Trump Shakeout: Immigration, Lending

Well, we’ve had five months of the Donald, and, aside from angst among the establishment, I think things are going pretty well. The Trump Bump in growth is happening.

We don’t have a healthcare plan or  tax cuts yet, but we know that they’re coming.

Here’s what we see on various topics:

  1. Immigration. No real imapact so far, unless you hire H1B visa holders, which are tightening. The deportations have been among the criminal element, which wasn’t working for you anyway. We have an associate who helps companies process and find eligible workers, and he’s busier than ever.
  2. Loans: much better. The SBA has loosened up, and raised their maximums, to $3.8 million, and reportedly lend for acquisitions. I’m sure Linda McMahon has had a lot of influence, even though it hasn’t been reported. Even the banks are reportedly loosening up, because of the demise of Dodd-Frank and it’s capital requirements.
  3. Regulations: better still, although in our segment of smaller businesses, we don’t see much impact.
  4. There are looming problems with labor supply….a lot of unfilled jobs out there. Encourage your local community college to start developing vo-ed  programs! Trump sees this, hence the appearance in Wakesha WI yesterday.

So, it’s mostly good, would be better if Congress got it’s act together.

Posted in donald trump, economic policy, Finance, Hiring, ICE, immigration, lending, sba | 2 Comments

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A New Approach on Terrorism

Well, this topic is a little off what we normally blog about, but it’s been bugging me for a few months.

I also have to confess that being a former intelligence officer has a lot to do with my thinking, as does the recent terrorist incident in London.

Let’s try a different approach: take the most likely suspects, interrogate them through the FBI, and local police and see what falls out. Let’s talk to the folks who are supposedly ‘on the radar’. And, let’s try a pilot program in about five US cities….New York, Boston, Seattle Detroit, and Los Angeles, anywhere that has a high concentration of possible Muslim terrorists. We find these folks based on telephone chatter, social media, travel to the Middle East, anything that seems relevant.

I’m sure that the FBI has profiled their most likely suspects, so let’s have the local FBI, assisted by the police, haul the usual suspects in for a chat. I our guys are doing their jobs, we have known associates, conversation, travel, etc.

Let’s not be PC about it either: respectful of civil rights, but not bending over backwards, as we seem to do now.

Yeah, it might be too much for the folks to do, but let’s give it time. Besides, word will get around we’re doing it and we might get lucky.


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Back in the Saddle

I’ve been out of commission for about a month, because of injuries sustained in a fall, but I’m able to sit at my desk, and do posts. There are a bunch of things to comment on, which I’ll try to get to.

  1. The mainstream media really is nuts. You would think that the owners would realize that they’re missing half of the market and adopt a more fair and balanced approach.
  2. Trump does much better abroad, where he doesn’t trip over his message with tweets and other bad acts; maybe there’s a message in there for his domestic behavior.
  3. We in the business community would much rather have tax cuts now and tax reform later. Show us the money.
  4. Obamacare is a mess, and we think the Trump folks would do better by just letting it fail, and have the replacement plan ready to go. We don’t care what they call it. Trumpcare is odd, but ok.
  5. Let the legislative process work on Trumpcare. Senate and House don’t like to have their procedures messed with. It’ll get modified in the Senate and done.
  6. The investigation into Susan Rice’s intelligence screw-ups are much more interesting than the Russia probe. How can the special prosecutor be refocused?
  7. LTGEN Flynn should just appear before the appropriate committee, answer their questions and take his medicine. That’s what flag officers are supposed to do. He looks evasive taking the fifth.
  8. Find out who the hell the leaker in the White House is, expose him or her, prosecute same and be done with it. Why is this so hard?
  9. It’s apparent that all the senior people in the agencies need to be reinterviewed for their jobs about four levels down by real NCIS investigators, and anybody found wanting put on suspension pending further investigation. Looks like Sessions has done it in the AG’s office and Mattis and Tillerson need to do it at Defense and State.
  10. Lastly, have Trump do his own pressers, about every two weeks. He likes it, and nobody sells programs like the Donald.

So, that’s it for now. I’m sure there will be more oddities.

Posted in branding, ceo, emotional intelligence, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, time organization | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Real American HealthCare Act

Well, how many of us hasn’t botched the first version of a product or service rollout. We think that’s what the House did Friday.

So, it’s back to the salt mines to craft a new one. A standalone bill free of phases and the mickey mouse spending strictures that the old bill had.

So, here are the things that we in the business community think we would like to see if a bill. They aren’t in any order of importance.

  1. No mandatory purchase of healthcare insurance by businesses or individuals, period, and no purchasing of insurance just ahead of a major medical event. Kids from 21-35 think they’re bulletproof, and wouldn’t generally buy.
  2. Health savings accounts with no cap on them, fully tax deductible. If a wealthy hedge fund manager in New York wants to buy a plan and covers everything with zero deductible for his family. then he can do that. On the other hand, an average mix of insurance products for a family of four in Illinois might look a lot different. Funds deposited in one year can roll over to another year.
  3. The key is that everyone wanting insurance is going to have a different mix of services on their plan, which is easy to figure out through a portal in each state.
  4. If an insured doesn’t like his rates in Rhode Island, he can access a exchange in Illinois. All the exchanges have multiple carriers, but like auto insurance, in some states there are only a few carriers who want to write insurance.
  5. Have the states run the exchanges through their insurance departments. If they need help covering expenses, the Feds can reinsure, once they’re sure there isn’t any fraud, waste and abuse. I’ve seen some state portals, and they’re pretty slick.
  6. Allow portability. If a business or an individual moves across state lines, the insurance stays the same for the business and for the individual. Health insurance is rerated, just as it is on your car or corporate fleet, based on experience.
  7. Tort reform, in that most damages are capped at $250,000 for medical and pain and suffering. On the other hand, cases like a friend of mine who was paralyzed after being hit by a teenage driver, can’t be capped, because she probably needs $250,000 of care a year. So a special panel to adjudicate cases like this needs to be established if not already done through insurance companies.
  8. A cap on personal expenditures on healthcare insurance of 7% of net income, tax deductible, on insurance expenses. Beyond that, the state or the feds backstop the cost, so you can cover everyone who wants coverage.

