WASHINGTON - The election is history and businesses across America know who will lead the country for the next four years. But will the tone of the second term be as harsh and demeaning about businesses and the people who run them or will President Obama finally realize that American free enterprise is the force that makes the country strong and prosperous? From a business person's perspective, people who run Washington simply don't understand the basic economics that every person who has ever run a company, large or small, must live by - revenue must exceed expense or you are out of business.
Only in government do the economic laws exist in the state of suspended animation until the proverbial shoe drops as it is now doing in Greece and other parts of Europe.
However, the real test for this administration is to recognize that business people are not evil, greedy Ebenezer Scrooges exploiting their workers to squeeze the last drop of blood from them.
American businesses, big and small, care about their workers. Small businesses must compete for workers. During the depths of the recession, it was the owner who was the last to get paid, if he or she got paid at all, because keeping good employees is good business.
All the current noise about raising taxes, punishing success, imposing new mandates and regulations scare us. How can I sign a 10-year lease on office space or a factory building when the rules of the game are going to be changed? How can one hire new people if taxes and fees double the cost of the hire? American business people are optimistic risk takers. If we were not, we would have gone into government. Most businesses' main interaction with government is paying taxes.
Government doesn't help them succeed but rather only erects barriers to overcome. The cost of government taxes and regulations are part of the overhead of a business. The greater the cost of the government overhead, the fewer people a business can hire.
The major challenge for President Obama is to realize there is little he can do to help the average business in our country.
We don't want more loans because debt does not equal profit. We want to make a profit so that we can invest to grow our businesses or reward our employees and ourselves for successfully taking on the challenges and uncertainty of business.
We also would welcome a little respect for the long hours we put in without any guarantees of reward. We would appreciate some common sense on regulation where absolutes can't apply but cost-benefit analysis makes sense.
To have the country begin growing again, the business sector must be vibrant and healthy. People must be willing to risk everything to reach the American dream of making your children better off than you were.
It's about creating where nothing existed. It's about building wealth and defining the future.
When we look at the political class, we want them to deliver a safe, secure environment to allow us to make our plans.
The old Soviet Union amply demonstrates that politicians cannot run the economy. Mr. Obama and the political class cannot believe they have the answers. Political spending is always less efficient that private spending because it is other people's money.
Our president needs to cheer on the dreamers and the risk takers. He needs to stop frightening away innovation with rhetoric common to college campuses in the '60s. He should be hoping to create a million new millionaires whose good ideas and hard work have created 10 million new jobs.
While Obama may not believe Calvin Coolidge's comment about the business of America is business - it is the myriad of small and big dreamers who continue to make America the uniquely great country that it is.
Peter Rush is the author of "Class Tax, Mass Tax."