the woodshed and flogging them for not making small business loans, offer community banks (those banks with less than $1 billion in assets) tax incentives for making business loans to small businesses. Community bankers think in terms of “net interest margin” which is the spread between the cost of funds for a loan and the borrower’s rate of interest. Bankers think a big net interest margin is 3%. With tax incentives raise the net interest margin to 5%. Community bankers won’t become fat cats but they will have big grins on their faces. While you can’t herd cats, you can bribe them with a little piece of cheese. Give small businesses fair access to capital and they will take you out of this recession and create jobs doing it.


  1. Commit $500 billion to helping small businesses that manufacture and sell consumer goods to U.S. customers reach overseas markets, especially China and India. Hasn’t Mr. Obama talked to his people at the U.S. Census Bureau? Baby boomers are growing old and won’t be buying consumer products like they have in the past. There are far fewer generation X and Y folks out there to take their places, so it makes since to sell overseas. We will achieve an added bonus of reducing the staggering trade deficit.


  1. Immediately stop spending all stimulus money that isn’t in the above four parts of the plan. Take whatever is left and provide it to job training programs at accredited community colleges. A trained worker is a productive efficient worker. Many workers are going to have to be retrained because their jobs are simply disappearing. Completely. Give these people direct help by training them to do something that is needed now.


Well my 24 hours as president would be about up when I was done implementing ideas from the job summit. I would spend the last 15 minutes of my time in office listing all the surplus government property on Craigslist to raise some money to help pay for my programs. I would leave office with a real legacy.


Sam Thacker is a partner in Austin Texas based Business Finance Solutions.

You may contact Sam directly at: sam@lesliethacker.com

or follow him on Twitter: SMBfinance


EXTRA: If you have questions for Sam regarding business financing, the credit market, and similar issues, please send an e-mail. Your questions will be recorded and Sam will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.