So, Donald, after you do TAX CUTS get the grimblers in HHS going on this, working with Brother Ryan in the House and Brother McConnell in the Senate. And even the Freedom Caucus and anyone else who wants in, such as NFIB. Whatever happened to the Price Plan? Work the research and comment process and let’s have it done before Nov. 2018, otherwise you’re all dead figuratively.

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Travis, call Alan

There was an article in the LA Times about how messed up Uber is (not uncommon for a founder-led company), and how Travis Kalanick, the founder is ‘looking for help’, which almost sounded like a psych break was imminent.

I got a thought:

Travis should hire Alan Mullaly to turn around Uber, solve the leadership problems and generally get Uber to straighten up and fly right.

To wit:  Uber’s customer service line even rings busy with no call queue. Their main line is also perpetually busy, again with no call queue and no personalized answering. These are not great customer-facing moves, Travis. (We are presumptous to think WE might be able to help too, but we’re old fashioned and like to talk to someone first).

As you all may recall, Alan led a stellar turnaround of Ford Motor in the middle of the financial crisis.

Now, Alan can be reached through Google (he’s on their board), which happens to be close by in the San Francisco area.

So, Travis, what do you think?

Posted in alan mullaly, allan mulally, ceo, company culture, customer service, emotional intelligence, Entrepreneurship, travis kalanick, uber | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Our .02 on the Healthcare Muddle

Well, it’s hard to tell what’s going on, because the MSM won’t give out the straight story and the bill won’t come up on my IPhone 7 (must be a communist plot).

Our concern is that businesses be able to offer workers who want it health care insurance that is no more than 7% of their take home pay, because that’s where the deduction is capped. Spending over 7% of your cash flow on healthcare is nuts, so there.

Probably 20% of our clients don’t carry company paid health insurance, partly because of Obamacare (we advised them to ignore the law, and no one got caught), and partly because many of them get coverage through spouses.

We think that anyone, even those with preexisting conditions (one of our clients has three cancer survivors on his payroll for example) should be able to get insurance. It’s about humanity, folks.

We think folks should be able to carry health insurance with them if they change jobs, because a lot of people stay in jobs they don’t like because they don’t want to lose health care insurance. The President should just tell the Dimms to sit down and shut up, so the Senate can get to 60 votes to add this provision. Little Chuckie, as the leader of the Dimms should show some leadership for a change.

Another provision that needs to be in the law from the get go is the tax credit; businesses get one, so individuals should, too. This provision could be important to the entrepreneurial community as those lone wolves of entrepreneuring start out on their journey.

So, like Betsy McCaughey, I’m sure we’ll have more to say on the subject.

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The Season of Treason

This isn’t normally a political blog, but there is some serious nonsense going on in Washington, and we feel compelled to comment on it.

First, what were the 12 or so Republicans arrayed on the Capitol steps ticked off about? Worthies like Darrell Issa and Jason Chavetz don’t normally fall in with wobblies like Susan Collins and Rob Portman.

Granted many Republicans don’t like the Donald, but they shouldn’t go public with their comments; they just look stupid. If they have something constructive to say, say it openly, but share any criticisms with Donald in private. You nitwits haven’t figured out that the media will use any perceived problem to drive a wedge between you all. Witness the Sessions nothingburger.

You Republicans should know by now that the media won’t portray you fairly. And Ryan and McConnell aren’t going to win any leadership awards in the current crisis.

And, then there’s whatever Little Barry and the Gangsters are cooking up in his garage with Valerie Jarrett at Kalorama Circle. We hope the Feebs are on it. Just happens to use the Obama symbol, and sounds vaguely treasonous.

A year from now this probably all will have passed, once the Trumpster gets a tax cut done and Obamacare replaced and repealed.

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Trump Bump 2

OK, here we go, America.

We’d still like to see tax cuts before Obamacare reform (we’ve provided some ideas to Trump), because we think a little profit bump will help more companies than Obamacare changes help consumers, but who knows? He can make a few tweaks to the existing ACA law (non-mandatory, exchanges, insurance across state lines, insure preexisting conditions) that will go a ways towards fixing the problems, and probably cost less.

The stock market agrees, and is in possible danger of getting ahead of itself.

We’d like to have some comments from some CEOs with significant foreign operations (Ford, Cat, Apple, etc.) to get their feelings in profit repatriation of the $1.5 trillion that’s parked abroad, and we’re going to get some client input from smaller companies that are our clients over the next month or so.

However, we’re dealing with perceptions, which are good.

Posted in ceo, donald trump, economic policy, Entrepreneurship, ICE, immigration, lending, taxes, tim cook | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment